Local News

Council nixes library cuts

In a meeting that ran to 10:30 Monday night, the Homer City Council at its regular meeting defeated several contentious last-minute budget amendments. About 60 people filled the Cowles Council Chambers to voice fierce opposition to several proposals, including:

• A proposal by council member Tom Stroozas to cut $65,443 or 10 percent from the Homer Public Library personnel budget. The proposal was defeated by six no votes, including one from Stroozas.

New Pratt Museum director grew up on Kenai Peninsula

The Pratt Museum has hired a Kenai Peninsula-raised woman as its new executive director. Laurie Morrow, 45, comes to Homer from Seward after nine years working as education director at the Alaska SeaLife Center.

Born in Colorado, Morrow moved to Alaska at age 1, living with her family in North Pole and Anchorage before moving to Soldotna at age 10. A 1989 graduate of Soldotna High School, she graduated with a bachelor of arts in history from the University of Wyoming, Laramie, and with a master of arts in English from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Pratt Museum events

Pratt Holiday Recital, Quilt Raffle Drawing and Executive Director Welcome

1-4 p.m. Sunday
Pratt Museum

Performers include the Homer High School Swing Choir, the Homer Youth String Orchestra, the Harbor School of Music and the Seaside Swingers.

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.

New health needs assessment to be released at Friday meet

Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships, or MAPP, of the Southern Kenai Peninsula will release the 2016 community health needs assessment at its quarterly meeting on Friday at Pioneer Hall, Kachemak Bay Campus.

MAPP conducts a community health needs assessment of the southern Kenai Peninsula every three years, the results of which are used to inform and direct community coalition and agency work.

'Missing' Port Graham man arrested and charged with disorderly conduct

Alaska State Troopers last Friday filed charges of disorderly conduct, creating hazardous conditions, against a Port Graham man reported missing at sea the afternoon of Nov. 30 near Passage Island south of Homer.

Troopers found the man, Ryan Meganack, 34, in a makeshift camp outside Port Graham after receiving a tip that Meganack faked his drowning. Troopers also charged Meganack for violating conditions of release for not being with his third-party custodian and arrested him on that charge last Friday.

Corrections

In a Dec. 1 story, “Council tackles budget Monday,” the description of how the city of Homer pays for employee health insurance was incorrect. The city had formerly been self insured, but since 2014 the city has been insured through Premera Blue Cross for employee health care.

The Homer News regrets the error.

In an ad in the Dec. 8 paper, the gift card giveaway for North Wind Home Collection was incorrectly listed at $250. The correct amount for the gift card giveaway is $200. The Homer News regrets the error.

Brief power outage planned for part of East End Road

Homer Electric Association is notifying members living in the East End Road, Homer, area from Kachemak Drive to the end of the road that there will be a brief power outage tomorrow between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6. The outage is anticipated to be less than 5 minutes in duration. HEA will be making improvements to the Fritz Creek Substation. Please take steps to protect sensitive electronic equipment in your home.

Brief power outage planned for part of East End Road

Homer Electric Association is notifying members living in the East End Road, Homer, area from Kachemak Drive to the end of the road that there will be a brief power outage tomorrow between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6. The outage is anticipated to be less than 5 minutes in duration. HEA will be making improvements to the Fritz Creek Substation. Please take steps to protect sensitive electronic equipment in your home.

Troopers arrest man reported missing

Alaska State Troopers on Friday arrested a Port Graham man reported missing at sea on Wednesday afternoon near Passage Island south of Homer. Troopers found the missing man, Ryan Meganack, 34, in a tent outside Port Graham after receiving a tip that Meganack was not missing. Troopers arrested Meganack for violating conditions of release for not being with his third-party custodian.

“It’s more than just a search and rescue being involved with the man found safe,” said trooper spokesperson Megan Peters.

Troopers arrest man reported missing

Alaska State Troopers on Friday arrested a Port Graham man reported missing at sea on Wednesday afternoon near Passage Island south of Homer. Troopers found the missing man, Ryan Meganack, 34, in a tent outside Port Graham after receiving a tip that Meganack was not missing. Troopers arrested Meganack for violating conditions of release for not being with his third-party custodian.

“It’s more than just a search and rescue being involved with the man found safe,” said trooper spokesperson Megan Peters.

4.4 quake rattles Homer

4.4 quake hits near Homer Wednesday

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake rattled the lower Kenai Peninsula about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the epicenter was 33 miles northwest of Anchor Point and hit 61 miles deep.

Council tackles budget Monday

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to note how the city provides health insurance and that council member Tom Stroozas' proposed cut to the library is for the personnel budget. It also has been updated to include information on proposed amendments by council members to the budget that were made public on Thursday:

The Homer City Council on Monday will make probably its most important decision of the year: how much to spend on city services and how to fund them.

Fisheries board meeting in Homer

In the winter, those looking for a shot at some fresh king salmon can head to Kachemak Bay and drop a line.

King salmon arrive in the bay and in the salt waters of Cook Inlet during the winter, where they are known as “feeder” king salmon because they are eating and growing. Sport fishermen catch them for personal consumption and recreation alike, harvesting thousands during the winter months from shore, powerboats, drift boats and kayaks.

Crocheting together help, hope

Editor's note: The spellings for the names of Ardith Lee and Paula Lee have been corrected.

In the fiber art of crocheting, yarn gets connected together by making loops with a hook — “crochet” means “small hook” in French. Loop enough strands together and you can create shawls, scarves, hats, bags and sweaters.

Crocheting doesn’t just connect fiber. On the Kenai Peninsula, crocheting also connects two programs serving women: Alaska Correctional Ministries in Kenai and South Peninsula Haven House in Homer.

Kenai marijuana store open for business

Kenai marijuana store open for business

By BEN BOETTGER

Morris News Service - Alaska

When Roger Boyd was getting Red Run Cannabis Company, his marijuana cultivation and retail business, licensed by the Kenai city government in April, he told the city Planning and Zoning commission he considered it a statement as much a business. He now considers his statement made.

At Red Run’s opening at noon on Monday, a line stretched to the end of the business’s parking lot. By 1:30, the line remained about the same length.

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.

HEA members file complaint

Two Homer Electric Association members last week filed a complaint with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska regarding a petition by the Alaska Electric and Energy Cooperative Inc., or AEEC, to be exempt from regulation from the RCA.

HEA members are currently voting by mail on the question of if HEA should be deregulated. Members have until Nov. 27 to return ballots, with the tabulation to be done in December. AEEC is a subsidiary of HEA, with HEA its sole member. The HEA board of directors also is the AEEC board of directors.

Senior citizens chef keeps it fresh

Thanksgiving dinner coming out of Homer Senior Citizens kitchen lacks much of one item many people tend to consume on this turkey-eating holiday — sodium.

When David Pruett took over as chef at Homer Senior Citizens about five years ago, it didn’t take him long — about day two — to start changing what went into the mouths of Homer’s seasoned citizens. Like many food service establishments, the senior center’s kitchen used processed foods — boxes, cans and bags of items that can shorten the amount of cooking time but that also contain unsavory ingredients.

Council spikes merging dispatch

Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer rooting out the living dead, the Homer City Council at its Monday meeting put a stake in the heart of the idea of consolidating 911 dispatch service.

In two separate actions Monday night, Mayor Bryan Zak broke 3-3 tie votes to stop for now consideration of moving 911 dispatch from the Homer Police Department to the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s dispatch center in Soldotna.

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