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Politics

Stories about politics.

Willy Keppel

One of the candidates for State House District 38 is facing a $21,625 fine for not disclosing his campaign finances on time. Willy Keppel, from Quinhagak, blames his failure to submit those reports on poor internet service in rural Alaska. 

Courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau

Rural Alaska has been doing well on filling out the census, but the problem is in hub communities like Bethel. According to Nicole Borromeo, executive vice president and general counsel for the Alaska Federation of Natives, that failure to provide census data will cost the region lots of money.

2020 Bethel City Council candidates (clockwise) Perry Barr, Michelle DeWitt, Conrad “CJ” McCormick, and Rose “Sugar” Henderson
KYUK

Whoever is elected to the city council in Bethel will grapple with the city’s response to the pandemic, along with other issues like road maintenance and hiring Bethel’s next city manager. Four candidates are competing for three open seats on Bethel City Council, and each responded to these issues and more during a live forum on Sept. 23 hosted by KYUK.


KYUK Staff

Yute Commuter Service is suing its former business manager for allegedly embezzling company funds to pay for personal expenses, pay raises, and bonuses. 

Bethel City Council will discuss proposed alcohol ordinance and replacing City Attorney Patty Burley.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The Bethel City Election is on Oct. 6, but city voters can begin voting now. City Clerk Lori Strickler said that voting before the election is only one option. Others include voting by mail and online voting. Strickler said that those wanting to vote early can do so, with public health precautions, at city hall.

2020 Bethel City Council candidates (clockwise) Perry Barr, Michelle DeWitt, Conrad “CJ” McCormick, and Rose “Sugar” Henderson
KYUK

Four candidates are running for three open seats on Bethel City Council. Hear the candidates respond to questions on how the city can better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, solutions to address Bethel's housing shortage, how to retain the next city manager, and more. 

The Yukon Kuskokwim Fitness Center reopened on Monday, Jan. 15.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

In its Sept. 22 meeting, the Bethel City Council passed a number of budget modifications, ranging from hiring additional staff for the finance department to fixing issues with the YK Fitness Center. 

The city will spend $330,000 to help stabilize the finance department; most of that money will pay for the services of an outside accounting firm because the city is currently without a permanent finance director or acting finance director. 

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 will soon have its own building to operate a year-round homeless shelter. On Sept. 22, the Bethel City Council agreed to sell the old senior center in Housing Subdivision to Winter House for $1.

For August 7 on City Corner, City Manager Pete Williams.
Katie Basile / KYUK

A familiar face is back in charge of Bethel’s city administration. At the Sept. 22 meeting, the Bethel City Council announced that Pete Williams will serve as interim city manager. Council members chose Williams from three final candidates. The other two were Marybeth Whalen and another former city manager, Lee Foley. 

Volunteer Lucas Salzbrun hands out swabs and gives directions on how to do a self-swab at the airport coronavirus test site in Bethel, Alaska on April 29, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

If you get tested for COVID-19 at the Bethel airport, you could now win $1,000. Bethel is doubling down on using incentives, rather than enforcement, for the city’s airport testing mandate. Meanwhile, the number of passengers getting tested at the airport hasn’t changed.

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