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

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Wednesday, June 28 2017 @ 04:27 PM AKDT


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Willow Man found Deceased

Police BlotterOn 03/12/2017, at approximately 9:13 am, Alaska State Troopers responded to a report of a deceased male at a residence near Montana Creek Road in Talkeetna.

Investigation revealed Lloyd E. Holder, age 45, of Willow, passed away at the residence. There was no signs of foul play and the next of kin was notified. The State Medical Examiner’s Office was contacted and took possession of the body. The investigation is ongoing pending autopsy results.

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Two Anchorage Men Arrested in Big Lake after Chase

Police BlotterOn 3/10/17 at 6:24 am, Alaska State Troopers conducted a traffic stop near Milepost 47 of the Parks Highway on a 1997 silver Nissan passenger car for moving and equipment violations. The operator of the vehicle who was identified as Joseph Heath Piner, age 34 of Anchorage failed to yield to emergency lights and siren.

Piner eluded Troopers until he abruptly came to a stop near Milepost 4 of the Big Lake Road and Troopers arrested him for Failure to Stop at the Direction of a Peace of 1st Degree, Reckless Driving and No Valid Operator’s License. A passenger in the vehicle who was identified as Toby Allen Spece, age 39 of Anchorage was arrested for eight outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Piner was transported to and remanded in the MSPT with his bail set at $5,000.00 plus a Court Approved Third Party. Spece was transported to and remanded in MSPT with no bail.

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Willow Woman Passes Away

Police BlotterOn 03/03/2017 at approximately 2:43 am, Alaska State Troopers responded to an address on Michigan Street in Willow for a report of a deceased person. Investigation revealed Alice Bergland, age 86 of Willow, passed away from natural causes. The State Medical Examiner's (SME) office was notified. Legacy Funeral Home in Wasilla responded. Next of kin was on scene and notified. No foul play is suspected.
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Willow Woman arrested on Warrants

Police BlotterOn 3/1/2017, at approximately 8:23 pm, Alaska State Troopers responded to a residence on Willow-Fishhook Road in Willow for a warrant arrest. Troopers contacted Dawn Tucker, age 48, of Willow. Tucker had two outstanding AST warrant for $500 each, for Failure to Appear for the original charges of DWLR and Misuse of Plates. Tucker was transported and remanded to the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility.
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Houston Woman arrested for Felony DUI

Police BlotterOn 3/2/17 at approximately 2:25 am Troopers stopped a 2004 Ford Explorer on the Trunk Rd. near the Parks Highway following a REDDI report. Troopers contacted Nicole Wooten, age 48 of Houston.

Investigation revealed Wooten was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and on a revoked driver's license. Further investigation showed Wooten had been previously convicted of Felony DUI and several misdemeanor DUIs. Wooten was remanded to the Mat-Su Pretrial facility on $5000 bail and a court approved 3rd party.

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Willow Resident Rescued

Police BlotterOn 2-27-17 at about 9:53 pm, 59 year old Willow resident Jessie Siler called 911 to report he had wrecked his snow machine on Nancy Lake. Siler stated he was unable to find the road from where he was. Willow Fire Department responded with a snow machine and located him. He was then transported by medics for minor injuries to his hands and feet.
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Wasilla man arrested in Houston

Police BlotterOn 2/27/17 at approximately 11:27 pm, Alaska State Troopers responded to the report of a vehicle in the ditch near milepost 55 Parks Highway in Houston. Investigation revealed Paul Phillips, age 44 of Wasilla, was driving under the influence of alcohol and subsequently arrested. Phillips was transported and remanded to Mat-Su Pretrial Facility where he was held on $5000 bail.
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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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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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Big Lake Man Killed by Troopers

Police BlotterUPDATE: The SERT member that fired their service weapon during the shooting incident on 2/17/2017 is identified as: Lieutenant James Helgoe, Headquarters staff, a 17 ½ -year veteran of DPS. UPDATE: The suspect has been identified as Jean R. Valescot, age 35, and next of kin notification has been completed.

On 2-16-17, at approximately 3:30 pm, an adult male who lived in the Big Lake area called 911, and made threatening statements that he was going to kill everyone in his residence. [The Troopers edited the post to read: "...and made threatening statements that he was going to kill anyone who comes to his house, and he had a gun."-Ed] A woman was heard on the 911 call yelling that she needed help, and that there was a 2-3 year old child in the house. Troopers responded to the scene, and the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) was activated and responded. Negotiations were started and continued for many hours.

Later in the evening, the suspect’s girlfriend was able to exit the residence; however her three year old son remained inside of the residence with the suspect. Negotiations continued until after midnight. A search warrant was obtained for the residence, and an arrest warrant was obtained for the suspect. The front door to the residence was breached to establish communications with the suspect.

Ultimately, after continued negotiations with the suspect, at about 12:20 am he came to the front door with the child (his son) and a pistol in one hand and a shotgun in the other. The suspect placed the child in imminent danger, and was shot by a SERT member.

The suspect died on scene after attempts at life saving measures. The female and child are safe. The Alaska Bureau of Investigation is on scene conducting an investigation. Next of kin notifications are under way. The name of the involved officer(s) will not be released for 72 hours per department policy.

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Wasilla man arrested in Houston

Police BlotterOn 02/14/2017, at approximately 4:24 pm, Alaska State Troopers responded to a vehicle in the ditch on Debra Jean and Parks Hwy. Investigation revealed that Stephen Bergin, age 46, Wasilla, was operating the vehicle while impaired. Bergin was arrested at the scene for Driving Under the Influence and transported to Mat Su Pretrial where his bail was set at $4000.
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Troopers Warn of Scam

Police BlotterOn 2-13-17, MATCOM dispatch received a report of a person impersonating an Alaska State Trooper. It was reported that an unknown person called the brother of the complainant, stated he was a state trooper, and that his brother had a warrant for his arrest and owes money.

BEWARE OF SCAM PHONE CALLS: An individual -usually a male- calls and identifies themselves as an Alaska State Trooper using various names and ranks declaring he is from the Alaska State Troopers. The caller advises people that they have active warrants for contempt of court and they should pay their bail to him. The caller may request to meet him at a State Trooper Post. He also provides call back numbers for AST. This scam has taken place in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau and could occur in other communities.

Be aware that the Alaska State Troopers will NOT ask for payment over the phone or offer to negotiate for reduced payment in lieu of arrest. If you are concerned that you may have a warrant for your arrest with the AST, you can look at the active warrants website:

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Wasilla woman arrested in Houston

Police BlotterOn 2/10/17 at approximately 9:28 pm, Alaska State Troopers responded to a call for service at a residence near Forest Lake Drive in Houston. Amanda Boyd, age 29 of Wasilla, was contacted and arrested for an outstanding warrant for Probation Violation on the original charge of Theft 2nd degree. Boyd was remanded to Mat-Su Pretrial Facility where she was held on $5,000 bail.
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Pedestrian killed at Mile 49

Police BlotterOn 02/03/2017 at approximately 8:53 pm, Alaska State Troopers responded to a report of a motor vehicle hitting a pedestrian at approximately mile 49 of the Parks Hwy in Wasilla.

Investigation revealed a 55 year old Wasilla male was crossing the highway when he was struck by a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Patricia Etheridge, age 44 of Anchorage, while travelling northbound on Parks Hwy. Further, the male was crossing in an area that does not have crosswalks and does not have roadway lighting.

The 55 year old male was pronounced deceased at a local hospital. No injuries were reported in the vehicle and all occupants report wearing seatbelts. The male's identity is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.

No charges have been filed at this time and investigation into this incident is on-going.

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