Angela Denning, KFSK - Petersburg
Angela Denning-Barnes is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.
Graduation time is just around the corner and for most seniors that means walking a stage and accepting a diploma. But a few students a year in Petersburg do not receive a diploma because they don’t pass a test. A bill making its way through the state Legislature would change that. House Bill 220 would repeal the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam.
Students’ physical well-being is paramount to how well they perform in school. The Petersburg School District is hoping to improve that through a four-year, $600,000 grant which started this school year. An update on the grant was given to the district’s school board at their last meeting.
Alaska State Troopers have identified the body that was found in Quinhagak Monday afternoon as that of 25-year-old Lisa Johnson. She had been a missing person since Feb. 2.
Patrice Kunesh, Under Secretary of the USDA Rural Development, visited the Bethel region Tuesday to see some of the department’s projects in action.
The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation employs more than 1,600 people. It’s the largest employer in Bethel and has been led by Gene Peltola Sr. for 24 years. However, the CEO spent this past weekend clearing out his office amid controversy with the board of directors.
Rohn Buser has won his second Kuskokwim 300 title. He arrived in Bethel at 9:18 Sunday morning after a 50-mile run from the final checkpoint of Tuluksak. The 24-year-old Big Lake musher had previously won the 2012 race. Buser outlasted a chasing Jeff King to take the title in a close finish. King finished at 9:25, just seven minutes behind Buser. He was two minutes slower than Buser over the 50 miles into Bethel.
Subsistence salmon fishing on the Kuskokwim will likely be very different this coming summer. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is proposing closing subsistence salmon fishing for most of June to protect the King salmon run. State biologists are presenting their plan in a two-day meeting of the Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group in Bethel.
Hair is important, especially in high school, but that didn’t stop a few dozen students at Bethel’s Kuskokwim Learning Academy boarding school from shaving off their hair in support of a teacher undergoing chemotherapy. It was also a chance for some students to remember family who died from the disease.
Nelson Mandela’s funeral is Sunday. The well-known African leader passed away at 95. He fought Apartheid or racial segregation, which kept him in prison for decades by the country’s government, run by the white minority. One Bethel resident was deeply moved by his passing.
Normally in December, the Bethel area is covered in snow and ice but it’s been unseasonable warm so far. In fact, Bethel broke a record Dec. 6 reaching 48 degrees. The Y-K Delta is known for winter warm ups but the amount of them lately has some folks scratching their heads.
Sharon Andrews used to be the Postmaster in Emmonak. Between 2010 and 2012 she stole several registered mail packages that each contained large amounts of cash inside. Andrews, 54, pled guilty to four felony charges that she stole mail as an officer or employee of the U.S. Postal Service.
Billy Strickland of Bethel has been chosen to run the Alaska School Activities Association. He’ll be starting the job as Executive Director next summer.
Governor Sean Parnell today appointed Nathaniel Peters to the Bethel District Court. Peters has experience in the local court system as he served in Bethel with the Alaska Public Defender Agency from 2003 to 2006.
A young man was sentenced in Bethel Superior Court to 45 years in prison for murdering a Korean cab driver a few winters ago. Kyle Motgin pled guilty to murder in the second degree which dropped several other charges. He was 21 years old when he stabbed Young Suk Chong to death on January 31, 2012.
Bethel’s Native Tribe, Orutsararmuit Native Council, held a public hearing seeking input on Chinook fishing restrictions next summer. It’s part of a call out to tribes along the river to help come up with management options after poor King salmon runs the last several years.
Several communities on the Lower Kuskokwim River are involved in a search for two men: Nick Cooke of Bethel and Jim Lee Napoka of Tuluksak. The two were traveling together by boat to a funeral in Tuntutuliak Oct. 23 but they never showed up. They were reported missing Friday.