KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

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KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by James Trump

Winter Black-capped Chickadee

winter chickadee

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Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song


Posts from the 'Local News' category

After Tuesday vote, Halter holds lead in Mat-Su mayoral race

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

After hours of counting and waiting for results after Talkeetna’s AccuVote machine failed, the preliminary results of the Mat-Su Borough election came in just after 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday.


The most-watched race is for Mat-Su Borough Mayor. Incumbent Larry DeVilbiss trailed challenger Vern Halter by 179 votes out of nearly 9,000 total votes cast as of Tuesday night. Halter’s lead was padded by over 100 votes after Talkeetna’s ballots were counted.


Three borough assembly seats are up for grabs as well, including District 7, which represents the Upper Valley. Doyle Holmes currently holds a lead of fifty-two votes, despite Talkeetna’s delayed ballots giving opponent Randall Kowalke a significant boost.


Debby Retherford and Sarah Welton both ran unopposed for Mat-Su School Board seats A and B, respectively, and late write-in campaigns fell well short of defeating them. Seat E was contested, with Kelsey Trimmer holding more than a 300 vote lead on opponent Wade Long after Tuesday’s votes were counted.


Proposition B-1, which would change school board seats to geographic regions as opposed to at-large positions is very likely to pass, with the ‘yes’ votes holding more than a two-to-one advantage as of Tuesday night.


Proposition B-2 would change the Mat-Su Borough’s general election date from October to November. After Tuesday, the ‘no’ votes held a lead of over 750 votes.


The final ballot question was posed only to residents of Downtown and East Talkeetna, and asked whether East Talkeetna and the river subdivision should be added to the existing Talkeetna Flood Service area. Both areas voted separately, and both votes have to pass for the annexation to take place. Tuesday’s results make it very likely that the question will pass.


Over 2,000 absentee and questioned ballots remain to be counted, and the official results will be announced after they are certified by the Mat-Su Borough Assembly on October 20th.

Two incumbents, one newcomer, win Talkeetna Council seats

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

In addition to the Mat-Su Borough election, the Talkeetna Community Council held its annual election on Tuesday. Four candidates ran for three seats. Incumbents Mary Farina and Iris Vandenham retained their seats on the council’s board of directors. Paul Button will also be joining the board. Caitlyn Hunt-Engwis did not receive enough votes to claim a seat on the board. Current board member Katie Writer chose not to run to retain her seat on the council. The winners will be seated at the board’s November meeting.

Troopers: Warrant issued for Petersville break-ins

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Joel Gould

Joel Gould. Photo: Alaska State Troopers


A grand jury has indicted a Wasilla man on eight charges relating to a series of break-ins in the Petersville area in August. Charges include burglary, theft, vehicle theft, tampering with evidence, and criminal mischief.


The Alaska State Troopers have issued a $10,000 felony warrant for Joel Gould, 20, of Wasilla. Troopers say Gould is known to frequent the Anchorage, Mat-Su, and King Cove areas. Anyone with information on Gould’s whereabouts can call the Alaska State Troopers at 907-352-5401 or Crime Stoppers at 745-3333. Troppers say Crime Stoppers calls may be anonymous.


A photo of Gould, released by the troopers on Wednesday, is posted at KTNA.org.

Waters recede, borough closes emergency operations center

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

On Wednesday, the Mat-Su Borough shut down its emergency operations center for flooding in the valley. According to a borough statement, six roads remain closed as of Wednesday afternoon, and ten homes have been flooded as a result of heavy rainfall that began last weekend.


Romano Road in Sunshine was closed as of Wednesday, as were Kenny Boulevard, Deneki Drive, Burrow Street, and Johnson Drive in Willow.


According to the most recent borough map, water is receding near all of those roads as well as Yoder Road, Kalispell Drive, and the Parks Highway.

Flooding Update: Talkeetna River remains below flood stage

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Heavy rain over the last few days has led to rising waterways and some flooding. As of Tuesday, as much as three inches of rain fell in parts of the Upper Valley. That precipitation turned to a wintry mix by Tuesday afternoon.


The rainfall caused creeks and rivers to swell. Willow Creek and Montana Creek at the Parks Highway reached minor flood stage by Tuesday afternoon. According to the Mat-Su Borough, Burrows Road in Willow has water running across it, and motorists are being told to avoid the area. Kenny Boulevard in Willow is reportedly eroding into Willow Creek. In the Talkeetna area, water from Montana Creek is flowing on both sides of the road from Montana Creek. A photo on the borough’s Facebook page shows high water around Kalispell Road, but the road has not flooded as of Tuesday afternoon.


The Talkeetna River remains in “action stage,” which is one step below minor flood stage, at the railroad bridge. Upstream, the river is below action stage. All area streams are currently forecast to crest sometime Wednesday. The Talkeetna River is not projected to reach flood stage.


The Mat-Su Borough has set up and emergency operation center in response to the flooding. The borough has also set up a number to call for flood information. For information, area residents can call 861-8328.

Blood Drive at KTNA October 24 th

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Blood Fall drive

                                                                            Saturday October 24, 2015 

Call today  733-1700 or email aj.ktna.org  to donate blood

Winter weather and flood advisories issued for Susitna Valley

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Currently, a number of Upper Valley waterways are under a flood advisory from the National Weather Service. According to the advisory, more than an inch of rain has fallen in under 24 hours in streams draining from the Talkeetna Mountains, and more heavy rainfall is expected. The flood advisory extends until 3:30 am on Wednesday.


Most area waterways are forecast to crest on Tuesday, according to the Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center. As of Tuesday morning, Montana Creek and Willow Creek at the Parks Highway reached minor flood stage. The Talkeetna River is currently at ‘action stage,’ the step below flooding.


In addition, the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory until 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Snow accumulation is forecast at six to ten inches, with the most accumulation at higher elevations.


KTNA will continue to monitor the situation, and will provide updates if circumstances change.

Troopers ask for help locating missing Wasilla man

Monday, September 28, 2015


The Alaska State Troopers are asking for help locating 46-year-old Daniel Buckwalter of Wasilla. Troopers say Buckwalter was reported missing on August 4th. His vehicle was located in Meadow Lakes on August 12th. The Alaska Bureau of Investigation believes Buckwalter disappeared under “suspicious circumstances.”

Buckwalter is described as six feet, one inch tall, and weighs two hundred pounds. He has brown hair, hazel eyes, and a scar on his left cheek. A photo of Buckwalter is posted to KTNA.org. Troopers ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 745-3333.

Upper Valley rivers to crest near flood stage on Tuesday

Monday, September 28, 2015

With rain forecast to continue early this week, some Upper Valley waterways will begin to approach flood stage, but no flooding is currently predicted.

Most area waterways are forecast to crest on Tuesday, according to the Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center. Willow Creek and Montana Creek at the Parks Highway, and the Talkeetna River at the railroad bridge are predicted to reach “Near Flood Stage.” Currently, no Upper Valley rivers are forecast to reach flood stage.

KTNA will continue to monitor the situation, and will provide updates if circumstances change.