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.

Nikiski Community Council

 


A new measure that would inch Nikiski toward incorporation will get some attention at this week's Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting.

Redoubt Reporter

 

Commercial fishing resumed in Upper Cook Inlet this weekend.

Redoubt Reporter

 

Election season, whether you’re ready or not, is coming up soon. This year, the League of Women Voters and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Clerk’s Office are teaming up to provide some basics on how to become a candidate for local office.

This week, Shaylon Cochran sits down with Rep. Gary Knopp (R-Soldotna) to talk about ongoing state budget issues, the economic future of the state and how things could work more smoothly in Juneau.

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

 

Alaska’s congressional delegation and Gov. Bill Walker have all signed off on a letter asking the Interior Department to settle the question of what route the proposed Cooper Landing highway bypass will take.


The sockeye run continues its slow burn into the Kenai River.


There can be a fair amount of things to grumble about for locals during the dipnetting season on the Kenai.

City of Kenai

 

 

 


 

It’s just about the midway point for the annual personal-use fishery on the Kenai River. So far, fishing has been a bit on the slow side.

Photo courtesy Kenai Peninsula Borough

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Member Jill Schaefer was arrested this week. 

On this week's Conversation, host Shaylon Cochran speaks with Stephanie Queen, director of Economic Development and Planning for the city of Soldotna, and Tim Dillon, executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, about what kinds of jobs and industries might be making their way to central peninsula in the future to compliment established industries like fishing and resource development.

Commercial fishing for the drift and set-net fleets was generous last week, but things look to be slowing down a bit.

 


 

Peer-to-peer services aren’t all that new on the central Peninsula. Air BnB has been around for years. And buying and ordering personal services via the internet is only growing. Case in point, you can get an Uber now.

Firefighters in Kenai responded to a fire on the Kenai River south beach Thursday night.

 

“It was a fully involved fire," said Kenai Fire Chief Jeff Tucker.

 

"It turned out to be a Westfalia Volkswagen camper van. We responded down on the beach, we used one of our brush trucks, which are pickup trucks with 200-gallon water tanks with a pump. Our fire engines aren’t able to drive on the beach. We put the fire out. There were no injuries and at this time there’s no determination for what caused the fire.”

Voters in Soldotna will not have to consider a ballot question changing the city’s charter, which was just updated last year.

The city of Soldotna is working on updating its sign code. It has been since the beginning of the year, and there’s still a lot to flesh out before anything resembling an ordinance goes to the city council. I caught up with city planner John Czarnezki to see where things stand now, and what’s coming up.

The Soldotna city council will vote on putting a question to voters on the fall ballot about the role of the mayor at its meeting Wednesday night.

 

Last year, Soldotna became a home rule city. But some language in the new charter didn’t line up with city code regarding what role the mayor plays in administering local government. Mayor Pete Sprague says he wants that role to remain unchanged, and to have it not only codified in the city’s books, but also in the city’s charter, which has to be done at the ballot.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

  

 

 

Saturday maybe wasn’t the perfect day for a paddle around Arc Lake, but it was pretty close. The city of Soldotna hosted a community paddling event, designed to share some safety tips and give folks a chance to try out some new boats and activities, like paddle board yoga, which I did not get to try. That class filled up quickly, but there was a fashion show of sorts.

Makai-Lynn Smith is an intern at the parks department in Soldotna. She helped organize the event.

After 10 years as executive director of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, Jaylene Peterson-Nyren has resigned, effective June 16. A statement issued by the tribe says current Operations Director Dee Dee Fowler will lead the Tribal Council in its search for a new ED. During her time with the tribe, Peterson-Nyren oversaw the opening of the Dena’ina Wellness Center, the Tyotkas Elder Center and the new Henu’ Community Wellness Court, which began taking cases earlier this year.

 

Domestic assault charges filed against Kenai City Councilman Tim Navarre have been dropped. Navarre was charged with fourth-degree domestic violence assault last month after a witness alleged he threw a young child from the back of his car, landing several feet away. Navarre denied the charges and his attorney cited a state statute that justifies the use of force in special relationships, such as that between a parent or guardian and an under-aged child. Navarre told police at the time the 6-year-old who was in his care was set outside the vehicle after misbehaving.

Technology has a knack for accelerating the pace of economic change. But in rural areas, that change isn’t always welcomed with open arms.

 

Dr. Don Albrecht runs the Western Rural Development Center at Utah State University and he’s also the author of “Rethinking Rural: Global Community and Economic Development in the Small Town West.” He’s spent a lot of time studying how rural communities change and why.

 

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

 


There were far more tears from laughter than sorrow at a memorial for former Kenai City Manager Rick Koch on Thursday night.

 

 


Sometimes, the goings on in D.C. can feel even farther away than the 4,500 or so miles that actually lie between here and there. But sometimes, an Alaskan’s story gets through.

 


As more and more communities deal with substance abuse issues, new tactics and new partnerships are being found to help those communities. Friday saw the grand opening of the Henu’ Community Wellness Court, which is a partnership between the state of Alaska and the Kenaitze Inidian Tribe.

The early king salmon run on the Kenai River has come in well within recently approved management goals.

Photo: Lakota Burwell/Alaska Fire Service

 

Thanks to some rain and cooler temperatures, the East Fork fire is becoming a slow burn.

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