Angela Denning, KFSK - Petersburg
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. Download Audio
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. Download Audio
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. Download Audio
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. Download Audio
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. Listen Now
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. Listen Now
Heading west from Bethel towards the Bering Sea the lakes get bigger and there are more of them. From the air, it’s a patchwork of water and land. In the winter time they become frozen into one making cross country travel by snow machine relatively easy. But the rest of the year, traveling by tundra is not. And that’s where the tundra tram comes into play. Download Audio
Gene Peltola Jr., also known as Buzzy, has resigned from running the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge based in Bethel. He has taken a promotion and is moving to Anchorage to become the Assistant Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He will head the subsistence program at the Office of Subsistence Management. Download Audio
Coastal Villages Region Fund, the state’s largest Community Development Quota group, has been asking for more fish for their fishermen. It would require Congress amending the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. In response, Alaska’s congressional delegation says before pursuing changes to fishing allocations they would need a consensus. Download Audio
A fire injured three people in Bethel Sunday afternoon when the gas tank they were filling in their boat exploded. The boat was on a trailer at the North Star Gas station near Brown Slough Bridge. Bethel police, fire fighters, and medics responded to the emergency call which came in around 3 p.m.
Relief funds for last summer’s King salmon fisheries disasters on the Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers has taken one step closer to reaching fishermen in the region. Download Audio