To our readers: Because of the coronavirus emergency, we are temporarily suspending publication of the Alaska Star.

Most of the copies of the newspaper are distributed in locations that are currently closed. Editor Matt Tunseth is no longer with the Star, so we’re also pausing updates to the Star website and social media. 

Update: On Monday, ASD announced it’s expanding food distribution sites to two additional schools in Chugiak and Eagle River, including Chugiak Elementary (17010 Birchtree Drive) and Homestead Elementary (18001 Baronoff Avenue). Additionally, the district is no longer requiring students to accompany their parents or older siblings who are picking up meals on their behalf.

Original story:

Mass closures hit Alaska Friday as swirling fears over the new coronavirus erupted into a hurricane of concern as Alaska saw its first case of COVID-19.

Chugiak-Eagle River was not immune from the closures. Virutally all public facilities in the area are now temporarily closed to the public, including the Eagle River Town Center and the McDonald Center, two of the Chugiak-Eagle River area’s most visible public facilities.

Michael Earnhart proved once again he’s one of the country’s fastest men on skis.

The Anchorage Police Department said on Thursday that foul play is not suspected in the death of a man whose body was found last week near the Thunderbird Falls trailhead.

Police identified the man as 32-year-old David C. Gauvreau and said next-of-kin have been notified.

Note to readers: During the coronavirus emergency the Anchorage Daily News has made its coverage of the situation free to all readers. To read the ADN’s coverage, click here.

UPDATE (Sunday, March 15): Life in Chugiak-Eagle River remained slow but relatively normal Sunday as the area prepared for the first work week following emergency declarations at the state and national level over the new coronavirus that’s begun to strain health care systems around the world.

The Mustang Hockey Association’s Blue Devils 10U Minors team won an Alaska State Hockey Association championship March 1 at Ben Boeke Ice Arena in Anchorage. The team went 5-0 in the tournament and won the championship game 8-1 over the Alaska Oilers.

It’s never a bad idea to do some spring cleaning.

Every school in Anchorage School District this week is going through a complete disinfection over spring break as district officials plan for what they’ll do if the new coronavirus shows up in Alaska.

“We’re going to superclean it and every surface and toy that can be in there,” said superintendent Deena Bishop.

For the second straight time Jim Lanier left the Iditarod Trail on a snowmachine.

The 79-year-old Chugiak musher scratched from the 48th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race after his team stopped on the trail between Rainy Pass and Rohn, according to a report by KTUU television.

Iditarod officials confirmed the scratch in a Tuesday night email saying only that Lanier made the decision to scratch for his own well being.

Chugiak’s Adrianna Proffitt opened the U.S. Cross Country Skiing Junior National Championships with a fourth-place finish Monday in the women’s under-20 division 5-kilometer interval start classic technique race in Soda Springs, California.

The Alaska Nordic Racing skier and Chugiak High senior was the top Alaskan in the race, finishing 29 seconds behind winner Anna Parent of Canmore, Alberta. Eagle River’s Helen Wilson, a freshman at UAA who also skis for ANR, finished 14th.

Rosalyn Singleton crushed it at the Tour of Anchorage Sunday.

The 63-year-old Eagle River woman won her age group by more than 15 minutes and placed 19th in the women’s 50-kilometer freestyle race at the annual ski marathon in Anchorage. She finished in 3 hours, 12 minutes and 48.9 seconds, 48:48.6 behind winner Jessica Yeaton, an Olympic skier from Anchorage.

Norway’s Magnus Noroey, a freshman at UAA, won the men’s 50K title over Anchorage’s Erik Bjornsen.

UPDATE: Lanier scratched from the Iditarod on Tuesday, March 10 after getting bogged down on the trail between Rainy Pass and Rohn. Read more here.

ORIGINAL STORY:

This year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race field includes two brothers, two sisters and two guys who aren’t related at all — but might as well be.

UPDATE (Friday, March 13): Police said in a statement released March 13 that the man whose body was found is 32-year-old David C. Gauvreau and that his death is not considered to be criminal.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A group of hikers discovered a man’s body Friday evening near the Thunderbird Falls Trail.

A financial report that will be used to guide a group that wants to detach Chugiak-Eagle River from the Municipality of Anchorage is now complete.

The Eaglexit group announced the completion of the 18-page, $27,000 report compiled by Northern Economics in a March 4 video posted to its Facebook page. In the video, director Gordy Banfield thanks those who helped fund the “phase one” report.

Spenard Builders Supply is closing two stores in Alaska, including its location in Eagle River.

The company announced the news Thursday and cited “Alaska’s challenging economic climate.” The Eagle River store will close Friday, March 20.

The closure will impact 19 employees in Eagle River, though the company said it would try to transfer them to other locations within the company if possible.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s first “Conversations With Alaskans” town hall meeting Monday drew nearly 200 generally supportive constituents to the Chugiak High School auditorium.

Most in attendance shared the opinions that Dunleavy should hold the line on state spending, ensure the government pays a “full” Permanent Fund dividend, and continue working to restrict abortion and protect gun rights.

A summertime sequel nobody is looking forward to is coming soon to a commute near you.

“It’s going to be ‘Carzilla,’” said Alaska Department of Transportation Chief of Highway Design Jim Amundsen on Saturday during a town hall meeting in Chugiak.

People need to be prepared for big disruptions to their daily lives but it’s really the little things that make a difference when it comes to controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus, the state’s chief medical officer said this weekend.

“Hand washing is incredibly important,” said Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer for the State of Alaska.

Washing hands and keeping fingers away from faces is the best way to prevent the spread of germs, Zink told about 50 people gathered for a previously scheduled legislative town hall meeting in Chugiak on Saturday.

After a big snowfall, roads in Chugiak-Eagle River are cleared faster and cheaper than those in Anchorage.

So what’s the catch?

“When we get an additional snowfall, everybody’s going to get a berm,” said Eagle River Street Foreman Mark Littlefield.

The driveway berms left by passing snow plows are a bit of a nuisance for folks living in the Chugiak-Eagle River-Birchwood Rural Road Service Area (CBERRRSA), on whose shoulders and snowblowers falls the burden of clearing the berms.

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.

Police arrested a 29-year-old Anchorage woman on Feb. 23 after she allegedly crashed her car into a tree near Mausel Street in Eagle River.

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