Wesley Early, KOTZ - Kotzebue

Wesley Early, KOTZ - Kotzebue
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Wesley is the news director for KOTZ in Kotzebue. He previously worked at Alaska Public Media as a web editor, producer and education reporter.

Alaska Airlines could suspend passengers from future flights for violating new face mask policy

The Seattle-based company said it will start issuing formal warnings to any passengers who don't wear a face covering, though there will be exceptions.

Shuttered for months, Kotzebue churches slowly reopen to parishioners

While in-person ttendance is still lower than before the pandemic, churches have added an online component to their services.

State investment agency approves $500K for summer work on Ambler Road project

The Ambler Road project has been a lightning rod for controversy for years, pitting the desire to expand business and mining interests in the state against the concerns over impacts to the environment and subsistence

State investment arm seeks approval to put up to $500K towards controversial Ambler road

If approved, the $500,000 would go to aerial photography of the proposed route, public outreach and the hiring of program manager, among other items.

Six lightning-caused fires burn tundra in Noatak National Preserve

While the area is made up of tundra, lake core studies show that naturally-occurring fires happened fairly regularly.

Officials suspect community spread of COVID-19 in Kotzebue, as new case is reported

A Kotzebue resident has tested positive for COVID-19, Maniilaq Association officials announced Friday night. That marks the third case in the city and fourth in Maniilaq’s service area, which covers the Northwest Arctic Borough and the village of Point Hope.

As test demand increases, Northwest Alaska officials say their supply can’t keep up

Maniilaq says that with increased testing in Kotzebue and in smaller villages, the regional health corporation says that demand for testing has gone up.

First coronavirus case reported in North Slope Borough

A resident from the North Slope Borough has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first positive case in the region.

Pilot dead, passenger survives after North Slope charter plane crash

The pilot of a charter plane is dead after crashing near Teshekpuk Lake southeast of Utqiagvik Thursday night.

Long-serving state senator faces young challenger supporting statutory PFD

It's only the second time Donny Olson (D-Golovin) has faced a challenger in his two decades.

Beaver numbers have exploded in Northwest Alaska with some striking effects on the environment

In 2002, scientists counted two active beaver dams in the region of the Baldwin Peninsula. Now there are 98, which scientists and locals say is contributing to climate change and affecting salmon spawning.

Under Dunleavy’s new CARES Act distribution, rural boroughs will get more funding

Three rural boroughs will get considerably more funding than Dunleavy originally proposed.

Sullivan defends inclusion of Alaska Native Corporations in CARES Act funding

Tribal governments, including some in Alaska, say that CARES Act funding should not be going to for-profit Alaska Native Corporations.

Dunleavy vetoes $150K in funding for rural REAL ID assistance

The veto comes after the state previously solicited donations from the public to fund DMV staff travel to rural villages to implement the federally-mandated REAL IDs.

Citing coronavirus disaster, Alaska’s investment authority wants to bypass regulations to fund Ambler Road Project

Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Project (Graphic courtesy Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority) Citing Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s coronavirus emergency declaration, the state’s investment authority is looking to...

To curb coronavirus spread, North Slope Borough suspends travel into its communities

As coronavirus spreads across the state, the North Slope Borough has suspended air, sea and land entry into any of the borough’s eight village communities.

Bush Alaska lawmakers seek extension of REAL ID deadline due to coronavirus concerns

Legislators who represent the bulk of Alaska’s villages are asking the state’s congressional delegation to try to extend the deadline for Alaskans to get REAL ID-compliant identification. The request comes amid concerns over the coronavirus.

Village of Savoonga contends with power outage as region is hit with heavy storms

While coronavirus causes concern in communities across the state, heavy winter storms have knocked out the village of Savoonga’s power twice in the last week.

Kobuk 440, last major race of mushing season, canceled due to coronavirus

As the leading Iditarod mushers approach the finish line in Nome, a different sled dog race has been crippled by the coronavirus.

Alaska state basketball tournament canceled due to coronavirus concerns

In a statement, the ASAA says “MarchMadness Alaska is possibly the largest statewide gathering each year and ASAA would not be acting responsibly if we were to host this year’s event.”