Matt Tunseth

Happy New Year!

We hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season and are ready for all that 2017 has in store.

The past 12 months have gotten a pretty bad rap lately. In fact, if you ask the Internet you’ll likely find thousands of memes and millions of tweets calling 2016 the “worst year ever.”

Eklutna Inc. and the Municipality of Anchorage have agreed to settle a dispute over millions of dollars claimed by the Native corporation for natural gas generated at the Anchorage Landfill and sold to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Southcentral Alaska will have to wait until at least 2017 for its storm of the century.

On Thursday, forecasters predicted half a foot of snow would fall in the Anchorage and Eagle River areas, with a foot or more dumping on the Mat-Su. Office workers were encouraged to leave work early to avoid the rush hour carnage that was expected.

“The largest snowfall in several years is possible for portions of the Matanuska Valley” north of Anchorage, wrote the National Weather Service in a public bulletin about the storm.
Didn’t happen.

Budget crunch

The National Weather Service is predicting a major winter storm will hit Eagle River and surrounding areas beginning Thursday afternoon (Dec. 29) and continuing into Friday, Dec. 30.
According to a bulletin posted to, the service expects two to five inches in the Anchorage area, with snow totals increasing north along the Glenn Highway.
“The largest snowfall in several years is possible for portions of the Matanuska Valley,” according to the bulletin.

EAGLE RIVER -- Twenty-seven months ago, a choirgirl’s voice was silenced by a real-life “monster.” Now, the family of a 19-year-old murder victim wants the public to help them speak for her. 

“Our daughter doesn’t have a voice,” said Lonny Bower, whose daughter, Linda Anne Martz Bower, was murdered in 2014 by her ex-boyfriend. 

Bower is one of four parents whose lives were shattered on Sept. 10, 2014, when David Joseph Thomas, 28, was arrested in the parking lot of an Eagle River drug store with Linda’s dead body in the back seat of his car. 

Fresh snow fell on the Beach Lake Trails near Chugiak High School Monday, much to the delight of afternoon skiers and the man whose job it is to keep the trails looking fresh.

“This is 100 percent better than last year,” said Bill Brion, a trail groomer with the Nordic Ski Association of Alaska.

(Updated Jan. 1, 2017)

Ed Hall, a 2014 Eagle River High graduate, helped Idaho to its third bowl win in program history when the Vandals beat Colorado State 61-50 on Dec. 22 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho.

A redshirt sophomore, Hall started at linebacker and finished third on his team with five solo tackles.

The big news right now in Chugiak-Eagle River is, well, the news.

Since September, two new weekly newspapers have set up shop, including a local start-up that has the support of several longtime area journalists and a paper backed by an Arizona-based company that also owns papers in Anchorage, the Mat-Su and on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

ANCHORAGE – Dawson Budke’s long road to redemption ended Saturday night with a triumphant victory in his final high school match.

The Chugiak senior claimed the only state championship Saturday night for Chugiak-Eagle River wrestlers at the Alaska Class 4A State Wrestling Tournament with a methodical 7-2 win over upstart Chad Edwards of Lathrop in the finals at 170 pounds.