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 the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

This past spring, students around Alaska took the state’s new standardized test, the Performance Evaluation of Alaska Schools, or PEAKS. The test evaluated students from third to tenth grade on reading, writing and math. State and districtwide results were released in early September, but the think tank Alaska Policy Forum released a visual map of those results on Wednesday, showing individual schools’ results.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

More than two weeks after the deadly shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead, including two Alaskans, victims are still being treated, but Alaskans also responded to the shooting. Travis Ogden is a firefighter and a medic with Kachemak Emergency Services, which serves the area just northeast of Homer. Ogden was one of more than 180 Red Cross responders that helped treat victims after shooter Stephen Paddock fired hundreds of rounds into the crowded Route 91 Harvest country music festival.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion

The Homer Mariners were just two yards shy of winning a state title Saturday.  The team faced Barrow in the First National Bowl Series Division III championship in Palmer, losing 14-20.

Homer marched about 75 yards down the field for their final drive, but the Whalers stopped Homer’s offense just shy of the end zone, ending the Mariners and Head Coach Walter Love’s 7-2 season.

Loves said there were plenty of mistakes made throughout the game, notably the boys’ lack of urgency during the final drive. He explained the team continued to huddle after the two-minute warming.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The logging industry in Southeast Alaska has been on the decline for years. Timber sales are shrinking, and there are very few jobs to be had at the lone commercial sawmill still in operation, but logs from the Tongass are being milled elsewhere in Alaska. One Homer resident is trying to carve out his spot in the logging industry with what the tide brings.

“One of my favorite things about cutting cedar, the wonderful smell of cedar,” Homer resident Scott Dickerson said as he pulled the rain cover off his sawmill on a clear fall day.

Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI News

The Homer City Council’s longest sitting member sat through his last meeting on Monday. Council member David Lewis played a role in many major decisions during his three terms and after nine years on the panel, and he says it’s time to leave, a decision he announced earlier this year. KBBI’s Aaron Bolton spoke with Lewis Tuesday about his time in local government, from what issues lie before the new city council to surviving a contentious recall election. 

Courtesy of Alaska State Troopers

A body found near Noview Avenue in Homer was positively identified as that of a missing Texas man, John Griffith. Griffith was reported missing on Sept. 2. He was last seen at O’Reilly Auto Parts off Pioneer Avenue late that morning.

According to Alaska State Troopers, the State Medical Examiner Office ruled Griffith’s death a suicide.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

For the first time, the Homer Mariners Football team is heading the state championship game in the small schools division. The team clinched their seat in the First National Bowl Series Division III championship after beating Ben Eielson last weekend and will face Barrow for the championship in Palmer Saturday. The Mariners defeated Barrow earlier this season, but Head Coach Walter Love said the team is taking nothing for granted.

Courtesy of Conrad Field.

The Kachemak Heritage Land Trust is hosting its annual gala this weekend, and as part of the event, it will give away its fourth annual Land at Heart award, which honors those who have made contributions to land conservation on the Kenai Peninsula.

Carmen and Conrad Field will receive the award Saturday for their years of environmental education work around the peninsula. Carmen passed away in early 2016, but her husband Conrad will be on hand to accept the award. He said he’s honored the land trust is recognizing the legacy Carmen left behind.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Onsite consumption could become a reality for Alaska’s marijuana retail shops in the near future. The state Marijuana Control Board is taking public comment on proposed regulations that would allow consumers to use marijuana products at regulated establishments. The Homer City Council supported onsite consumption at its meeting Monday, but the council also recommended that only edibles should be consumed publicly due to concerns over first responders.

Shahla Farzan / KBBI

The official results for Homer’s local election are in. Caroline Venuti and Rachel Lord will be the newest additions to the Homer City Council. Both won by a landslide, each with 66 percent of the vote.

Lord and Venuti held 64 percent of the vote going into Friday, and Sarah Vance was in third. Vance came away with about 430 votes, 27 percent of the vote.

The city council is set to certify the results at its regular meeting on Monday. Venuti and Lord will both be sworn in during the meeting, and they are scheduled to take their seats on Oct. 30.