Story last updated at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, December 26, 2002

news briefs
More FEMA funds available

Recognizing that storm-related losses and damages extended beyond the first round of flooding in late October, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Monday that Kenai Peninsula residents and business owners affected by storms and floods from Oct. 23 to Dec. 20 may now be eligible for federal disaster assistance.

Residents can register by calling FEMA's toll-free application number, (800) 621-FEMA, Monday through Saturday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Beautification winners announced

The Homer Chamber of Commerce and Kachemak Board of Realtors have announced the winners of the annual community beautification awards. They are:

  • Most attractive business: Alaska Pioneer Inn (Rich and Amy Fetterhoff);

  • Most attractive residence: Rose Beck and Claudia Ehli;

  • Most improved: Main Street Mercantile (Kate Mitchell);

  • Most creative: CafE Cups (Jen and Dave Olsen);

  • Judge's choice: Jars of Clay (Ruby Haigh).

    The program recognizes individuals and businesses for their beautification efforts in the community. Nominations were taken from the community, and a panel of chamber and board of realtors members made the final selections.

    Winners were presented with a framed plaque at the December chamber luncheon.

    Nonprofit grants available

    The Homer Foundation has announced that it will administer the City of Homer grants program for calendar year 2003. The grants, which total $20,000 for this funding cycle, are designed to provide operating support to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations serving city residents, and who maintain a permanent facility and offer programs and services within Homer city limits.

    Foundation director Joy Steward called the program highly competitive. Application and guidelines are available from the Homer Foundation and may be picked up at the Foundation office located in the Kachemak Community Center, Mile 3.2 East End Road. Applications also may be requested via mail, phone (235-0541) or e-mail ( The deadline is 5 p.m., Jan. 20.

    In addition to the grants program, the Homer Foundation offers an immediate-response small grants program available for projects taking place within the Foundation's southern peninsula service area. Applications are accepted year-round for this grants program and are also available from the Homer Foundation, which can be contacted at: P.O. Box 2600, Homer, AK 99603. The phone number is 235-0541.

    Tentative SPH contract in place

    A tentative labor agreement was reached Monday between South Peninsula Hospital and Teamsters Local 959, which represents hospital workers, according to a press release issued jointly by the two parties. The terms of the pact will be presented to the approximately 220 union members in January for ratification, and then it will be submitted to the hospital's board of directors for final approval.

    Trooper 'blitz' under way

    Alaska State Troopers, along with numerous municipal law enforcement agencies across the state, logged lots of overtime in taking the "Drive Hammered/Get Nailed" message to the streets last weekend in an enforcement blitz of state drunken driving laws.

    "We've been telling people that we were going to be arresting drunk drivers, and this weekend shows that we mean it," said Major Doug Norris, deputy director of the Alaska State Troopers, in a press release. "This was a very successful start to our Impaired Driving Blitz. We like to think that every drunk driver we get off the roads makes everyone that much safer."

    During the 72-hour Friday to Sunday effort, Alaska State Troopers from Girdwood to Homer recorded three DWIs. The Impaired Driving Blitz is part of a nationwide campaign spearheaded by the National Highway Safety Administration that runs through Jan. 4.