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Looking for an activity the entire family can participate in?

Chris West has the answer — taekwondo.

West started his own business, West Tae Kwon Do, in January and holds classes Monday and Thursday evenings at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.

One of West’s favorite aspects of the sport is that parents and children can take class together.

“It can be a family sport,” he said. “They can talk about the whole experience of class together.

“We really try to stress that,” West said.

Tuesday (11:30 p.m.) Update

Mitch Seavey has won the 2013 Iditarod.

Seavey, of Sterling, crossed the finish line in Nome at 10:39 p.m. Tuesday night with 10 dogs.

Aliy Zirkle, of Two Rivers, was second, crossing beneath the Burled Arch at 11:03 p.m., also with 10 dogs.

Seavey, 53, became the oldest musher to win the Iditarod one year after his son, Dallas became the youngest race winner. Zirkle was also runner-up in 2012.

Though he’s one of the Iditarod’s most experienced mushers, 73-year-old Jim Lanier has no intention of slowing down.

Lanier is six years older than the next-oldest musher, but with a healthy dash of pepper left in his beard, he looks much younger. Before the race start on Willow Lake March 3, he said running sled dogs is his personal fountain of youth.

“It keeps me healthy and young,” said the 15-time finisher.

Three local residents are vying for the Anchorage Assembly seat being vacated by three-term assemblywoman Debbie Ossiander. It is one of two seats that represents Chugiak-Eagle River.

Those on the April 2 ballot for District 2 include Amy Demboski, Bob Lupo and Pete Mulcahy. Here’s a look at each candidate:


Pete Mulcahy:

As a member of the U.S. Army, Mulcahy came to Alaska 13 years ago. He retired from the Army in 2003 after more than 28 years of service.

After a decade of work, the Anchorage Assembly finally approved a rewrite of the Municipality’s land use code.

On a 9-2 vote — with Adam Trombley and Patrick Flynn opposed — the Assembly pass the Title 21 rewrite as its meeting Feb. 26.

Even the flu couldn’t keep Title 21 chair Debbie Ossiander from voting on a rewrite she’s been working on her entire time on the Assembly.

“This is a big thing I wanted to get done,” she said.

Editor’s note: The following is the first in a series of stories about members of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division injured in combat during the 3,500-member “Spartan” brigade’s 10-month deployment to Afghanistan, which lasted from Dec. 2011 to Oct. 2012.


For Army Staff Sergeant Justin Grimm, getting shot at is all in a day’s work.

Eagle River’s John Sims and Chugiak’s Colin Fay were recently named to the 2013 Alaska Journal of Commerce “Top Forty Under 40” list.

Here’s a look at each man:


John Sims

An Eagle Academy Charter School sixth-grader won the 2013 Alaska State Spelling Bee on Friday, March 1 at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage.

Bryce Tasso, 12, correctly spelled “neuropathy” to win out of a field of 139 students.

“I was super excited,” Bryce said in a phone interview a day after becoming the state’s top speller.

Bryce will represent Alaska at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., on May 28-30.

Bryce, who finished in the top 10 last year, said he wasn’t nervous in his second state bee.

Steve Hokanson used to run a hedge fund.

But he couldn’t deny what he was born to do — work with his hands.

“The money was really good, but at the end of the day, I didn’t make anything,” he said.

So Hokanson returned to his roots — building furniture.

After honing his skills in Chicago, Hokanson has brought his talents to Alaska. He worked for EE/CC Fine Homes Inc. in Girdwood before going solo.

Last summer, he started his own business in Eagle River, Designed Alaskan Products LLC., which constructs high-end cabinets and custom furniture.

The bodies of three Eagle River residents were recovered Tuesday, March 5 from the scene of a small plane crash near Rainy Pass.

Killed in the accident were pilot Ted Smith, 59, Carolyn Sorvoja, 48, and Rosemarie Sorvoja, 10, all of Eagle River, according to Alaska State Troopers.