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Sometimes light, sometimes serious. "Coffee@KYUK" is where our community connects.

Ways to Connect

Bethel Regional High School seniors Canaar Charlie (left) and Iris Jimmie (right) graduated on May 16, 2020.
Courtesy of Canaar Charlie and Iris Jimmie

Bethel Regional High School seniors graduated on Saturday, May 16. They didn't have the traditional graduation ceremony. Instead, seniors rode in a parade down Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway, and then gathered in a school parking lot to listen to commencement speeches over the KYUK airwaves with their families. It was another adjustment in a semester of adaptation during the coronavirus pandemic. Two of the seniors, Iris Jimmie and Canaar Charlie, joined KYUK to talk about this unusual graduation, and their final semester during the pandemic.

Yukon River salmon strips.

Boats are on the water again, and salmon fishing is right around the corner. Biologists will be monitoring subsistence catches to give them a picture of how many and what kinds of salmon are returning to the Kuskokwim, and how many of those fish are being harvested. These monitoring programs have been occurring for many seasons, and social distancing precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic mean that they will look a little different this year. Orutsararmiut Native Council Biologist Janessa Esquible-Hussion outlines what Bethel-area subsistence families can expect this summer.

Gladys Jung Elementary School, whose former principal has been accused of sexual abuse of a minor and other crimes involving children.
Katie Basile / KYUK

KYUK, in collaboration with Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica, aired stories this week detailing criminal investigations into a former Bethel elementary school principal. The stories outline what school district administrators knew about those investigations and how they responded. Reporters Kyle Hopkins with Anchorage Daily News and Greg Kim with KYUK take listeners on an inside look into their investigation.

KYUK Interns Tatyana Avugiak and Kaylee King connect with friends, teachers, and KYUK virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Courtesy of Tatyana Avugiak and Kaylee King

As spring arrives, people are beginning to relax on social distancing protocols as they prepare to fish and gather subsistence foods in some villages.

The pool at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Fitness Center in Bethel.
Dean Swope/KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Fitness Center reopened on May 9, with a set of new rules to protect the staff and patrons. About 50 people showed up the first weekend. Stacey Reardon is the center’s facility director. She and staff have developed rules that they hope will keep people safe while not being overly restrictive.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is opening it's doors to some elective and routine procedures following new state health mandates amidst the coronavirus epidemic.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is resuming many, but not all of its services. Chief of Staff Dr. Ellen Hodges said that the Bethel hospital is trying to keep some of its facilities available in case there is a surge of COVID-19 cases in the region.

Kuskokwim River break-up in front of Bethel, Alaska on the evening of May 3, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The water levels in the Kuskokwim River at Napaimute dropped 10 feet on Sunday night. Hydrologist Celine Van Breukelen has been flying the river with the National Weather Service’s annual River Watch program, and she spoke with KYUK on Monday morning about what she saw over the weekend.

An ice jam below Napaimute on April 30, 2020.
Alaska State Troopers

The flooding near Napaimute has devastated most of the cabins at the seasonal village site. The National Weather Service began flying their River Watch crew along the Kuskokwim River this week to monitor break up conditions. Hydrologist Celine Van Breukelen shared her observations from April 30.

Greg Morgan II

Photographer Greg Morgan II is driving around Bethel on the weekends, taking picture of people on their front porches. He’s going to use those photos for a public exhibition. Morgan got the idea when he noticed people in other communities sharing their pictures of household members in front of their homes during the pandemic.

Chelsea Hoffman received the 2020 UAF Kuskokwim Campus part-time student of the year award. She's pictured here with her fiancé, Theodore Street, and daughters Emma and Gwendolyn.
Courtesy of Chelsea Hoffman

Every year, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus awards a part-time student of the year award. The 2020 recipient is Chelsea Hoffman of Bethel.