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Ben Matheson, KYUK - Bethel

Ben Matheson is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.

WAANT Makes Arrests for Alleged Bootlegging

Investigators from the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics team arrested two people in seperate incidents Monday. They say 23-year-old Olivia Guest was contacted as she attempted to fly to Chefornak with five bottles of alcohol in her luggage and purse. They say she became confrontational and pushed the investigator away from her luggage. Guest is being charged with alcohol importation and disorderly conduct.

April 8, 2015

Bethel Woman Faces Manslaughter Charge in Heroin Death

A Bethel woman has been indicted on a charge of manslaughter for allegedly fatally injecting her father with heroin. 35-year-old Shannon Cooke faces the charges for an incident from September 29th, 2014.

April 8, 2015
Bethel Faces Big Decision on Local Liquor Licenses

Bethel Faces Big Decision on Local Liquor Licenses

Bethel residents are urging the city to protest a package store license that’s before the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. The Bethel Native Corporation’s Bethel Spirits LLC application was officially filed Monday morning.

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April 7, 2015

Troopers Investigate Death of Lower Kalskag Woman

State Troopers are investigating the death of a Lower Kalskag woman. Early saturday morning, troopers received a report that 27-year-old Marcia White was found dead in her home in Lower Kalskag. Megan Peters is a spokesperson for the Alaska State troopers.

April 6, 2015
Kuskokwim Working Group Asks For Limited Setnet Openers

Kuskokwim Working Group Asks For Limited Setnet Openers

A few months before the king salmon begin to enter the river, the Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group met to set recommendations for an early season of conservation.

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March 31, 2015
Bethel Citizens Urge Council to Stop Liquor Stores

Bethel Citizens Urge Council to Stop Liquor Stores

The Bethel City Council heard hours of passionate testimony Tuesday night urging them to protest anticipated applications to sell liquor. Many in the capacity crowd asked the council to consider the consequences of local sales in a region that suffers disproportionate effects from alcohol abuse and related violence.

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March 25, 2015

Soldiers to Train Near Bethel

More than 100 soldiers will train in the Bethel area over the next week and a half to build arctic operational expertise and cultivate the next generation of National Guard soldiers. Members of the Alaska Army National Guard’s 297th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade are descending on the YK Delta to polish their arctic skills.

March 20, 2015

Native Corp Plans Liquor Store for Bethel

Bethel could see its first liquor store in four decades if the Bethel Native Corporation goes ahead with plans to open a package store and it clears regulatory hurdles.

March 19, 2015

Tribal Members Move Ahead Toward Unifying Region

Despite having no quorum and no vote, tribal members at the Calista-sponsored Yukon Kuskokwim Governance Convention on Monday decided to move ahead with an interim step toward unifying the regional politically. Leaders put the future of a proposed regional tribal government first in the hands of tribal councils and set a deadline of 30 days for them to vote. If successful, the proposal would then go before individual tribal
voters who would vote yes or no on it.

March 17, 2015

Gray Named Bethel DA

Alaska’s attorney general has named the Fairbanks district attorney as Bethel’s new district attorney. J. Michael Gray will begin in Bethel April 1 and will replace June Stein, who was fired last month.

March 13, 2015
First Sergeant James Hoelscher instructs officers at a 2014 training. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Three Advance in Pilot Project to Arm VPSOs

Three Village Public Safety Officers have been selected to advance in the VPSO Arming Pilot Project with training this month in Sitka. 21 VPSOs initially showed interest in taking part. There were seven earlier this year still in the process.

March 13, 2015
State staff assist Swanson’s employees who will lose their jobs Friday. (Photo By Ben Matheson, KYUK-Bethel)

Swanson’s Employees Brace For Change

Following the announcement that Swanson’s grocery store would be closing, a rapid response team from the Alaska Department of Labor was dispatched to Bethel Wednesday. The specialists were sent to assist the 80 employees from Swanson’s grocery store who will lose their jobs when the store closes Friday.

March 12, 2015

Swanson’s Store Closing in Bethel

OMNI enterprises is shutting down their large Swanson’s Grocery store in Bethel. The store occupies a brand-new building and is the only competitor for the Alaska Commercial store there. As they liquidate their inventory with a half-off sale, customers are swarming the store to take advantage of sales. Many also lament the loss to the community.

March 9, 2015

Calista Announces Record Dividend

The Calista Corporation announced a record dividend Tuesday, totaling just over $5 million. The dividend amount is $3.80 per share, which works out to about $380 for the average shareholder with 100 shares.

March 4, 2015
2015 is predicted to be a below-average king salmon run. (Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK)

Below Average King Salmon Run Expected on Kuskokwim

The state is expecting a bigger run of king salmon on the Kuskokwim this summer, but still well below average. State managers say they expect strong conservation measures to continue in 2015 to ensure enough fish make it up the river to spawn. Leading up to the season, managers are seeking early input to make the season a success.

March 2, 2015

Bethel Man Charged With Murder

Bethel Police have arrested 27-year-old Mark Charlie Junior in connection with the suspected homicide of 26-year-old LeeAnn Berlin. Joe Corbett is a Lieutenant for the Bethel Police Department.

February 25, 2015

Bethel Police Investigate Suspected Homicide

State Troopers are investigating a suspected homicide in Kotlik. 28-year-old Jerald Fancyboy was found dead Saturday in a home.

February 24, 2015

Bethel District Attorney Fired By State

Bethel’s District Attorney has been fired by the state of Alaska. While working in the office Sunday, June Stein received a letter from a Deputy Attorney General of her quote “impending release.”

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February 23, 2015

YK Health Corp Seeks New Center

It’s just in the planning stage, but the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation is working towards a new $250-million health care center. They say the current facility, which serves people from 58 YK Delta communities, needs to be updated and needs more room to keep up with a growing population.

February 16, 2015
Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fisheries Commission steering committee members hear from AVCP attorney Sky Starkey. (Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK)

Kuskokwim Fishermen Set Sights on Co-Management

Efforts to establish tribal co-management of Kuskokwim salmon are slowly progressing. A steering committee is in Bethel to sketch out the future of who regulates the river. Kuskokwim fishermen are eager to be managers, instead of simply advisers.

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February 6, 2015