Angela Denning, KFSK - Petersburg
Angela Denning is a reporter at KFSK in Petersburg.
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.
Alaska State Troopers seek the public’s help in getting information about the musk ox found shot dead Oct. 20 across the river near Bethel. The poaching has also been on the mind of Bethel city council member Mark Springer.
The Joint Board of Fisheries and Board of Game opposed establishing a non-subsistence use area for Bethel in a meeting in Anchorage last week. The proposal was submitted by Fairbanks trapper Allen Barrette which stated that Bethel would appear to qualify as a non-subsistence area.
A man in Mountain Village has been arrested for allegedly stabbing his brother. On Wednesday evening, Alaska State Troopers arrested 37-year-old Luther Aguchak who they say stabbed his 38-year-old brother with a knife.
GCI and KTUU Channel 2 came to a temporary agreement Tuesday to keep the NBC-affiliate carriage in Bethel and eight other areas outside of Anchorage, at least for the next few weeks. It’s a temporary solution to an on-going contractual dispute between GCI and Schurz Communications, the Indiana-based parent company of KTUU. The conflict surfaced when an old agreement expired at the end of September.
Alaska’s Joint Board of Fisheries and Game is meeting in Anchorage. Today, they decided to create a Fish and Game advisory committee just for the community of Bethel. With over 6,000 residents, Bethel continues to grow as the hub of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The community currently has one seat on the Lower Kuskokwim Advisory Committee but local groups approached the joint board about getting their own.
Meera Kohler, President of the Alaska Villages Electric Cooperative, says they are still on schedule for a Spring takeover of Bethel Utilities Corporation. AVEC is a non-profit electric utility serving Western Alaska. The buyout would cut electric rates for customers in Bethel, Napaskiak, and Oscarville. The coop’s other 52 villages should experience lower rates as well.
The Yukon-Kukoskwim Delta is the size of Ohio and includes over 50 villages. The region’s hub, Bethel, has over 6,000 residents. Until now, families who had an elder they couldn’t care for at home went to Anchorage, 400 miles away by airplane. That is until the first elder’s home opened up after a decade of planning.
Sequestration federal funding cuts are across the board unless an exemption is made by Congress. The Indian Health Service has not been exempted and non-profit corporations all over the state, like the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation based in Bethel, are feeling the hit.
The Alaska Board of Fish has a work session planned for October 9-11 in Girdwood. And although it’s not on the agenda to talk about Kuskokwim Chinook salmon, that’s just what several local groups want the board to do.
Bethel police arrested a man for possessing what they believe to be heroin. On August 29, police arrested 30-year-old Travis Longbotham of Nikiski. He was staying at the Long House Inn Hotel when employees noticed the smell of drugs coming from his room and called police.
The Village of Alakanuk is getting a $2.2 million grant to pave almost three miles of dirt roads. The money is coming from the U.S. Department of Transportation and will pay for part of the road project. The total amount is estimated to cost around $5.2 million.
Kuskokwim Chinook salmon—or Kings as they are known locally–did not make it to the spawning grounds this year as managers had expected. Counting projects are showing the lowest escapements in history for nearly all of the river’s tributaries. Managers and residents are trying to make a plan for next year.
The original Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Bethel was totaled by a fire early Sunday morning. The structure still remains but the inside is blackened. The emergency call came into the police and fire departments at about 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 25. The caller said the outside of the building was burning.
Tribal leaders from around the state will be gathering in Anchorage this week to address the suicide epidemic. It’s sponsored by the Alaska Tribal Leaders and is their 13th annual summit meeting. All 229 tribes in Alaska are invited.