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.

Study finds marine mammal viruses are traveling between oceans as sea ice recedes

The study by researchers at the University of California Davis found that, since 2001, there have been various spikes of phocine distemper virus in Steller sea lions, bearded ring seals and various other Arctic marine mammals.

As hunters deal with a warming Arctic, UAF partners with local observers to keep them informed

As climate change disrupts the migration of animals, and the frozen rivers and sea ice hunters travel on becomes less reliable, Alaskans say sharing information is increasingly important.

New Ambler heat pump project aims to drastically reduce diesel costs in the village

Installing the pump, solar arrays and LEDs costs about $8,200 per home, providing an average fuel savings of $2,000 to $3,000 dollars a year. This means they essentially pay for themselves in about three years.

Cash-strapped Ambler Road project gets boost from AIDEA to complete permitting

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s board approved the additional funding for the proposed Ambler Road, which would stretch from the Dalton Highway to the Ambler Mining District

New proposed LNG project would ship gas from North Slope to Asia on ice-breaking tankers

Qilak LNG plans on shipping gas on ice-breaking tankers from fields in Point Thomson.

New judicial order gives northern Alaska tribes more say in criminal sentencing

Northern Alaska Native tribes will have more input in criminal sentencing in their communities, after a judicial order announced at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention Friday in Fairbanks

National Native news outlet Indian Country Today announces Alaska bureau

The online news site is one of the largest news organizations in the country solely dedicated to Native journalists reporting on Indigenous issues.
A Bearded seal rests on ice off coast of Alaska (June 21 2011 John Jansen NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center)

As Kotzebue experiences one of its warmest years on record, subsistence hunters contend with shrinking ice

With winter subsistence hunts around the corner, changing sea ice could have major effects on how much hunters are able to harvest this season.

UAF study finds Kotzebue Sound fish mercury levels are safe for consumption

When mercury enters the water, it changes chemically and is prone to affect local marine ecosystems.

Utqiagvik voters overwhelmingly reject soda tax

Early results show voters in the city of Utqiagvik rejecting a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Kotzebue green-lights second marijuana shop

Owner Justin An hopes to have the store open in two to three months.

2 pilots fined $3,000 for disrupting Pacific walrus haulout near Point Lay

The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits killing, harassing and other various actions that would disturb walruses.

Brother of trooper in charge of Northwest Arctic drug crimes banished from Kiana for alleged meth dealing

A tribal council convened on Monday, Sep. 16 to issue a civil exclusion order against 37-year-old Thomas Nay. The action is one of several tools that tribal courts have to keep their communities safe.

NOAA declares unusual mortality event for Arctic ice seals

Since June 2018, NOAA has documented 282 dead seals in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, and close to 300 stranded seals.

Rep. Laddie Shaw selected to fill seat of late Sen. Chris Birch

Less than a year into his freshman term as a Representative, Laddie Shaw has been selected to fill the Senate seat of the late Chris Birch.

As Sec. DeVos promotes her Education Freedom Scholarship statewide, some advocates wonder how it would work in Alaska

Some Alaska education advocates question if and how the program could work in the state.

There’s tons of plastic polluting the ocean. A UAA professor hopes her book can show kids how to fix it.

There's a lot of plastic in the ocean. As it floats around Arctic waters, it breaks down into tiny particles that get into everything from fish to even sea salt. While, explaining that fact to kids might come off as off-putting or depressing, a professor at UAA has made a new pop-up book to teach kids about marine plastic pollution.

In Alaska, Education Secretary DeVos touts alternative schooling agenda

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is in Alaska this week, traveling the state to see how certain communities are using alternatives to traditional K-12 public schooling.

The latest on Southcentral wildfires: Aug. 22, 2019

Calm winds are aiding firefighters as they continue to battle blazes throughout Southcentral.

University of Alaska regents vote to end financial exigency

The vote overturns a declaration that allowed for the expedited elimination of academic programs and firing of faculty, even those with tenure.