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After some debate and much speculation, both Gruening and Mirror Lake middle schools will be returning to a seven-period school day next fall.

This year for the first time, middle schools across Anchorage School District squeezed eight 40-minute class periods into each school day.

The eighth period was incorporated at the recommendation of scheduling consultants to accommodate the “multi-tiered system of support”, a district-wide early detection and intervention effort targeting students’ individual academic, social/emotional and behavioral needs.

The state doesn’t always make out so well in recovering costs when infrastructure is damaged from incidents such as the March 21 strike on the Artillery Road Bridge that officials feared could lead to a collapsed overpass on Alaska’s busiest highway.

Department spokeswoman Jill Reese said there is a well-established process in place for attempting to recoup costs from the insurance provider for companies like Big Horn Enterprises of Fairbanks, whose driver was at the wheel when the oversized load crashed into the bridge.

An 18-year-old Alaskan said Eagle River High School administrators have barred him from the school’s upcoming prom after people complained about his social media posts, which included a picture of a firearm and then, about 10 hours later, one about the dance.

“It’s a gun that I like, that’s all it is,” Kolton Hala said in an interview Monday, April 2, about the photo he posted of a Hi-Point Model 4595, a .45 ACP semi-automatic rifle. “It wasn’t directed toward anybody. I was just sharing what I like.”

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 until proven guilty.

ASSAULT

Dick Griffith is a doer, not a talker.

“I don’t know anything,” said Griffith, a longtime Eagle River Nature Center benefactor and a living legend among Alaska’s outdooring set.

The gruff Griffith knows a hell of a lot more than he lets on. The 90-year-old “adventurer’s adventurer” has compiled an almost unreal resume of rambling during his nine decades, including legendary pioneering trips down the Grand Canyon, death-defying treks across the Arctic and a laundry list of exploits in the Alaska backcountry.

Seventh-grader Josh Saylor had never encountered the word “pompier” before he was challenged to spell it as the winning word in the Alaska State Spelling Bee last week.

But the Mirror Lake Middle School spelling whiz was undaunted. He requested the word origin (French) and confidently spelled P-O-M-P-I-E-R to secure the statewide spelling championship for the second year in a row.

“I would have spelled it wrong if I didn’t know it was a French word,” Saylor said demurely.

When a southbound truck slammed its oversized load into the Glenn Highway’s South Eagle River Road overpass last week, it did more than interrupt traffic for thousands of local residents and commuters. It reignited public discussion about just how vulnerable Southcentral Alaska’s transportation system really is.

Thankfully, no one was injured directly. But the collision damaged the overpass such that engineers with the Department of Transportation &Public Facilities shut down traffic, fearing chunks of concrete might continue falling from the bridge into southbound traffic.

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 until proven guilty.

JBER — Adolescents today face a widespread chronic health problem: sleep deprivation, according to sleepfoundation.com.

Anchorage School District is considering offering more sleep to adolescents, while maximizing learning opportunities for young children, by beginning school days later for high school students and earlier for elementary school students.

Later start times can allow high school students to get more sleep.

Well it is snowning, raining, melting mess outside. What does that mean for Chugiak-Eagle River children? Time for the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Lions Park on Easter Sunday at 1 p.m.

Here is a little history for all the adults and children out there that might like to know about the Easter Bunny. Early German writings from the 1500s mention the legend of the Easter Bunny.

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