KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

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KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

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Winter Black-capped Chickadee

winter chickadee

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Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

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Posts from the 'Local News' category

New cell tower plan draws objection from Trapper Creek residents

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This Friday marks the end of the written public comment period for a proposed cell tower in Trapper Creek.

All but one comment included in the official application for the tower voice opposition to the construction of the 255-foot structure near Mile 117 of the Parks Highway.

Concerns from a meeting held earlier this year include the tower’s impact on visual scenery, its potential impact on the property value of a nearby subdivision, and the belief that signals from the tower could be harmful to animals and children. Only one member of the public spoke up in favor of the new tower at the meeting in April, according to official documents.

In addition to comments from the spring meeting, a petition has been submitted with eighty-six signatures in opposition to the tower.

New Horizons Telecom, the company preparing the application for Insite Towers, says that trees surrounding the lot near the tower will help obscure its view, and that broadcast equipment will conform with federal safety requirements.

New Horizons and Insite say the tower is needed to cover gaps in cellular coverage along the Parks Highway. In response to questions regarding putting the new equipment on an existing tower, the companies say that colocation is often considered as a first option due to cost savings. In this case, the application states that the new tower would better serve wireless customers.

The application is scheduled for a public hearing on August 21st.


Sen. Dunleavy to run for governor

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Senator Mike Dunleavy has filed to run for governor in 2018.

Conservative news outlet “Must Read Alaska” first reported the filing of Dunleavy’s letter of intent to run on Monday.

Dunleavy, a Republican, is the first candidate to file who currently holds elected office. He represents Senate District E, which includes the northern areas of the Mat-Su Borough and is bounded by Delta Junction and Valdez to the northeast and southeast.

For years, speculation has existed that Dunleavy would run for a statewide seat. In 2016, some considered Dunleavy as a potential primary opponent for U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, though he never filed to run in that race.

Thus far, two other candidates have filed letters of intent to run for governor in 2018. Michael D. Sheldon of Petersburg filed in May, and Jacob Smith Kern filed to run in June. Governor Bill Walker has yet to file to retain his office in next year’s election.

KTNA is Hiring!

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Development Coordinator manages KTNA’s membership and underwriting programs and coordinates special events.  This position is 24 hours per week, year-round, with paid leave.  A full job description is available here.  Open until filled. To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and 3 references to manager [at] ktna [dot] org by August 31st. If you want to know more, contact Corinne Smith at 733-1700.

Obituary for Ann Heck

Monday, July 17, 2017


This obituary was submitted by the family:

Ann Jeanette (Hughes) Heck, 80, cherished wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, died peacefully on July 2, 2017 in Gresham, Oregon. Ann was born July 8, 1936 in Colfax, Washington, the daughter of Ethel Enid (Stephens) and Oral Kenneth Hughes. She grew up on the family wheat ranch in Thornton, Washington; graduated from Rosalia High School, where she was active in 4-H, FFA and FHA. She attended the University of Washington where she learned to sail and met JoeL Heck, her husband of 63 years. She earned her B.A. from Washington State University and her M.A. from Oregon State University.

Ann was an adventurer and moved with her husband and three small children to Alaska in 1961. In Alaska Ann was a homemaker, home builder, teacher, homesteader, dog sledder, trapper, hunter, fisherwoman, and leader of 4-H, Montana Creek Mother’s Club, Upper Susitna Seniors, and the Sunshine Seventh-Day Adventist Church. After retirement Ann and JoeL taught English in China and Turkey. After calling Alaska home for over 50 years, Ann and JoeL returned to the Thornton farm, where Ann joined the Rosalia Garden Club, the Whitman County Historical Society’s Perkins House, and the Pullman Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Ann’s love of music lasted to the end.

Ann was pre-deceased by her parents and sister, Carolyn Bostich. She is survived by her husband, daughters Wendy Coffin (Jeff) and Melani Ament (Bobby), sons Kim (Jennifer), and Timothy; 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. She will be fondly remembered by extended family and friends.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or Rosalia Garden Club.

Sunshine Clinic offers expanded outpatient-based opioid treatment program

Thursday, July 13, 2017
A portion of the flyer produced by Sunshine Community Health Center regarding the OBOT program.

A portion of the flyer produced by Sunshine Community Health Center regarding the OBOT program.

Opioid addiction is a nationwide health crisis, and Governor Bill Walker has declared opioids as a pubic health disaster in Alaska. In a state with a widespread population, treatment can be difficult to find. The Sunshine Community Health Center offers the only treatment program in the area. KTNA’s Phillip Manning spoke with the providers who put on the program.


According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Epidemiology, Anchorage and the Mat-Su saw the second highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the state last year. Statewide, the overdose rate has more than quadrupled in just over ten years.

One difficulty in combating the rise of opioid addiction nationwide is access to treatment. The Sunshine Community Health Center hosts the only opioid addiction treatment program in the area that offers Suboxone.

Cici Schoenberger, behavioral health provider at the clinic, describes how Suboxone can aid in fighting addiction.

“It cuts the cravings for the opiates, and the naloxone part of it interferes with the ability to feel the effects of the opioids. So, you basically don’t get high. If you are taking Suboxone, you might as well take your money and throw it in the toilet.” (more…)

Technical Difficulties

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

KTNA is experiencing technical difficulties.  Thank you for your patience as we get this fixed.

Effects of distant wildfires seen in Northern Valley

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


This image shows the extent of the smoke spreading Tuesday evening from fires burning in the northeastern Interior, Yukon and Northwest territories. Image courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

This image shows the extent of the smoke spreading Tuesday evening from fires burning in the northeastern Interior, Yukon and Northwest territories. Image courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Anyone looking to the north in recent days, especially near sunset, has likely seen the impact of large wildfires burning far into the Interior and Canada.

According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, large wildfires burning in remote areas north of Fort Yukon are spreading smoke throughout the Interior and Southcentral.

The largest fires are Boulder Creek and Campbell River. Both fires are well over 20,000 acres in size and burning northeast of Fort Yukon near the Canadian border. Both fires are in relatively sparsely populated areas. Over 100 firefighters are working the two blazes with the goal of protecting Alaska Native allotments and cabins in the area.


Local archaeologists race against erosion at Talkeetna site

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Joe and PJ Ferut of Vermilion, Ohio participated in a walk along the eroding banks of the Susitna River guided by Geoff Pfeiffer.  Photo by Katie Writer - KTNA

Joe and PJ Ferut of Vermilion, Ohio participated in a walk along the eroding banks of the Susitna River guided by Geoff Pfeiffer. Photo by Katie Writer – KTNA

The Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station has been leading Monday tours at 11:00 am to an active archeological site along the Sustina River.

KTNA’s Katie Writer joined Archeologist Jonathan Durr and Ranger Geoff Pfeiffer to learn about the discoveries of this summer’s work.

Jonathan Durr has been pleased with their findings as he and other volunteers have steadily been discovering items that give hints about the early inhabitants of the Talkeetna area.

“The highlights of what we found, I like the prohibition bottle, the elixir, and a lot of good faunal stuff, animal bones, it gives us a good idea of the diet, of what they were eating. We found one of the earliest enamel plates of Talkeetna.” (more…)

Rivers receding after weekend swell

Monday, July 10, 2017
High water near the Talkeetna railroad bridge.  Photo by Katie Writer - KTNA

High water near the Talkeetna railroad bridge. Photo by Katie Writer – KTNA

Area waterways are returning to more normal levels after swelling with the weekend’s rain.

Only one river gauge, the Talkeetna railroad bridge, went into Action stage as a result of the rising water. Action stage is one step below flooding. As of Monday, the Talkeetna River is listed at the low end of action stage, and is forecast to continue receding in coming days.

The high water on the Talkeetna River came as contractors are working to repair damage done to the dike below the railroad bridge during the 2012 flood. Jim Jenson, Operation and Maintenance Manager for the Mat-Su Borough, says the contractor doing the repair did not encounter any issues as a result of the higher water level.

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