Katie Basile / KYUK

With the start of the school year rapidly approaching, what will school look like? The answers are changing as guidelines from the state change and the pandemic spikes in Alaska. 

A gillnet soaks in the Kuskokwim River during the opening on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

With king salmon having largely reached their spawning grounds, gillnet restrictions on the Kuskokwim are lifting.


Managers will open the Mulchatna caribou hunt on state and federal lands Aug. 1, despite a steep drop in the herd’s population in recent years. 

Samples for COVID-19 testing are collected using a cotton swab like the one pictured here from the lab at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation hospital in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The first person in Bethel died of COVID-19 this weekend. Dr. Ellen Hodges, Chief of Staff with the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, says that the case was travel related, and there’s no indication that anyone else in the region was infected.

Many of the men and women working construction in Mertarvik this summer are from Newtok or nearby villages. Keeping the crew local is one way the Newtok Village Council is saving money on home construction. A roof truss is placed on a home in Mertarvik,
Katie Basile / KYUK

Around 130 people made the move to the new community of Mertarvik last October. That still leaves most of the village’s residents in Newtok, wondering when a new house will be built for them. 

The red pin shows the location of the Tagayarak River near Tuntutuliak, Alaska.
Google Maps screenshot

A man died after being thrown out of a boat near Tuntutuliak. The accident occurred July 28 on the Tagayarak River, a tributary of the Kuskokwim River.

The Bethel City Council will hold a special meeting to discuss increasing the police chief salary and adding a fund to provide homelessness services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Katie Basile / KYUK

On July 28, the Bethel City Council passed a resolution strongly urging people to wear a mask in public spaces. Council member Alyssa Leary made the proposal.

Proposition 1 on the 2019 Bethel municipal ballot asks voters if they would like to return Bethel to local option status and limit alcohol licenses to restaurants and eating places. Fili's Pizza is the only Bethel restaurant with an alcohol license and wo
Dean Swope / KYUK

On July 28, Bethel City Council voted to limit curbside alcohol sales at Fili’s Pizza. Customers will no longer be able to purchase alcohol curbside without an accompanying meal, and the price of the food will have to be at least 50% of the price of the alcohol in the order, which is the same rules that the state already requires for delivery. 

Poor Chum Numbers In Yukon River

Jul 29, 2020
Katie Basile

Subsistence fishing openings in the lower Yukon River are being cut in half to help more fall chum salmon swim into Canada. 

Newtok's relocation efforts are well underway, with one-third of the village now settled in at Mertarvik. Managing both communities is proving to be a struggle for the Newtok Village Council as they work to build more housing in Mertarvik.
Katie Basile / KYUK

This week, KYUK is looking at Mertarvik, a community that is being created by relocating residents of the village of Newtok, which is being eaten up by high tides. The move has to be phased in over time as funding becomes available. Mertarvik is the first community being created by climate change refugees.

In the first year at Mertarvik, the village council banished someone for selling alcohol. But 9 miles away in Newtok, residents say that bootleggers are being left unpunished. Some of the people left behind in the old village are asking if that’s fair.