What’s tough?

Melissa Apodaca is currently training six hours a day with the goal of representing the United States in one of the toughest sports around, freestyle wrestling. The muscular 22-year-old’s typical day includes running and lifting weights followed by a couple hours of technique work and sparring.

Think that’s tough?

The 2008 Chugiak High graduate does all that training while keeping up with her college courses at Northern Michigan University, where last semester she earned a 4.0 grade-point average.

January 19, 2012 Issue XLI Volume 3

The 2011 Chugiak High football team will go down in history.

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame selected the Mustangs for the first-ever Trajan Langdon Award for “displaying sportsmanship and integrity” after their season was cut short due to use of an ineligible player that forced the team to forfeit three wins and miss the state playoffs.

Jesse Cherry, who graduated in 2005 from Chugiak High School, finished 29th on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston, Texas.

Meb Keflezighi won the race in a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes and eight seconds. Cherry, who now runs professionally for ZAP Fitness Reebok, finished in 2:16:31.

The top three men's and women's finishers in the marathon qualify for the U.S. team that will compete in London this summer.

Officials on Saturday canceled the Nordic ski classic style races scheduled to be held at Chugiak High School due to frigid temperatures.

Temperatures at CHS around race time hovered near minus-10 Fahrenheit. The cut-off temperature for races in the Anchorage School District is -4.

The races, which were to include 7.5-kilometer girls classic interval and 10-kilometer boys classic interval, will not be rescheduled.

High school racers are off next weekend, although some competitive skiers will travel to Homer for Besh Cup races on Saturday, Jan. 21.

A nosy neighbor and a quick response by the Anchorage Fire Department helped keep a home at 20513 Eagle River Road from being completely destroyed by fire Thursday, Jan. 12.

Adam Blaum was working on a home improvement project when he noticed what appeared to be an unusually large amount of snow blowing past his upstairs window.

Five or six decades can disappear awful fast.

Just ask those in attendance at last week’s “Old Timers’ Dinner” held at the Eagle River Lions Club.

“Time flies,” said Tom Blavka, who first arrived in Chugiak more than 50 years ago.

Co-hosted by Rep. Bill Stoltze (R-Chugiak/Mat-Su) and Rep. Anna Fairclough (R-Eagle River), the free dinner was a chance for many of the area’s long-term residents to get together for a once-a-year gab session.

You’ll never see a new student eating lunch alone at Eagle River High School.

When a transfer enters the halls of ERHS for the first time, a current student eats lunch with the new student and gives them a tour of the school, walking them through their schedule.

It’s all thanks to the school’s Adventure Program.

Funded by a United States Department of Defense grant, the pilot program’s focus is to ease the transition into the building for new students — many who come from a military background. The program also promotes academic success.

Alma Haik, who owned the old Spring Creek Lodge in Chugiak with her husband, submitted this recipe to the Knik Arm Courier in 1960. Alma was a wonderful cook who was known for her cream pies. This recipe is especially appropriate in these times, when so many of us are pinching pennies.

2 pounds ground beef or moose
1 ½ cups diced cheese
2 beaten eggs
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
3 cups milk
1 cup dry bread crumbs

As winter draws to a close, we are suddenly aware that a milestone has been passed for this community.

This is the first winter that the new Eagle River Bridge has been in use.

Most significant of this fact is that there has not been one single traffic jam on the hill, caused by icy roads.

In the past the sometimes almost comical gaggle of cars tied up on the hill was a regular occurrence whenever the weather took a turn.

Fire ravages downtown building

A fire that destroyed a commercial building on Eagle River Loop caused $150,000-200,000 in damages, according to a story on the front page of the Dec. 16, 1992 Chugiak-Eagle River Star.

According to firefighters, the blaze likely started with an overhead gas heater. It likely burned undetected for several hours, then exploded once it reached the outside air, according to Station 11 captain Bob Benson.

“It was just sitting, waiting for the air,” Benson told the Star. “And once it got air — BOOM — everything went.”


 The always-popular Businessperson’s Race will be held at noon Saturday, Jan. 14 at the Chugiak Dog Mushers Association’s Beach Lake trails off of South Birchwood Loop.

“It’s a tradition,” said CDMA president Val Jokela.

Jokela said the races have been going on for “easily 25” years.

The format is simple. Local businesspeople sign up and are teamed with local mushers, who donate their time and dogs to show the rookies the basics of running a dog team. The race itself is a 2-mile, 3-dog affair.

 Eagle River’s girls second-place bowling team split 15-15 with third-place Bartlett in Anchorage High School Bowling League play on Jan. 5 at Center Bowl. Carly Meacham rolled the high individual game for the Wolves with a 171.

The Wolves have their biggest match of the season at 3:30 p.m. today at Eagle River Bowl when they take on first-place Dimond. Heading into the match, the Wolves trail the Lynx by 22 points in the season standings. With 30 total points on the line, Eagle River has an outside shot of overtaking Dimond in the standings.

Just five games into the 2011-12 basketball season, Eagle River’s boys already have more victories than last year.

The Wolves, who managed just two wins in the 2010-11 campaign, improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the Cook Inlet Conference with a convincing 72-53 victory over visiting South Anchorage on Jan. 6 and a thrilling win at East on Jan. 10.

The decisive win signaled more than Eagle River’s first conference victory of the season, junior Shaquan Rhoades said. It showed wins won’t come easily against the Wolves this year, he said.

Eagle River High senior basketball player Chris Parker, 17, led the Wolves to a pair of CIC victories. On Jan. 6, Parker scored a team-high 16 points to lead the Wolves to their first conference win of the season over South. On Jan. 10, Parker’s go-ahead basket with under a second left gave Eagle River its second CIC win of the season, a 50-48 win over East. Parker is the son of Darnyell Parker and Kimberly Holland of Fort Richardson.


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