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Posts from the 'Local News' category

Trio of earthquakes felt in the Susitna Valley

Thursday, September 21, 2017
The locations of Thursday's earthquakes, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. Photo via screengrab

The locations of Thursday’s earthquakes, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. Photo via screengrab

On Thursday, three earthquakes were felt in the Northern Susitna Valley.

The Alaska Earthquake Center reports the first earthquake occurred shortly before 10:30 Thursday morning. It was centered eight miles northwest of Skwenta at a depth of fifty-one miles. The magnitude is estimated at 3.6.

The second earthquake was sixteen miles west of Talkeetna at a depth of seven miles and with a magnitude of 3.0 shortly after 11:00 am.

At 2:15, the third earthquake occurred forty-two miles south of Cantwell. It’s magnitude was measured at 4.2 at a depth of twelve miles.

No damage has been reported as a result of Thursday’s earthquakes.

Talkeetna sales tax proposal raises questions

Monday, September 18, 2017


Map of the area (in yellow) of the Talkeetna Sewer and Water District.  Photo courtesy of the Mat-Su Borough

Map of the area (in yellow) of the Talkeetna Sewer and Water District. Photo courtesy of the Mat-Su Borough

On October 3rd, Talkeetnans registered to vote inside the Talkeetna Sewer and Water District will decide whether or not to institute a three-percent, year-round sales tax to fund the system.

The system has run at a deficit for years, though the amount of annual deficit growth has slowed in the wake of successive rate hikes. Rates have gone up by twenty-five percent in each of the last two years. According to the Mat-Su Borough’s most recent budget, the current deficit of the system is just over half-a-million dollars for the current fiscal year. (more…)

Talkeetna Freestyle Martial Arts athletes prepare for weekend tournament

Friday, September 15, 2017
(L to R) Pete Keenan, Aiden Jolley, and Cooper Stec.  Photo courtesy of Talkeetna Freestyle Martial Arts

(L to R) Pete Keenan, Aiden Jolley, and Cooper Stec. Photo courtesy of Talkeetna Freestyle Martial Arts

by:  Katie Writer – KTNA

Susitna Valley High School and Talkeetna Freestyle Martial Arts are hosting the Denali Submission Grappling Championships on Saturday, September 16th, 2017 from 10 am- 2 pm.

The competitors ages range from 5-30 years old will be coming from Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Palmer. KTNA’s Katie Writer spoke with Pete Keenan, who founded Talkeetna Freestyle Martial Arts over 10 years ago.

Cooper Stec and Aiden Jolly, who just turned 18 years old,  will also be competing at the Alaska Fighting Championships to be held Wednesday night

at the Alaska Airlines Center at the University of Alaska Campus.

You can go to Talkeetna Freestyle Martial Arts Facebook Page for more information.

State fire marshal says Butte fire that killed five children was “cooking related”

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Alaska Fire Marshal’s Office has determined the fire that claimed the lives of five girls in the Butte last week was accidental and “cooking-related.”

The State Medical Examiner’s Office has also positively identified the deceased as 3-year-old JaelynnvFlores, 6-year-old Sofia Flores, 7-year-old Lillyanna Flores, 8-year-old Nevaeh Flores, and 12-year-old Alexis Quackenbush.

Fire Marshal Dave Tyler told reporters on Thursday that all five girls died of smoke inhalation after their mobile home caught fire early last Thursday morning. (more…)

Borough mistakenly tells potential sales tax voters they aren’t eligible

Thursday, September 14, 2017
The notice for Talkeetna residents outside of the sewer and water district that was mistakenly sent to people residing in the district.  Photo: KTNA

The notice for Talkeetna residents outside of the sewer and water district that was mistakenly sent to people residing in the district. Photo: KTNA

The Mat-Su Borough says it inadvertently told potential Talkeetna voters for the October 3rd election that they are not eligible to vote on a local ballot issue.

In the Northern Valley, the only item on this year’s borough ballot is a three-percent sales tax to fund Talkeetna’s sewer and water system. The tax would apply only to businesses within the service area, and only people residing in the area are eligible to vote. (more…)

Tuesday night earthquake felt throughout Northern Valley

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Late Tuesday night, a magnitude 4.2 earthquake was felt throughout the Susitna Valley.

According to the Alaska Earthquake Center, the tremor occurred at 11:22 pm at a depth of forty-five miles. The earthquake was centered thirty-nine miles north of Talkeetna and forty-seven miles southwest of Cantwell.


No damage was reported as a result of the earthquake.

Dunleavy suspends campaign for governor

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

State Senator Mike Dunleavy announced on Tuesday that he is suspending his campaign to run for governor in next year’s election.


Dunleavy cites a recent medical procedure as the reason to put the campaign on hold. He says the condition is not life-threatening, but that pausing his bid for the governor’s mansion will allow him to focus on better health outcomes. It’s possible he could resume the campaign at a later date. Dunleavy was the first well-known Republican to file to run for governor in the next election.


Currently, Dunleavy’s senate district includes the Susitna Valley. His seat is also up for election next November.

Su Valley takes second at soccer tourney

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Su-Valley coed soccer team took second place at the Tri-Valley tournament over the weekend.


The Rams won their game against Holy Rosary 1-0, and against Cook Inlet Academy 2-0. Their sole loss in prelims came against Delta with a final score of 1-2.


Su-Valley and Delta faced off again in the finals. At the end of regulation, both teams were tied at two goals apiece. Delta took first place in the following shootout.


Top scorers for the Rams at the tournament were Dalton Pinard with two and Blake Drover with four. Drover has now scored fifteen goals on the season.

Five children dead in Butte trailer home fire

Friday, September 8, 2017

by Casey Grove – Alaska Public Media

Five children died in a fire that gutted a trailer home in Butte this morning off the Old Glenn Highway near Palmer, according to Alaska State Troopers

But troopers couldn’t — or wouldn’t — say what caused the blaze or who was responsible for the five girls who died. The girls ranged in age from three to 12.

Somber fire investigators combed through debris inside the blackened trailer off Wickham Drive on Thursday.

A neighbor had called 911 to report the fire a little before 7 a.m. Thursday. Another neighbor, who did not want to be recorded in an interview, would only say the five girls who died were “good kids,” as he stared at the charred home past the yellow fire line tape.

Firefighters from nearby Butte Fire Department, as well as Palmer Fire and Rescue, responded.

Troopers and the state fire marshal are still investigating what sparked the fire and whether there were any other factors that may have contributed to the girls’ deaths. The investigators have not released the victims’ names, nor have they said whether they were members of the same family or whether an adult was present or involved in any way.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said early indications are that the girls died in the fire. But she says there won’t be a final determination on what caused their death until troopers have had time to investigate.

“It is a tragedy no matter how you look at it,” Peters said. “We don’t know at this point if there were other factors involved in their death, but that’s something we’re going to look into.”

Peters said that will take time.

“Whenever you have a fire, things are always very complicated, I mean, things get burned up, things get scattered,” Peters said. “There are people who fight the fire, that’s what they do, so there’s water. It’s a really long drawn out process.”

As Peters spoke, state medical examiners were removing the girls’ remains from the trailer, putting them in body bags and preparing to drive them to Anchorage. She said that’s where they’ll undergo autopsies.

Investigators have been in touch with family members and are conducting interviews. But Peters said it is too soon to identify the girls publicly until troopers are completely sure of their identities.

Peters said that, to her knowledge, nobody from the home was treated for injuries and that she could not comment on whether anyone besides the girls was present at the time of the fire.