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city of bethelPublic consumption of marijuana will not be allowed in two weeks, when Alaskan adults age 21 and older can legally possesses and consume up to an ounce of marijuana. After Tuesday’s Bethel city council meeting, the city is one small step closer to its public ban and setting the terms for marijuana activity on city property.

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Fire Destroys Home in Akiak

by Ben Matheson on February 10, 2015

A fire destroyed a home in Akiak. Photo by Sammy Jackson II.

A fire destroyed a home in Akiak. Photo by Sammy Jackson II.

State troopers say a fire that destroyed a house Monday in Akiak likely started in the chimney. Troopers responded Monday after the fire completely destroyed the home. Both people inside the house escaped without harm. The trooper’s investigation found the fire was not intentionally set.

Newtok (2014) - Photo by Ben Matheson/KYUK

Newtok (2014) – Photo by Ben Matheson/KYUK

There was a happy ending to a search and rescue mission Monday morning. 57-year-old Tom John of Newtok was traveling to Bethel when his snow machine reportedly broke down. John left Newtok Sunday morning at 10:00, and had not reached Bethel by Monday morning.
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Aniak - Photo by Karl Edwards

Aniak – Photo by Karl Edwards

An Aniak elder was reportedly taken advantage of by a woman who was assisting her with her taxes. The 66-year-old woman reported her suspicions of theft to Alaska State Troopers at the end of December 2014.
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Bethel City Hall. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Bethel City Hall. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

Two weeks before the possession of marijuana is legalized in Alaska, the Bethel City Council Tuesday night will consider a ban on consuming marijuana in public places. The ballot measure passed by voters in November explicitly prohibits public consumption, but doesn’t define public.
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ADF&G will install a new weir in 2015. Graphic from ADF&G.

ADF&G will install a new weir in 2015. Graphic from ADF&G.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will install a new weir in the headwaters of the Kuskokwim this summer to better track king salmon on their journey up the river to their spawning grounds.
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Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fisheries Commission steering committee members met last week. Photo by Ben Matheson  / KYUK.

Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fisheries Commission steering committee members hear from AVCP attorney Sky Starkey. Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK.

A steering committee working to design a future co-management regime for the Kuskokwim river worked through big questions Friday. Members brainstormed about the role of non-tribal members, the scope of scientific staff, and what sort of managing board would best represent tribal members.

The steering committee had their first meetings in Bethel this week. They face challenges related to funding the effort. They have received some money from a Switzerland-based social and environmental non-profit called the Oak Foundation. The Association of Village Council Presidents and Tanana Chiefs Conference are seeking more funds.
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An artist's rendering of the proposed YKHC expansion. Courtesy YKHC.

An artist’s rendering of the proposed YKHC expansion. Courtesy of YKHC.

While still in the planning stage, the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation is working towards a new building. They say the current facility, which serves people from 58 YK Delta communities needs to be updated and needs more room to keep up with a growing population. They are planning to create a new 250-million dollar health care center in Bethel.

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Both Bethel 20120111-warrior2varsity basketball teams were in action on Saturday night; the boys at home against Barrow and the Lady Warriors at Barrow. Read more →

The Bethel Lady Warriors traveled to Barrow on Friday, after picking up a big win on Thursday night against Eagle River to the tune of 51 to 16. Friday night’s game against Barrow had much more even scoring, Read more →