Shaylon Cochran

News Reporter

Shaylon Cochran has been reporting on local government, energy, fishing and everything in between for KDLL since 2011. He earned a degree in journalism from Iowa State University and worked in radio news at KNIA/KRLS in Pella, Iowa, before visiting Alaska in 2010 and deciding this was the place to be. His work has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and Morning Edition and been recognized with awards from the Alaska Press Club. When he's not hosting the KDLL Evening News or the Kenai Conversation, you can usually find him biking or skiing around local trails, looking for his dog or sampling the latest from one of the peninsula's many fine breweries.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

The Kenai city council approved new rules for gravel and other surface material extraction at its meeting this week.

It’s been nearly 30 years since the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, and mitigation projects that sprang up as a result of the spill are still going on around the state and here on the peninsula. 


Kenai’s second annual silver salmon derby continues this weekend. It’s put on by the Kenai Chamber of Commerce.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

As the big time political races across the state and nation heat up, the race for a pair of Kenai city council seats is relatively docile by comparison. Bob Molloy is seeking reelection against Robert Peterkin Jr. and Teea Winger.

 

 


Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

Last week, we reported on a panel discussion that took place in Soldotna about salmon habitat. One of the takeaways from that event was the fact that in many areas of the world that have lost their wild salmon runs, gone too is a culture based around salmon. But on the Kenai Peninsula, both the fish and the culture they spawn remain.

 

 


 

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

 

Fish politics are a focal point this election season. A statewide ballot initiative seeking to change the state’s habitat protection laws for salmon is getting all sorts of public debate, in the news, on television and radio commercials and, in local forums.

 

 


 

This week, we’re taking a look at a long-awaited capitol project that voters will decide on during the fall elections. A new school at Kachemak-Selo.

 

 


The issue of annexation nearly gave Brent Hibbert a challenger for his seat on the borough assembly. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we'll talk about that issue and many more as they relate to Hibbert's run for a full three year term on the assembly.


 

The race for the borough assembly seat in district one, representing the K-Beach area and parts of Kenai and Soldotna, remains uncontested. Brent Hibbert is seeking reelection for a full three year term. He made his way to the assembly in 2016 when Gary Knopp was elected to the House of Representatives. The longtime owner of Alaska Cab Company spoke with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran this week about his first partial term and what he would like to get done in the next three years.

 

 


Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

Next month, borough voters will be asked to settle three ballot questions. One asks for approval for a new school in Kachemak-Selo, that will cost about $5 million. The state will fund the remaining two-thirds of the project if voters give the ok. The other two deal with the boundaries between the Central and Southern Peninsula Hospital Service Areas.

 

 


 

City of Soldotna

 

The city of Soldotna is tightening down its rules for mobile vendors operating in city limits.

 

Between this year’s low returns and a statewide ballot measure, salmon continue to be a hot topic this fall.

 

Plans to relocate Central Emergency Services Station One in Soldotna are on hold for now. The borough assembly was supposed to vote on an ordinance approving the purchase of property near the intersection of the Sterling and Spur highways at its meeting last week. But that ordinance was withdrawn after the borough was unable to come to terms with one of the property owners.

 

The AK LNG project got a slight boost from federal regulators this week. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, will release its draft environmental impact statement a month ahead of schedule, in February next year.

 

A pair of write-in candidates are shaking up the general election landscape on the Central Peninsula.

John Reed/USGS

 

The salmon run has gone from red to silver, but some summer projects are still being wrapped up on the Kenai River. The Kenai Watershed Forum will conduct its last sample of the season Friday, searching for bacteria and their sources in the river.

 

 


 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted down a proposed tobacco tax at its meeting Tuesday night.

Wiki Commons

Ballots for this fall’s municipal elections have been finalized, and most of the heated campaigning will be left for elections further up the political food chain.

 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly could be offering some opinion on annexation proceedings in Soldotna when it meets next.

 

Biking of all stripes is growing in popularity on the Kenai Peninsula. To be fair, it’s happening it lots of other places, too. On the Peninsula, countless volunteer hours have been spent building and maintaining local trails, but infrastructure investment for bike and other multi-use paths is happening, too.

 

 


Tsalteshi Trails Association

Biking of all kinds, in all seasons, continues to grow in popularity on the Kenai Peninsula. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we talk with Brian Beeson from Beemun's Bike and Ski Loft about all things two-wheeled and how to keep pedaling even as summer winds down. 

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

 

For more than 20 years, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has teamed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to promote health fish habitat through a cost share program that helps landowners pay for rehabilitation work along the Kenai river.

The close state house and senate races on the Kenai Peninsula are are yet to be certified, but the leads have flipped with the counting of absentee and questioned ballots.

 

What to do with the nearly $8 million dollars in the borough’s land trust fund was a central question this year as the borough budget was being put together. The mayor’s office wanted to use a portion to help fill the borough’s budget gap, but, the assembly wanted to see a fresh investment plan before the fund was used for general expenditures. That plan has been finalized, and will get a public hearing next week.

 


University of Alaska

Fall classes begin at Kenai Peninsula College Monday. The official number of students isn’t known yet, with fall schedules still being amended. But the number continues to inch closer to 3,000.

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