Aaron Bolton

News Director

Aaron Bolton is excited to come on board at KBBI after spending his first year reporting in the state at KSTK in Wrangell. He grew up in southern Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2015 with a degree in professional journalism.

Prior to Alaska, Aaron reported for Radio K in Minneapolis. He spent his free time going to local concerts and promoting shows and music festivals. Since making the move, he has spent his time in the backcountry snowboarding whenever possible.

Ways to Connect

North Pacific Fishery Management Council

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will meet in Kodiak June 4 through the 11.

The council was set to discuss the seemingly growing number of unguided rental boats within the halibut charter industry, but council member Andy Mezirow – owner of Gray Light Charters in Seward – said the agenda item will likely be postponed until the fall in order to collect more information.  

Mezirow said the council is concerned that halibut charters are bypassing the reduced number of fishing days during the summer and other regulations by offering unguided rental boats.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Homer’s first marijuana retail shop is set to open Thursday. Uncle Herb’s was approved by the state Marijuana Control Board back in September, and the shop will open its doors just in time for the busy summer season.

Store manager Aaron Stiassny will run the shop in Homer for his father Loyd. Stiassny currently manages the family’s shop in Anchorage under the same name.

The display cases in Homer were empty Wednesday evening, but Stiassny said the shop will be stocked and ready to go.


The sockeye run on the Copper River is off to an incredibly slow start. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game opened the fishery on May 17 for a 12-hour fishing period.

Gillnetters came home with roughly 1,900 sockeye and returned on Monday for another opening, but fishing still remained slow with only 3,400 fish winding up in nets.

Fish and Game biologist Jeremy Botz said those numbers are well under what the department expected.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Gov. Bill Walker visited Homer Thursday. Walker was in town for an campaign fundraiser Thursday evening, but he also met with public officials and gave a speech during a Homer Rotary Club meeting in the afternoon.

Walker highlighted the end of the legislative session, and noted some of the roughly 130 bills passed this year, namely Senate Bill 26. The bill will allow the state to draw from the Permanent Fund Earnings reserve to pay for both dividends and government.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Department

Students in Kachemak Selo, a small Russian Old Believer village near the head of Kachemak Bay, have been dealing with deteriorating school conditions for several years, but the community is another step closer to a new school.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly introduced an ordinance Monday that would ask voters this fall to approve spending up to $3.5 million on a new facility.

Assembly member Kelly Cooper told fellow assembly members that this has been a long time coming.

The Alaska Division of Forestry

Firefighters are mopping up a blaze that burned several acres of grass, brush and dead trees in Nikolaevsk Monday.

Howie Kent is a Fire Management Officer with the Alaska Division of Forestry. Kent said the fire has not been officially extinguished and that dead trees in the area are still burning.

“Those heavy fuels are still burning and smoldering. So, we’re going in there today with a crew and some of the firefighters that initially attacked that fire yesterday to finish extinguishing the hot spots and the smoldering heavy fuels,” Kent explained.

Courtesy Alcohol & Marijuana Control Board

A Homer-based marijuana cultivation business that was caught growing several plants prior to approval by the state Marijuana Control Board will now be allowed to legally operate.

The control board denied Alaska Loven It’s standard cultivation permit application in January after co-owner Dan Coglianese was found growing 24 immature marijuana plants prior to approval.

The Alaska Division of Forestry

Editor's note: This story has been updated in another post.   

Updated: 10:59 p.m. 5/14/18

Firefighters responded to a brushfire in Nikolaevsk Monday afternoon.

The blaze was reported at about 4 p.m. Monday. At the scene, Anchor Point Fire Chief Al Terry said both the Division of Forestry and his department were already at the scene of another fire when the call came in.

Alaska State Troopers

Alaska State Troopers say a pilot is dead after crashing early Saturday morning near Whittier.

According to a Trooper dispatch, the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center notified Troopers that an emergency location transmitter had gone off in the area Saturday morning.

Troopers were not able to access the crash site due to weather, but both Rescue Coordination Center and U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crews were able to confirm the sole occupant of the small aircraft was dead.