KYUK AM

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.

One man is dead and two women are seriously injured after a single-vehicle crash on May 28 in Mountain Village, according to state troopers. 

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

Several weeks ago, Fili’s Pizza, a restaurant in Bethel, began selling beer and wine via curbside pickup and delivery. Alcohol delivery and pickup was authorized by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on April 14 to help Alaskan restaurants and bars generate revenue during the coronavirus-related business shutdowns. But some Bethel residents are saying that curbside alcohol sales should be banned under Bethel’s local option status, and the state says that's a valid argument. 



The City of Bethel's finance department has lost 14 employees over the course of as many months, with the most recent loss being former Finance Director Christine Blake who left on May 22.
Greg Kim / KYUK

The City of Bethel will be receiving $8.4 million in CARES Act funding from the federal government, but the city can only spend it on COVID-19-related expenses. The funds cannot be mixed with the normal operating budget, even though the city is expecting hundreds of thousands of dollars less in sales tax revenue this year because the pandemic has slowed down business.  



Katie Basile / KYUK

On May 26, the Bethel City Council reinstated the COVID-19 emergency after the first declaration of emergency expired two days earlier. The new declaration has some changes which limit the authority of the city manager, specifically his authority to change cab fares. The city council also set the stage for a potential "by-mail" election this October, and confirmed the hire of new police chief Richard Simmons.

The City of Bethel's finance department has lost 14 employees over the course of as many months, with the most recent loss being former Finance Director Christine Blake who left on May 22.
Greg Kim / KYUK

The City of Bethel’s finance department has a turnover problem that got even worse. Finance Director Christine Blake decided to quit early, citing a “chaotic and unprofessional environment.” This marks at least the 14th employee to have left Bethel's finance department in as many months. 


Bethel City Council has postponed voting on the Uniform Remote Sellers Sales Tax Code, which would enable the city to collect taxes on purchases made by Bethel residents online. Council will revisit the issue on April 14.
City of Bethel

Some of the issues before the Bethel City Council tonight are whether to continue the state of emergency due to COVID-19, and whether it should add new rules to allow elections by mail. Also on the agenda is confirming the new police chief.

Bethel resident Tom McCallson wants the city to maintain a road to  Haroldson Subdivision so that police can drive to his house.
Bethel Police Department

After almost a year of searching, the City of Bethel has found a new police chief. The candidate, Richard Simmons, and the city have agreed to a conditional offer of employment, but he still needs a background check and confirmation from the city council to finalize the agreement. The council’s decision to increase the police chief position’s salary to $140,000 is said to have been key to attracting a suitable candidate. 


LKSD is making its social workers available to students and parents following the arrest of Gladys Jung Elementary School Principal Chris Carmichael.
Lower Kuskokwim School District

There are at least four changes in the Lower Kuskokwim School District’s top administrative positions in Bethel for the next school year, but they’re all familiar faces. Current Assistant Superintendent Kimberly Hankins’ promotion to superintendent caused a ripple effect going all the way to the Bethel Regional High School. 

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