Greg Kim, KYUK - Bethel


Buddies Richie Diehl and Pete Kaiser lead local mushers’ domination of Kusko 300

For two best friends from the Y-K region, a one-two finish in the Kuskokwim 300 was especially sweet this year. Richie Diehl beat Pete Kaiser to Bethel by 43 minutes for his first ever K300 win.

Aniak’s Richie Diehl reaches first Kuskokwim 300 win in record time

On his thirteenth K300, Diehl got his his first win, set a new record and earned $25,500.

After two months, Pilot Station COVID-19 survivor wakes from coma to return home

At the end of November 2020, Nastasia “Bea” Xavier and her older brother checked into Pilot Station’s health clinic. They both had COVID-19.
A dog sled team leads some cars on a snowy road.

Beloved Tuluksak musher dies of COVID-19

Joe Demantle Jr. was known to have a hand in just about everything in Tuluksak, from building structures, to giving rides to the airport. He died in January at 66 years old.

After more than half of Bethel students fail their classes, some parents urge reopening schools

Parents are becoming increasingly distressed about their children’s education during the pandemic after more than half of students failed their classes during the last semester, according to a report from the school district.
An Alaskan Native fmily inside a house

Sinkhole opens under Chefornak home, forcing family to evacuate

In Chefornak, a family was forced to evacuate their home because a sinkhole caused by thawing permafrost formed underneath it. That family had to move into a building intended to be a quarantine facility.
A selfie of two Alaska Native women, one older one younger

‘She’s been through a pandemic before’: Bethel elder who had COVID-19 is one of the first to get vaccine

Yukon-Kuskokwim Elder’s Home resident Xenia Jackson worked through tuberculosis outbreaks as a health aide. Now she's one of the first in the region to be fully immunized against COVID-19.
A half dozen officers dressed in black stand around a coffin that is blue

After Y-K Delta tribal police officer dies from COVID-19, flyover gives family final goodbye

David Aqvang Evon was to be buried in Kongiganak, a burial which his family in Akiachak couldn’t attend because of travel restrictions. That forced his family to come up with their own way to say goodbye.
A white stove in a log cabin

Bethel burglars seek unique target: Toyo stoves

A local foundation had its oil stove stolen twice since September. Others have also had stoves taken. Police say one arrest has been made.
A white woman in a white blazer sits at a child's desk on a laptop in a classroom

Digital divide interrupts education on the Lower Kuskokwim

The LKSD hoped that their intranet system would help get kids in remote communities connected, but months in, many students still haven't been able to access it.
A long white square building with an American and Alaska flag in front

COVID-19 outbreak in Bethel jail winds down after running out of people to infect

189 inmates in the jail have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The facility has a capacity of 232.
A village

After COVID-19 closes post offices for weeks, Western Alaskans suffer critical mail delays

The post offices in Kwethluk and Pilot Station have been closed for weeks because employees were infected with COVID-19, delaying shipments of essential medicines and supplies.
square building with flags outside in the summer

Large COVID-19 outbreak at Bethel jail

There is a large outbreak of COVID-19 at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel. As of Dec. 3, there are 46 inmates with active cases of COVID-19 at the Bethel jail. Since the pandemic began, a total of 65 inmates and nine staff members have tested positive for the virus.
A dock in a small town filled with skiffs

Unable to reach hospital because of weather, Pilot Station man dies of COVID-19

A 37-year-old man in Pilot Station died from COVID-19 at the village health clinic before he could be transported to a hospital. Stormy conditions prevented a medevac from reaching him.
An Alaska Native man in a black jacket

State prepared to take family’s Native land to build road in Bethel

A proposed Bethel road passes through a Native allotment. Owners say the state isn't offering a fair price for the property, and are threatening to take it by eminent domain.
An Alaska Native man stands on the beach with bots seen behind him.

Akiak Tribal Council president says entire Y-K Delta should go into lockdown

Mike Williams Sr. said that even the few remaining villages that don’t have documented cases of COVID-19 can’t be certain that their community is virus-free.
A dozen redish blond chiecken inside a pen

Chicken ‘massacre’ in Bethel leaves carnage, and coop keepers say they have a suspect

Chicken keepers in Bethel suspect a mustelid murderer has been killing the defenseless poultry for sport.
Empty swings in front of a school on a winter day

Former Bethel elementary principal Chris Carmichael pleads guilty to federal charges

Carmichael pleading guilty to federal charges of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, which could include at least ten years in prison.
A health worker in a blue gown swabs travelers waiting in line outside the bethel airport

With emergency declaration set to end, Bethel leaders fear airport testing program could be shut down

In a private conversation Bethel Mayor Michelle DeWitt urged Gov. Mike Dunleavy to extend the disaster declaration so that the city could keep testing arriving passengers, as a surge in COVID-19 cases rocks the region.
A village as seen from a marsh below it

Amid raging COVID-19 outbreak, most Y-K villages give up privacy for safety

The state of Alaska doesn't release the names of villages with a population under 1000, but regional health authorities hope that naming the villages will help encourage people to take more precautions.