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Hope McKenney

News Director

Born in rural Northern California, Hope started as a reporter and producer at KZYX in Mendocino County. She then worked at Kichwa Hatari — the first Quechua language radio station in the U.S., based in New York — and KQED in San Francisco. In 2019, she moved to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to work for Alaska's Energy Desk and KUCB — the westernmost public radio newsroom in the country. Hope has lived, worked and filed stories from California, New York, Bolivia, Peru, Cuba and Alaska.

  • Many people are familiar with the Tour de France, which is competitive cycling’s most famous race. The men’s tour is a month-long race that winds through the French countryside every July. However, most people might not be as familiar with the women’s tour. One Homer-grown cyclist finished this year's course, despite overcoming challenges before and during the race; and Alaska’s percentage increase in drug overdose deaths was the highest of any state in the U.S. last year, from 146 deaths in 2020 to 254 in 2021 — a nearly 73% jump. One local group, based in Kenai, is working on an initiative to get more overdose-reversal kits out into the public in the face of the continuing epidemic.
  • There’s a special “youth-only” fishing opener on the Homer Spit this Saturday; a new book by a Sterling-based author is the only guide of its kind to a unique and vast network of canoe trails on the central Kenai Peninsula; and people are leaving Alaska at a rate generally faster than they have over the past thirty years, but it’s not because there’s a lack of work.
  • There’s a special “youth-only” fishing opener on the Homer Spit this Saturday. A portion of the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon will be open from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. for youth anglers age 15 years and younger looking to catch coho salmon.
  • There was palpable excitement at the 40th annual Bristol Bay Fishtival celebration in Naknek for the arrival of a historic wooden sailboat, which took a 300-mile journey from Homer; and starting this month, University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Southeast will be offering a new graduate degree in Marine Policy.
  • Homer’s mayor has thrown his hat in the ring for a third term at the head of city government. Mayor Ken Castner has held the seat since 2018. He filed to run for another two-year term on Monday.
  • Homer’s Independent Living Center has received a $98,962 grant to train staff working with people who have traumatic brain injuries. Joyanna Geisler is the founder and executive director of the local nonprofit, which works with individuals experiencing all disabilities.
  • Homer’s mayor has thrown his hat in the ring for a third term at the head of city government; The M/V Tustumena is slated to resume service Tuesday after pausing its schedule last month due to critical staffing issues; and with high numbers of sockeye salmon returning to the Russian River, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is increasing the bag limit there from three fish to six for the remainder of the late run.
  • Homer’s Independent Living Center has received a $98,962 grant to train staff working with individuals with traumatic brain injuries; this year, after dealing with exceptionally high gas prices, the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank burned through its entire fuel budget for the year by the summer; and Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed a bill Thursday that lets Tribes apply to create state-tribal compact schools.
  • Some dogs in southcentral Alaska are part of a program that takes them from some of the area’s most isolated communities and brings them to the central Kenai Peninsula to be fixed or adopted; and the City of Soldotna is updating a series of trails downtown to make them ADA-compliant.
  • The majority of Alaska is on high alert based on community COVID levels and a struggling healthcare system, according to local health officials; and Seldovia’s pavilion was overflowing earlier this month, as locals, and state and federal dignitaries gathered to celebrate the community’s 60th anniversary as a first-class city.