Fact-Based Fiction

Hi there Mr. Neal. Have you always been a writer, or did you start writing because you had an important story to tell?

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Romance in Our Midst

Right now, you may be sitting next to a romance novelist right now belonging to AKRWA—the Alaska Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

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Honor, Educate & Inspire: Alaska Veterans Museum

Even with the highest veteran population (per capita) in the country, Alaska was the last state in the union to have a museum dedicated to honoring veterans and Alaska's contributions to military history.It was only through ten years of blood, sweat, and many tears of passionate volunteers that the Alaska Veterans Museum opened its doors on April 17th, 2011. Still operating as a 100% volunteer organization, their mission is simple; honor Alaska’s veterans' by recording and sharing their stories; educate visitors about Alaska’s military history through exhibits and displays; and inspire our community to support our Active Duty, Guard and Reserve, and our veterans.

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We thrive on neglect

Kenzie Ellerbe, owner of Green Thumb Succulents, has a saying, ‘We thrive on neglect.’ It might not make sense to everyone, but to Ellerbe and her succulents, a little neglect has made for a thriving business.Succulents take a minimal amount of time, energy, and space. These hardy little plants are very easy to take care of and keep alive. In fact, if you happen to forget to water one, you may be doing it a favor.

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Kevin Burton and Matthew Tomter are turning the former Matanuska Maid Dairy blow mold building in Palmer into a 12,000+ square foot state-of-the-art brewing facility. Matanuska Brewing Company started production

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Northern Chiropractic: Filling the pantry this March

During the holiday season, many people in the Eagle River-Chugiak area give back to their community. Not only is it the traditional time for considering your own blessings and giving a step up to those who may not have as much or may be temporarily struggling, but opportunities to give abound. Donations - it may seem - are collected on every street corner, at every business and during each credit card swipe.This seems to be a good system - collecting donations while everyone is in such a giving mood. The Chugiak-Eagle River Food Pantry in particular certainly benefits from the holiday rush, but their stock begins to taper off by the time March rolls around. That holiday surge can only last so long.That problem has not been overlooked by Greg Culbert. Dr. Culbert, who is the owner of Northern Chiropractic, had been hosting a holiday food drive through his office for nearly 20 years, but he grew concerned that holiday giving was not doing enough to support families in the community throughout the year.Eight years ago Dr. Culbert decided to start hosting a second food drive during the month of March.

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Local Athlete Qualifies for Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships

Three Alaskan biathletes qualified in brutal weather conditions in Minnesota on December 30, 2017 to represent the USA at the Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships in Otepaa, Estonia. The Biathlon World Championships attract the best biathletes in the world, being one step below the Olympics. Among the qualifiers is 16-year-old Helen Wilson of Eagle River, who will compete on Team USA for her second time.

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Investing in our Community: Cliff Cook takes no chances with Eagle River

“We all know crime has risen,” Cook continued. “I looked at the stats and crime has risen this year over last year in all community council areas. In Eagle River-Chugiak, “over the last few weeks there was an armed robbery down on Business Boulevard at the pizza place, and the scary thing is the individual with a gun actually shot when he left—so where did that bullet go? Starbucks was robbed and the thief was so desperate he couldn’t get money out of the cash register and ended up taking the tip jar. Finally, it was confirmed that an armed robbery happened at Microtel within days of Starbucks’…” Later in the presentation he stated flatly: “Our intent is deterrence.”

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Commitment to Community: Feeding the hungry

Would you consider a job where the work never ends? Week in and week out the demands are consistent without rest or reprieve. When that consistency wavers, it is because demand has increased. There are no checkpoints; there is no sense of completion. And get this: there Such is the life of Chugiak-Eagle River Food Pantry director Lynn Kile. For the past three years, Kile has overseen the distribution of 20,000 pounds of food per month to local families in need, adding up to 245,000 pounds so far in 2017 alone.  

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Not Your Grandma’s Jam

Imagine receiving a set of jams as a gift. Do you visualize a set of sweet jars topped with gingham fabric and little bows? If you do, you are not alone. However, two Anchorage entrepreneurs are out to change jam’s reputation in the world. Their handcrafted items are definitely “not your Grandma’s” jam. “But we do love our Grandmas!” say Noelle Hardt and Kim Kovol, the owners of Anchorage-based VooDoo Jams. The two women - who are “best friends first” - started their new company in early 2016. So what sets their product apart from other jams and jellies produced in the local area? Bold flavors, daring combinations …and a generous dose of liquor.

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