Coffee at KYUK

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Learn about what's going on around you, from the weather to community events.

Ways to Connect

The weather may be cold, but it’s too soon to get out on the river ice. That’s the message from Mark Leary with Bethel Search and Rescue, who flew the river on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

“We’re nowhere near having safe travel conditions,” said Leary. “Nowhere near.”

The Kuskokwim River is not even close to being frozen. The edge of the freezing ice is just a bit past the confluence with the Johnson River.

“As best we could tell from that half mile below the Johnson, the Kuskokwim main channel is open all the way out to the bay,” Leary said.


The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation warns that the region’s rising COVID-19 surge could soon overwhelm its health care system. To prevent that, the health corporation is calling for the first region-wide lockdown to slow the spread of the virus. Joining KYUK to talk about why a lockdown is needed are YKHC President and CEO Dan Winkelman and YKHC Chief of Staff Dr. Ellen Hodges.

Olivia Ebertz

Olivia Ebertz is KYUK's newest news reporter. We get to know her on Coffee at KYUK.

AP News

Navajo Nation, located in the Southwest region of the United States, is currently experiencing the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Navajo Nation is similar to the Y-K Delta in a lot of ways. Residents in both areas face overcrowding in homes, many don’t have access to running water, and there is limited health care infrastructure in both places due to geographic remoteness. Both regions are also facing devastating rates of COVID-19 infection.

Courtesy of Bev Hoffman

Bev Hoffman and John McDonald joined Bethel Council on the Arts for an hour of storytelling on Nov. 4, 2020.

Women have been in the military for decades, but few are using veteran services. Our guest wants to increase those numbers. Vanessa Meade is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. She is a veteran and part of Operation Mary Louise, an effort to expand the number of Alaska women signed up for veteran services.

Dr. Liz Bates prepares for COVID-19 testing at the YKHC testing tent on March 25, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is hosting a mass COVID-19 testing event in Bethel on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot across from the hospital. YKHC is hoping that everyone in Bethel gets tested and is offering prizes, including cash.

The City of Bethel is offering grants to businesses and nonprofits as economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic. The grant program continues the city’s effort, which began earlier this year, to economically support local businesses during the public health emergency. The money comes from the city’s federal CARES Act funding. Here to talk about the program is Michelle DeWitt. She’s the Executive Director of the Bethel Community Services Foundation, the organization dispersing the grants. DeWitt is also Bethel's mayor, but does not act in that capacity with this funding. We are also joined by Bethel City Clerk Lori Strickler.


Nunaptichuk City Council Member Thomas Parks is our guest this morning on Coffee at KYUK. He shares how Nunapitchuk had a COVID-19 surge and managed to stop it. Parks began by telling a story about his family. It centers on the fact that people without symptoms can spread the disease even when they think they are helping. The story begins when his brother was stuck with no money, spending the night at the Anchorage airport while trying to get home to Nunapitchuk. The interview was recorded last week. 

Elyssa Loughlin

This year's KYUK Internship program looks different than it has in years past. Instead of meeting in person at KYUK, interns and KYUK staff have met online to collaborate on content. In mid-October, Toksook Bay reported a surge of COVID-19 cases which forced the community into lockdown and the school to transfer to entirely remote learning. Interns Kaylee King and Tatyana Avugiak interviewed fellow interns Payton Chenar and Ethan Lincoln on what life in lockdown was like shortly before their own schools went into lockdown. This interview was recorded on Oct.22.