Matt Tunseth

After 25 years of building an unrivaled musical tradition at Chugiak High, Ron Lange still has a couple notes up his sleeve.

“It is nice to go, ‘I’m not in that rut anymore,’” Lange said last week at Bartlett High during a break in rehearsals for “Fiddler on the Roof,” which will be his first — and last — production as both musical and overall director. “This is completely something else.”

University of Alaska Anchorage chancellor Cathy Sandeen may have been searching for friendly confines last week when she stopped by Eagle River, where her university’s struggling hockey team is uncharacteristically unbeaten this season.

The Alaska School Activities Association Appeals Board has denied the appeal of a former Chugiak High basketball coach suspended in December one year for a recruiting violation.

You could say the partnership between Brooke Hartman and Evon Zerbetz was a dream come true.

“I had a vision of how it could turn out and she blew my mind,” said Hartman, whose new children’s book, “Dream Flights on Arctic Nights,” will be released Feb. 26 by Alaska Northwest Books.

The task of untangling the complex web of choices, courses, controversies and complications concerning Chugiak-Eagle River schools began Tuesday night at Chugiak High, where about 200 people gathered for the first in a series of public meetings that will help determine the future of virtually every Anchorage School District student living north of Muldoon Road.

“We have a lot of work to do,” ASD superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop said that the outset of the meeting, which was attended by district officials and members of the Anchorage School Board.

Engineers had serious questions about whether Gruening Middle School could withstand a powerful earthquake from the time the school was built, according to a collection of news stories written about the school’s troubled construction in the early 1980s.

“A major earthquake would produce significant damage and a possible partial collapse,” at the school, California engineering firm Forell/Elsesser Engineers Inc. wrote in a 1983 report to the Anchorage School District.

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.

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