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.

 

The three leading candidates for Alaska governor were in Soldotna Wednesday. Independent incumbent Bill Walker, Republican Mike Dunleavy and Democrat Mark Begich are all running campaigns focused on the state’s permanent fund.

 

 


 

In a decision handed down Tuesday, the court found that the borough’s 2016 rewrite of its policy allowing certain people to open assembly meetings with a blessing to be in violation of the Establishment Clause in the constitution.

 

Fiscal Year 2019 began on October 1st. For Tim Dillon, Executive Director at the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, that means a tour, of sorts, around the area, sharing year end financials with city councils and other groups.

 

 


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 

The Chuitna coal case is heading back to court. Last month, Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack reversed a previous order granting water protections for salmon streams on the west side of Cook Inlet.

 


Gary Stotler

Weighing in excess of 400 pounds, Gary Stotler decided to begin making changes; small at first, and with setbacks and challenges along the way, he's now running ultra-marathons, and regular ones for fun, like the Kenai River Marathon this year.


Judy Patrick/ConocoPhillips

 

Industry leaders are becoming increasingly bullish on Alaska oil. Prices for the state’s crude have been steadily on the rise, and companies are beginning to increase investments. That means more jobs for Alaskans, but the kinds of new jobs in the industry could be changing.

 

 


 

Borough voters roundly rejected a bond measure to pay for a new school in Kachemak-Selo during municipal elections Tuesday.

Alaska Gasline Development Corporation

 

With plans moving ahead for the AK LNG project, so too are discussions about the federal money that may come along with it.

 

 


 

Even without all six members present Wednesday night, the Soldotna city council narrowly voted against a resolution opposing the statewide ballot measure one.

 

 


Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

The city council races in Soldotna aren’t as competitive as the race in Kenai. Three candidates are running for three seats.

 

 


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.

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