Matt Tunseth

There wasn’t much sun, but there was plenty of fun at the second annual FOCUS Inc. 5-kilometer run in Eagle River.

“This is awesome,” said Eagle River’s Karen Kirk, who turned in the winning time in the women’s division on a cloudy but rain-free Saturday morning that featured plenty of awesomeness for everybody.

The event packed free coffee, a bouncy house, a DJ, free massage, rescue dogs, a fun run and a visit from the governor into a short section of Regency Drive in downtown Eagle River.

Ice fishing tents dotted the infield at Service High School, where athletes and coaches battled to keep from freezing in the always challenging springtime track and field conditions.

“I’d love to say we’re Alaskans and we need to be tough, but you worry about quads, you worry about hamstrings,” said Chugiak head coach Melissa Hall.

Along with the portable pop-up tents, athletes bundled inside winter parkas and sleeping bags to ward off the cold. Coaches like Hall said they continually stress the importance of keeping warm during early season outdoor meets.

On Earth Day at the Eagle River Nature Center, life was emerging from nearly every nook and cranny: Big, lazy mosquitos hovered, skittish butterflies fluttered and in the shallow ponds near the center trails, salmon fry fought over a few fledgling flies.

Sometime soon, even the bears will be about.

“We have not run into any bear sightings, but it’s definitely that time of year,” said ERNC operations manager Laura Krueger on Sunday, April 22.

One man’s journey toward autism awareness is helping raise the profile of an Eagle River organization whose mission isn’t always clearly understood.

“They’ve really helped walk me through the process in general of understanding what autism was,” said Michael Harlow, whose two children are on the autism spectrum.

Harlow’s wife first noticed their children having difficulty keeping up with their peers when it came to verbal communication. However, he was initially resistant to the diagnosis.

UPDATE: According to online records, Sala was released from custody on April 30. He is currently under the supervision of pre-trial services while he awaits trial.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A man wanted for robbing a woman at gunpoint in an Eagle River park during a drug deal gone bad has been captured.

A man wanted in connection with an Anchorage pepper-spraying incident was captured Thursday, April 26 in Eagle River.

According to Anchorage Police, Bret Maness was taken into custody at around 11:27 a.m.

Police said Maness allegedly attacked a group of people gathered at the Church of Love in Spenard last week.

Read more at Anchorage Daily News.

One Eagle River institution is leaving another.

Eagle River High principal Marty Lang — who has worked at the school since it opened — is leaving to take a job as deputy director of secondary education for the Anchorage School District.

“I am excited, although it is with a certain amount of bittersweet,” Lang said Monday. “I have really loved living here, being a part of this school and this community.”

Some of the most visible students on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus are speaking out against sexual assault.

“We’re using our voices for a good cause,” said Sarissa Lammers, a senior Nordic skier and mechanical engineering major.

A 2014 Chugiak High grad, Lammers recently helped organize a public service campaign in which UAF athletes posed for photos in their uniforms while holding signs with slogans such as “It’s On Us” and “No More.”

After only a year back in town, the Salvation Army is again retreating from Eagle River.

On Monday, the nonprofit announced it will be closing the Eagle River Family Store location it opened in April of 2017.

For years, Chugiak-Eagle River area residents have doggedly pursued a public place for their pooches to play. While the disucssions have been mostly bark, there’s finally some teeth in plans to bring a dog park to town.

A draft feasibility study on a Chugiak-Eagle River dog park was recently completed by R&M Consultants, which looked at five different sites in the area that might be suitable for a dog park. At the Eagle River/Chugiak Parks and Recreation Board of Supervisors meeting April 9, R&M’s Van Le said the study found two sites most suitable for a park.

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