KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by Dora Miller

KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by James Trump

Winter Black-capped Chickadee

winter chickadee

Photo by Robin Song

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song


Posts from the 'Local News' category

Denali Base Camp Coordinator Wins NPS Award, Will Head Further Up the Mountain This Year

Thursday, March 24, 2016


by: Katie Writer – KTNA

Last week, the Walter Harper Denali Ranger Station awarded Lisa Roderick as the 2015 Mislow-Swanson Denali Pro Award recipient. As base camp manager on the Kahiltna Glacier, Lisa has served as a liaison between air taxi’s, Denali Park Rangers and climbers for 15 years.

This May, she will join the Denali Ranger Patrol up to 14,000 foot camp and beyond to see just what it is that puts that sparkle in the climber’s eyes.

KTNA’s Katie Writer spoke with Lisa in the studio on Wednesday.


2016 Oosik Classic Results

Monday, March 21, 2016

On Saturday, over 500 skiers participated in the 2016 Oosik Classic Ski Race. As usual, skiers ranged from members of competitive collegiate teams to casual racers in costumes.

Sixty-one skiers competed in the longer thirty-nine kilometer race. Among the men, third place went to Nicholas Lovett with a time of one hour, fifty-seven minutes, forty-eight seconds. Jan Cech took second place with a time of one hour, fifty-seven minutes, one second. Michael Fehrenbach won the race with a time of one hour, fifty-five minutes, thirty-eight seconds. The top three women were Martina Himma at two hours, twenty-nine minutes, twelve seconds, Hanna Slotte with a time of two hours, twenty-two minutes, and first-place finisher Shalane Frost with a time of two hours, twenty minutes, thirteen seconds.

The vast majority of this year’s participants skied the shorter twenty-five kilometer race. The top three men’s finishes were Gary Snyder in third, Andrew Hull in second, and Gus Schumacher in first with a time of one hour, nineteen minutes, nineteen seconds. The top three women were Sadie Fox in third, Krista Heeringa in second, and Christina Turman in first with a time of one hour, thirty minutes, twenty-three seconds.

Troopers seek help in finding Willow man

Monday, March 21, 2016

Henry Hodge (r). Photo Courtesy: Alaska State Troopers

Update:  Troopers say that Henry Hodge has been found safe.  The Silver Alert has been canceled.

The Alaska State Troopers have released a Silver Alert for a missing Willow man.

Troopers are seeking information on the whereabouts of 76-year-old Henry Hodge. Hodge is five feet, ten inches tall, and weighs one-hundred-ninety pounds with gray hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing black Levi jeans, a red plaid shirt, black vest, and tan jacket. Hodge was driving a white Dodge Ram four door with license plate FUW497. The truck also has a red Honda generator in the bed. He was last seen on Erika Drive in Willow.

Troopers ask that anyone with information call 907-451-5100 or 9-1-1.

Silver Alerts are issued when vulnerable adults go missing and are believed to potentially be in danger.

Nulato man faces 12 charges in alleged snowmachine attack on Iditarod front-runners

Monday, March 14, 2016

Troopers have filed a dozen charges against a Nulato man after he admitted to what two Iditarod mushers describe as attacks on their teams.


On Saturday morning, musher Aliy Zirkle reported that a snowmachine hit her sled while she was between checkpoints. Zirkle told race officials that the rider made multiple passes at her and her team before reaching Nulato. Zirkle was uninjured, and one of her dogs was bruised.

Four-time Iditarod Champion Jeff King was less fortunate. He was hit from behind by what is believed to be the same snowmachine. One of his dogs was killed in the incident, and five more were injured.

Just before noon on Saturday, troopers arrested 26-year-old Arnold Demoski of Nulato for the incident. Demoski is charged with two counts of Assault in the third degree, one count of Reckless Endangerment, one count Reckless Driving and six counts of criminal Mischief in the fifth degree.

In an interview given to KTUU television in Anchorage prior to his arrest, Demoski said he was intoxicated during the incident, and did not mean to cause harm. He added that King was one of his favorite mushers growing up.


Both Aliy Zirkle and Jeff King continued their runs to Nome. King fell from the top five positions to outside of the top 10. As of Sunday night, Zirkle had fallen from second to fourth position.

Susitna Writer’s Voice–StarDate Susitna, by Kathleen Fleming

Monday, March 7, 2016

Kathleen for StarDate

In addition to info about what you can see in the night sky,

Kathleen talks about solar eclipses,

including the one happening this coming Tuesday, March 8th, in the afternoon.

Alaskans with the right equipment will get to see a partial eclipse, just a nibble.

Mushers share their thoughts before 2016 Iditarod

Monday, March 7, 2016


This past weekend saw the start of the 44th Iditarod Sled Dog Race. KTNA was in Anchorage for the ceremonial start and Willow. We’ll be bringing you their stories this week. In this first installment, KTNA’s Katie Writer speaks with people involved in the Iditarod at the ceremonial start.


Oosik trail-meister talks conditions

Thursday, March 3, 2016
Wade Hopkins, Trail-Meister for the Oosik Classic Ski Race. Photo: Katie Writer - KTNA

Wade Hopkins, Trail-Meister for the Oosik Classic Ski Race. Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

by:  Katie Writer – KTNA

While out enjoying a snow machine ride, KTNA’s Katie Writer ran into

Trail-Meister Wade Hopkins while he was grooming the track for the upcoming Oosik Classic Ski Race. Here’s Wade’s report on current trail conditions.

More details on the Oosik Classic are available at www.denalinordicskiclub.org.

Borough Assembly pushes marijuana buffer zone vote to March 15th

Thursday, March 3, 2016

At Tuesday night’s Mat-Su Borough Assembly meeting, nearly twenty people addressed the assembly regarding rules for commercial marijuana businesses in the borough. Ultimately, the assembly chose to push a decision on the current ordinance until the March 15th meeting.

The ordinance before the assembly will set up the rules for conditional use permits for potential marijuana businesses. They include requirements for licensing and setbacks from protected areas like schools and churches. Most of those buffer zones are covered by the regulations established by the State of Alaska. One particular proposed buffer would potentially zone out all of Downtown Talkeetna from commercial cannabis.

That restriction includes a 500 foot buffer around public parks.   Parks are not included in the state regulations. The borough planning commission advised that the assembly not include the additional buffer requirement.

Most borough residents who spoke at the meeting were generally supportive of the efforts by the boroughs Marijuana Advisory Committee. Some, including former Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss advocated that a decision be delayed until after the October borough election. DeVilbiss is a supporter of a ballot question that would completely outlaw commercial marijuana in the unincorporated areas of the borough.


The ordinance is set for its next hearing on March 15th.

In Republican caucus, Cruz wins state, Trump wins Susitna Valley

Thursday, March 3, 2016

If Susitna Valley Republicans chose for the whole country, Donald J. Trump would be the nominee for President of the United States.

Republicans around the state voted in presidential preference polls as part of Super Tuesday. Only voters registered as Republicans on Tuesday were eligible to vote.

Statewide, Ted Cruz won the state, with 36.4% of the vote. Trump came in second with 33.5%. Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, and John Kasich came in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

In House District 10, which includes the Upper Valley and runs as far south as Wasilla, Trump Received 43.6% of the vote, and Cruz received 34.4%.

Statewide, Alaskan Republican and Democratic primary voters have aligned with the eventual nominee since 2000. The Democratic caucus is on March 26th. As with the Republicans, only registered Democrats are allowed to vote in the caucus.