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


Mark Wildermuth’s Iditarod Report for 3/19/2015

This report was recorded live in the KTNA studio at 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 19th.  This will be Mark’s last Iditarod Report for this year.  We would like to thank him for another great series of updates on the Last Great Race!


Moosey: Mat-Su Working Through Federal ‘Hoops’ Regarding M/V Susitna

This week, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly went through the quarterly process of approving the next three months of funding for storage and maintenance of the M/V Susitna, which currently amounts to about $18,000 per month, excluding insurance.

The Susitna was meant to be used as a ferry between the Mat-Su Borough and Anchorage across Knik Arm.  That project never came to fruition, however, and the borough has been trying to find a new home for the boat.  For more than a year and a half, that has meant trying to sell it.  The borough has an interested buyer, but there’s a catch.  That buyer is located outside of the United States.  Mat-Su Borough Manager John Moosey says that means going to the federal government, who built the vessel, for permission.

“Because this is a U.S. Navy prototype, primarily designed for battle missions, that it was potentially thought could be used as a ferry, we have to go through these extra hoops.  A second thing is, as far as export license, when you sell outside of [the] Continental United States, you need permission to do that.” Read More »

Mark Wildermuth’s Iditarod Report 3-18-2015

Recorded live from the KTNA studio, 6 pm Wednesday, the day the frontrunners finished.

Rare Geomagnetic Storm Caused Upper Valley Light Show

Tuesday night, the Upper Valley experienced an impressive display of the Aurora Borealis.  The lights are caused by particles from the sun being thrown into space and interacting with the charged particles in Earth’s ionosphere, which begins about sixty miles above the surface.  This is referred to by scientists as a geomagnetic storm.  Donald Hampton researches those storms for the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  He says the geomagnetic storm on Tuesday was very rare.

“It’s kind of a once-every-ten-year kind of storm.  Just the magnitude and the duration were quite spectacular, actually.”

Geomagnetic storms are rated on a scale of one to five, based on their intensity.  This week’s event was rated a G4, or ‘severe,’ storm.  On Tuesday, the northern lights were visible across substantial areas of the Lower 48.  Storms that strong also have another effect, however.  Donald Hampton says communications systems, such as telephones and radio, can be impacted when their signals hit the ionosphere.

“That plasma actually reacts to that electromagnetic wave going through there, and it can do things like attenuate it, so the signal you think you’re going to get out of the other side may be a lot weaker.  So, instead of hearing a radio station ten miles away, you might only be able to hear it one mile away, or something like that.”

No significant outages were reported in the Upper Valley as a result of Tuesday’s geomagnetic storm, meaning that the event amounted to nothing more than an impressive light show.


Do you have pictures of last night’s lights?  We want to see them on our Facebook Page!

Mat-Su Assembly Rejects Advisory Vote on Commercial Pot Ban

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly unanimously opposed Mayor Larry DeVilbiss’ request for an advisory vote on banning commercial marijuana operations in unincorporated areas of the Valley.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:

All seven members of the Mat-Su Borough Assembly voted against a resolution that would have put multiple advisory questions on the borough’s October ballot regarding commercial marijuana.  Mayor DeVilbiss submitted the resolution, which would have asked whether borough residents outside of incorporated cities desired a ban on commercial growth, manufacture, testing, and sale of the plant. Read More »

Classics for Kids: Aesop’s Fables and The Beginning of Armadillos

Cari Sayre reads a couple short stories. The Wizard of Oz starts next week.




Mark Wildermuth’s Iditarod Report 3-17-2015

Recorded live from the KTNA studio, 6 pm Tuesday, the evening before the expected finish.

Talkeetna Man Rescued After Four Days Near Yentna River

A Talkeetna man was found wandering the Yentna River on Saturday evening, according to the Alaska State Troopers.  Troopers say 68 year old Terry Connell was about twenty-two miles west of Willow when area residents on snowmachines encountered him.  The snowmachiners built a fire to warm Connell up, then took him to the Yentna Roadhouse, where he was treated by a nurse.  Connell was was flown to an unspecified Anchorage area hospital for treatment for exposure.  Connell told Troopers he had been wandering the area near his property for four days after having snowmachine issues.

Mark Wildermuth’s Iditarod Report 3-15-2015

Recorded live from the KTNA studio, 6 pm Sunday.