Stories about the local, state, or national economy.

Online Retailer Trying To Prioritize Essential Goods

Mar 17, 2020
Katie Basile / KYUK

In what may turn out to be good news for rural Alaska, online retailer Amazon has made a change aimed at moving medical supplies, household staples, and other high-demand products as quickly as possible. 

Dean Swope / KYUK

While telecommunications carrier GCI is closing down many of its urban retail stores in Alaska, the Bethel store will remain open with shortened hours, for now. 

Alaska Commercial's Quickstop Liquor Store, now closed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, was the most recent operating store in the Delta. On Tuesday, June 26, a council effort to strengthen security requirements was defeated.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Demand for products like hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and toilet paper has spiked across Alaska, spurred by concerns over the coronavirus. That strain has been tough for some rural communities. The Alaska Commercial Company operates 33 stores around the state, including in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. In an effort to get ahead of that demand, General Manager Walt Pickett said that at the beginning of March, AC started to increase its orders from suppliers and manufacturers and stock its warehouses in Washington state and Anchorage.

Teresa Cotsirilos / KYUK

Calista Corporation has reaffirmed its Alaska Federation of Natives membership in response to a caller on a Feb. 28 KYUK talk show, who claimed that Calista had pulled out of the organization.

Bethel's second marijuana store, Kusko Kush, opened its doors Feb. 26.
Greg Kim / KYUK

Bethel’s second marijuana store, Kusko Kush, opened its doors on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Several customers were in the store around 2 p.m., choosing from about a dozen strains of marijuana available. 

The National Transportation Safety Board says that Alaska needs a comprehensive effort to improve aviation safety.

The NTSB issued a safety recommendation to the Federal Aviation Administration on Feb. 20, calling for the formation of a working group to help improve safety in a state where the aviation accident rate from 2008 to 2017 was more than two times higher than the rest of the U.S.

Courtesy of Mark Leary

For the first time ever, the ice road on the frozen Kuskokwim River has been plowed to Sleetmute, a village north of Bethel. According to Mark Leary, who helped lead the effort, the ice road now stretches about 355 miles from Tuntutuliak, located south of Bethel, to Sleetmute.

Kusko Kush co-owner Naim Shabani says that the store plans to open in early March.
Naim Shabani

Bethel’s second marijuana store is almost open for business. On Feb. 13, the state’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office conducted its final inspection of Kusko Kush. Store co-owner Naim Shabani said that it “passed with flying colors,” and he plans on opening in early March.

Courtesy of Peter Evon

Peter Evon is leaving his job as executive director for the Orutsararmiut Native Council in Bethel, but he saw some big milestones at ONC during his nearly two-year tenure there. 

Courtesy of TKC

The Kuskokwim Corporation, which represents 10 villages in the Middle Kuskokwim River area, has a new CEO. Andrea Gusty, who stepped into the role on Feb. 6, grew up in Aniak, one of those villages.