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Lance Mackey will never let go of the dogsled.

The Fairbanks musher endured one of the more brutal chapters of his storied mushing career Saturday at the Eagle River Classic sprint dog races after a starting line mishap in the Open Class race sent him down the trail face-first as he held onto his handlebars with all the grip his nine gnarled fingers could muster.

“It’s always something,” Mackey said through a pained grin as he crossed the finish line nearly an hour later in front of a handful of fans at the Chugiak Dog Mushers Association Beach Lake Trails.

A trio of candidates will square off to claim the soon-to-be-vacant Chugiak-Eagle River seat on the Anchorage Assembly.

As of the 5 p.m. Friday deadline, Crystal Kennedy, Oliver Schiess and Clayton Trotter have thrown their hats into the ring for the April 2 election, according to the Municipality of Anchorage.

Gretchen Wehmhoff currently holds Seat A on the Assembly. Wehmhoff vowed not to seek election after she was appointed to finish out the term of Amy Demboski, who left office last year after getting a job as deputy chief of staff for Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Federal disaster assistance for Alaskans can now begin flowing after President Trump on Thursday issued a federal disaster declration for the state.

UPDATE: Police reopened Hiland Road at around 6 p.m. Thursday. An Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman said the situation ended peacefully.

“There were no injuries, no crime was committed and the man is with officers,” said APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad.


Hiland Road was closed in both directions Thursday afternoon from its intersection with Eagle River Loop to about one mile up Hiland due to what police said was a suicidal man with a gun.

Eagle River residents forced to do their banking “in town” or online for the past two months are back in business.

The local Key Bank and Wells Fargo branches are set to reopen in the coming days, with Wells Fargo opening its doors at 10 a.m. Jan. 31 and Key Bank returning to business at 10 a.m. Feb. 4.

The State of Alaska has extended the deadline for people to apply for the state’s Individual Assistance Program for damage caused by the November earthquake. According to an announcement sent Monday, people now have until Feb. 28, 2019 to fill out an application at

The deadline was originally Jan. 29.

Individuals can also call 1-855-445-7131 for assistance.

Schools in Chugiak-Eagle River required some of the most expensive emergency repairs in the wake of the Nov. 30 earthquake.

An early morning warm-up caused numerous car crashes in the Anchorage area and Glenn Highway corridor Friday and an Anchorage School District already scrambling to make up lost days was forced to cancel classes once again.

Male inmates enrolled in a successful faith-based program intended to reduce recidivism have been moved from Hiland Mountain Correctional Center to the Anchorage Correctional Complex in what state officials say is a plan to increase programs for female inmates at the women’s prison.

Alaska Department of Corrections Commissioner Nancy Dahlstrom confirmed 37 men were transferred from Hiland to the Anchorage jail Saturday.

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.