Bethel's city council passed a budget modification to add lighting to the boardwalk at Pinky's Park.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Bethel will get lighting on Pinky’s Park boardwalk after all, and the city is pitching in. Bethel City Council has passed an ordinance that will use $156,000 of city money to extend the lighting project that ONC started with $89,000 of Tribal Transportation Funds. 

Bethel City Council greenlighted signing a $975,800 contract with DOWL for the engineering design of the Avenues Piped Water and Sewer Project.
City of Bethel

Bethel City Council gave the go ahead for the acting city manager to negotiate a contract with Byung Sun Park for use of the old laundromat. Council had voted to demolish the building earlier this year, but Park offered to remodel it and re-open a laundromat.

Gabby Salgado / KYUK

Running water has been restored to Mikelnguut Elitnaurviat Elementary School in Bethel, according to Lower Kuskokwim School District Superintendent Dan Walker. LKSD employees concerned about unhealthy conditions at the school said that classes should have been canceled during the water outage.

Elders and community members sang a song at Sophie Alexie's potluck to celebrate her life.
Greg Kim / KYUK

The community lost one of its most beloved teachers of Yup’ik language and culture when Sophie Alexie passed away on Aug. 6. Community members gathered for a potluck in Bethel on Aug. 19 to celebrate her life. 

Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of Interior, thanked tribal delegates from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta for inviting her to the listening session on public safety.
Association of Village Council Presidents

Representatives from the U.S. Department of the Interior visited Bethel on Wednesday to hear from tribal representatives about the public safety issues unique to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The visit comes in the wake of Attorney General William Barr's tour of the region for similar reasons. 

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Donlin Gold may not be building their gold mine right now, but they are in the middle of construction. The company that wants to build one of the world’s biggest gold mines is currently renovating a church in Chuathbaluk in the middle Kuskokwim River. Why? Donlin says that investing in communities near the mine is being “a good neighbor.” 

A water truck fills up at the Bethel City Subdivision water treatment plant.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

On Tuesday, the City of Bethel held a public meeting to address concerns regarding recent water tests. In September 2018, test results showed elevated levels of copper and lead exceeding federal standards in some locations in Bethel’s City Subdivision. Testing in July of this year showed decreased levels of copper and lead that meet federal standards. 

After the City of Bethel doubled the amount of water flowing through the City Subdivision water treatment plant in fall of 2018, it failed to properly treat it, leading to the water pulling lead and copper into the city's drinking water.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

This week, the City of Bethel held a meeting to address public concerns regarding Bethel’s water test results. State officials, along with the city’s engineers, explained why copper and lead levels increased in the water last year and what homeowners can do to protect themselves.

People ride on a four wheeler in front of the Napakiak school fuel tanks, which sit 76 feet from the Kuskokwim River following accelerating erosion. Pictured here on August 8, 2019.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The U.S. Coast Guard calls the Napakiak school fuel tanks an “environmental hazard” to the Kuskokwim River and has ordered the fuel’s removal. An officer says that the Coast Guard could not issue the order until the situation got serious enough.

The William Miller Memorial School in Napakiak, Alaska. September 27, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The Lower Kuskokwim School District has contracted with Bethel-based company Faulkner-Walsh Constructors to remove the oil from the Napakiak school fuel tanks threatened by the Kuskokwim River.