Greg Kim

News Reporter

Greg Kim is a news reporter for KYUK. In his past life, he worked as a software engineer in Seattle, WA. He visited Bethel in 2019 for the Kuskokwim 300, and decided he wanted to tell the stories of the people in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Tundra Suites hotel owner Chin S. Kim and associate Mi Ae Young pled guilty to Medicaid fraud and agreed to pay restitution of $135,000.
Teresa Cotsirilos/KYUK

Over two years after former Bethel hotel Tundra Suites’ Medicaid fraud was uncovered, the legal case has come to an end. Tundra Suites owner Chin S. Kim and his associate, Mi Ae Young, each pled guilty to one count of medical assistance fraud. They will pay $135,000 jointly as restitution. 

Bethel Police identified one of the suspects in the ALASKAbuds break-in and burglary, a 14 or 15-year-old boy.
Bethel Police Department

Bethel Police have identified one of the suspects in the ALASKAbuds marijuana store break-in and burglary. Acting Police Chief Amy Davis said that she received a tip from someone who knew the burglars.

Bethel police are asking for help identifying the two individuals who broke into the ALASKAbuds marijuana store on Monday, Feb. 17.
Courtesy of Bethel Police Department

One month in business, and Bethel’s first marijuana store has been broken into and stolen from. ALASKAbuds was burglarized on Monday, Feb. 17 around 12:30 a.m. The store manager reports that no marijuana or cash was taken.  

Kusko Kush co-owner Naim Shabani says that the store plans to open in early March.
Naim Shabani

Bethel’s second marijuana store is almost open for business. On Feb. 13, the state’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office conducted its final inspection of Kusko Kush. Store co-owner Naim Shabani said that it “passed with flying colors,” and he plans on opening in early March.

Bethel City Council will have to decide how to fund community action grants after losing funding from alcohol sales taxes.
City of Bethel

One of the effects of enacting local option is that Bethel loses much of its alcohol sales tax, which is $500,000 that the city estimated it would receive last year. It still receives some alcohol sales tax from restaurant beer and wine sales. The decreased revenue means funding for Bethel’s Community Action Grant program is almost gone as well. 

The Lower Kuskokwim School District was awarded a $34 million grant to build a new school building in Eek.
Courtesy of LKSD

The state has awarded the Lower Kuskokwim School District $34,450,733 to add another school building in Eek, with the district chipping in $703,076. However, Eek is only one of several schools in the district needing new facilities. LKSD Superintendent Dan Walker explains why Eek got a new school and other villages, like Napakiak, didn’t.

Irene Camille with her son, Ethan Camille, inside his hospital room at Alaska Native Medical Center.
Greg Kim / KYUK

On Feb. 2, four boys from Nunam Iqua left their home by snowmachine during a winter storm and ended up lost 18 miles south of town. They weathered the storm for over 24 hours outside before searchers found them huddled together in the snow. They said that they got lost chasing a fox.

Bethel Search and Rescue members Sam Samuelson and Peter Atchak provided advice on how to survive a winter storm.
Petra Harpak / KYUK

The recently rescued boys from Nunam Iqua showed that it’s possible to withstand Alaskan winter conditions with a strong will to live and some survival skills. The Scammon Bay searchers who found them said that the boys had dug a hole in order to keep their 2-year-old brother warm. Experienced Bethel Search and Rescue members, Peter Atchak and Sam Samuelson, talked about what else the boys did well, and everything you should do if you’re caught in a winter storm.

Bethel City Council will have to decide how to fund community action grants after losing funding from alcohol sales taxes.
City of Bethel

Bethel is now much closer to filling the top positions in the city’s administration. Last night, the city council interviewed two candidates for two positions and unanimously voted to offer contracts to both of them. This decision came after in-person interviews with Vincenzo “Vinny” Corazza for city manager, and Elizabeth “Libby” Bakalar for city attorney.