Michigan militia group founder buys Nikiski farm

Posted: Tuesday, September 03, 2002

KENAI (AP) -- The founder of a Michigan militia group plans to retire to a Nikiski farm and hopes to work as a morning radio talk show host.

Norman Olson said he had already raised enough money to put a down payment on a 20-acre farm in Nikiski.

But Olson says he doesn't plan to form a militia organization in Alaska.

''A militia is not needed up in Alaska,'' he told the Peninsula Clarion. ''Alaskans are strongly in favor of managing their resources for themselves and don't care for the government coming in telling them how to do it. They have a good, healthy suspicion of government.''

While Olson founded the Michigan Militia, he was ousted by the group in the mid-1990s, reportedly for being too radical.

The 55-year-old retired Air Force master sergeant, who is also a Baptist fundamentalist minister, said he plans to retire and would like to start a church on the peninsula.

''I know there are a lot of churches up and down the Kenai Peninsula, but there's no reason why another one can't fit in,'' he said.

In addition to starting a church and hosting a radio show, Olson said he might like to enter into local politics.

''I would like to help with the local city council ... maybe veto some silly ordinances or something,'' he said.

''I've been to Alaska many times,'' Olson said. ''In fact I spent the month up there in July. I find the people so warm and friendly and when you ask them why they moved up there, it's almost visionary.

''They value their independence and their freedom. They don't need the federal government deciding for them on education, land use, taxation and resource management,'' he said.

''I've been told by many Alaskans, 'You fit in here, Norm.'''

He said his extended family would move with him. That means Mary, his wife of 36 years, along with his elderly father, a sister, and a daughter and her children.

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