Anchorage voters may be asked to spend around $39 million to repair and upgrade earthquake-damaged Gruening Middle School, a price tag that’s $12 million more than the school cost to build in the early 1980s and $15 million more than was recommended by a committee of community members tasked with studying the issue earlier this year.

A homeowner shot and killed a brown bear Wednesday morning that had been getting into chicken coops in the Eagle River Valley.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the bear was shot in defense of life or property at a home on West Lake Drive in the Eagle River Valley.

The bear is believed to be the same animal that was fired at by another homeowner on Monday on Glacier View Loop, one street away from the scene of Wednesday’s incident.

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system. Details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Chugiak High grad Nicole Pinckney is making a big impact in her third year at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

Pinckney was named to the all-tournament team at the Division II West Coast Classic on Sunday after helping the Seawolves to a pair of blowout wins at the two-day event at the Alaska Airlines Center. She scored 11 points in the team’s 110-82 win over San Francisco State on Sunday to finish with 28 points in two games. The redshirt sophomore scored a career-high 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range Saturday to help No. 16 UAA to a 93-45 win over Chaminade.

A round of black ice on the streets last weekend may have been a harbinger of things to come.

Police saw a spike in traffic collisions Nov. 10 as the first freezing weather of November caused a flurry of early morning crashes in Chugiak-Eagle River.

According to the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system, police responded to eight collisions on Saturday, including five by around 9 a.m.

The culprit was black ice, which the department warned people about in a Nixle alert sent out at 9:40 a.m. Saturday.

Both Chugiak and Eagle River were knocked out of the Cook Inlet Conference Volleyball Tournament without earning a state tournament berth, but local players and coaches didn’t go home empty handed.

Eagle River coach Kaylee Purington was named the CIC’s Coach of the Year after helping the Wolves to a two-win CIC regular season, while the Wolves won the academic award and Chugiak’s Ellie Scherffius was named first-team All-Conference.

Chugiak senior Daniel Niebles tore through the 189-pound weight class on Saturday to win the Most Outstanding Wrestler title at the Glenn Vandergaw Wrestling Tournament at Dimond High.

The Chugiak/Eagle River girls hockey team fell to 1-1 this season after falling Friday to defending champion South/Bartlett at the Dempsey Anderson Ice Arena in Anchorage by a score of 7-1.

Rian Runyan scored the lone goal for Chugiak/Eagle River, which got 22 saves from Morgan Richards.

Chugiak/Eagle River will face Dimond/West on Friday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m.

South 3, Chugiak 2

A Veterans Day ceremony on base will be held Monday morning at the Alaska National Guard Armory on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The ceremony is open to the public and service members are encouraged to wear their dress uniforms. The ceremony is typically attended by numerous dignitaries; last year, Vice President Mike Pence visited the event.

The keynote speaker will be Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard.

The Fort Richardson gate will open to the public at 9 a.m. and the ceremony will begin at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday began with a splash and ended with a souvenir for the Eagle River girls swimming and diving team, which won the first event of the day at the ASAA/First National Bank Swimming and Diving Championships and walked away with the school’s first state swimming runner-up trophy.

The Wolves won four individual girls titles and a relay championship; McKenzie Fazio claimed two individual victories, with Ellie Mercer and Kiara Borchardt winning one each.

Four Chugiak-Eagle River hockey players will turn back the clock this weekend for a much-anticipated Alaska Aces alumni game at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.

Local skaters Pete McEnaney, Brian Swanson and Justin Martin will join goalie John DeCaro on the ice for the event, which will bring more than 60 former Aces players and coaches back for a two-game series.

Few people have played a bigger role in preserving the unique narrative of the Chugiak-Eagle River community than Jinny Kirk, a woman who also had a role in creating much of that history.

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says he’s all for smaller government but isn’t convinced Chugiak-Eagle River residents would be making a wise decision by breaking away from the municipality.

“Interesting conversation,” Berkowitz said Wednesday at the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce lunch forum in Eagle River. “Show me the money.”

Eagle River got four goals and two assists from Tucker Lien to take a 10-2 high school hockey exhibition win over Bartlett on Wednesday at Ben Boeke Ice Arena.

Brooks Christian had two goals for the Wolves, who also got scores from Bryan Collins, Gunnar Sackerson, Jacob James and Dmitri Kucherov.

Aiden Bruno made seven saves for Eagle River, which outshot the Golden Bears 49-9.

Bradley Beals had both goals for Bartlett, which got 39 saves from Dylan Harrington.

It’s springtime in the Chugach Mountains, where fuzzy white willow catkins are a sure sign of longer, warmer days ahead. There’s just one problem: It’s November.

“It’s pretty much unprecedented,” said Justin Fulkerson, a research botanist who said he first heard reports of catkins (also known as “pussy willows”) showing up in the Anchorage area from a fellow scientist in late October.

Chugiak advanced to the weekend Wednesday with a gritty win over the host Service Cougars Thursday at the Cook Inlet Conference Volleyball Tournament.

The Mustangs dropped two of the first three sets before winning the final two to claim the victory. The Mustangs will play at 3:30 p.m. Friday against the loser of Thursday’s South vs. Bartlett match. The tournament’s top three teams will advance to the state tournament Nov. 14-16 in Anchorage.

The CIC’s No. 6 seed, Chugiak opened the tournament with a 3-1 loss to No. 3 seed East on Wednesday.

Jen Hufford hadn’t slept for two days after an exhausting flight from Anchorage to London to Scandinavia, but as she settled into her hotel in Are, Sweden, earlier this week, her excitement still bubbled over. On Friday, the 35-year-old Eagle River sports trainer and athlete with an impressive competitive resume will toe the line with an elite group of competitors from around the world vying for the title of World Spartan Ultra champion.

A big lineman and a big leg have been tabbed for top postseason honors by the state’s football coaches.

Chugiak senior defensive end Austin Harr was named first-team All-State by the Alaska Football Coaches Association, which named the Mustangs’ Josh Rolston as the state’s top kicker and punter.

Harr was a first-team All-Railbelt Conference selection at defensive end and a second-team all-conference running back for the Mustangs, who went 6-3 and lost in the first round of the Division I state playoffs.

Two familiar names have signaled their intent to run for a Chugiak-Eagle River seat on the Anchorage Assembly in the April 7, 2020, municipal election.

As of Monday, Eagle River’s Jamie Allard and Chugiak’s Gretchen Wehmhoff were the only District 2 residents to file letters of intent with the Alaska Division of Elections. The filing period for municipal office is Jan. 1-Feb. 1, but the letters permit candidates to raise funds prior to officially filing for office.

Montana State University redshirt freshman tight end Derryk Snell had his best game as a college football player Saturday when he caught three passes for 42 yards and his first career touchdown in the Bobcats’ 42-7 win over Southern Utah in Bozeman, Montana.

The 2017 Alaska Gatorade Football Player of the Year has caught six passes this season and drew praise from Bobcats coach Jeff Choate in postgame interviews.

“He’s got really good ball skills,” Choate said of the 6-foot-2, 245-pounder, who graduated from Chugiak High in 2018. “He’s a talented young man.”


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