Stories about the local, state, or national economy.

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

A recent report from a financial research firm says that the proposed Donlin Gold mine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta will never be built. The mine could be one of the biggest gold producers in the world if completed, but the research firm says that it costs too much to actually build. But that firm can make a lot of money off of its report, and one of the mining companies strongly disagrees with its conclusion. 

For First Time Since 2013, Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Will Be Less Than $1,000

Jun 12, 2020
Alaskans file their Permanent Fund dividend applications in downtown Anchorage in March 2016.
Rachel Waldholz / Alaska Public Media

The Alaska Permanent Fund dividend going out in July will be $992. The amount announced on June 12 is $8 less than the Alaska Legislature estimated when it budgeted for the annual dividend.

The state has allocated $10 million of federal CARES Act funds to help pay one month of housing costs for Alaskans behind in their rent or mortgage because of income lost during the pandemic.

The Bethel Winter House, located in the Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church, provides a warm place for people to sleep during the coldest months of the year.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Bethel Winter House, the city’s only homeless shelter, has shut its doors. Despite the city council voting to give the organization $60,000 of the city’s $8.4 million of federal CARES Act funding to keep it open throughout the summer, the shelter closed on May 30 because it no longer has a space to operate in. 

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Patience may be required this summer to navigate Bethel’s Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway. Knik Construction Superintendent Bob McDonald said that delays from highway work could be four to five minutes in some places, starting in late June.  

Piiyuuk Shields speaks at the Black Lives Matter protest in Bethel, Alaska on June 5, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Roughly 50 Bethel residents gathered on June 5 at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center to peacefully protest the killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white police officer. It was captured on video and circulated on social media, spurring the national wave of protests against systemic police brutality against black people. Their protest began with 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence to represent the time that a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck.

A Kusko Cab driver waits for passengers outside of the Ravn Air terminal in Bethel, Alaska on March 16, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Bethel is back to shared cab rides and flat fares after the emergency COVID-19 taxi rules expired on May 24. But the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over, and some people are refusing to share a cab with strangers, causing financial problems for at least one Bethel cab company, Kusko Cab, that says going out of business is a possibility.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Ravn Air Group’s March bankruptcy filing during the coronavirus pandemic left many Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta villages without mail or passenger service, but three airlines stepped in to make sure that residents got their mail and access to medical care. Still, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation claims that there are still villages without regular air service. 

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

This week, the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative is turning off power for people who have past-due bills of more than $200. The cooperative has notified these people of the consequenses twice.

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Bethel’s Department of Motor Vehicles office will open for four days next week after being closed for more than a month. Residents must make appointments online or by phone at (907)-269-5551 to get a driver’s license or other forms of identification, or to take a written driving test. The DMV urges residents to renew licenses online to reduce the number of people coming into the office.