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Posts from the 'Local News' category

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.

KTVA Reporter Quits On-Air, Announces She Owns Cannabis Club

Monday, September 22, 2014

by:  Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

A KTVA reporter announced that she is the president of Alaska Cannabis Club and quit her job during a live broadcast Sunday night. Reporter Charlo Green, whose real name is Charlene Egbe, has been reporting on the legalization ballot initiative since April.

KTVA’s news director posted an apology for Green’s outburst and use of an expletive on Facebook and Twitter but could not be reached for comment.

Green posted a video on YouTube explaining why she quit so publicly.

“Advocating for freedom and fairness should be everyone’s duty, I’m making
it my life work. To uphold what America stands for truly: life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness. Ideals that now need to be defended.”

A YouTube video of the TV clip has gone viral, and Green’s IndieGogo campaign to raise $5,000 for voter education on the marijuana legalization ballot initiative is more than half way toward its goal.

The Alaska Cannabis Club’s website says its role is to connect medical marijuana card holders who have pot with those who need it.

FDA Considers Backing Off New Spent Grain Regs

Monday, September 22, 2014

A new change in a proposed FDA regulation could mean good news for farmers in the Upper Valley.  The regulation in question regards controls for animal feed.  The original proposal would have made it more costly for brewers to sell or donate spent grain to farmers across the country.  A press release from Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office on Monday says that the FDA is now considering exempting brewers, and other businesses that are already licensed to produce food for humans, from the new animal feed rules.  Senator Murkowski as well as Senator Wyden from Oregon both signed a letter urging the FDA to make the changes.

Locally, that means that Denali Brewing Company could continue its program of donating spent grains to local farmers.  Denali Brewing General Manager Sassan Mossanen says that the company currently donates all of its spent grain to six local farms.  He estimates the total weight of the donated grain at over 400,000 pounds per year.  The revised regulation is open to public comment for seventy-five days, beginning on September 29th.

2014 PFD will be $1,884

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Parnell PFD

On Wednesday morning, Governor Sean Parnell announced the amount of this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend.  Around 2,000 people watched the internet stream of the announcement.  Anticipation was for a significant increase in the amount of the dividend, since this year excludes 2008 from the five-year rolling average. After a few minutes of good-natured teasing with the media gathered for the announcement, Governor Parnell said that this year’s dividend will be $1,884.

After the cheers died down, Department of Revenue Commissioner Angela Rodell said that she believes the amount represents the third highest payout from the Permanent Fund, which is now valued at over $50 billion dollars.

Payment of this year’s PFD will begin on October 2nd.

Senator Begich Discusses Tight Race

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Complete Interview:

The race for one of Alaska’s Senate seats is one of the most closely watched in the country.  The Republican Party believes that it can take control of the senate by defeating Democratic incumbents in traditionally red states.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning recently spoke with the race’s incumbent, Senator Mark Begich, and has this report:

The race to be an Alaskan Senator for the next six years is tight.  Most forecasts call it a toss-up, with some giving a slight edge to Senator Mark Begich’s Republican opponent, former Alaska Attorney General and DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan. (more…)

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