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Matthew Smith, KNOM - Nome

Matthew Smith is a reporter at KNOM in Nome.

Little Diomede sits on the border of Russia and the United States. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Richard Brahm, August 25 2008.

Three Weeks, No Flights: Diomede Residents Stranded without Mail, Food Deliveries

The only aircraft flying to one of Alaska’s most remote communities has been down for maintenance for nearly three weeks—leaving residents of the Bering Strait community of Little Diomede with empty mailboxes, bare grocery store shelves, and no way on or off the island.

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February 11, 2015

Homeless Assistance Program Scrambling For Funding

A program that distributes millions of dollars a year to keep homeless and emergency shelters open across the state is nowhere to be seen in Governor Bill Walker’s budget—leaving dozens of organizations scrambling for the money they’ll need to keep their doors open.

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February 3, 2015
The Shiveluch volcano as seen from the International Space Station in July 2007. (Photo: NASA via public domain)

Ash from Russian Volcano Diverts Nightly Flight into Nome

Ash from a Russian volcano diverted the nightly flight into Nome Thursday. The Global Volcanism Program at the Smithsonian Institution tracked “powerful explosions” last week and into this week from the Shiveluch volcano, considered one of the most active volcanos on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, that sent plumes of ash up 32,800 feet in the air.

January 23, 2015
Gilbert Olanna, Jr. faces a total of three murder charges in the death of Esther Lincoln. (Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM)

Grand Jury Hands Down 3 Murder Charges in White Mountain New Year’s Day Killing

The man accused of killing his girlfriend on New Year’s Day in White Mountain now faces a total of three murder charges in her death.

January 15, 2015
Placer mining operations bring in over $100 million a year in Alaska. (Photo: Alaska Mining Association)

Placer Mining Big Business in Alaska, Report Finds

Most placer mining operations in Alaska are small, but combined they bring in more than $100 million a year. That’s according to a new study from the Alaska Miners Association looking at the economic impact of placer mine operations across the state.

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January 13, 2015

Two Charged With Selling Meth In Ongoing Trooper, Nome Police Investigation

First heroin, now meth—as two more Nome residents are behind bars after allegedly selling methamphetamine.

January 7, 2015
Gilbert Olanna, Jr. was arraigned in the Nome court Saturday, facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of Esther Lincoln. (Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM)

White Mountain Man Charged with New Year’s Day Murder of Girlfriend

A White Mountain man stands accused of murder after investigators allege he came home on New Year’s Day after a night of drinking and got into an argument with his girlfriend before strangling her.

January 5, 2015

Second Boy Reaches Deal in Illegal Brevig Mission Muskox Killings

Both boys charged with chasing down a herd of muskox before killing several of the animals just outside of Brevig Mission have now reached a deal with state prosecutors, bringing to a close a case that started back in 2012.

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December 30, 2014
Winter in Koyuk. Photo: KNOM file.

One Dead, One Injured in Koyuk House Fire

A Sunday house fire in Koyuk has claimed the life of one woman and seriously injured one other person.

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December 29, 2014
Both the subsea Arctic cable, and a terrestrial cable along the Dalton Highway, are seeing delays that could push the rollout of Quintillion’s ultrafast broadband network in rural Alaska to 2016 or beyond. (Image: Quintillion Network)

‘Arctic Fiber’ Project Delayed into 2016

The backers of an ambitious project to build a fiber optic cable between England and Japan beneath Arctic waters—and in the process bring high-speed internet to remote corners of western Alaska—say undertaking has seen delays that will push the arrival of service back until at least 2016.

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December 23, 2014
Unknown product visible under nearshore ice on Dec. 12, 2014. (Photo: Sharon Nayokpuk, Shishmaref Environmental Program via Alaska DEC)

Unknown Oily Sheen off Shishmaref Coast Returns

An oily sheen of unknown origin discovered along the northeast coast of Shishmaref this summer has returned.

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December 18, 2014
2014 Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey celebrates his victory in Nome. (Photo by David Dodman, KNOM Radio Mission)

Iditarod Boosts Payout to $70k for 2015 Winner

The 2015 Iditarod winner will take home the race’s biggest payday ever — $70,000.

December 2, 2014
Business owners, nonprofit workers, and residents (including Rep. Neal Foster, left) made for a full house in Nome City Council chambers Monday as the council debated contentious tax issues. (Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM)

Nome Churches, Nonprofits Keep Sales Tax Exemption

Nome’s nonprofits and churches will remain exempt from city sales tax—and retailers won’t have their unsold inventories taxed—but at Monday night’s City Council meeting, efforts to charge property tax on airplanes moved forward.

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November 25, 2014
First-place finisher Pete Kaiser arrives at the finish line in Nome at the end of the 2012 Norton Sound 450. (Photo: David Dodman, KNOM)

Norton Sound 450 Race Ready to Run in 2015

The Norton Sound 450, a regional sled dog race along the western coast of Alaska, will run in 2015, race officials say, committing to a race that was canceled last year and severely shortened the year before.

November 14, 2014

Some Communities Investigating Local Option To Ban Marijuana

Though the final count is still pending, unofficial results show Alaskans voting “yes” to legalizing marijuana in last week’s election. But the road to a legal and regulated marijuana market is months away, and communities who still want to keep the divisive drug out are looking at doing so the same way many currently ban alcohol: the local option.

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November 10, 2014
U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Robert Papp (Ret.) addresses the 2014 Arctic Circle meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland. (Photo:

As US Outlines Arctic Council Goals, Native Groups and State Lawmakers Left Wanting

The state department has outlined the nation’s top priorities as the U.S. prepares to chair the international Arctic Council in April, but some Alaska Native groups and state officials argue the national goals are lacking.

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November 3, 2014
A map of the Chukchi Sea offshore leases. The green squares are Shell leases. (Image: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

New Environmental Review Could Move Offshore Chukchi Drilling Forward

A new draft environmental review of leases off Alaska’s northwest coast could bring oil companies one step closer to resuming offshore oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea.

November 3, 2014

20 Alaska Native Languages Now Official State Languages

Twenty Alaska Native languages are now official languages in the State of Alaska — after Governor Sean Parnell signed House Bill 216 into law this morning at the Alaska Federation of Native conference.

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October 23, 2014
A musher leaves the starting line of the 2011 K300 sled dog race. (Photo from the K300 Facebook page)

Kusko 300 Officials Waive Entry Fee

Race officials for the Kuskokwim 300 are waiving the entry fee to any musher looking to run the organization’s three races this January.

October 10, 2014

Arctic Summit Tackles A Diverse Spread of Issues

The Institute of the North is bringing together policy makers and local shareholders to discuss short- and long-term goals for America’s presence in the far north during it’s “Week of the Arctic” in Nome, Kotzebue, and Barrow.

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October 7, 2014