Renee Gross

Reporter/Host

Renee joined KBBI in 2017 as a general assignment reporter and host. Her work has appeared on such shows as Weekend Edition Saturday, The World, Marketplace and Studio 360. Renee previously interned as a reporter for KPCC in Los Angeles and as a producer for Stateside at Michigan Radio. Her work has earned her numerous press club awards. She holds an M.S. in journalism from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in women's studies from the University of Michigan.

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

Alaska State Representative Paul Seaton of Homer spoke with Renee Gross on Feb. 9 about updates to the House education funding bill, options for funding Kachemak Selo's new school and Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Craig Stowers' State of the Judiciary speech. 

Daysha Eaton, KBBI News

Kachemak Selo, a small Russian Old Believer village at the head of Kachemak Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, has been dealing with deteriorating school buildings for years. The school, built about 30 years ago, has cracks in the walls and students have testified at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly that they feel they’re at risk every time they enter the buildings. The state dedicated a little over $10 million for a new school about two years ago, but the borough hasn’t had the money to fund the rest of the roughly $16 million project.

"Blue Ice" music video

The Homer Youth String Orchestra Club is performing Wednesday night at a fundraiser to support music programming. Those in attendance will hear one of its latest pieces, “Blue Ice.” The song is about one of the most popular sites across Kachemak Bay, Grewingk Glacier. Written by Johnny B., the students have worked hard on the song. They even recorded a music video at the glacier, which was selected by three film festivals in Alaska, Colorado and South Carolina.

An 80-year-old Homer resident drowned on a Hawaiian beach on Saturday.  Maui Fire Chief Edward Taomoto said the man was traveling with family members but went snorkeling alone at Ulua Beach. Ocean conditions were rough and body boarders found the man floating in the water. They brought him to shore where bystanders gave him CPR. Firefighters and a paramedic crew responded to the scene but could not revive him.  The Fire Department did not release his name. 

Alaska State Troopers

Alaska State Troopers arrested two Homer and Anchor Point residents for unrelated crimes over the past few days.

Troopers arrested 33-year-old Anchor Point Resident Colter Demers on Friday for allegedly crashing a stolen vehicle near Anchor Point on January 19. The vehicle was initially reported stolen from Anchorage on New Year’s Day.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Two education-funding bills are working their way through Alaska’s Legislature. Both aim to wrap up education funding early during budgeting process so that school districts can make informed hiring decisions in the spring. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) was in limbo last year when the budget didn’t pass until summer. Now, the district is anxious for a timelier confirmation of its funding.

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

Alaska State Representative Paul Seaton of Homer spoke with Renee Gross on Feb. 2 about Medicaid costs, tax on oil and gas and potential penalties for not passing the budget on time.

 

Chuck the Monk

Homer, commonly known as the Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea, is a beacon for artists around Alaska, but it also attracts others from Outside who are looking for a place to work on their craft. Colombian writer Carlos Valencia is one of those artists. He travels around the world writing a comic strip about a Buddhist cat named "Chuck the Monk" and is giving a talk on it at Many Rivers on Friday. Chuck is based on Valencia, who also happens to be a brain scientist. 

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Homer’s emergency management officials gathered on Thursday for a debrief on the tsunami warning earlier this week. Officials agreed the evacuation went well as residents heeded the warning. But Fire Chief Bob Painter said there was still talk of what could be approved upon. 

"One of the things that we wish we would've had done was to early on appoint a public information officer for the city that could better track the incoming and outgoing information during the event rather than us trying to do that in-house," he said. 

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

Alaska State Representative Paul Seaton of Homer spoke with Renee Gross on Jan. 26 about education funding, crime bills and sexual harassment policy in the Legislature.   

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