Matt Tunseth

Erin Johnson wasn’t just one of the good ones — she was one of the best.

“There are certain students that stand out,” said Heather Beck, Johnson’s eighth-grade English teacher at Mirror Lake Middle School in Chugiak.

Johnson was one of those students. Even as a middle-schooler, it was clear the girl with the sparkling eyes and wide grin had a unique presence, Beck said.

Glen Trombley knows his boat will get some attention this summer on the Kenai River, so he gave it a name to remember.

“It’ll be a name they won’t forget,” said the Peters Creek hunting guide, who is launching a sockeye salmon dipnetting guide service aboard a custom 28-foot aluminum pontoon boat called “The Dip Ship.”

Trombley said his daughter Alexis, who had recently returned home from college, suggested the cheeky name.

“The first thing that came out of her mouth was ‘The Dip Ship,’” he said.

(Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part story about hiking on Mount Baldy. This week’s story talks about basics of hiking the 3,218-foot mountain near Eagle River, while next week’s will deal with access and maintenance issues facing the popular hiking area.)

Hiking Mount Baldy is a rite of passage for Chugiak-Eagle River residents. Peeking protectively over the town, the 3,218-foot mountain is everything from afternoon workout spot to weekend getaway for locals, who flock to its slopes in summer.

UPDATE (June 14, 9 p.m.): A sign has been posted in the Eagle River Campground at the head of the trail where a brown bear attack occurred today stating the trail is closed for a week due to an injured bear. “Wounded bear. Sow with cubs. Closed 1 week for patrols” reads the sign, which was attached to a large wooden sawhorse blocking the trail.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A brown bear injured three people near the Eagle River Campground Wednesday.

Authorities said two bears were were shot in Eagle River between Monday night and Tuesday morning as the ongoing conflict between bears and people in Eagle River continued to escalate.

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz was chatting up Chugiak-Eagle River last week as a pair of high-profile visits brought the mayor to the north end of the municipality.

On Wednesday, June 7, the mayor delivered a speech to the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce. The next day, he was in Chugiak to help celebrate Opening Day at Lee Jordan Field.

Despite a gloomy state fiscal picture, Berkowitz said he’s bullish on the future of the municipality.

A big crowd turned out Thursday as the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks made their annual return to Lee Jordan Field in Chugiak.

The local Alaska Baseball League team lost 4-1 to the Mat-Su Miners, but the outcome didn’t seem to dampen spirits at the park, where hot dogs, hamburgers and split-the-pot tickets were in high demand all evening.

UPDATE (Tuesday, June 10): Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Renee Oistad said the driver of the Suburban — who has not yet been named — allegedly showed signs of intoxication. A warrant was obtained for his blood, and the case is pending the results of the toxicology report.

ORIGINAL STORY:

An aggressive moose that put one person in intensive care and attacked at least three others was killed Friday by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The moose had been causing problems in the Eaglewood neighborhood since giving birth to two calves sometime in mid-May. It attacked a longtime neighborhood resident walking her dogs on May 21, leaving her fighting for her life in an Anchorage hospital.

Surrounded by half-filled boxes of music books and rows of instruments, Robin Hopper spent her final moments as a teacher packing up a lifetime of memories at Homestead Elementary.

“After 39 years of teaching, I’ve got a lot of stuff,” she said last Thursday, May 25 in the cluttered, cozy music room that’s been Hopper’s home away from home for the last three decades of her award-winning career as an elementary school music teacher.

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