Bridges new and old, legislators coming and going and a major plane crash were among the headlines this year in Chugiak-Eagle River. In case you missed them, here’s a month-by-month account of the biggest stories to appear this year in the Star:



A new law allowing fireworks in the Municipality of Anchorage on New Years Eve led to dozens of complaints following a loud holiday celebration. The only major injury reported, however, was when an Eagle River airman lost his hand in a fireworks-related mishap.


Susie Gorski can finally put away her paint cans.

The Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce executive director had made sprucing up the old plywood “Welcome to Eagle River” sign an annual rite of spring.

“It was just tired,” Gorski said of the old sign.

Thanks to the work of several community members — and a $19,000 grant from British Petroleum — the iconic wooden sign in Chief Alex Park was recently replaced with a brand-spanking-new welcome sign that’s sure to become the area’s newest big attraction.

CER Star December 29, 2011 Issue 52, Volume XL

New Eagle River football field general Jason Brewer plans to bring a no-nonsense coaching style, enthusiasm and plenty of experience to the job when he takes over in the fall.

“The kids know me, the kids know what I’m about,” said Brewer, who previously served for two years as an assistant under Kenny Ray. “I’m about discipline and having fun.”

Brewer isn’t really a general, but he did recently wrap up his Army career as a 1st lieutenant who returned from a tour in Pakistan and Afghanistan last fall. He recently took a new job with the National Guard.

 Major Matt Leveque, deputy director of the Alaska State Troopers, completed a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security on Dec. 16.

 Air National Guard Airman 1st Class Kimberly M. Hatzis graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

Hatziz completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

“We’re losing too many of our old timers and their personal histories!”

Elves work overtime for tomorrow night

“Workers at the North Pole are working overtime shifts this week, the Star learned in an exclusive interview with Mrs. Santa Claus just before press time today,” read the opening sentence of a front-page story in the Dec. 23, 1971 Chugiak-Eagle River Star.

According to the story, Santa was in the final stages of preparing his annual Christmas delivery blitz, and Mrs. Claus wished to pass on a special message to local children.

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law bicker and banter and bob and weave with significantly diminishing returns in this sequel to the 2009 smash hit “Sherlock Holmes.”

At a local church, a Christmas tree sits bedecked, not with flashy ornaments, but with paper ornaments representing donations from the congregation for pregnant women and mothers in need.

At Christmas time, many congregations say they are taking time to reflect on the example of Christ in caring for the poor and vulnerable.

“Christ said, ‘What you did for the least of my brothers, you did for me,’” said Deb Marino, director of faith formation at St. Andrew Catholic Church, which hosts the giving tree for the local Crisis Pregnancy Center.

Dear Santa,

Movies, doll house, cars, new books, computer, Barbie, dog pillow.




To Santa,

Monkey dress, monkey bowl and plate, monkey rubber ducky, a monkey hat, a little Dora monkey, a sock monkey, a new horsey bouning thing.



Dear Santa,

I hope you’re going to give me presents. I want a DS and a monster truck and an Army man costume and a Wii video game please.

Carver (Ala.) 74, Chugiak 43

Carver High School (Ala.) downed Chugiak High 74-43 in the opening round of the Doc Larson Roundball Classic in Wasilla on Monday, Dec. 19.

Nine different players recorded points for the Mustangs. Luke Plumb paced Chugiak with 10 points.

Carver built a 10-point lead after the first eight minutes and never looked back. Carver led the entire game.


Chugiak senior Garrett Morrison continued his march toward state with a victory at the West Christmas Classic on Dec. 16-17. Morrison went undefeated at 182 pounds, winning the championship match with a second-period pin of Colony’s Scott Knighten.

The Chugiak-Eagle River girls hockey team snapped a four-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over visiting Service-East on Dec. 16 at the McDonald Center.

Autumn Sperry scored the game’s lone goal when she escaped on a breakaway and buried a shot past Service-East netminder Jenna Gerrety just over four minutes into the third period.

CER had trouble getting past Service-East’s defense for the first two periods, Sperry said, but when the opportunity to go in alone on the goalie presented itself, she went into an all-out sprint.

Eagle River High hockey notched its first Cook Inlet Conference win of the season with a 7-4 victory over Bartlett on Dec. 15 at the McDonald Center.

At 1-3-2, the Wolves are currently in sixth place in the CIC — three points behind fifth-place Chugiak — as the teams head into the holiday break.

Dimond (9-0) is the top CIC team and leads second-place Service (7-1) by four points.

Carter Jesiel led Eagle River with a hat trick against Bartlett. Addie Platt had two goals and Jesse Johnson and Brett Wood each scored one for the Wolves.

Alaska Nordic Racing’s Sarissa Lammers, a sophomore at Chugiak High School, won the J2 girls 5-kilometer classic race during the Besh Cup No. 2 races on her home course at the Beach Lake trails on Sunday, Dec. 18.

Combined with a third place showing in the Besh Cup No. 1 freestyle sprints the previous day at Kincaid Park, Lammers currently sits in second place among J2 girls in the statewide race series, which is used to determine which skiers qualify for the Arctic Winter Games and Junior Olympics.


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