Prescriptions drugs, vitamins, hormones, and other drugs left in the drug drop box in the lobby of the Juneau Police Department displayed on Thursday, Sept. 26. The drop box gives residents a safe place to disposed of their unused prescription narcotics. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Opioid crisis still cuts deep in Alaska

Nearly 6 million pills in 6 years.

Prescriptions drugs, vitamins, hormones, and other drugs left in the drug drop box in the lobby of the Juneau Police Department displayed on Thursday, Sept. 26. The drop box gives residents a safe place to disposed of their unused prescription narcotics. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Supporters wave signs in support of Proposition A, to ban single-use plastic bags, and for Homer City Council candidates Joey Evensen and Storm Hansen-Cavasos on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, at WKFL Park in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Homer voters approve plastic bag ban; Evensen to serve on council

Voters approved the bag ban with 748 yes votes to 406 no votes.

Supporters wave signs in support of Proposition A, to ban single-use plastic bags, and for Homer City Council candidates Joey Evensen and Storm Hansen-Cavasos on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, at WKFL Park in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby winner Jason Schuler, left, of Wahpeton, North Dakota, poses with his 224.2-pound fish on July 12, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. To the right of the fish is Captain Daniel Donich of Daniel’s Personalized Guide Service. Schuler caught the fish on Donich’s boat, the Optimist. (Photo provided)

Homer Chamber of Commerce ends halibut derby

2019 winner will be the last in a long history.

Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby winner Jason Schuler, left, of Wahpeton, North Dakota, poses with his 224.2-pound fish on July 12, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. To the right of the fish is Captain Daniel Donich of Daniel’s Personalized Guide Service. Schuler caught the fish on Donich’s boat, the Optimist. (Photo provided)

Sport programs end for Russian Old Believer schools

Athletic programming has come to and end for a few different reasons.

Frtiz Creek area resident Barrett Fletcher gives the invocation before a Tuesday, Sept. 17 2019 Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting as a representative of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster at Homer City Hall in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer hosts lively assembly meeting

The meeting opened with invocation from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Frtiz Creek area resident Barrett Fletcher gives the invocation before a Tuesday, Sept. 17 2019 Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting as a representative of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster at Homer City Hall in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Megan Pacer / Homer News
                                School employees, community members and members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education listen to a presentation on Voznesenka and Kachemak Selo schools during a Monday meeting of the school board at Homer High School.

School board hears teacher concerns on contract, health care

Several people commented that the current model for health care is not working for many teachers.

Megan Pacer / Homer News
                                School employees, community members and members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education listen to a presentation on Voznesenka and Kachemak Selo schools during a Monday meeting of the school board at Homer High School.
Megan Pacer/Homer News
                                A harbor seal swims into the waters of Kachemak Bay after being released back into the wild by the Alaska SeaLife Center on Thursday at Bishop’s Beach in Homer. The center released two harbor seals Thursday after rehabilitating them through the Wildlife Response Program. The seals were found neglected on Homer area beaches along Kachemak Bay this May.

Harbor seals released by SeaLife Center into Kachemak Bay

Ugashik “ Uggy” and Charley Fritz were found neglected by their mothers.

Megan Pacer/Homer News
                                A harbor seal swims into the waters of Kachemak Bay after being released back into the wild by the Alaska SeaLife Center on Thursday at Bishop’s Beach in Homer. The center released two harbor seals Thursday after rehabilitating them through the Wildlife Response Program. The seals were found neglected on Homer area beaches along Kachemak Bay this May.
Local Anchor Point residents view the presentation and chat with Carrie Connaker from Solstice Alaska Consulting, Inc., at the open house for the Anchor River Bridge replacement project on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019 at the Anchor Point Senior Center in Anchor Point, Alaska. (Photo by Delcenia Cosman)

Anchor River Bridge replacement is on the horizon

Residents learn about proposed project at open house

Local Anchor Point residents view the presentation and chat with Carrie Connaker from Solstice Alaska Consulting, Inc., at the open house for the Anchor River Bridge replacement project on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019 at the Anchor Point Senior Center in Anchor Point, Alaska. (Photo by Delcenia Cosman)
A 5.0 magnitude earthquake occured at a depth of less than a kilometer 100km northwest of Juneau on August 31. (Screenshot from USGS)
A 5.0 magnitude earthquake occured at a depth of less than a kilometer 100km northwest of Juneau on August 31. (Screenshot from USGS)
Nancy Yeaton of Nanwalek speaks at a Hilcorp meeting on lower Cook Inlet seismic testing on Aug. 23, 2019, at Land’s End Resort in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Hilcorp holds Homer meeting on seismic testing; questions and comments get heated

Some people asked pointed questions and someone blew an air horn.

Nancy Yeaton of Nanwalek speaks at a Hilcorp meeting on lower Cook Inlet seismic testing on Aug. 23, 2019, at Land’s End Resort in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Kachemak Emergency Services Chief Bob Cicciarella provides an update on the North Fork and Caribou Lake fires on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, at a community meeting at McNeil Canyon Elementary School near Fritz Creek, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Officials brief community on Caribou Lake, North Fork fires

Fire officials delivered some positive news about two lower Kenai Peninsula wildfires.

Kachemak Emergency Services Chief Bob Cicciarella provides an update on the North Fork and Caribou Lake fires on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, at a community meeting at McNeil Canyon Elementary School near Fritz Creek, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
This photo of the Caribou Lake fire was taken about 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, northeast of Homer, Alaska, about two hours after Ian Pitzman texted a message reporting the fire to his wife, Stephanie Pitzman, via an inReach satellite communication device. (Photo by Ian Pitzman)
This photo of the Caribou Lake fire was taken about 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, northeast of Homer, Alaska, about two hours after Ian Pitzman texted a message reporting the fire to his wife, Stephanie Pitzman, via an inReach satellite communication device. (Photo by Ian Pitzman)
Michael Armstrong / Homer News 
                                A helicopter flies over the North Fork fire as it burns near the south end of the North Fork Road on Sunday evening, Aug. 18, 2019, near Homer, Alaska, as seen from Diamond Ridge Road.

Caribou Lake Fire outside Homer continues to threaten

Swan Lake Fire team will take over fire administration

Michael Armstrong / Homer News 
                                A helicopter flies over the North Fork fire as it burns near the south end of the North Fork Road on Sunday evening, Aug. 18, 2019, near Homer, Alaska, as seen from Diamond Ridge Road.

Caribou Lake Fire now at 700 acres; North Fork Fire danger is less

Both fires threaten homes and cabins in areas north and east of Homer.

Country singer Zac Brown’s lawyer Blaine Gillam speaks for his client at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission meeting, Aug. 12, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Effort to vacate Homer easement fails at planning commission

Country musician Zac Brown was one of a handful of people seeking to remove the easement.

Country singer Zac Brown’s lawyer Blaine Gillam speaks for his client at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission meeting, Aug. 12, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
A young volunteer chases three piglets named Mary Hamkins, Petunia and Sir Oinks-a-lot through the race Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds during the pig races on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 in Ninilchik, Alaska. Spectators place bets on their favorite swine to win and the proceeds go to support the fair. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Living the fair life

Residents enjoy weekend of pig races, fish throwing, and livestock auctions in Ninilchik

A young volunteer chases three piglets named Mary Hamkins, Petunia and Sir Oinks-a-lot through the race Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds during the pig races on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 in Ninilchik, Alaska. Spectators place bets on their favorite swine to win and the proceeds go to support the fair. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Pigs run through a circular course, chased by a young volunteer, during the pig races at the Kenai Peninsula Fair, on Aug. 18, 2018 at the fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Kenai Peninsula Fair returns with family fun

Our peninsula fair is a great peninsula fair.

Pigs run through a circular course, chased by a young volunteer, during the pig races at the Kenai Peninsula Fair, on Aug. 18, 2018 at the fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska

Senator Sullivan visits Juneau

Sullivan stops by the Empire to talk bills

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska

‘Molly of Denali’ drums up fun, cultural pride

Cartoon tells Native stories with Native voices.

Recall Dunleavy supporters hold signs at a Recall Dunleavy rally held on Aug. 1, 2019, at WKFL Park in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)

Recall Dunleavy effort starts with statewide rallies on Thursday

In Homer, a steady stream of voters lined up to sign recall applications.

Recall Dunleavy supporters hold signs at a Recall Dunleavy rally held on Aug. 1, 2019, at WKFL Park in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)