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


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.

Karin Hendrickson on her recovery and preparing for the Iditarod

Almost one year ago, Iditarod musher Karin Hendrickson was hit by a car on a training run, resulting in broken bones and torn muscles. Now, she is preparing her mind, body, and team for a return to the Last Great Race. Karin spoke with KTNA’s Katie Writer about her recovery, determination, and how passion for the sport motivates her.

Air version:

The complete interview, posted below, includes more about Karin’s training process and some of her memories from past Iditarod races.

Complete interview:

Su Valley Volleyball ends season with undefeated conference record

On Tuesday, the Su-Valley Rams Volleyball team played its last home match, defeating Holy Rosary Academy three-sets-to-none. Coach Chad Valentine named Senior Sarena Drover as the player of the match.

Su-Valley finished with a perfect ten-and-oh record in conference play this year, and an overall record of twenty-one wins, six losses, and one draw. The Rams will travel to Anchorage this weekend to compete in the conference tournament, which will determine which teams move on to play for the state title. Su-Valley won the state title two years ago.

Veterans Day celebrations bridge generations in Talkeetna

Talkeetna Elementary students thank veterans for their service at a special assembly.  Photo: AJ Sullivan

Talkeetna Elementary students thank veterans for their service at a special assembly. Photo: AJ Sullivan

This week, gatherings were held at Talkeetna Elementary School and Veterans of Foreign Wars post 3836 in Talkeetna to honor members of the armed services, both past and present, in observation of Veterans Day. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:

Producer’s note: This story is optimized for audio. Readers are encouraged to listen to the attached audio file.


On Tuesday, Talkeetna Elementary School held a special assembly to recognize service members in advance of Veterans Day. Children of each grade level, staff, parents, and veterans gathered in the gymnasium to thank those who have put on the various uniforms of the United States. As part of the assembly, music teacher Kayti Heller delivered a moving rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Read More »

Borough one step closer to selling MV Susitna

The U.S. State Department has given the Mat-Su Borough the green light to proceed with the sale of the ill-fated MV Susitna. The sale was initially announced in September, but was subject to federal approval.

The borough plans to sell the former naval prototype to the Philippine Red Cross for $1.75 million. Because the buyer is located outside of the United States, federal clearance is required. According to Borough Attorney Nicholas Spiropoulos, the State Department informed the borough that the sale is not subject to Department of Defense controls, but export provisions from the Department of Commerce will apply. That means that the final agreement between the borough and the Philippine Red Cross will contain resale restrictions.

Read More »