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

Photo Courtesy of Ron Keffer.

Nanwalek’s school has been struggling to find more space for its students for years. The school typically crams 75 to 80 kids into a facility that is built to hold 60 students. The issue has brought the school out of compliance with the state’s capacity formula for schools.  

Last year, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District had no plans to expand the facility, but on Monday, the school board unanimously voted to prioritize solving the issue.

Courtesy of the Homer Police Department

The Homer Police Department responded to a stabbing on the Homer Spit Wednesday afternoon. 

According to a HPD press release, the call came in just after 1 p.m. Two men were reportedly fighting over a personal dispute when one of the men pulled out a knife to defend himself and stabbed the other in the back.

The victim is reported to have non-life threatening injuries and was transported to the South Peninsula Hospital. No arrests have been made and the incident remains under investigation. 

Courtesy of Homer News.

Morris Communications, an Augusta, Georgia-based media company announced the sale of the Homer News, the Peninsula Clarion and the Juneau Empire Wednesday. The three Alaskan papers were sold along with eight other daily and non-daily papers in a $120 million deal with GateHouse Media.

Homer News Editor Michael Armstrong said the deal was news to him Wednesday morning.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

School start times are changing for students on the Southern Peninsula this fall. Younger students will be getting out earlier than in past years, and with the first day of school just a couple of weeks away, some parents are scrambling to find a place for their kids to go after school. A coalition of businesses and non-profits in the Homer area are working to solve that problem.

  A Texas-based oil company plans to pause its onshore drilling operation in Cook Inlet in September, leaving about 150 workers without a job for the time being. 

 

Currently, Blue Crest Energy has two wells drilled at its 38-acre drill site just north of Anchor Point and plans to finish a third before halting operations. CEO Benjamin Johnson says the company isn’t shutting down the field, but it won't drill any new wells until it is payed $75 million in tax credits it’s owed by the state, or finds funding elsewhere. 

 

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The state has been collecting data on prescription opioids and controlled substances since 2012, but until last month, prescribers and pharmacies have been volunteering that data. As part of an ongoing legislative effort, medical professionals prescribing controlled substances are now required to provide hard numbers. The effort will help the state grasp the size of the opioid crisis and doctors’ prescribing habits.

Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

The Kenai Borough Assembly made two moves towards putting revenue measures on October’s ballot Tuesday. The assembly passed an underfunded budget earlier this spring, and it has been seeking ways to fill the remaining $4.1 million budget gap.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Two seats on the Homer City Council are up for grabs in October. So far, just one candidate has officially filed to run.

Homer resident and stay-at-mother Sarah Vance officially declared her candidacy Tuesday morning. Vance became a local public figure when she took on the role of spokeswoman for Heartbeat of Homer, the political action committee that pushed for the recall of three current council members. This will be Vance’s first time running for public office.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Alaska Public Offices Commission – or APOC – has issued three violations against Heartbeat of Homer, the political action committee that pushed for the recent recall effort of three Homer City Council members.

Heartbeat Chairman Michael Fell was among those who collected petition signatures to initiate a recall election, targeting council members Donna Aderhold, Catriona Reynolds and David Lewis. Petitioners took issue with two resolutions the council members crafted and sponsored, namely a resolution regarding inclusivity.

Courtesy of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is warning residents in the Kachemak Bay area to exercise caution when harvesting wild shellfish. The department received two reports in late July from individuals experiencing symptoms consistent with paralytic shellfish poisoning.

“We had some people who had harvested some shellfish recreationally and felt the symptoms of PSP, tingling, light headiness, numb feeling around their lips. They had called and let us know about that,” Lousia Castrodale said, an epidemiologist with the state’s health department.

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