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


Troopers: Denali Highway bodies identified, double homicide suspected

The Alaska State Troopers have identified the bodies of two people found near the Denali Highway on Sunday after what they believe to be a double homicide.

Troopers say that sixty-one-year-old Richard A. Casler and forty-two-year-old Lynn M. Butler, both of Wasilla, died of gunshot wounds inside a trailer near mile seventy-nine of the highway from Paxson to Cantwell.

The investigation into Casler and Butler’s disappearance began last Friday night. According to the Alaska State Troopers, both were reported missing from the area where they were camping. Responding troopers found what they believed to be evidence of an altercation involving gunfire in the area of the trailer Casler and Butler were staying in. A ground and air search was conducted, and, on Sunday, noises were heard coming from what the dispatch report describes as a “dilapidated” trailer in the area around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Attempts were made to communicate with anyone who might be inside, but no one responded. Troopers called in two special emergency reaction teams, then entered trailer and discovered Casler and Butler’s remains.

The Alaska State Troopers are still investigating the incident, and are asking anyone who spent the Fourth of July weekend in the area to call (907) 451-5100.

A tour of the new Talkeetna Public Library


After pooling together over five million dollars in grants and donations from individuals, organizations, and government entities, the new Talkeetna Public Library is open to the public. KTNA’s Phillip Manning got a tour of the new facility and has this report:



When I arrived at the new Talkeetna Public Library and Community Center, it had just opened for the day. Still, a few patrons were already browsing the aisles or making use of the publicly available computers.


For those familiar with the old Talkeetna library building, the new facility offers a number of immediately apparent improvements. It’s larger, more open, and lets in a lot of natural light. Librarian Ann Yadon is clearly proud of the new library.


“It’s just a gorgeous building, and we’re really enjoying being here.” Read More »

Classics for Kids–The Prince and the Pauper #6

Cari Sayre continues the historical fiction book by Mark Twain, about two boys living in England in the 1500’s.

Humpbacks Bubble Feeding Near Seward

This video was taken by Brad Rich, who, until very recently, hosted “What You Want” on KTNA on Sunday afternoons.  You will be missed, Brad.  We’re glad the whales gave you a nice send-off!

Fire, Flood, Sewer and Water Services Discussed at Talkeetna Council Meeting

At Monday’s Talkeetna Community Council, Inc. board meeting, multiple service areas were discussed, including fire, flood service, and sewer and water.

Eric Denkewalter, acting chief for the Talkeetna Fire Department, says that he would like to see the fire service area board re-established.  The three-member board has been inactive, and Denkewalter says re-establishing it would ease the administrative burden, such as creating budgets, on the department.  Members of the board must reside within the fire service area, and Denkewalter says he would like the Talkeetna and Sunshine Community Councils to help in seeking out interested individuals.

The possible expansion of the Talkeetna Flood Service Area was also discussed.  Borough Assembly Member Vern Halter, whose district includes Talkeetna, says that a resolution to place the expansion on the October borough election ballot was introduced last month, and will be voted on by the assembly at the first August meeting.  If the assembly approves, the measure would then go to the voters who live inside the current flood service area as well as the proposed expansion, which includes East Talkeetna and the River Subdivision.  An advisory vote on beginning the expansion process, held by the Talkeetna Community Council last October, passed comfortably.

Also at Monday’s meeting, council chair Whitney Wolff read correspondence from Mat-Su Borough Public Works Director Terry Dolan regarding the Talkeetna Sewer and Water system.  According to Dolan’s email, work is underway to correct issues identified in last year’s study of the system.  In addition, Dolan says sludge buildup was discovered in the lagoon, and work is underway to remove it.  The borough is also planning to re-vegetate the area with plants designed to help treat sewage before it is released from the lagoon.  Talkeetna’s sewer and water system has been cited in the past for high levels of fecal coliform, and Dolan says that there are plans to prevent the issue from re-occurring.

NSI Holds Fourth Cardboard Regatta


By: Katie Writer

For more photos, visit the KTNA Facebook page.

The fourth Annual Northern Susitna Institute Cardboard Boat Regatta attracted a big crowd, many of whom observed the family fun event from the middle of the lake.  This year’s various boat and paddle board designs decorated the beach at Christiansen Lake for judges to inspect for the “right stuff.” This means that cardboard is the main ingredient with water soluble paint and duck tape at the seams only. There were some impressive designs mixed in with considerable color, creative themes, and basic crafts meant to withstand a few minutes in the chilly water.  Some were greater works of art than function and those captaining such rigs had to work extra hard, including Cayman Kingery’s ‘Ice Cube’ and Shelby Whitecar’s ‘Lily.’ The cheering crowd added fuel to their pursuit to round all four marks and paddle into the finish area.  This year’s Commodore, Chris Mannix, kept the action flowing with several heats of 3 boats racing at a time.

With 11 boats in the Kid’s Division, it took 4 rounds and some carnage of sinking boats included to pick the top 3 for the finals.  There was a lot of splashing at the start of final race where Maya Mossanen led the 15 and under division in her sleek craft called ‘SS Hippie Mobile’.  Though several years younger, 5 year old racer, Jasper Marder of ‘Blue Canal’ paddled not too far off her lead. Obvious theatrical backgrounds and ‘bath tubish’  design earned the ‘Four Musketeers’ the Titanic/Most Dramatic Sinking Award.

Of the 3 boats entered in the Family Division, the Bet-Sea Ross carried the most 054passengers first thru the finish line, though not without considerable effort. Some obvious experienced paddlers on board with fancy strokes managed to make moving this giant along look easy. There were plenty of boats on patrol to pick up the debris from rigs that fell apart in the lake.

The Adult Division’s Lambeau Field earned the Commodore’s Award of the Day.  Driver, design, and will power were the elements that made for top finishers this year while the comical paddlers and simple regatta fun made this a fun day for all.

Susitna Writer’s Voice–In the Blink of an Eye, by Bill Was

Fall & the Kidz cropped1

In this week’s Writer’s Voice, Talkeetna blogger Bill Was

reflects on how a single unfortunate misstep

took him on a voyage of self discovery.


Across the past few months I’ve had more than enough time on my hands as I continue to heal from my severely fractured left radius and ulna. It has been almost fourteen weeks since that cloudy and cool March day when the simplest of missteps changed my current existence and set me off on a voyage of discovery. Read More »

Tips for Healthy Living

A  live conversation about health and health news from the Sunshine Community Health Center: It’s hosted by Holly Stinson, with in-studio guest Keith Kehoe, physician’s assistant at the clinic. They discuss R.I.C.E. for sprains, strains, and broken bones.

Denali ranger describes patrol and memorable summit day

Andrew Lattimer, doctor and mountain patrol volunteer, descending from Denali's North Summit.  Photo courtesy: Tucker Chenoweth - NPS

Mountain patrol volunteers descending from Denali’s North Summit. Photo courtesy: Tucker Chenoweth – NPS

By: Katie Writer – KTNA

Currently, there are 1,090 people registered to attempt Denali. Of those, 129 are currently on the mountain, and 945 have completed their climbs. As of Thursday, 533 climbers have reached the summit, making the summit rate fifty-six percent.

All fifteen climbers registered for Mt. Foraker have completed their climbs, with six making it to the summit.

This week on the Denali Report, KTNA’s Katie Writer speaks with Mountaineering Ranger Tucker Chenoweth, who is back after patrolling on Denali:


Good weather on Denali for the past three weeks has increased the summit rate from a dismal 0% in May to a soaring 56% in early July.

Mountaineering Ranger Tucker Chenoweth and a team of four volunteers patrolled the mountain from May 26th to June 20th, and saw the dash for the summit that took place when the weather cleared.

“At high camp, I believe, there was a group – call it, like, a “plug of climbers—that had been stuck at “Fourteen Camp.” So, the first window they had, they all went. Read More »