Aaron Bolton

News Director

Aaron Bolton is excited to come on board at KBBI after spending his first year reporting in the state at KSTK in Wrangell. He grew up in southern Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2015 with a degree in professional journalism.

Prior to Alaska, Aaron reported for Radio K in Minneapolis. He spent his free time going to local concerts and promoting shows and music festivals. Since making the move, he has spent his time in the backcountry snowboarding whenever possible.

Ways to Connect

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Could climate change take forests back in time? Kenai Peninsula residents and scientists see evidence that warmer weather is bringing back at least one tree that hasn’t populated Alaska for millions of years.

 

Across the street from Homer’s Pratt Museum, there’s a small tree growing on the side of the road. You’d probably miss it if it wasn’t for the wooden placard proclaiming it a “metasequoia.”
 

KBBI News

Click on the audio file below to hear the  Homer City Council & Mayoral Candidates Forum sponsored by The Homer Chamberof Commerce, recorded at Alices's Champagne Palace in Homer on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Election season is in full swing and the first debates of this year’s election cycle were held Tuesday. Both incumbents in an uncontested race for two seats on the Homer City Council answered questions from Homer Chamber of Commerce at Alice’s Champagne Palace.

But both candidates seeking to replace current Homer Mayor Bryan Zak also took to the stage, answering questions on everything from the city’s budget to the role the mayor plays on city council.

City of Homer and Alaska Legislature

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect comments from House District 31 Republican nominee Sarah Vance and Party Chairman Nona Safra. 

The Homer Chamber of Commerce canceled its debate for the House District 31 race. The chamber announced Monday that it will not host a debate between incumbent and former Republican Paul Seaton and Sarah Vance due to stipulations put forth by the House District 31 Republican Party.

Courtesy of Connor Schmidt

Just a few days after jumping into the race for two seats on the Homer City Council as a write-in candidate, Connor Schmidt is pulling out of the race.

Schmidt announced on his Facebook page Monday that he did not change his voter registration from Kachemak City to Homer before the official deadline, making him ineligible to be elected to the council.

Schmidt says he is unsure if he'll run for a seat on the council next election cycle, but he says he'll be involved in the race in some capacity. 

Courtesy of Connor Schmidt

Just a few days after a candidate dropped out the race for two seats on the Homer City Council and left two incumbents unopposed, one Homer resident is mounting a write-in campaign. Connor Schmidt is hoping to insert himself into the race as a younger progressive candidate.

The 25-year-old said he had wanted officially file to run for city council before the August deadline, but decided against it when city council member Donna Aderhold filed for re-election and Deb Lowney jumped in the race.

City of Homer and Alaska Legislature

The District 31 Republican Party is imposing stipulations on when, where and how its nominee, Sarah Vance, will debate incumbent and former Republican Paul Seaton.

In an email to the Homer Chamber of Commerce and local press, Party Chair Nona Safra said the party will not approve any debates taking place in establishments where alcohol is served. Safra also noted that the “time, date, moderator and location” will be subject to her approval.   The party is also prohibiting their candidate from participating in any debates prior to Oct. 15.

Vladimir Dudak, creative commons

Federal prosecutors say a Homer man illegally shipped several modified firearms with defaced serial numbers to New York. A New York grand jury indicted 25-year-old Benjamin Handley in late July on 15 counts of illegally shipping the weapons.

Handley allegedly mailed nine firearms that he is said to have illegally modified into “machineguns”, including a variety of 9 mm and .45 caliber pistols. Serial numbers on each of the guns were allegedly removed.  

Courtesy of Richard Yamada

For possibly the first time in history, an Alaskan from the sport fishing industry has been appointed to the International Pacific Halibut Commission or IPHC. Richard Yamada was appointed to the commission along with Robert Alverson of Seattle, who currently serves as one of the U.S.’s three commissioners.  

Courtesy of the City of Homer

One of the three candidates running for two seats on the Homer City Council has dropped out of the race. Debora Lowney updated her candidate statement Wednesday, saying in part that she would be unable to take office if elected.

Lowney says it was an untimely death in the family that spurred her decision to pull out of the race. However, the city will not officially pull Lowney's name off the ballot, but the clerk's office did update her statement letting voters know she is no longer running. 

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