Rep. Gary Knopp

Alaska Legislature

The widow of late Rep. Gary Knopp has filed a counter complaint against High Adventure Air Charters, the Soldotna company whose plane collided with Knopp’s last summer, resulting in seven deaths.

Representatives of four of those passengers filed lawsuits last month against Helen Knopp and the Knopp estate, alleging Knopp was negligent because he was flying his private plane without a valid medical certificate.

Office of Rep. Gary Knopp

Rep. Gary Knopp had impaired vision caused by glaucoma when his private plane collided with a charter plane last summer, according to a medical report released Monday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The report is among hundreds of pages of documents released by the board on the mid-air crash that killed Knopp and six others July 31. It's an interim step — the board's final report is still likely months away.

Alaska Legislature

Gary Knopp’s name will still appear on the Aug. 18 primary ballot. The Kenai Republican was among the seven killed in a midair collision early Friday morning just outside Soldotna. Knopp was seeking a third term in the state House, against fellow Republicans Ron Gillam and Kelly Wolf. The winner of the primary will face James Baisden, who registered as non-affiliated, in the general election.

Rogers family

A GoFundMe account has been set up to benefit the family of David Rogers, one of the seven people who died Friday morning in a midair collision near Soldotna.

He was a guide at High Adventure Air, which flies out of Longmere Lake, east of Soldotna. Rogers, pilot Greg Bell and four clients from South Carolina were in a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver. Kenai Rep. Gary Knopp, who was running for reelection to his Kenai District 30 seat, was the sole occupant of a Piper PA-12.

Investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Maddy McElrea works at High Adventure Air and set up the GoFundMe account to cover the expenses of getting Rogers and his dog home Kansas, as well as funeral and other expenses. Rogers had a wife, Rhonda, and three kids. 

“And just really anything that’s going to help them get through these next few months. Because I know that David was kind of the worker in the family for them,” McElrea said.

Voters in the Kenai-Soldotna area will have a handful of candidates to choose from this fall when deciding who they want to represent them in the state House of Representatives. One caveat: they’re all conservative, and three are running in the primary on Aug. 18.

District 30 is currently represented by Gary Knopp, a two-term representative from Kenai. He’s running for a third term, but Ron Gillham of Ridgeway, Kelly Wolf of Kenai, and James Baisden of Kenai have all stepped forward to challenge him. Gillham and Wolf are running as Republicans in the primary, while Baisden is running as a nonpartisan candidate in the general.

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