Emily Russell, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage
Village of Deering suffers flood from nearby river
The Northwest Arctic village of Deering declared a disaster this week after a nearby river flooded the only road to the local airport. Spring and fall-time floods are becoming more common and the community is learning to adapt. Download Audio
US will not support ban on international trade of polar bear products
The United States recently announced it will not support an international ban on the trade of polar bear products at an upcoming meeting on endangered species. Download Audio
Solar to help power Northwest Arctic, still diesel dependent
Solar panels will soon help power three communities in the Alaskan Arctic. The Department of Energy awarded federal funding to install panels in Kotzebue, Buckland and Deering, but decreasing the region’s dependency on diesel is easier said than done.
US won’t support trade ban on polar bear products
The United States recently announced it will not support an international ban on the trade of polar bear products at an upcoming meeting on endangered species. In a statement released last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it remains concerned about the commercial use of polar bear hides, but it says it won’t encourage the ban.
Hydropower brought to Bristol Bay village of Igiugig
An effort to bring renewable energy to western Alaska was recognized Tuesday by the federal government. The Ocean Renewable Power Company was named the 2016 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters for its ability to bring hydropower to the Bristol Bay village of Igiugig. Download Audio
Savoonga health aides earn Distinguished Providers Award
Healthcare in rural Alaska faces unique challenges. With few doctors and unpredictable weather, village clinics are often a community’s only local option for care. That’s the case in the St. Lawrence Island community of Savoonga, but the clinic’s highly certified health aides have earned recognition across the state. Download Audio
Senate authorizes funding for FAA air carrier services to Diomede
For decades, Diomede has scrambled to fund reliable air carrier service. Today, the small island community got one step closer to a long-term solution for passenger travel and mail delivery. The US Senate voted to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration with a new amendment that would guarantee federal funding for the island of Diomede. Download Audio
Community haven in Koyuk set to change hands
In Western Alaska, the options for socializing are limited. Most communities have a basketball court, some have a bingo hall, but there isn’t usually a place to just hang out, unless you’re in Koyuk. There’s one shop in the small village where people can rent movies, indulge in junk food, and simply pass the time, but ownership of the Koyuk haven is about to change hands.
Savoonga harvests its second whale of the season
A whaling crew from Savoonga landed its second bowhead of the season this week. The St. Lawrence Island community has been working non-stop to haul the whale out of the icy waters, harvest its meat, and distribute it around the village. Download Audio
New record low sea ice extent forces Navy camp evacuation
A camp constructed by the U.S. Navy on a sea ice floe in the Arctic was evacuated last week. The camp’s early closure coincided with a new record low sea ice extent in the Arctic. Download Audio
Russian and American officials sign wildlife management agreement
Cooperation across the Bering Strait was recently strengthened when the U.S. and Russia signed a joint wildlife agreement. Download Audio
‘The Hunting Ground’ aids Title IX discussion at UAF
In the last few years, the issue of sexual assault has been a major focus for universities around the nation. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is no exception. University officials recently visited UAF’s Northwest Campus in Nome to discuss the issue. Campus dynamics and the community-wide struggle with sexual assault and domestic violence made it hard to draw connections between efforts in Fairbanks and actions in Nome. Download Audio
Emmonak fire destroys five buildings
A fire in the village of Emmonak destroyed five commercial buildings and caused an estimated $3 million in damages over the weekend. Download Audio
BLM director visits North Slope
The director of the Bureau of Land Management is visiting the North Slope this week. Over the next two days, director Neil Kornze will meet with Native corporations, local government officials, and community leaders in the region. On Tuesday, Kornze was helping cap two legacy wells south of Barrow. The Simpson Core and Iko Bay were both drilled by the U.S. Navy in the 1950s. They’re among 18 legacy wells the BLM plans to clean up this year.
BLM director visiting Alaska’s North Slope
The Director of the Bureau of Land Management is visiting the North Slope this week. Over the next two days, Director Neil Kornze will meet with native corporations, local government officials, and community leaders in the region.
Coast Guard rescues two British explorers near Seward Peninsula
Two British explorers were rescued from the icy waters of Bering Strait yesterday afternoon. Neil Laughton and James Bingham left the village of Wales on the western edge of the Seward Peninsula on Wednesday. Download Audio
Murkowski urges construction of multiple icebreakers
Sen. Lisa Murkowski drilled Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Arctic security on Wednesday. At an Appropriations Committee hearing on the Coast Guard’s Arctic assets, Murkowski urged Secretary Johnson to look beyond the nation’s plan to build just one new icebreaker.
Iron Dog teams race against the clock during repairs in Nome
2016 Iron Dog snowmachine racers are in the middle of their daylong layover at the race’s halfway point in Nome. Teams have a little time to rest and recuperate from the first one-thousand miles they just logged over the last three days, but they’re also scrambling to repair damage to their snowmachines. Every minute racers spend on repairs counts against them on the trail.
Aklestad and Johnson earn $10,000 as first Iron Dog racers into Nome
Downtown Nome was buzzing with the sound of snowmachines on Tuesday as the first Iron Dog racers started arriving. Tyler Aklestad and Tyson Johnson claimed the $10,000 prize for the first team to reach the halfway finish.
2016 Iron Dog snowmachine racers start to arrive in Nome
Competitive Iron Dog teams started to arrive in Nome Tuesday. Team Number #8, Tyler Ecklestad of Palmer and Tyson Johnson of Eagle River, arrived at the 1000 mile halfway point along the Iron Dog trail just after 3:30 Tuesday afternoon. They won ten thousand dollars for their effort, but they weren’t the first team to arrive in Nome.