A 4.1 earthquake felt as far away as Wasilla shook the Southcentral region at 5:22 p.m. Some reported that the jolt sounded like a rumbling explosion. There were no immediate reports of damage. The quake was centered 7 miles west-northwest of Talkeetna.
The quake was felt by emergency dispatchers in Wasilla. It followed but was not necessarily related to two smaller quakes, a 2.11 at 4:58 p.m. centered 8 miles northeast of Healy, and a 2.38 centered 33 miles northwest of Talkeetna at 4:59 p.m.
|Local Date:||Monday December 13th, 2010|
|Local Time:||05:22 PM AKST|
|Universal Time:||12/14/2010 02:22:38.675 UTC|
|Depth:||11 miles (18 km)|
The Alaska Pioneer Press blog is happy to pass along this update from Talkeetna’s bachelors about the upcoming Bachelor Auction and Wilderness Woman Contest:
“30th Annual Bachelor Auction and 25th Wilderness Woman Competition set for December 4
Mark your calendars! The 30th Annual Talkeetna Bachelor Auction and 25th Wilderness Woman competition will take place Saturday, Dec. 4, in downtown Talkeetna. Once again, Talkeetna’s most eligible single men will put themselves on the auction block to benefit women and children facing domestic violence in our community.
This year, 40 bachelors are available for “purchase” – successful bidders are guaranteed a drink and a dance with their bachelor, anything else is up to you – all unmarried women are invited to our annual auction this year. The auction begins at 7 p.m. at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar in downtown Talkeetna. The door and bar opens at 6 p.m., giving attendees some time to socialize and meet the local gentlemen.
This high-energy night draws women from throughout the country every year and is a highlight of the winter season for locals and visitors alike. The Auction will be followed by the annual Bachelor Ball at the Fairview Inn, with Jared Woods and his band Woodrow keeping the dance floor full into the wee hours.
The auction will once again be hosted by Marne Gunderson, with Nick Condon joining us as auctioneer this year. Gunderson is a local actress, musician, and community leader who for years has given her time to the Bachelor Society. Condon is new to the auctioneer role for the Bachelors, though he has been an auctioneer for other charities in the community, as well as putting himself on the block in years past. He is a well-known actor and director both within Talkeetna and Outside.
The Wilderness Woman Competition is in its 25th year and is a chance for unmarried women to prove their mettle in a variety of outdoor skills. Challenges include hunting, water hauling, fishing, splitting wood, and of course building a sandwich for the man in her life. A true Alaskan Wilderness Woman can do it all. Registration begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Fairview Inn in Downtown Talkeetna. The competition begins at noon on Main Street. Whatever the weather, the Wilderness Woman Competition always draws a large crowd of onlookers and, often, international press.
Those attending from out of town need to book a place to stay soon; accommodations are already filling up. A listing of local hotels and B&Bs are available from the Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce at www. www.talkeetnachamber.org.
A limited number of press passes are available for the media. For press passes and more information, please contact Amanda Randles at 907-733-3473, or email@example.com. We will be happy to put you in contact with members of the society for interviews at your convenience.
MAT-SU — Mat-Su schools are joining neighboring districts in closing campuses Wedensday and declaring an early Thanksgiving break.
All after-school activities are also canceled. If parents, families, or employees need more information, please log on to the District website at www.matsuk12.us.”
A 42-year-old woman died following an explosion and fire at a home in the Caswell Lakes area on Nov. 16.
One person escaped the 3,000-square-foot residence and reported that Julia Weber of Talkeetna did not make it out of the structure. Firefighters found her remains in the home after the fire was contained.
No foul play is suspected in connection with the explosion, which Troopers believe happened before the fire began.
A family dog also died in the blaze. Weber’s next-of-kin was the person who escaped the fire.
The fire was reported at 10:45 a.m. High winds made it hard for firefighters to stop the fire. The home and its outbuildings were a total loss.
If the warm spell today didn’t loosen ice from area roofs, a long rolling quake should have done the trick.
|Depth||126.2 km (78.4 miles)|
|Location Uncertainty||horizontal +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 0.1 km (0.1 miles)|
|Parameters||NST= 63, Nph= 0, Dmin=31.9 km, Rmss=0.47 sec, Gp= 36°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
|Magnitude||4.9 (Preliminary magnitude — update expected within minutes)|
|Depth||130 km (80.8 miles) set by location program|
|Location Uncertainty||Error estimate not available|
|Parameters||NST= 25, Nph= 25, Dmin=101.8 km, Rmss=0.54 sec, Gp= 94°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=1
Below is the first notice from the Tsunami Center, which says the good news is that no Tsunami’s will occur due to the event:
At 8:00 PM Alaskan Standard Time on November 13, an earthquake with preliminary magnitude 4.9 occurred 65 miles/105 Km southwest of Denali Park Hdqts., Alaska .
The magnitude is such that a tsunami WILL NOT be generated. This will be the only WCATWC message issued for this event.
The location and magnitude are based on preliminary information. Further information will be issued by the United States Geological Survey or the appropriate regional seismic network.
Alaska State Troopers said today that not all of the four people who were found dead Tuesday inside a burned-out trailer home in Caswell died from the fire, but are releasing no further details except their suspected identities. Troopers believe the four are two parents who were going through a divorce and their two young children.
Alaska State Court of Appeals records indicate that a man with the same unique name as the father was convicted of kidnapping and torturing a different woman, his common law wife, in the presence of that couple’s two children. He also threatened to shoot and burn the children and himself if she ever left him.
The Alaska Bureau of Investigation (BIA) “is investigating the cause and manner of their deaths,” said Trooper Spokesperson Megan Peters in a prepared release.
“The deceased are tentatively identified as 43-year-old Vannaphone Soundara, 23-year-old Azrealle C.D. Stewart, 4-year-old Akson S.T. Soundara and 1-year-old Kayson J.L. Soundara,” Peters said. “The State Medical Examiner’s office is working to positively ID the remains of the individuals. Not all of the individuals died as a result of the fire.”
“No further information regarding the investigation is being released at this time,” Peters said in the prepared press release. An investigator told the Alaska Pioneer Press on Friday, Nov. 12, that it may be a week or more before more information can be released.
BIA investigators visited the Talkeetna home where the mother and children lived to gather DNA evidence from personal possessions, items that troopers hope may help with positive identifications. Troopers are also seeking photos that show the husband’s tattoos. Call 733-2256 to give troopers additional information about the case.
Azrealle Stewart, one of the managers at the Tesoro gas station in Sunshine, moved to Talkeetna in September with her two children after separating from Vannaphone Soundara. Court documents indicate that a divorce was in process. The couple sometimes shared child care duties.
The trailer in which they were found, on the property where the husband lived, was reported ablaze at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning by a passing motorist. It was fully-involved when the first emergency responder arrived. Stewart was seen in the company of a man who matches her husband’s basic description at her home in Talkeetna on Sunday evening and neighbors did not see evidence of her return to her Talkeetna home on Monday evening. Her car was in the shop, and the light-colored vehicle parked in her driveway Sunday night appeared to be the same as the one that was in front of the Caswell trailer after the fire.
A man named Vannaphone Soundara was convicted in Anchorage of torturing and threatening to kill another woman, who was his common-law wife, in 2000. The woman said she was leaving him to move to California, according to documents filed with the Alaska Court of Appeals. He was convicted of kidnapping, assault and other offenses, according to court records. He lost an appeal in 2006.
Below is a graphic recounting of the 2000 attack found in the appellate court case filing for Soundara vs. State. (The Pioneer Press has redacted the initials of the victim and cautions that the events described may be upsetting, particularly to those who knew the victims.)
“… On the night of May 6th, Soundara bound –s hands and feet with speaker wire. For the next six or seven hours, Soundara beat — intermittently while the couples two small children cried in a nearby bedroom. According to the States evidence, Soundara whipped — with speaker wire, hitting her more than 30 times and leaving cuts and bruises over half of her body. During the course of the hours-long assault, Soundara strangled – (again, with the speaker wire), he struck her with a knife handle and with the dull edge of the knife blade, and he struck her with the butt of a gun. At one point, Soundara pointed the gun between –s eyes and threatened to shoot her. He also threatened to slice –s thigh with the knife and to rub salt into the wound. And Soundara told — that if she left him after this, he would shoot their children, set fire to them, and then kill himself. Finally, around five oclock in the morning on May 7th, Soundara released –.”
CASWELL — Fire investigators made a grisly discovery in the aftermath of a structure fire that destroyed a home at Mile 87 of the George Parks Highway. Four bodies were found inside the structure, which was completely burned, said Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters.
Peters said a passing motorist spotted the fire at 6 a.m. and called authorities. A chocolate lab and some chickens will be cared for by animal control. The Alaska Bureau of Investigations, troopers and state fire marshals are investigating the fire.
By 6 p.m. troopers were still trying to locate the next-of-kin. Authorities have not yet released the names of the people who died and final identification must be done by the State Medical Examiner. Firefighters from Trapper Creek to Wasilla responded to the blaze. The structure was fully-engulfed when firefighters arrived on scene. The cause is still under investigation.
CASWELL — Alaska State Troopers and a state fire marshal are at the scene of a structure fire near Mile 88 of the George Parks Highway. The investigation was made difficult by the heat of the fire scene. More details will be released later, said trooper spokesperson Megan Peters.
The Alaska Pioneer Press will update this breaking story as more details become available.