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

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

When a powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska hit early Tuesday morning, it sent a host of people and systems into motion. Tsunami sirens were blaring and Emergency Alert System, or EAS, messages were broadcasting over radio and TV stations. But there were parts of the EAS that failed. Local, state and federal officials are now working to sort out those kinks.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Homer residents evacuated to higher ground early Tuesday morning after the National Weather Service’s Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer issued a tsunami warning for the Gulf of Alaska. The Homer Spit and other low-lying areas were evacuated, but Homer didn’t experience a wave, and no major damage was reported.

City officials say it was a good experience for residents and emergency responders.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

A potential marijuana cultivation facility’s future in Homer may be in jeopardy after it was found growing several marijuana plants before it was officially approved.

Alaska Loven It, a hopeful standard cultivation business on Kachemak Drive, was set to be considered for approval by the Homer City Council Monday.

Both City Planner Rick Abboud and Homer Police Chief Mark Robl had signed off on owner Dan Coglianese’s application, recommending its approval by the council before heading onto the Marijuana Control Board later this week.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Homer residents woke up to tsunami sirens in the early morning hours Tuesday. The National Weather Service Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer issued a tsunami warning for the Gulf of Alaska after an 7.9 magnitude earthquake was recorded about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak City at 12:32 a.m.

Many Homer residents evacuated, loading their family and pets into cars and headed to higher ground. Several gathered at the South Peninsula Hospital and more congregated at the Homer High School after the city opened it to shelter evacuated residents.

Latest update: 3:30

The National Weather Service Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer has downgraded the tsunami warning to an advisory. Homer City Manager Katie Koester says Homer residents in low-lying areas can return home. Residents are advised to stay out of the water as currents could be strong.

No wave was reported in Homer, but the National Weather Service reported a wave under a foot in Kodiak's harbor. Seward and Yakutat also saw waves measuring at about half of a foot. 

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Salmon runs in Prince William Sound are predicted to be average or below average in 2018.


For seiners, wild pinks are expected to come in about 20 percent under the 10-year average for even years, but Alaska Department of Fish and Game Area Management Biologist Charlie Russell said hatchery fish are expected to pick up some of the slack.

Creative Commons photo by Ed Bierman

The International Pacific Halibut Commission, or IPHC, will set the total allowable catch for halibut along the West Coast next week. At its interim meeting back in November, IPHC scientists suggested slashing 2018’s catch by 24 percent for both commercial and charter operations, a reduction of about 7.5 million pounds. That potentially large cut is likely to lead to heated debate during the commission’s meeting in Portland.

Image Courtesy of Homer Chamber of Commerce.

The Homer Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting on Wednesday and unveiled its outlook for 2018 and its mission for the new year is use new social media tools rather than print adds to bring more visitors to Homer and help business owners connect with existing resources in order to spur more economic development. KBBI’s Aaron Bolton spoke with the Chamber’s Executive Director Debbie Speakman about the initiatives.  

Editor's note: Speakman is a member of KBBI's Board of Directors. 

Alaska State Troopers

An Anchor Point man is in jail after stealing an ATV and barricading himself inside a residence Tuesday. Alaska State Troopers in Anchor Point received a report of a stolen side-by-side from a location off the Old Sterling Highway near Anchor Point just a little after 1 p.m.

Troopers and the owner of the ATV followed the tracks to a location just north of Anchor Point off La Duquesa Lane.

Troopers Spokesperson Megan Peters said Troopers then followed footprints from the ATV to a trailer.


The International Pacific Halibut Commission, or the IPHC, will kick off its annual meeting in Portland Monday. The international regulatory body is expected to slash the total allowable catch of halibut on the West Coast by 24 percent due to declining stocks. With potentially less Pacific halibut on the market, prices are likely to increase, but a new direct competitor on the East Coast may hamper the market’s ability to compensate for lower halibut stocks in Alaska.