Top Stories

There’s going green — and then there’s the Karns family.

Curt and Cindee Karns’ Eagle River home epitomizes sustainable living. Located just two miles from the Eagle River Nature Center, their house not only limits waste, it turns waste into a resource.

The south-facing front of the house contains a large solarium complete with wetlands, a koi pond, a brook and small waterfall. Its 24 large pane glass windows allow the sun to naturally warm the solarium.

Suspected serial killer Israel Keyes stashed weapons and other items in Eagle River for use in future criminal acts, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Keyes — who Anchorage Police said earlier this year kidnapped and killed Anchorage barista Samantha Koenig, 18 — died of an apparent suicide Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Anchorage Jail. Following his death, the FBI said Keyes had admitted to them he killed numerous people across the country, financing his killing spree with bank robberies.

Lauren Fritz, a 2006 graduate of Eagle River High and a member of the Alaska Pacific University Elite ski team, has been named to the United States roster for the upcoming World Cup sprint races in Quebec.

Fritz earned the spot after finishing second at the SuperTour classic sprint race on Saturday, Dec. 1 in Bozeman, Mont. The U.S. Ski Team announced World Cup rosters for Quebec races Sunday night.

Chugiak High is kicking off the holiday season in classic style.

“A Christmas Carol” opens today (Thursday, Nov. 29) at the Steve Primis Auditorium at 7 p.m. The play runs through Saturday, Dec. 1. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for students and $3 for children.

Charles Dickens’ famous novella about crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge who’s visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future is a production director Chris Rees has wanted to put on for some time.

“It’s a play I’ve always wanted to direct,” he said.

Eagle River’s Daiquiri Wright, 10, still has extensive scars from a horrific 2007 house fire that claimed the lives of her brother and cousin. And she’s not afraid to show them.

Wright donned a short-sleeved t-shirt when she testified before the Anchorage Assembly on Oct. 30 during a hearing about the proposed 2013 Anchorage budget. At that time, the assembly was considering a proposal that would have cut the Eagle River Station 11 ladder truck and its crew from the budget. Daiquiri wasn’t about to let that happen without a fight, said her mom, Jasmine Dirkes.

Being a freshman isn’t always easy.

Simple things — finding your way around or learning basic etiquette — can be daunting. If you’re lucky, you’ll survive to become a sophomore full of worldly knowledge and the experience necessary to head into your second term with a song in your heart.

That’s how Republican legislator Rep. Dan Saddler, of Eagle River, plans to head into his second term as a member of the Alaska State House.

“You’re kinda starting to fit in and know things,” said Saddler, who will return to Juneau for his sophomore term in January.

Get hungry, folks.

The annual community Christmas buffet known as Merry Merchant Munch is set for this Friday and Saturday (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) in downtown Eagle River. According to Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce special events director Merry Braham, this year’s Munch features a record 55 participating businesses.

“That’s a lot of munching,” Braham said.

The easiest way to get involved in the fun, Braham said, is to pick up one of the chamber’s Merry Munch Guides, find the map (also available on this page), and get munching.

Nine house pets died when fire broke out at the Mariner Village condominium complex in Eagle River Sunday, Nov. 25.

According to the Anchorage Fire Department, the blaze occurred around 2 p.m. in a ground-floor condo. Station 11 Capt. Al Kara said approximately 18 firefighters responded to the fire. When crews arrived, they found thick black smoke and flames shooting from a window. Kara said the fire was under control within 10 minutes.

No one was injured, but Kara said firefighters found eight cats and a dog dead inside. One cat managed to escape, he said.

Nine house pets died when fire broke out at the Mariner Village condominium complex in Eagle River Sunday, Nov. 25.

According to the Anchorage Fire Department, the blaze occurred around 2 p.m. in a ground-floor condo. Station 11 Capt. Al Kara said approximately 18 firefighters responded to the fire. When crews arrived, they found thick black smoke and flames shooting from a window. Kara said the fire was under control within 10 minutes.

No one was injured, but Kara said firefighters found eight cats and a dog dead inside. One cat managed to escape, he said.

Nearly two decades ago, members of the Eagle River Lions noticed how quiet things were around town on Thanksgiving Day.

“Nothing was open for anyone that didn’t have anyone to share with,” recalled Lion Chuck DuCharme.

At that time, no restaurants stayed open on Thanksgiving. Further, there were no community dinners being offered by anyone, either.

Eagle River Lions president Finis Sheldon said he figured that needed to change.

“I said, ‘Gosh, why don’t we offer a dinner up here?’” Sheldon said.

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