Local News

Despite threat of repeal, sign up goes on for Obamacare insurance

Although President-elect Donald Trump has said he considers it a priority to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Barrack Obama’s signature policy achievement remains in place — for now. A key component of that plan, the health insurance marketplace, continues during the annual sign-up period, with a deadline of Jan. 31.

“There’s an unprecedented swelling of curiosity,” said Jessie Menkens, navigator program coordinator with the Alaska Primary Care Association. “People are seeking our help. There’s a lot of questions looming with the upcoming administration.”

Community has not forgotten problem of teen homelessness

Community members are working to find solutions for the issue of teen homeless in the Homer area ranging from providing resources for clothing and food to searching for a way to legally house minors without a roof over their heads.

Homelessness in Homer looks different than many people picture the situation, said Jane Dunn, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District homeless liaison serving southern peninsula and Ninilchik schools. Very few homeless people are sleeping out on the streets, as one might see in a metropolis.

After 27 years of caring for Homer's strays, Bess is taking some time off

From a building smaller than a lot of Homer dry cabins to a modern, heated animal shelter, Animal Control Officer Sherry Bess has seen the city’s pet-care facility grow. This Saturday, Bess, 66, retires after 22 years as the city animal control officer and 27 years working for or volunteering at the shelter.

Seniors' project involves all ages

Homer Senior Citizens Inc. wants to better connect all generations in the Homer community to ease loneliness, improve health and spread knowledge.

The new intergenerational program, which the organization announced at the Senior Summit in October, is recruiting participants and ramping up to start in the new year.

HSC Executive Director Keren Kelley’s idea for the intergenerational program started with a vision for the community as a whole.

South Peninsula Hospital nurse receives statewide honor

A South Peninsula Hospital nurse has received statewide recognition for her lifelong commitment to the nursing profession, for championing trauma care, and for her service across Alaska as a flight nurse, dynamic educator and humanitarian.

Rebecca Lundquist, a registered nurse, emergency room nurse, preceptor and trauma coordinator for the hospital, recently received the Melissa Ann Peters Memorial Award from the Governor’s Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services, or ACEMS.

Homer Kilcher clan joins Jewel for holiday special

Homer will get a Christmas morning treat when CBS broadcasts a holiday special with the Kilcher family. “Holiday Homecoming with Jewel” features Homer’s famous musical star, Jewel Kilcher, her aunt Mossy Kilcher, and some of the stars of the Discovery Channel reality TV show, “Alaska: The Last Frontier” — Jewel’s dad Atz Kilcher, Bonnie Dupree, Eve and Eivin Kilcher, and Nikos Kilcher. The special airs locally at 9 a.m. Dec. 25 on KTVA Channel 11. The show features singing with Jewel, Atz Kilcher, Dupree, Mossy Kilcher and Jewel’s 5-year-old son, Kase.

Woman loses house in fire

Ninilchik neighbors have rallied to help a friend recover from a house fire on Saturday afternoon that completely destroyed the log home of Helena Toretta-Imlah. Toretta-Imlah, 69, escaped barefoot with her dog, Ola, and was able to save her car and purse. She singed her hair and eyebrows, but was otherwise uninjured in the fire.

“It’s unbelievable to lose her home,” said Nadine Russo, organizer of a Go Fund Me online fundraiser for Toretta-Imlah. “A lot of people have stepped up for her.”

HEA change rejected

In a vote of 70 percent opposed, Homer Electric Association members soundly defeated a proposal to deregulate the member-owned electric cooperative. With 6,896 total votes, 4,854 voted no and 2,042 voted yes. That means HEA will remain under Regulatory Commission of Alaska oversight. The total votes received also was well above the 3,506 threshold, or 15 percent of the 23,371 ballots mailed, for the election to be valid under Alaska law. The RCA certified the election in an order released Dec. 20.

Vets voice concerns at 'listening session'

As President-elect Donald Trump makes his department secretary appointments, potential candidates have to wend their way through the gantlet of the press in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York and head upstairs for a meeting with Trump. Anyone thinking of being VA Secretary — as Alaska Public Radio reported last month that former Gov. Sarah Palin was doing — might want to face a tougher audience: a roomful of disgruntled military veterans.

Man found dead on boat at Homer harbor

A fisherman was found dead on his boat in the Homer harbor early Tuesday morning.

After a friend reported the man had not been seen for two days, Homer Police checked F/V Cascade, the boat of Anton Sanarov, 58, and found him dead.

Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said Sanarov had a history of medical problems and police do not suspect foul play.

He is believed to have died of natural causes, Robl said.

Sanarov lived near Mile 22 East End Road.

Next of kin have been notified.

The Alaska Medical Examiner did not request an autopsy.

Plans for history conference advance

The plans for a history conference next April in Soldotna marking the anniversary of America’s purchase of Alaska from Russia are under way. With just over four months until the event, the organizers are gathering presenters, public engagement and, as always, stories.

“It’s progressing,” said Shana Loshbaugh, the main organizer. “Right now we have more things going on on the central peninsula, and we also have … things rolling now in Homer.”

GOP sanctions Seaton, others

The Alaska Republican Party Central Committee last Saturday sanctioned three Republican Party representatives — including District 31 Rep. Paul Seaton — for their role in forming a Democratic, Republican and independent majority coalition in the Alaska House. Also sanctioned were District 15 Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, Anchorage, and District 32 Rep. Louise Stutes, Kodiak.

ACLU sues borough over invocation policy

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska is suing the Kenai Peninsula Borough over the borough assembly’s invocation policy, which it claims is discriminatory.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, comes on the heels of the assembly recently reviving its controversial invocation guideline policy, initially passed in October, that outlines who can offer the invocation before the assembly’s regular meetings.

Hearing continued in Boyle case

A change of plea hearing for Stephen Boyle set for Dec. 13 has been continued to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 6, 2017, at the Homer Courthouse. Boyle had been scheduled to enter a plea, but his lawyer, Andy Pevehouse, said he has not been able to discuss a possible plea agreement with Kenai assistant district attorney Kelly Lawson, the prosecutor handling the case. Lawson is prosecuting a felony trial this week and has not been available, Pevehouse said.

HEA plans outages in Anchor Point

Homer Electric Association crews will be working on a maintenance project in the Anchor Point area starting Dec. 19 and with an anticipated completion date of Jan. 1, 2017. The crews will be installing new fuses along the power line which will improve the reliability of electric service.

Woman found dead at Kachemak Drive home

A Homer man found a friend dead in her bed at their Kachemak Drive home, Homer Police said in a press release on Dec. 13. About 7:30 a.m. Tuesday a 44-year-old man made a 911 call reporting he found his friend, Lisa Tinnin, not breathing and unresponsive. Homer Police and Homer Volunteer Fire Department medics responded to the home, a trailer on east Kachemak Drive near the Northern Enterprises Boatyard. Medics found Tinnin, 37, dead in her bed. No signs of foul play were observed. Tinnin’s next of kin has been notified.

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