Top Stories

Eagle River’s Doug Urquidi is confident he can beat the odds and take down Alaska’s senior Congressman.

“I do believe this is something that’s very doable,” Urquidi said during an interview last week. “I’m giving myself about a 95 percent chance right now.”

Urquidi is running as a Democrat for the U.S. House of Representatives against Rep. Don Young, who has served as Alaska’s lone representative in that body since 1973.

After pulling the first fish of the day out of Finger Lake near Palmer, Eagle River’s Matthew Williams, 10, was asked if he’d like to hang onto the small rainbow trout or turn it loose.

Easy question.

“Keep it!” Williams said, grinning as an official in the annual Eagle River Lions Kids Fishing Derby measured his catch.

It was a good move, as Williams claimed first place in the 9-to-13 age group.

Cayle Byers, a 2007 Chugiak grad who wrestles for Oklahoma State University, placed third at the NCAA Division I national tournament on Saturday, March 17, in St. Louis.

Wrestling at 197 pounds, Byers, a senior, won twice on Saturday to claim third. He beat Minnesota's Sonny Yohn, 8-1, to reach the third place match. There, he took out No. 3 seed Matthew Wilps of Pittsburgh, 3-2 on riding time.

Byers' only loss of the tournament came during Friday night's semifinal round, when he fell 6-3 to No. 1 seed Cam Simaz of Cornell.

Chugiak High graduate Cayle Byers has reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division I national wrestling tournament in St. Louis. He'll wrestle No. 1 seed Cam Simaz of Cornell at 3 p.m. today for a berth in the national championship match Saturday.

Byers, a senior 197-pounder seeded No. 1 for Oklahoma State University, scored a 5-4 decision over Nebraska's James Nakashima in the quarterfinals on Friday morning.

Byers won the Big 12 Conference tournament on March 3 to advance to nationals.

Chugiak's Jim Lanier joined the Iditarod's most exclusive club when he passed beneath the burled arch in Nome at 5:58 p.m. Thursday, March 15 to complete his 15th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Lanier, who first ran the race in 1979 and has never scratched has now finished the race in five different decades. Only Rick Swenson and Sonny Lindner, of Two Rivers, have accomplished that feat. Willow's Bob Chlupach can also join the club if he makes it to Nome this year.

Anchorage police said today that they have arrested the owner of an Anchorage construction company in connection with the disappearance of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig.

Police released a statement Thursday, March 15, saying Israel Keyes, 34, had been arrested Tuesday in Lufkin, Texas.

Koenig's wherabouts remain unknown, and details of the charges against Keyes have not been released. APD is calling him a "person of interest."

Heavy snow caused a roof collapse in Peters Creek on Wednesday, March 14.

According to Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Jeff Hartley, the collapse occurred around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening at the corner of Tundra Rose Avenue and Four Wheel Drive. Hartley said the house was up for sale and unoccupied at the time.

“The owner had moved out several months ago,” Hartley said.

The entire southern half of the home was destroyed in the collapse. 


Birchwood Christian School finished its season with a 43-33 win over Yakutat in the boys Class 2A state basketball tournament third-place game Wednesday at Sullivan Arena.

“We really wanted to end the season with a win,” said Isaac Foreman, who was named player of the game for BCS.

The Warriors came out on fire and built a 27-13 lead by halftime. The Eagles cut the deficit to six after the third quarter, but BCS outscored Yakutat 13-9 in the final eight minutes.

Five Eagle River Boys & Girls Club members were honored with Youth of the Year awards Friday, March 9 at the Eagle River Ale House. This year, the kids voted for each winner, said branch manager Tracey Hupe.

Most of the winners emerged with the slimmest of margins, Hupe said.

“It was real close with all of the votes,” she said.

Here’s a look at the 2012 Youth of the Year award winners:


Ryan Smith: Boys junior youth of the year

Smith, 11, mentors the younger club members, Hupe said.

How many people does it take to make 150 sandwiches in 45 minutes?

Nine kids and two adults.

Chugiak Elementary Camp Fire USA second-through-fifth-graders feverishly made bologna and cheese sandwiches March 7 to donate to Bean’s Café, which provides food and shelter to Anchorage’s homeless population.

Each student had a job on the assembly line that started with placing two pieces of bread on a plate and ended with sealing and stacking the finished product in a box.