The hunt is on for Alaska’s delectable berries. Our choice of berries is varied and they are bountiful. It seems like everyone is out picking berries right now and putting them away for winter. We are so blessed to have such a variety and abundance right outside our doorsteps. This will not be an exhaustive berry discussion but I will talk about the most common edible berries you will find in Alaska to include the following:

UPDATE (2 p.m. Friday): Chugiak’s Friday football game against Bartlett has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday.

Original story:

The Anchorage School District has canceled all outdoor after-school activities for Friday due to heavy smoke in the Anchorage area. Practices and games that can be moved indoors may still proceed, according to an ASD spokeswoman.

“It’s reading solidly ‘unhealthy’ in Anchorage,” ASD spokeswoman Morgan Duclos said of air quality readings in the area.

South holds off Chugiak

Emilee Groth won her No. 1 girls singles match against Mya Robinson to lead Chugiak in 7-2 high school tennis loss to South Thursday at Chugiak.

Francis Wanek and Bethany Kesler also posted a victory for the Mustangs, rallying to beat Lochlan Mullen and Abbie Hemry 10-2 in a tiebreaker. Mullen and Hemry won the first set in a tiebreaker before Wanek and Kesler rallied to take the second without losing a game.

Chugiak’s next match is at home against Eagle River on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Lynx nip Mustangs


A 61-year-old Eagle River woman who struck two children riding their bicycles alongside the Old Glenn Highway has pleaded guilty to assault and operating under the influence charges in the case.

KTVA-TV first reported the plea change on two charges of first-degree assault and one charge of OUI on Friday. Her online court file shows a subsequent hearing was vacated after the change-of-plea hearing and a sentencing was scheduled for later this year.

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.

Chugiak bumped off Eagle River Tuesday night at Chugiak High in the first prep volleyball meeting between the rival schools this season.

The Mustangs dropped the opening set 20-25 before rallying to sweep the next three, 25-23, 25-20, 25-22.

Ellie Scherffius had a match-high 22 kills and four blocks for Chugiak, which also got 19 digs from Dakota Gilbert and five aces from Ashley Hicks.

Chloie Garber had 14 kills and 11 digs to lead the Wolves, who also got five kills and four blocks from Abrianna Phinney and 11 digs from Liz Ruehle.

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.

A 40-year-old man was arrested on child endangerment charges early Monday after he allegedly drove more than 100 MPH while drunk with a child in the passenger seat on the Glenn Highway.

ANCHORAGE (AP) — The world’s most famous sled dog race has denied entry to a 78-year-old musher for the 2020 race over dog care concerns raised by race officials, something Jim Lanier adamantly denies.

Lanier, whose first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was in 1979, dropped out the last four times he started the grueling 1,000-mile race that goes over two mountain ranges, the Yukon River and along the wind-swept and icy Bering Sea coast.

In 2018, musher Scott Janssen came across Lanier late in the race and found he was stuck and starting to freeze.

Chugiak’s Hyrum Nelson and Eagle River’s Emily Walsh each took second place Saturday to lead local finishers at the last-second Mustang Smokin’ Stampede high school cross country races at Chugiak High.

South’s Ava Earl won the varsity girls race in 18 minutes, 19 seconds on a flat, fast 5-kilometer layout. Walsh finished second in 18:37, with Chugiak’s Adrianna Proffitt third in 18:53. Service’s Alexander Maurer pulled away from Nelson late in the race to win in 15:40. Nelson finished in 15:49 with Anchorage Christian’s Tristian Merchant third in 16:20.

Chugiak improved to 2-0 with a second lopsided win over a Division II opponent by thrashing Kodiak 55-0 Friday on the Rock.

So far this year the Mustangs have outscored their opponents 81-2 in a pair of nonconference wins and have already eclipsed last season’s win total.

Chugiak will take a step up in class Friday night at 6 p.m. against winless Bartlett, where the Mustangs will look to remain undefeated against a Division I side that’s been outscored 92-0 this season in lopsided losses to Service and South. The nonconference game starts at 6 p.m.

Chugiak finished 10-12 to place eighth Saturday at the 12-team Chugiak Invitational volleyball tournament at a very busy Chugiak High.

Eagle River went 5-17 to place 10th.

Each team played every other squad for two-set matches during the two-day tournament. Dimond went 19-3 to take first, South (18-4) placed second and Bartlett (17-5) finished third.

The school on South Birchwood Loop in Chugiak also hosted a flag football game and a cross country running meet Saturday.

Heavy smoke in the Anchorage area has local sports teams scrambling.

The smoke from the Swan Lake wildfire on the Kenai Peninsula forced the Anchorage School District to cancel all outdoorathletic practices and games Friday. Indoor events — including the Chugiak Invitational volleyball tournament — will go aheadas planned.

The Eagle River football game originally scheduled for 7 p.m. at Houston High has been rescheduled to 2 p.m. Saturday,smoke dependant. A final decision on the game will be made early Saturday morning, said Wolves coach Brad Myers.

This past week, I harvested my black and red currants and made them into juice and jelly and syrup to enjoy throughout the winter months. An excellent fruit to grow and relatively trouble free, the currant is a nutritional powerhouse. Currants have a wonderful tart flavor and according to the USDA have more vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium than any other fruit. These berries are only second to elderberries in iron and protein content and lower in fat than any other fruit except nectarines.

Eagle River’s Claire Schimmack, 18, was recently named a “youth hero” by the Alaska Communications Summer of Heroes program, which honors Alaskans for service in their communities.

Schimmack was one of six Alaskans awarded a $1,500 scholarship by ACS and the Boys & Girls Club Alaska, according to a press release about the honors.

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.

It’s only the first day of school, but Alaska’s unpredictable weather has already caused its first cancellations of the year.

Due to heavy smoke from Southcentral wildfires, the Anchorage School District has cancelled all outdoor after-school activities for Tuesday, Sept. 20.

The cancellations impacted tennis matches that were scheduled to be held at West, South and Chugiak High as well as Begich Middle School. The district said activities could be moved indoors if possible and was leaving those decisions to individual schools and programs.

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.


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