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.

BSAR volunteer Steve Alexie holds up a hook attached to his drag bar.
Greg Kim / KYUK

Today marks day 12 of the search for the body of a Napaskiak man who drowned near Bethel. Paul Kaganak fell into the Kuskokwim River two Saturdays ago. Since then, dozens of men and women from Scammon Bay to Akiachak have volunteered to drag the river to find him. KYUK rode along with Bethel Search and Rescue to learn what goes into the recovery.

Bethel City Council held a regular meeting on June 26, 2019.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Bethel City Council fired former City Manager Pete Williams weeks ago, but Williams' termination was still the topic of the biggest showdown at last night’s council meeting. Council member Leif Albertson introduced an action memorandum to consult an attorney about whether the firing was legal. It failed 3-3 with Vice-Mayor Raymond “Thor” Williams and council members Fritz Charles and Carole Jung-Jordan opposing. Albertson, Mitchell Forbes, and Perry Barr voted in favor of consulting an attorney. Mayor Fred Watson was absent.

Bethel City Council held a regular meeting on June 26, 2019.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Bethel has lost its opportunity to protest the marijuana retail license for ALASKAbuds. The last day to protest is June 3, but the council learned Tuesday night at a council meeting that they were required to provide seven days notice to the licensee. 

Kalskag went into lockdown Tuesday morning. Schools and stores in both Upper and Lower Kalskag shut their doors, and people were told to stay inside. This followed a domestic violence incident in Upper Kalskag.

Ray Steeves, a 35-year old man from Upper Kalskag, assaulted someone in his home. Alaska State Troopers were called, but Steeves fled before they could get there. That was when the lockdown began.

Bethel City Council held a regular meeting on June 26, 2019.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

On Tuesday, the Bethel City Council chose an executive search firm to look for a new city manager. The name of the search firm remains confidential until the regular council meeting next week, when the contract could be approved. 

Once council and the firm sign a contract, the firm will advertise the job, collect applications, and narrow down the field to a handful of applicants. That should take two to three months. Then it will be up to the council to review those candidates.

Erosion in Akiak swallowed 75 to 100 feet of riverbank along the village on May 20, 2019.
Ivan Ivan / City of Akiak

People in Akiak woke up on Monday to find their smokehouses in the river. Massive erosion along the riverbank had eaten those structures earlier that morning.

Bethel Regional High School's graduating class of 2019.
Greg Kim / KYUK

Bethel Regional High School just celebrated their graduation. Forty-six seniors walked last Friday. If that sounds like more than usual, that’s because it is. 

LKSD Superintendent Dan Walker says that the graduation rate increased about 10 percent from last year, and more than 20 percent over the last 4 - 5 years.

KeoStrong shirts line the halls of Chief Paul Memorial School.
Greg Kim / KYUK

Graduations are in the air; BRHS celebrated theirs last Friday. In Kipnuk, seniors finished a week earlier, concluding a difficult school year in which senior basketball star Keoni Aliralria passed away from cancer. At graduation, diplomas were awarded to all the graduates, including Aliralria, who was nicknamed "Keo."

Bethel City Council held a regular meeting on June 26, 2019.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The City of Bethel could be on the hook for a lot of money. Bethel’s insurance company told the city council on Tuesday that the city is on its own if former City Manager Pete Williams files a wrongful termination lawsuit. 

Barbara Thurston, the executive director of Alaska Public Entity Insurance, said the reason the city would not be covered can be seen in the insurance contract the city signed.

"It requires that members consult an attorney before terminating an employee and following the recommendations of the attorney," Thurston said.

ALASKAbuds owner Nick Miller plans to open his store next month.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Bethel is now only weeks away from its first marijuana store. The state Marijuana Control Board approved the license for ALASKAbuds "with delegation."  That means it’s approved with a condition, the condition being state fire marshal approval. 

Nick Miller owns ALASKAbuds with his wife. He also sits on the Marijuana Control Board, but he didn’t get to vote on his own application. Miller says that he is not worried about getting fire marshal approval.