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Economy

Stories about the local, state, or national economy.

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.

Alaskans Will Receive PFD Checks Starting July 1

May 21, 2020

Gov. Mike Dunleavy made the announcement at the end of a press briefing on May 20 that primarily focused on education and plans for reopening the state’s schools in the fall.

Courtesy of Anne Kosacheff

The ghost gravel barge that enthralled social media in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta has finally been recovered. The vessel froze into the Kuskokwim River on its way to Red Devil last fall, stopping just past Aniak before this spring’s river breakup freed it.

Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The Calista Corporation is spearheading an effort to form a federally-recognized regional tribal government in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The regional native corporation says that tribes have requested the corporation’s support in this endeavor.


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