Basketball Teams Rebound: Players from Eagle River and Chugiak hit the court

Eagle River’s basketball teams are gearing up for another season as they build a legacy of excellence in the face of stiff competition from larger schools in the Anchorage School District and impart life lessons to athletes. Coach Sconiers of Chugiak High School (CHS) says, “I think basketball is a tremendous instrument for life,” saying that it teaches teamwork and other life skills they will need later. “Teaching and coaching go hand-in-hand,” Coach Landers of Gruening Middle School says, continuing by saying that coaching is the reason he pursued teaching. He loves seeing the smiles on athletes’ faces when they accomplish something they have never done before. For him, basketball also fills a void that some students might have in their lives.

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Nativity celebrated here over 117 years

While Chugiak-Eagle River’s population is far more diverse today than a century ago, in the beginning only the Russian Orthodox faith was represented. Priests at St. Nicholas Church served the Native village, teaching of the birth of Jesus Christ. While most of us observe December 25 as the birthday of Jesus, Christmas for the Orthodox is celebrated each year on January 7. When Chugiak was founded in 1947 by a group of homesteaders who proved up on small tracts as well as larger parcels, those settlers primarily were Christian Protestants. Three houses of worship existing in 1953 were Chugiak Chapel, Chugiak Methodist Church and Immanuel Gospel Church. They soon were followed by others affiliated with various denominations, most faiths currently represented.

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Christmas day memories for post offices

When Delores (Dee) Steeby, former Birchwood resident and long-time Chugiak Postmaster, passed away earlier this year, a big part of our community’s history also was lost. She succeeded Paul Swanson, one of Chugiak’s pioneers. As did her mentor, she spent a great deal of time helping neighbors. What brings that to mind was the question of when we need to put our Christmas cards in the mail this year. In addition, we need to know how late we can send gifts to loved ones Outside and be sure they will arrive in time.

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Local Athletes Bring Wrestling to the Top

Community and fierce competition define Eagle River’s wrestling teams. While the schools in Eagle River boast programs with state champions and titles, the sense of family from participating in such a challenging sport provides the primary draw for athletes and coaches. Austin Kraft, a senior at Eagle River High School (ERHS), says the thing he likes most about wrestling is that the wrestling community feels like a family. He explains, “I feel like it’s not just my school caring for me but the entire wrestling community caring for each other.”

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Performing arts play part in community

In retrospect, Chugiak-Eagle River residents have much to be thankful for. Today, we live as modern a lifestyle as anyone else. That was not always the case. In Chugiak’s early days there were no paved roads, homes with attached garages, no television, no internet, no telephones—not even electricity before 1951. It was that year that the community had its first public school, a building designed to house 50 students in grades 1-8. Settlers who chose the name said to mean “place of many places” were too busy clearing land and building homes to think of entertainment.

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Crime perennial problem; answers vary over time

Local residents join their Anchorage cousins in expressing concern over growing crime rates. Some blame recent legislation such as Senate Bill 91. They believe it is too lenient by shortening sentences for certain infractions. Others look for more and better ways to rehabilitate inmates as well as provide more incentives in hopes of dissuading unfortunates from wrongdoing.

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The ECHO News: Satisfying Your Need to Read

The ECHO News, your community newspaper, is satisfying your need to read. We heard you were looking for something new and different, so we made some changes. Every month you will receive the ECHO News in your mailbox!

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Graduation Was His Second Life Miracle

When Shawn Stockwell crossed the stage at the Sullivan Arena last Tuesday night for the Eagle River High School graduation, the second biggest miracle in his life occurred. At least

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