Matt Tunseth

Locals grimacing over a lack of fast food options in Eagle River will have to McWait until the end of the year to address their earthquake-induced Mac attacks — but happier meals are ahead.

“The bottom line is the store’s going to be rebuilt,” said Mike Davidson, who owns 21 McDonald’s franchises in Southcentral Alaska, including the shuttered store along Eagle River’s main drag.

Graduation ceremonies were held for Eagle River and Chugiak High Schools on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 in Anchorage.

The back-to-back commencement ceremonies saw 185 graduates (and four exchange students) from Eagle River High School honored at Sullivan Arena Wednesday afternoon, followed by a class of 212 and five foreign exchange students recognized from Chugiak.

Eagle River High’s valedictorian was Collin Dyches and salutatorian was Ashton Love.

William “Billy” Smith was Chugiak’s valedictorian, with Miles Dennis named the school’s salutatorian.

Parts of the Eagle River Town Center Building have been “red-tagged” due to newly discovered earthquake damage that could be more serious than previously thought.

Both the north and south entrances to the building will be closed indefinitely, according to Municipality of Anchorage Acting Building Official Ross Noffsinger. The news means the Chugiak-Eagle River Library and the offices of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce and several municipal departments will be closed until further notice.

Eagle River High’s athletics program has risen to new levels in recent years, and several of the athletes responsible for the school’s rise will take their skills to the next level as well.

National Letter of Intent signing ceremonies for nine

ERHS athletes were held April

29-30 in the school’s library for two groups of student-athletes whose exploits rank among some of the best in the school’s 14-year history. The first athlete honored was Keegan Sharpe, a softball player who will play softball at Geneva College in Pennsylvania next year.

A movement by Chugiak-Eagle River residents hoping to detach their Assembly district from the Municipality of Anchorage and form their own government is gaining steam and support, including from a conservative nonprofit organization based in Texas.

More than 100 people turned out for an informational meeting Friday night at the Eagle River Lions Club by backers of “EaglExit,” a nascent effort to secede from the municipality. The turnout was so good, organizers immediately scheduled another meeting later this month.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy told a supportive Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce crowd Wednesday he’ll continue to push for a state budget that cuts expenses, provides for a Permanent Fund Dividend and won’t force new taxes on Alaskans.

“There’s really no need for taxes if we reduce our spending and commit to it,” Dunleavy told a packed house at the Matanuska Brewing Company in downtown Eagle River.

A Palmer man missing since Tuesday night was found dead Wednesday night near the Eagle River Nature Center of an apparent suicide.

Alaska State Troopers said the body of Neil Guggenmos, 47, was located at around 9 p.m. Wednesday by search-and-rescue teams, which helped the troopers and the State Medical Examiner recover the body “from a challenging location,” according to a trooper dispatch.

No foul play and next-of-kin have been notified, troopers said. The dispatch did not give details about exactly where the body was found.

Alaska State Troopers, Anchorage police and park rangers are looking for a man believed to be missing near the Eagle River Nature Center.

According to Troopers, Neil Guggenmos, 47, of Palmer was reported missing late Tuesday night. His vehicle was located Wednesday morning in the center parking lot.

Anchorage police said there was no indication of foul play or a bear attack and said Guggenmos even paid for a parking pass at the center, which is located at the end of Eagle River Road and provides a gateway to Chugach State Park.

UPDATE (9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 2): The body of missing hiker Neil Guggenmos was found by searchers at around 9 p.m. Wednesday night, accoring to an update provided by the Alaska State Troopers. He died of an apparent suicide.

Original story:

It’s easy to see why the FOCUS 5K is gaining a reputation as one of the happiest footraces around. Just look for the smiles.

“It’s a great event, great atmosphere — they even brought the sun out,” said Eagle River runner Ryan Bish after the third annual race in downtown Eagle River.

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