Stories about the local, state, or national economy.

Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

The U.S. Census began on Tuesday, Jan. 21, in Toksook Bay. Inclement weather kept the census workers from flying into the community in the morning as scheduled. By the afternoon, the clouds lifted, allowing the census crew to land. 

Fire Severely Damages Home In Bethel

Jan 18, 2020
Ben Matheson / KYUK

A fire severely damaged a home on Kilbuck Street near the Faulkner Walsh buildings on the evening of Jan. 17. The next morning, Acting Fire Chief Daron Solesbee said that there were no injuries. 


Two fire engines and six water trucks arrived on the scene, along with an ambulance. Solesbee said that the fire began when a tenant was attempting to thaw a frozen p-trap in a bathroom. The tenant was able to get out quickly. 


Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Bethel’s first marijuana store opens for business on Friday, Jan. 17. It took a year and a half to jump through all the bureaucratic hoops, but ALASKABuds, located on Third Avenue by Stan’s Barbershop, will start selling weed in all of its forms in Bethel at noon on Jan. 17.

“Eighteen months. That’s a long time,” said company owner Nick Miller. “And it’s obviously the first retail store in Bethel. It’s a lot of work. You wouldn’t think it would take that long to open a business, but it really, really does in the marijuana industry.”

Nunakauyak Traditional Council Tribal Administrator Robert Pitka points to Toksook Bay on a Yup'ik language map in his office. Dec. 12, 2019.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

The  U.S. Constitution requires that the government undertake the massive project of counting every person living in the United States every 10 years. The numbers determine how many representatives each state gets in the U.S. House and how much government money that’s available to communities over the next decade. 

The national count will begin in two weeks in a town in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta: Toksook Bay,  population 590 during the previous census.

The Eek Traditional Council has approved funds to bring DMV workers to its community to issue Read IDs to residents.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Starting October 1, 2020 Alaskans will need Real ID compliant identification to board commercial airlines, access military bases, and enter federal facilities. The Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles issues these IDs, but it doesn't have offices in most rural communities. To bridge the gap, a Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta tribe wants to bring the DMV to its town.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary members donate a check to Bethel Search and Rescue during the 2019 #BethelGives campaign at the Bethel Cultural Center.
Bethel Community Services Foundation

The fourth annual #BethelGives raised its highest amount in the campaign's history. The combination of individual and corporate donations contributed $45,556.97 to Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta nonprofits.

The Bethel Native Corporation has given out its annual distribution from the Bethel Elkartaa Settlement Trust.

ALASKAbuds owner Nick Miller has his store set up, minus the marijuana products. Once he passes his final state inspection, he expects to open later this month.
Greg Kim / KYUK

In a few weeks, Bethel’s first marijuana store will open its doors. ALASKAbuds is located in the same building as Stan’s Barbershop and Bethel Family Dental Clinic. Two months ago, 47% of Bethel voters wanted to prohibit marijuana sales through marijuana local option. KYUK asked ALASKAbuds’ owner if those results affect how he’s preparing to open.

It’s that time of year again: Calista Corporation is preparing to give out its Elder Benefit Distribution to more than 2,500 original, Elder shareholders this year.

Couresty of Patrick Cleveland.

No night flights or medevacs have been able to land on the Native Village of Kwinhagak's runway for the past two months, and it doesn’t look like they will be able to any time soon. That’s because the runway lights are out, and the tribe is trying to figure out what to do.