Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Monday, February 27 2017 @ 08:33 PM AKST

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Wasilla Man Killed in Talkeetna Snowmachine Incident

Police BlotterOn 02/26/2017, at approximately 3:20 pm, Alaska State Troopers received a report of a snowmachine wreck with a possible fatality in the area of the Talkeetna Mountains, near Yoder Road, in Talkeetna. It was reported that Jacob Harris, 19 of Wasilla, had been found underneath his idling snowmachine near a steep embankment and was unresponsive. Other snowmachiners were on scene and attempted to revive Harris without success.

Weather conditions were poor at the scene and the visibility was down to less than one hundred feet. As the troopers were preparing to respond via snowmachine, Mat-Com was advised that a private helicopter responded to the scene with a family member of the deceased on board to assist with recovering Harris. Personnel with the Mat-Su Borough Off Road Rescue also responded and met up with the snowmachiners that were transporting the body to a location where the helicopter could complete the body recovery.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office will be conducting an autopsy. Next of kin has been notified.

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Big Lake Man faces Charges

Police BlotterOn 02/26/2017 at approximately 3:21 am Alaska State Troopers responded to a storage facility on Fattic Drive for a report of an alarm. Troopers contacted three individuals at the storage facility.

Investigation revealed Shane Steinbacher, age 42 of Big Lake, and Christopher Wakaliuk, age 29 of Wasilla, had outstanding arrest warrants. Further, both men were in possession of methamphetamine.

Both men were arrested and remanded to the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility. Wakaliuk was held without bail and Steinbacher was held on $6000 plus court approved third party.

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Big Lake Yoga @ The Lions Rec Center

Health and Wellness

Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-7 pm. at The Big Lake Lions Rec Center.

$60/month or $10 for drop-ins. Bring a mat.

Classes designed for all levels.

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2017 Parks Hwy Milepost 92 PUFA

EnergyThe Parks Highway Mile 92 Personal Use Area will be open to harvesting of mixed saw timber. Live standing spruce saw timber must be greater than 9” diameter at breast height (dbh) and live standing birch saw timber must be greater than 11" dbh to be harvested during this offering. All dead down and dead standing timber may also be harvested. All timber is available on a first come first served basis beginning Thursday, January 19, 2017. The harvest area is located east of the Parks Highway at approximately Mile 92.2. Harvesting is not allowed outside the flagged area marked on the ground.

A $25 permit is required and may be obtained from the Land & Resource Management Division between the hours of 8am-5pm, Mon-Fri. beginning Thursday, January 19, 2017, at the Mat-Su Borough Administration Building, located at 350 E. Dahlia Avenue, Palmer; and at the Talkeetna Library located at 23151 S. Talkeetna Road in Talkeetna. Please contact the library at 861-7645 for their hours/days of operation.

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Pet Share with Grace @ The Big Lake Library

Community The BLT's (Big Lake Teens, Big Lake Library Youth Advisory Board) will be hosting a "Pet Share with Grace." All ages welcome, 4:30-5:30 pm Friday February 24th.
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Mat-Su Polar Plunge 2017

Community by AWBRC

Freezin’ for a Reason at the 2017 Mat-Su Polar Plunge – the ORIGINAL Valley Dip!

Have you ever wondered what it is like to jump into a lake in Alaska in February? Here's your chance to find out, and help support Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center at the same time. AWBRC is proud to have been selected as the recipient of the Sertoma grant associated with the Mat-Su Polar Plunge, taking place Feb. 25, 2017.

We are looking for a team of jumpers to represent us at the Plunge. If your common sense tells you this is too much, you can sponsor a jumper or a team. For more information visit their web site at

Update: Join Sarah and Dalton Fiedler, AWBR’s Leaping Loonatics, this Saturday at 12:00, at the Elks Lodge on Finger Lake as they plunge into the frigid waters to raise money for AWBR. Support them by pledging to their team.

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Free Open Skating in Big Lake @ The Lions Rec Center


Big Lake Lions Rec Center, Photo by Dennis Garrett

November thru February Schedule.

Free Open Skating Saturdays 7-9 PM, Sundays 2-4 PM. Rental Skates $3.

Shinny Hockey Saturdays 9-11 PM, Sundays 12-2 PM, Mondays 9-11 PM. Helmets Required, Half Gear Recommended. $5/person.

Private Parties Call 892.6502 for information.

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Free Classes on Sustainable Gardening and Agriculture

Home and GardenThe Palmer and Wasilla Soil and Water Conservation Districts will be offering free classes to the public. Class topics will focus on Sustainable Gardening and Agriculture. Volunteers from a variety of agencies as well as Master Gardeners come together in a united effort to bring Sustainable Agriculture Education to the Communities they serve. Please join us, together we can create a healthier and more sustainable life for you and your family.

Classes are limited to 30 per class to ensure that each person gets as much class time as possible. Be sure to reserve your spot today for this exciting opportunity. Call Cat Burlington at 907.414.7140 to get signed up. This would not be possible without the support of Wasilla Mat-Su College, The Big Lake Library, and the Willow Community Center.

The "Dirt" on Composting and Soil March 4th @ Willow Community Center 1-2:30 pm.

Chicken University March 11th @ Willow Community Center 1-2:30 pm.

Introduction to Basic Gardening in the Mat-Su Valley March 18th @ The Big Lake Library 1-3 pm.

Organic Gardening, The "4" Basics March 25th @ Mat-Su College 1-3 pm.

Using Hoop Houses in Alaska April 8th @ The Big Lake Library 1-3 pm.

Rain Collecting for Home or Garden April 15th @ Willow Community Center 1-3 pm.

Introduction to Pollinating Your Garden April 22nd @ The Big Lake Library 1-3 pm.

Introducing Permaculture in The Northern Environment April 29th @ The Big Lake Library 1-3 pm.

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Revised Flood Insurance Rate Maps

Home and GardenThe Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has revised flood hazard zones in the Mat-Su Borough. These revisions utilize a combination of high resolution topographic data and detailed fieldwork that was not available in the 1980's when our floodplains were last studied.

Property owners are encouraged to review the revised flood maps. They are available on the front page of the Mat-Su Borough’s website or directly access the online viewer at:


Talk with FEMA and Borough officials at an open house.

Join us:

March 15, 2017 – Wednesday

10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Willow Elementary School, Library

31706 George Parks Hwy.

Willow, AK 99688


6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Meadow Lakes Elementary School, Library

1741 Pittman Rd.

Wasilla, AK 99623

March 16, 2017 – Thursday

11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Iditarod Elementary School, Library

801 Wasilla-Fishhook Rd.

Wasilla, AK 99654


6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Butte Elementary School, Library

4006 Butte Rd.

Palmer, AK 99645

More information is available by calling the Mat-Su Borough Development Services Permit Center at (907) 861-7822 or email

Questions for FEMA can be directed to:

FEMA Map Information eXchange (877) 336-2627, or visit FEMA’s Map Service Center webpage at

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Division of Sport Fish Launches Email Subscription Service

Fish and GameThe Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish announced the launch of an email subscription service, which will allow the public to subscribe to receive regional news releases, emergency orders and other fishing information via email.

"We're pleased to be able to provide fishing information directly to the angling public in a timely manner using this service," Lisa Evans, the Assistant Director of the Division of Sport Fish said. "This service is very easy to use, it's fully customizable and it allows the user to manage their subscriptions based on their preferences. In addition, with a large number of the angling public carrying smart phones, people can now be out enjoying our sport fishing resources while getting the most up-to-date news."

Everyone can subscribe by using this link, or by visiting the division website and selecting the "Subscribe" button.

For more information about the division's email subscription service, contact Terry Thompson at (907) 226-4656, or .

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Pick. Click. Give, and help Your Local Library

Community Submitted by a Reader

Please consider donating part of your PFD to The Big Lake Library Advocates. You can make a difference.

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Houston High School Gun and Outdoor Show Vendor Information

Education and Local School News Submitted by Lisa Humphreys, Houston High School

The Houston High School 2017 Gun and Outdoor Show will be held April 22nd and 23rd at The Big Lake Lions Rec Center. All proceeds go to help fund the Houston High School activities and athletics.

For more information please contact Scott Ruta, 907.232.8249.

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Story Fun at The Big Lake Library

Community Story Time is held every Wednesday at 11 am for children 3-5 years old. Story Time includes songs, stories, and crafts.

Afterschool Storybreak is held every Wednesday from 4-5 pm for children in grades K-2. Afterschool Storybreak includes snacks, stories, and crafts.

For more information call 861.7635

Like The Big Lake Times on Facebook to stay on top of breaking stories, or follow us on Twitter

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Houston man involved in crash

Police BlotterOn 2/19/2017, approximately 8:05 pm, Alaska State Troopers responded to a two-vehicle collision on E Bogard Road at N Tait Drive in Wasilla.

Investigation revealed a silver 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser, operated by 34 year old Edward R Valencia of Wasilla, was stopped on E Bogard Road, facing east, preparing to turn northbound on Tait Drive when it was struck from behind by a light blue 1989 Chevrolet pick up truck operated by 43 year old James D Felty of Houston. Further investigation revealed Felty was operating his vehicle with a suspended driver's license.

Felty was issued a misdemeanor citation with a promise to appear in court at a later date for the crime of DWLS. No injuries were reported and all persons involved reported wearing a safety belt at the time of the collision. Both vehicles were driven from the scene.

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Today: The 2017 Iron Dog race in Big Lake

SportsIron Dog will hold a ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage on Saturday, February 18, 2017. The 2017 Iron Dog race weekend begins Friday, February 17, 2017 with the Flying Iron Show in Downtown Anchorage and runs through Sunday with the Restart of the Pro Class in Big Lake.

11 a.m., Sunday on Big Lake is the Official race start. Teams will depart in two-minute intervals.

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