Matt Tunseth

A student brought a backpack containing a loaded handgun and a knife to Fire Lake Elementary School in Eagle River on Thursday, according to the Anchorage School District. There were no injuries and the gun was not discharged, according to a statement emailed to media Thursday afternoon by ASD communications director Alan Brown.

Brown said the male student’s classmates told their teacher they saw the weapons while on the school bus.

“The student in question was separated from the backpack and escorted to the office,” Brown wrote.

Snow fell in the mountains around Eagle River last week, bringing termination dust to mountainsides above 3,000 feet in the Chugach.

That includes the mountains above Arctic Valley and the South Fork Eagle River Valley, where hikers on Sunday ventured onto the high alpine tundra for late-season berry-picking and fall hiking.

Helping others can be pretty sweet.

For hours on end, Eagle River’s Alaina Vik, 13, has stood in grocery store entrances or parking lots and approached strangers asking if they’d like to buy Girl Scout cookies. Often with her mom and siblings along to help, Vik has been “everywhere” from Anchorage to the Mat-Su selling the distinctive boxes, and the effort has paid off — last year, she sold more than 5,000 boxes to become Alaska’s No. 1 seller.

“I went out every day and I just kept going and asking people if they wanted to buy cookies,” she said.

Chugiak-Eagle River has always seen itself as a separate community from Anchorage, and when it comes to academics area schools certainly stand out.

The area’s dozen public schools outperformed their counterparts in the Anchorage School District on the state’s 2018-19 school year standardized tests in math, English and science, according to results released by the district earlier this month.

They don’t normally play a lot of games at the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, but the group made an exception Wednesday for local Young Life area director Aaron Hopkins.

A potential windfall for Chugiak-Eagle River taxpayers continues to move forward in one of the area’s quietest areas.

Eagle River/Chugiak Parks and Recreation Director John Rodda told the Parks and Rec Board of Supervisors on Monday the appraisal process at Beach Lake Park is about to get underway — the next toward the sale of a conservation easement on nearly 1,400 acres of the 1,700-acre municipal park.

“At that point, the valuation will have been established,” he said.

Payback is a blast. Just ask the Chugiak Mustangs, who scored on offense, defense and special teams Saturday to clobber Colony 38-12 and remain undefeated at a rainy Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium in Chugiak.

“It feels great, especially bouncing back from last year,” said Chugiak’s Kody Carlson, who made big plays on offense and defense as the Mustangs knocked off their second straight Chugach Conference opponent.

Even if you’re not hard of hearing, it’s getting a little hard to hear inside the McDonald Center in Eagle River.

“It’s old and needs upgrading for sure,” said facility manager Reid McDonald of the center’s 35-year-old sound system.

For its age, the system has held up well, McDonald said.

“It doesn’t sound too bad,” he said.

Baldy might be beautiful, but Blacktail rocks.

The popular Mt. Baldy trail atop Skyline Drive in Eagle River draws thousands of hikers each summer, but few venture much farther down the trail then the vantage point overlooking Chugiak-Eagle River and the Knik Arm. Those who do will find a wide-open alpine trail leading to Blacktail Rocks and a vantage point as good as any in the Front Range.

It’s been a bumpy ride for Glenn Highway commuters since the Nov. 30, 2018 earthquake, but upcoming repairs to the Eagle River bridge should help make for smoother sailing soon.

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities has announced repair work will begin on the northbound bridge starting Sept. 3. The work is being done to repair abutments on each end of the bridge, which were damaged when the magnitude 7.1 quake struck the area.

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