Stories about politics.

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

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.

Bethel City Council Candidates' Forum - September 23

Sep 22, 2020
Elyssa Loughlin

Get to know the Bethel City Council candidates with KYUK. Join us Sept. 23, 7- 8:30 p.m. for a live forum with candidates Perry Barr, Michelle DeWitt, Rose “Sugar” Henderson, and Conrad “CJ” McCormick. The four candidates are running for three open seats. Elections are Oct. 6.

Donlin Gold would need to destroy two creeks in order to build its proposed mine.
Katie Basile/KYUK

It’s going to take Donlin Gold a little longer to get a final decision on whether they will receive the state’s right of way lease for its natural gas pipeline. The lease grants Donlin permission to build its pipeline over state-owned lands.

Katie Basile / KYUK

When Michelle DeWitt was appointed to replace a Bethel City Council member, she said that she did not intend to run for reelection. But now she wants to stay. DeWitt said that she changed her mind because of the unique challenges facing the city during these times of pandemic and transition in the city’s management team.

A Kusko Cab driver waits for passengers outside of the Ravn Air terminal in Bethel, Alaska on March 16, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

On Aug. 31, the Bethel City Council passed a mandate requiring people arriving at the Alaska Airlines terminal to be tested for COVID-19. The mandate also states that taxi drivers picking up passengers at the airport must check that the passengers have been tested. That has been a bit awkward for drivers who are being asked to enforce the city’s law.

CJ McCormick runs as write in for city council in September 2020
Juanita Nick

At 23 years of age, Conrad "C.J." McCormick is the youngest person running for Bethel City Council in this election. No stranger to the process, McCormick regularly attended city council meetings while a high school student in Bethel.