Matt Tunseth

Gatorade has confirmed what everyone in Alaska aleady knew: Daniel Bausch is the best boys distance runner in the state.

The sports drink company named the Chugiak High senior its Alaska Boys Cross Country Athlete of the Year in a press release issued Monday.

“He’s overcome a lot in his life and has really been able to flourish this year,” Chugiak coach Melissa Hall said in the release.

The U.S. Small Business Administration will open a Business Recovery Center in downtown Eagle River Thursday to help people affected by the Nov. 30, 2018 earthquake apply for low-interest federal loans and begin the process of applying for individual federal disaster assistance.

The office will be located in the Eagle River Town Center Building at 12001 Business Boulevard. It will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both SBA and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials will be on hand.

There won’t be many days off for students, parents, teachers, administrators and Anchorage School District officials in the coming weeks as they scramble to come up with plans for what to do about a pair of quake-damaged schools in Eagle River.

“We have a very short window,” Anchorage School Board President Starr Marsett said at a Monday night board meeting, where an ad hoc committee was formed to study options for Chugiak-Eagle River schools even as the district waits for engineering reports on damage to the most severely damaged facilities.

Eagle River residents forced to do their banking “in town” or online for the past two months are back in business.

The local Key Bank and Wells Fargo branches are set to reopen in the coming days, with Wells Fargo opening its doors at 10 a.m. Jan. 31 and Key Bank returning to business at 10 a.m. Feb. 4.

Male inmates enrolled in a successful faith-based program intended to reduce recidivism have been moved from Hiland Mountain Correctional Center to the Anchorage Correctional Complex in what state officials say is a plan to increase programs for female inmates at the women’s prison.

Alaska Department of Corrections Commissioner Nancy Dahlstrom confirmed 37 men were transferred from Hiland to the Anchorage jail Saturday.

Calls were down slightly in 2018, but Chugiak’s volunteer fire department was still red hot.

Calls for service decreased by about eight percent last year even as the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department saw a surge in volunteer hours thanks to what chief Tim Benningfield says has been a concerted effort to draw in new recruits.

“We’ve had a great recruitment and retention effort,” Benningfield told the Chugiak Community Council recently.

A Tuesday night announcement by the Anchorage School District sent another aftershock through an already battered Chugiak-Eagle River.

Shaken to action by November’s magnitude 7.0 earthquake, some Chugiak residents believe it’s time to bring additional building safety measures to their community.

At its Thursday meeting, the Chugiak Community Council passed a resolution asking the Municipality of Anchorage to require that an engineer review plans for all residential structures requiring a municipal land-use permit.

“Somebody needs to look at these things,” said Bart Quimby, an engineer from Chugiak who spoke in favor of the resolution.

Sharon Jackson’s wait is over.

Jackson was officially sworn in as Rep. Sharon Jackson of District 13 on Thursday after the Alaska House of Representatives selected Neal Foster (D-Nome) as speaker pro tempore, relieving Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer of that task and allowing the House to conduct business.

The Chugiak Community Council will undergo a shake-up at Thursday’s meeting at the Elsie Oberg Center in Chugiak.

In addition to hosting a community discussion on building safety codes in the wake of the November earthquake, the council will also hold elections for four open seats at the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

An agenda can be viewed online at communitycouncils.org.

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