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Birchwood residents are in favor of a plan by the local road board to spend $1.2 million to replace the one-lane Starner Bridge across Peters Creek.

The Birchwood Community Council voted last week to support a resolution by the Chugiak-Birchwood-Eagle River Rural Road Service Area (CBERRRSA) Board of Supervisors to reallocate funds left over from the Yosemite Drive upgrade project for the bridge.

“We’re trying to make our capital improvements go as far as we can,” said Matt Cruickshank, Birchwood’s representative on the CBERRRSA board.

Icy roads have forced the cancellation of Anchorage School District after-school activities for Thursday, Nov. 14.

The decision was announced Thursday afternoon on the district’s website, which cited deterorating weather conditions. It does not affect the state volleyball tournament, which began today at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Anchorage voters may be asked to spend around $39 million to repair and upgrade earthquake-damaged Gruening Middle School, a price tag that’s $12 million more than the school cost to build in the early 1980s and $15 million more than was recommended by a committee of community members tasked with studying the issue earlier this year.

A homeowner shot and killed a brown bear Wednesday morning that had been getting into chicken coops in the Eagle River Valley.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the bear was shot in defense of life or property at a home on West Lake Drive in the Eagle River Valley.

The bear is believed to be the same animal that was fired at by another homeowner on Monday on Glacier View Loop, one street away from the scene of Wednesday’s incident.

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.

A round of black ice on the streets last weekend may have been a harbinger of things to come.

Police saw a spike in traffic collisions Nov. 10 as the first freezing weather of November caused a flurry of early morning crashes in Chugiak-Eagle River.

According to the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system, police responded to eight collisions on Saturday, including five by around 9 a.m.

The culprit was black ice, which the department warned people about in a Nixle alert sent out at 9:40 a.m. Saturday.

Four Chugiak-Eagle River hockey players will turn back the clock this weekend for a much-anticipated Alaska Aces alumni game at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.

Local skaters Pete McEnaney, Brian Swanson and Justin Martin will join goalie John DeCaro on the ice for the event, which will bring more than 60 former Aces players and coaches back for a two-game series.

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says he’s all for smaller government but isn’t convinced Chugiak-Eagle River residents would be making a wise decision by breaking away from the municipality.

“Interesting conversation,” Berkowitz said Wednesday at the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce lunch forum in Eagle River. “Show me the money.”

It’s springtime in the Chugach Mountains, where fuzzy white willow catkins are a sure sign of longer, warmer days ahead. There’s just one problem: It’s November.

“It’s pretty much unprecedented,” said Justin Fulkerson, a research botanist who said he first heard reports of catkins (also known as “pussy willows”) showing up in the Anchorage area from a fellow scientist in late October.

Jen Hufford hadn’t slept for two days after an exhausting flight from Anchorage to London to Scandinavia, but as she settled into her hotel in Are, Sweden, earlier this week, her excitement still bubbled over. On Friday, the 35-year-old Eagle River sports trainer and athlete with an impressive competitive resume will toe the line with an elite group of competitors from around the world vying for the title of World Spartan Ultra champion.

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