On Sunday, the frontrunners in the Northern Lights 300 crossed the finish line in Big Lake. First and second place were claimed by twins Kristy and Anna Berington of Kasilof. The Beringtons crossed the finish line two minutes apart. Both mushers’ total race rimes were 49 hours and 17 minutes. Twenty-one mushers crossed the finish before midnight on Sunday, and teams continued to finish throughout Monday.
Late on Thursday, Governor Bill Walker released his initial budget proposal for next fiscal year. The cuts included nearly all state departments and a number of megaprojects, including the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:
Whether you call it a crisis, a situation, or something else, the clear consensus both in Juneau and around the state is that Alaska is facing a difficult budget year. Before the beginning of the legislative session on January 20th, the projected budget shortfall was around $3.5 billion. Governor Bill Walker, in his State of the Budget address Thursday night, said that significant cuts will be necessary across the board. As part of those cuts, Governor Walker’s proposed budget has zeroed-out six major projects, including the Knik Arm Bridge and the Susitna-Watana dam. Read More »
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 5 PM at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Talkeetna, Alaska, reception following. An additional service will be held on January 31, 2015, at 11 AM at the Palmer Masonic Lodge, 1022 South Cobb St., Palmer, Alaska. There also will be A Celebration of Life on Trigger’s birthday, May 20, 2015, in Talkeetna, location to be announced.
Trigger was born on May 20, 1950 in Cumberland Maryland. He Graduated from Fort Hill High School in Maryland, and then served an apprenticeship with B+O Railroad. His job took him to Alaska in 1980 where he lived in Eagle River and worked for the Alaskan Railroad. In 1988, he moved to Santa Barbara, California, which brought him many new opportunities, with such work as a body guard, acting, and managing a night club. In 1994, he moved to Talkeetna, building his dream home in the woods, with no running water, electricity or road. A jack-of-all-trades, he worked many different jobs, moving houses, hunting guide, construction, and working for the Air Taxis. He attended many churches of different denominations and was a member of the York Rite Masonic Order.
Trigger was an avid mountaineer, summiting Denali in 1993, attempting a winter ascent of the Wickersham wall, north face of Denali, in 1999, as well as many other climbing adventures in the Alaska Range. He was an avid outdoorsman & hunter with a special passion for traditional bow hunting. “Trigger” was a unique man of contrasts, larger than life, storytelling-adventurer with a deep faith in God. He was imaginative, artistic & perseverant. “Never give up” was his motto and “Carpe Diem” was how he lived.
Trigger is survived by his wife, Margareth Burd Twigg of Talkeetna, AK, daughters, Margareth Allegany Twigg(8) of Talkeetna, AK; Kimberly( Erik) Whetsel of Ridgeley, WV; Castira (Brien) Stanton of Hillsdale, MI; Virginia Twigg of Santa Barbara, CA; uncle & aunt, Charles and Bunny Hardy of Cumberland, MD; grandsons, Noah & Hayden Whetsel of Ridgeley, WV; David Stanton of Hillsdale, MI.
He was preceded in death by parents, Virginia Hardy Twigg Smith & Edward Twigg, cousin, Jay Hardy, grandparents, Charles & Hazel Hardy.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Valley Funeral Home. You are invited to visit Trigger’s on line guest book at www.AlaskanFuneral.com
With the Iditarod and Yukon Quest coming up, many mushers and their teams are running in mid-distance races to prepare. The next mid-distance race is the Northern Lights 300. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:
The Northern Lights 300 sled dog race begins Friday at noon in Big Lake. Last year’s race was canceled due to poor trail conditions. The race is a loop and runs north and east as far as the Yentna River. This year, Race Manager Sue Allen says conditions are better.
“The river’s pretty good. If we don’t get any snow, it’s just going to be way hard and fast for the first twenty, thirty miles. That’s one reason we reduced the dog limit to twelve.” Read More »
On Tuesday, the Su-Valley boys varsity basketball team played a home game against Wasilla Lake. Su-Valley pulled out a 49-37 victory to remain undefeated for the season. The Rams were led by Dawson Mathhews’ fifteen points, three steals, and nine rebounds. Other double-digit scorers for the game were Matt Lester and Austin Johnson with ten and eleven points, respectively.
The Su-Valley boys and girls teams will both play at home against Glenallen on January 30th.
Talkeetna’s centennial is next year, and preparations are already underway. The first big planning event was a timeline party held over the weekend by the Talkeetna Historical Society. KTNA’s Phillip Manning was there, and has this report.
The first Talkeetna Historical Society timeline party drew well over fifty area residents who wrote down the dates of important events they remember, identified people in photographs, or were just there to learn more. Sue Deyoe is with the Historical Society, and says the idea came from early planning meetings for Talkeetna’s centennial.
“Let’s get everybody involved in it; let’s have a community event. Have people add their own time: when they got here, what they did, how they got here, things they remember.” Read More »
Climber Lonnie Dupre has returned to Talkeetna after becoming the first soloist to ever summit Denali in the month of January. While in town, he stopped in to speak with KTNA’s Phillip Manning.
Lonnie Dupre’s historic climb began on December 18th, and he summited Denali on January 11th just after 2:00 pm. This was Dupre’s fourth attempt at the unprecedented feat of being the first person to climb the mountain solo in January. Veteran climber Willi Prittie says January is a tough month for climbing in Alaska, when the longest periods of daylight stretch just past six hours.
“You’ve got to be really on top of your self-care, your logistical stuff, and take advantage of every little bit of daylight that you have, and it isn’t any too much in something like January.” Read More »
After becoming the first solo climber to reach the summit of Denali in the month of January, Lonnie Dupre will be spending at least one more night on the mountain after weather forced his ride to turn back. KTNA’s Phillip Manning was along for the attempted pick-up, and has more:
When it comes to getting in and out of base camp on Denali, nearly everyone travels by airplane. That was the plan on Wednesday. Climber Lonnie Dupre was expected to reach base camp by the early afternoon, and two planes were going to meet him, caring sponsors, support crew, and reporters. The weather was clear, but a system was obviously moving in from the south. After one final check-in with Lonnie Dupre by satellite phone, Talkeetna Air Taxi pilot Paul Roderick set off.
The flight started fairly smoothly, but as the plane entered the Alaska Range, turbulence began to pick up. Read More »