Local News

E-Cig Debate Comes To Kenai

Posted August 8th, 2014 by

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The continuing debate about where it is or isn’t appropriate to enjoy an electronic cigarette made its way to the Kenai City Council this week. The vote to treat them like traditional cigarettes failed, but could be reconsidered.
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Parnell Signs Bill Into Law In Kenai

Posted July 30th, 2014 by

The business of refining oil in Alaska got a little cheaper Tuesday. Governor Sean Parnell signed House Bill 287 into law, which provides millions of dollars in tax credits for in-state refineries, including the Tesoro refinery in Nikiski.
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Posted July 10th, 2014 by

<div class = “avcaEmbedC”> <div class = “avcaHeader”> <a href = “http://www.avcaptureall.com/Sessions/City-Of-Soldotna-AK/Legislative/City-Council.aspx?session=14ecbd5e-7795-4e5b-8902-352bf86e78d2″>City Council</a> <a href = “http://www.avcaptureall.com/Sessions/City-Of-Soldotna-AK/Legislative/City-Council.aspx?session=14ecbd5e-7795-4e5b-8902-352bf86e78d2″>City of Soldotna, AK</a> </div> <div id = “avcaEmbed291″></div> <a href = “http://www.avcaptureall.com/Sessions/City-Of-Soldotna-AK/Legislative/City-Council.aspx?session=14ecbd5e-7795-4e5b-8902-352bf86e78d2″ class = “avcaDocs”>See 9 documents attached to this video</a> &raquo; </div> … Continue reading

Primary Ballot Set For August

Posted June 10th, 2014 by

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Primary voters will have a number choices on the ballot this August. Eleven Kenai Peninsula residents have filed for the upcoming campaign season. We’ll start with the races that end in Washington D.C. Twenty-one term incumbent Don Young will defend … Continue reading

Firefighting Crews Welcome the Rain

Posted May 29th, 2014 by

Light rain and little wind has helped keep the Funny River fire from growing much for the past two days. It’s 46 percent contained and as of Wednesday night afternoon, it’s estimated to have burned more than 192,000 acres on … Continue reading

Funny River Residents Return Home

Posted May 27th, 2014 by

Tuesday morning, the fire management team lifted the evacuation of Funny River Road from Mile 7 to the end. The road remains under an evacuation alert, which means residents should be ready to leave again if the fire gets worse … Continue reading

Funny River Fire Burns 176,000 Acres

Posted May 26th, 2014 by

The Funny River Fire continued to burn the central Kenai Peninsula this week. As of Monday night, it’s estimated to have burned more than 176,000 acres with 30 percent containment. Funny River Road from Mile 7 to the end was … Continue reading

Funny River Fire Grows, Crews Set Up Camp

Posted May 22nd, 2014 by

Tents are set up for crews fighting the Funny River fire at the base of the Tsalteshi Trails behind Skyview High School Thursday morning. (Photo: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL)

The Funny River Fire has now consumed nearly 50,000 acres. By Thursday morning, a command center had been established at Skyview High School, and crews were again focusing their efforts on keeping the fire away from residential areas in Funny River and Kasilof.
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Skyview Holds Last Graduation

Posted May 21st, 2014 by

Terri Zopf-Schoessler delivers the keynote address at Skyview's final graduation ceremony Tuesday at the Soldotna Sports Complex. (Photo: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL)

Sky View High School held its graduation ceremony Tuesday night at the Soldotna Sports Center. The 70 members of the class of 2014 are Skyview’s last graduates, as the school consolidates with Soldotna High School starting in the fall.
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Nikiski Teacher Charged With Sex Abuse

Posted May 15th, 2014 by

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Details are coming out about the Nikiski teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student. Thirty-six year old Jeremy Anderson has been charged with seven counts of first degree sexual abuse of a minor. A music teacher at … Continue reading

Mayor’s Group Seeks Input On LNG Line

Posted May 7th, 2014 by

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Construction of an in-state natural gas pipeline is still years away, if it happens at all. But even though the project is far from a sure thing, municipalities from Barrow to Valdez are thinking about how to handle the potential economic boom that could come with it.
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Long Time Bush Doctor Shares Aleutian Tales

Posted April 25th, 2014 by

Dr. Nancy Sydnam and her dog Tigger at Adak. Dr. Sydnam spent two decades overseeing medical clinics in the Aleutians. (Photo: Hardscratch Press)

For 22 years, Dr. Nancy Sydnam made the action-packed flight out to the Aleutian Islands to supervise the remote health clinics there. On Thursday, she shared some of her stories from that time from her book ‘Sideways Rain’ at the Soldotna Library. While she was in town, she stopped by the studio to speak with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran.
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Micciche Proposes State Smoking Ban

Posted April 10th, 2014 by

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A proposal that would ban smoking in most public places in Alaska is making headway in the state Senate. Senate Bill 209 passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee last week. The bill would ban smoking in office buildings, sports arenas, taxicabs, bars and restaurants, among other public places.
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Sage Wisdom At Garden Gathering

Posted March 31st, 2014 by

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If you’ve got a green thumb, the time is right for getting started on this year’s garden. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran was at the Kenai Visitor’s Center Saturday to find out what people are planning to grow, and what tips the Central Peninsula Garden Club has for them.
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Gardeners Gear Up For Expo

Posted March 26th, 2014 by

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Gardeners on the Peninsula are gearing up for another growing season. Whether you’re a veteran or a novice, a roundtable event this weekend will offer some pro tips on how to get the most out of the ground.
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Assembly Spars Over Bill To Honor Vets

Posted March 20th, 2014 by

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The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly grappled with how best to recognize the service of local veterans at its meeting this week. Listen: Supporting veterans is a pretty popular thing to do, politically and culturally.At leastsymbolically. And government bodies adopt resolutions … Continue reading

City Hopeful For Progress On Bluff Erosion

Posted March 10th, 2014 by

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For decades, the city of Kenai has been waiting for final approval to move ahead with plans for a bluff erosion project. After getting the attention of ranking officials in the US Army Corps of Engineers, that might finally be happening. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran has more.
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Lawmakers Seek Elodea Ban

Posted March 4th, 2014 by

Elodea Canadensis. This popular aquarium plant poses a threat to lakes on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service)

Biologists have been working to rid the Kenai Peninsula of the invasive water plant elodea for almost two years. Now, they might have a little help from Juneau. A House Bill introduced last week seeks to formalize a ban on the plant.
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Snapshots of History

Posted February 28th, 2014 by

Al Hershberger, a 65-year Kenai Peninsula resident, gives the back story to photos taken during construction of the Sterling Highway,including the dedication of the first Soldotna bridge. (Photo: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL)

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly chambers were pretty full Friday afternoon. But not for some committee meeting or budget presentation. The Borough’s Land Management division kicked off a series of brown bag lunch events, focused on the history of the Peninsula and what the future could look like. Long-time resident Al Hershberger shared just a few of his many photos of the modern building of the Kenai.
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Navarre Announces Reelection Run

Posted February 25th, 2014 by

Borough Mayor Mike Navarre addresses the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce Tuesday at the Soldotna Sports Center. (Photo: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL)

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre delivered his annual State of the Borough address Tuesday. There are a few issues the Mayor says he’s concerned with in the short term, but long-term prospects in the Borough look good.
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Sculpting A New Scene

Posted February 17th, 2014 by

A variety of works are on display at the Kenai Fine Arts Center for the annual KPC Student Art League show. (Photo: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL)

The annual Kenai Peninsula College student art show is on display. As KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran reports, this year’s exhibit takes a bit of a turn with students working under the guidance of new Art Student League advisor Cam Choy.
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Author Recounts Bear Attack, Recovery

Posted February 13th, 2014 by

Dan Bigley, author of 'Beyond the Bear' talks about his encounter and long recovery Wednesday night at Kenai Peninsula College. (Photo: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL)

Ten years ago this July, Dan Bigley was fishing along the Russian River. He and his friends found themselves caught between a sow and her cubs. Dan Bigley lost his eye sight as a result of that encounter, but according to his new book ‘Beyond the Bear’, gained a NEW sense…One of community. Bigley spoke recently at Kenai Peninsula College as part of the KPC Showcase series.
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Skyview Pool Funds Drying Up

Posted February 11th, 2014 by

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An estimated $4.5 million budget shortfall for next year has the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District school board considering all kinds of cuts. And that includes the possibility of shutting down the pool at Skyview High School.
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Board Adopts New King Salmon Plan

Posted February 5th, 2014 by

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The state Board of Fisheries continued deliberation over dozens of proposals for Cook Inlet fishing industries Wednesday. Some steps were made in the direction of conserving Kenai River king salmon, but many other issues are due for some attention.
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Industry Leaders Meet For Outlook Forum

Posted January 31st, 2014 by

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Representatives from several state agencies and natural resources industries met in Kenai for the annual Industry Outlook Forum, sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District and The Alliance. The speakers were all optimistic about the prospects for Cook Inlet energy production in the coming year.
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By The Numbers: What Escapement Goals Are

Posted January 30th, 2014 by

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When the Board of Fish meets next week in Anchorage, a number of the proposals it will debate will be centered on escapement goals. Biological, optimal or sustainable, these are the numbers managers use to decide when people fish and how hard. Here’s a closer look at what those numbers are, and how they’re established.
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Honor Band Performs In Soldotna

Posted January 28th, 2014 by

University of Idaho music professor Dan Bukvich conducts the Honor-Mass High School Band Tuesday in Soldotna. (Photo: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL)

Each year, some of the Peninsula’s most talented young musicians gather for two days to put on a concert at the Honor-Mass High School Band Festival. This year’s event features guest conductor Dan Bukvich from the University of Idaho. The band will be performing several selections, including one by Bukvich.
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School District Begins Budget Work

Posted January 21st, 2014 by

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Kenai Peninsula Borough School District officials are getting to work crafting next year’s spending plan. The school board is met Tuesday morning to start the process. The preliminary budget totals about $160 million.
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Kenai City Council Dives Into Board of Fish Proposals

Posted January 17th, 2014 by

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With Board of Fish meetings right around the corner, municipalities on the Kenai Peninsula have been weighing in with support for and sometimes objection to, a variety of different management proposals. The Kenai city council took up a host of those proposals at its meeting this week. But not everyone on the council thought this was the right move.
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SMH: Silver Bullet?

Posted January 14th, 2014 by

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In two weeks, the state Board of Fish will begin meetings to deal with Upper Cook Inlet fishing issues. Chief among them, managing the various fisheries in the area in a time when king salmon are struggling. One of the proposals the Board will review seeks a new way to commercially harvest sockeye salmon while letting the kings back into the river.
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Treadwell Explains Initiative Decision

Posted January 8th, 2014 by

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A proposed initiative to ban commercial setnetting was rejected earlier this week by Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell. He was in Kodiak Wednesday, campaigning for his Senate run and talked about that decision, and the previous court cases that were used to make it.
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KDLL Seeks New Station Manager

Posted January 6th, 2014 by

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KDLL seeks an energetic, dynamic leader to help grow our local, public radio station with a large and diverse audience. The Station Manager will represent KDLL in the community and develop the professional relationships necessary to build the foundation of … Continue reading

Assembly Set For First 2014 Meeting

Posted January 2nd, 2014 by

Borough Mayor MIke Navarre addresses a full Assembly November 6th, 2013, as residents along K-Beach continue to battle rising groundwater. (Photo: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL)

When the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly reconvenes for its first meeting of 2014, there will be a lot of commending resolutions, grant appropriations and other fairly routine business on the agenda. That’s a sharp contrast from a year ago, when one of 2013’s most contentious issues took center stage from the get-go.
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Skyview Student Up For Spirit Of Youth Award

Posted December 21st, 2013 by

Moira Pyhala is interviewed by Spirit of Youth's Shana Sheehy. Pyhala is one of 100 Alaska youths nominated for the award. (Photo: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL)

The Kenai River brings in thousands of tourists every year; for fishing, rafting, or just to see the sights. But it also brings in a lot of volunteers who work to preserve all those activities. Moira Pyhala is one of those volunteers, and her efforts have earned her a nomination for a Spirit of Youth Award.
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Public Tells Commissioners HB77 Concerns

Posted December 10th, 2013 by

Deputy DNR Commissioner Ed Fogels, Sen. Peter Micciche (Soldotna) and Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell heard public testimony on HB77 Monday in Soldotna. (Photo: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL)

Borough Assembly Chambers in Soldotna were standing room only Monday night. State Senator Peter Micciche held a public meeting about House Bill 77, the controversial piece of legislation that aims to streamline permitting for the Department of Natural Resources. Not one member of the public testified in favor of the bill.
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No Injuries in Sterling Plane Crash

Posted December 6th, 2013 by

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Heavy rain and ice were the cause of a plane crash near Sterling Wednesday afternoon. Alaska State Trooper Spokesperson Megan Peters says the pilot, 49 year-old David Duncan of Sterling, was attempting to bring the single engine Citabria down at Dutch Landing.
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SoHi To Remain So-Named

Posted December 4th, 2013 by

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Soldotna High School’s name will not change for next year’s new schools configuration. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District school board made the decision during its meeting Monday night. The name on the building became the most contentious part of the reconfiguration process.
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A Different World: Growing Up Dena’ina

Posted December 2nd, 2013 by

The most comprehensive exhibit featuring the artifacts and culture of the Dena’ina the Anchorage Museum has ever produced is on display for about six more weeks. The exhibit’s coordinator, Aaron Leggett, spoke at Kenai Peninsula College recently to talk about what’s at the museum and his own experience growing up Dena’ina.
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Ulti-MUTT Dog Show at KPC

Posted November 25th, 2013 by

Tyann Reed and Courtney Parker shelter their dogs Bo and Basil Lynn from the chilly temperatures outside KPC Friday.

Fridays power outage didn’t do anything to deter a handful of dog lovers at Kenai Peninsula College, who were there for the Student Union’s first dog show. Listen: Student Union president Teresa Cross was grilling hot dogs while dog owners … Continue reading

Healthcare Navigators From Enroll Alaska Working At CPH

Posted November 19th, 2013 by

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It’s been a rough six weeks for anyone dealing with the new health care law. Problems with the federal website have made it difficult for individuals to sign up. And the state-level organizations, like Enroll Alaska, haven’t had much better luck. But there’s help available for insurance shoppers on the Central Peninsula.
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The Legend Of Soapy Smith

Posted November 15th, 2013 by

Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, pictured in Skagway in 1898. (Photo: soapysmiths.blogspot.com)

Alaska’s history is peppered with crooks, cons and other characters famous for running afoul of the law. One of them is Soapy Smith, whose travels brought him briefly to the Kenai Peninsula. Historian Jane Haigh has written about Smith, and on Thursday night, told his story at the Kasilof Regional Historical Association Museum.
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Borough Still Taking Damage Reports From K-Beach Flooding

Posted November 14th, 2013 by

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As winter slowly creeps into the area, residents along Kalifornsky Beach Road continue to deal with high groundwater. The Borough has been pumping water from a basin on Karluk Avenue down K-Beach and into Cook Inlet for almost two weeks, providing some relief, and allowing road crews to repair some exposed areas.
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Tustemena Lodge Encourages Locals To Make It Their Own

Posted November 13th, 2013 by

New owners welcome locals back to the Tustumena Lodge in Kasilof. (Photo: Ariel Van Cleave/KBBI)

There aren’t many highways suitable for road-tripping in Alaska. But the ones we do have are dotted with plenty of interesting road-side attractions. In the third part of a series we’re calling “Roadside Attractions,” we make a pit stop at the recently re-opened Tustumena Lodge in Kasilof.
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“Roadside Attractions”: Ninilchik Orthodox Church

Posted November 7th, 2013 by

The Orthodox Church in Ninilchik sits on a hill, as do many Orthodox churches in Alaska, overlooking Cook Inlet. (Photo: Ariel Van Cleave/KBBI)

There aren’t many highways suitable for road-tripping in Alaska. But the ones we do have are dotted with plenty of interesting road-side attractions. In the second part of a series we’re calling “Roadside Attractions,” we head to Ninilchik and get a tour of the historic Russian Orthodox Church just off the highway.
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Expanded Bear Hunt Leaves Questions For Managers

Posted October 31st, 2013 by

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A liberalized brown bear season on the Kenai has resulted in more than sixty bears harvested. Citing increased bear-human conflicts and a threat to the moose population, the Board of Game allowed permitted hunting this year with the goal of bringing the bear population down. How this year’s harvest will contribute to that goal is not known.
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Skyview Takes Last Volleyball Match Against SoHi

Posted October 24th, 2013 by

The Skyview Volleyball team lines up before its final match against crosstown rival SoHi. (Photo: Ariel Van Cleave/KBBI)

Skyview High School’s volleyball team had a win Tuesday night against Soldotna High. The game was the last time the two schools would compete in a cross-town rivalry due to reconfiguration for next year. During Tuesday night’s varsity game Skyview players said goodbye to four seniors and thanked Coach Sheila Kupferschmid for 15 years of service. This is her last season at the school.
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Assembly Approves $43M In Revenue Bonds for Hospital Expansion

Posted October 23rd, 2013 by

Central Hospital Peninsula CEO Rick Davis addresses the Assembly Tuesday. The Assembly adopted a resolution to issue $43 million in revenue bonds for continued expansion at CPH.

Tucked into this week’s Borough Assembly agenda was a resolution approving the issue of $43 million dollars’ worth of revenue bonds to complete the next phase of expansion at Central Peninsula Hospital. That includes new office and administrative space and room for more procedures. The Assembly mostly had its mind made up, and in the end voted in favor of the resolution. But the sticker shock of a $43 million price tag added a bit of drama to the meeting.
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Are You Prepared for the Next ‘Big One?’

Posted October 21st, 2013 by

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Good Friday earthquake, which devastated many communities in Alaska, including those on the Kenai Peninsula. The anniversary has emergency planners asking the question, “Are we ready for the next ‘big one?’” … Continue reading

Court to DNR: Move It Along

Posted October 17th, 2013 by

An application to reserve stream flow for salmon has been awaiting processing by DNR for four years. (Photo: map of the proposed Chuitna Mine area. Alaska Department of Natural Resources)

After a four year wait, the Department of Natural Resources will finally make a decision on applications having to do with the proposed Chuitna mine. A superior court decision handed down this week compels the Department to make its decision within thirty days.
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CIRCAC Says Cook Inlet Pipeline Construction Could Begin Next Year

Posted October 16th, 2013 by

Lynda Giguere, Director of Public Outreach for CIRCAC, addresses the Kenai Chamber of Commerce Wednesday at the Kenai Visitors Center

It’s been more than four years since an eruption at Mt. Redoubt and questions still linger about the potential hazards of storing oil there. Both the industry and environmental groups have come out in support of construction of a sub-sea pipeline to replace the need for storage tanks at the Drift River terminal at Redoubt’s base, including Cook Inlet Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council.
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Students See First Steps In Salmon Life Cycle

Posted October 15th, 2013 by

Students from across the Peninsula met at the Anchor River for the annual kick off to the Salmon in the Classroom program. (Photo: Ariel Van Cleave, KBBI)

Students from central and southern Kenai Peninsula schools gathered at the Anchor River Friday to learn about the salmon life cycle. This was the kick-off to the Salmon in the Classroom program. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District partners with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to teach kids about one of the state’s most valuable resources.
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District Works Out Staffing Changes For Soldotna Plan

Posted October 14th, 2013 by

While a group of 14 community members, teachers and students mulls over the cultural changes for the Soldotna school reconfiguration, district officials are working on staffing and other nuts and bolts decisions for the three schools. Principals and assistant principals have already been announced. Decisions on teachers should come at the start of next year.
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UAF Proposes New Center For Salmon And Society

Posted October 10th, 2013 by

Seeking to contribute to the continued vitality of Alaskan wild salmon stocks, the University of Alaska Fairbanks is reaching out to see what kind of interest there is in a proposed Center for Salmon and Society. The endeavor is in its earliest stages, and they’re still looking for feedback.
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Few Solutions For High Water Table Near K-Beach

Posted October 7th, 2013 by

Residents near K-Beach Road just south of Kenai have been battling a rising water table the past few weeks. Thursday night, residents and Borough and State officials met to learn more about what can be done to gain some relief. There aren’t many concrete solutions except hoping for dry weather.
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Soldotna Hires New Librarian

Posted August 7th, 2013 by

The city of Soldotna has announced its decision for a new librarian. Rachel Nash will begin in her new position August 12th. Nash grew up in Sterling, the daughter of John and Katherine Beatty. She graduated from Skyview high school, … Continue reading

Buccaneer Testing Cosmo Well

Posted August 7th, 2013 by

Buccaneer has begun flow testing a natural gas well in the Cosmopolitan Unit near Anchor Point. The company announced in a press release Tuesday that it had flared natural gas during a production test on Sunday. From a depth of … Continue reading

Discussions Start On Sports Center Remodel

Posted August 2nd, 2013 by

At 30 years old, the Soldotna Sports Complex is beginning to show its age. A major remodel and expansion is planned for the facility, and the City of Soldotna is asking the public to weigh in on a master plan that will determine how the complex is used for the next 30 years.
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HEA Continues Work Toward More Renewables

Posted July 29th, 2013 by

At the end of the year, the Homer Electric Association will begin generating all its own power. HEA’s contract to buy electricity from Chugach Electric is up, but the Co-op isn’t done there. Plans are in the early stages for more generating capacity from more renewable resources.
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Progress Days Return

Posted July 24th, 2013 by

One of Soldotna’s longest running celebrations is coming around again this weekend. Progress Days this year will feature a long list of tried and true events and some newer attractions. Listen: -Shaylon Cochran/KDLL-

Local Fishing Group Suing ADF&G

Posted July 19th, 2013 by

A lawsuit filed in state superior court this week seeks to hold the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to its stated management policies for Cook Inlet fisheries. The group bringing the suit doesn’t think the department did that last year when it shut down commercial setnet fishing.
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Assembly Postpones Vote On Term Limits

Posted July 9th, 2013 by

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is still wrestling with the question of term limits. It was last answered by voters in a 2007 initiative, which kept Assembly members from running for more than two consecutive terms. It has been revisted at some level several times since then.
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New Salmon Study Tries To Pinpoint Location Of Kings, Reds As They Hit Rivers

Posted July 8th, 2013 by

King salmon runs to the rivers of Cook Inlet are down again this year. Complicating matters for Fish and Game managers are the strong sockeye runs that commercial and personal use fishers depend on. After last year’s disastrous fishing season, the Parnell administration launched a 5-year, $30 million effort to find out more about salmon life cycles in the ocean. One of the studies under way is trying to figure out where kings and reds are hanging out in the water just before they return to the rivers.
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Kenai Teen Learns D.C. Ropes

Posted June 25th, 2013 by

Every year, Senator Lisa Murkowski has a few high-school-aged interns work out of her office in Washington, DC. Kenai’s Duncan Brewer has been at the Capitol for the last several weeks learning the ropes.
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Local 4-Hers Pitching Livestock Sales Ahead of State Fair

Posted June 17th, 2013 by

The Kenai Peninsula Fair is months away, but 4-H members prepare all year for the event. The projects include raising livestock, presenting them to judges, and selling them. But right now, youngsters are doing some presentations to local businesses about their work. 4-H member, Mikaela Pitsch gave her sales presentation at KDLL studio.
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NMFS Corrects Math, Seismic Testing Continues

Posted May 31st, 2013 by

A lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service has been settled in District Court in Anchorage. Native and environmental groups took issue with some of the math the agency used to calculate how many Cook Inlet Beluga whales would be affected by seismic testing for oil and gas.
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Movin’ On Up

Posted May 22nd, 2013 by

SMS Graduation

Graduation season is in full swing and students up and down the Kenai Peninsula are closing the book on another year. Eighth graders at Soldotna Middle School took their turns walking across the stage Wednesday morning.
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Signing On: Volunteers Gather Signatures To Put Oil Tax Reform On The Ballot

Posted May 10th, 2013 by

Kate Veh (left) and Michele Vasquez gathered signatures Friday afternoon in Soldotna to get SB 21 put on a referendum ballot for the August 2014 elections.

Even though the state legislature is gaveled out, citizens on the Kenai Peninsula and across the state are trying to advance the legislative process in their own way. Rallies against Senate Bill 21 have been held all over Alaska since before the bill that lowers tax rates for oil companies was even voted on. The effort to get SB 21 on the fall ballot continued Friday in Soldotna.
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Peninsula Profile: Ray DeMeo

Posted May 8th, 2013 by

Ray DeMeo works on a custom violin at his home in Anchor Point.

The KBBI and KDLL news team brings you the latest in our series “Peninsula Profiles.” In this installment, Ariel Van Cleave met up with Ray DeMeo at his workshop just outside of Anchor Point. DeMeo is what’s known as a luthier. He’s been professionally building stringed instruments for nearly 20 years.
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Native Sites Represent Past, Present and Future

Posted April 22nd, 2013 by

There is an effort underway to preserve some key cultural sites around the Central Peninsula. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran visited the Kalifornsky Village Friday to hear a lecture from Kenai Peninsula College anthropologist Dr. Alan Boraas and learn more about the significance of these places.
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$50M Set Aside For Kenai Peninsula Projects

Posted April 9th, 2013 by

The Alaska State Senate passed its version of the 2014 capital budget Saturday, marking a total of just under $1.9 billion dollars for transportation, energy and public works projects around the state. The budget contains funding for many projects on the Kenai Peninsula.
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Still The Last Frontier?

Posted April 4th, 2013 by

As business, industry and population continue to grow on the Kenai Peninsula, residents and elected officials continue to grapple with the question of how to facilitate that growth in terms of the size of government and the specific roles it plays. We take a closer look at the ongoing issue of land use and management in the Borough.
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Alaskans March To Choose Respect

Posted March 28th, 2013 by

On Thursday, Alaskans in 140 different communities came together to rally in support of Choosing Respect. The rallies are part of an initiative started by Governor Sean Parnell in 2009 to address issues related to domestic violence and assault. The Leeshore Center in Kenai and the Haven House in Homer sponsored rallies on the Kenai Peninsula.
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Chenault, Olson Talk Oil Taxes, Education At Town Hall Meeting

Posted March 25th, 2013 by

The regular session of the state legislature will end in less than three weeks. Oil taxes, gas lines, education and a host of other issues await decisions in Juneau, and many of those same issues were discussed Saturday at a town hall meeting in Soldotna with House Speaker Mike Chenault of Nikiski and fellow House Republican Kurt Olson of Kenai.
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Board of Game Takes On Moose Declines

Posted March 18th, 2013 by

Biologist Thomas McDonough presents a report to the Board of Game Friday in Kenai.

The state Board of Game continues its meeting in Kenai this week. Beginning last Friday, the Board heard research updates from area biologists and two days of public testimony. Dwindling moose numbers on the Central Peninsula and what to do about it was a central topic as the meeting got underway. Continue reading

(Almost) Spring Cleaning

Posted March 15th, 2013 by

The interior of the greenhouse. Still a little cleaning left to do.

Spring really is right around the corner, at least according to the calendars, which for gardeners means it’s time to start planning. In the first part of a series that will air throughout the summer, KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran takes the first step in planting his first garden. Continue reading

HEA Soldotna Turbine Project Suffers Setback

Posted March 1st, 2013 by

The Homer Electric Association’s Combustion Turbine project in Soldotna is
experiencing a setback in its progress as HEA awaits completion of a generator stack. As a result, HEA terminated its agreement with project contractor NAES in an effort to mitigate financial risk to both parties. Continue reading

A (Brief) History Of Oil And Gas In Cook Inlet

Posted February 21st, 2013 by

Nearly 20 people filled the seats at the Kenai Fine Arts Center Wednesday night to watch a nearly 40 year old documentary about oil and gas exploration in Cook Inlet and chat about the issues of the day surrounding those industries. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran spoke with retired marine biologist and author Loren Flagg and former Homer Mayor and owner of the Homer News, Gary Williams, two men who watched the industry develop in its earlier days, about what’s changed and what has stayed the same over the past four decades.
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King Salmon Task Force Sends Ideas Off To Board Of Fish

Posted February 18th, 2013 by

The Upper Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries Task Force held its final meeting last week in Kenai. The group did accomplish its goal of sending recommendations to the Board about how to better manage salmon fishing when king salmon numbers are low, but there wasn’t much consensus among the user groups involved. Continue reading

DOT Deploys New Tow Plows In Soldotna

Posted February 15th, 2013 by

An Alaska DOT tow plow in action. (Photo courtesy Alaska DOT)

Motorists on the Central Peninsula will see some new equipment keeping roads clear in the very near future. Tthe Soldotna area joins Juneau as one of two places in the state where the Department of Transportation is deploying new tow plows. Continue reading

Talks Continue On Teacher Contracts

Posted February 11th, 2013 by

Last week, the Borough School District and its teachers and employees associations took another swing at settling contract negotiations, now in their 14th month. The differences separating the two sides may look small on paper, but translate to significant amounts of money in the classroom. Continue reading

City Council Mulls Dipnetting Options

Posted February 7th, 2013 by

Members of the Kenai City Council heard public testimony Wednesday night regarding how the City will approach the personal use dipnet fisher this summer. Costs to keep the beaches clean and rules enforced have been going up in concert with growing crowds, now numbering between 10 and 15 thousand people during the three week fishery. Continue reading

T-200 Back On Track For 2013

Posted January 24th, 2013 by

Just two weeks remain until the start of this year’s Tustemena 200 and the field of forty mushing teams is nearly set. After a few off years, the Iditarod and Yukon Quest qualifying race is back on track with some new sponsors and a bigger purse. Continue reading

New Cook Inlet Monitoring Site Aids Responders In Real Time

Posted January 8th, 2013 by


A new online tool developed by the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council and the Alaska Ocean Observing System went live last week, just in time to be put to use tracking developments off Kodiak Island with the grounding of the drilling rig Kulluk. The new Cook Inlet Response Tool, or CIRT, was designed specifically for tracking and planning for oil spills and other incidents around Cook Inlet Continue reading

Habitat Protection Makes Assembly’s First Agenda Of 2013

Posted January 4th, 2013 by

When the Borough Assembly gets together for its first meeting of 2013 next week, members will be back to an issue that dominated 2012: the expansion of the anadromous streams ordinance. Kelly Wolf, elected in October in part on his promise to repeal that expansion, has introduced an ordinance that would take habitat protections on the Peninsula back to what was in place in the mid-1990’s. Continue reading

Two Vessels Sink Near Jakalof Bay

Posted January 2nd, 2013 by

Alaska environmental regulators are responding to two fishing boats that sank south of Homer, possibly weighed down after heavy snow. The Department of Environmental Conservation says a 100-foot-by-100-foot sheen was spotted around the site where the boats sank sometime between … Continue reading

Sockeye Outlook Improves For 2013

Posted January 2nd, 2013 by

The Department of Fish and Game has released its 2013 sockeye forecast for Upper Cook Inlet. Following a strong sockeye run in 2012 that saw limited commercial harvest, the outlook for this year is even more promising. Continue reading

From The Headlines: Questions, Waste Linger At Arness Site In Nikiski

Posted December 26th, 2012 by

A twenty-acre site in Nikiski has been a thorn in the side of state environmental controllers and its owners for the better part of two decades. Popularly known as the Arness Site, after the family which owns the property, its history as an under-regulated waste dump has raised fears of groundwater contamination in the area and last week was the subject of a six part series by Peninsula Clarion reporter Brian Smith, tackling the history of the site, who has been held responsible for its pollution and what happens next. Continue reading

Ostrander Will Stay On As Facilitator For KPB Task Force

Posted December 4th, 2012 by

This month’s meeting of the Borough’s Anadromous Streams Task Force started off with a discussion about semantics. At issue was the role of the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Paul Ostrander, who is serving on the Task Force as group’s facilitator. Some members of the Task Force wanted more clarification about the nature of facilitating these meetings. Continue reading

Free Wood On K-Beach, Sterling Highway

Posted December 4th, 2012 by

Crews from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities are at work clearing vegetation  from right-of-way sections of the Sterling Highway near Ninilchik and K-Beach Road between Kenai and Kasilof. In a Press Release, the DOT said the objective … Continue reading

New Assisted Living Center Offers More Choice For Seniors

Posted November 30th, 2012 by

A new senior center is set to open next spring in Soldotna, part of a growing industry on the Kenai Peninsula. Partners from Riverside Assisted Living, who are constructing two of three new senior housing centers on the central peninsula, pitched their new facility at a presentation Friday morning at the Kenai Senior Center. Continue reading

The Economics of Fisheries Closures in 2012

Posted November 26th, 2012 by

Commercial fishermen and others who felt the economic effects of this year’s fishing season on the Kenai Peninsula are still grasping for a full understanding of how, and how much, these industries contribute to the local economy. The Kenai Peninsula Borough has taken the first steps in putting together an economic study that might provide that understanding.
Continue reading

Celebrating Salmon Through Song and Verse

Posted November 8th, 2012 by

As a follow up to last week’s salmon celebration at Kenai Peninsula College that featured a presentation on the importance of salmon to subsistence cultures by Dr. Alan Boraas, this week’s presentation, sponsored by the Kenai Watershed Forum, was an artistic outlet for the fishing culture. Continue reading

FTC Investigation Into Hilcorp, Marathon Deal Closed

Posted November 7th, 2012 by

The energy company Hilcorp has announced another step toward finalizing its acquisition of Cook Inlet assets from Marathon. The transaction had been under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, but that investigation has closed and the deal will move forward as South Central Alaska braces for a possible natural gas shortage in the coming years. Continue reading

A Right, A Privilege, A Duty: Kenai Votes

Posted November 6th, 2012 by


Voters across the country filled polling places Tuesday to cast ballots for local and national elections alike. We spent some time at the Kenai Senior Center Tuesday to speak with people after they’d made their voice heard in the democratic process. Continue reading

Young Musicians Prepare For Concert Debut

Posted October 31st, 2012 by

Kenai Peninsula Orchestra

The Kenai Peninsula Orchestra is performing this weekend with some special guests. Third grade students from several elementary schools around the Peninsula will perform with the Orchestra as part of the Link Up program sponsored by Carnegie Hall. Continue reading

Endeavor Departure Date In Question

Posted October 29th, 2012 by


A public meeting between representatives of Buccaneer Energy and concerned
Homer citizens turned contentious Wednesday night, with many people wondering why the company’s ‘Endeavor’ jack-up rig is still parked at the Homer harbor nearly two months after its arrival. Company officials say the rig will soon be moving to drill in the Cosmopolitan Unit near Anchor Point but the State of Alaska says that’s not likely to happen. Continue reading

Salmon Symposium Begins In Anchorage

Posted October 22nd, 2012 by

Scientists and fishermen of all stripes were in Anchorage Monday for the first of two full days of panel discussions about declining king salmon returns around the state. The discussions from day one presented as many questions as answers.
Continue reading

Teachers Hold Rally, Address Board

Posted October 17th, 2012 by

KPEA logo

  Contract negotiations between the Kenai Peninsula Education Association, Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association and the Borough School District continue, and at Monday night’s school board meeting, teachers rallied and spoke to the Board about their concerns in crafting a … Continue reading

SoHi Rocks Homer, Takes State Title 62-20

Posted October 15th, 2012 by

The SoHi Stars gather on the field at Tom Huffer Sr. Field at Chugiak High School Saturday after beating the Homer Mariners for the state medium schools division title.  (Photo: Aaron Selbig)

The Soldotna Stars and the Homer Mariners met Saturday night at Chugiak High School to determine the state’s medium-sized school football champion. Listen:   The SoHi Stars’ dominance over the weekend in Chugiak was reminiscent of the teams’ meeting in … Continue reading

Assembly Hears Concerns On Streams Ordinance

Posted October 11th, 2012 by

The agenda at Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly was relatively brief, giving the Assembly time to hear public testimony from many in the packed chambers.  The issues of concern:  the Borough’s anadromous streams ordinance and the … Continue reading

City of Kenai Accepts Land Donation

Posted October 9th, 2012 by

In a continued effort to expand access to beach areas around Old Town Kenai, the city recently accepted a gift of four parcels of land near Kenai Avenue.  The city has been gradually acquiring land in the area for several … Continue reading

Wolf, Downing Win Last Undecided Contests

Posted October 8th, 2012 by

Absentee and special ballots from last week’s Borough and Municipal elections have all been counting, settling the last two contests on the Kenai Peninsula. In the unofficial results released today (Monday), Kelly Wolf defeated Michael Winegarden for Assembly Seat 1 … Continue reading

KPB Election Results

Posted October 3rd, 2012 by

Tuesday’s Kenai Peninsula Borough and municipal election is in the books and while some races have clear winners, others could be decided by absentee ballots that have yet to be counted.   In the race for Borough Assembly Seat 9 … Continue reading

K-Beach Open At Mile 11, Repairs Continue

Posted October 1st, 2012 by

The Alaska Department of Transportation announced Monday that Kalifornsky Beach Road has been re-opened to traffic at Milepost 11 following last week’s flood-related washout. Crews from DOT began constructing a by-pass around the washout area on Friday, working through the weekend to … Continue reading

Soldotna Selects New Police Chief

Posted September 27th, 2012 by

The City of Soldotna has named a new Police Chief to replace John Lucking, Jr. who left the department abruptly in June. The job was offered to Pete Mlynarik, 50, who is currently the commander of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers … Continue reading

Flood Warning Still In Effect For Kenai River

Posted September 25th, 2012 by

Flooding along the Kenai River is beginning to subside, despite some road closures in the area.  The National Weather Service reported Tuesday that water levels crested at Cooper Landing one-half-foot above moderate flood stage, with some low lying areas around … Continue reading

Navarre Makes Emergency Declaration For KPB

Posted September 21st, 2012 by

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre has declared a state of emergency for the Kenai Peninsula Borough. In a press release Friday afternoon, flooding events throughout the Borough including impacts to the City of Seward and the Bear Creek Flood Service Area … Continue reading

Apache To Begin Drilling Near Tyonek

Posted September 19th, 2012 by

Apache Corporation is gearing up for expanded operations on the west side of Cook Inlet. A new on-shore drilling rig has arrived to Apache’s latest site near Tyonek by way of truck and barge from North Dakota. “We will be doing … Continue reading

Windstorms Force Jack-Up Rig To Batten Down

Posted September 18th, 2012 by

The “Endeavour” has sat in the Homer Harbor for nearly a month.  Safety precautions taken over the weekend have raised questions about possible violations of environmental regulations that protect Kachemak Bay. Listen: Buccaneer Energy’s jack-up rig “Endeavor” was originally supposed … Continue reading

Sterling Highway Presentation Tonight

Posted September 18th, 2012 by

The state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is having an open house and presentation in Anchorage that will detail a Sterling Highway construction project extending onto the Kenai Peninsula. In a press release Monday, the DOT announced the presentation for The … Continue reading

Crews Respond To Weekend Fire In Nikiski

Posted September 17th, 2012 by

An oil heater is the suspected cause of a fire that damaged the Schlumberger Oilfield Services facility in Nikiski. Nikiski Fire Chief James Baisden said there was heavy fire and smoke coming from the building as crews arrived on scene. “Our … Continue reading

Jack-Up Rig’s Extra Cargo Raises Concern

Posted September 13th, 2012 by

Although it was a Chinese heavy-lift vessel that brought the “Endeavour” jack-up rig to Kachemak Bay from Singapore, the rig might have carried its own unique cargo. Listen: Officials with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are concerned about the … Continue reading

Nude Soldotna Man Arrested

Posted September 11th, 2012 by

A Soldotna man is in Wildwood Correctional Facility after causing a public disturbance on Snowflake Street while in the nude. According to the Alaska State Troopers, numerous reports were made Monday evening around 7:30 of a nude man running and … Continue reading

Interior Department Official Visits The Kenai

Posted August 24th, 2012 by

Assistant Secretary of the Interior Ann Castle paid a visit to the Kenai Friday morning, joining representatives from multiple state, federal and non-profit agencies to honor the Kenai River Restoration Project as part of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. Listen: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

Candidates Weigh In On Issues For District 29 Race

Posted August 23rd, 2012 by

There a just a few days left before voters choose candidates to appear on general election ballots in November.  But some races will be decided in the August 28th primary, including the race for House District 29. Listen: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

Buccaneer Closes Deal To Acquire Cosmopolitan Unit

Posted August 16th, 2012 by

Buccaneer Energy announced Wednesday closing of a deal to purchase the Cosmopolitan unit of the southern Cook Inlet where the company’s jack-up rig, Endeavor, will be put to work later this year. Listen: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

Cissna Makes Campaign Stop In Soldotna

Posted August 14th, 2012 by

With the Primary season well underway, candidates for all offices are making the rounds, meeting with voters and community groups, selling their case. Among that group is Sharon Cissna, seven term Democratic Representative from Anchorage. Listen: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

Celebrating the 4th In Kenai

Posted July 5th, 2012 by

Despite the chilly temperatures and threat of rain, Independence Day celebrations in Kenai were well attended, with big crowds at both the annual parade and the carnival downtown. Listen: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

Buccaneer To Begin Drilling Kenai Loop

Posted July 2nd, 2012 by

With clearance granted from the State, Buccaneer Energy is set to begin drilling operations on its Kenai Loop Project. This is the latest step for Buccaneer after spending much of 2011 laying the groundwork by drilling test wells and gathering … Continue reading

Update: Kenai Water Treatment Facilities

Posted June 29th, 2012 by

Progress continues updating the city of Kenai’s water treatment facilities.  City Manager Rick Koch says updating the technology used to manage the facility is very much a multi-step process, but those new controls will allow for greater efficiency. Part of … Continue reading

Beautification Program Extends To Storefronts

Posted June 26th, 2012 by

Businesses in Soldotna will be getting a little sprucing up this summer, thanks to a program initiated by the City last year. The Storefront Improvement Program will offer design help and grants to businesses looking for an update. Listen: Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

New Kenai Facility Puts Locals To Work

Posted June 25th, 2012 by

The new Copper River Seafoods processing facility in Kenai was the backdrop for the one year anniversary celebration of the All Alaska Workforce Initiative.   The program is a joint venture between the state and federal Departments of Labor and seeks … Continue reading

HEA Responds To Power Outage

Posted June 14th, 2012 by

Homer Electric Association customers in the Sterling area were affected by an outage Thursday morning. The power went out around 11 am affecting service from Boundary Avenue in Soldotna, east through Sterling and into Funny River.  HEA Spokesperson Joe Gallagher explains: … Continue reading

Fish and Game Announce New Restrictions on Kings

Posted June 13th, 2012 by

Below average escapement numbers for King Salmon on the Kenai and Kasilof rivers have led the Department of Fish and Game to announce three separate emergency restriction orders. The announcement came Wednesday afternoon. Listen:   Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

Fish, Music and Fun at Kenai River Fest

Posted June 12th, 2012 by

Soldotna Creek Park was alive this weekend for this year’s Kenai River Festival. This was the 22nd year for the event which celebrates the continued health and vitality of the Kenai River. Listen: Results from the Run for the River can … Continue reading

Borough Assembly Approves FY ’13 Budget

Posted June 7th, 2012 by

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly has passed a budget for fiscal year 2013.  The budget, which totals $72,929,528, came in nearly $175,000 under the original proposal. Listen:   Shaylon Cochran/KDLL  

Solving the Future’s Problems Today

Posted June 1st, 2012 by

School has been out for barely a week, but a small group of dedicated students didn’t waste much time getting back into the classroom to prepare for an upcoming international competition dedicated to solving the world’s problems. Shaylon Cochran/KDLL Listen: The Kenai … Continue reading