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


Snow to give way to mixed precipitation to the south

The Susitna Valley is under a Winter Storm Advisory until 6:00 am on Friday.   Total snowfall predicted from the storm is between 12 and 20 inches. As of late Thursday afternoon, the Anchorage Forecast Center of the National Weather Service did not have updated snow depth totals from the area. Forecasters often rely on monitors calling in snowfall, outside of heavily populated areas.

Forecaster believe that precipitation in the Anchorage area could begin to turn to rain, and that mixed precipitation will begin moving north on Friday. With freezing ground temperatures, forecasters say that wet areas can become icy quickly. From Willow north, precipitation is expected to remain in the form of snow.

The Alaska Department of Transportation has labeled driving conditions from Mile 52 to Mile 99 of the Parks Highway as “difficult” due to icy conditions. The Talkeetna Spur Road and half of the Petersville Road are listed in “fair” condition, but DOT advises drivers to be aware of snow removal equipment on the roads. The latter half of Petersville Road is listed as “hazardous.” No condition report is available for Comsat Road.

Parks Highway crash results in fatality

On Thursday, the Alaska State Troopers reported a fatal crash near Mile 48 of the Parks Highway. According to troopers, the report of the accident came in shortly after 9:00 am. Troopers say a 2004 Chevrolet pickup was traveling south on the Parks Highway, crossed the centerline, and collided with a 2000 Dodge Intrepid traveling north. The driver of the Intrepid was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver of the pickup was transported to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. Troopers are continuing to investigate. Neither driver’s identity has been released.


The crash resulted in the closing of the Parks until early Thursday afternoon.

On Air Auction

Tune In December 7th through 11th for

KTNA’s On Air Auction.

Many great items have been donated by our local business community.

Final Day Today. Last chance to get some great deals! The Auction continues from at 1pm during the Patchwork Hour and again at 8pm during And Another Thing.

We would like to thank the following business:

Alaska Railroad Friends of the Talkeetna Library
Above Alaska Aviation Alaska Center for the Performing Arts
Anchorage Symphony Orchestra Chena Hot Springs
Ciri Alaska Tourism Corp Cubby’s Marketplace
Denali Bluffs Hotel Denali Brewing
Denali Zipline Tours Fairview Inn
Gorilla Fireworks Hatcher Pass Polaris
K2 Aviation Kaladi Bros
Mooses Tooth Mountain High Pizza Pie
Mt McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge River’s Edge Resort
Studio Z Yoga Sunshine Auto Parts
Talkeetna Air Taxi Talkeetna Historical Society
Talkeetna River Guides  Alaska SeaLife Center

Winter storm warning to take effect in the Susitna Valley

Warmer temperatures are in the forecast, but so is a hefty helping of snow on Thursday.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Susitna Valley through the early hours of Friday.

According to the warning, 12 to 20 inches of snow could fall between Thursday and early Friday. The National Weather Service says that travel will be very difficult, and those who must travel should carry emergency supplies in their vehicles.

Due to budget cuts, the state Department of Transportation has changed how it prioritizes roads for snow plowing. The Talkeetna Spur Road is considered a Priority 2, which means it could take up to 36 hours for snow to be cleared. That is the same priority given to much of the Parks Highway. Comsat road is a Priority 4, meaning it could take up to four days for snow to be cleared in some areas. The paved section of Petersville Road is a Priority 3, which means plowing could take two days. Most other Upper Valley roads are maintained by the Mat-Su Borough.

Talkeetna Airport sees busy tourist season, but short of past projections

by:  Katie Writer – KTNA

After a busy summer, the Talkeetna State Airport has returned to its quiet, off-season state. Local air services say they saw increases in traffic this summer. Talkeetna Air Taxi claims an 11% increase over last season for the busy months of May to September. K2 Aviation also had a busy summer, and owner Suzanne Rust attributes some of her company’s increase in business to the good flying weather. She says every day felt like the Fourth of July.

Comparing total aviation numbers between 2014 and 2015 involves utilizing the Talkeetna Flight Service Airport Advisory Count, which is the number of radio calls made to flight service. Though the numbers were largely similar, May of 2015 showed an increase over last year, and July showed a decrease.

Read More »

Borough Assembly to consider appropriation and reimbursement for repair of MV Susitna

The regular meeting of the Mat-Su Borough Assembly, originally scheduled for Tuesday, has been canceled, and a special meeting has been added for Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

The special meeting has one agenda item, introduction of an ordinance appropriating $870,000 to pay for the repairs to the MV Susitna.

In January, the Susitna suffered damage to its propulsion system after heavy rain in Ketchikan resulted in water coming in through the exhaust and into the engines. According to the borough, repairs to the vessel will total more than $1.1 million. The Susitna is insured with a deductible of $250,000.  The proposed ordinance and resolution also allow for the borough’s general fund to be reimbursed once the insurance payment is received. The ordinance and resolution are scheduled for a vote at the assembly’s first December meeting. Read More »

Denali Arts Council receives Alaska State Council on the Arts grant

Disclaimer: Phillip Manning is an outgoing board member for the Denali Arts Council.

On Monday, the Alaska State Council on the Arts announced its grant awards for the first quarter of the fiscal year. In total, ASCA awarded just over half-a-million dollars in operating and project support throughout the state. Grants ranged in size from just over $500 to $21,000.

The Denali Arts Council was the sole recipient of an ASCA grant in this round of awards. The DAC received a $12,000 annual grant for operating support, which was the largest grant in its category. Read More »

Alaska Energy Authority files roadmap for Susitna Dam licensing

Even though the state legislature did not give additional funding to the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project this year, the Alaska Energy Authority has some funds left from previous years. AEA is attempting to continue the megaproject’s licensing process. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more.



In response to a directive by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Alaska Energy Authority has filed a document that it says is a “roadmap” to the studies performed on the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric project from June 2014 onward.


The filing is the latest in an attempt by AEA to resume the integrated licensing process for the proposed hydroelectric megaproject. Read More »

Susitna Writer’s Voice–StarDate Susitna, by Kathleen Fleming


An artist’s impression of the Leonid meteor storm of 1833, over Niagara Falls

A history of human perception and prediction

of the Leonid meteor shower,

with updates on the activities

of La Luna, and the “dance of the planets”

in the morning sky.