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Ben Matheson, KYUK - Bethel

Ben Matheson is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.

Subsistence Fishermen Say Commercial Chum Fishing Is Too Early

Subsistence Fishermen Say Commercial Chum Fishing Is Too Early

As the Kuskokwim River king salmon run comes to an end, the Department of Fish and Game is looking toward a commercial chum opening in the lower river Friday. But in a year with unprecedented Chinook restrictions and increased reliance on chum salmon, many middle river fishermen say it’s too early.

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July 9, 2014
Donlin Gold and the Kuskokwim Corporation Sign Long-Term Land-Use Deal

Donlin Gold and the Kuskokwim Corporation Sign Long-Term Land-Use Deal

Donlin Gold and the Kuskokwim Corporation have signed a surface rights agreement for the proposed gold mine located 120 miles upriver of Bethel. The deal gives the native corporation rights to some construction contracts and sets financial terms for decades to come.

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June 30, 2014
City of Bethel Investigation Reveals Improper Contracts and Perks

City of Bethel Investigation Reveals Improper Contracts and Perks

The Bethel City Council has released a redacted version of its investigation into city contracts, nepotism, and personnel issues. The investigation led to the firing of Bethel’s city manager in May and reveals improperly awarded contracts, special agreements, and violations of the city’s previous nepotism rule. It chronicles mismanagement by former city manager, Lee Foley.

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June 25, 2014

In First Drift Opening Near Bethel, Managers Balance Chinook Conservation with Opportunity

After months of planning and studying the numbers, state and federal managers will open the first six-inch-drift gillnet opening on the most densely populated stretch of the Kuskokwim river. The tremendous fishing power will be aimed at chum and sockeye salmon, but managers are moving cautiously to make sure enough king salmon make it to spawning grounds.

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June 24, 2014
Anxiety and Threats on the Kuskokwim as First Salmon Gillnet Openings Near

Anxiety and Threats on the Kuskokwim as First Salmon Gillnet Openings Near

Four weeks into salmon fishing restrictions, the atmosphere along the Kuskokwim River is tense. At a meeting Tuesday the stress the closures are causing was obvious. But gillnet fishing for salmon is near.

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June 18, 2014
The Kuskokwim Salmon Management Working Group discusses the first 6″ gillnet openings. (Photo by Ben Matheson/KYUK)

Anxiety and Threats on the Kuskokwim as First Salmon Gillnet Openings Near

Four weeks into salmon fishing restrictions, the atmosphere along the Kuskokwim River is tense. At a meeting Tuesday the stress the closures are causing was obvious, but gillnet fishing for salmon is near.

June 18, 2014
Bethel residents line up to receive McDonald’s cheesburgers from GCI. (KYUK photo)

GCI Celebrates 3G Data Service in Bethel with 6,000 Cheeseburgers

GCI celebrated the launch of 3G data service in Bethel by flying in 6,000 McDonald’s cheeseburgers. The Friday lunchtime crowd stretched out and around the parking lot of the Long House Hotel.

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June 17, 2014
Kuskokwim Fishermen Look To Loosen Restrictions at Yupiit Nation Forum

Kuskokwim Fishermen Look To Loosen Restrictions at Yupiit Nation Forum

Kuskokwim fishermen looked for some relief from the king salmon restrictions at a Yupiit Nation tribal fish forum in Bethel on Friday.

June 16, 2014
Elder panel at Yupiit Nation Fish Forum in Bethel. )Photo by Doug Molyneaux)

Kuskokwim Fishermen Push for an Opportunity to Fish

At Thursday’s Yupiit Nation fish forum in Bethel, long-term planning for tribal fishery co-management took a backseat to the anxiety and uncertainly surrounding the current king salmon restrictions.

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June 13, 2014

Bethel Man Charged with Driving Boat Under the Influence

A Bethel man is facing charges for driving a boat under the influence of alcohol. Wildlife Troopers on Sunday night heard a report of a boat that was being driven erratically in Aniak Slough.

June 11, 2014

Bethel City Council Investigation Sent to District Attorney’s Office

Officials are not speaking about the recent referral of the Bethel City Council’s investigation into contracts, nepotism, and personnel issues to the District Attorney’s office.

June 3, 2014
Crews transfer Bethel Test Fishery fish for ONC. (Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK)

Bethel Test Fishery Starts Early

The Bethel Test Fishery put nets in the water five days early this year. With no salmon fishing happening in the early season, the test data will be central to understanding the strength of the king run and helping managers decide when to open up for other species.

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May 30, 2014

Kuskokwim Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Comes Together In Bethel

Tribal representatives took the first steps on Wednesday towards establishing the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. The group intends to push for co-management of salmon stocks and more direct involvement for tribal fisherman.

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May 29, 2014
Kuskokwim Working Group Grapples With Fishwheels, Threatened Weirs, And Confusion

Kuskokwim Working Group Grapples With Fishwheels, Threatened Weirs, And Confusion

On the day that the summer’s king salmon restrictions began, the Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group met to hash out the details of this summer fishing plans. Managing a precarious king salmon run along 700 miles of river will be anything but simple.

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May 21, 2014
Ravn Outlines Safety Improvements As NTSB Pushes For Investigation

Ravn Outlines Safety Improvements As NTSB Pushes For Investigation

The National Transportation Safety Board took the unusual move last month of asking the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the Ravn family of companies. A report says Hageland failed to achieve safety outcomes, at the time losing operational control and launching flights without proper oversight. The company’s CEO says the report does not reflect the changes Ravn has made in recent months.

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May 16, 2014

Inter-Tribal Fish Commissions to Meet in Bethel and St. Marys

Just weeks before the salmon run begins in earnest, discussions are underway to form two inter-tribal fish commissions, one each for the Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers.

May 16, 2014
Managers May Close Kuskokwim to King Salmon Fishing Earlier than Planned

Managers May Close Kuskokwim to King Salmon Fishing Earlier than Planned

The waters of Kuskokwim River are free of ice and at the moment open to subsistence king salmon fishing, but that could quickly change, depending on how many fisherman are targeting and catching king salmon in a year that managers believe is crucial for viability of the run.

May 13, 2014
Bethel City Council Fires City Manager Lee Foley

Bethel City Council Fires City Manager Lee Foley

The Bethel City Council voted unanimously to fire City Manager Lee Foley during a special meeting Monday.

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May 13, 2014

Two Bethel Establishments Reportedly Were Operating as Bottle Clubs

The Alaska Alcohol Beverage Control Board says two Bethel establishments have been illegally allowing patrons to bring in and consume their own alcohol, operating as what’s known as “bottle clubs.” But two conflicting statutes in the state alcohol law put certain clubs in a gray area.

May 12, 2014

Bethel City Council Confirms Code And Policy Violations

The Bethel City Council met Monday night in executive session for three hours with the attorney they hired to conduct an investigation into nepotism, contracts, and personnel issues.

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May 6, 2014