Aaron Bolton

News Director

Aaron Bolton joined the KBBI News Department in 2017 after spending his first year reporting at KSTK in Wrangell. He grew up in southern Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2015 with a degree in journalism. Befrore moving 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 to Alaska, he spends time in the backcountry snowboarding whenever possible. He's also an avid hockey player.

Ways to Connect

(Creative Commons photo by Chis Michel)

The battle between killer whales and longline fishermen has been going on for decades in the Bering Sea. Pods of whales will follow boats and pick fish off their lines as they pull them in. Some commercial fishermen say the whales have become so persistent, they have changed fishing grounds to avoid them, but regulators may have a solution.

Courtesy of NPFMC

The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council announced it has a new executive director last week. Former Deputy Director David Witherell will be taking over for Chris Oliver, who was appointed to manage fisheries for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  

The council manages halibut and ground fish in the Gulf of Alaska, along the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea. Witherell said he’s prepared to take over the position.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

After two years of work towards a new facility to house Homer’s police department, the Homer City Council can’t agree on how to move forward. After voters shot down a $12 million option in 2016, several council members want to know how much the public is willing to pay. But, the council voted against spending money to answer that question Monday.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

It may become more financially feasible for Alaska’s business owners to make their buildings more energy efficient in the coming years. One of the few bills to pass the legislative session this year will allow local governments to provide a new financing tool for energy efficiency projects, but there are still more steps in the process. The Alaska Energy Authority is working with four of Alaska’s largest boroughs and Anchorage to implement the program.

Homer is known as the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World.” But, charter operators aren’t just targeting the prized bottom fish these days. An ongoing study published in the scientific journal Public Library of Science aims to find out how charter operators’ fishing habits have evolved and the ripple effect of their decisions.

University of Fairbanks Ph.D. Candidate Maggie Chan wants to know how and why the fishing charter industry is changing in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska.

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

The Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association has been trying to move a majority of its net pens in the Tutka Bay Lagoon to the head of Tutka Bay for about four years. The hotly debated issue has led to packed community meetings and questions about the impact of raising fish in the area.

Due to the controversy, the hatchery association has contracted the Kachemak Bay National Estuary Research Reserve to study the bay’s food supply and potential impacts of the net pens.


Alaska’s Legislature has been at an impasse for months on the state budget. Gov. Bill Walker called legislators back for a second special session Friday and voiced his dissatisfaction with their progress. With a potential state government shutdown about two weeks away, Homer’s fishing and tourism industry could suffer.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is still working through the kinks of a potential government shutdown on July 1.

“This has never happened in Alaska. We’ve never faced this,” Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotton said.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Three Homer City Council members subject of a highly contentious recall effort will retain their seats. The political battle led to a court case with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska and two political groups have formed around the issue.

Council members David Lewis, Catriona Reynolds and Donna Aderhold all enjoyed double digit wins as the official results came in Friday.

City of Homer

Three Homer City Council members subject of a highly contentious recall effort will retain their seats. Each council member was voted on individually. After the election day Tuesday, each council member obtained little over 50 percent of the regular vote.

Margins widened since the unofficial results. David Lewis and Donna Aderhold both took 57 percent of the vote and Catriona Reynolds came away with 56 percent.

All three council members had one word for how they felt, vindicated. Reynolds was notified of the results by phone.

Courtesy of Gail O'Neill

A small wildfire was reported Thursday evening around 9.5 mile on East End Road. Kachemak Emergency Services initially responded to the fire directly off Frontier Lane and the Homer Fire Department assisted.

The Alaska Division of Forestry also responded with an aerial supervision plane and an air tanker to drop retardant on the blaze.

Division of Forestry Wildland Resource Technician Nikos Kilcher was among those who responded.