Local News

News

Sabine Poux/KDLL

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will ask the state to count the number of students enrolled in the school district last year, rather than this year, to determine how much funding the district will get in the 2021 fiscal year.

The assembly voted unanimously to put forth the recommendation at its meeting Tuesday.

City of Kenai

A Kenai City Councilman was charged with driving under the influence Saturday. Robert Peterkin was arrested by Kenai Police at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday near Mile 11 of the Kenai Spur Highway. Peterkin, 52, was charged with DUI and violating conditions of release, relating to a previous charge of driving under the influence in June in Homer.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

It’s Spirit Week at Kenai Central High School. Which is fitting, since students are particularly excited to be back in class this year.

“I think everybody is so glad to be back here,” said high school junior Katie Stockton. “So many people don’t like the remote learning. It just gets hard, it’s a lot more difficult to motivate yourself to do it.”

Stockton and her peers have just completed their first full week back at school in over six months and their third week of school this school year (the first two were remote).

Schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District opened their doors back up last Tuesday because of reduced COVID-19 rates across the peninsula. Now, students can engage in the parts of high school that have been impossible to recreate over Zoom, like hallway socializing and after-school activities.


 

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Brittany Brown identifies getting Kenai and its businesses safely back to normal as both a hurdle and first priority in her first months on the job. But she’s well equipped for remote work, if need be.

“Being in public relations, community relations in rural Alaska, that’s been a lot of my career,” she said. “And it hasn’t always been possible for us to get out there. And, so, a lot of what we did was virtual. … I have a feel for how technology works and how we can really use it to accomplish our goals.”

Residents Kenai and Soldotna with income affected by COVID-19 can get help with their rent or mortgage payments through the end of the year.

The cities are partnering with the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to localize an assistance program AHFC started this summer.

City residents can apply for up to $1,200 each month, to be paid directly to the mortgage holder or landlord. The relief amount will be the lesser of the household’s drop in income or whatever their housing payment is each month. It’s for households that earn less than 80 percent of the median area income. For the Kenai Peninsula Borough, that’s $71,760. Households must be able to show income has been negatively affected by COVID.

“Their income has to have been impacted by COVID 19,” said Laura Rhyner, assistant to the Soldotna city manager. “So, either they’ve lost employment or they had a reduction in hours. Or maybe they had to leave work to stay home and care for kids that aren’t able to attend school — something like that.”

Pages