Alaska State Troopers from the Talkeetna Post and investigators from the Alaska Bureau of Investigation are looking into the death of 38 year old Jason Starrett of Willow. Troopers received the report of Starrett’s death at approximately 3:00 pm on Wednesday. As of Thursday afternoon, the investigators believed the cause of death to be suicide. The investigation is ongoing.
Since the Legislature gaveled out this spring, state officials have been trying to build support for a controversial land management bill that couldn’t get enough votes in the final days of session. Public meetings were supposed to be part of their outreach effort. But APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports that the Department of Natural Resources has called those meetings off. Read More »
On Sunday, Talkeetna Wildlife Troopers arrested a man wanted in Idaho after conducting a traffic stop in Willow. The driver, Dustin Simpson, is wanted for probation violation. According to Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters, Simpson’s probation was due to a charge of leaving the scene of an injury accident. His probation violation earned him the label of “Fugitive from Justice.” Simpson was taken to the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility, where he is being held on $500 bail.
On Tuesday evening, an armed man entered Millers Market in Houston and demanded cash. The man was masked, and pointed a gun at two employees, who are described by store owner Gary Miller as teenage females. Miller says that the gunman was masked, making identification difficult. He says that surveillance footage is being reviewed for any clues, and that the tape will be provided to the Alaska State Troopers. Read More »
If you’re driving north over the next few weeks, don’t be alarmed if you see smoke near the entrance of Denali National Park. Kris Fister, spokeswoman for the Park, says that fire management personnel will be monitoring the burning of a debris pile, consisting of trees and brush until December 15th, as weather permits. The debris pile is east of the park airstrip. The material was gathered after being removed from around structures and maintenance projects in the Park. Fister says smoke may be visible from the Parks as well as from the air.
On Sunday, two moose were hit my vehicles on the Parks Highway near Cantwell in under two hours. Around 6:45, Francis Barry of Fairbanks was driving a semi near mile 194 when a moose tried to cross the road. Barry was unable to slow his truck in time to avoid the moose, and struck it on the passenger side. The moose was not located, according to State Troopers.
At about 8:15, Jason Barnes of Anchorage was driving north near Mile 153 in a GMC pickup and struck a moose calf that was crossing the road. The moose was hit by the driver’s side of the truck. The moose was recovered and donated to charity.
Both drivers were uninjured, wearing their seat belts, and the trucks were able to be driven from the accident scenes.
Stacy Bloom and Meg McKinney, Co-Directors and Producers of “Breathe in the Light,” call the project a labor of love. They have spent thousands of dollars of their own money to produce the documentary, and have been fundraising to pay for the editing process as well as follow-up shots. The film centers around the wilderness journey of four Alaskan women who are all victims of sexual assault. They are accompanied by guides from Alaska Mountaineering School and a wilderness therapist on a week long hike along Kesugi Ridge in the Alaska Range. Read More »
On Friday, KTNA reported on the Mat-Su Borough’s Tall Tower Advisory Committee, which is looking at regulations for broadcast and cell towers. Committee member Rick Brenden and Borough Assembly member Jim Sykes were interviewed, and both were in favor of increased setback regulations to prevent towers from causing damage if they fall.
On Monday, KTNA spoke with Ken Slauson, who is also on the Advisory Committee. He says that the safety record for tall towers in the Borough is fairly good. Slauson says the Willow tower is the first one to fall in the way it did in thirty years, and while he says that practical measures should be taken for tower safety, he believes that it’s not clear cut that additional setback requirements are the answer. Slauson says that some of the debate is being fueled by “not in my back yard syndrome,” and that it’s important to consider how much “veto power” an individual should have over what their neighbors do with their property. He says his goal is for the committee to find the minimum necessary regulation to present to the Assembly for a vote. Slauson warns that any additional regulation leads to increased spending.
The next meeting of the Advisory Committee could occur as soon as next Tuesday.