New water tests show Bethel lead and copper levels meet federal standards

A large infrastructure project last fall is the suspected cause of elevated copper and lead levels discovered at some locations in Bethel’s City Subdivision.

Students in Mertarvik will go to school in evacuation center

This school year, some students in Newtok will leave behind most of their friends. In October, 21 families from Newtok will relocate to their new village, Mertarvik, and kids in those families will have to transfer schools.
Capt. Alyson White and Jennifer Brown exchange a laugh during a traditional dance in Newtok on July 25, 2019. Capt. White leads a rotating group of military trainees who are working on the village relocation project. (Photo by Katie Basile, KYUK - Bethel)

Newtok partners with military to escape coastal erosion

Newtok is the nation’s first community to relocate due to climate change, and the military is lending a hand. U.S. troops are working side by side with Newtok residents to build new homes.
The Ninglik River shoreline is mere feet from houses in Newtok on July 26, 2019. As Newtok residents await relocation, the infrastructure erodes as quickly as the land. (Photo by Katie Basile, KYUK - Bethel)

Newtok’s infrastructure erodes like the ground below it

The village of Newtok has been waiting over two decades to move to its new home in Mertarvik. As they’ve waited, their public health infrastructure has eroded like the ground beneath the village.
Bethel city water testing from September 2018 shows levels of copper exceeding federal standards in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Fitness Center water system. (Photo by Christine Trudeau, KYUK - Bethel)

Bethel water testing shows lead and copper levels exceeding federal standards

Bethel residents are being advised to take precautions after elevated levels of lead and copper were found in the city’s drinking water from select locations. The city is awaiting results from additional tests and discussing solutions.
Inside “Aging With Change.” (Photo by JoJo Phillips, KNOM - Nome)

Nome museum exhibit embraces Native food traditions, new and old

A new multimedia exhibit at the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum until October showcases traditional Native foods and the ways they are prepared throughout the Bering Strait region.
molly of denali

The work of eradicating stereotypes

All cultures need a correct reflection of who they are in media. There has been progress, such as the new PBS kids program Molly of Denali, but a lot of work remains. We'll discuss the good, the bad and the 'still needs to be changed' on the next Talk of Alaska.
The city of Hoonah on May 2, 2019 (Photo by David Purdy, KTOO - Juneau)

Can trauma be passed down through DNA? Researchers and Hoonah residents search for answers.

It’s well known that traumatic experiences can have lifelong impacts on health and well-being. But it’s possible that those effects can last longer than a single lifetime. A new study asks whether the effects of trauma have been passed down genetically in Tlingit families in Hoonah.
A map of the proposed Graphite Creek mine site. Image credit: Graphite One Resources (2017).

Western Alaskans concerned about Graphite One project’s impact on subsistence

Graphite One Resource’s proposed graphite project in Western Alaska seeks eventually to become the largest graphite mine in the country, with a life of at least 40 years. Before it can set up a mine, however, the company needs to gather more environmental data and continue community outreach with local residents, who are concerned about how subsistence resources will be affected.
YKHC consists of a regional hospital in Bethel. Photo Courtesy of YKHC.

Rural public health

Access to health care in rural Alaska can be a challenge. How will reductions in medicaid and other funds affect health in rural communities?

Yakutat officials wary of state’s PFAS double standard

The EPA recommends testing for more than a dozen different PFAS compounds. Which is what DEC did when it first tested in Yakutat back in February. But in the months between the two tests, Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration directed DEC to change its regulations.

Igiugig’s hydropower launch a major step toward independence from diesel

In Igiugig, a first-of-its-kind hydrokinetic generator is getting a year-long trial. The launch last week marked a major step in the community’s quest for independence from diesel.

It’s back: Interior signs new land swap for King Cove road

Alaska Public Media has obtained a copy of the new agreement, signed earlier this month by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and the CEO of King Cove Corporation.
The Upper Susitna Food Pantry. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Manning)

Northern Valley food pantry director discusses potential veto impacts

If the cuts stand as they are, Louanne Carrol-Tysdal is not sure what the ultimate impact will be, but that the area’s elders and working poor could face increased food insecurity as the winter approaches.

Rural Alaskans brace for impact as Power Cost Equalization funds disappear

As legislative gridlock continues over funds included in an annual sweep into state savings, rural Alaskans soon could see more expensive electricity bills.
(Photo by Katie Basile, KYUK - Bethel)

Record warm water likely gave Kuskokwim salmon heart attacks

Never-before-seen temperatures in the Kuskokwim River likely sent salmon into cardiac arrest.

How hospital ERs in Alaska are helping patients with opioid use disorder

A trip to the emergency room can be a crucial window to assist people in their recovery. Now some providers are giving patients a medicine to ease the transition so they can seek additional care. Recently, a hospital in Juneau completed one year of this program with encouraging results.
(Photo by Katie Basile, KYUK - Bethel)

Alaska heat wave hits Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta

People living in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta felt something unusual this past holiday weekend: a heat wave. Temperatures crept close to 90 degrees in many parts of the region, including Bethel, but a malfunctioning thermometer and not enough data could prevent this summer from making it into the record books.

Law enforcement in rural Alaska

Rural Alaska communities suffer some of the highest rates of violence and lawlessness in the country. Recently AG Barr visited southwest Alaska communities and pledged millions in emergency funds to begin addressing the problem. We'll ask what else is needed on the next Talk of Alaska.

In rural Alaska, school districts deal with a legacy of unaddressed contamination

Typically, when a contaminated site is discovered it’s up to the landowner — or the person responsible for making the mess — to clean it up. But there are dozens of sites where this process has broken down.