Matthew Smith, KNOM - Nome
Matthew Smith is a reporter at KNOM in Nome.
Statoil is inching closer to exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, although the company says not before 2015.
The Brooks Range Council is a grassroots movement opposing Governor Sean Parnell’s plan to develop a road to the Ambler Mining District. The governor’s office has proposed nearly $29 million next year to advance his “Road to Resources” program, which includes $4 million for the planned road to Ambler. That money will be used for permitting and environmental work on the proposed roads, which the governor says will eventually allow access to resources near Umiat, Tanana and Ambler. The Ambler mining district is the proposed terminus of a 220-mile road from the Dalton Highway.
Under a treaty with Russia, subsistence polar bear hunters in the Bering and Chukchi Seas will follow a quota for the first time. On Friday, the Alaska Nanuuq Commission and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife were in Shishmaref to detail the new international quota.
Yesterday morning a fire destroyed three buildings in the village of Teller. The Nome Volunteer Fire Department responded, flying in six fire fighters before their equipment could be brought to the scene. The old Teller Commercial building, a former store, and an abandoned house all burned down. Also damaged was the Mary’s Igloo tribal office. The Teller church and the power plant were saved. More Photos
Senator Mark Begich was in Bethel Monday for a roundtable discussion with subsistence fishermen about the record low king runs on the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. Representatives of state and federal fisheries managers were also in attendance. Begich says the state needs to do more for managing kings.
This year’s Chinook salmon run on the Yukon is poor, and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game is preparing subsistence closures to meet escapement goals. The closures begin today, but with so few fish in the river, it’s unknown how long subsistence fishermen will be unable to fish.
Two Alaska State Troopers were injured during a prolonged standoff with an armed man in Kotzebue who ultimately took his own life Sunday. The end of the incident came when officers approached the vehicle of Arvid Nelson Junior, 50 of Kotzebue, hours after the initial shooting, and found he had taken his own life.
Two Alaska State Troopers were shot during a prolonged standoff in Kotzebue on Sunday. The incident ended when officers approached the vehicle hours after the initial shooting and found the suspect, Arvid Nelson Jr. of Kotzebue, had taken his own life.
Wildfires are burning in Western Alaska. The past two months have seen warm, dry weather in much of that part of the state and with several thunderstorms last week, conditions have been ripe for wildfires. Doug Gibbs is the Alaska Fire Service’s assistant fire manager for the Galena Zone: an area that spans most of western Alaska above the Yukon River, including the Seward Peninsula, all the way up to Barrow.
After spending $5 million on dozens of mining leases off the coast of Nome, AuruMar Alaska Inc. will begin a two-year feasibility study next month to decide if their leases warrant large-scale gold mining operations. The company revealed its plans for the study at a public meeting last night in Nome.
Three-hundred military personnel are in communities throughout the Norton Sound region this week, and next, for Operation Arctic Care. Arctic Care has been happening in Alaska for several years. This year, it’s a partnership between Norton Sound Health Corporation and several branches of the military.
Alaska Community Action on Toxics, or ACAT, was in Savoonga last week offering workshops on advancing environmental justice and human rights. KNOM’s Matthew Smith was there and has the story.
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The diseased seals that began appearing along the North Slope last summer, and were found in the Bering Strait and YK Delta in October, have suffered from a range of symptoms. Scientists are still working to figure out what’s causing the illness.
The Kotzebue Regional Jail has been closed since Dec. 1 to all prisoners arrested by state agencies. This is the result of a funding dispute between the City of Kotzebue and the Department of Corrections.
The Renda and Healy are out of the ice. After more than a week of cutting through ice up to 4 feet thick, both the tanker Renda and the Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy crossed into open water around 1:00pm Sunday.
The tanker Renda and the Coast Guard cutter Healy are 115 miles south-southwest of Nome after beginning their return journey through the ice two days ago.
The Coast Guard Cutter Healy and Russian tanker Renda will begin ice breaking operations Friday morning in preparation for their outbound journey from Nome.
The Russian tanker Renda is pumping fuel. After a 5,000 mile journey across the pacific and breaking through 400 miles of ice to Nome, the Renda began to transfer its payload of 1.3 million gallons of gas and diesel just before 4:30 this afternoon.
The coldest days of the year hit Bethel just as students were enjoying their winter break. With the schools empty and the temperatures dropping to more than 30 below, the stage was set for a fiasco at the high school.
The heavy snowfall played havoc with sled dog mushers competing in the Knik 200 over the weekend. Lance Mackey and Jake Berkowitz leapfrogged one another for the lead, with Mackey crossing the finish line first, but then finding out his time was adjusted back by six minutes.