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.

A 20-point, fourth-quarter surge was enough for South Anchorage to prevent Eagle River’s girls from winning their first basketball game in more than two years.

The visiting Wolverines started the final quarter on a 14-0 run to defeat the Wolves 65-55 on Jan. 6. The loss dropped Eagle River to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference.

Eagle River — which led the entire second and third quarters — couldn’t recover after losing standout Dana Panfil in the first minute of the second half, head coach Terra Bingham said.

Nicole Mrugala started 2012 the way she ended 2011 — perfect.

The senior Chugiak-Eagle River netminder turned aside all 25 shots from Dimond-West to earn her second straight shutout in CER’s 2-0 win Jan. 4 at Ben Boeke Ice Arena. Mrugala recorded a 17-save shutout against Service-East on Dec. 16 in CER’s final game before the holiday break.

Dimond-West threw more shots on net through the first two periods than Service-East did all game — but that didn’t faze Mrugala.

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A group of Alaska-based parachute riggers are now rigging everything from fuel to food for delivery to soldiers on the front lines in Afghanistan.

The riggers are part of the 725th Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force Centurion, which recently deployed to eastern Afghanistan. The battalion is led by Lt. Col. Brad Hinson from Jackson, Tenn. and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Morrison, a native of Crawfordsville, Ind.

Soon we will enter into ordinary time on the Church calendar. It is my favorite time of year. We recently lived through many great feast days, Thanksgiving, with all the great food, and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception to remind us who it was that said Yes to God, Our Lady of Guadalupe and the wonderful story of Juan Diego, and then Christmas with decorations and presents and more food and family and finale New Years with fireworks.

 “Teachers Got Talent,” a talent show featuring performances by Chugiak High School staff, will be held Friday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Steve Primis Auditorium on the Chugiak Campus, 16525 South Birchwood Loop. Cost is $5, and there will be door prizes. Acts range from reader’s theater to solo and group musical performances to comedy routines — with a surprise or two thrown in as well. Proceeds go to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation and the Chugiak student government program.

ER man found with drugs, child

Anchorage police said they arrested Shane Twigg, 29, of Eagle River on Dec. 31 after a state Department of Corrections officer discovered Twigg in possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia, with a 3-year-old child in his residence on Centerfield Drive. Twigg was arrested for violation of conditions of release and second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, police said. He was lodged at Anchorage Jail in lieu of $2,500 bail.


Anchorage Police Department calls for Monday, Jan. 2 through Monday, Jan. 9


Monday, Jan. 2

8:41 a.m. - Vandalism - Business Boulevard

9:47 a.m. - Medic assist - Monron Street

3:06 p.m. - Alarm - Business Boulevard

4:05 p.m. - Alarm - Northwoods Drive


Tuesday, Jan. 3

12:10 a.m. - Accident - Eklutna Village Road

2:07 a.m. - Alarm - Centerfield Drive

“Sailors on a becalmed sea, we sense the stirring of a breeze.”

— Carl Sagan


That’s as true for those fighting as for those left behind. Loyal readers of the Star may have noticed that we’ve put a special emphasis on following the men and women of the 3,500-member Spartan Brigade as they’ve deployed to Afghanistan. Since November, you’d be hard-pressed to find and issue of this paper that didn’t contain at least one story about this unit, whose members live and work right here in our own community.

The Alaska Army National Guard is under new leadership.

Leon “Mike” Bridges, who was promoted to Brigadier General Jan. 6, took the colors from Brig. Gen. Julio “Randy” Banez during a change of command ceremony on Joint-Base Elmendorf Richardson on Saturday, Jan. 7.

Banez has commanded the Alaska Army National Guard since November 2009 and will retire Feb. 1.

A career National Guardsman, Bridges has served for more than three decades in Alaska, Washington and Oregon.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory today. The advisory goes into effect at 9 p.m. tonight. According to a statement on the NWS website, between nine and 18 inches of snow are expected in the Anchorage area between tonight and Thursday afternoon.

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