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

Talkeetna’s first marijuana retailer opens its doors

Friday, May 12, 2017


After more than a year of the state’s regulatory process, Talkeetna’s first marijuana retail store has opened its doors. KTNA’s Phillip Manning was there and has more.

Talkeetna’s first legal marijuana sale took place on Friday afternoon when The High Expedition opened its doors for the first time. Joe McAneney refers to this as a soft opening, since most of the people who were there either heard by word-of-mouth or happened by as people were waiting for the opening at “high noon,” Joe’s words. (more…)

Volunteers and one very driven staff member strive to keep the Northern Valley fed

Thursday, May 11, 2017

LouAnne Carroll-Tysdal [L] and volunteer Holly Beard [R] load a hand-truck to bring food into the Upper Susitna Food Pantry.  Photo by Phillip Manning - KTNA

LouAnne Carroll-Tysdal [L] and volunteer Holly Beard [R] load a hand-truck to bring food into the Upper Susitna Food Pantry. Photo by Phillip Manning – KTNA

The Upper Susitna Food Pantry, with locations in Talkeetna and Trapper Creek, provides food assistance to hundreds of Susitna Valley residents. While many volunteers work together to help in that process, there is one person without whom the pantry could not function as it does. KTNA’s Phillip Manning spent a day with her, and has this story:


On a recent Friday morning, I met with LouAnne Carroll-Tysdal outside the Upper Susitna Food Pantry’s Talkeetna location. Within moments of meeting up, we were in her truck and on our way to the supermarket, Cubby’s Marketplace.

The trip to Cubby’s is part of LouAnne’s routine every Friday morning. This week, eggs and produce are on the list. On the way to the store, LouAnne told me that people sometimes just can’t buy produce. She said, “You know, they have to buy toilet paper, paper towels—and fresh fruits and vegetables just don’t hit their radar as often.”

This time of year, buying produce often means going to the store, but LouAnne has plans, and grant funding, to source produce from local farmers in the summer. Growing season is just starting, though, so off to Cubby’s it is.

After buying carrots and apples in addition to eggs, LouAnne checked the donation bin at the front of the store and got pretty excited to see butter, something she says the pantry doesn’t often get.

LouAnne collected the donated food, and we headed back to the pantry. (more…)

Missing Burmese Python returns home in Meadow Lakes

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Mat-Su Borough Animal Control Officer Darla Erskine winces slightly at the approach of Sam the Python.  Photo by Darla Erskine

Mat-Su Borough Animal Control Officer Darla Erskine winces slightly at the approach of Sam the Python. Photo by Darla Erskine

After two weeks, Sam the python is back home.

Last week, the Mat-Su Borough advised Meadow Lakes residents to bring their small pets inside after learning that the 17-foot-long, 100-pound Burmese Python was missing. The snake’s owner had already gone door-to-door to advise his neighbors of Sam’s disappearance, and to look for signs of the snake.

According to borough spokeswoman Patty Sullivan, Sam simply showed up again after going missing from a home in Meadow Lakes.

After Sam went missing, Mat-Su Borough Animal Control made multiple patrols to find the colossal constrictor. Animal Control Officer Darla Erskine says Sam’s owner does not know where the snake was hiding, and that he came inside to find Sam slithering across his floor.

Patty Sullivan says what was a mostly amusing story with its own “snake watch” hashtag took a concerning turn when a four-year-old child went missing in the neighborhood where Sam lived. The child was found safe, and there was no news of the python’s whereabouts until he returned home Monday afternoon.

Rep. Eastman stands by controversial abortion statements, attacks media

Monday, May 8, 2017
Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, during a House floor session, March 1, 2017. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, during a House floor session, March 1, 2017. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Last week, Representative David Eastman made national news by claiming that there are women in Alaska villages who are “glad” to become pregnant in order to travel to Seattle or Anchorage for an abortion – paid for by Medicaid. Eastman is now blaming the press for the furor over the comments. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:



After Mat-Su Valley Republican David Eastman made comments alleging the abuse of Medicaid-funded travel for abortions last week, he received significant criticism, including from his own caucus. Many saw Eastman’s singling out of women “in villages” as targeting Alaska Native women. Legislators on both sides of the aisle are now calling for Eastman to apologize.

Over the weekend, it appeared Representative Eastman might do just that. On Saturday evening, Eastman appeared live on KTVA television.  Here’s how Representative Eastman began the interview with anchor Bonney Bowman:

“First, the media is a circus–literally a circus—and that’s about the nicest thing I could say about some people in the media right now.” (more…)

Good effort, lower rewards in annual Birdathon

Monday, May 8, 2017

Better 2017 group photo?IMG_2553

Birders worked hard for many of their sightings in this year’s Talkeetna-Trapper Creek Birdathon, held over the weekend. Though the weather was pleasant, and lack of snow made for easier bush-whacking, migrating birds of many species were scarce. This year’s group list total was 68 species, ten less than last year.

The twenty-four hour event, in its twenty-seventh year, is an informal individual competition, as well as a group effort, to find all the resident and migrating bird species within the count circle.

Several birders with longer lists of species reported making many stops at favorite birding habitats, watching their lists grow ever so slowly. They lamented the absence of large flocks of waterfowl, and the scarcity of birds of prey and shorebirds. Several species which are often found in greater abundance were represented by only a few individual birds, even though there were over forty people trying to find them.

There were no new species added this year. Notable sightings were a black-backed woodpecker, Pacific Loons, a Bohemian waxwing, and female hooded mergansers.

Notably absent were Canada geese, seen every other year since 1994, though there was a mysterious dark goose (lacking white cheek patches) flying above the sewage lagoon. Birders also watched otters, a fox, some moose, and spawning grayling.

Winners of the “green birding” category were Doug Smith and Ellen Wolf, who biked and walked. With totals of 45 species, Jim Trump and the team of Jeff Robinson and Deborah Brocke shared the “crowns” adorned with stuffed toy birds.

KTNA On-Air Auction May 16th – 19th

Friday, May 5, 2017

Tune in to 88.9FM or online at ktna.org to support your community radio station during the on-air auction May 16th-19th. KTNA will auction an item every 1/2 hour from 1:00-3:00pm and again from 8:00-9:00pm each day. Minimum bids start at 50% of the suggested retail value. This year we are featuring a “Buy it Now” option for those of you who think you’ll miss the auction or if there is something you REALLY want.  You can purchase any of the items up for auction before they are auctioned off on-air.  “Buy it Now” begins Monday, May 15th.  Call 733-1700 to get a hold of your favorite item and support KTNA!

Click HERE to find out more about the available items and to see “Buy it Now” pricing.

Thank you to ALL of the businesses that donated to the KTNA auction!

Talkeetna Lakes Parks Trails Temporarily Closed for “Mud Season”

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
The gate to trails in Talkeetna Lakes Park is temporarily closed due to muddy conditions. Photo: Katie Writer, KTNA

The gate to trails in Talkeetna Lakes Park is temporarily closed due to muddy conditions. Photo: Katie Writer, KTNA

by:  Katie Writer – KTNA

The snow has melted, there is a flurry of returning birds and many people are excited to get out on the trails. The Talkeetna Lakes Park gates have been closed in order to protect the trail from user damage. KTNA’s Katie Writer spoke with Mat-Su Borough’s Northern Outdoor Recreation Specialist, Mark Goetsch about why the gates are closed and when they plan to be opened.

Sen. Dunleavy Comments on Ongoing State Budget Process

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

As the Alaska Legislature nears the 100th day of this year’s session, many questions regarding the state budget and revenue streams remain unanswered. Both the House and Senate have considered a bill to restructure the way Permanent Fund Dividends are calculated. The House has also passed a bill calling for an income tax and another making changes to oil tax credits. The Senate, meanwhile, is looking at deeper cuts in its version of the budget.

If any of the revenue measures currently under consideration pass, Senator Mike Dunleavy  says there are already efforts to remove them via a public referendum.

“If that were to happen…you end up with, obviously no additional revenue streams. So then you’re left with only one choice at that point, and that’s reducing until the reductions get to the point that there’s a consensus across the state that’s there’s enough reductions.” (more…)

Community Councils Approve of Compromise Parking Plan

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

After months of discussions and various proposals, the Chase Community Council and Talkeetna Community Council have endorsed a plan for parking infrastructure near Downtown Talkeetna.

At its meeting on Monday night, the Talkeetna Community Council, Incorporated board of directors voted to support a plan presented by former board member Whitney Wolff. Wolff says the proposal, dubbed the “East-West Hybrid” plan, involved input from community and business members who are impacted by congestion and parking issues near downtown. Mike Wood, co-chair of the Chase Community Council, says that organization also supports the plan.

Under the compromise proposal, the current parking lot near the Chase trailhead would be improved, and more parking spots added within the existing space. In addition, the plan asks for the development of a new parking lot east of the railroad tracks near the intersection of F and 2nd Streets. The third section of the proposal requests a street-level pedestrian crossing of the railroad tracks at 2nd Street and utilization of Alaska Railroad lease lots to facilitate a walking path to downtown.