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Health related stories.

Geoff Collins / Flickr Creative Commons

Renfro's Alaskan Adventures has released further details about this weeks mid-air plane collision that killed five people. 

Heroin in the YK Delta

Sep 2, 2016
romansklenar / flickr Creative Commons

On this episode of Delta Affairs Weekly, we speak with Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation Chief of Staff Ellen Hodges about opioids in the Delta in the aftermath of a series of overdoses and one death in the village of Quinhagak. Hodges came to Bethel in 2002 for the first time and says at that time the idea of heroin in the community was unthinkable.

YKHC Speaks About Growing Heroin Problem

Sep 2, 2016
Nitzan Brumer / flickr Creative Commons

In the weeks following the three tragic heroin overdoses and one death in the village of Quinhagak, communities across the Delta are asking about future treatment for overdoses in the region and heroin users in general. KYUK spoke with Ellen Hodges, Chief of Staff at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation— just one of the organizations trying to clean up the wreckage heroin leaves behind.


Boating Safety Tips From BSAR Members

Sep 2, 2016
Charles Enoch / KYUK

As fall time rolls in and the air takes on a familiar chill, Kuskokwim residents begin autumn subsistence activities which require travel in potentially hostile conditions. Here is advice from two Bethel Search and Rescue members for those traveling the rivers. 


AST / Alaska State Troopers

Update 5:00 p.m.

The investigation continues into a mid-air plane collision that left no survivors in a crash Wednesday northwest of Russian Mission.

Alaska State Troopers Public Information Officer Megan Peters says the Troopers' mission this afternoon is recover the victims’ bodies.

“It’s a remote location. To my knowledge four troopers went out today as well as other volunteers that we work with.”

The planes crashed about a half-mile away from each other in a rugged, high bush terrain. To help them access the wreckage, Troopers asked Bethel Search and Rescue President Mike Riley for volunteers to help build trails. With most of the Bethel volunteers out moose hunting, Riley called upon their counterparts in Russian Mission and Marshall.

“With the trauma that Russian Mission is going through, I do believe they have stepped aside. So we sought help from Marshall, and they have a good crew that’s willing to help out there,” Riley said.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board also headed to the sites today. 

Update 12:00 p.m.

The investigation continues into a mid-air plane collision northwest of Russian Mission on Wednesday that left no survivors.

Alaska State Troopers and investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are heading to the crash sites today. 

Google Maps

Updated 8:30 a.m. Thursday

Alaska State Troopers have released the names of the five people killed Wednesday in what the National Guard is calling a mid-air plane collision.

The Renfro's Alaska Adventure Super Cub flying from Bethel to a hunting camp had two passengers: Pilot Zach Justin Babat, 44 of Montana, and passenger Jeff Thomas Burruss, 40 of Haines.

Bethel Family Clinic Breaks Ground For New Facility

Aug 30, 2016
Jehona Kadriu

The Bethel Family Clinic recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of their new building. Board and staff members said that replacing the aging red building has been a long time in coming. 


DEA.gov / Drug Enforcement Agency

The heroin seized in Quinhagak that was responsible for three overdoses and one death was found to contain large amounts of fentanyl. State tests showed that there was more fentanyl than heroin in the samples tested from the village. Troopers say this is the first time such large amounts of fentanyl have surfaced in a sample at the crime lab. 


Katie Basile

A Bethel physician is getting ready to return to South Sudan and the medical organization she’s helped run there since the 1980’s. Dr. Jill Seaman spends about four months a year in Bethel working at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. Then she travels to Old Fangak, South Sudan, where she mainly treats infectious diseases. Dr. Seaman heads back to Africa next week, and spoke with KYUK’s Anna Rose MacArthur after a recent talk at the UAF Kuskokwim Campus about her medical work.

Adrian Wagner / KYUK

Authorities have released the name of the teenager who died of an apparent heroin overdose in Quinhagak this week and say they are still investigating. Jamie Roberts, age 19, was pronounced dead on Monday evening after more than two hours of resuscitation efforts. Robert’s body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner for autopsy. WAANT, the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team, is in charge of the investigation. Two men also overdosed that night and were medevaced to Bethel for treatment. Both have been discharged. A fourth overdose was treated on site.

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