Renee Gross

Reporter/Host
Renee Gross, KBBI News

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s Regular Municipal Election is about a month away, and a proposition on the ballot will ask voters to pay about $5.4 million for a new school in Kachemak Selo near the head of Kachemak Bay. The Russian Old Believer village’s school is in such poor shape, it’s no longer up to code.

But the clock is ticking. A state grant that will pay for a majority of the project is set to expire next year. Public officials pushed residents at a community meeting Thursday to promote the proposition because at this point, they say there’s no plan B. 

Courtesy of the City of Homer

As the Homer Education and Recreation Complex Task Force contemplates what to do with the HERC building, some are expressing interest in occupying the space.

But the panel has several questions to answer before it makes its recommendations on what to do with the building to the Homer City Council this fall.

Fireweed Academy Principal Todd Hindman, told the HERC task force Tuesday that he’s interested in consolidating both of Fireweed’s current locations into one campus, which he said could be the HERC.

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." 

Alaska State Troopers

A Homer man allegedly stole more than $85,000 worth of frozen seafood from Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood in Ninilchik last week. Alaska State Troopers arrested 53-year-old Garrett Fitzgerald of Homer in Soldotna Friday.  

According to a trooper dispatch, Fitzgerald allegedly entered the business in the early morning hours of Aug. 22 to steal $400, food and over $85,000 worth of fish and crab from the freezer.

Jason Tanner is the owner of Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood. He said so far, little has been recovered.

Alaska State Troopers

Alaska State Troopers arrested the driver of a truck that was involved in a serious rollover accident in Anchor Point on Thursday. Twenty-five-year-old Ryan Cotney of Anchorage was allegedly speeding excessively around a curve near mile 155 of Sterling Highway with two passengers in the vehicle, according to a trooper dispatch. 

PenAir

Peninsula Airways, better known as PenAir, no longer plans to establish itself in Homer. But Vice President of Marketing and Sales for PenAir, Melissa Roberts, said that doesn’t mean the airline won’t provide service here in the future.

“I’m sure as many of your readers are probably aware, PenAir is currently in bankruptcy and the courts have appointed a trustee with the intent of selling PenAir,” she said. “So PenAir will be bid out to interested bidding companies.”

Courtesy of Homer Council on the Arts

Homer Council on the Arts is changing course on its new performance space. Since 2016, the council was planning to make the Mary Epperson Performance Art Center a yurt and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the project.

But now HCOA is planning on constructing a permanent building. Executive Director Peggy Paver says the change came when she met with a M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust representative to secure the last bit of funding for the space.

It’s back to school week, but not everyone is going back to traditional school. This week on the Coffee Table: homeschooling.  Principal of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Connections Homeschool Program Richard Bartolowits talks with KBBI's Renee Gross about common misconceptions of homeschooling, reasons why families choose to homeschool and new trends in homeschool education. 

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District teachers and support staff are returning for the new school year without a new contract. Both the Kenai Peninsula Education Association and the Kenai Peninsula Educational Support Association began renegotiating their contracts with the district back in February.

Both groups’ contracts expired in June and healthcare is  the largest sticking point in the negotiations.

Photo from KBBI Database

A proposed zip line in Seldovia is on hold. The owner of Seldovia Bay Adventures LLC and former state senator Scott Ogan put forth a plan earlier this summer for a Star Wars themed zip-line. Earlier this month the Seldovia City Council denied his request  to lease land in a local RV park. Multiple residents spoke out against the proposal.

Ogan says he is disappointed with the council’s decision. 

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