Holly Torres

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is swamped with applications for programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and temporary assistance for families. But the backlog of applications for Medicaid is certainly the largest, and it’s hitting Alaskans with disabilities hard. Patients are often left without insurance and go weeks or even months just trying to get someone from the department on the phone.

Courtesy of the City of Seward

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is awarding the City of Seward disaster relief after a storm in December severely damaged a road that leads to a small village south of town.  

City Manager Jim Hunt said a strong tidal surge in the Gulf of Alaska combined with strong southerly winds sent waves crashing over Lowell Point Road during a high tide cycle in Resurrection Bay.

Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

Today on the Coffee Table: KBBI News Director Aaron Bolton speaks with Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, Assembly President Wayne Ogle and assembly member Willy Dunne about the budget and how to fill this year's roughly $2.8 million budget gap. 

Terry Rensel, KBBI General Manager

Three trees that were home to bald eagle nests near Anchor Point were recently chopped down, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency announced Friday that it is searching for the responsible party.

The wildlife service says the trees were initially discovered in aerial surveys. After investigating, the agency believes the trees were cut down this spring. All three trees are located within a half- mile radius and appear to be the only trees cut down.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Updated: 5:31 p.m. 

The Homer City Council’s regular meeting was canceled Monday afternoon after three council members refused to attend over a mayoral proclamation. The proclamation celebrated the LGBTQ community in Homer and declared June as “Homer Pride Month.”

Sugt'stun Word of the Week - June 11, 2018

Jun 12, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Qaiyum qilua  -  Seal intestines

Qaigyum qilua asirlartuq qiuryaliqqllukiu.

Seal intestines are good for braiding and smoking.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Late last month, firefighters stomped out three fires in just a couple of days. Two of those blazes burned mostly grass and trees, but one burned a cabin and everything inside to the ground. Alonzo Lang rented the cabin on his friend’s property. Now, he’s rebuilding both his own life and his 4-year-old daughter’s. But he’s not doing it alone.

Lang is feeding his two pet pigs.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Editor's note: This is an ongoing story. Check back for updates.

The Homer City Council’s meeting Monday was canceled after a mayoral proclamation caused some controversy. The proclamation celebrated the LGBTQ community in Homer, and declared June as “Homer Pride Month.”

The meeting was canceled late Monday afternoon when council members Tom Stroozas, Shelly Erickson and Heath Smith alerted they city that they could not attend.

City Clerk Melissa Jacobsen says well over 70 emails both for and against the proclamation poured in throughout the day.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Election season is in full swing, and Homer received its third visit from a gubernatorial candidate Thursday. Scott Hawkins is running in the Republican primary this summer. Hawkins focused his pitch to voters largely on preserving Permanent Fund Dividends and cutting the budget.

Hawkins held a Q&A event at a local restaurant Thursday.  He presented himself to voters as a businessman who could drill down into the state’s finances and manage the Legislature.

“You’ve got 60 cats you’ve got to herd, 20 in the Senate and 40 in the House,” Hawkins said to a few laughs. 

Shahla Farzan, KBBI News

As Homer heads towards a special election on a bond proposition for a new police station later this month, the city will be trying to convince residents to approve increasing the city sales tax to pay for it, which is a big sticking point for some voters. As part of KBBI’s Q&A series, a local business owner asked what goes into that number and why can’t the city just pay for it out of savings? KBBI’s Aaron Bolton tries to answer that one.