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.

LISTEN: Ringing in the new year (a little late) in northwest Alaska

While people around Alaska and the world rang in the New Year with collective celebration and thunderous fireworks displays, high winds and frigid temperatures forced the city of Kotzebue to postpone celebrations until Jan. 1.

Holiday cold snap breaks records, may save Northwest Alaska snowmachine races

Rick Thoman, a climatologist with the International Arctic Research Center in Fairbanks, says it’s a dramatic drop from this winter’s balmy start, but this is a normal weather pattern for this time of year.

Unexpected repairs to Alaska Airlines freighters delay holiday season shipments

While the jets are under repair, Alaska Airlines has had to put a hold on new general and premium cargo orders to the Alaska communities that use the service, including Kotzebue, Ketchikan, Utqiagvik, Nome and Bethel.

Heavy, expensive wind storms projected to hit Northwest Alaska harder in coming decades, study finds

Historically, Arctic communities have had thick layers of sea ice to help buffer those storms, but as the region warms, that protection is disappearing.

A Northwest Arctic Borough program cut water bills by about two thirds, but one village says it doesn’t need the help

The program is a partnership between the borough, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Maniilaq Association to bring local communities in compliance with state criteria for water utilities.

Heavy storms set to hit Northwest Arctic will likely disrupt fragile sea ice

While lower sea ice conditions pose safety and hunting risks, they can also lead to an overall temperature increase for the region.

NANA approves new shareholder trust, allowing for tax-free dividends

Shareholders of the NANA Regional Native Corporation voted on Nov. 16 to establish a shareholder trust, which means dividends from the corporation will be tax-free.

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.