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On Tuesday afternoon, four snowmachiners were rescued by the Alaska Air National Guard in the Talkeetna Mountains. Jason Coffey, Tara Coffey, Robert Milligan, and Jonathan Hines, all of Wasilla, were approximately ten miles east of the Yoder Road trail head, when one of the snowmachines got stuck. According to reports from the Guard and Alaska State Troopers, Jason Hines separated from the group in order to get help. The remaining three snowmachiners called the Alaska State Troopers just before 4:00 pm to report that they were stranded and did not have overnight gear. In addition, the Air National Guard reports that one of the riders did not have necessary medication.
The call was forwarded to the Rescue Coordination Center, and an HC-130 King and an an HH-60 Pavehawk were dispatched. The rescue teams located the snowmachiners who were “cold, wet, and tired” according to a press release from the Air National Guard. Due to the terrain, the group had to be hoisted onto the Pavehawk. Meanwhile, Jason Hines reached the trail head on his own, and met with Alaska State Troopers there. No injuries were reported.
Lieutenant Colonel John Morse of the Rescue Coordination Center says in a press release that this case illustrates the importance of preparedness. He lists extra food, medications, and a signal device as things the Guard recommends bringing on any backcountry trip.
Upper Susitna Seniors, Inc. has begun the process of seeking funds for a new $3 million facility, and are moving toward changing their name. According to Larry Dearman, vice-chair of the board of directors for the Seniors, money is being sought from state capital funds to build a new facility that would house classrooms, computers, and a larger fitness facility. Under the current plan, $2.5 million would come from state funds, with the remainder coming from foundations such as the Mat-Su Health Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation. Read More »
Tuesday’s meeting of the Sunshine Community Health Center board of directors was attended by about twenty members of the community, many of whom drove from Talkeetna or Trapper Creek to Willow to attend. There were a number of topics on their minds after two weeks of significant change at the Clinic. Since the January meeting, Sunshine gained a Medical Director and lost an Executive Director. In addition, community members were anxious to hear about services that had been suspended.
People with those questions probably did not get all the answers they wanted by the time the meeting concluded. Recently hired Medical Director Shelis Jorgensen was introduced, as was Acting Interim Executive Director Melody Palermo. Palermo had previously served as Operations Director for the Clinic. Also in attendance was Sharon Scott from the Mat-Su Health Foundation, the organization that has offered $15,000 in grant funding to help the Clinic with training for the board of directors as well as other related activities. After the introductions, the meeting proceeded with regular business, including the addition of Harold Conrad and Carla Kelley to the board. Read More »
Last week, Governor Sean Parnell asked for a budget supplement of more than $32 million for the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project. The nature of the supplement has raised some questions, and it’s not clear at this time whether the state legislature will ultimately approve the additional spending.
At a meeting of the House Finance Committee last week, Karen Rehfeld, Director of the state Office of Management and Budget, fielded a number of questions from legislators regarding the Governor’s request for additional funding for the Susitna-Watana project. Representative Les Gara of Anchorage compared the potential power output of the proposed dam against the state’s current gas line project.
“We spent $170 million, so far. Why would we spend another $32 million at the same time we’re working on a large diameter gas line that would provide more energy than we can use–about eight times more energy than we can use–in tight fiscal times?” Read More »
Earth and Beyond writer, host and producer Robin Song takes a walk along Montana Creek.
The snow has been taking its sweet time in returning to cover up the ice, which has blanketed our State for several weeks now. While the crust on the snow is strong enough to hold my weight most of the time, it’s too slick to ski, and I still have to pick my way carefully on my ice cleats, waiting for that moment when the crust gives way and my boot plunges through. Read More »
On Sunday, KTNA held its annual membership meeting. The agenda consisted of “State of the Station” remarks by General Manager Will Peterson as well as the election of three members of the board of directors and special volunteer awards.
At the meeting, Cari Sayre, Jok Bondurant, and Kolman Soifer were elected to the board of directors, and the general membership voted to approve seating Larry Dearman and Mandy Hartley on the Community Advisory Board. Read More »
The 2014 Iron Dog has concluded, and Talkeetna’s Jacob Hartley successfully completed the more-than 2,000 mile race. Hartley and teammate Devin LeBarbera completed the course in seventy-seven hours and thirty minutes, putting them in 24th place. Eight of those hours were assessed as a time penalty for replacing an engine on one of the snowmachines. Fourteen of the thirty-eight teams that entered the event were unable to finish. Finishing is significant, as it is the only way to not be classified as a rookie in future events.
The winning team was the Wasilla duo of Todd Minnick and Nick Olstad, each of whom have now competed in more than ten Iron Dog races. Minnick and Olstad posted a time of just under thirty-seven hours.