Ben Matheson, KYUK - Bethel


Ben Matheson is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.

The Cama-i festival packed the Bethel Regional High School gym for a weekend of dancing, singing, and celebrating life in the YK Delta. Traditional and modern dance groups from the YK Delta and native performers from across the country came to Bethel to express in song and dance this year’s timeless theme: Generations Celebrating Through Dance. Download Audio

FBI staff were in Bethel recently on a fact finding mission related to an incident in which a former Bethel police officer arrested a man in a parking lot. Download Audio

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.

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.

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. Download Audio

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.

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. Download Audio

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. Download Audio

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
(Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK)

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.

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.

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

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.” Download Audio