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

Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

A new court case argues that the way in which state juries are selected in Alaska discriminates against rural, Native communities. The case could significantly impact the Delta’s court system if it’s successful.

Scott Ignatius Agathluk has been found not guilty of assault in the fourth degree.

A wood bison makes its way through the tundra.
Credit Alaska Department of Fish and Game

After over 20 years of hard work, a dogged crew of wildlife managers has successfully reintroduced wood bison to the tundra of Southwest Alaska. Now, they’ve received an award for it. This week, the state Fish and Game department announced that the Wood Bison Reintroduction Team received a special achievement award for its work from the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Brandon J. Paul.
Courtesy of the Bethel Police Department

Bethel Police are looking for Brandon J. Paul, age 25, who is accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Bethel woman at a fish camp across the river from town.

Babies in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta are hospitalized for pneumonia 10 times more often than in other parts of the United States. Now, tribal health organizations are partnering with the Alaska Native Medical Center to tackle the problem.

Last Friday in Unalakleet, an Alaska State Trooper received a series of text messages from a local man who was trying to buy alcohol illegally and was initially unaware that he was soliciting alcohol from a law enforcement officer. While the investigation is ongoing, the man appears to have contacted the Trooper by mistake.

Troopers say that they have identified the person and have forwarded charges to prosecutors for review.

Campers participate in ANSEP's Mars Lander Challenge.
Courtesy of NIkkie Vioto.

Last Friday, teenagers from Bethel, Chevak, St. Mary’s, and other rural Alaskan communities spent the day designing a spacecraft to Mars.

Michael Whitney visits with local children in Kipnuk.
Courtesy of Michael Whitney.

On Friday, Wildlife Officer Michael Whitney stood in front of a floor-to-ceiling map of Alaska and pointed out each of the Delta villages he works with. "We cover up there, to the coast," he said. "Up through Scammon Bay, Hooper Bay, Kotlik..."

Silver salmon fills the bottom of a boat during a subsistence opening in August 2016 near Bethel.
Katie Basile/KYUK

The plight of the company that wanted to come to the Kuskokwim to buy fish appears to have worsened. 

Tribal Administrator Sharon Williams played an integral part in salvaging the gray whale carcass outside of Napaskiak.
Katie Basile/KYUK

It’s been almost a week since volunteers pulled a gray whale’s carcass to shore near Napaskiak, and Delta residents have cut it down to its bones. Local leaders expect the whale to feed hundreds of people, its blubber and meat shared with villages up and down the Kuskokwim River. It was a busy weekend for them: working around the clock to salvage the carcass, and hoping to avert a social media backlash and legal consequences.