Wesley Early, KOTZ - Kotzebue

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

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.”

Amid coronavirus concern, Alaska state basketball tournaments postponed

The Alaska School Activities Association wrote that the ASAA/First National Bank state basketball and cheer tournaments have been postponed until further notice. The tournaments were set to start the week of March 15.

Revisions to VPSO laws gain support from Native groups, though some parts remain controversial

A bill that would substantially reform the state’s Village Public Safety Officer Program received public testimony Tuesday from various Native leaders across the state.

Alaska Senate unanimously passes Ashley Johnson-Barr Day bill

The Alaska Senate last week unanimously passed a bill to establish Ashley Johnson-Barr Day.

Former Kivalina substitute teacher charged with sexual exploitation of multiple children

Jayson Knox, 21, is accused of soliciting explicit pictures from children, sending obscene photos to a minor and attempting to meet some of the children for sex.

Citing ‘escalation of violence,’ Noorvik pleads with local, state officials for law enforcement

Residents of the Northwest Arctic village of Noorvik, where there is no village public safety officer, say their town is feeling increasingly unsafe. Describing a “dangerous escalation of violence,” villagers have drafted a letter to local, state and federal officials asking for permanent law enforcement.

As REAL ID deadline looms, concerns from rural Alaska grow louder

As the REAL ID deadline looms, lawmakers and state officials haven’t yet figured out how to help rural Alaskans get their IDs. Many, if not most, rural residents will need access to flights for medical appointments or emergencies at some point.

Rep. John Lincoln says he’s not running for re-election

John Lincoln of Kotzebue was appointed by Gov. Bill Walker to represent House District 40 in the Alaska Legislature. (Photo courtesy NANA Regional Corp.) The Alaska representative who...

Kotzebue prisoners transferred to Nome due to jail’s frozen pipes

Kotzebue has had a cold February, with little snow for insulation. That means some locals have had to contend with frozen water and sewer lines. That problem is also being faced by the city, which recently had to transfer several prisoners to Nome after the jail toilets became unusable.

‘We will rebuild’: Kaktovik prioritizes getting kids back to class following school fire

The village of Kaktovik is still clearing the rubble after a Friday morning fire destroyed much of the only school in town. The community plans to rebuild the school, but the timeline is still unknown.

Kaktovik mourns burned school; workers were thawing pipes before the blaze

The North Slope community's mayor says the school is a "total loss."

As newly-renovated Kaktovik school continues to burn, villagers express shock, officials say it’s ‘a total loss’

The school in the North Slope village of Kaktovik is a “total loss” after a fire early Friday, according to a report by Anchorage station KTUU-TV.

Counselor turnover and second helpings at lunch, Northwest Arctic students grill superintendent candidates

The Northwest Arctic Borough School District has two candidates for the vacant superintendent position. This week, principals, staff and teachers from across the district got an opportunity to meet with the candidates, providing their input in the hiring process. But it wasn’t just the adults that were involved in the selection.

About a fourth of Selawik homes currently have frozen pipes, and it’s a chronic problem

Selawik mayor Clyde Ramoth says frozen pipes are a chronic problem due to issues with the initial installation of the above-ground water system.

Idaho man banned from hunting in Alaska after illegally guiding in Noatak Preserve

An Idaho man was sentenced in Anchorage Wednesday for illegally guiding moose and bear hunts through the Noatak National Preserve.