Renee Gross


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.

Marilyn Sigman

Throughout her former job as the director of the Center for Alaska Coastal Studies, Marilyn Sigman, saw how climate change was affecting the state. But instead of researching how climate change might develop in the future, she decided to look to the past, specifically at how Kachemak Bay’s climate has changed over time and how people have adapted. Her book “Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay” is coming out on February 15th. Renee Gross sat down with Sigman to talk more:   

Safe Families for Children

A national program that lets struggling parents place kids with temporary host families launched a chapter in Homer on Monday. Safe Families for Children aims to prevent parental abuse and neglect by giving parents a support system. Alivia Erikson is the head of the local chapter, which is hosted by Church on the Rock Homer.

“We have such a supportive community but there are still individuals who are new to town or don't have those relationships that they can turn to and the goal is to give people that community,” she said.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Homer Fire Chief Bob Painter is retiring after more than 26 years of service in Homer. He said he’s proud of his achievements. 

“I think the biggest accomplishment, and I don’t want to jinx anything is that during my time with the department, especially since I’ve been chief since 2000, is we’ve not had a serious injury and definitely haven’t had a firefighter fatality in the line of duty,” he said.

In total, Painter has spent nearly 40 years as a first responder.

Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic

Identifying as gay or lesbian or anywhere on the LGBTQ spectrum can be a struggle for those who are trying to find out who they are, but for teens making their way through middle and high school, exploring their sexual and gender identity can be especially hard. But one program is giving teens in Homer a space to talk about what it’s like being an LGBTQ teen in rural Alaska.

Alaska State Council on the Arts

The Alaska State Council on the Arts is purchasing pieces from two Homer artists for its Alaska Contemporary Art Bank. Deland Anderson and Deb Lowney are among 18 artists that were selected to become part of the state’s collection of art. State of Alaska offices and agencies will now have the opportunity to take their artwork out on loan and display them in their offices.

Alaska State Council on the Arts executive director, Andrea Noble-Pelant, said the goal of the Alaska Contemporary Art Bank is twofold:

Courtesy of the City of Homer

Local officials and politicians are analyzing Gov. Bill Walker’s 2019 budget proposal, which was released last week. The budget is status quo compared to last year, but does call for some changes to oil and gas tax credits.

Homer Rep. Paul Seaton said he is happy Walker’s budget didn’t call for further cuts to some state services.

“I'm happy to see that there aren't cuts to D.O.T. and road maintenance or any trooper cuts,” he said. “We're trying to get services back up to where they were.”

Image Courtesy of Homer Electric Association

Homer Electric Association members will see an increase in their monthly bills beginning on Jan. 1. The average resident will see her bill go up by $1.49 per month.

Homer Electric spokesperson, Bruce Shelley, said the association regularly reassess the cost of power.

We adjust this on a quarterly basis and it primarily reflects the cost of natural gas used by generation power for HEA members,” he said.


During the last period of the school day, students at Homer High School often get free time to catch up on their work. But this Wednesday, students did something a little different. They participated in the high school’s first school-wide problem-solving event.

All high school students filed into the gym as teachers helped them find their teams. Some had an idea of what this problem-solving event was all about. But some, like Elijah Gunderson, had no clue what was in store.

Alaska State Troopers

Alaska State Trooper, Matthew Wertanen, shot an Anchor Point man on Sunday. According to a Trooper dispatch, officers based in Soldotna responded to a disturbance at an Anchor Point residence and heard gunshots.

Fernando Ospina opened the door and pointed a rifle at the officers. Trooper Wertanen then shot Fernando. Wertanen is a 12 year-veteran of public safety.

Homer Council on the Arts

The Homer Council on the Arts is one step closer to fully funding its yurt project. The Rasmuson Foundation is awarding the council $130,000 to help cover construction costs.

The yurt, which will be added onto HCOA’s main building, will comfortably fit 200 people and will hold a variety of classes, workshops and events. HCOA Executive Director Peggy Paver said it was incredibly uplifting to hear the Rasmuson would fund such an exciting project.