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Looking back 2011: Top Clarion feature stories

Posted: December 28, 2011 - 2:02pm  |  Updated: December 28, 2011 - 2:17pm

Here are the most read feature stories of 2011, according to web statistics compiled by the Peninsula Clarion.

Well-known llama killed by loose dogs

By Molly Dischner

A popular farm animal met an unfortunate end at Diamond M Ranch Resort last week.

Obama the Llama was fatally injured by three dogs on June 4.

“They chased him down and mauled him to death,” said owner Carol Martin. 

 

Meal ticket: Kenai man charged for feeding young moose in Old Town

By Karen Garcia

Mongo the Moose has his own personal snack stand in Old Town Kenai. Or at least he did, until the Kenai Police Department put the kibosh on his junk food supply.

 

Changing hearts, minds: First graduate of new program re-enters society

By Brielle Schaeffer

Sonny Thompson walked out of the 8-foot-tall chain-link gates at Wildwood Correctional Center a free man. April 5, 2011.

A free man with little more than the shirt on his back and a wooden cross dangling from a blue string around his neck. The rest of his possessions -- books, mostly -- he carried out with him in a clear, plastic garbage bag.

 

Soldotna teen finds second chance after homelessness

By Logan Tuttle

A $10 bill and a backpack.

That's all Forrest Vest had.

It was 2009 and Forrest, then 16 years old, was living out of his car. After running away from home, his only option was to sleep in the car, or on somebody's couch.

 

Reading runes: Kenai man shares the magic

By Brielle Schaeffer

Up Kenai's windy Strawberry Road an ancient rune master lives in a cozy, cedar cabin.

"In this place love and magic dwell," says a sign on the boardwalked porch up to the house. But if you don't know how to read runes you wouldn't know that it says that.

 

'What if I wasn't so lucky?' DUI repeat offenders a threat, but hard to keep off the road

By Karen Garcia

As Christopher McMurray braced for impact, he instinctively yelled to his only passenger, a 16-week-old yellow Labrador named Zoey, to hold on.

  

'So much more than physical': Soldotna resident finds balance between bodybuilding, motherhood

By Brian Smith

Growing up, Amy Vinson said she faced a number of struggles, the largest of which was becoming a mother at an all too early age.

From uncertain beginnings, however, Vinson has shaped a life for herself with deep convictions rooted in perseverance and faith, she said.

She was able to mold a life suited to her through a common theme -- weightlifting, fitness and eventually as a professional bodybuilder.

 

Bear encounter teaches valuable lesson

By Molly Dischner

Michelle Yeskie and her daughters are no strangers to the backcountry.

Colleen, 10, and Shannon, 9, have been hiking and backpack camping nearly as long as they’ve been walking.

But a hike last week in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, not far from the heart of Soldotna, was a completely new experience.

 

What comes down ... Kenai airport crews must clean up

By BRIELLE SCHAEFFER

While thousands of flights have been canceled due to a massive winter storm sweeping across nearly half of the Lower 48, it has been business as usual for Kenai Municipal Airport, even on the heels of a storm that dropped several inches of unseasonably wet, heavy snow.

 

'Really a shame:' Shop to close for good if area man can't sell beloved business

By Brian Smith

George Herr had the mechanical knowledge, but he certainly wasn't a professional with motors.

After retiring from the oil industry, which included a five-year stint on the North Slope, Herr needed something to keep him busy.

So, he opened K-Beach Small Engine Parts & Service in 1995 and began building a business from the ground up. The technique was the same he had used several times during his oil service career for whatever position he was filling in as - mechanic, operator or any other really.

 

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