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


Writer’s Voice–Journey to the Forbidden Isle #2, by Tony Martin

Cuba22When it became possible for residents of this country to travel to Cuba,
Talkeetna resident Tony Martin wasted no time getting there.
He wanted to share his experience, and knowledge gained, with others.
Here’s the second of three parts of his story:

I recently had the opportunity to visit Cuba. I wrote down my impressions in a short piece, which I have titled: “A Journey to the Forbidden Isle.” Hopefully, this travelogue will provide an insight into the history, politics, economics, and the people of an incredibly diverse and complicated country. The opinions expressed are my own. I’d like to thank KTNA for the opportunity to share my composition with their listeners.
Now to continue with Part II: Che and The Sugar Train. Our guide Yanna was 26 and was college educated. She could converse knowledgeably in Spanish, English, and French. In between tours, she would study German. In a worldly way, she advised our group: “In Cuba, anything is possible”.

Photos and text follow:


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Breaking: Fire Prompts Evacuations, Parks Hwy Closure

Update 10:14 p.m.

The Division of Forestry now estimates the size of the Sockeye Fire at over 4,000 acres.

Update 10:05 p.m.

The evacuation zone has been expanded south again.  According to the Division of Forestry, the Sockeye Fire has jumped Willow Creek.  The expanded zone extends to Nancy Lake Parkway, near Mile 66 of the Parks Highway.

Update 9:32 p.m.

The Willow Community Center, which has served as an evacuation point for the Sockeye Fire, is now being evacuated.  People and animals are being transported to Houston Middle School.  For those north of the fire, the evacuation point is still the Upper Susitna Senior Center.

Update 7:28 p.m.

The shelter for people displaced/stranded by the Sockeye fire will be the Upper Susitna Senior Center on Helena Drive, just south of the intersection of the Talkeetna Spur Road and the Parks Highway.

Update 6:22 p.m.

Tim Mowry, spokesman for the Division of Forestry, says it is not confirmed that the fire is human-caused at this time.

Update: 6:12 p.m.

Patty Sullivan, spokeswoman for the Mat-Su Borough, confirms that one home has been destroyed in the Sockeye fire.  As many as five may have been destroyed, but that is not confirmed at this time.

The Division of Forestry says that the fire has now grown to 1,100 acres.

Update: 5:12 p.m.

The latest estimate on the size of the Sockeye Road Fire is 500 acres. 

The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center lists the cause of the fire as “human”

The Red Cross has set up a shelter at the Willow Community Center for evacuees.  Pets can be brought with a kennel or tie-out.  They ask that owners also bring food for any pets coming to the shelter.

Authorities are asking that anyone not directly involved with fighting the fire or the evacuation stay out of the area.

The Parks Highway has been closed from Sockeye Road to Willow Fishhook Road.

This afternoon, a wildfire in the Willow area prompted evacuation homes and the closure of the Parks Highway.


According to Tim Mowry, spokesman for the Division of Forestry, the fire was called in shortly after 1:00 pm. At that time, it was estimated to be two acres in size. By 3:00 pm, it had grown to over eighty acres. The fire is being driven to the south by wind.


Shortly after 3:00 pm, Mat-Su Borough Emergency Manager Casey Cook confirmed that the Parks Highway is closed between Mile 74 and Willow Fishhook Road, and no traffic is passing through the area. Officials are advising that people avoid the area of the fire.


As of 3:30, ten homes were confirmed evacuated, and evacuation in the Sharen Road subdivision was beginning.


This is a developing story. KTNA will provide updates as they become available.

Court documents detail child pornography charges against Talkeetna man

Earlier this week, KTNA reported that 31 year-old Trent Griffin of Talkeetna has been indicted on eight charges pertaining to child pornography. KTNA has now received additional details from the charging documents filed with the Third District Criminal Superior Court in Palmer.

Included in the documents is an affidavit by Trooper Michael Shelley, describing the activities that led to Griffin’s indictment.

According to Shelley’s affidavit, Griffin’s girlfriend called the Alaska State Troopers on April 21st. She reported that she had found two memory cards in one of Griffin’s socks while doing laundry. Shelley says that Griffin’s girlfriend viewed the files on the cards and discovered videos of her younger sister undressing before showering. The time stamps on the videos were July of 2014, which court documents say means that the female pictured was seventeen at the time.

Shelley says in his affidavit that the videos also show a man, in one instance “clearly” identifiable as Griffin, placing a camera in the bathroom before the unidentified minor entered to shower.

Shelley says he contacted the female shown in the videos and confirmed that she was a minor at the time she was filmed, and that the filming was done without her consent.

Trent Griffin faces three counts of possession of child pornography and five counts of indecent viewing or photography. Each charge is a Class C Felony, and carries a maximum sentence of five years.

The eight indictments were filed on May 15th, and the trial call is scheduled for later this summer.

Su-Valley Voice for June 10th, 2015: KTNA

Above is the entire recording of Su-Valley Voice from June 10th.  The subject was KTNA’s steps to adapt to a reduction in state funding in the coming fiscal year.  KTNA General Manager Will Peterson and Board President Sue Deyoe were the guests, and Phillip Manning hosted.  The next live broadcast of Su-Valley Voice is scheduled for 10:00 am on June 24th.

Classics for Kids–The Prince and the Pauper #3

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

Talkeetna River Dam Project could have preliminary license revoked

A required progress report on the proposed Talkeetna River Dam is overdue, according to the federal agency that licenses large energy projects.

On Monday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission notified Glacial Energy, LLC that the first six-month progress report on the proposed project is past due. In its letter, FERC says that failure to file the required reports is grounds for cancellation of the permit, and that the cancellation of the Talkeetna dam project’s permit is “probable.”

The Talkeetna River dam proposal is separate from the much larger Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project, which is also undergoing a licensing process with FERC.




Talkeetna man indicted on eight felonies

A Talkeetna man has been indicted on eight felony counts relating to child pornography.

According to court records, the indictment against 31 year-old Trent Griffin was transferred to the criminal superior court in Palmer.

Griffin was indicted on three counts of possession of child pornography and five counts of indecent viewing of a minor. Each charge is a Class C felony, and carries a maximum penalty of five years.

Prosecutors claim the offenses took place between July of 2014 and April of 2015.

The case is scheduled to go to trial in late July.

My Dad’s Wedding, by Mackrey Geiger

The Media Skills class at Su Valley Junior-Senior High School produced podcasts which they uploaded to SoundCloud. Here, Mackrey describes a “true Alaskan wedding”, complete with a film crew.  This is the last of the series.

NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on Talkeetna Mid-air Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board has released the preliminary report on a midair collision at the Talkeetna Airport on May 31st.

The collision, which occurred around 5:20 pm on the 31st, involved a Cessna 172 piloted by Cole Hagge of Eagle River and a Cessna 185 piloted by Antonio Benavides of Anchorage.  The NTSB report describes Hagge as a student pilot who was alone in the smaller plane.  Four passengers on a flightseeing tour were aboard the Cessna 185 along with Benavides.

The two planes collided as they were descending to land at the Talkeetna Airport.  Hagge suffered what the NTSB describes as “serious” injuries and was hospitalized.  No other serious injuries were reported.

According to the NTSB, a preliminary review of recorded radio traffic shows that both planes broadcast position reports while in the traffic pattern.

The investigation is ongoing, and a full report will be released at a future date by the NTSB.  It is not uncommon for full reports to take a year or more to complete.