Matt Tunseth

Coaches for Chugiak and Eagle River’s love their teams’ prospects at the upcoming Region IV Championships — but for very different reasons.

For Chugiak’s Paul McDonough, a senior-laden Mustangs squad featuring several of the region’s top players has the team galloping into the tournament.

“Nine of our 14 players are seniors,” said McDonough, whose team features an undefeated — and top-seeded — player in girls singles star Emilee Groth.

Police have concluded an investigation into a boy who they said brought a backpack containing a loaded gun and a knife to Fire Lake Elementary. Anchorage Police Department spokesman MJ Thim said the case has been turned over to the municipal prosecutor’s office for review.

“They will determine if charges will be filed,” Thim wrote in a Wednesday email.

A reliable source of water for hundreds of Chugiak-Eagle River residents may soon run dry, but city officials are committed to keeping the water flowing.

Emily Walsh is as consistent as they come.

The Eagle River junior claimed her third straight runner-up finish at the Region IV Cross Country meet Saturday, clocking a time of 18 minutes, 31 seconds — one second faster than she ran in last year’s race and one second slower than her personal best on the 5-kilometer course at Bartlett High.

“I’m very happy with it,” Walsh said after finishing 10 seconds behind South freshman Robyn Miller and 12 seconds ahead of Miller’s teammate, two-time defending Region IV champion Ava Earl.

Chugiak was galloping toward victory in the third quarter of Friday night’s nonconference football game against South before stumbling down a disastrous home stretch at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

“We had that game won,” said Chugiak head coach Ryan Landers after watching his team surrender 27 points in the final 7:17 of a shocking 39-14 loss.

A student brought a backpack containing a loaded handgun and a knife to Fire Lake Elementary School in Eagle River on Thursday, according to the Anchorage School District. There were no injuries and the gun was not discharged, according to a statement emailed to media Thursday afternoon by ASD communications director Alan Brown.

Brown said the male student’s classmates told their teacher they saw the weapons while on the school bus.

“The student in question was separated from the backpack and escorted to the office,” Brown wrote.

Snow fell in the mountains around Eagle River last week, bringing termination dust to mountainsides above 3,000 feet in the Chugach.

That includes the mountains above Arctic Valley and the South Fork Eagle River Valley, where hikers on Sunday ventured onto the high alpine tundra for late-season berry-picking and fall hiking.

Helping others can be pretty sweet.

For hours on end, Eagle River’s Alaina Vik, 13, has stood in grocery store entrances or parking lots and approached strangers asking if they’d like to buy Girl Scout cookies. Often with her mom and siblings along to help, Vik has been “everywhere” from Anchorage to the Mat-Su selling the distinctive boxes, and the effort has paid off — last year, she sold more than 5,000 boxes to become Alaska’s No. 1 seller.

“I went out every day and I just kept going and asking people if they wanted to buy cookies,” she said.

Chugiak-Eagle River has always seen itself as a separate community from Anchorage, and when it comes to academics area schools certainly stand out.

The area’s dozen public schools outperformed their counterparts in the Anchorage School District on the state’s 2018-19 school year standardized tests in math, English and science, according to results released by the district earlier this month.

They don’t normally play a lot of games at the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, but the group made an exception Wednesday for local Young Life area director Aaron Hopkins.