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Posts from the 'Local News' category

Tour Bus Rollover on the Parks Highway Results in One Fatality

Friday, September 5, 2014

A tour bus rollover near Mile 173 of the Parks Highway has resulted in at least one fatality.  Alaska State Troopers say the report of the rollover came in just after 8:00 am on Friday.  The bus belongs to Princess Tours, and trooper spokeswoman Megan peters says that three people were on board, including the driver.  EMS and troopers responded to the scene from Cantwell, Trapper Creek, and Talkeetna.  Troopers say that the driver initially reported that both passengers had suffered “significant injuries.”  Just before 9:30, one of the passengers was declared deceased.  The Parks Highway remains open as troopers investigate the cause of the crash.  The identities of those on board the bus have not been released.

Permanent Vehicle Registration Vote Delayed Again

Thursday, September 4, 2014

On Tuesday, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly voted once again to delay the vote on an ordinance that would allow permanent registration of vehicles that are more than eight years old.  While that would mean a significant convenience for many in the borough, there were concerns about what would happen to funding for roads in the borough.

Assembly Member Jim Colver is sponsoring the proposed ordinance. On Tuesday, he introduced an amendment that is targeted at mitigating the lost revenue for roads.  Under the original proposal, funding for local RSAs would have dropped by about two-thirds.  Under the amendment, that funding would fall back to 2013 levels, a decrease of just over one quarter.

The overall cost to the borough would remain the same under both versions of the ordinance, around $2.4 million per year.   With the amendment, the bulk of that would not come from road funds, but from the portion of vehicle registration fees that are paid into the borough’s areawide and non-areawide general funds.  Areawide dust control matching funds, which are $710,000 for the current fiscal year, would be capped at $500,000 per year, and a reserve would be built to continue matching funds into the future.  That reserve is estimated to be approximately $1.4 million by 2018.

Any change to taxes and revenue for the borough comes with a number of complications.  As a result, the Borough Assembly voted unanimously to delay the vote on the ordinance and amendment to November.

Four Rescued Near Deshka Landing

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Early Wednesday morning, a stranded fishing party was rescued by helicopter near the Deshka Landing in Willow.  According to the Alaska State Troopers, Lloyd Hester of Willow took three family members who were visiting from Texas on a fishing trip in his boat.  The group got lost, and the boat was grounded when they tried to find their way back. The troopers were contacted Tuesday evening. The group decided to camp for the night and meet with an Alaska Wildlife Trooper boat in the morning.

The weather turned for the worse, with cold and rain moving in through the night.  The family was unable to keep a fire going, and could not stay dry in the worsening conditions.  Hester, who is 76 years old, became hypothermic, and the group requested assistance.  The Rescue Coordination Center was contacted, and a HH-60 helicopter was dispatched.  The group was rescued at about 5:30 am on Wednesday and transported to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.  Hester was treated for hypothermia and released.

More Than A Win, Constitution Party Candidates Want Ballot Access

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

by: Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN

Alaskans will have one more option in the governor’s race: The Division of Elections will allow Constitution Party candidate J.R. Myers to appear on the ballot.

The Alaska Constitution Party has just over 200 members, and it was first recognized by the state in 2011. Because the organization is so new and small, it doesn’t qualify as a political party under statute. Instead, it’s lumped in with the Green Party and Veterans Party as “political group,” a sort of electoral purgatory where candidates have to collect signatures to get their names on the ballot. (more…)

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Alaska Aces, Kelley Cup to Visit Talkeetna

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Upper Valley hockey fans have something to look forward to this week. On Friday, Talkeetna will play host to the three-time East Coast Hockey League champion Alaska Aces.  According to a statement by the team, the Aces will arrive by rail on Friday along with the ECHL trophy, the Kelley Cup.  The team will spend the day touring the town, and will hold a photo session with the cup at 5:00 pm in the Talkeetna Village Park.  The trip is a joint effort by the Alaska Aces and the Alaska Railroad Corporation.

Assembly Delays Vote on Vehicle Registration Ordinance

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The vote on a proposed ordinance that would change vehicle registration rules for many in the Mat-Su Borough was delayed at Tuesday night’s Borough Assembly meeting.  The ordinance is the result of a recently-passed state law allowing municipalities to choose whether or not to make the changes, which Borough Manager John Moosey outlined on Wednesday on KTNA’s Su-Valley Voice.

“Essentially, what the bill has said is any vehicle eight years or older has to be registered one time for the life of that vehicle.”

While that would mean a convenience for many vehicle owners in the borough, it would also mean a hit to revenue totaling about $2.4 million across all of the Mat-Su.  That money goes toward road maintenance funds and fire service areas.  John Moosey says the borough is going to take a closer look at the implications of the revenue loss. (more…)

Upper Valley Agriculture: Bare Hands Farm

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

IMG_0411

As part of a continuing series on agriculture in the Upper Susitna Valley, KTNA’s Phillip Manning visited a relatively new farm in the Talkeetna area where young farmers are are just finishing their first full growing season.

Bare Hands farm, like much of the Upper Valley’s farm land, is a little out of the way.  After leaving the Talkeetna Spur Road and driving a few miles over gravel, then through a series of private driveways, I made it there while only getting lost once.  I was met by two of the three people who operate the farm.

KNAPP: “I’m Graham Knapp.”
SYKES: “I’m Mindy Sykes.”

The third partner in Bare Hands Farm is John Sargent, who works in Bethel, but is planning on spending more time on the farm in future seasons.  In a time when the federal government says the average age of a farmer is fifty-seven, the trio represent an infusion of youth to the agriculture industry. (more…)

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ASAP Scoping Meeting Held in Talkeetna

Monday, August 25, 2014

On Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers held a public meeting for the Alaska Stand-Alone Pipeline.  There have been significant changes in the plans for the pipeline since 2012, and, since the start of the Alaska LNG Project, it’s being used as a potential back-up plan.  K-T-N-A’s Phillip Manning was at the meeting, and has this report:

As with many projects, it’s easy to get lost in the alphabet soup of gas lines.  ASAP, AK LNG, AGDC, APP, and that doesn’t even cover the long list of agencies involved or acronyms for technical terms.  So, which gas line was Thursday’s meeting for?  ASAP is a project that has been studied for the last seven years or so.  The idea is for the state to build a gas pipeline for the primary purpose of supplying gas to Alaskans for energy and heat.  It differs from the much more expensive Alaska LNG Project in two major ways.  The LNG project is a partnership between Exxon-Mobil, BP, Conoco-Phillips, the state, and TransCanada.  ASAP would be built entirely by the State of Alaska.   (more…)

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Come and enjoy the KTNA 19th Annual Art Auction

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Art Auction Poster 2014 McKinley

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