Mark Arehart, KYUK - Bethel
Mark Arehart is a reporter with KYUK in Bethel.
The Native Youth Olympics season is in full swing across Alaska. Recently Bethel Regional High School’s NYO team faced off with 20 other teams from across western Alaska. The meet was the first contest of the year for the hometown team.
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This past weekend in Bethel, hundreds of people flooded the high school for the Cama-i Dance Festival. The annual festival brings in dance groups from around the region, state and the country. Concessions stands served plenty of nachos, candy and soda, but for those who wanted a little more homemade flavor there was the free Cama-i Potluck.
Lower Kuskokwim School District buildings in Bethel have had trouble with an outdated water and sewer system all winter. January saw the coldest average temperature on record and left many pipes frozen. But, a new bill in the legislature may help the district get a new system quicker than expected.
In Bethel, the event simply known as ‘The Dog Show’ was held at the Bethel Cultural Center. Canines of every shape, size, and breed trotted in, hoping to take home a winning ribbon or two.
Bethel also saw weather records broken. January shaped up to be on average the coldest in history there.
Rohn Buser of Big Lake won the Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race. But, he’s not the only winner. Carmen Brown of Aniak won the grand prize in this year’s K300 raffle: a check for $50,000. She says she won’t be spending it all on herself.
For almost a week students at a Bethel elementary school have had to brave the cold and walk outside to a separate building just to use the restroom. That changed this week when the School finally got enough running water to flush the toilets.
Many Bethel schools have been closed for the sixth straight school day, counting Monday’s teacher in-service, due to frozen sewer pipes, but the problems started over two weeks ago when school was not in session.
The region’s largest employer, the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation has been hit hard by the cold. It’s Community Health Services building was shut down Tuesday because of a power surge over the weekend.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is interested in researching Bethel resident’s big game subsistence practices.