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

Alaska State Troopers

Alaska State Troopers responded to a burglary at McNeil Canyon Meats Wednesday. The store is about 12 miles from down East End Road from Homer.

Troopers are releasing few details, but said that two men entered the store early Wednesday morning. Troopers say the items taken are worth several thousands of dollars.

McNeil Canyon Meats could not be reached in time for this story.

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

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is struggling to fill a $4.5 million budget gap. It collects millions of dollars of sales tax each year. But some of that money is given back to businesses who remit sales tax on time. As part of a new question and answer series, one KBBI listener asked whether ditching that tax incentive could help the borough with its budget woes.  

Photo Courtesy of South Peninsula Hospital

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will host a public hearing at the Ninilchik School Thursday evening on an ordinance that would move the Central Peninsula Hospital’s service area boundary south of Ninilchik.

The current boundary sits just south of Clam Gulch at about mile 119 on the Sterling Highway.

Courtesy of the International Pacific Halibut Commission

U.S. and Canadian members on the International Pacific Halibut Commission, or IPHC, met earlier this month in an effort to resolve their differences over how Pacific halibut are distributed between regulatory areas.

The commission shocked the fishing industry in January after it could not agree on catch limits for 2018, bringing years of disagreement to a head.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

A local bar and restaurant may lose its liquor license because it owes thousands of dollars in delinquent property and sales taxes.

The Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office notified the city last month that Young’s Downtown Restaurant & Inn applied to renew its liquor license. According to the control office, Ock Kyung Lee is the current business license holder.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s finance department sent a letter later that month to let the city know that Lee owes about $23,000 in back taxes to the city and borough.

Photo KBBI Database

Homer has a housing problem. Like many rural Alaskan communities, finding a place to live can be a challenge. But the growing tourism industry may be making it more difficult for year-round residents to find long-term housing. With just a handful of hotels in town, visitors have been relying on Airbnbs and other vacation rentals. That demand may mean fewer rental options for Homer residents to choose from.


Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Every year, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company trains over 2,000 fishermen from Valdez to Kodiak how to respond to an oil spill in Prince William Sound and surrounding areas. Homer residents can see a mock response every spring just off shore in Kachemak Bay, but on Saturday, the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council gave the public and local decision makers a chance to get a first-hand look. The demonstration is part of an effort to help Alaskans better understand what goes into planning for a potential oil spill.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council is close to finalizing its proposal for a new $7.5 million police station. On Thursday, it came to a consensus on how it will ask the public to pay for $5 million of the project and how complete of a design it will present before Homer residents vote on a bond measure this fall.

The council unanimously agreed to pay for a survey of the site that would map out utilities, sample for hazardous material and determine soil composition.

Public Works Director Carrey Meyer told the council he expects the site to be suitable for the new station.

Homer News, Clarion and Empire change hands again

Apr 11, 2018
Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Peninsula Clarion, Juneau Empire and weekly Homer News are being acquired by a Canadian chain just six months after being sold to GateHouse Media.

The Alaska papers were sold by longtime owner Morris Communications for $120 million last fall.

The newest owner is Sound Publishing, a Seattle-based subsidiary that owns papers in the states of Washington, California and Hawaii. It's a subsidiary of Black Press, based in British Columbia.

In recent months, the trio of Alaska papers shared a top executive. But he's staying with GateHouse

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council is poised to create a task force to explore the cost of updating the Homer Education and Recreation Complex, or the HERC, for future use. But it postponed its decision on the matter Monday.

The HERC was previously evaluated as a potential site for a new police station, but that idea was scraped over concerns about hazardous material in the building. The gym is currently the only portion of the HERC the community uses.