Local News

Coast Guard leads investigation into sunken vessels



When it happened is uncertain — Christmas Eve or Christmas Day — but the F/V Leading Lady and F/V Kupreanof are now on the bottom of Jakolof Bay.

The reason for the sinking of the 53- and 58-foot wooden vessels, owned by Tim Barclay of Valdez, also is uncertain. There was a heavy snowfall in the area over the Christmas holiday, but whether that was the cause is unknown.

First baby of the year arrives early at SPH

Welcome to the world, Titan Kasius Swenning Norman.

The 7-pound, 13.7-ounce, 21.5-inch son of Nikalai Norman of Port Graham and Barbara Swenning of Nanwalek was born at South Peninsula Hospital at 6:13 a.m. New Year’s Day.

Titan’s first name was chosen by his father. Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines “titan” as “any person or thing of great size or power.”

While that may be true, a few hours after Titan’s birth, he was quietly sleeping, wrapped in a blanket and snuggled in his mother’s arms. 

Hearings scheduled for major Homer criminal cases

Last year Homer Police and Alaska State Troopers arrested and charged nine defendants with major crimes ranging from murder to sexual assault. As the new year starts, Homer judges have a full docket as those cases move through the criminal justice system. Here are some major cases and the next scheduled court action:

• Alfred Jones, case number 3HO-12-00213CR. 

Incident: A May 29, 2010, car crash on the Sterling Highway that killed Kathleen Benz, 25, of Washington, D.C. 

New ordinance only applies to thin, disposable bags


Starting Tuesday, the city of Homer’s ban on thin, disposable shopping bags took effect. Ban supporters expecting an ecotopia where every shopper carries a reusable bag and plastic bags disappear overnight won’t see that. In fact, today, next week and even next summer might look a lot like last year as businesses use up plastic bags purchased in 2012.

Rain, snow, snow, rain in forecast

By McKibben Jackinsky

Staff writer

A white Christmas? No problem. The southern Kenai Peninsula definitely had a white Christmas.

Then again, a white Christmas turned out to be a big problem. Especially for more than 2,000 HEA members without power during parts of the holiday season, crews working long hours to restore power, harbor personnel and boat owners, and the city’s Public Works personnel to name a few.

According to the National Weather Service, there’s more rain and snow on the way.

Natural gas inching closer


It’s been a long time coming, but the availability of natural gas for Homer area residents is getting closer. 

So close that Enstar has stacked pipe in a fenced-in storage area near Kachemak Nordic Ski Club’s Lower Baycrest-D.O.T.  trailhead.

So close that Charlie Pierce, southern region manager for Enstar Natural Gas, is sharpening his focus on his own goal: delivering natural gas to former Homer Mayor Jim Hornaday’s residence.

HEA works to restore power


Winter weather has caused multiple power outages.

“The outages were the result of heavy snow load that brought lines down and also caused trees to come into contact with the power lines,” said Joe Gallagher, public relations coordinator for Homer Electric Association.

Salmon lessons not by the book

When it comes to salmon, southern Kenai Peninsula students get an opportunity to set aside textbooks in favor of some hands-on learning, thanks to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

“Awesome,” was the one-word evaluation of the project from Fireweed Academy fifth-grader Zach Condon.

The study actually began last fall with the collection of coho salmon eggs from a Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association hatchery on a lake near Seward.

Community reaches out to homeless teens

When Marlaina Thiel, the liaison for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Students in Transition Program, and Jan O’Rourke of TUFF, Teens United for a Future, planned Sunday’s stocking stuffer party, they scheduled two and a half hours at the upstairs of Alice’s Champagne Palace.

So many people showed up, however, that stockings were stuffed and presents were wrapped for the 37 homeless young students in Thiel’s program so quickly that the task was done by 2 p.m.

Kasilof man convicted of two 1998 murders dies in prison

Robert V. Freeman, a Kasilof man who was sentenced in 1999 for murdering two Kenai Peninsula women, died Sunday at the Anchorage Correctional Center.

He was 71.

Freeman died of natural causes, according to an Alaska State Troopers dispatch.

On Sunday at 4:54 p.m., the Alaska Bureau of Investigation Major Crimes Unit received a report about Freeman’s death. Troopers have reported he died due to natural causes, but the state’s Medical Examiner Officer was notified.

No foul play is suspected.

Big Brothers Big Sisters ready to bowl

Teams are needed now for the March “Bowl for Kids Sake,” a fundraiser benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters. Volunteers can participate by signing up to host a team, be on a team or raise money for mentoring. No bowling ability is required. Virtual bowlers also are included.

The event happens March 2 at Kachemak Bowling lanes. It is open to the public. All children must be accompanied by an adult (parent, guardian or Big). For more information, contact Susan at 235-8397.

AP man injured in collision, faces charges

A head-on collision last week in Girdwood injured an Anchor Point man.

Girdwood Fire Department emergency medical technicians took Ralph E. Adams, 60, to Providence Hospital Anchorage, according to a press release issued by the Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers allege Adams was driving under the influence of alcohol when, while driving south on the Seward Highway in a Dodge pickup truck, he made a left turn into oncoming traffic and hit a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Christopher Shilling, 36, of Seward. 

Giving smile back included 23 appointments over two years

Giving Paula Lee her smile wasn’t a simple process.

First, she had to complete an application for the Give Back a Smile program, a national domestic violence program of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, or AACD, and the AACD Charitable Foundation.

After her application was approved, she was asked if she would be willing to travel to Anchorage for the work. Her heart sank; she didn’t want to do the commute, but she knew she “wanted my teeth done.”

Local youth offer proposals at global peace forum

It may be cold and dark in wintry Alaska, but at the Dec. 5 meeting of the Homer Downtown Rotary Club, four local teens spoke about their upcoming trip to tropical Honolulu, Hawaii.

The trip isn’t about sun and surf, however. These four were practicing presentations they and two others will give at the Rotary Global Peace Forum, Jan. 25-27.

Taylor Ellison of Anchor Point gave a presentation she and Katherine Dolma of Homer developed to bring peace through an outdoor camp for children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences. 

Two arrested in armed robbery

Less than a day after an armed man wearing a hoody and sunglasses held up the Grog Shop liquor store, police arrested two suspects in the robbery. 

Police arrested John Mumey, 50, and Terry Jean Lashley-Elliot, 32, without incident at their Hillside Place home near West Hill Road about 7:10 p.m. Tuesday. Neither were armed at the time of their arrests. 

Archer, Buccaneer part ways

Buccaneer Energy-Kenai Off-shore Ventures and Archer Drilling last Thursday ended their relationship for Archer to operate the $100 million Endeavour-Spirit of Independence jack-up rig. The rig has been in the Homer Harbor since arriving last August, missing a late-summer and early fall drilling window and racking up a large bill in harbor fees.

Buccaneer said it fired Archer. On Wednesday, officials with Archer visiting Homer said that’s not true — Archer terminated its contract with Buccaneer on Dec. 13.

Domestic violence survivor shares her journey to peace

Miracles and angels aren’t just the stuff of Christmas stories. Just ask Paula Lee. She knows something of them both.

She has only to look in the mirror to see one miracle: herself smiling back. 

Her smile is a gift from Give Back A Smile, a national program for survivors of domestic violence, and the work of Homer dentist, Dr. David Nelson, who donated his time and services to give Lee the dental treatment she needed. 

The work was far more than cosmetic.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Local News