KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

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KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

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Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song


Posts from the 'Local News' category

Rep. Keller pre-files bill on “Constitutional Literacy”

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Alaska State Legislature has released the first set of pre-filed bills for the 2015 session, which begins next week.  Among them is one sponsored by Representative Wes Keller, whose district includes the Upper Valley.  Keller’s bill is called the “American Constitutional Literacy History Act.”  If passed, it would require all high school students to go through a curriculum based some of the founding documents of the United States, including Declaration of Independence, early state constitutions, the Federalist Papers, and the U.S. Constitution.

In the bill, Keller cites the report from the Citizen’s Advisory Task Force on Civics Education Policy, which he says “made a strong case for improving civics education.”  This is the second time Representative Keller has put forward a bill to require additional coursework on early American documents.  The previous attempt in 2011 did not reach the floor for a vote.  Keller will be the chairman of the House Education Committee when the legislative session begins in Juneau next week.  The second set of pre-filed bills will be released on Friday.

The Talkeetna Free Box is not open, yet.

Monday, January 12, 2015

For months, many Talkeetna residents have waited for the re-opening of the Free Box Community Store.  Recently, rumors have circulated that the store is indeed open once again.  Luann Tysdale says that is not true, however.  She says that she has allowed people to take clothes away while she is cleaning on weekends, but that more needs to be worked out, including potentially a new name, before the store re-opens.

Luann Tysdale says that the re-opening date is still up in the air, and that things will be a little different than when the Free Box shut down last summer.  She says that the new incarnation of the free box will only deal with clothing and bedding, and Luann Tysdale says she hopes a recycling program can be implemented as well.

For now, no donations are being accepted, and there is not a date for the re-opening of what was once the Free Box Community Store.

Lonnie Dupre becomes first ever January Denali soloist

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lonnie Dupre on a previous winter attempt of Denali.

History has been made on North America’s highest peak. On Sunday, Lonnie Dupre  became the first solo climber to summit Denali in the month of January.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:

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The news of Lonnie Dupre’s summit came early on Sunday afternoon. His support team received a message from Dupre’s GPS locator that he had made it to the top of North America’s highest peak.

This attempt to be the first successful January soloist on Denali is Dupre’s fourth.  His previous tries were thwarted by bad weather high on the mountain.  Last Thursday, Lonnie Dupre shared via satellite phone his thoughts on being held back by poor conditions.

“There’s nothing worse than having to stay put, especially when you have eighteen hours of darkness every evening.  It makes for very long nights.  And, of course, just  always having the weather pull the rug out from under you when you were psyched up to go somewhere or do some climbing.” (more…)

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Rams basketball takes on Tok Wolverines

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Su-Valley basketball teams are back in town after a trip to Tok over the weekend.  All of the teams opened their conference season with two games against the Tok Wolverines.  The girls varsity team lost two very tight match-ups.  The final scores in those games were 41-40 and 30-28. The boys varsity team posted two dominating victories, defeating Tok 59-13 on Friday and 68-22 on Saturday.

Both the boys and girls junior-varsity teams earned two victories each.

The boys varsity team will face off against Tri-Valley at home on Tuesday.

Writer’s Voice – Winter Bird Count

Monday, January 12, 2015

Writer’s Voice-Jan.11,2015

by Robin Song

The activity at my feeders began well before the sun broke over the treeline in the south the morning of January third- the annual Christmas Winter Bird Count Day in our area. As usual, I made sure the feeders were full and ready, for the birds had survived another long, cold winter night and were in need of fuel right away. singing ChickadeeThe Black-capped Chickadees could lose 10% of their body weight overnight just shivering to keep warm. They don’t have a crop to store food, like Redpolls and other birds do, so they have to burn body fat to keep warm. During cold snaps I bring in the suet and peanut butter feeders overnight and put them back out when the first birds arrive, so they can get at the food easily and so not have to burn precious calories prying at frozen food. male Redpoll

The three Nuthatches chattered as they worked at the suet nets. The male and female Hairy Woodpeckers preferred the suet cage out at the big feeder swinging from a wooden hanger at the edge of the forest, even though that suet was frozen. With their big, sturdy beaks, frozen suet presented no problems for them. The much smaller pair of Downy Woodpeckers came in to the thawed suet at the porch, however.

Ruffed Grouse runs across Mastodon


The flock of Pine Grosbeaks came to the two big platform feeders attached to the porch railings and their soft melodic calls added a sweet melody to the mixed gathering of birds. As the golden sun topped the trees, I stood out in the snow in front of the cabin, listening. I heard Redpolls high up in the tall spruce, then heard something else. I listened closely, and recognized the songs of White-winged Crossbills. I smiled. 2014 had been “the Year of the Crossbills”, it seemed. I had seen more of this species on many of my hikes over the summer and fall than in any previous years. Usually I only saw crossbills at the ranch in wintertime, but a small flock had stayed throughout the summer and fall. As I spotted the six birds atop the tall spruce next to the ranch’s drive, I was delighted to add them to my birding list.Boreal Chk eats snow


The crown of my Bird Count was the trio of Dark-eyed Juncos who decided to winter-over. One male had wintered here last year, and now there were two males and a female. I wondered if one male was the one from last winter and had ‘told’ his buddies that if they’d stay, instead of migrating, they’d get fed here all winter. Well, you just never know! Of course I buy special seed mix for them and put it out everyday, to make sure they’re getting enough to eat. I want my rare visitors to be taken care of. I sprinkled the seed on the snow just off the porch as the juncos sat in the trees watching me.


Sen. Mike Dunleavy discusses upcoming legislative session

Friday, January 9, 2015

The 2015 session of the Alaska legislature starts in less than two weeks.  Around the state, elected officials are getting ready to head to Juneau.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning spoke with State Senator Mike Dunleavy (dun-LAY-vee) about his plans once the session is underway.

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Given the current price of oil and the deficit facing the State of Alaska, Senator Mike Dunleavy’s priorities are not too surprising.

“Somebody asked me the other day, ‘What are your top three priorities?’  I said, ‘The budget, the budget, and the budget.'”

At current projections, the state could be facing a deficit in excess of $3 billion.  Governor Bill Walker took office last month, and has already put a hold on a number of capital projects.  Senator Dunleavy says that is just the beginning.

“There have been some capital projects that have been earmarked for possible elimination.  I think there’s going to be a reception by most folks on reducing our capital budget significantly, at least for this year.  That’s the easy lift.” (more…)

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Talkeetna Historical Society to host ‘timeline party’ in preparation for centennial

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

With the help of grant money from the State of Alaska, the Talkeetna Historical Society is in the process of planning Talkeetna’s centennial celebration in 2016.  On Wednesday, KTNA’s Phillip Manning spoke with representatives of the Historical Society about those plans:

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A community’s centennial celebration is a major event no matter where you are.  With Talkeetna’s centennial approaching, I sat down with Sue Deyoe, Site Manager for the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum and Historical Society board member Laura Wright to talk about what is being planned.  One of my first questions was why 1916 was chosen.  Talkeetna is not incorporated, so doesn’t really have an official founding date.  Sue Deyoe says that 1916 was a very significant year for what would become Talkeetna as we know it today.

“By 1916 there was a lot of activity in town.  There was a sawmill, a trading post, a general store, and an Imperial Cigar store…There was a lot of activity, and people had actually built their houses.” (more…)

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Human Remains Found in ‘Talkeetna Area’ Cabin Fire

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Alaska State Troopers report that a cabin fire in the Talkeetna area killed one person.  According to the troopers, the initial call was received just before midnight on Saturday night.   When troopers arrived from the Talkeetna post, the cabin had burned to the ground.  The next day, they returned with a Deputy Fire Marshal to search in the daylight.  Human remains were found during that search.  No positive identification has been made of the remains, and the investigation is ongoing.  Troopers say foul play is not suspected at this time.

Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters says that, since there is currently no positive ID, no further details, including the location of the fire, are being released.  Talkeetna Fire Department Chief Ken Farina says that he had not been notified of a structure fire in the Talkeetna area on Saturday.


This is a developing story.  We will provide more information as it becomes available.

Lonnie Dupre Continues His Attempt at Denali History

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Climber Lonnie Dupre is continuing his attempt to be the first person to climb Denali solo in the month of January.  He has given regular updates via sat phone, and his Facebook page is tracking his progress.  As of Tuesday morning, Dupre was camped at 14,200 feet and planning to haul his gear to 15,000 feet.  From there, he will establish caches and continue to acclimate as he waits for a weather window to attempt the summit.  In his last sat-phone update, recorded on Monday, Dupre says he is feeling fit after a day of rest.

You can follow Lonnie Dupre’s progress on his Facebook page.

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