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Well after waiting for five years, my Norland dwarf apple tree has finally produced apples! This tree has been babied and cared for to the nth degree, and just when I was about to give up — surprise! — 25 apples appeared on the tree after the blossoms faded this past spring. I am a patient person, but five years? It’s time to research this subject a little more.

Teamwork can be a funny thing — and sometimes funny can be what makes a team work.

For Eagle River 21-year-olds Annie Connelly and Keegan Crow, a working partnership meant adopting a “smile a mile” policy in order to complete the grueling Chugach Front Linkup, an epic 12-peak wilderness adventure that has become the unofficial Holy Grail of Anchorage mountain runners.

A 4-year-old girl is expected to survive a self-inflicted gunshot wound suffered after she apparently picked up a loaded handgun left on a kitchen counter and shot herself at a home in the Prudhoe Bay Avenue area of Eagle River.

According to the Anchorage Police Department, officers were called to a residence on the 30900 block at around 10:17 a.m. Wednesday for a report of a shooting. The girl was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the upper body, police said.

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 27-year-old woman was charged with resisting arrest, failure to provide a breath sample and operating under the influence after she allegedly became combative following an early morning traffic stop on the Glenn Highway on July 23.

An injured hiker was helped off Mount Baldy on July 17 after he fell and hurt his knee.

According to Alaska State Troopers, a report came in about the hiker at around 2:28 p.m. Troopers said the unidentified man was unable to continue on his own.

An Alaska State Parks ranger arrived and determined the hiker needed more help, troopers said, so the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group was called in with a litter team. The hiker was brought to the trailhead by around 7:30 p.m., troopers said.

Repairs and seismic upgrades at Anchorage-area schools damaged in the Nov. 30 earthquake could cost more than $150 million, according to the latest Anchorage School District projections.

The district estimates two schools need more than $20 million to repair and improve seismic performance, six may cost at least $10 million and improvement projects at 14 schools could cost at least $1 million each.

There is nothing more frustrating than looking at your beautiful plants only to see powdery mildew forming on the leaves. So what are the causes of this fungus and how can we prevent this from getting a foothold in the garden?

When you are buying starts from a garden center, examine the plants very carefully for disease before bringing them home. Look under the leaves of the plants for insect eggs and aphids. If you see any yellowing of the leaves avoid buying the plant and save yourself a problem to begin with. Always pick out the healthiest looking specimen.

After more than 50 years serving Chugiak families, the CCS Early Learning program may soon be forced to leave the community where it was founded.

According to CCS executive director Mark Lackey, the program’s Chugiak Head Start Center will close if a $6.8 million budget veto by Gov. Mike Dunleavy remains in place. Since 2010, the group has received about $567,099 annually from the state, which Lackey said is crucial to providing about 60 children with Head Start services.

“To make up that amount is just impossible,” Lackey said Monday.

Alice Mae’s is getting a new look.

The gas station, convenience store, liquor store and laundromat formerly known as Alice Mae’s and The Shopper’s Cache located at 19223 Old Glenn Highway was purchased in February by Anchorage-based Vitus Energy and is currently undergoing a full makeover and name change. The first signs of the overhaul were seen late last week when the old Alice Mae’s signage was taken down and replaced.

Anchorage’s Scott Patterson won a record sixth Crow Pass Crossing men’s title Saturday and Palmer’s Christy Marvin won her fifth straight women’s championship in the 23-mile wilderness race between Girdwood and Eagle River.

Patterson completed the course in 3 hours, 3 minutes, 39 seconds to best Tracen Knopp by nine minutes. Kenny Brewer, a 2011 Chugiak High grad, finished seventh to lead all locals in the race. Recent CHS grad Daniel Bausch was ninth in his debut race despite banging his knee after running into a rock.