Stories about local, state or national economy.

How Hard Is It To Find An Electrician In Bethel?

Jun 1, 2018

A recent letter from the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative startled residents in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The letter told customers to repair their electric equipment by August or have their power cut off. While most of the repairs are minor, others require more professional handling from an electrician, which are scarce in the region. 

In Phoenix, Arizona last week, Tribal radio broadcasters meet from across the country for the 2018 Native Broadcast Summit, May 23 through May 24.
Courtesy of Native Public Media


This year’s 2018 Native Broadcast Summit in Phoenix Arizona focused on First Amendment protections as a priority. For the last 40 plus years, tribal broadcasting has spread across rural indigenous communities in America. And since 2004, the organization Native Public Media has helped to further tribes' ability to own and access resources for their own independent media. Over 60 stations are now part of its network, including KYUK.



AVEC customers have until August 15, 2018 to repair their electric equipment or else the utility will shut it off for safety reasons.
Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Hundreds in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta could have their power disconnected in the coming months. A letter from the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative warns residents that if they don’t repair their aging electric equipment soon, they won’t have electricity. And the customers have to foot the repair bill.

The Best In the West small business competition awarded $26,000 to local business owners in Bethel and the surrounding communities on May 21, 2018. From left to right: Louise Russell, Tracey Wilbanks, Lucas Salzbrun, Krystle Penaflor, Conor Burke, and Rey
Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Some local entrepreneurs got more money this week to expand or jump-start their businesses. Seven winners took home a total of $26,000 from the annual Best in the West small business competition. The contest saw a drop in funding this year, as well as a drop in winners. All awardees came from Bethel or the surrounding communities.

At a public hearing in Bethel on May 21, 2018, the Alaska ABC Board will decide whether to renew Bethel Native Corporation's liquor license for Bethel Spirits and whether to transfer that license to Hooper Bay’s Sea Lion Native Village Corporation.
Dean Swope / KYUK

The fates of Bethel’s two operating liquor store licenses will be decided on Tuesday, and the public is invited to take part. At 1 p.m. on May 22 at the Bethel Cultural Center, the Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will hold a special public hearing on whether to renew both licenses and whether to transfer one of those licenses to another owner.

Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway needs more work than the state can give it right now or will be able to give it for about a decade. To overcome changing climate conditions and a growing population, the highway needs a new design, but that process will take years. So next summer, as a short-term fix, the highway will be repaved.

According to a new study, over a third of Alaska's children live below the federal poverty line.
Courtesy of Kids Count: Economic Well-Being of Alaska Children

Forty-two percent of children in Southwestern Alaska live below the federal poverty line. That’s according to a new study by the Alaska Children’s Trust, a non-profit organization focused on preventing child abuse and neglect.

Lilly Carter of Kwigillingok and Ben Kuntz of Bethel were named the Kuskokwim Ice Classic winners when the sinking tripod in front of Bethel stopped the clock at 7:51 p.m. on May 2, 2018. William Savo of Dillingham won the Minute Madness competition.
Kuskokwim Ice Classic

It’s official. The Kuskokwim River in front of Bethel has broken. The Kuskokwim Ice Classic tripod sunk through the ice, stopping the clock at 7:51 p.m. on Wednesday. With that, the competition designated three lucky winners to take home thousands of dollars in prize money.

The Kuskokwim Ice Classic Tripod began sinking Wednesday afternoon on May 2, 2018, but the clock continues counting down to break up.
Kuskokwim Ice Classic

Update: The Kuskokwim Ice Classic tripod clock stopped at 7:51 p.m. on May 2, 2018. The organizers are determining a winner.

Original story: The Kuskokwim Ice Classic tripod has sunk, leaving only its colorful, wooden points sticking out of the rotten ice. But the line connecting the tripod to a ticking clock is still holding, and the clock continues counting down to break up.

Chefornak Wins Generous Federal Grant To Fix Jetty

Apr 30, 2018

For most of 2018, Chefornak has had a problem. The village relies on barges to deliver some goods and supplies like most of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, but the Chefornak jetty hasn’t been accessible for months. A generous federal tribal grant might go a long way toward fixing that problem.