Dave Bendinger, KDLG - Dillingham
The EPA has taken their Bristol Bay watershed assessment back to the drawing board for revisions. When finished, the assessment could become a basis for the EPA to veto the proposed Pebble mine, but a final version of the controversial study now won’t likely be completed until the end of the year.
The State of Alaska’s sexual assault case against former-Bristol Bay Native Corporation Board Member Sergie Chukwak has been dismissed.
One thing teachers and parents hope to see from their students is motivation, to show a little enthusiasm daily about learning something new, to embrace a challenge, to make productive use of their time in school each day. In the Automotive Class at Dillingham High School, students undertake routine maintenance on vehicles for free, if owners provide the parts and materials. The students are not only becoming pretty good at what they do, they’re also excited about it doing it. KDLG’s Dave Bendinger noticed the students’ motivation when he dropped his truck off for some maintenance.
The “Bristol Bay Forever” citizen initiative cleared the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Thursday, which means the initiative’s sponsors can start collecting the necessary signatures to put the initiative on the ballot.
Facing sexual assault charges, Sergie Chukwak has resigned from the board of Bristol Bay Native Corporation, where he had served since 2010. BBNC Board Chair Joseph Chythlook, said in a written statement today that Chukwak’s decision to voluntarily resign will allow the Board to “focus on effectively serving” its shareholders.
Derek Michael Stephens, 30, was arrested Friday afternoon in King Salmon on an outstanding warrant involving four counts of sexual exploitation of a child from the state of Idaho. Bristol Bay Borough Chief of Police Rodney Enevoldsen says authorities in Idaho made his department aware of the Warrant and the interest in Stephens in August, but until last week there had been no plans to extradite.
A board member for the Bristol Bay Native Corporation has been charged with sexually assaulting a female. 45 year old Sergie Chukwak, of Naknek, is accused of assaulting the woman on Nov. 5. This morning, he appeared before the magistrate in Dillingham telephonically from the courthouse in Naknek.
A report was released today on the peer review process of the EPA’s assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed. One of the central critiques offered by the panel of experts is that the draft document is lacking a clear purpose and objective. The input from the reviewers will be added towards a final version of the Assessment, which is intended to guide EPA’s decision making process about large-scale mineral developments in Bristol Bay.
A mix of freezing rain and several inches of snow is rarely good news. But for residents in the Dillingham area who’ve watched a large tundra fire continue to burn since last Friday, last night’s wintry mix came not a moment too soon.
Fueled by strong winds and dry tundra, an accidental fire is burning outside of Dillingham. The fire started Friday afternoon on the edge of the city and has quickly consumed more than ten miles of open tundra. Now the Forestry Division’s Fire Management Office in McGrath is coordinating resources to respond.
A plane crash Sunday evening in the Wood Tikchik State Park north of Dillingham appears to have claimed the life of the pilot. A Grumman Widgeon piloted by 71-year-old Newt Ball crashed during a landing on Tikchik Lake at around 5:15 p.m. Ball was reportedly the only person on board, and is presumed to have died on impact.
Last week, the Bristol Bay community of Naknek celebrated the official opening of a new multi-use trail near the school, known as the “Sockeye Run Fitness Trail and Bike Path.” The trail is 5-years and some $200,000 in the making, and was completed thanks to the work of multiple agencies, countless volunteers, and one dedicated young girl with a vision.
Triathlete Damien Hill from Naknek is heading to the US National Championships this weekend. The Hyvee 5150 Elite Cup Championship race will feature the world’s top triathathletes, including the medalists from the London Olympics.
Kids can learn to be an astronaut at Space Camp. For song and dance, maybe it’s off to Broadway camp. Fish science? For that, there’s no better place than Bristol Bay Salmon Camp. Nine high schoolers from around Alaska learned aquatic science skills as they studied the ecosystem of spawning salmon in Wood TikChik State Park recently.
The National Park Service recently finished a study on the impact of trophy grizzly hunting in Katmai Preserve. By Park service estimates, the harvest numbers are not affecting population, or conflicting with other park uses, but some conservation groups and the bear viewing industry are not so sure that’s accurate. Before renewing 10-year contracts for sport hunting guides, the NPS would like the public to weigh in.
Pen Air has been operating air taxi services around rural Alaska for more than 55 years. In June, they ended their air taxi services out of Dillingham, and yesterday announced that all remaining air taxi routes will soon be cancelled as well.
At midnight last night, Katmai National Park and Preserve switched on newly installed webcams around Brooks Camps. And by early afternoon, viewers from all over the world were tuned in to a live-feed of the park’s famous grizzlies over the internet.
A King Salmon man is in police custody for a murder case that is nearly three decades old. Authorities believe they will finally close a cold-case that’s haunted a community.
Researchers in British Columbia using migratory sea birds from Alaska have found surprising levels of plastic pollution off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.
A slightly slower start to the fire season in Alaska has allowed the state to loan some of its fire crews to the Lower 48 for the time being. The Alaska Fire Service says five crews of Fire Fighters have gone to Wyoming.