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The Kenai Peninsula cheechako news. : (Kenai, Alaska) 1960-1985
Alternative Titles:
  • Cheechako news
Place of publication:
Kenai, Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • Kenai, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
  • Soldotna, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
Loren Stewart
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 17 (May 6, 1960)-26th year, no. 1695 (Oct. 9, 1985).
Weekly Aug. 19, 1971-Oct. 9, 1985
  • English
  • Alaska--Kenai.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01220438
  • Alaska--Soldotna.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01230205
  • Kenai (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • Soldotna (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • Published in Soldotna, Alaska, Sept. 25-Oct. 9, 1985.
  • Suspended with Oct. 28, 1960 issue; resumed with Dec. 16, 1960 issue. Suspended again until Feb. 17, 1961.
sn 97060085
Preceding Titles:
Succeeding Titles:
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The Kenai Peninsula cheechako news. February 17, 1961 , Image 1


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The Kenai Peninsula Cheechako, The Kenai Peninsula Cheechako News, and The Kenai Peninsula Soldotna Sun

The Kenai Peninsula Cheechako was a weekly paper in Kenai, Alaska, started on October 30, 1959, by Loren and Dorothy Stewart. The paper primarily reported on local and regional news with an emphasis on happenings on the Kenai Peninsula. Some recurring topics were the construction and staffing of the Central Kenai Peninsula Medical Clinic, the annual Alaska State Championship Sled Dog Races that took place nearby, and infrastructure developments. The paper virtually never reported on national or international news. The paper changed names to become The Kenai Peninsula Cheechako News on May 6, 1960.

The Stewarts announced a new hire for their staff on February 17, 1961, with Keith Arnold being brought on as a roving news editor; Dorothy was listed as the society editor and Loren as the editor. In the April 14, 1961 issue, the paper announced that they were planning to institute "News Drop" stations throughout the Kenai Peninsula where "clubs, organizations or individuals with a bit of interesting news" were encouraged to visit and let the Cheechako know about what was happening. The paper explained that it tried to cover "all news on the Kenai Peninsula," but that "despite what metropolitan neighbors to the north may think," there was too much happening in the different community for them to keep track without help.

The paper announced large upgrades to their printing process in the May 12, 1961, issue including the purchase of a linotype machine, a makeup table, cases of type, and more. The number of staff grew, and by the August 11th issue, it included a new traveling medical editor, a society type editor, Dorothy was listed as a foreign correspondent on account of her visiting Washington state, and there was also a new local news editor. The Kenai Peninsula Cheechako News encouraged the formation of a League of Kenai Peninsula Chambers of Commerce in the March 3rd issue, to speak for the entire community and give more political weight to the Peninsula's needs. According to Bent Pins to Chains: Alaska and Its Newspapers, by Evangeline Atwood and Lew Williams, Jr., the Stewarts were also big advocates of moving the capital away from Juneau.

Atwood and Williams Jr. wrote that the paper was nearly repossessed by the Internal Revenue Service in 1969 on account of unpaid taxes. However, the Small Business Administration intervened and allowed the Stewarts time to borrow money to pay off the taxes they owed. The Stewarts also faced growing competition from another Kenai newspaper in the 1970s, The Peninsula Clarion. Atwood and Williams Jr. explained that the Stewarts sold the Cheechako News to Robert Grimm, an advertising manager, in 1983. Grimm moved the paper to Soldotna in 1985 and changed its title to become The Kenai Peninsula Soldotna Sun, but the paper shut down less than a year later due to financial difficulties.

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections