News

Assembly member charged with DUI

Jul 19, 2017
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.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

We've got tips on what to do with spruce tips, a food guide that makes harvesting local produce way easier than growing it yourself, greenhouse grow boxes that'll about raise the roof, and there are some farmers who are loving the cool, wet weather this year. Thanks to our guests, Jacki Michels, Marcia Kardatzke, Wayne and Patti Floyd of Cool Cache Farms and Heidi Chay with the Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District.

Sluggish sockeye return slows down commercial fleet

Jul 18, 2017

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

Uber lands on central Kenai Peninsula

Jul 17, 2017

 


 

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.

Camper totaled in South Beach fire

Jul 14, 2017

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.”

Soldotna council votes down proposed ballot question

Jul 13, 2017

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

City still working through sign code rewrite

Jul 12, 2017

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.

True Tales, Told Live is a storytelling group in the central Kenai Peninsula. Participants tell a true story, live, with no notes, based on the night's theme. The fifth storytelling event was held June 2 at Odie's in Soldotna, with the theme of "Nature vs. Not Sure." This is Part 2, with additional stories from the Scary Stories event in October.

Soldotna council discusses fall ballot question

Jul 12, 2017

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.

Soldotna Holds First Community Paddling Event at Arc Lake

Jul 11, 2017
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.

Kenaitze Tribe director steps down

Jul 10, 2017

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.

 

Charges against Kenai City Council member dropped

Jul 10, 2017

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.

Rotary forum looks at area's economic future

Jul 7, 2017

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.

 

Stories, laughter shared at Koch memorial

Jun 30, 2017
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.

June 24: Craft beer or craftily marketed beer?

Jun 24, 2017
Courtesy of St. Elias Brewing Co.

Learn about the Kölsch style, how to keep your summer beverage cool in style and how to distinguish whether you’re drinking a craft beer or a craftily marketed beer. Plus, Bill visits with Zach Henry of St. Elias Brewing in Soldotna.

Henu' Wellness Court offers different path for recovery

Jun 23, 2017

 


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.

Fish & Game allows bait for early run Kenai kings

Jun 22, 2017

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

Rain, cool temps slow East Fork fire

Jun 22, 2017
Photo: Lakota Burwell/Alaska Fire Service

 

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

Former Kenai City Manager killed in motorcycle accident

Jun 19, 2017

Former Kenai City Manager Rick Koch is dead following a motorcycle accident near mile 39 of the Dalton Highway on Sunday.

Alaska State Troopers say Koch was riding in a group shortly before noon when his bike went off the road. He was first taken to Livengood where CPR was administered and a Guardian Flight from Fairbanks was dispatched. Flight medics pronounced him dead upon arrival.

Koch served as city manager in Kenai from 2006 to 2016, when he made a run for the state Legislature. He was 60 years old.

East Fork Fire at 1,150 acres, community meeting tonight

Jun 19, 2017
Alaska State Division of Forestry

 

 

The East Fork Fire burning near Sterling is now estimated at about 1,100 acres. It remains 4.5 miles from the Sterling Highway and 3.5 miles from the nearest residential neighborhoods.

 

Celeste Prescott is a public information officer for the state Division of Forestry. She says that crews battled the wind over the weekend to keep the fire burning within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

 

True Tales, Told Live is a storytelling group in the central Kenai Peninsula. Participants tell a true story, live, with no notes, based on the night's theme. The fifth storytelling event was held June 2 at Odie's in Soldotna, with the theme of "Nature vs. Not Sure."

Locals unsure about Kasilof River improvement plan

Jun 16, 2017
Alaska Department of Natural Resources

New plans for expanding access to different fisheries around the Kasilof River is raising concerns among residents.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Fire crews are still at work on the East Fork Fire, burning in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge near Sterling. It started as a result of lightning in the area Thursday evening. The fire isn't posing immediate threats to life or property and will be monitored closely as it moves deeper into the refuge.

East Fork Fire Burns 150 Acres Near Sterling

Jun 15, 2017
Alaska State Division of Forestry

 

 

A wildland fire broke out on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge just north of Sterling on Thursday evening. As of 10 p.m., the East Fork Fire was estimated to be roughly 150 acres in size. 

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

9 p.m. update:

Kenai Conversation: Kayaking with Matt Pyhala

Jun 15, 2017

It's prime time for hitting the water in kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, row boats or pretty much anything that floats around the Kenai Peninsula. 

 


 

Later this fall, voters on the Kenai will elect a new Borough mayor. Current mayor Mike Navarre has a few more things he’d like to see happen before that time.

Summer Fishing Underway on Kenai Peninsula

Jun 14, 2017

Summer fishing is just getting underway around the Kenai Peninsula, but so far, signs are pointing to a pretty decent season.

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