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Shannon Ballard

I’ve always daydreamed about living here, so I jumped at the chance to be part of the new KTVA. Change is exciting and I feel so lucky to get to learn all about this community. Alaska is sure to be an adventure.

Stories by Shannon Ballard

  • Lifestyle

    Daughter of Anchorage survival instructor battling rare cancer

    by Shannon Ballard on Jul 01, 20:52

    For the past 37 years Brian Horner has made his living teaching survival training courses. He’s the founder of Learn to Return Training Systems, Inc., and considers himself an expert in making it out of horrible situations. “I’ve been to Antarctica twice with Norman Vaughn. I’ve climbed with Rob Hall before his Everest tragedy. I’ve looked for […]

  • Lifestyle

    Peony passion: Alaska expected to ship out a record number of luxury flowers

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 30, 19:34

    Whether they’re miles apart or side-by-side, sisters Rachel Christy and Becca Bryan are connected by peonies. Bryan lives in Texas, but for the past five summers she’s come to Alaska to help Christy harvest Alaska Blooms Peony Farm in Wasilla. “My favorite thing to do is, when we first arrive for our summer, Rachel and […]

  • Education

    Young gardeners grow food for children in need

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 28, 20:12

    Some Anchorage kids are exploring nature, playing in the dirt and growing a passion for helping those less fortunate than themselves. Education specialist Patrick Ryan said most children would love gardening if simply given the chance. He teaches the Junior Master Gardener day camp each summer at the Alaska Botanical Garden. “I just want them to […]

  • Only in Alaska

    ‘Parade of Bears’: Bright, colorful bears to find permanent homes in Anchorage

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 27, 21:59

    Fifteen full-size bears arrived in Anchorage over the weekend. They’re not grizzlies or black bears—they’re made of fiberglass and are part of a public art exhibit, much like other animal statues that have been featured in major cities around the world. Local businesses paid about $1,750 to sponsor one of the bear sculptures and chose artists […]

  • Alaska News

    Veteran advocate takes last ride, laid to rest at Fort Richardson National Cemetery

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 24, 20:12

    An iconic figure in Alaska’s military and motorcycle communities was remembered for his life of service. Fred “Bulldog” Becker IV dedicated much of his life to advocating for veterans on behalf of the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association and other groups. Becker passed away on June 11. He was 73 years old. Friends and family say […]

  • News

    Mobile clinic providing free STD testing at Alaska PrideFest

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 23, 19:25

    Each year Alaska continually ranks high, if not the worst, when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases. New numbers out by the state on Thursday are moving in the right direction. They show the chlamydia infection rate in Alaska has decreased by 2.7 percent since 2013. Gonorrhea cases are also down slightly. But according to […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Airbnb to start collecting taxes in Anchorage on behalf of municipality

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 22, 19:39

    The Municipality of Anchorage is about to strike a deal with popular home-sharing site Airbnb that could make finding a place to stay a little more expensive. The municipality has a 12 percent bed tax that all hotel operators, as well as bed-and-breakfasts, are required to pay. Treasury officials want to make sure those sharing […]

  • Military

    Anchorage businesses: Military members matter to community, economy

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 17, 19:15

    With a large active duty and veteran population, Anchorage businesses say the military community plays a big part in the state’s economy. It’s military appreciation week in Anchorage and on Friday the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce celebrated with a free picnic for military members and their families. The latest census numbers show that there are […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    First concrete skate park coming to Anchorage

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 16, 22:39

    Anchorage’s first concrete skate park is coming to the Russian Jack Park neighborhood. The project was brought forward with strong community support and a $250,000 state grant awarded to the Anchorage Park Foundation. Construction began Monday, and is expected to last eight weeks. The new skate park will be about 3,000-square feet, and include contoured surfaces, […]

  • Only in Alaska

    Beating the heat on the hottest day of the year

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 16, 21:29

    Thursday turned out to be the warmest day in Anchorage so far this year, with some temperatures in Southcentral Alaska creeping into the 80s. Some people might say it was downright hot, but yoga instructor Paula Cerda said there is just something about a sunny day that’s good for your soul. Cerda teaches free yoga in the park […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Anchorage teens spend summer vacation fixing up local parks

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 15, 19:29

    On perhaps the nicest day of summer yet, 17-year-old Damien Young and about two dozen other high school students from across Anchorage were paving the way to a better community. The teenagers are part of the Municipality of Anchorage’s Youth Employment in Parks program. This week they were hired to build a gravel trail connecting […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Trail lighting project underway at Government Peak Recreation Area

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 14, 21:14

    A popular Valley park will soon be seen in a whole new light. Government Peak Recreation Area near Hatcher Pass is being transformed into the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s first and only lighted trail system. On Monday, Yukon Electric crews worked quickly to place 40-foot-long light poles in the ground every three minutes. “We’ve pre-rigged all of the […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Anchorage photographers hope people will show love, not hate in wake of Florida attack

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 13, 19:24

    Anchorage photographers Mitch and Shalem Kitter are urging people to stand together in the wake of the Orlando massacre, showing the power of love in the face of hate. The couple has a studio in downtown Anchorage but also travels the country taking pictures of same-sex couples, featuring them in their book titled “Love is […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Colony Days: Event to celebrate original Palmer settlers

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 10, 21:06

    It’s going to be an eventful weekend in downtown Palmer. Colony Days started as an opportunity to honor the town’s original colonists, but has grown to a weekend extravaganza. Few people understand what’s being celebrated better than Joe Lintz. “I was a colonist kid. I was some 30 days old when I got here,” Lintz said. […]

  • Alaska News

    First marijuana license in Alaska goes to testing facility

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 09, 14:42

    The first Alaska business to receive the license necessary to open a legal marijuana business is a testing facility. The state’s Marijuana Control Board approved CannTest for a license at a meeting Thursday. CannTest CEO Mark Malagodi said he felt lucky to be the first on the list. The approval of his license was met […]

  • Alaska News

    State could begin approving marijuana business applications Thursday

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 08, 20:37

    On Thursday, the state will meet to begin approving marijuana licenses for cultivation and testing facilities. There are 30 potential businesses up for review, including Arctic Herbery in Anchorage. Real estate agent Bryant Thorp hopes to open the small boutique grow operation on Arctic Boulevard near 71st Avenue. For many, the dream of opening a marijuana business […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Demolition begins on Town Square Park fountain

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 06, 21:03

    On Monday morning, in downtown Anchorage, the sounds of a summer storm were muffled by thundering construction. This week, crews are demolishing the landmark fountain in the center of Town Square Park. Tristan McGee watched as heavy machinery tore through the concrete. “To see all the memories, they’re just washing them away,” McGee said, snapping a few […]

  • Only in Alaska

    Anchorage farmers markets see early vegetable crops

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 04, 18:22

    On a sunny Saturday in summer, you’ll find people come together over food. “We came out to get some fresh vegetables and have some Russian food and just enjoy the atmosphere,” Sheryl Sotelo said while attending the Spenard Farmers Market. Like many others, Sotelo was surprised to see just how many fresh vegetables are available […]

  • News

    Murkowski demands answers for Legacy Wells cleanup

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 03, 21:30

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) worked all winter to clean up old government drilled wells on the North Slope, but it didn’t quite go as planned. Now, Sen. Lisa Murkowski is demanding answers from federal officials. Murkowski wrote her concerns in a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “I have received reports […]

  • Lifestyle

    Palmer farmer growing wheat for Anchorage Distillery

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 01, 20:09

    Ben VanderWeele has been farming in Palmer for nearly 50 years. When people suggest there is something he can’t grow, he takes it as a challenge. “People tell me I cannot grow it and then I have to try it,” VanderWeele said. VanderWeele’s farm consists of hundreds of acres of land. Most of it is […]