Matt Tunseth

Nothing can stop the Merry Merchant Munch and Winter Wonderland celebration from returning to Chugiak-Eagle River. At least, that’s what the local chamber of commerce is promising.

“We are having Merry Merchant Munch no matter what,” said Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber executive director Debbie Rinckey during the chamber’s biweekly lunch forum last month.

The annual event was canceled last year after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck the area on Nov. 30.

But Rinckey said a full slate of food and fun is planned for Dec. 6-7 in downtown Eagle River.

Test test test

Chugiak’s powerhouse stable of runners has produced two more Division I thoroughbreds.

The Mustangs’ Brooklynn Gould and Hyrum Nelson signed Division I National Letters of Intent in the week before Thanksgiving Break, with Gould making the leap to the University of North Dakota and Nelson travelling cross-country to Utah’s Brigham Young University.

Nobody was hurt after powerful winds tore off part of the roof of an Eagle River restaurant Wednesday night.

The Matanuska Brewing Company posted dramatic video of the damage, which took place as a massive storm brought rain and wind gusts of more than 110 MPH to some parts of Anchorage Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday morning.

A feud has formed in Chugiak-Eagle River over whether to combine the area’s two public high schools.

At stake in the small-town spat are tens of millions of municipal dollars and the future of thousands of children in the famously quarrelsome twin towns where the only thing people might currently be more irritated with than outsiders is each other.

Many folks know the local Lions Club mainly for its large clubhouse and sports complex across from Walmart in Eagle River. But it’s what Lions do that can’t be seen that makes the group special according to Lion Karen Burns, who spoke about the group during the weekly Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce meeting Nov. 20 at the Matanuska Brewing Company in Eagle River.

“We’ve been here a long time,” Burns told the chamber before detailing the organization’s many and varied service projects.

Eagle River’s Zach Plucinski is hoping to add an NCAA title to an already loaded trophy case.

The Omaha Lancers defenseman and 2019 Chugiak High School graduate has signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division I college hockey at the University of Notre Dame.

“The education and hockey package is arguably the best in the NCAA,” the 6-foot-1, 199-pound defenseman said in a story posted on the Lancers’ website.

Notre Dame (8-1-1) plays in the Big 10 conference and is currently ranked No. 3 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll.

Birchwood residents are in favor of a plan by the local road board to spend $1.2 million to replace the one-lane Starner Bridge across Peters Creek.

The Birchwood Community Council voted last week to support a resolution by the Chugiak-Birchwood-Eagle River Rural Road Service Area (CBERRRSA) Board of Supervisors to reallocate funds left over from the Yosemite Drive upgrade project for the bridge.

“We’re trying to make our capital improvements go as far as we can,” said Matt Cruickshank, Birchwood’s representative on the CBERRRSA board.

Saturday began with a splash and ended with a souvenir for the Eagle River girls swimming and diving team, which won the first event of the day at the ASAA/First National Bank Swimming and Diving Championships and walked away with the school’s first state swimming runner-up trophy.

The Wolves won four individual girls titles and a relay championship; McKenzie Fazio claimed two individual victories, with Ellie Mercer and Kiara Borchardt winning one each.

Few people have played a bigger role in preserving the unique narrative of the Chugiak-Eagle River community than Jinny Kirk, a woman who also had a role in creating much of that history.

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