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Ben Matheson, KYUK - Bethel

Ben Matheson is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.

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
YK Delta VPSOs spoke with DPS officials about the process of arming VPSOs during training in Bethel. (Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK)

Training Nears For First Wave Of Armed Alaska VPSOs

Village Public Safety Officers in Western Alaska will be participating in a pilot program that could make them the first VPSOs in the state to carry weapons in their job. Seven experienced officers are in the middle of psychological evaluations right now and are advancing towards training.

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February 5, 2015
(Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK)

Donlin Gold Closes Camp During Permitting

Donlin Gold is shutting down its camp at the site of its gold deposit near Crooked Creek. Kurt Parkan is external affairs manager for Donlin Gold.

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January 28, 2015
(Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service)

XS Platinum Agent Doesn’t Appear at Arraignment

An arraignment was held Wednesday in federal court in Anchorage for the five XS Platinum Inc. corporate officials indicted on charges of violating the Clean Water Act and making false statements to federal officials.

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January 23, 2015

Bethel’s Pete Kaiser Wins Kuskokwim 300

Bethel’s Pete Kaiser is the 2015 Kuskokwim 300 champion. Kaiser and his team crossed the finish line in Bethel at 5:31 Sunday morning with a team of nine dogs in the 36th running of the race. Kaiser is the first local musher in 29 years to win the race.

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January 19, 2015
Musher Lance Mackey files paperwork with K300 Race Manager, Zack Fansler Thursday. – (Photo by Dean Swope)

Kuskokwim 300 Mushers Ready to Race on Ice

Twenty-five mushers are set to race from Bethel to Aniak and back in the 36th running of the Kuskokwim 300. After a couple winter warmups, and little snow, this year’s trail follows the truck road on the river almost exclusively to Aniak and back, cutting out the loop near Whitefish Lake.

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January 16, 2015
Kongiganak residents brought dogs to a free spay and neuter clinic. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Spay and Neuter Clinics Improve Village Safety

A team of veterinarians brought spaying, neutering, and vaccinations to two YK Delta villages last week. Alaska Native Rural Veterinary, a Fairbanks-based nonprofit visited Tuntutuliak and Kongiganak for the free clinic.

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December 29, 2014
The 2015 K300 starts January 16th.

Kuskokwim 300 Boasts Biggest Field in Two Decades

Exactly one month from the start of the Kuskokwim 300, 31 mushers have signed up for the race to Aniak and back. Race Manager Zach Fansler says it’s the biggest field in two decades.

December 18, 2014
Operation Santa Claus traveled to Newtok, AK on December 4, 2014. (Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK)

Santa Steers Blackhawk Sleigh to Newtok

Christmas is still three weeks out, but Santa Claus made an early visit to Newtok Thursday with the help of the Alaska Army and Air National Guard.

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December 5, 2014