Edward Eagerton / U.S. Army National Guard via AP
Residents of the village of Nanwalek greet guardsmen who delivered presents in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment during Operation Santa on Dec. 11. The Alaska National Guard and the Salvation Army were able to provide and deliver gifts for the program’s 65th year, but had to scale back distribution parties that are normally held in the villages because of COVID-19.

Pandemic prompts scaled back Christmas tradition in Alaska

This year’s edition of Operation Santa Claus didn’t have the pomp and grandeur of previous incarnations.

Edward Eagerton / U.S. Army National Guard via AP
Residents of the village of Nanwalek greet guardsmen who delivered presents in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment during Operation Santa on Dec. 11. The Alaska National Guard and the Salvation Army were able to provide and deliver gifts for the program’s 65th year, but had to scale back distribution parties that are normally held in the villages because of COVID-19.
This map shows the boundaries of Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park. (Image courtesy Alaska Department of Natural Resources, KBSP and KBSWP management plan)
This map shows the boundaries of Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park. (Image courtesy Alaska Department of Natural Resources, KBSP and KBSWP management plan)
Ashlyn O’Hara / Peninsula Clarion
Central Peninsula Hospital Pharmacy Technician Jessica Hulet rolls a cart carrying doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine into Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna on Wednesday.

1st vaccines arrive on peninsula

975 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine were transported from Anchorage to Soldotna Wednesday morning.

Ashlyn O’Hara / Peninsula Clarion
Central Peninsula Hospital Pharmacy Technician Jessica Hulet rolls a cart carrying doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine into Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna on Wednesday.
A COVID-19 exposure took place at Kitwanga Elementary School Dec. 1 to Dec. 3. (Image courtesy CDC)

616 new cases, 60 on the peninsula

Affected peninsula communities include Kenai, Soldotna, Homer, Other North, Other South and Sterling

A COVID-19 exposure took place at Kitwanga Elementary School Dec. 1 to Dec. 3. (Image courtesy CDC)
Dr. David Zielke, left, a pulmonary critical care physician, receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine from Emily Schubert, the employee health nurse at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Front-line health care workers are among the first in Alaska to receive the vaccine. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

State front-line health care workers get 1st vaccinations

The state began receiving more than 35,000 doses of the vaccine late Sunday, with distribution planned across Alaska.

Dr. David Zielke, left, a pulmonary critical care physician, receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine from Emily Schubert, the employee health nurse at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Front-line health care workers are among the first in Alaska to receive the vaccine. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members participate in a special meeting, which was conducted remotely, on Tuesday, Dec. 15. (Screenshot)

Assembly extends borough disaster declaration

The declaration was extended until March 31, 2021

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members participate in a special meeting, which was conducted remotely, on Tuesday, Dec. 15. (Screenshot)
The Homer Spit stretching into Kachemak Bay is seen here on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Personal watercraft allowed in Kachemak Bay once again

Fish and Game repeals ban that kept them out of critical habitat areas

The Homer Spit stretching into Kachemak Bay is seen here on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
COVID-19 (Image via CDC)

284 new cases, 3 deaths reported

The new cases bring Alaska’s statewide case total to 41,858.

COVID-19 (Image via CDC)
Protesters gather at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways on Tuesday, Dec. 15 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Parents protest remote learning

People held signs and glow sticks in Soldotna to protest remote learning

Protesters gather at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways on Tuesday, Dec. 15 in Soldotna, Alaska.
Supply Chain Technician Rebi Abdullahi pulls a box of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines at Providence Alaska Medical Center on Monday, Dec. 14 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of DHSS)

Vaccines arrive in Alaska; CPH to receive first doses on Thursday

The first of Alaska’s 35,100 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 arrived via UPS plane in the state on Monday

Supply Chain Technician Rebi Abdullahi pulls a box of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines at Providence Alaska Medical Center on Monday, Dec. 14 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of DHSS)
In this May 19, 2020, file photo, Alaska House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, left, presides over the House floor in Juneau, Alaska. Alaska lawmakers who each year relocate to a capital city accessible only by plane or boat are facing challenges in getting settled ahead of what is expected to be a difficult legislative session overshadowed by COVID-19. Speaker Edgmon, an independent from Dillingham, about 860 miles from Juneau, said pandemic concerns come at a time when lawmakers will need to make tough budget decisions. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)

Virus causes session housing headaches for lawmakers

With just over a month before session is set to begin, some lawmakers are waiting to lock down digs.

In this May 19, 2020, file photo, Alaska House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, left, presides over the House floor in Juneau, Alaska. Alaska lawmakers who each year relocate to a capital city accessible only by plane or boat are facing challenges in getting settled ahead of what is expected to be a difficult legislative session overshadowed by COVID-19. Speaker Edgmon, an independent from Dillingham, about 860 miles from Juneau, said pandemic concerns come at a time when lawmakers will need to make tough budget decisions. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
Children’s librarian James Adcox holds a puppet in front of a green screen at the Kenai Community Library on Dec. 11.

Kenai library, others adapt holiday activities to pandemic

Drive-thru events and online crafts are among the family-fun activities being offered this month

Children’s librarian James Adcox holds a puppet in front of a green screen at the Kenai Community Library on Dec. 11.
From left to right, Peyton Cobb, Mason Bock and Myla Cobb hold signs opposing remote learning on Monday, Dec. 14. (Photo courtesy of Andie Bock).
From left to right, Peyton Cobb, Mason Bock and Myla Cobb hold signs opposing remote learning on Monday, Dec. 14. (Photo courtesy of Andie Bock).
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

DHSS reported 427 new statewide cases as 1st vaccine shipments arrive

Affected communities include Kenai, Homer, Soldotna, Seward, Nikiski, Other South and Sterling

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
The Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Services station on Milo Fritz Road in Anchor Point is shown in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy Anchor Point Fire and EMS)

Formation of Western Emergency Service Area moves forward

Board members have been appointed and transfer of assets is next

The Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Services station on Milo Fritz Road in Anchor Point is shown in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy Anchor Point Fire and EMS)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, top left, holds a press conference on his proposed budget for the State of Alaska for Fiscal Year 2022 on Dec. 11, 2020. Bottom left: Sign language interpreter Elizabeth Davidson. (Screenshot)

Dunleavy proposes direct payments to Alaskans

Budget plan includes $5,000 in Alaska Permanent Fund dividend payments in 2021 and a $350 million bond package.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, top left, holds a press conference on his proposed budget for the State of Alaska for Fiscal Year 2022 on Dec. 11, 2020. Bottom left: Sign language interpreter Elizabeth Davidson. (Screenshot)
Fletcher Stevens, of Kenai, skis the Porcupine Loop on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Ski gear flies off shelves of local retailers

Pandemic prompts surge in outdoor activity

Fletcher Stevens, of Kenai, skis the Porcupine Loop on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
The Peninsula Oilers play the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks on Sunday, June 16, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

From Cape Cod to Alaska, college leagues eye MLB changes

Collegiate summer leagues like the ABL were hit by another potential obstacle recently.

The Peninsula Oilers play the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks on Sunday, June 16, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

33 deaths reported this week, 82 hospitalizations

There were 273 cases reported by the Kenai Peninsula Borough over the past week.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)

Alaska joins Texas lawsuit as governor gives Biden a chance

Dunleavy previously said that a shortage of time prevented Alaska from joining in the lawsuit.

  • Dec 10, 2020
Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)