Matt Tunseth

One of the most notorious intersections in a notoriously tricky traffic town is set for an overhaul – and the state wants to hear what people have to say about it.

A meeting is planned for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26 in the Eagle River Town Center (12001 Business Boulevard) to discuss plans to revamp the intersection of the Old Glenn Highway and Eagle River Road, a fix that’s the first phase in a larger Eagle River Traffic Mitigation project.

“We’ve come up with some conceptual improvements we wanted to present to people,” said Dean Karcz, a project manager with PTS Inc.

The long and winding saga of the very short Aurora Borealis Road continues to twist its way through the public process.

The old road — which links neighborhoods on the north and south sides of Peters Creek just west of the Glenn Highway — has some problems. The biggest is that it’s not really a road.

“Probably six decades ago this road was punched in,” said Eagle River Street Maintenance general foreman Mark Littlefield in a Monday interview.

Finding a job in a challenging economy isn’t always easy, but the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development is trying to make the task a little less daunting.

“Our goal is to develop the workforce of Alaska,” said Anne Velardi, who works as a community development specialist for the department, which maintains a Job Center office in Eagle River’s Parkgate Building.

Wasilla remains the class of Alaska girls basketball, but Saturday’s clash with Chugiak proved the Mustangs aren’t far behind.

Chugiak gave the top-ranked and defending Class 4A champion Warriors all they could handle, coming up just short in a 44-37 nonconference loss at Chugiak High.

“I think at the end we chipped away and started to play well,” said Chugiak coach Ryan Hales, who wasn’t interested in talking about moral victories.

The end of a bitter cold snap ushered in the second straight weekend of heavy snow as winter's triumphant return to Southcentral Alaska continued Saturday, Jan. 21.

The Glenn Highway was briefly closed in both directions early Saturday afternoon as the dry, drifting snow played havoc with visibility on roads in Anchorage and Eagle River. Numerous cars found the ditch, and police took the added step of asking people to stay home as the storm dropped between six inches and a foot of snow in the area.

Chugiak’s hockey team took senior night literally Friday.

All of the Mustangs’ goals came courtesy of seniors as Chugiak routed Soldotna 7-0 in a nonconference hockey game at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.

Zach Krajnik had the hottest hand for Chugiak, netting four goals and two assists. Classmate Andrew Beckett had two goals and fellow senior John Hammer also found the net.

“We’re just trying to get better every game,” said Krajnik, who scored three goals in the second period and one in the third.

It’s still January, but the Saturday, Jan. 21 showdown between the Chugiak and Wasilla girls basketball teams has all the makings of March Madness.

“I think there’s some buzz about this game, for sure,” said Chugiak head coach Ryan Hales on Friday afternoon, one day before his team hosts the defending Class 4A champion Warriors at 3 p.m.

Two local athletes are about to become international shooting stars.

“I’ve heard stories that your skis will be waxed faster than they’ve ever been before, and everybody will be asking for your autograph,” said Helen Wilson, a 15-year-old from Eagle River who is one of two Eagle River athletes who made the U.S. Junior Biathlon team that will compete at the World Youth/Junior Biathlon Championships next month in Slovakia.

Nobody had a wilder Saturday night than the Chugiak Dog Mushers Association did Jan. 14.

That’ when — under cover of darkness — the club hosted 11 sled dog teams and their drivers, who all showed up to take part in unique nighttime race through the rugged trails off Birchwood Loop.

“I love running without a headlamp in the snow,” said race marshal Jackie Fabrizzio, who organized the chaos from the club’s one-room clubhouse. “The moon’s out, it’s quiet, all you hear is the sled and the paws and breath.”

Wood smoke and bacon grease wafted through the air outside the cozy log cabin, its sturdy wooden frame holding strong against the falling snow. Nestled in the smoldering embers of a warm fire, Dutch ovens and cast iron skillets full of cornbread and fritters and sausages sizzled and popped and steamed.

You could almost hear a dog team a-coming.