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.

Arctic research conference to highlight how rural Alaska communities approach energy, climate issues

Kotzebue residents walk out on the sea ice as it starts to break up near shore in early June. (Berett Wilber/Alaska Public Media) Several Alaska energy researchers will...

Alaska development authority signs land access agreement with Native corporation for Ambler Road project

State development corporation AIDEA signed an agreement with Doyon, the state's largest landowner, to conduct surveys and studies on its land for the Ambler Road project.
portrait of woman with traditional Alaska Native chin tattooing

For newly minted Iñupiaq doctoral graduate, opening doors for more Native scholars remains vital

The process of earning a doctorate takes a lot of time and work. And for one Iñupiaq woman, hearing the words doctor next to her name was emotional: Her response to passing her dissertation defense went viral this month after hundreds of thousands of people watched her reaction.
A man with a frosty hat and jacket.

‘A pretty tough race’: Musher Tony Browning is first to cross Kobuk 440 finish line

Long-time musher Tony Browning and his dog team dashed across the finish line around 7:20 a.m. Tuesday. The actual race winner won’t be announced until officials adjust times to account for distances traveled during a harrowing storm.
Dog teams in a snowy field

Mushers brave wind, snow and fog at start of Kobuk 440

It was six degrees below zero, but the heavy winds make it feel more like 34 degrees below and a white fog blanketed the teams at the last major mushing event of the season in Alaska.
Sled teams on a wide snowy area

Winter weather delays Kobuk 440 start by a day

The last major race of the Alaska dog mushing season was originally supposed to start Thursday, but race officials say winter storms near Kotzebue hampered necessary travel of the mushers and other shipments.
A white boxy building

With positions unfilled, Western Alaska prosecutors struggle to prioritize massive caseloads

The District Attorney position in Kotzebue is currently unfilled, meaning the DA in Nome is filling in, despite already trying to investigate and prosecute about 1,000 new cases a year.
A basketball team in red wearing masks

Kiana’s boys basketball team needed 1 more player. An 8th-grade girl volunteered.

In Alaska, a high school team can’t play in a tournament without a minimum of five players.

Dozens of homes, water treatment plant are without power in Selawik

As of Tuesday morning, 150 homes, an apartment complex and the water treatment plant were without power.
A jar with a translucent liquid

Northwest Alaska health provider cleared to serve seal oil to elders

In 2015, Congress passed the federal farm bill which allowed people to donate wild game that they’ve hunted to certified non-profits, like hospitals or food banks.
A small heard of musk ox in field with low mountains around

Former Kotzebue mayor to lead National Park Service’s Native relations program for Alaska

Maija Katak Lukin, a former mayor of Kotzebue, has been selected as the Native relations program manager for the National Park Service’s Alaska region.
A terraced pit mine with a dust explosion in the middle

Red Dog Mine employee dies in production drill incident, mine operators say

An employee at the Red Dog Mine died during an incident at a production drill, mine operators say.
A woman in a pink shirt speaks at t

Alaska Federation of Natives leadership calls for Trump’s resignation after violence at Capitol

Alaska Federation of Natives president Julie Kitka said that she was horrified by Jan. 6’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.
A village on the oxbow of a bend in a green landscape

Buckland sees outbreak of 14 COVID-19 cases

Officials say the Buckland cases are connected to a cluster in the village of Kivalina, 150 miles away.
The moon sets behind a bluff

Kivalina on ‘high alert’ as 44 residents test positive for COVID-19

The number of positive cases represents roughly 10% of the village’s 440 residents.
A village on a lake and a river below low hills

Solar project in Northwest Arctic villages set to break ground next spring

Construction is set to start next spring on a solar battery project in the Northwest Arctic villages of Shungnak and Kobuk. It’s the latest renewable project for a region routinely struck by high energy costs.
A dog team sits in the snow in front of sooome small hills

Kotzebue musher lost in Interior Alaska gets assist from troopers

25-year-old musher James Foster showed signs of hypothermia when troopers located him at a remote location off of the Steese Highway, but he refused to leave with the helicopter.
A beige building with the blue words Alaska Airlines

City of Kotzebue begins mask mandate and new testing requirements

The city is instituting a mandatory mask mandate for anyone who leaves their residence. Violators are subject to a warning, with police issuing fines for subsequent violations.
A white young man with a dog in a black sweathshirt next to a river

Harvard student from Noorvik awarded prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

Wilfried Kuugauraq Zibell, originally from the Northwest Arctic, studies Inupiaq and Yiddish literature at Harvard and was recently accepted as a Rhodes Scholar.
An Alaska Native man with a bolo tie and glaasses

Representative-elect Patkotak says he opposes joining a caucus that seeks cuts to certain rural Alaska programs

Patkotak's position will make it much harder for a majority conservative Republican caucus to form.