Local News

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.

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.

Assembly resurrects invocation guidelines

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly revived its invocation policy during a reconsideration vote at its Tuesday meeting.

The assembly passed an amendment Nov. 22 deleting the entire policy it had passed in October. That policy set guidelines for who would be allowed to provide the prayer before the regular assembly meetings. However, at the end of the meeting, assembly member Blaine Gilman of Kenai filed for reconsideration, which brought the topic up again for discussion at the Tuesday meeting.

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.

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