Jury selection started on Wednesday at the Homer Courthouse in the trial of Ralph K. Vos, 24. Vos faces four counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of second-degree sexual assault relating to a July 10, 2012, incident in which he’s alleged to have had unwanted sex with a woman, then 18, after a party at a Homer apartment.
BY MICHAEL ARMSTRONG
A snowmachiner missing since yesterday has been found in what Alaska State Troopers called a “self rescue.” Charles Moore, 51, of Homer, walked out of the Caribou Hills to his home near Mile 14 East End Road about 11:45 a.m. Monday morning. Moore was cold but otherwise uninjured, said Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Elizabeth Ipsen.
Moore had winter clothing and food. He made a fire and camped Sunday night, Ipsen said. Temperatures last night were about 28 degrees, but high winds caused conditions to get worse today, with blowing snow and low visibilty.
As part of Tsunami Preparedness Week, local, state and federal agencies will conduct a test of the Alaska Tsunami Warning System at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 27, the 49th anniversary of the 1964 Great Alaska earthquake. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service, the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, local emergency management offices and the Alaska Broadcasters Association are cooperating in the test.
An idea to use the Homer Deep Water Dock as a test bed to measure and evaluate tidal energy got a boost with a city-university collaboration. Instead of the city hiring a private firm, a group of seven University of Alaska Anchorage engineering students and their professors are doing the 35-percent design for the Tidal Energy Incubator Project.
"We've been able to take advantage of some free labor by feeding them cookies to get to that first 35 percent," said Katie Koester, city of Homer economic development coordinator, joking.
A Kenai grand jury last Friday indicted Ilya Gherman, 53, on two counts each of kidnapping and third-degree assault and one count of second-degree misconduct involving weapons. The grand jury charged that in a Feb. 12 incident, Gherman restrained by threatening with a firearm his wife and daughter at their Old Sterling Highway cabin. He also is charged with shooting up his cabin with a 9mm handgun and an AK-47 semiautomatic rifle. Alaska State Troopers arrested Gherman after the incident and he is at Wildwood Pretrial Facility.
Moments before the Homer City Council finally voted on an ordinance creating the Natural Gas Homer Special Assessment District, a telephone connection with council member Barbara Howard failed. Other than a slightly tense moment as City Clerk Jo Johnson tried and reconnected with Howard, the vote on Monday night seemed anticlimactic.
Bunnell Street Arts Center and the Homer Council on the Arts both have received National Endowment for the Arts grants. Two of 153 nonprofits nationally to receive award, the Homer arts organizations each received $10,000 NEA Challenge America Fast-Track grants. The grants provide partial funding for major arts projects. Three other Alaska arts organizations received grants.
“It’s just amazing five came to Alaska and two are in Homer,” said Gail Edgerly, HCOA director.
Bunnell will use the grant for its Artist in Residence program.
Aargh, matey, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand might be a rough, hard working Bering Sea crabber, but it turns out he’s got a heart of gold — and the heart of a kid. Johnathan and his brother Andy Hillstrand are the captains of the F/V Time Bandit, the Homer based crabbing boat that’s featured in the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch reality TV show.
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.
An alert citizen last week turned over to Homer Police a pistol he said he saw another man bury under a tree near the Homer Public Library. The gun was not stolen and not connected to a crime, said Homer Police Sgt. Lary Kuhns.
Privet. Ya haschoo vebit vodka? Da?
Hello. Would you like to drink vodka? Yes? Very good. Dust off your old Russian primers, mangle Cyrillic transliterations, put on a big fur hat and get ready for the 27th annual Ritz Art and Experience Auction with this year’s theme, “Ritz at the Winter Palace.”
“Think Dr. Zhivago,” said Pratt Museum Development Director Michele “Misha” Miller.
In a poignant ceremony with three generations of his family watching, Homer Mayor Emeritus James Hornaday pounded the gavel one final time and stepped down Monday night at his last meeting presiding over the Homer City Council.
“It hasn’t been boring,” Hornaday said of his eight years as mayor. “I’ve really enjoyed the differences of opinion. … I think I’ve done pretty well keeping a civil touch to the discussion. The town’s been good to me and my family. In closing, I hope you’re all in heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you’re there.”
As property owners ponder whether to support the Homer Natural Gas Special Assessment District, the city held its first two neighborhood meetings to help inform people about the district that, if passed, would build a 73-mile, $12.7 million natural gas distribution line throughout the city of Homer from Baycrest Hill to the Homer Spit.
“Our job is to get as much information as we can out to the public,” said Homer City Manager Walt Wrede at a meeting Tuesday night. “It affects everybody. It’s really big.”
In Homer artist Gaye Wolfe’s last show, “ARTrageous Homer: A Human Tapestry,” she painted 14 portraits of artists, musicians and arts leaders from around Kachemak Bay. A face is missing from the show, one of Homer’s strongest supporters of the arts and most significant artists.