April 2015

150430 English News Full web

Bad ice at the Gweek river area. Photo courtesy BSAR.

Bad ice at the Gweek river area. Photo courtesy BSAR.

A string of warm days and minimal runoff from the reduced snowpack is contributing to the 2015 Kuskowkim mushout. Hydrologist Crane Johnson with the Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center says the Lower Kuskokwim’s snowpack is well below average, while the rive ice has consistently measured thinner than normal. Those factors, plus warm weather are combining for a mushout.
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150429 English News Full web

BNC is proposing to put a package liquor store in a the Kipusvik building, the former site of Swanson’s grocery store. Photo by Geraldine Brink / KYUK.

BNC is proposing to put a package liquor store in a the Kipusvik building, the former site of Swanson’s grocery store. Photo by Geraldine Brink / KYUK.

It’s been four decades since Bethel had a liquor store, and for now that status will continue. The Bethel City Council voted Tuesday to protest two liquor store license applications from the Bethel Native Corporation’s Bethel Spirits and the Alaska Commercial Company. As KYUK’s Ben Matheson reports, the debate now leaves city hall as citizens gear up for a new advisory vote.

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AVEC serves customers in Emmonak. Image from avec.org

AVEC serves customers in Emmonak. Image from avec.org

People in Emmonak are without power early Tuesday afternoon after a fire at the power plant. Meera Kohler is president and CEO for the Alaska Village Electric Co-Op, which runs the utility. She says shortly after 10 a.m. a generator in the old power plant caught fire. Read more →

Open water was evident Monday at Brown's Slough. Photo Dean Swope / KYUK.

Open water was evident Monday at Brown’s Slough. Photo Dean Swope / KYUK.

Following a string of warm weather and a beating sun, Bethel Search and Rescue’s Peter Atchak flew a portion of the lower river Monday afternoon in a Super Cub with support from troopers and the state.

“All the side sloughs we observed were for the most part broken up. Some that didn’t appear broken up were showing definitely signs of weakened nice and needle ice on the remaining ice on side sloughs. We’ve seen a lot of melted out overflows. All the islands were surrounded by deep overflow,” said Atchak. Read more →

The Bethel City Council can consider protesting two liquor licenses. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

The Bethel City Council can consider protesting two liquor licenses. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

The Bethel City Council can protest two applications for liquor store licenses in their regular Tuesday meeting. They will consider resolutions that ask the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to turn down the applications for the Bethel Native Corporation’s Bethel Spirits and a proposed store within the Alaska Commercial Company grocery store. Both resolutions highlight local and state laws about the proximity to churches and schools. Read more →

The Kuskokwim Ice Classic Tripod stood tall Monday. BSAR says the river is not safe. Photo by Dean Swope/KYUK.

The Kuskokwim Ice Classic Tripod stood tall Monday. BSAR says the river is not safe. Photo by Dean Swope/KYUK.

Bethel Search and Rescue is warning people to stay off the weakened Kuskokwim river. Several days of warm sun have made the ice unsafe. BSAR head Mike Riley says the river has deteriorated.

“The ice is not safe at all. All the creeks, and everything else, all the side sloughs: all you have is top needle ice, there’s nothing’s supporting [travelers]. We hope everyone stops using the river,” said Riley. Read more →