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

Trapped in Talkeetna: Alaska’s first live escape room game

Friday, February 26, 2016
The view when you enter the puzzle room at "Trapped in Talkeetna." Photo courtesy: Trapped in Talkeetna

The view when you enter the puzzle room at “Trapped in Talkeetna.” Photo courtesy: Trapped in Talkeetna

Producer’s note:  This story is best experienced through the attached audio.

Under most circumstances, being trapped in a small room with a countdown clock would be a bit nerve-wracking, but a new business in Talkeetna aims to make it fun.  Trapped in Talkeetna is a live escape room experience, where a team of players has one hour to solve a puzzle in order to escape.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning and his team tried their hand at solving the puzzle.

Your team was recruited to be here.  You are highly trained intelligence officers and we require your services.

There is a spy ring that has been operating in Alaska for the last 6 months.  We’ve been aware of this group for some time.  In fact, before we brought you in this evening, we’d already recruited 3 other teams to go out into the field and infiltrate this spy ring. Unfortunately, all three of these teams have failed – in fact they’ve disappeared.

That is the beginning of the briefing given by Ryan and Aubrey Marsolais at Trapped in Talkeetna, Alaska’s first live escape room game. (more…)

KTNA Volunteer Awards go to five “Stellar Members”

Monday, February 22, 2016

Talkeetna Community Radio recognized longtime members

Pam and Roger Robinson,

Rick and Kathy Ernst, and

Barbara Mercer with volunteer awards at the annual meeting held Sunday at The Grove.

Following is the text of the award presentation:

Besides paying their membership dues and voting for our governing board members year after year, these people exemplify the “community” in community radio. They are members who are also volunteers on whom we rely for extra help throughout the year.  Though they don’t have weekly music shows or newscasts, and haven’t been board members (at least not recently!), they’ve consistently supported us by helping us out with more fundraisers than we can remember over the years…always saying “yes” when we call, always finding the time to come in and answer phones, or dredge up the courage to sit behind a microphone and help with on-air pitching, or make generous bids on auction items.  Staff members are also grateful for their flexibility and willingness to roll with whatever is going on, realizing that fundraisers come with glitches and unplanned “oopses” of one sort or another.


KTNA’s Annual Membership Meeting is Sunday 2-21

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Talkeetna Community Radio invites everyone to its annual membership meeting this Sunday February 21st at The Grove. The doors open at 4:30 for a social hour, the meeting begins at 5:30.

KTNA survived the first round of state budget cuts by cutting PRI programs, and giving staff some mandatory unpaid leave. What’s on the horizon for the next fiscal year? Bring your questions and opinions about “anything KTNA” to this Sunday’s meeting.

The annual meeting will be immediately followed by a special meeting of KTNA’s Board of Directors for the election of officers.

KTNA members:  If you haven’t yet submitted your ballot for Board of Directors, you can still bring it to the annual meeting by 5:30 pm on Sunday.

Flying with Don Lee

Friday, February 19, 2016
Don Lee on the "Swifsure" Glacier. Photo: Katie Writer - KTNA

Don Lee on the “Swifsure” Glacier. Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

by: Katie Writer – KTNA


Full interview:

Don Lee moved to Talkeetna over 40 years ago and has become one of the world’s premier glacier pilots. After so many years of flying tourists around Denali, Don dreamed of doing something different. In 2003, he founded Alaska Floats and Skis that now has over 4 full time instructors and 7 airplanes. With the longer days of spring, the glacier ski training and tail wheel endorsements keep him busy until the lakes thaw out in mid May.

Don might consider himself one of those “Jack of all trades, master of none,” kind of guy.

He has built numerous structures around town, including his own home, a hangar, and various lodging for his flight training clientele. He is a builder of ideas that come into fruition because of Don’s ability to “MacGyver” and create a way to get the job done.


Owner talks about canna-business in Talkeetna

Monday, February 15, 2016

Each year, new businesses come to Talkeetna. This year, with the passage of Ballot Measure 2 in 2014, one business owner is looking to get in on one of the state’s biggest potential growth industries. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more.

Take a moment and picture the kind of person you think would want to open a marijuana dispensary in Downtown Talkeetna. Odds are that Joe McAneney is not what you imagined. Joe is clean-shaven with short hair and a business-like attitude. When we meet at the shop formerly known as The Chocolate Corner at the end of Main Street, he and his business partner Dan Nelson are taking a break from renovating the interior of the building.


Joe McAneney realizes he may not be exactly what people picture in someone looking to get into the cannabis industry.


“We think about the typical persona as a ‘stoner,’ someone who’s wearing a Bob Marley flag and has long dreadlocks. That’s great. There’s a lot of great people out there who personify that.”


Junior nordic shows Upper Valley youth the joy of skiing

Friday, February 12, 2016
Coach Aubrey Smith with some of this year's Junior Nordic skiers. Photo: Katie Writer - KTNA

Coach Aubrey Smith with some of this year’s Junior Nordic skiers. Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

By:  Katie Writer – KTNA

As the days are getting longer by 5 minutes and 34 seconds per day, Denali Junior Nordic Ski Program enjoyed the solid snow pack on Wednesday, held at the Talkeetna Lakes Park.

Over 45 participants, including family members and friends, teamed up and set out to fill their punch cards in a unique ski orienteering course.

Coach Aubrey Smith explains,

“Today all the kids have maps with also a punch card. They are going to go around the course on the Talkeetna Lakes Trails with flags and punches..”

The ages range from 5-13 years old, though younger siblings account for a good number of participants. While older kids hone their striding and speed on skis, many younger siblings learn first by watching and trying out their own skis. (more…)

“Hero dog” dies after battle with cancer

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Ben Heinrichs and "Buddy" in 2010.  Photo by Diana Haecker

Ben Heinrichs and “Buddy” in 2010. Photo by Diana Haecker

Buddy, the “hero dog” that led an Alaska State Trooper to a structure fire in the spring of 2010 has died after a battle with cancer.

Ben Heinrichs, Buddy’s owner, describes the fire that led to his German Shepard becoming a national celebrity.

“I was out working in the shop. I was using gas to clean parts on a truck, and I had an electric heater in there. It ignited the gas fumes. I ran out, because I was on fire. I had to roll in the snow, and I went back in and got my dog out. I told him we needed to get help, and that’s when it all started.” (more…)

MTA attempts state-level deregulation for landlines

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Members of the Matanuska Telephone Association throughout the Mat-Su Borough recently received a ballot asking whether the telecom company should be exempt from regulation by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

Most of MTA’s services are already outside of the jurisdiction of the RCA. The only service that is still regulated at the state level is landline telephones. Other services, including wireless phones, television, and Internet, would continue to be regulated by the Federal Communication Commission.

Carolyn Hanson, Director of Marketing and Sales, says deregulating will save MTA members $175,000 annually by eliminating the state administrative fee that goes to the RCA. Hanson says that many customers won’t see a big difference in their phone bill, but some larger entities will.


Local student to compete for national VFW scholarship

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Su-Valley student has won the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Voice of Democracy contest for the state of Alaska.

Senior Élan Grenier started off by winning the local contest held by VFW Post 3836 in Talkeetna. That victory comes with a $1,000 scholarship. Grenier went on to win the state contest, netting her another $1,000 scholarship. The state victory also earns Grenier a trip to Washington, D.C. and the chance to compete for additional scholarship money. The national winner of the Voice of Democracy contest receives a $30,000 scholarship. All levels of the contest are based on the theme “My Vision for America.”

Two other local students won scholarships at the local level. Reece Williams won the Vicki-Webb Memorial Scholarship, and Kenneth Wallace won the Joan Katkus Scholarship. Both of those scholarships are given by VFW Post 3836.