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Politics

Stories about politics.

Courtesy of KTOO.

In 2019, U.S. Attorney General William Barr declared a public law enforcement emergency for rural Alaska after his visit to the state. Alaska lawmakers then formed a working group to fix the Village Public Safety Officer program, a key state service which has battled budget cuts, high turnover and an evolving job description. Now the working group has come up with a list of recommendations that lawmakers hope will  solve some of the issues with the program. 


Kusko Kush, owned by Essenkay LLC., has obtained site control and a conditional use permit, leaving a few final state inspections of the facility before it can open.
Greg Kim / KYUK

Marijuana store Kusko Kush cleared its final major hurdle with the city of Bethel. On Jan. 9, the city’s Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for Kusko Kush, owned by Essenkay LLC. 

The City of Bethel recognized an "Employee of the Year" for each department to cap off 2019.
City of Bethel

To cap off 2019, the City of Bethel awarded an Employee of the Year for each department to celebrate their performance. Charlie Dan, an administrative assistant for the public works department, won special recognition for her “outstanding performance, taking the initiative and going beyond the job requirements to support the organization and community,” according to a City of Bethel press release.

Bethel City Council to consider alternative methods of voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
City of Bethel

The City of Bethel has another batch of finalists to review for the city manager position. The Bethel City Council will meet Jan. 9 to interview the latest candidates turned up by the city’s executive search firm.

Caribou Traders Liquor Store will close permanently on Saturday, Jan 4.
Greg Kim / KYUK

This Saturday, Bethel’s Caribou Trader’s Liquor Store will close. Two days later, on Monday, Jan. 6, the town will re-enter damp status for the first time since 2009.

Toksook Bay City Council member Mary Kailukiak voted "yes" to the city funding an effort to help residents get REAL IDs.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Oct. 1, 2020 marks a strict deadline. After that date, Alaskans will need federally acceptable identification to board commercial airlines, access military bases, and enter federal facilities. These IDs can include passports, federally recognized tribal IDs, and REAL ID-compliant licenses or identifications. Getting a REAL ID isn’t easy for people living in rural communities, but one rural city is doing everything it can to get REAL IDs for its residents.


Kusko Kush, owned by Essenkay LLC., has obtained site control and a conditional use permit, leaving a few final state inspections of the facility before it can open.
Greg Kim / KYUK

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, Bethel City Council approved the sale of property for a marijuana store. For the past few months, council has been grappling with this potential sale. Council members understand that in agreeing to the sale of property to the owners of Kusko Kush, they came to a conclusion that may be unpopular with the public.


Kusko Kush, owned by Essenkay LLC., has obtained site control and a conditional use permit, leaving a few final state inspections of the facility before it can open.
Greg Kim / KYUK

Marijuana store Kusko Kush may not be dead yet. The City of Bethel’s proposed property sale to the marijuana store will go back on the agenda for the Dec. 10 regular city council meeting. 


The jury trial has begun for Adam Williams, charged with killing an off-duty village police officer in Napaskiak. 

Kusko Kush, owned by Essenkay LLC., has obtained site control and a conditional use permit, leaving a few final state inspections of the facility before it can open.
Greg Kim / KYUK

On Dec. 3, the Bethel City Council decided not to act on an ordinance to sell the property on 3rd Avenue to the marijuana store, Kusko Kush. After coming out of executive session, no council member made a motion to adopt the land sale ordinance, so it died before a vote. The meeting adjourned without any council member commenting on the decision. 

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