Anna Rose MacArthur

News Director

Anna Rose MacArthur catching a four-wheeler ride in Napakiak, Alaska.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

Anna Rose MacArthur serves as KYUK's News Director. She got her start reporting in Alaska at KNOM in Nome, and then traveled south to report with KRTS in Marfa, Texas. Anna Rose soon missed rural Alaska and returned to join KYUK in 2015. She leads an award-winning newsroom and has launched statewide public radio reporting collaborations. Her journalism has received a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award and statewide awards for coverage on climate change, health, business, education, and mushing. Anna Rose’s favorite stories to tell include a muskox, salmon, or sled dog. Her work has appeared on NPR, 99 Percent Invisible, HowSound, and Transom. She is a Transom Story Workshop alumni and a certified Zumba instructor.

Jim Dau / Alaska Department of Fish and Game

A special hunt has opened for two muskoxen stranded on a barren island. The unnamed island is located less than a mile south of Nunivak Island.

Gabby Salgado / KYUK

Bethel will smell like fried smelt tonight, Tuesday, May 19. The smelt began passing Bethel, traveling up the Kuskokwim River on Tuesday morning. Families and subsistence users headed to the seawall with long nets, dragging them through the water and lifting out the smelts’ narrow, silver bodies. 

Racquel Slim rides in the BRHS graduation parade on May 16, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Resiliency and overcoming obstacles on the way to adulthood are common themes of commencement speeches. This year, those themes took on new meaning when addressed to the region’s 2020 high school graduates.

Salmon drying on a Kuskokwim fish rack.
Shane Iverson / KYUK

It takes more than a pandemic to stop fishing. The salmon are on the way, and fishermen will be out on the Kuskokwim River this summer. With them will be biologists and harvest monitors. Orutsararmiut Native Council biologists and staff, among others, are getting ready to survey the salmon catch.

Bethel Regional High School seniors Canaar Charlie (left) and Iris Jimmie (right) graduated on May 16, 2020.
Courtesy of Canaar Charlie and Iris Jimmie

Bethel Regional High School seniors graduated on Saturday, May 16. They didn't have the traditional graduation ceremony. Instead, seniors rode in a parade down Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway, and then gathered in a school parking lot to listen to commencement speeches over the KYUK airwaves with their families. It was another adjustment in a semester of adaptation during the coronavirus pandemic. Two of the seniors, Iris Jimmie and Canaar Charlie, joined KYUK to talk about this unusual graduation, and their final semester during the pandemic.

Yukon River salmon strips.

Boats are on the water again, and salmon fishing is right around the corner. Biologists will be monitoring subsistence catches to give them a picture of how many and what kinds of salmon are returning to the Kuskokwim, and how many of those fish are being harvested. These monitoring programs have been occurring for many seasons, and social distancing precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic mean that they will look a little different this year. Orutsararmiut Native Council Biologist Janessa Esquible-Hussion outlines what Bethel-area subsistence families can expect this summer.

Nunapitchuk declared a lockdown on May 15 after a traveler to the village tested positive for COVID-19. The lockdown comes a week after the community experienced its worst flooding in a decade, pictured here on May 8, 2020.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation said that the person was traveling from Anchorage when they tested positive at the Bethel airport before heading to a nearby village the same day. YKHC received the confirmed lab results on Friday, May 15.

Gladys Jung Elementary School, whose former principal has been accused of sexual abuse of a minor and other crimes involving children.
Katie Basile / KYUK

KYUK, in collaboration with Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica, aired stories this week detailing criminal investigations into a former Bethel elementary school principal. The stories outline what school district administrators knew about those investigations and how they responded. Reporters Kyle Hopkins with Anchorage Daily News and Greg Kim with KYUK take listeners on an inside look into their investigation.

An officer following up on a tip found the body of Jonathan Pitka in a “shed-like building in the area of Front Street” on May 12, according to Acting Bethel Police Chief Amy Davis. Davis does not suspect foul play, and the body of the 34-year-old Pitka has been sent to the State Medical Examiner in Anchorage for autopsy. Bethel Police received a missing person report for Pitka on April 21.

Parents contacted the Lower Kuskokwim School District staff this past September with suspicions that their children might be involved in dealing or buying marijuana edibles.
Dean Swope / KYUK

Bethel Regional High School will have a new principal next school year. The Bethel Advisory School Board is interviewing two candidates for the position on May 13, and the public is invited to join the virtual meeting to listen and ask questions. Both candidates currently work in the school district and have held multiple school administrative positions.