Matt Tunseth

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.

Sometimes both the tortoise and the hare are winners.

Eagle River’s Emily Walsh and Dimond’s Sonny Prosser used dramatically different strategies to reach the top of the podium Saturday at the annual State Preview cross country running meet at Bartlett High. While Walsh went the “slow and steady” route to grind down her competition, Prosser sped away from his pursuers and never looked back.

Walsh said her goal was to run “even splits” throughout the race rather than going out fast and trying to hold on.

Not even an icy waterfall can cool off the red-hot Chugiak football team, which rolled to a 34-20 victory Saturday over Bartlett to remain undefeated.

The team has gotten in the habit of visiting Thunderbird Falls before (and sometimes after) practices to take dips in the chilly Chugiak stream. Although ice baths are known to soothe tired muscles after workouts, senior Tyler Huffer said the ritual has become a cherished team bonding exercise.

Eagle River’s football personality is beginning to emerge after a 26-13 win over North Pole at the Wolves’ Den.

“We finally started to click as a team,” said Wolves senior Andrew Hamilton, who ran for a 12-yard touchdown and had a key interception during a wild fourth quarter.

Hamilton’s wasn’t the only star performance on both sides of the ball for Eagle River, which got two touchdown runs and several bone-rattling hits from Tim Pennington and a key scramble-and-throw touchdown pass from quarterback LaDavien Simon to RJ Flagg.

A local Head Start program will be getting a late start this fall — but that’s better than the alternative, according to the group’s executive director.

“I feel a lot better than I did two weeks ago, that’s for sure,” CCS Early Learning’s Mark Lackey said Monday.

Chugiak’s fire department is an all-volunteer operation, so it’s no surprise the group jumped at the chance to help out with wildfires burning in Southcentral Alaska.

Members of the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company have been providing support for the McKinley Fire burning in the Mat-Su, sending engines and firefighters to help protect homes and other structures from the wildfires that broke out earlier this month.

One group of Alaskans is having an exceptionally bad time during the Alaska State Fair: Impaired drivers.

An increased Anchorage Police Department presence on the Glenn Highway has resulted in a surge in drunk driving arrests, with more than a dozen people arrested between Eklutna and JBER since the fair opened Aug. 22. That compares to about two per week, according to the department’s online crime mapping system.

The uptick coincides with increased patrols by the department during the fair.

Chugiak High has house­guests — but they’re getting a new front door.

The school is about to settle in for two years as two-schools-in-one while Gruening Middle School co-opts its space while its building undergoes major earthquake repairs.

“It’s kind of like having houseguests that won’t leave,” joked Chugiak principal Megan Hatswell as she described how both school staffs are working to make the best with what they’ve got.