2020 Bethel City Council candidates (clockwise) Perry Barr, Michelle DeWitt, Conrad “CJ” McCormick, and Rose “Sugar” Henderson

Four candidates are running for three open seats on Bethel City Council. To help voters learn more about the candidates, KYUK hosted the live 2020 Bethel City Council Candidates Forum on Sept. 23. In the first half of the forum, candidates responded to questions asked by journalists from KYUK and The Delta Discovery. In the second half, candidates responded to questions from each other. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

Bethel buzzed with excitement after two F-16 fighter jets made an emergency landing at the airport on the night of Sept. 22. 

Steve Carr was checking on a few airplanes parked next to the Bethel air traffic tower, when he heard the distinctive sound of two fighter jets approaching. Carr then saw them dip low toward the runway. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

With remote learning, parents have to play a bigger role, and it’s difficult because what and how students learn now is different from when their parents were going to school. JROTC Instructor Sgt. Calvetti is on a team at the Bethel Regional High School trying to help parents and students.

The Yukon Kuskokwim Fitness Center reopened on Monday, Jan. 15.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

In its Sept. 22 meeting, the Bethel City Council passed a number of budget modifications, ranging from hiring additional staff for the finance department to fixing issues with the YK Fitness Center. 

The city will spend $330,000 to help stabilize the finance department; most of that money will pay for the services of an outside accounting firm because the city is currently without a permanent finance director or acting finance director. 

Association of Village Council Presidents

Child care just got cheaper for Alaska Native families in communities served by the Association of Village Council Presidents. The program, using CARES Act funding, is paying for child care to all eligible essential workers, and there are no income requirements for eligibility. Carol Hunter, AVCP’s Child Care Coordinator, said that unlike the current program, there is no co-pay.

“Yes, that is correct,” Hunter said, “and we pay 100%, so the parents wouldn’t have to pay.”

The Bethel Winter House, located in the Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church, provides a warm place for people to sleep during the coldest months of the year.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Bethel Winter House will soon have its own building to operate a year-round homeless shelter. On Sept. 22, the Bethel City Council agreed to sell the old senior center in Housing Subdivision to Winter House for $1.

For August 7 on City Corner, City Manager Pete Williams.
Katie Basile / KYUK

A familiar face is back in charge of Bethel’s city administration. At the Sept. 22 meeting, the Bethel City Council announced that Pete Williams will serve as interim city manager. Council members chose Williams from three final candidates. The other two were Marybeth Whalen and another former city manager, Lee Foley. 

Volunteer Lucas Salzbrun hands out swabs and gives directions on how to do a self-swab at the airport coronavirus test site in Bethel, Alaska on April 29, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

If you get tested for COVID-19 at the Bethel airport, you could now win $1,000. Bethel is doubling down on using incentives, rather than enforcement, for the city’s airport testing mandate. Meanwhile, the number of passengers getting tested at the airport hasn’t changed.

Association of Village Council Presidents

The Association of Village Council Presidents' annual convention kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 23. Like many events during the coronavirus pandemic, it will be held virtually. Another change from past years is that the convention will last only one day, instead of its usual three. 

Romy Cadiente / Newtok Village Council

After a month-long outage, the village of Newtok has power again. During that month, families lost entire summer subsistence harvests stored in their freezers. Here’s why it took so long to turn the lights back on.