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Zaz Hollander

WASILLA -- The driver killed Thursday afternoon following a short Alaska State Troopers pursuit near Wasilla was caught burglarizing a home in the area before he died in a rollover at Church Road.

Troopers on Friday identified the man as 54-year-old Anchorage resident James Bain.

Bain was driving a 1991 Chevrolet pickup reported stolen by Wasilla police on Wednesday, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said in an email. He showed up around 2:30 p.m. Thursday at a construction site on Patsy Drive in Wasilla; somebody there who talked to him told troopers that he “was behaving in a strange manner,” she wrote...

Zaz Hollander

WASILLA -- Alaska State Troopers say a brief pursuit just outside Wasilla ended with the driver of a stolen car killed in a single-vehicle rollover Thursday afternoon.

Troopers received a report of a suspicious vehicle parked at a construction site in Wasilla at 2:39 p.m. Thursday and determined the vehicle was reported as stolen, spokeswoman Megan Peters said. It had also been the subject of a citizen report about a dangerous driver earlier in the day.

Troopers spotted the vehicle driving down Spruce Avenue toward Church Road at 2:44 p.m. Thursday and tried to make contact, Peters wrote in an email. But the adult male driver eluded troopers and wrecked two minutes later where Spruce intersects with Church...

Zaz Hollander

WASILLA -- Wasilla police on Thursday said a two-year veteran of the department fired a single shot at the 23-year-old armed man who died early Monday in a home on Wasilla’s east side.

Michael Bonty was pronounced dead at the neat single-story house in the Mission Hills subdivision “following EMS efforts,” according to a news release from the department on Thursday afternoon...

Zaz Hollander

WASILLA -- Donna Turner, former owner of a much-loved Big Lake wedding business, was indicted last week by a Palmer grand jury on felony theft and fraud charges involving the Big Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Charging documents say Turner took roughly $40,000 from the relatively small chamber over a period of years, President Nancie Linley said Monday.

Turner spent about eight years affiliated with the chamber and was its treasurer, a position she left in October, Linley said. Chamber officials first noticed discrepancies between bank statements and computer accounting records that same month.

“As soon as we noticed a discrepancy in some of our records, we relinquished all of our documents and everything over to the authorities,” she said...

Zaz Hollander

WASILLA -- Wasilla police shot and killed a 23-year-old man after responding to a possible domestic disturbance on the city’s western edge early Monday morning, an department spokesman said.

The incident began when two officers responded to a 911 disconnect from a home on North Jack Nicklaus Drive in the Mission Hills subdivision just after midnight, Wasilla Police Department Officer Rick Manrique said. Police suspected a domestic situation because of audible background noise that dispatchers could hear during the call before someone hung up the phone...

Zaz Hollander

WASILLA -- Loren Means, a candidate for Wasilla mayor and a current city planning commissioner, once stalked and planned to ambush Las Vegas jail officers, and this summer he told a Wasilla police officer that a head shot was the only way to kill an officer wearing body armor.

An email about the Las Vegas incident as well as several encounters with local police surfaced Thursday in a packet Mayor Verne Rupright distributed to the Wasilla City Council.

Rupright wrote in a brief introduction that he wanted to inform the council because Means is an appointed city official, though he didn’t directly ask them to remove him from the planning commission...

Zaz Hollander

PALMER -- Four years after an ornery musk ox head-butted a 20-year-old Mormon missionary at a tourist attraction outside Palmer, the young victim has been awarded a $10,000 settlement.

Michael Simkins was originally hoping for $200,000 from the Musk Ox Farm to cover medical expenses, lost income and other damages from physical and emotional distress, according to settlement briefs filed in the case.

The farm, operated by the nonprofit Muskox Development Corp., had offered $7,500.

A Palmer Superior Court judge signed off on the $10,000 settlement last week, according to a one-page document that’s part of the massive musk ox lawsuit file at the Palmer courthouse...

Zaz Hollander

PALMER -- Authorities say a 44-year-old Palmer man was arrested Wednesday on felony first-degree arson charges for burning down his own house.

Kelly Priestley told trooper Zachary Huckstep that he used an accelerant and gasoline to set fire to the home he owned outright on South Kaye Marie Drive, the trooper reported in a sworn affidavit filed in Palmer court.

But, as Priestley told Huckstep and a neighbor, he just didn’t use enough gasoline, according to the affidavit...

Zaz Hollander

PALMER -- A 25-year-old Florida man who showed up in Bristol Palin’s Wasilla driveway Sunday evening after climbing off a third-floor balcony was arrested on felony stalking charges, court documents show.

Peter P.W. Ferrero remained jailed at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility on Tuesday on $25,000 bail.

Palin recognized Ferrero’s name right away because he has sent her “approximately 1,000 Facebook messages,” according to a sworn affidavit accompanying the charges from Wasilla police officer Brandon Gray.

Ferrero also communicated with Palin’s younger sister, 20-year-old Willow Palin, and apparently thought he was romantically involved with her, according to Facebook posts he wrote...

Zaz Hollander

PALMER -- The Alaska Court of Appeals last week denied an appeal filed by Frank Rich, the Willow man who had about 170 neglected huskies seized by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in 2011.

Authorities responding to a complaint in January 2011 found at least 19 dead dogs at Rich’s Montana Creek kennel. Many of the others were emaciated, dehydrated and without food or water. Twenty to 50 more were later euthanized for health or behavioral problems.

Taken to the Mat-Su animal shelter and distributed to rescue groups, the skin-and-bone survivors required intense socialization -- some through a program at the Hiland Mountain women's prison -- before they could go to new homes...

Zaz Hollander