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News
Trooper aircraft involved in crash: From Alaska State Troopers: At 1/31/2015 at approximately 1305 hours, Alaska State Troopers received a report of a mid-air collision between two fixed-wing aircraft in the Mat-Su Valley. EMS and Troopers responded to the area of Knik-Goose Bay Road and Vine Road.
Olson gets 30 days for Valley Dairy debacle: Karen B. Olson, 68, Wasilla, was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage recently for making false statements to the United States Department of Agriculture in connection with the construction and management of Valley Dairy, Inc., doing business as Matanuska Creamery, in Palmer.
Deadline approaching for registering brands: Alaskans who have a registered brand or mark for their livestock should apply for renewal by March 2 to protect their exclusive rights under state law for use of the brand or mark.
~ Possible mid-air collision reported ~
1:08 p.m.: Emergency crews are responding to a report of a mid-air collision between two aircraft on KGB and Sunset. If possible, please stay clear of the area. 1:20 p.m.: LifeMed is being launched to assist in the search and additional crews are being staged. Reports now indicate the collision may have occurred about a mile west of Knik Knak Mud Shack.  2:02 p.m.: AST reports being on scene of a single aircraft crash, location not given. Initial reports are that there is one fatality. 2:11 p.m.: The second aircraft has been located off Sunset, crews will have to hike in. 2:13 p.m.: A first responder has reached the second crash site and reports one victim seriously injured. 2:52 p.m.: Crews are working to extricate the victim in the first crash site found; the patient is unconscious but breathing. 2:56 p.m.: The victim of what sounded like the second crash site has been extricated and is conscious and alert. 3:19 p.m.: The pilots of both aircraft are alive and being transported to hospitals.
Alaska State Trooper highlights 1/30
Hummel, Doehl to lead Alaska National Guard: Today Governor Bill Walker named retired U.S. Army Colonel Laurel Hummel as The Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard and Commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. He also named retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Robert Doehl as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
Alaska Air Guardsmen rescue man from downed aircraft: Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons rescued the pilot of an aircraft found at Lake Chakachamna, west of Cook Inlet on Thursday. The pilot's name was not released. An HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from the 210th Rescue Squadron, with a Guardian Angel team from the 212th Rescue Squadron on board, transported the pilot to a Soldotna medical facility shortly before 1 p.m.
Borough assessment notices coming early: Mat-Su Borough Assessment notices are being mailed out with the 2015 assessed values. Once the notices are mailed out, a 30 day appeal period will begin. This year, that process will happen one week earlier than it has in the past.
Alaska State Trooper highlights 1/29
Traffic stop yields pound of meth: A routine traffic stop in Wasilla early this morning landed an alleged drug dealer in jail and to more than a pound of methamphetamines being taken off the streets. Johnny-lee Burk, 30, Wasilla, remains in custody on $100,000 cash only bail with a laundry list of new felony charges as well as a misdemeanor possession charge he picked up in November.
Alaska State Trooper highlights 1/28
Hiding from troopers is hard: Another Wasilla man behaving badly learned the hard way Monday night that hiding from Alaska State Trooper is not easy in the best of circumstances, and hiding out in a car you have no business being in only makes the challenge more difficult. Jason Thompson was apparently not up to the challenge.
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Letters & Opinions
Alaska Representative Shelley Hughes: We’re just under two weeks into the legislative session in Juneau, and we’re already full steam ahead here in room 13 of the State Capitol Building! Since I work for you, my constituents, and for all of Alaska, I think you should know right out of the gate what is going on here.
John Suter: Why doesn't the state pump its own oil like Norway does and get all of the money for itself? If the state does not do this, then it is going to have to live with a small budget and have big cut backs in spending.
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Sports & Outdoors
Kurka honored with Legislative Citation: Representative Shelley Hughes met up with an old friend Saturday at Challenge Alaska headquarters in Anchorage, where a good crowd was waiting to present Paralympic skier Andrew Kurka, her longtime neighbor in Palmer, a Legislative Citation for being an inspiration on ad off the slopes. "There are few Alaskans more deserving of recognition than this young man," Hughes posted today on her Facebook site. "I'm honored to have been able to present Andrew Kurka with a legislative Citation recognizing his world class accomplishments in mono-skiing."
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Obituaries
Virginia E. Hamilton, 85, of Wasilla, passed away January 23, 2015, at home. A graveside service is planned for 3 p.m. Monday, February 2, at the Whittle-Hubbard Cemetery in Castle Rock, Washington.
Janice Kay Mainard, 57, Wasilla, died Tuesday, January 13, 2015, in Wasilla. She was born January 28, 1958, in Ozark, Arkansas. A graveside memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, February 3, at Highland Cemetery in Ozark under the direction of Shaffer Funeral Home in Ozark.
Reverend Sigurd Kristiansen Jr. peacefully went to be with his Lord, on January 27, 2015, after dedicating his life to serving his Lord Jesus Christ. His funeral Service will be at 4 p.m. Monday, February 2, at Lazy Mountain Bible Church, 16005 Shawn Drive, Palmer, with pot luck afterwards.
James Cochran, 73, died January 19, 2015 at his home in Butte. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, April 11, at Aklestad's hanger on the Butte Muni airport. Bring a dish and story to share. For further information, call (907) 745-8840.
Jerry Tillman Akes, 67, of Big Lake lost his battle with cancer on December 13, 2014. Jerry passed away at Mat-Su Regional Hospital surrounded by family and friends. Jerry's funeral service is 2 p.m. Monday, February 8, at Susitna Valley American Legion Post 35, 4160 Tweed Court, Wasilla, with a potluck reception to follow at Sully's in Wasilla.
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Social News
Truman and Phyllis Beer celebrate Golden anniversary: Truman and Phyllis Beer were married December 20, 1964, in Mankato, Minnesota. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary December 20, 2014, with family and friends at a celebration hosted by their children at Sacred Heart Parish in Wasilla
Valley's top scholars honored: The University of Alaska and Mat-Su College recently announced the names of the students named to their dean’s lists and chancellor’s lists for academic excellence for the 2014 fall semester. At Mat-Su College, they also honored a mathematics professor, newly-minted Doctor Rachel Graham.
Young names academy nominees: Alaskan Congressman Don Young recently announced his 2015 United States Military Service Academy nominations, a list of 50 talented Alaskan students from across the state, nine of them from the Mat-Su.
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Events
Saturday, January 31
The Big Lake Lions and Susitna Rotary Big Lake Ice Breaker, 6 p.m. at the Big Lake Lions Recreation Center, 2942 Lions Circle, Big Lake. Includes a prime rib dinner, an improv show from “Scared Scriptless,” and a fireworks show. Tickets are $60 and available through all Big Lake Lions or Susitna Rotary members.
Monday, February 2
Talkeetna Community Council meeting, 7 p.m., Talkeetna Elementary.
Wednesday, February 4
Knik-Fairview Community Council meeting, 7 p.m., Knik Public Safety Building Station 6-2.
Thursday, February 5
Fishhook Community Council meeting, 7 p.m., Government Peak Chalet.
Susitna Community Council meeting, 7 p.m., Upper Susitna Seniors Center.
Wasilla and Palmer Soil & Water Conservation Districts Winter Conservation Series; High Tunnels: Compatible Plantings/Retrofitting with Dave Ianson, 7 p.m., Mat-Su College, 8295 College Drive, Palmer. Class is free, but space is limited! To preregister, call (907) 357-4511 or emaail distmgr@wasillawcd.org.
Friday, February 6
Mat-Su Republican Women's Club Annual Lincoln Day Dinner & Auction, 5 p.m. social, 6 p.m. dinner, Evangelo's Restaurant, E2530 Parks Highway, Wasilla. Guest speaker will be Glenn Biegel. Tickets $50 per person, for tickets and information, click here, or email msrwc48@yahoo.com.
Benefit Spaghetti Feed/Dessert Auction, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Iditarod Elementary, 801 Wasilla-Fishhook Road, Wasilla. Tickets, available at the door, are $5 per person or $20 for the whole family and proceeds will benefit the Doughty family, who lost their home in the Crescent Electric fire January 20. Anyone wishing to volunteer to help with this event can contact Jeannie Hogan 414-2170 or Alecia Davila 315-3747.
The Mat-Su Inaugural Ball, 7 p.m., Curtis Menard Memorial Sports Center. Tickets are $50. For tickets or more information, email Cathy Cottle at diversifiedak@hotmail.com.
Monday, February 9
Free Cooking Class, Mardi Gras red beans and rice! 1 to 3 p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 501 Bogard Road, Wasilla. Sponsored by the church, Mat-Su Food Bank and the UAF Extension Service.
Tuesday, February 10
Big Lake Community Council meeting, 7 p.m., Big Lake Lions Recreational Center.
Wednesday, February 11
Butte Community Council meeting, 7 p.m., Butte Community Center.
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