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Chugiak-Eagle River residents scrambled to clean up and assess the damage after a major earthquake struck the area Friday morning.

Damage was widespread across the area, with broken windows, broken pipes and major damage to the Glenn Highway between Eklutna and Mirror Lake.

The quake was reportedly a magnitude 7.0 and centered about 30 miles south of Palmer — directly across Knik Arm from Chugiak. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries, though reports were still coming in Friday.

With its mix of urban living and rugged terrain, the Chugiak-Eagle River area is in many ways an ideal representation of issues facing neighboring Chugach State Park.

“This area is a great example of a Petri dish of some of the issues we have parkwide,” said Chugach superintendent Kurt Hensel during the Nov. 19 meeting of the Eagle River-Chugiak Parks and Recreation Board of Supervisors.

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.

UPDATE:

On Tuesday prosecutors said charges were dropped against the 44-year-old man arrested for allegedly pointing a gun at a women after determining there was insufficient evidence to prove the case.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A 39-year-old Anchorage man was arrested on Thanksgiving after he allegedly pulled a knife on an Eagle River convenience store clerk.

According to police, officers were called to the Tesoro on the Old Glenn Highway at around 10:25 p.m. on Nov. 22 for a report of a robbery. When they arrived, the clerk told officers he tried to confront Thomas R. Emblom for allegedly putting a candy bar in his pocket. Rather than removing the candy bar from his pocket, Emblom instead took out a knife, police said. The clerk backed away and Emblom left the store, kicking the door on the way out.

Chugiak’s Amy Demboski will be stepping away from her position on the Anchorage Assembly to take a job as deputy chief of staff for Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy.

“I am going to be working in the governor’s office,” Demboski said on her afternoon radio show Monday. “And I’ve said this for a long time, if I chose to leave the Anchorage Assembly I would only do so if I truly believed it could help more Alaskans than just the people in my district. It has been an incredible privilege to serve the people of Chugiak-Eagle River. I’m just truly humbled by the opportunity.”

What do Alaskans do when it’s blowing outside with freezing rain? If you’re Eagle River author Marc Cameron, you work on your next Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan novel.

Municipal officials are in talks with an Oklahoma nonprofit that could result in a big windfall for Chugiak-Eagle River taxpayers and a permanent buffer zone for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

According to Eagle River-Chugiak Parks and Recreation Department director John Rodda, the department was recently contacted by the Tulsa-based Compatible Lands Foundation (CLF), which according to its website purchases conservation easements “from willing landowners, prohibiting incompatible land uses but allowing open space activities such as farming, ranching, and hunting.”

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 convicted.

It was a crystal clear morning and the first sunlight was illuminating the big peaks (Calliope, Cantata) above Eagle and Symphony Lakes. Turning right (west) off the South Fork trail at about the two-mile mark, just before descending to the bridge, we hiked toward the pass that leads to Ship Creek Valley. Old ski trails had hardened and hiking was easy atop them as we moved up toward the pass.

On this hike I was joined by Dr. Scott Sims, a neighbor, and his son’s dog “Bailey,” a “Golden-Doodle.”

The pickings are slim, but there are options for Nordic skiers in the Anchorage area this weekend.

According to the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage, trails at Beach Lake Park in Chugiak were groomed Wednesday — though skiers should proceed with care.

“More rocks are surfacing so ski with caution,” reads the NSAA grooming report for the trails.

Beach Lake got about five inches of snow Oct. 30, which allowed groomers to begin building a base.

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