At a small office in an Eagle River church, nearly a dozen federal employees are working to both mitigate problems and manage expectations of those seeking help after the Nov. 30, 2018 earthquake.

They’re the government, and they’re here to help.

“We’re here as long as we’re needed,” said Jack Heesch, an external affairs officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Anchorage School Board will vote tonight on proposed boundary changes for elementary school students in Eagle River. The boundary changes were unveiled during public meetings held Feb. 20-21 in Eagle River and Chugiak.

The school board meets at 7 p.m. at 5530 E. Northern Lights Boulevard in Anchorage. The boundary changes will incorporate some former Eagle River Elementary students to Birchwood ABC and others to Homestead Elementary. The change was suggested by the district as the best way to keep families together.

8:30 a.m. Saturday, Downtown Anchorage

Diesel is in the air at 4th Avenue and Cordova Street, where a front-end loader is dumps loads of snow in the middle of the normally busy intersection. The loader beeps as the driver uses the bucket to sculpt the snow into large steps.

In less than two hours, the sleepy intersection will be the center of the sled dog universe.

After the fall day when Joy Leedham left her Optical Matchmakers-Home Optics shop to head to a doctor appointment, it would never be the same place of joy. Her epic eyewear enterprise, which spanned more than 20 years and surged to global fame with Sarah Palin, ended as abruptly and as quietly as Leedham’s life.

She was ambushed by cancer. Like her son-in-law shortly before and her husband soon after, advanced aggressive cancer and imminent death came in threes for the family.

The Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) room at Eagle River High School is running out of space for trophies.

The school’s cadets brought home several top awards from the state competition Feb. 23, winning the overall Drill Team State Championship, and taking first place in the Color Guard, First Year Color Guard, Large Unit GPA and Drill Team Coastal competitions. The team also placed second in the First Year Unarmed Regulation and Armed Regulation competitions.

Kelsey Griffin’s world tour is returning for a stateside encore.

On Thursday the 2005 Chugiak High grad signed a contract with the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA, making a return to the U.S.-based women’s professional basketball league for the first time since 2014.

The deal was announced on the Lynx page at Terms were not disclosed.

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system. Details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Parking lot fender bender results in charge

Time’s up for quake procrastinators.

The deadline to apply for state disaster assistance related to the Nov. 30, 2018 earthquake is Thursday, Feb. 28. Anyone who has not yet applied for assistance should visit or call 1-855-445-7131.

Ja’Corrie Benoit’s last-second put-back lifted the Eagle River boys to their second dramatic win over Chugiak this season Tuesday night at Chugiak.

Benoit rebounded a Ryan Adkins miss and laid the ball in as the buzzer sounded to lift the Wolves to a 65-64 Cook Inlet Conference win and secure the Birchwood Bowl rivalry trophy. The win gave Eagle River a season sweep by a combined three points after knocking off the Mustangs 47-45 on Feb. 1.

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.”

Chugiak’s Michael Earnhart finished third in the overall boys Skimeister standings to lead all local skiers at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Nordic Ski Championships in Fairbanks.

Earnhart’s performance keyed a third-place team finish by the Mustangs. Teammate Max Beiergrohslein finished 10th in the Skimeister standings, which were based on the combined times from Thursday’s classic technique and Friday’s freestyle races.

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.

Last to start, first to finish.

The team of Mike Morgan and Chris Olds won the Iron Dog on Saturday morning, becoming the race’s first back-to-back winners since 2013.

Morgan and Olds arrived at the Fairbanks finish line at 10:49 a.m. aboard their Polaris Indy XC 600 snowmachines.

They completed the 1,977-mile race from Deshka Landing to Nome to Fairbanks in 34 hours, 27 minutes, 31 seconds.

About 20 minutes later the Wasilla team of veteran Brad George and rookie Adam Drinkhouse finished in second place.

Eagle River musher Matt Paveglio was the final musher out of the starting chute Friday on the opening day of the 2019 Fur Rondy Open World Championship Sled Dog Race in Anchorage.

Paveglio is the lone local musher in this year’s field.

The annual races are the kick-off to Anchorage’s Fur Rendezvous celebration, which runs through March 3.

Racers in the sled dog race run a 25-mile course through the streets and trails of Anchorage, starting on 4th Avenue downtown. Racing continues at noon on Saturday and Sunday.

The Chugiak-Eagle River legislative delegation will host a public town hall meeting Saturday, Feb. 23, from 2-4 p.m. at the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center (22424 Birchwood Loop).

Scheduled to attend the event are Sen. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River), Sen. Shelley Hughes (R-Chugiak/Mat-Su), Rep. Kelly Merrick (R-Eagle River), Rep. Sharon Jackson (R-Eagle River) and Rep. Cathy Tilton (R-Chugiak/Mat-Su).

Items in the police briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system. Details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Shoplifters make off with groceries

On Feb. 11 at around 8 p.m. a man and woman were allegedly spotted stealing a basket of groceries from the Eagle River Carrs store. The couple left in a van, police said.

Screaming leads to arrest

A tip from the public resulted in the Thursday morning arrest of two people wanted in a Feb. 9 robbery in Eagle River.

According to APD spokesperson Renee Oistad, Eagle River’s Ian Blodgett, 27, and Anchorage’s Sarah Norton, 27, were arrested at around 9:30 a.m. Thursday on the 500 block of East 4th Avenue after someone alerted police through the department’s anonymous Crime Stoppers system.

An Eagle River man accused of robbing a woman at gunpoint in an Eagle River park last spring has been arrested for attempting to pawn a stolen gold nugget.

Redrawn school boundaries, relocatable classrooms and the continued combination of a middle and high school are among the Anchorage School District’s preferred options for a pair of earthquake damaged schools in Eagle River.


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