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Office of Rep. Gary Knopp

This is a developing story and will be updated.

The families of four passengers killed in a mid-air crash last summer are suing the estate of Gary Knopp, the former Alaska state representative who was piloting the plane that collided with theirs.

Representatives for Kristen Wright, Caleb Hulsey, MacKay Hulsey and Heather Hulsey, all of South Carolina, filed two separate federal lawsuits today against Knopp’s estate and his wife, Helen Knopp.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Since the November 2020 election, lawmakers in states across the country have ramped up efforts to change election laws, making it more difficult for people to vote. This week, the Georgia House passed an election bill that would limit early voting. An Alaska state senator has proposed a bill to limit by-mail voting throughout the state.

Next month, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will hear an ordinance that would make it easier for borough residents to vote. The borough is planning to buy seven ADA-compliant voting machines and lease 26 others, geared to help voters who are visually impaired.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

The disaster declaration for the Kenai Peninsula Borough is now extended through June. It means the borough can continue holding large-scale COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

That’s especially important now that the state has opened vaccine eligibility to a larger swath of the population. Starting today, those considered “essential workers,” Alaskans over 55 and people with conditions that put them at higher risk for contracting a severe case of COVID-19 are eligible to get their first doses.

Debbie Boege-Tobin

Cook Inlet belugas used to follow salmon through the Kenai River in the summer. Now, they’re mostly just spotted in other seasons.

Researchers from NOAA Fisheries aren’t sure why. It’s one of many questions they’re asking about the endangered population to better understand why the belugas aren’t rebounding and how the agency can support their recovery.

A study featuring a relatively new DNA sampling technique might help them find answers.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Funny River Road, the Seward ferry terminal and a well-traveled stretch of the Sterling Highway are all on the shortlist for upgrades from the Alaska Department of Transportation.

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KDLL Podcasts

Sen. Peter Micciche's attempt to update the state's alcohol laws is starting yet another round through the legislative process. Will 2021 be the year it makes it to the finish line? Stay tuned to find out.
Plus, Bill chats with Lee Ellis, head of brewery operations at Midnight Sun Brewing Company and president of the Brewer's Guild of Alaska, and Jake Wade, operations manager of Bear Paw River Brewing in Wasilla.
Cheers!

Merry Christmas from the fine folks at Gherkin Radio Theater, starring Ranger Fox, Mary May, Alyssa Murphy, Shaylon Cochran and Elizabeth Huntley, with music by Derek Poppin and Maria Allison, produced by Dr. Stephen White.

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Kenai Conversation

Dr. Kristin Mitchell, with Central Peninsula Internal Medicine, Justin Rufridge, co-owner of Soldotna Professional Pharmacy, and Dan Nelson, manager of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management, are here to discuss the COVID vaccine this week.

In the past, Project Homeless Connect has been a one-day event, gathering people who lack adequate, stable housing and the agencies, organizations and volunteers who can help. Since large gatherings aren't safe during COVID, project organizers are rethinking how to get the information they need and provide the services this population needs without gathering all at once. Thanks to Leslie Rohr, executive director with Love Inc.

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KDLL Membership Drive Programs

Welcome to the debut of Gherkin Radio Theater! Thanks to Dr. Stephen White at Gentle Dental in Soldotna for bringing Gherkin Radio Theater to life. Pandemic time on his hands turned into a fun theatrical project to bring entertainment to the airwaves.

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