Olivia Ebertz

News Reporter

Olivia is a News Reporter for KYUK. Before coming to Bethel, she worked in film in New York City. Her documentary films have screened at festivals worldwide. In 2020 she was an artist-in-residence in Petrozavodsk, Russia. She speaks English, Norwegian, Italian, Spanish, and Russian with decreasing fluency in that order. 

Elyssa Loughlin / KYUK

Bethel police are getting new body cams. In their June 8 meeting, Bethel City Council approved the purchase of 30 new body cameras for the Bethel Police Department. The funding comes from a grant that the department received from the state.

Maternal Child Death Review Committee / Alaska State Department Of Health

More mothers die in, or right after, childbirth in the United States than any other developed country, and that number is growing. Alaska has a lower rate than the national average, but still sees 6 to 13 maternal deaths each year, according to the Alaska Maternal Child Death Review Committee. Rates are highest among Indigenous mothers in Southwestern Alaska.

Elyssa Loughlin / KYUK

On June 8, Bethel City Council voted unanimously to accept a $45,000 grant from the State of Alaska. The grant must be used to promote or incentivize the COVID-19 vaccine in unvaccinated individuals. The city has until the end of June 2021 to spend all the funds. City Manager Pete Williams has proposed offering $100 to those willing to get the vaccine, but he said that figure is just an idea.

Elyssa Loughlin / KYUK

On the June 8 Bethel City Council agenda will be vaccine cash incentives, police body cams, and taxes on senior citizens. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

Elder Eula Acurunaq David passed away on May 29 at the age of 90. Originally from Scammon Bay, David was a worldly, culturally fluid and fluent woman who went on to live in Fortuna Ledge, Mekoryuk, and eventually Bethel.


A COVID-19 testing sample at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
Katie Basile / KYUK

A strain of COVID-19 that spreads faster and is more harmful has shown up in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The Alaska Department of Heath and Social Services has confirmed the presence of at least two cases of the COVID-19 Alpha variant in two villages in the region.

Before being appointed by the Council mid-term to his present seat, Mark Springer had served two previous terms on Bethel’s City Council. It’s his third time on the ballot.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The Orutsararmiut Native Council voted not to retain Mark Springer as the tribe’s executive director. On June 3, ONC Chairman Walter Jim confirmed the decision by the tribal council, but did not comment further, saying that he was busy. 

Alaska State Department of Law

There has been a huge uptick in scams and frauds both nationally and in Alaska. State Attorney General Treg Taylor said that the numbers have grown exponentially this year. Noting that many people don’t report when they have been successfully scammed, he said that around 4,000 Alaskans reported losing money to fraud last year.

Orutsararmiut Native Council

Bethel’s Orutsararmiut Native Council has received $17,297,078 in American Rescue Plan Act funding designated for tribes, according to ONC executive director Mark Springer. ONC plans to hold a digital member consultation on June 18 to hear from tribal members about how the organization should spend the funds.