Camille Botello

Scaffolding is erected around the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, July 20, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Parishioners largely welcomed back to in-person church services

One serious point of contention during the coronavirus pandemic, amid many, has been the fate of in-person church services. Some have been adamant about discontinuing… Continue reading

Scaffolding is erected around the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, July 20, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
South Peninsula Hospital registered nurse Anne Garay gives Jessica Entsminger her second COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, May 7, 2021, at a pop-up vaccination clinic at the Boathouse Pavillion on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. About 25 people received vaccines in the first 3.5 hours of the 4-hour clinic. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

As COVID cases increase, officials think we’re not yet at the fourth peak

Department of Health and Social Services officials said during a Thursday press briefing that COVID-19 case trends in Alaska are likely to mimic the spikes… Continue reading

South Peninsula Hospital registered nurse Anne Garay gives Jessica Entsminger her second COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, May 7, 2021, at a pop-up vaccination clinic at the Boathouse Pavillion on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. About 25 people received vaccines in the first 3.5 hours of the 4-hour clinic. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
The entrance to the Homer Electric Association office is seen here in Kenai, Alaska on May 7, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer Electric invests millions into renewable energy project

The Homer Electric Association plans to implement a new system in October that is meant to balance the energy between renewable and nonrenewable sources, according… Continue reading

The entrance to the Homer Electric Association office is seen here in Kenai, Alaska on May 7, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
The Challenger Learning Center is seen here in Kenai, Alaska on Sept. 10, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Progress Days gets NASA visit

The Challenger Learning Center will be hosting a Progress Days event at Soldotna Creek Park on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring a… Continue reading

The Challenger Learning Center is seen here in Kenai, Alaska on Sept. 10, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Flowers bloom at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Throwback: 1980s rock star to take the mic in Soldotna this weekend

Rock stars who found fame in the 1980s are set to take center stage at Soldotna Creek Park on Friday night, in a concert event… Continue reading

Flowers bloom at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna resident Leah McCabe receives her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the The Soldotna Professional Pharmacy and Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management's walk-in clinic at Soldotna Prep School on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

COVID numbers continue rising

Wednesday, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported there were another 472 positive COVID-19 cases in the state, including one new death. The… Continue reading

Soldotna resident Leah McCabe receives her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the The Soldotna Professional Pharmacy and Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management's walk-in clinic at Soldotna Prep School on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Ranger Scott Slavik speaks about bear safety during a presentation at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Refuge says awareness, respect, knowledge are crucial while living in bear territory

The three pillars of safety in bear country are awareness, respect and knowledge, according to an official at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Ranger Jason… Continue reading

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Ranger Scott Slavik speaks about bear safety during a presentation at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
The top three fish of this year’s Winter King Salmon Tournament hang on a wall before a closing ceremony announcing the winners Saturday, March 24, 2018 on the Spit in Homer, Alaska. This year’s winning fish weighed 24.6 pounds. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Sport fishing closures shut down east side setnet commercial fishery

The king salmon sport fishing closures on the Kenai and Kasilof rivers, as well as Cook Inlet north of Bluff Point, have also shut down… Continue reading

The top three fish of this year’s Winter King Salmon Tournament hang on a wall before a closing ceremony announcing the winners Saturday, March 24, 2018 on the Spit in Homer, Alaska. This year’s winning fish weighed 24.6 pounds. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
In this March 2021 photo provided by Pfizer, vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared for packaging at the company’s facility in Puurs, Belgium. Pfizer is about to seek U.S. authorization for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, saying Thursday, July 8, 2021, that another shot within 12 months could dramatically boost immunity and maybe help ward off the latest worrisome coronavirus mutant. (Pfizer via AP)

COVID cases continue to rise, delta variant confirmed on peninsula

Alaska saw 465 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, while more regions continue to break into the high risk threshold. In a press briefing last… Continue reading

In this March 2021 photo provided by Pfizer, vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared for packaging at the company’s facility in Puurs, Belgium. Pfizer is about to seek U.S. authorization for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, saying Thursday, July 8, 2021, that another shot within 12 months could dramatically boost immunity and maybe help ward off the latest worrisome coronavirus mutant. (Pfizer via AP)
Camille Botello reaches the Skyline summit near Cooper Landing, Alaska with dirty ankles on June 27, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: The view from Skyline

In some ways, the isolation of the pandemic has proved even more harsh for me. I’ve spent the majority of it — actually, this week… Continue reading

Camille Botello reaches the Skyline summit near Cooper Landing, Alaska with dirty ankles on June 27, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Raymond Bradbury preserves his salmon while dipnetting in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Fish and Game closes king salmon sport fishing

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued an emergency order closing both the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers, as well as Cook Inlet north of… Continue reading

Raymond Bradbury preserves his salmon while dipnetting in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska State Troopers logo.

Driver in custody after fatal rollover crash

A car accident in Soldotna over the weekend involving four people resulted in a fatality and a second-degree murder charge, among others, according to a… Continue reading

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Stephen Lamm and Lilly Murray film a culinary video for the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank's healthy lifestyle eating promotional program Monday, July 19, 2021, at the food bank diner just outside of Soldotna. (Photo by Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Food Bank aims to collect 1 ton of goods

The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank is preparing for its Progress Days donation drive Thursday. Volunteers are aiming to raise 1 ton of food in one… Continue reading

Stephen Lamm and Lilly Murray film a culinary video for the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank's healthy lifestyle eating promotional program Monday, July 19, 2021, at the food bank diner just outside of Soldotna. (Photo by Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Onlookers await the passing of parade floats at the Progress Days Parade in Soldotna, Alaska on July 27, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Progress Days set to start Wednesday

The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center has released its schedule for the upcoming Progress Days extravaganza, which starts Wednesday. It is the first… Continue reading

Onlookers await the passing of parade floats at the Progress Days Parade in Soldotna, Alaska on July 27, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
The stage for "Grounded" is seen inside of the Kenai Performers’ black box theatre on Monday, March 15 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Presenting Little Mermaid

Kenai Performers youth drama camp takes center stage

The stage for "Grounded" is seen inside of the Kenai Performers’ black box theatre on Monday, March 15 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Tables in the dining room of the Heritage Place Skilled Nursing facility are arranged for social distancing. (Photo courtesy Sandi Crawford)

Heritage Place closes to visitors after 2 employees test positive for COVID in last week

The Heritage Place Skilled Nursing facility was forced to close to visitors twice in one week after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19, the… Continue reading

Tables in the dining room of the Heritage Place Skilled Nursing facility are arranged for social distancing. (Photo courtesy Sandi Crawford)
Setnetting closes on the Kasilof River on June 25, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Fish and Game issues emergency commercial opening

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game released an emergency order announcement opening commercial-use set and drift gillnet fishing on the Upper Cook Inlet for… Continue reading

Setnetting closes on the Kasilof River on June 25, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Bears walk along Skilak Lake Road on Monday, June 14, 2021 near Skilak Lake, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Bears and dogs don’t mix

The best way to enjoy bear country with pups is by keeping them close.

Bears walk along Skilak Lake Road on Monday, June 14, 2021 near Skilak Lake, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna is now offering COVID-19 vaccines with no appointment necessary. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

‘A choice between getting COVID or getting the vaccine’

Officials encourage vaccines as cases climb and more die of the virus

A clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna is now offering COVID-19 vaccines with no appointment necessary. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
A fisher holds a reel on the Kenai River near Soldotna on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai and Kasilof kings limited to catch and release

Kings are passing through the Kenai River at a lower rate than needed to attain the escapement goal.

A fisher holds a reel on the Kenai River near Soldotna on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)