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

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer Cannabis Advisory Committee recommended that the city open up the Homer Spit to commercial cannabis Thursday. It also wants the city to prohibit smoking at marijuana establishments if the state approves on-site consumption later this fall.

Both recommendations unanimously passed the committee, and each will be forwarded onto the Homer City Council.

Committee member David Lewis, who also sits on the council, said he would rather the committee hold its recommendation opening up the spit to commercial marijuana until a retail business sets up shop.

Courtesy of the Homer Police Department

The Homer News is reporting that a Superior Court judge sentenced Stephen Boyle to 10 years in jail, with six years of that sentenced suspended. Boyle is the former assistant fire chief of Kachemak Emergency Services.

Courtesy of Fish and Game

Those who waited to participate in the Kachemak Bay personal use gillnet fishery are going home with empty nets this year. The fishery, which targets coho salmon around Kachemak Bay, came to a close Saturday after just one 48-hour opening. That’s the fastest closure on record.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Assistant Area Managment Biologist Ethan Ford explains initial reports on Friday showed that fishermen landed nearly half of the 2,000 fish allowed in the first 24 hours.

Courtesy of the City of Seldovia

The Seldovia Police Department is investigating a boat fire near a public dock in Jakolof Bay. The M/V Purecin, which was beached on state tidelands near the dock, was set on fire somewhere between Sunday and Monday evening.

The vessel sank at the dock last December, and its owner had the vessel pulled from the water a few days later. Seldovia City Manager Tod Larson said the city has been working with the state and the owner to remove the vessel over the past eight months.

Courtesy of Mariner Football

The Homer Mariners are headed into the third week of the football season, and with a new head coach, things are looking good for the young group of players. Shop teacher Walter Love took over the team this year after moving from Oklahoma, where he coached youth league and middle school football for the past 15 years.

Love says he didn’t expect to get back into coaching in Alaska.

“You know in Oklahoma, coaching in football is a little more stressful. I really wanted to focus on my teaching, and this just sort of happened,” he explained.

South Peninsula Hospital CEO Robert Letson announced his retirement last week, ending his decade-long stint in Homer. Letson decided to retire after a couple of family members dealt with health issues over the past year, but he plans to stay on for the next nine months, affording the hospital’s board ample time to find a replacement.

Prior to working at SPH, Letson worked at both for-profit and non-profit hospitals around Georgia and the Carolinas for about 30 years.

He said when he made his initial site visit to Homer, the Kenai Peninsula’s beauty sold itself.

Photo by Quinton Chandler/KBBI

An expansion of the state’s largest hydroelectric facility is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Alaska Energy Authority’s Board of Directors approved a $46.6 million expansion of Bradley Lake, about 30 miles northeast of Homer, at its meeting earlier this month.

The Battle Creek project, as it’s known, will divert runoff from the Battle Glacier via a 1.7-mile pipeline, just upstream of the Bradley Lake dam.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Emergency responders from around the Homer area responded to a worst-case scenario Saturday, a fake bomb threat on a plane, followed by a live mock crash at the Homer Airport. The drill, organized by state officials and local authorities, not only allowed the city to test its disaster response plan, but it also maintained certifications that allow Homer to provide vital emergency services.

“Without this exercise every three years, we’re not in compliance with our firefighting program for FAA,” said Kevin Jones, manager of Homer’s airport.

Photo courtesy of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

The first day of school is just a few days away for students on the Kenai Peninsula. As kids enjoy the last days of summer, teachers are already setting up classrooms and gearing up for the school year. There will be a few changes for students on the Southern peninsula, but a focus on individualized learning will be among the more notable changes.

Courtesy of James Bennett

This past weekend, Homer resident Obadiah Jenkins was spending his 33rd birthday kayaking Six-Mile Creek in Hope at the 10th-annual Whitewater and Bluegrass Festival. Kayakers hold a friendly race as part of the festivities. Jenkins was taking a practice run through the class four rapids when a bystander filming the event, noticed another participant, 64-year-old Daniel Hartung of Indian Valley, flipped out of his kayak and became pinned under a log. Jenkins wasted no time organizing a rescue effort to save the man’s life.