Local News

Cops tase man in arrest

Homer Police Officer Jacob Ruebelmann last Saturday shot twice with a Taser a man at a Pioneer Avenue bar parking lot after police said the man, Thomas Custer, 27, refused to get on the ground while being arrested and present his arms to be handcuffed.

Marshals capture man

U.S. Marshals last week arrested in Tacoma, Wash., a former Port Graham man charged with first-degree sexual assault on a minor. Benjamin L. Moonin, 49, had been accused by Alaska State Troopers of fondling a young girl in Port Graham in January 2011. Marshals said in a press release that Moonin had a criminal history in Alaska and Washington, with convictions for first-degree sexual assault, burglary, assault and failure to register as a sex offender.
Moonin was jailed without bond at Pierce County Corrections Center in Tacoma pending his extradition to Alaska.

‘Give and take’ secret for this long-term pair of lovebirds

On Valentine’s Day, couples all over the world declare their love for each other. Some say it with cards. Some with flowers. Some with a candlelight dinner.
Ask long-time married couple Toras and Edna Fisk of East End Road how they plan to celebrate their almost-70 years of marriage — their anniversary is June 5 — and the answer is a little different.
“After you get so old and have had so many different Valentine’s Days, it’s just another day,” said Toras, who turns 90 on Friday. Edna is 92. “There’s no big excitement.”

Council OKs gas build-out

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.

Peninsula welcomes responsible development

"Cook Inlet -- Energy for All Alaska" was the theme of the 2013 Industry Outlook Forum, organized by the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District and co-sponsored by the city of Homer. Certainly, there were presentations about energy -- oil, natural gas, electricity -- but the energy level among the 200-plus forum presenters and attendees also was evident.
"It was just great fun," said John Torgerson, executive director of KPEDD. "I think we accomplished our goal of having education seminars."

Seavey gets first T200 win

The sled dogs pulled Mitch Seavey to the finish line and the veteran musher smiled. He appeared comfortable wearing a lightweight jacket. A blotch of frost covered the left side of his mustache.
It was Seavey's first win at the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race. The win caught him off guard, he said.
"I went out for a training run and came back first," he said.

Oil, gas companies outline plans for Kenai Peninsula, Cook Inlet

By McKibben Jackinsky AND MICHAEL ARMSTRONG
STAFF WRITERS
"It's great being in Homer again," said homeboy John Hendrix in his opening remarks at last week's Industry Outlook Forum.
That was just one of the hats the 1975 Homer High School graduate was wearing Thursday evening. Hendrix also is the general manager of Apache Alaska Inc., an oil and gas company that, with more than a million acres, is "the largest acreage holder in Cook Inlet," he told forum participants.

City insurance won't pay for sewage flood damage

The city of Homer's insurance provider won't pay for damages to homes hit by a mid-January sewage flood. An insurance adjuster for the Alaska Municipal League told the city the event was "an act of God" -- a legal term for a natural disaster no one could have prevented. A third-party engineering report showed no negligence by the city, Public Works Director Carey Meyer said insurance adjusters told him.

Borough wants public input on land grant

Kenai Peninsula Borough officials are asking for the public’s help picking out which state lands the borough should gain ownership of as part of its long-standing municipal entitlement land grant.

To help, borough residents are being encouraged to use an online mapping tool and survey that will allow them to pick lands and comment on the fate of which 28,000 acres the borough ultimately chooses.

Snowmachine easement case settled — finally

Sixteen-feet wide.

That’s the final number and detail in a 14-year dispute between members of the Snomads snowmachine club and an East End Road landowner, Tom Price Jr. 

In Eastham et al. v. Price, a case dating back to May 1999, the court ruled in November that the width of a prescriptive easement going through Price’s 160-acre parcel should be 16-feet wide. That and other issues had been the last details of a case that went to the Alaska Supreme Court three times and kept being sent back to lower courts for resolution. 

Bear data could increase area hunting opportunities

For the first time in more than a decade on the Kenai Peninsula, wildlife managers have a recent brown bear population estimate to inform their game management decisions.

Ted Spraker, chairman of the Alaska Board of Game, said he suspects the new number — more than twice the old estimate — will increase hunting opportunities on the peninsula.

“This is what a lot of people have been looking for who are interested in maybe hunting brown bears on the Kenai,” Spraker said.

Man hurt in hit-and-run; police seek information

Homer Police are seeking information about a driver who hit and knocked unconscious a 47-year-old man walking on Ben Walters Lane last Wednesday morning. An unidentified driver hit the man about 9 a.m. Jan. 23 in the area of Lupine Court and near the entrance to Building D of the Conifer Woods Apartments. The driver stopped briefly and then left, police said in a press release.

The victim was struck hard enough to be knocked unconscious and suffered substantial, but non life-threatening, injuries. He was taken to South Peninsula Hospital and released. 

Cops charge third person in robbery

Homer Police last week charged a third person in the Dec. 17 armed robbery of the Grog Shop. James Mumey, 49, was arrested for first-degree robbery and is now at Wildwood Pretrial Facility, Kenai. Police said that Mumey provided the silver handgun that his older brother, John Mumey, 50, is alleged to have used in robbing the Pioneer Avenue liquor store.

T200 halfway point at McNeil Canyon

Temperatures in Homer were hovering around zero degrees Sunday afternoon, but at the Tustumena 200 volunteers’ meeting at Captain’s Coffee enthusiasm for this weekend’s sled dog race was anything but chilly. 

In 2012, the 200-mile race incorporated McNeil Canyon Elementary School as a checkpoint. Southern peninsula spectators took advantage of the accessible location to be on hand as 16 teams arrived on their way from the Kasilof starting line to the halfway mark, and a second time as they made their back to the Kasilof finish line.

Homer public transportation slow, but project still rolling

A plan to bring public transportation to Homer remains in the works, with a Chrysler handicap accessible van in Kenai and ready to roll sometime in the near future. 

However, due to some contract requirements, getting vouchers printed and other details, the rubber has not yet quite met the road for the Central Area Rural Transit System, or CARTS.

540 say no to gas proposal

Does Homer’s silent majority want natural gas or not?

That was the topic at the Homer City Council’s regular meeting on Monday when members of the public and the city council discussed creating the Natural Gas Homer Special Assessment District. As proposed by the city, boundaries of the SAD mirror the city limits and include 3,855 properties. Assessments estimated to be $3,283 per property would pay for a $12.7-million distribution system to deliver natural gas from a trunk line to be constructed by Enstar Natural Gas Company from Anchor Point to the cities of Homer and Kachemak.

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