Jay Barrett

Morning Edition host/news reporter

Born in Dillingham, Jay Barrett started in public radio at the age of 12, when the school district there started KDLG-AM. He has gone on to work in radio, television and print as a reporter, photographer and editor/news-director across rural Alaska. For the past dozen years, he’s been news director at KMXT Kodiak, where he’s produced The Alaska Fisheries Report for the last 10 years. He returns to KDLL 20 years from when he first came to the station.

National Weather Service

  The Kenai River at the Soldotna Bridge entered minor flood stage several times on Thursday and Friday, according to National Weather Service measurements.

The Service issued a special weather statement Sunday warning of the rising water levels on the Kenai River as freeze-up continues. As ice forms the river, the statement says, it can build up and restrict the flow of the water, backing it up behind the ice and raising levels.

The city of Kenai is looking to grow its economic base. That begins with one of the city’s more abundant resources — land. Shaylon Cochran has more on the plans to catalog and encourage development around the city:

Jay Barrett/KDLL photo

  Project Homeless Connect, a one-day outreach to the peninsula’s disadvantaged, attracted scores people to the Soldotna Sports Complex Wednesday. Frank Alioto, whose daytime job is at Central Peninsula Hospital, is a co-leader of the project.

There was another strong earthquake felt in Kenai almost exactly two years ago, though much closer than Tuesday morning's 7.9 event, meaning it caused a whole lot more damage in the Central Peninsula.

Some of that damage occurred to the Kenai City Dock during the January 24th, 2016, 7.1 earthquake.

City Manager Paul Ostrander explained to the Kenai City Council the administration’s plan to repair the damage, using funds left over from two other, completed projects.

Alaska's economic future pretty much balances right now on a  natural gas pipeline running from the North Slope to Nikiski. It's the main focus of Governor Bill Walker's administration, and he's lobbied two presidents and several foreign leaders to get on board.

While the project is making progress through a recent agreement with China, it's far from a certainty, at least in the mind of local elder statesman John Williams.

The latest Alaska State Trooper Citizen Academy on the Kenai Peninsula is under way. Lieutenant Dane Gilmore of the Soldotna trooper post says the 12-week program is designed to help citizens learn about the role of troopers in the community.

"The idea is to create community awareness of the equipment and resources and limitations of the AST and the criminal justice system overall," he said.

He says the academy is important partially to dispel some misconceptions people have about the troopers.


The state Legislature gavels in amid hopes that increasing oil prices and TAPS line throughput can help quell the state's budget mess, while Hilcorp has big plans for its stake in Cook Inlet.

On this week's Kenai Conversation, former Kenai city and borough mayor John Williams returns to discuss the issues of the day with host Jay Barrett.

  Twice a month a group of folks get together in Soldotna over lunch and talk. It happens all the time, but this group is noteworthy because they're trying to get better at it. At talking, not lunch. The group is Soldotna Speakers, which helps people improve their public speaking and leadership skills. KDLL's Jay Barrett spoke with Soldotna Speakers' organizer Rosie Reeder about the program. The next gathering of Soldotna Speakers, which meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month is February 6th.

A charter bus carrying the Homer girls basketball team got stuck partially in the ditch in Cooper Landing, blocking traffic in both lanes for some time on Saturday night. No injuries were reported.

According to a Facebook post by Chad Felice, coach of the Lady Mariners, the road was so icy that the bus, moving at under 20 mph, just slid down with the grade of the road.