Teresa Cotsirilos


Teresa Cotsirilos reports on crime, criminal justice and public health in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta.

A graduate of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, Cotsirilos most recently reported for Oakland North, where she covered Black Lives Matter and the Oakland Police Department. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Nation and other publications.

Prior to becoming a journalist, Cotsirilos sold eyepatches and other pirate supplies in San Francisco, wrote for a travel guide in Jerusalem and taught sexual education in rural Namibia. Please send her news tips at

Stephen Simeon, Mike Fontaine, Jesse Lang, and Rebecca Tanner were thanked for their heroism on the night of the shooting. The city also recognized State Trooper Anthony Wiles (not pictured).
Courtesy of Kevin Toothaker.

Last week, the city of Aniak thanked several residents for their courage under fire.

The village is still recovering from last August’s shooting spree, an ordeal that left one man dead and several people wounded. When the bullets started flying that night, five people risked their lives to help their neighbors.

A wind turbine stands outside the Yukon-Kuskokwim Fitness Center. AVEC is working to erect another, larger, 900 kilowatt wind turbine in Bethel.
Dean Swope/KYUK

On Thursday, Bethel’s Planning Commission will hold a special meeting to discuss an application from the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC). The utility is ready to move forward on its wind power project, and hopes to start preliminary groundwork at their new turbine site.

Kyle Stevens, age 31, was reported missing yesterday.
Courtesy of Anna Kraft Photography.

Update: At 4:35p.m., Trooper Spokesperson Megan Peters confirmed that the plane found in the Yukon River is Kyle Stevens'. Stevens himself has still not been found.

Original story published on Tuesday at 3:00p.m.:

Kyle Stevens’ plane may have just been found, although Stevens himself is still missing.

Kyle Stevens, age 31, was reported missing yesterday.
Courtesy of Sharon Yvonne

 Update: On Tuesday at about 1:36 p.m., Kyle Stevens' family was notified that the wreckage of Stevens' plane has been found. Kyle Stevens himself is still missing. KYUK's reporting on this story is ongoing.

Original article, published on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.:

Local volunteers and law enforcement are searching the area for Kyle Stevens, age 31.

Katie Basile / KYUK

In a special council meeting last night, Bethel’s City Council re-elected Mayor Rick Robb to another term  in office by a narrow 4-3 vote.

Esther Hana performs at Bethel's Cultural Center.
Teresa Cotsirilos/KYUK

On a rainy Friday afternoon, Esther Hanviriyapunt - known by her stage name, Esther Hana - sat down at the Cultural Center's piano and warmed up for her Bethel debut. A renowned musician with a brisk, warm smile, she's performed in Zurich, Bangkok, and Chicago. And now, she’s played in Bethel too.

The concert was a benefit for the Bethel Family Clinic, and the brainchild of a clinic dentist who just wanted to help out a friend.

The weather system may bring flooding to low-lying villages.
Courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service.

Another fall storm brewed near the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta yesterday, its strong winds and high tides threatening coastal communities. According to the National Weather Service, gale-force winds from the Southwest may contribute to minor flooding, beach erosion, and rough surf, particularly along the coast from Goodnews Bay to Kipnuk.

Local airlines are no longer flying into Tununak's small airport.
Courtesy of Andrea Pokrzywinski.

Note: This article was updated on Wednesday, October 11 at 3:00 p.m. with further reporting.

About a year agoTununak opened a $19 million, state-of-the-art airport. But now, local airlines are refusing to fly there. The village’s shifting permafrost is buckling the runway, and both Ravn Alaska and Grant Aviation say that it’s too dangerous for pilots to land on it safely.

New and disturbing details have surfaced in the case against Alexie Walters Jr., a Mountain Village man accused of barricading himself in his home and then killing his girlfriend.

Bruce "Gotor" Morgan, age 24, was shot and killed in his truck in Aniak on August 27.
Courtesy of Audrey Leary.

Last August, Aniak resident Joseph Yaska allegedly armed himself with an AK-47 and started to shoot at his neighbors. They ran for cover or hid in their homes. The shooting spree wounded several residents and killed Bruce “Gotor” Morgan II, age 24.

Today, Aniak is still struggling to make sense of what happened. Last Thursday, the village celebrated the life of "Gotor" Morgan with a crowded Forty Day Feast, a traditional memorial service that’s common in both Russian Orthodox and some Catholic communities.