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

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. 

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The stage is set for Alaska’s general election, and Republican candidate Sarah Vance will face incumbent and former Republican Paul Seaton in House District 31.

Vance eked out a narrow win against her main opponent John Cox in the Republican primary on Aug. 21. She led by just 30 votes on election night, but her lead grew to 100 votes by the time results were certified Tuesday, solidifying her as the party’s nominee. Cox could not be reached in time for this story.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Recently, an argument over whether hatcheries are causing more harm than good has been heating up. The debate is nothing new. But an Alaska Department of Fish and Game study is about to take a step toward answering a question central to the debate: do hatchery fish that spawn with wild populations pose a threat to those stocks?

“You want to make two cuts: one to get at the heart and one to get at the otoliths,” Pete Rand told a group of new filed staff.

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO

After an initial count of absentee and questioned ballots Tuesday, Homer resident Sarah Vance’s lead in the House District 31 Republican primary race has grown. Vance led her main opponent John Cox of Anchor Point by just 30 votes after polls closed last week. Vance now leads by 94 votes.

 

However, absentee ballots may continue to show up until the state Division of Elections tallies up the votes one last time on Friday.

 

Courtesy of the Homer Police Department

Homer Police arrested a 25-year-old man for stealing a car and several items and firearms from a handful vehicles early Monday morning. 

Officer Ryan Browning said Travis Catron stole a Toyota Prius between midnight and 6 a.m. Monday. Catron also allegedly stole a range of items from six other vehicles, including two firearms.

"Knives and flashlights and that kind of stuff," Browning said. "So we were able to actually get everything back except for a bag that had been stolen from a gal that contained stuff for her job: stethoscopes, medical equipment, things like that." 

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Parks, Art, Recreation and Culture Advisory Commission will have a chance to revise its proposal for safer access to Karen Hornaday Park. The Homer City Council deferred an ordinance Monday that would have allocated funding for safety improvements such as speed bumps and speed limit signs on the road leading into the park.  The council also sent the measure back to the commission.

Courtesy of Rudy Gustafson

In the first round of what seems to be an escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China, tariffs have been levied on billions of dollars worth of goods in both countries. The Alaska fishing industry, which harvests roughly 60 percent of all wild seafood in the U.S., has been caught in the crosshairs of that disagreement.

But it’s not the Chinese tariffs that are giving the industry heartburn. It’s a proposed tariff on seafood imported from China.

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

House Rep. David Eastman of Wasilla filed a complaint with the Alaska Public Offices Commission against two House representatives on Aug. 15.  

The complaint alleges that House representatives Gabrielle LeDoux of Anchorage and Paul Seaton of Homer attempted to obscure the origins of campaign donations by allegedly funneling money from their political action committees into their campaigns. APOC rejected the complaint Monday.

Eastman claims that Seaton and LeDoux made a series of illegal contributions to each other’s campaigns between 2016 and 2018.  

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect additional comments and election results.

The unofficial results are in for the Republican primary race in House District 31, but it’s still unclear which of the three candidates in the race will face incumbent and former Republican Paul Seaton in the general election.

Homeschooling mother and Homer resident Sarah Vance leads the race with 1,033 votes, but Anchor Point businessman John Cox trails Vance by just 30 votes.

Courtesy of Fish and Game

For the second year in a row, the personal use coho fishery in Kachemak Bay closed after just one opening. The Department of Fish and Game opened the fishery Thursday for a 48-hour fishing period, but an emergency order closed personal use gillnetting early Saturday morning.  

Assistant Area Management Biologist Ethan Ford said the fishery is typically short, but usually provides residents with more than just one fishing period.

“Typically the fishery down here is relatively short because it’s based on a guideline harvest level range,” Ford explained.

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