Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media

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Zachariah Hughes reports on city & state politics, arts & culture, drugs, and military affairs in Anchorage and South Central Alaska. zhughes [at] alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8424 | @ZachHughesAK About Zachariah

Western Alaska Residents Await Disaster Relief Money

President Obama has declared November’s storms in Western Alaska a natural disaster. The storms inflicted heavy damage on Kotlik and Stebbins, and created problems in other Bering Straits communities. Download Audio

Document Highlights Rural Housing Shortage

Affordable housing is getting harder to find in Nome and surrounding villages. The regional non-profit corporation – Kawerak – is drafting a document to present to the state legislature identifying housing as one of the major issues facing the communities in the area. Download Audio

World Wildlife Fund Releasing Walrus Ivory Report

Next month, the World Wildlife Fund is releasing a report on walrus ivory. Download Audio

Army Corp Of Engineers Finalizes Deep-Water Port Recommendations

As the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers finalizes details of its deep-water port recommendations the agency is anticipating continued heavy development in Northern and Western Alaska. The plan expects not only increased vessel traffic in the Bering Straits region, but offshore drilling in the Chukchi Sea and graphite production at a fledgling mining claim on the Seward Peninsula. Download Audio

Begich Calls for Restraint in Ivory Trade Policy

Alaska Senator Mark Begich has written Interior Secretary Sally Jewell asking her to exercise restraint in upcoming policy recommendations on the ivory trade.

State Urges Residents To Get Flu Vaccine

In the last two months, the Center for Disease Control has seen a rising trend in reports of acute respiratory illness in young and middle-age patients across the country. In Alaska, hundreds of cases of flu have been reported and the state is urging residents to get the flu vaccine, continuing their fee waiver to entice more participation. Download Audio

Expansion Planned For Nome Graveyard

A recent draft report prepared by the Fairbanks-based company Northern Land Use Research Alaska found what is likely about a hundred unmarked graves in Nome’s cemetery. The company conducted a Ground Penetrating Radar Analysis of the areas around Nome’s existent graveyard as part of a planned expansion for the grounds. Josie Bahnke is Nome’s city manager and says the cemetery expansion is steadily moving forward. Download Audio

Gambell Carvers Get Ivory To Work With

On St Lawrence Island, the tribal government of Gambell gave one walrus tusk to each household in the community of just under 800. The distribution is meant to provide ivory carvers with a bit of raw material to work with, in order to bring in a little extra cash amid the ongoing economic disaster from last spring’s poor walrus harvest on St. Lawrence Island. Download Audio

Government Requests Proposals For Emergency Food Systems

Earlier this month, the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Department of Military and Veterans Affairs put out a “request for proposals”—or RFP—for contracts to set up an emergency food system. The plan is to stockpile food for 40,000 people at two separate locations in the state. Download Audio

Hunters May Get Tax Break For Game Donations

Congressman Don Young introduced a bill recently that would allow hunters to get a tax break for donating game to food based charities. Download Audio

Avian Cholera Caused Savoonga, Gambell Seabird Die Off

Late last month, residents of Savoonga and Gambell on St. Lawrence Island began finding hundreds of dead seabirds as they washed ashore. This week, state officials said the event was from a common disease, and is no cause for concern. Download Audio

Dead Birds Wash Up On St. Lawrence Island

Hundreds of dead birds washed up on the shores of St. Lawrence Island towards the end of November. And though the cause of the die off isn’t yet known, the quick response demonstrates a mounting capacity for dealing with unexpected environmental events in the region. Download Audio

Murkowski, Begich Pushing for Icebreakers

Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich of Alaska are co-sponsoring an amendment to move forward building four heavy ice-breakers. It would allow the Navy to begin shopping contracts for bids on all the components necessary to build the costly boats. Download Audio

Canadian Company Explores Possibility Of Graphite Mine

A small Canadian mining company is in the exploratory phases of setting up a graphite mine on the Seward Peninsula. Though years away from being operational, the Graphite Creek deposit could be the nation’s first and only graphite mine. Download Audio

Team Rubicon To Help Kotlik Clean Up After Storm

Team Rubicon, the disaster-relief NGO made up of retired military personnel, is heading to Kotlik on Monday. The same group has sent volunteers to Haiti, Pakistan, Chile, and, most recently, the Philippines. It’s part of the multi-agency effort to help communities in Western Alaska clean-up after powerful storms two weeks ago. Download Audio

Stebbins Resident Weather Western Alaska Storms

While the communities of Kotlik and Unalakleet have received attention from state-wide media and government following a large storm a week and a half ago, residents in Stebbins feel they have been ignored. During the storm, rushing water surged through homes and roads in Stebbins. Drying racks, smoke-houses, boats, steam houses, and several homes were damaged or destroyed. Flood waters poured in so rapidly that many residents were stranded in their homes until they could be rescued by a bulldozer. Download Audio

Report Says Inhalant Abuse Declining Across Alaska

A new report from the state shows a substantial decline in inhalant abuse across Alaska. But "huffing", as it's called, is still most prevalent among teens. Download Audio

Storms Continue Dealing Damage In Western Alaska

Western Alaska has been wracked by storms the last few days. The first round occurred Saturday night and into Sunday morning. Before clean-up efforts were even finished in some of the worst-hit communities, strong winds and coastal flooding did more damage last night. Download Audio