Megan Pacer

Couple completes first fat bike journey from Point Hope to Utqiagvik

In the past 10 years since fat bikes have become popular for riding on beaches and snow in Alaska, people have regularly ridden them from Anchor Point to Homer or into the snowy backcountry of the Caribou Hills. On Saturday, Homer couple Kim McNett and Bjørn Olson finished taking their fat bikes where no one has ever ridden before, about 450 miles in a 24-day trip from Point Hope to Utqiagvik, much of it on Arctic beaches.

Fish and Fire: Ninilchik resident writes stories of his life

Ninilchik resident Mike Chihuly has lived enough lives to write several books since moving to Alaska more than 60 years ago. Instead, he packed them all into one.

Chihuly’s book, “Alaska Fish and Fire,” was published in August and released in October. It catalogs Chihuly’s life experiences from growing up in Alaska and working on the state Board of Fisheries to his time spent on the Agulowak River and working as the chief of Ninilchik Emergency Services.

“I probably should have written two or three books,” he said of the broad range of topics covered in the memoir.

Defense working through evidence in murder case

Public defenders are working through discovery in the case of a Homer man accused of murder in the 2013 death of Mark Matthews, then 61, near the Poopdeck Trail in Homer.

Lee John Henry, 55, was indicted by a grand jury Oct. 20 on one count of first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder, one count of manslaughter and one count of first-degree robbery. Homer police arrested him for first-degree murder Oct. 19 after the department got a tip from an area resident.

Man pleads not guilty to sexual abuse of minor charges

KENAI — An Anchorage man is accused with sexually abusing a minor in the Homer area.

Jacob Kemnitz, 30, was indicted on Nov. 23 with one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and five counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor for six events alleged to have happened from late 2011 through 2013, according to the indictment. The charges against Kemnitz reference one alleged victim, a boy under the age of 12 over the course of the alleged abuse.

Kemnitz entered a plea of not guilty during his arraignment Tuesday in Kenai Superior Court.

Trial set for January in Homer murder case

KENAI — A Homer man accused of the city’s only previously unsolved murder appeared in Kenai Superior Court on Monday.

Lee John Henry, 55, is charged in the 2013 death of Mark Matthews, then 61, near the Poopdeck Trail in Homer.

He was indicted by a grand jury on Oct. 20 on one count of first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder, one count of manslaughter and one count of first-degree robbery. Homer police arrested him for first-degree murder on Oct. 19 after the department got a tip from an area resident, the Homer News reported.

Short-lived outage on Oct. 28 hits thousands of HEA customers

Short-lived outage on Oct. 28 hits
thousands of HEA customers

A widespread outage cut power to more than 9,000 consumers of Homer Electric Association, Inc. on the Kenai Peninsula last Friday afternoon.

HEA’s Bruce Shelley said staff became aware of the outage around 12:45 p.m. Oct. 28 and that it affected 9,577 consumers. The outage spread from the Soldotna Sterling Highway bridge to within about 8 miles of Homer, Shelley said.

Luckily for those people, the outage didn’t last long. Power was returned to all the customers shortly after 2 p.m., Shelley said.

Homer man accused of sexually abusing a minor

A Homer man accused of sexual abuse of a minor led police on a foot chase before being arrested last week.

Cim Joel Blair, 34, was arrested Friday in Homer and has been charged with one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, according to court documents and an online Alaska State Troopers dispatch. The minor is the daughter of a Homer woman Blair had been dating and was under the age of 13 at the time of the alleged abuse, according to an affidavit written by Trooper Peter Frederick.

Healing rhythms: Homer residents part of CD release concert

If Anchorage Symphony Orchestra violinist Daniel Perry had been told a few weeks ago he would be chanting healing songs in front of an intimate crowd of people, he might not have believed it.

Yet the Homer resident who said his specialty is playing the classics found himself performing chants and songs from multiple cultures at the Sterling Community Center in late December as part of a release concert for the CD “Holy Ground.”

“It’s so different from what I do,” Perry said. “I’d say it’s a spiritual adventure. ... I’ve never chanted.”

Murder sentencing moved back to Homer

The sentencing for an Anchorage man guilty of murder has been postponed and moved to Homer after a communication mishap.

Demarqus Green, 23, was found guilty in May of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the 2012 shooting of Demian Sagerser, then 40. Green’s defense attorney had argued self defense, saying that Sagerser had attacked Green with a knife when Green visited the man’s cabin in Stariski Creek to buy marijuana.

Nikiski voters shoot down law enforcement service area

Nikiski area residents shot down a law enforcement service area in Tuesday’s municipal election.

Barring any changes after absentee ballots are counted, Proposition 2 failed with 541 votes cast against it and 399 votes in favor of it.

The measure asked Nikiski voters to approve the creation of a Nikiski Law Enforcement Service Area along with a five-member board to tackle the issue of crime in the area. The board would have taken office immediately following the election.

Nikiski voters to decide law enforcement issue

Voters will have another shot at taking steps to reduce crime in Nikiski when they head to the polls on Oct. 6.

Proposition 2 seeks to create a law enforcement service area following the same boundaries as the Nikiski Fire Service Area, including a section on the west side of Cook Inlet. 

A yes vote on the proposition would also establish a service area board and the potential for Nikiski to have its own police agency.

Clinic answers legal questions for elderly

Area residents armed themselves with the legal information they’ll need as they age during an elder law clinic on Tuesday at the Soldotna Public Library.

Greg Peters, an elder law program director for Alaska Legal Services, travels all over the state to give presentations to Alaska’s aging population. For an hour and a half, he answered questions and clarified misconceptions for nine listeners at the library and for those watching via teleconference from Homer, Kenai, Seward, Wrangell and Ketchikan.

Body of missing Colorado man found near Kenai Lake shore

The body of 34-year-old Daniel Compeau, a Colorado man who went missing near Kenai Lake last month, has been found, Alaska State Troopers say.

Soldotna troopers got a call that someone found the body near the Kenai Lake shoreline on Sept. 15. It was identified by the state medical examiner Monday, according to a trooper dispatch. Compeau’s next of kin have been contacted.

Budget deficit needs attention now

Alaska’s path to financial stability will be neither short nor easy, and local residents will have the chance to weigh in on the issue before the state forms its final plan of action.

Randall Hoffbeck, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Revenue, addressed area residents in a presentation called “A Sustainable Future for Alaska” during a combined Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce luncheon Tuesday afternoon. 

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