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Posts from the 'Local News' category

Four Rescued Near Deshka Landing

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Early Wednesday morning, a stranded fishing party was rescued by helicopter near the Deshka Landing in Willow.  According to the Alaska State Troopers, Lloyd Hester of Willow took three family members who were visiting from Texas on a fishing trip in his boat.  The group got lost, and the boat was grounded when they tried to find their way back. The troopers were contacted Tuesday evening. The group decided to camp for the night and meet with an Alaska Wildlife Trooper boat in the morning.

The weather turned for the worse, with cold and rain moving in through the night.  The family was unable to keep a fire going, and could not stay dry in the worsening conditions.  Hester, who is 76 years old, became hypothermic, and the group requested assistance.  The Rescue Coordination Center was contacted, and a HH-60 helicopter was dispatched.  The group was rescued at about 5:30 am on Wednesday and transported to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.  Hester was treated for hypothermia and released.

More Than A Win, Constitution Party Candidates Want Ballot Access

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

by: Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN

Alaskans will have one more option in the governor’s race: The Division of Elections will allow Constitution Party candidate J.R. Myers to appear on the ballot.

The Alaska Constitution Party has just over 200 members, and it was first recognized by the state in 2011. Because the organization is so new and small, it doesn’t qualify as a political party under statute. Instead, it’s lumped in with the Green Party and Veterans Party as “political group,” a sort of electoral purgatory where candidates have to collect signatures to get their names on the ballot. (more…)

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Alaska Aces, Kelley Cup to Visit Talkeetna

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Upper Valley hockey fans have something to look forward to this week. On Friday, Talkeetna will play host to the three-time East Coast Hockey League champion Alaska Aces.  According to a statement by the team, the Aces will arrive by rail on Friday along with the ECHL trophy, the Kelley Cup.  The team will spend the day touring the town, and will hold a photo session with the cup at 5:00 pm in the Talkeetna Village Park.  The trip is a joint effort by the Alaska Aces and the Alaska Railroad Corporation.

Assembly Delays Vote on Vehicle Registration Ordinance

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The vote on a proposed ordinance that would change vehicle registration rules for many in the Mat-Su Borough was delayed at Tuesday night’s Borough Assembly meeting.  The ordinance is the result of a recently-passed state law allowing municipalities to choose whether or not to make the changes, which Borough Manager John Moosey outlined on Wednesday on KTNA’s Su-Valley Voice.

“Essentially, what the bill has said is any vehicle eight years or older has to be registered one time for the life of that vehicle.”

While that would mean a convenience for many vehicle owners in the borough, it would also mean a hit to revenue totaling about $2.4 million across all of the Mat-Su.  That money goes toward road maintenance funds and fire service areas.  John Moosey says the borough is going to take a closer look at the implications of the revenue loss. (more…)

Upper Valley Agriculture: Bare Hands Farm

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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As part of a continuing series on agriculture in the Upper Susitna Valley, KTNA’s Phillip Manning visited a relatively new farm in the Talkeetna area where young farmers are are just finishing their first full growing season.

Bare Hands farm, like much of the Upper Valley’s farm land, is a little out of the way.  After leaving the Talkeetna Spur Road and driving a few miles over gravel, then through a series of private driveways, I made it there while only getting lost once.  I was met by two of the three people who operate the farm.

KNAPP: “I’m Graham Knapp.”
SYKES: “I’m Mindy Sykes.”

The third partner in Bare Hands Farm is John Sargent, who works in Bethel, but is planning on spending more time on the farm in future seasons.  In a time when the federal government says the average age of a farmer is fifty-seven, the trio represent an infusion of youth to the agriculture industry. (more…)

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ASAP Scoping Meeting Held in Talkeetna

Monday, August 25, 2014

On Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers held a public meeting for the Alaska Stand-Alone Pipeline.  There have been significant changes in the plans for the pipeline since 2012, and, since the start of the Alaska LNG Project, it’s being used as a potential back-up plan.  K-T-N-A’s Phillip Manning was at the meeting, and has this report:

As with many projects, it’s easy to get lost in the alphabet soup of gas lines.  ASAP, AK LNG, AGDC, APP, and that doesn’t even cover the long list of agencies involved or acronyms for technical terms.  So, which gas line was Thursday’s meeting for?  ASAP is a project that has been studied for the last seven years or so.  The idea is for the state to build a gas pipeline for the primary purpose of supplying gas to Alaskans for energy and heat.  It differs from the much more expensive Alaska LNG Project in two major ways.  The LNG project is a partnership between Exxon-Mobil, BP, Conoco-Phillips, the state, and TransCanada.  ASAP would be built entirely by the State of Alaska.   (more…)

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Come and enjoy the KTNA 19th Annual Art Auction

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Art Auction Poster 2014 McKinley

Thursday, August 21, 2014

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Thursday marked the official groundbreaking for the new Talkeetna Public Library and Community Resource Center, which is scheduled to open next  year.  K-T-N-A’s Phillip Manning was there, and has this report:

Including borough and state officials, about forty people attended the “golden shovel” event at the site of the new library.  Among them were Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss, Borough Assembly Members Vern Halter and Jim Sykes, various borough staff, including Borough Manager John Moosey, Jason Smart of the Rasmuson Foundation, and State Representative Wes Keller.

Talkeetna Librarian Ann Yadon spoke at the groundbreaking, near the spot where the entrance will eventually be.  She says the groundbreaking is a culmination of a great

Librarian Ann Yadon

Librarian Ann Yadon

deal of effort:

“We can definitely say,now, ‘Yes, this is really going to happen…’  Our library has moved many times in its forty-one year history, but, every time we’ve moved, its character and its personality have remained intact.”

Ann Yadon thanked the Rasmuson Foundation, the Friends of the Talkeetna Library, and the state legislature for funding, and singled out one man who she says was vital to the effort:

“Most especially, and I cannot stress this enough, thank you to Vern Halter, our [Mat-Su Borough] Assembly-person.  We would not be here without you today, Vern…”

Vern Halter took to the microphone next.  He praised the efforts of the community in pushing for funding, and recognized a number of borough staff who are part of the process.  He ended by joking that the 7,000-plus square foot

Borough Assembly Member Vern Halter

Borough Assembly Member Vern Halter

building will mean the loss of one Talkeetna experience for him:

“You know, I will miss going to community council meetings in the old library.  You’re kind of stuffed in there, [and] the community council is about three feet in front of you.  I’ll miss that part of life, but this is a great way to start…”

State Representative Wes Keller was the final speaker.  He says that credit in the legislature should go to Representative Neuman and Senator Huggins, who began the effort to fund the project when they represented the Talkeetna area.  Like the speakers before him, Keller had high praise for the residents of the area:

“State government works when communities are alive and engaged, and Talkeetna is one of the prime examples.  I’m sure that–that’s why it’s an honor to be here.  It’s an honor to be here to mark this day, because there are going to be a lot of things that happen in this library that will help define Talkeetna, help make us proud, both at the community level and the state.”

The ceremony concluded with photos of dirt being tossed with golden shovels.  All the while, the crew from E&E construction worked around the foundation of the building.  The new library is currently scheduled open in the first half of next year.

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Upper Valley Largely Follows State Trends on Primary Votes

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Most of the votes have been counted in what is being called the most expensive primary election in Alaska state history.  Two high-profile campaigns resulted in millions of dollars being spent on the August 19th vote.

The Republican Party is looking to take control of the U.S. Senate, and Democrat incumbent Mark Begich is in their sights.  With many absentee and questioned ballots still to be counted, it appears that Dan Sullivan, former state Attorney General and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner, has won the nomination.  Sullivan ended up with 40% of the vote.  Fairbanks attorney and Tea Party favorite Joe Miller came in second with just under 32% of the votes, and Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell finished third, with just under 25% of the vote.  Sullivan has claimed victory, and Miller and Treadwell have both released statements congratulating him.

The other major statewide vote was on Ballot Measure 1, which aimed to repeal the recently passed oil tax regime, known as the More Alaska Production Act, or MAPA.  As of Wednesday afternoon, the repeal effort trailed by 6,796 votes.  Opponents of Measure 1 are claiming victory. (more…)

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