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With a quarter of a million people attending Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s Arctic Thunder open house and air show Saturday and Sunday July 28-29, 2012 was a “huge success” for the biennial event, said JBER spokesman Luke Waack.

Too huge, in fact.

On Saturday, traffic backed up for hours at JBER’s gates. Some people never even made it on base.

“[Saturday] was a huge day,” Waack said. “We reached parking capacity. We just filled up.”

Waack attributed the massive crowds to an impressive lineup and sunny weather.

Eagle River beat Fairbanks Post 11 9-8 on Sunday, July 29 at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. The Wolves' win sets up a showdown Wednesday against Chugiak with an automatic berth in the state championship on the line. The two squads are the only undeafeated teams remaining in the tournament, and each is guaranteed to finish no worse than third overall.

Eagle River shortstop Wesley Bennice turned an unassisted double play to end the game with Fairbanks threatening in the ninth.

Chugiak and Eagle River will play at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 1 at Mulcahy.

Sixth-seeded Chugiak Post 33 cruised past No. 2 South by a 12-3 margin Sunday at Mulcahy Stadium to remain unbeaten and earn a spot in the American Legion AA State Tournament semifinal. 

The Mustangs will play eighth-seeded Eagle River on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. with a championship berth on the line. The Wolves upset No. 5 Fairbanks 9-8 on Sunday to earn a spot in the semifinal. 

Chugiak and Eagle River are the only undefeated teams left in the tournament. 

Anchorage police have identified the Eagle River man who died when his vehicle rolled over on Hiland Road on Thursday as James Finn, 60. 

Finn was driving a white Ford Ranger pickup when it rolled at Mile 3.7 of Hiland Road around 11 a.m., said APD spokesman Lt. Dave Parker.

Police still do not know what caused the truck to roll over, ADP spokesperson Marlene Lammers said Friday. 

No other vehicles were involved, Parker said.

Police closed Hiland Road for a few hours after the rollover. 

A fundraiser will be held for George Gardner, owner of Hilltop Recycling in Chugiak, on Saturday, Aug. 18 from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. at the Mug-Shot Saloon in Wasilla.

Gardner, who co-owns the family business with his siblings, was diagnosed with colon cancer in January, just four months after his mother died of lung cancer, said his daughter Amber Gardner.

He has emergency insurance that covers 80 percent of his chemotherapy, but the plan costs one-third of his monthly income, she said.

Recently, Mary Meacham’s son, Ty, had been complaining of frequent headaches.

But when the 14-year-old incoming Eagle River High freshman suddenly lost his balance and collapsed, his mother knew something was seriously wrong.

About a month ago, Ty was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri — a disorder that causes increased pressure within the skull, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The disorder can mimic a tumor, the CDC said, and symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

There’s still plenty of time to head into winter with a freezer full of fish.

A brown bear mauled and seriously injured a hiker on a trail above Eagle River Road on Sunday afternoon.

Bob Eder, 50, was about an hour off of Moriah trail when he encountered a grizzly with three cubs, said Lt. Dave Parker, spokesman for the Anchorage Police Department. He remained in the hospital Tuesday with "severe" injuries.

Eder did not have any puncture wounds, Parker said, but he suffered lacerations to his back, legs and scalp from the bear’s claws.

“He had significant injuries, but they were not life threatening,” Parker said.

Eagle River American Legion snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 6-5 victory over East on Friday, July 20 at Loretta French Park. With the win, Eagle River improved to 8-19 overall. 

The Wolves play South on Saturday, July 21 at Taylar Young Memorial Field at 1 p.m. before finishing the regular season at home against Bartlett on Sunday, July 22 at 1 p.m. 

The American Legion AA State Tournament begins Friday, July 27 at Mulcahy Stadium. 

Actor Erik Estrada led a band of 76 motorcycle riders on Saturday, July 14 from Anchorage to Alyeska and back to Chugiak in the “Riding to End Childhood Hunger” event to support Eagle River-based non-profit organization Dare to Care. The motorcycle riders raised $7,000 for the school lunch program, which benefits students in the Matanuska-Susitna and Anchorage School Districts.