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Posts from the 'Local News' category

Kodiak Fisheries Debate

Thursday, October 2, 2014

On Wednesday, Congressman Don Young debated Democratic challenger Forrest Dunbar, and Senator Mark Begich squared off against Republican challenger Dan Sullivan in Kodiak over Alaska’s Fisheries.  KMXT has the full audio available online.

DHSS Wouldn’t Be Surprised if Enterovirus D68 Shows up in Alaska

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It’s the time of year when cold and flu viruses start picking up.  On Tuesday, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services sent out a list of tips for preventing the spread of the illnesses.  Also mentioned was Enterovirus D68, which has caused illness in children across the Lower 48.  EVD68 often represents with symptoms such as runny nose, fever, sneezing, coughing, and body aches.  More severe cases can cause difficulty breathing.

There were no confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68 in Alaska as of Tuesday, but Dr. Michael Cooper of the Department of Health and Social Services says “it would not be surprising if the virus is detected in Alaska soon.”

Tips for cold and flu season can be found online at dhss.alaska.gov.

Barbara Washburn Passes Away Weeks Before Her 100th Birthday

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On September 25th, the Boston Globe reported that Barbara Washburn had passed away at the age of ninety-nine.  Barbara Washburn was the first woman to summit Denali, and was the wife of Bradford Washburn, who pioneered the West Buttress Route, now used by the vast majority of Denali climbers.

Barbara Washburn would have turned 100 on November 10th.  KTNA listeners who knew the Washburns are encouraged to contact the news department at news [at] ktna [dot] org.

National Marine Fisheries Service Issues Letter on Susitna-Watana Fish Studies

Monday, September 29, 2014

Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service wrote a letter to the Alaska Energy Authority that criticized methods used in studies for the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project.  The Fisheries Service listed fourteen concerns regarding studies of fish in the Susitna River drainage, ranging from issues with sampling sites to the potential misidentification of juvenile salmon.  The letter states that the issues will have significant impact on AEA’s ability to accurately model salmon behavior in the river, and that they “must be resolved prior to conducting additional field studies.”

Julie Speegle, spokeswoman for NMFS, says she believes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also filed a letter, though did not do so electronically.  Emily Ford, spokeswoman for the Alaska Energy Authority, says AEA anticipates working with all of the involved agencies at the upcoming round of meetings on Susitna-Watana.  She adds that AEA does not have a comment regarding the letter from the Fisheries Service.

The next meetings to discuss the studies for the Susitna-Watana Hydro Project will begin on October 15th.

Preliminary Permit Filed for Talkeetna River Dam

Friday, September 26, 2014

As the next round of public meetings on the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project draw closer, the initial paperwork for another hydro project has been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has read the proposal, and has this report:

So far, the State of Alaska has spent nearly $200 million in studies for a large hydroelectric project on the Susitna River.  Now, a private company is starting the process of looking into a smaller project on the Talkeetna River.  The company is Northwest Power Service, Incorporated.  Brent Smith is heading up the Alaska operation, and says that this is the first time that NPSI is proposing building a dam, though it has considerable experience in hydropower.

“Most all of the projects that Northwest Power Service has been involved with in the past is to retrofit existing, federally owned dams in the Lower 48, where we go in and there’s already an existing dam that does not have power generation on it.  So, what we do is go through a licensing process to retrofit that dam and put power on it.”

The dam that NPSI is proposing would generate 75 megawatts of power, far less than that proposed by Susitna-Watana.  It would also have a much smaller footprint than the Susitna project, with a height of 370 feet. (more…)

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Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake Shakes the Upper Valley

Thursday, September 25, 2014

On Thursday morning, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake centered sixty miles from Talkeetna was felt from Anchorage to Fairbanks.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning talked with some of the people who felt the quake, and has this report.

In the Talkeetna area, damage from Thursday morning’s earthquake was fairly minor.  Some residents and businesses reported that items had fallen off of shelves and broken, but no serious structural damage was reported as of Thursday afternoon.  That includes Skwenta, which was much closer to the magnitude 6.2 earthquake than Talkeetna.  Natalia Ruppert, Chief Seismologist for the Alaska Earthquake Center, says the reason that the earthquake did not cause much damage is because it occurred deep in Earth’s crust.

“It was almost sixty miles deep, so that made the difference…The energy dissipated a bit before it reached the surface.” (more…)

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State Rep. Wes Keller Discusses State Issues and 2014 Campaign

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Alaska’s general election is a little more than a month away, and  KTNA has invited all of the local candidates for state legislature to speak to Upper Valley residents.  This week, State Representative Wes Keller appeared on Su-Valley Voice with host Phillip Manning to discuss his campaign to continue representing District 10.

Wes Keller says he has lived in Alaska since 1964.  His time in the legislature began in 2007 when he was appointed to fill a vacancy.  Since then, he has won three elections to retain his seat.  Now, he is running once again.  As with all the State House candidates, I spoke with Representative Keller about the issues facing the state, as well as those that will appear on the ballot on November 4th.  Keller says that, if re-elected, he would strive for:

“…a sustainable, responsible government.  I’m a conservative, so I’m always looking for areas where government is doing things that can and should be done…at the local levels or in the family…I’m generally a smaller government guy.” (more…)

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New Sullivan Campaign Ad Features Murkowski Endorsement

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

by:  Liz Ruskin, APRN

U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan has a new campaign ad featuring the
person he hopes to call a colleague: Sen. Lisa Murkowski. As APRN’s Liz
Ruskin reports, this ad may rise above the noise of the busy campaign

On the one hand, the 30-second spot is just a classic endorsement, with
Murkowski indoors, looking straight at the camera

“I need a partner in the senate who will work to advance Alaska’s interest,
not the Obama agenda.”

Anchorage pollster Marc Hellenthal says endorsements usually don’t move
voters, but this one is different because s Lisa Murkowski is the most
popular person in Alaska. (more…)

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Sunshine Clinic to Expand Services

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Earlier this month, KTNA reported that the Sunshine Community Health Center received nearly $200,000 in additional funds from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.  The funds were part of a nationwide grant process to allow clinics throughout the country to provide additional care after the implantation of the Affordable Care Act.

Sunshine had applied for the extra money, and has a plan on how to spend it, according to Medical Director Shelis Jorgensen.  Jorgensen says that the funds will allow the expansion of three services at SCHC facilities.  First, both the Talkeetna and Willow clinics will be open to see patients on Saturdays year-round.  Currently, the only Saturday service is at the Talkeetna clinic in the summer.  Additionally, dental hygiene services are planned to expand to the Willow clinic.  Finally, Sunshine will resume optometry services through an outside provider.

These service expansions are in addition to the recent opening of physical therapy treatment at the Talkeetna location, provided by Health Quest Therapy.

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