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Nicole Mrugala started 2012 the way she ended 2011 — perfect.

The senior Chugiak-Eagle River netminder turned aside all 25 shots from Dimond-West to earn her second straight shutout in CER’s 2-0 win Jan. 4 at Ben Boeke Ice Arena. Mrugala recorded a 17-save shutout against Service-East on Dec. 16 in CER’s final game before the holiday break.

Dimond-West threw more shots on net through the first two periods than Service-East did all game — but that didn’t faze Mrugala.

The Alaska Army National Guard is under new leadership.

Leon “Mike” Bridges, who was promoted to Brigadier General Jan. 6, took the colors from Brig. Gen. Julio “Randy” Banez during a change of command ceremony on Joint-Base Elmendorf Richardson on Saturday, Jan. 7.

Banez has commanded the Alaska Army National Guard since November 2009 and will retire Feb. 1.

A career National Guardsman, Bridges has served for more than three decades in Alaska, Washington and Oregon.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory today. The advisory goes into effect at 9 p.m. tonight. According to a statement on the NWS website, between nine and 18 inches of snow are expected in the Anchorage area between tonight and Thursday afternoon.

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If there’s a post-Christmas sale, there’s a good chance Eagle River’s Sheri Boggs will be there.

After the holidays, Boggs takes advantage of reduced prices to load up on socks, gloves, hats and scarves.

The items aren’t for Boggs or her family. They’re for those who must endure Alaska’s harsh winters without a permanent residence.

This is the third year Boggs has supplied Anchorage’s Project Homeless Connect event with warm garments for clients.

One of the longest days of Ian Murphy’s life began ordinarily enough, with a routine trip to Chugiak High to drop off the family’s foreign exchange student.

17 hours later, Murphy was helping his fellow Chugiak Volunteer firefighters finish dousing the smoldering ashes of his own home.

“It’s always hard to watch something like that happen, but it really hits you in the gut when you’re looking at it and it’s yours,” said Murphy, whose family’s home in Peters Creek was destroyed by the Jan. 5 blaze.

An early-morning house fire in Peters Creek left seven people — including a volunteer firefighter — without a home Thursday, Jan. 5.

According to Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief Clifton Dalton, a call came in at around 7:45 a.m. that a house on Deer Park Drive was ablaze. When crews arrived several minutes later, they found heavy smoke coming from the roof of the single-story house.

“It was burning undetected a long time before the residents were aware of it,” Dalton said.

Missing the state tournament last year has Chugiak High’s girls basketball team more motivated for this season. But it won’t be easy getting there this year.

Only the top two Cook Inlet Conference teams will earn automatic state berths. Other automatic Class 4A berths include two from the Northern Lights Conference and one from the Southeast and Mid Alaska conferences.

The final two spots will be determined by Winning Percentage Index standings. This is the first time WPI will be used to determine who goes to state.

Different year, same problem.

Eagle River High girls basketball again is suffering from low numbers. The 2011-12 team has just six full-time varsity players and two JV swingers.

It’s a problem that’s plagued the Wolves since senior captain Meaghan Byman started playing as a sophomore.

“The problem is we have a new team every year,” she said. “That’s a big key to our unsuccessfulness.”

KeyBank plans grand reopening

The Eagle River KeyBank branch will host a grand opening to celebrate completion of its remodeled Eagle River branch and its new Saturday operating hours on Jan. 21 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The branch, located at 10928 Eagle River Road, recently underwent a remodeling effort, and has also added Saturday hours from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., starting Jan. 21.

Anchorage Police have identified the driver in a New Year’s Day collision between a pickup truck and two pedestrians in downtown Anchorage as 21-year-old Tex Daniels II of Chugiak.

According to police, Ashley Marie Brotherton and Clayton Tyler Wilbanks, both 24, were walking northbound alongside I Street shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1 when they were struck from behind by a red 1994 Dodge Ram 1500. Both were taken to local hospitals. On Monday, Jan. 2, police spokeswoman Marlene Lammers said Wilbanks’ condition was fair.