$30 million school construction bond pushed to 2021

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. A proposed $30 million bond package to fix the Kenai Peninsula’s aging school buildings will be pushed to next year’s ballot. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the Board of Education had pushed for the bond to be placed on this October’s municipal election ballot, and … Continue reading $30 million school construction bond pushed to 2021

Cruise ship companies cancel, postpone Alaska sailings

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Princess Cruises has effectively canceled their 2020 summer season in Alaska, the cruise company’s president, Jan Swartz, announced Tuesday in a video message on the Princess Cruises website. In her video message, Swartz said Alaska’s shortened summer season made operating their cruises, buses, five wilderness lodges and … Continue reading Cruise ship companies cancel, postpone Alaska sailings

Kids don’t let quarantine rain on their parade

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Mason McMilin didn’t quite understand why his mom, Kim McMilin, sent him to the front yard with a foam finger taped to a long wooden dowel on his birthday, April 10. A steady stream of about 30 cars drove past Mason, with friends, family and church members … Continue reading Kids don’t let quarantine rain on their parade

‘Everyone is learning a new way to learn’

This story published in the Peninsula Clarion. For Kenai Central High School junior Rileigh Pace, life has changed “a lot” since the transition from the physical classroom to emergency remote learning. She takes classes like U.S. history, trigonometry, honors language arts, anatomy and physiology and ceramics online using a computer she’s set up on a … Continue reading ‘Everyone is learning a new way to learn’

Educators raise concerns about virtual school contract

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Local education officials expressed concern and surprise after the state announced March 31 it had entered into a half-million dollar contract with an online public school based in Florida. In mid-March, Gov. Mike Dunleavy ordered schools to close to “non-contact days” — which prohibited students from being … Continue reading Educators raise concerns about virtual school contract

Trends: Tourism industry takes hit from COVID-19

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Local restaurateurs, hotel owners and tour operators are feeling uncertain about the 2020 tourism season, which normally begins at the end of April in Alaska. The 2020 summer season is a major concern for the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council, Executive Director Debbie Speakman said. She said … Continue reading Trends: Tourism industry takes hit from COVID-19

Food bank runs low as shoppers stock up

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. As residents buy up toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other household necessities in response to Alaska’s first positive COVID-19 case, the food bank is seeing dramatically low donations. Greg Meyer, director of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, said donations this week have dropped dramatically. As stores are … Continue reading Food bank runs low as shoppers stock up

Alaska reports 1st coronavirus case; schools, universities extend breaks

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. As Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced the state’s first case of COVID-19 — a disease caused by a coronavirus that emerged in late 2019 in China — the University of Alaska system and Kenai Peninsula Borough School District both announced Thursday that they would be extending their spring … Continue reading Alaska reports 1st coronavirus case; schools, universities extend breaks

State, local officials prepare for virus

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. The state and borough are preparing for the potential arrival of COVID-19, a disease caused by a member of the coronavirus family that first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has since spread to countries around the world. Gov. Mike Dunleavy and the state health … Continue reading State, local officials prepare for virus

Hate crime resolution discussion gets heated

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. A state bill looking to expand hate crime protections to include crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity received support from the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. A resolution supporting state House Bill 198, sponsored by assembly President Kelly Cooper and assembly Vice President Hal … Continue reading Hate crime resolution discussion gets heated

Former Nikiski teacher sentenced to 30 years for sexual abuse

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. A former Nikiski music teacher was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years incarceration for sexual abuse of a former student. In 2014, Jeremy Anderson, a music teacher at Nikiski Middle/High School, was accused of sexual abuse of a minor and faced 16 charges of first- and second-degree sexual … Continue reading Former Nikiski teacher sentenced to 30 years for sexual abuse

Proposed tax would boost school maintenance, construction

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. A bill that would deduct $30 a year from every worker in Alaska and pool that money to be used for maintenance and construction costs in the state’s schools is making its way through the Alaska Senate. Senate Bill 50 is sponsored by Sen. Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks), Sen. … Continue reading Proposed tax would boost school maintenance, construction

District proposes $30 million bond package to address aging school facility needs

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. A $30 million bond package proposal is in the works to tackle nearly 20 different deferred maintenance projects in school buildings across the peninsula, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent John O’Brien announced at Monday’s Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meeting. The district is … Continue reading District proposes $30 million bond package to address aging school facility needs

KPC to shut down dorm this summer

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Residence hall operations will pause after the semester ends at Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus. The one-year hiatus will begin June 30, the college announced in a Tuesday press release, giving administration time to determine how the campus can move forward in the future. The residence … Continue reading KPC to shut down dorm this summer

Alaskans flock to register for PFD

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. More than 100,000 Alaskans have already filed for their Alaska Permanent Fund dividend check already, which opened to qualified residents Jan. 1. As of Saturday night, 101,266 had filed, according to date provided online by the Permanent Fund Dividend Division. There’s still plenty of time to file, … Continue reading Alaskans flock to register for PFD

‘Like a nuclear weapon went off’

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. During the volcanic eruptions of 1989 and 1990, locals looking out at Mount Redoubt — the 10,197 foot volcano looming directly across Cook Inlet — saw what looked like an atomic bomb. John Power, a scientist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory for more than 30 years, said … Continue reading ‘Like a nuclear weapon went off’

Soldotna looks to expand cemetery

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. The city of Soldotna is looking to expand its cemetery, which is reaching maximum capacity. The Soldotna Community Memorial Park on Redoubt Avenue opened to the community and area residents in 2011. Since then, lots have been filling up fast. The memorial park came up at Soldotna … Continue reading Soldotna looks to expand cemetery

1,000 still without power after heavy snow

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. After heavy snow fell on the peninsula for over two days, about a thousand residents — mostly in Nikiski — are still without power, some for more than 48 hours. Homer Electric has pulled in additional crews and support to bring power back to affected members. There … Continue reading 1,000 still without power after heavy snow