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Winter Black-capped Chickadee

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Fish Lake morning

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Posts from the 'Local News' category

Missing hiker found safe in Denali National Park

Monday, July 25, 2016

A hiker missing in Denali National Park over the weekend was found Sunday evening.

According to the National Park Service, 42-year-old Mukunda Egen of California was located by a helicopter at the headwaters of the Sanctuary River around 7:45 pm on Sunday.

Before being located on Sunday, Egen had last been seen Friday night about six miles away in the area of the Teklanika campground. Egen and a hiking partner became separated when Egen took a different route back to the campground. The pair lost sight of each other in foggy conditions, and Egen’s companion attempted to retrace their route before returning to the campground early Saturday morning and notifying Denali National Park rangers. Search efforts began Saturday morning, with approximately fifty people contributing to the search by air and ground.

Though he did not have additional food or water with him, and was not equipped for staying overnight in the wilderness, park officials say that Egen was in good condition when found by rescue personnel.

Search efforts underway for missing hiker in Denali National Park

Sunday, July 24, 2016

According to the National Park Service, approximately forty people are searching for a missing California hiker in Denali National Park.

42-year-old Mukunda Egen is seasonally employed in the area of the park, and was last seen Friday night in the area of the Teklanika Campground. Park officials say Egen is six feet, one inch tall, and weighs around 170 pounds. He has brown hair, a short beard, and was last seen wearing an orange jacket and gray hat. Egen is described as a “novice backpacker,” and the National Park Service says he only had a small amount of food and water in a daypack.

Egen was hiking with a partner on Friday. The pair separated Friday around 11:00 p.m. Egen’s hiking partner says Egen complained of knee pain earlier in the day hike and opted to take a less steep path back to the campground. Park officials say Egen’s companion attempted to retrace their route, then contacted rangers after reaching the campground early Saturday morning.

Weather and terrain are impacting search efforts, with rain and fog currently covering the search area. The National Park Service says five teams of hikers, two helicopters, and two search and rescue dog teams are currently combing the area.

KTNA broadcasting local shows over the weekend, otherwise, KSKA programming

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday afternoon–KTNA is not able to broadcast good quality live-received programming like NPR and BBC news programs.

Our volunteers will still be able to host local announcements and music shows.

Enjoy KSKA’s weekend schedule!

Governor Walker, Mat-Su Assembly discuss budget cuts

Thursday, July 21, 2016

At the end of last month, Governor Bill Walker vetoed items in the state budget totaling nearly $1.3 billion. Walker says the vetoes were necessary in order to cut state expenditure at a time of significant revenue shortfall.


“There’s nothing on the horizon that’s all of a sudden going to turn the situation around. We would need to have about 1.8 million barrels of oil in a pipeline that has 500,000 barrels today. We’re going to need to have oil at $120 a barrel that is $45 today. Neither of these is going to happen. I just can’t make decisions assuming that’s going to happen.”


The most controversial of his decisions was effectively capping this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend check for each Alaskan at $1,000. Beyond that, however, many cuts have effects that are trickling down to municipalities. For example, Governor Walker’s decision to scale back reimbursement for school bonds means $5.7 million less in revenue for the Mat-Su Borough. (more…)

2016 Cardboard Boat Regatta

Thursday, July 14, 2016



by: Katie Writer – KTNA

Another year of nautical fun in the sun. By Katie Writer

Northern Susitna Institute enjoyed another year of sunny skies for the 5th Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta held at Christiansen Lake.

The spectators of the 2016 Carboard Boat Regatta enjoyed looking closely at the boats before they entered the water. The various shapes and sizes look like works of art when untouched by water. But as soon as they shove off from shore, it becomes quite obvious which ones have a short life span. For Finn Benischek and Tristan Shelby, their boxlike boat design, “The Mudskipper” had some double motives. The pair managed to make their way around three of four marks, and then capsized before the crowd. “Go SeaHawks,” was spray painted on the hull and it was obvious that the race was not complete until this was in full view. (more…)

Borough finalizes sale of MV Susitna

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

As of last Thursday, the Mat-Su Borough no longer owns the MV Susitna.


When the borough acquired Susitna, the intent was to establish a ferry service between Port Mackenzie and Government Hill in Anchorage. While the Mat-Su Borough moved forward with the plan, the Municipality of Anchorage could not decide where a ferry dock and terminal should be placed, and the plan ultimately fell through.


Following years of attempts to sell the vessel, and a recent round of multi-million dollar repairs, the borough has sold the ship, a former naval prototype, to the Philippine Red Cross. The Susitna is on its way to the South Pacific, where it will be used as an emergency hospital ship for the thousands of islands that make up the Philippines. (more…)

Governor Walker announces shutdown of Knik Arm Crossing, Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric projects

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

In addition to discussing vetoed items in the state budget, Governor Bill Walker used this  morning’s press conference to announce that he is shutting down two megaprojects in the Mat-Su: the Knik Arm bridge, and the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more.



Large projects can often be contentious, and two of the more controversial projects in the last few years have been the Knik Arm Crossing and the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project. Governor Bill Walker says those projects will now come to an end, not necessarily due to their controversial nature—Governor Walker describes himself as “pro-construction”—but due to the state’s financial situation.

”I ran for governor to build Alaska, not to balance the checkbook. We’re balancing the checkbook because that’s the hand we were dealt. It pains me to shut down anything involving a construction project or an infrastructure project.”

Governor Walker says that the studies and prep work that have gone into both megaprojects will be preserved. Susitna-Watana alone has spent nearly $300 million on studies as part of its federal licensing process, and Walker does not want that data to be lost. (more…)

Overdue hikers bound for “Into the Wild” bus found safe

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Two overdue hikers were found in good condition by National Park Service rangers in the Denali National Park area on Sunday.

According to the National Park Service, 25-year-old Michael Trigg of South Carolina and 27-year-old Theodore Aslund of Georgia were delayed on a trip to visit the abandoned Fairbanks Transit bus used as a shelter by Christopher McCandless. McCandless’ story was popularized by the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

The two men started their trip on June 20th. They shared their plans on Facebook, and asked that friends contact emergency responders if they did not return by June 24th. When the hikers did not report back on social media, concerned friends called the National Park Service. (more…)

Talkeetna Airport Work to Begin Next Month

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Over the next two summers, expansion and improvement work will take place at the Talkeetna State Airport.


Laura Paul, Construction Project Manager for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, says that the contract for airport improvements was awarded to Ahtna Construction for just under $6.8 million. Plans for the improvements include taxi lanes, the transient aircraft apron, general aviation apron, and a pedestrian footpath.


Work on the project is scheduled to begin in mid-July, and will involve clearing trees, moving equipment, and putting in temporary access roads. Laura Paul says no disruption to air traffic is expected.


The project will also involve nearly 200,000 tons of gravel. Paul says that Ahtna Construction is still determining the source for the gravel. The exact placement of equipment, access routes, and traffic plans will be reviewed after a gravel pit has been selected. Laura Paul says the primary hauling route for the material will be Second Street, and that Beaver Road may be used as an alternate access route for later stages of the project, such as resurfacing the runways and taxiways.


Some Talkeetna residents have expressed concern over the heavy volume of traffic that the project will generate. Paul says the roads used will be assessed before hauling begins, and must be restored to their original condition after operations are complete.