Local students headed back to school Monday morning braving mild rain showers that seemed to enforce fall’s presence long before the calendar indicates such.

Crossing guards posted at elementary schools and parents walking kiddos to school donned umbrellas and rain slickers replaced summer’s warmer attire as children tromped off to their first day of the 2016-17 school year.

The Republican primary race for Eagle River’s House District 14 seat is dividing the local political scene between those who view the incumbent – Rep. Lora Reinbold – as a bold legislator standing up to the “Establishment” and those who view her as a lawmaker who is difficult for others to work with and thus an ineffective team player.

A Saturday afternoon air crash killed one person as a fabric-covered Champion Citabria, fully engulfed in flames upon impact near the intersection of the Birchwood Spur Road and Stoltze Road.

“The victim in today’s plane crash was not immediately identifiable,” Anita Shell, Anchorage Police Department spokesperson said via email to The Star Saturday night. “The body was taken to the medical examiner’s office. They will use dental records to confirm identification.”

A difference of opinion between the two candidates in Eagle River’s District 14 House race regarding how to interpret the number of voting absences Rep. Lora Reinbold has incurred in her past four years of legislative service is dominating the race between Reinbold and challenger Crystal Kennedy as voters head in to the final weekend before the Aug. 16 primary election.  

Reinbold claims a nearly 95 percent voting rate, while Kennedy asserts Reinbold has missed 71 votes in her past four years as a legislator.

The Aug. 16 primary contest for the state house seat in Eagle River’s District 14  between incumbent Rep. Lora Reinbold and challenger Crystal Kennedy took a nearly soap opera like turn last weekend.

The plot features two questions: Does a state representative have the right to publicly address or even verbally reprimand a military member and should a military member have a cell phone cover in public view that features something some would consider inappropriate and others may label as sexually provocative?

Start time for Monday mornings at Eagle River High School this coming school year will be delayed by 45 minutes beginning Aug. 29.

The schedule changes allow teachers to participate in Professional Learning Communities.

It is a move school officials have planned for a year, Martin Lang, school principal, said.

ERHS faculty visited Dimond and East high schools during the last school year to observe programs there. ERHS gave the program a two-week trial in March.

The rich, full, melodic sounds of pipe organ music are set to be featured Sunday, Aug. 7 at 3 p.m. at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Chugiak as Pipe Dreams 2016 is presented on what promoters say is the “the most northernmost mechanical action (tracker-style) organ in the western hemisphere.”

The Bear Paw Festival is long over, but there still is plenty of action in the downtown Eagle River parking lots and on the sidewalks if you are a gamer — more specifically if you are one of the millions playing Pokemon Go.

The free mobile app taking over the outdoor leisure habits of Americans is insanely popular in Alaska where the longer summer daylight hours and the current warm weather patterns create the perfect environment for playing the game.

A parent does not bury a child in the natural order of life.

Yet, for one Eagle River father, that order was reversed on July 7 as his son was one of five Dallas police officers shot and killed while on duty monitoring the activity of a Black Lives Matter protest march against the death of two African-American men — one in Louisiana; the other in Minnesota — at the hands of police officers.

The event has polarized and shocked the nation.

If you thought there was something remotely familiar about the Bear Paw Royalty handing out awards last weekend, you are correct.

Last year’s court remained in place for the 2016 Bears in Paradise Bear Paw Festival.

The Miss Bear Paw Pageant’s longtime former directors Nancy Arnold and Kathleen Kursteen retired from the volunteer position earlier this year, leaving a gaping hole with no one to fill it.

“They did a wonderful job running the Miss Bear Paw pageant for years,” Deb Morton said. “It was time for someone new to take on the job.”