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

Image courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four mariners Sunday after the commercial fishing vessel Soulmate was disabled and began drifting 57 miles west of Kodiak Island. The vessel is registered Joseph Samoilov of Homer.

The Coast Guard was contacted Saturday and stayed in contact with the crew every six hours before the Coast Guard Cutter Naushon was dispatched to the scene Sunday. The Soulmate was towed to Alitak Bay.

Weather on scene was reported as 15-mph winds and 11.5-mile visibility.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

As a number of commercial salmon fisheries around the state kick off this week, the outlook for ex-vessel prices is looking good. Fishing economists say between lower run forecasts and strong foreign and domestic demand, commercial fishermen will likely see higher prices this year. But that doesn’t necessarily mean commercial fishermen will earn more this season compared to last year.   

Andy Wink with Wink Research and Consulting said although prices vary by species and region, most fisheries should see stable or higher prices this year.

Image courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a 13-year-old boy Saturday near Chenega Island in the southwest corner of Prince William Sound.

The F/V Golden Pacific notified watchstanders that the boy was experiencing symptoms of a seizure after falling 18 feet. An EMT onboard the vessel assessed the teen before additional care was requested.

A Coast Guard flight surgeon agreed, and the vessel was diverted to Chenega Island. A Cordova-based Jayhawk helicopter crew then transported the teen to Anchorage.

Courtesy of Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Slow king salmon runs are prompting the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to close three popular rivers to sport fishing on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

Sport fishing in Deep Creek and on the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers will be closed starting midnight on June 2. The closures will run through July 15. The department also closed sport fishing for kings in salt water within 1 mile of shore from Bluff Point to the Ninilchik River.

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

House Rep. Paul Seaton of Homer is taking a new route this election cycle. Seaton has represented House District 31 on the Kenai Peninsula as a Republican since 2002, but he filed Thursday to run as a non-partisan candidate in the Democratic primary.

Homer High School

The Homer boys soccer team placed third in the Division II state tournament in Anchorage last week. The boys won their first game against Grace Christian 5-1, but dropped their second game to Kenai Central 0-2 on Friday. The boys shut down North Pole on Saturday 3-0.

Head coach Warren Waldorf says he’s happy with the season, but he says the program is losing several key players going into next season.

PenAir

Homer may see new airline come to town this year. Peninsula Airways, better known as PenAir, hopes to lease space at the Homer Airport this summer and begin offering flights by the fall.

The Homer City Council approved a resolution Tuesday that allows the city to negotiate with the airliner. The resolution calls for a 26-month lease and roughly $38,000 annually to lease space for a ticket office and baggage area.

KBBI News

The Copper River commercial sockeye fishery is likely to fall below forecast for the second year in a row. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game closed one of the fishery’s 12-hour openings last week due to low escapement and abysmal harvest levels.

That trend continued this week with a slow fishing period on Monday, and the department announced Wednesday that it’s closing the fishery on Thursday for the second week in a row.

Image Courtesy of Kachemak Emergency Services

It’s been a busy few days for area fire fighters. A cabin burned to the ground Tuesday and two homes off East End Road were threatened by another fire Sunday.

Kachemak Emergency Services Fire Chief Bob Cicciarella said a neighbor reported Tuesday’s fire off Eagleaerie Wilderness Road at about 10 a.m.

“There was nobody home at the time, somebody renting that cabin. A neighbor had called it in, saw that the building was pretty much fully involved when they noticed it,” he explained.

Several women have brought forth allegations against a South Peninsula Hospital department manager in Homer, describing an environment of bullying and sexual harassment.

 

The allegations against Douglas Westphal, the former director of the hospital’s rehab department, also include one instance of alleged sexual assault. Complaints have also been filed with the state Division of Professional Licensing, the local union and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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