Emily Russell, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage
A substitute village police officer from the dry village of Selawik is in jail in Nome awaiting trial. Brent Norton is charged with supplying alcohol to a minor and raping her while she was unconscious. The 16-year-old girl was found dead hours later. Download Audio
A Russian tanker carrying 200,000 gallons of oil ran aground off an island in the North Pacific over the weekend. As it continues to leak, it resurrects a debate on how safety can be improved in a region where a major wildlife corridor overlaps with a busy shipping through-point.
Alaska’s harsh environment is often used to explain its resilient population. But more recently it’s been the economy that’s tested the toughness of its people. Royal Dutch Shell pulled out of its multi-year and multi-billion dollar plan to drill in the Chukchi, taking with it business from the Norwegian oil company Statoil, and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers put its plan for a deep draft Arctic port on hold.
Amidst the season’s second blizzard that left schools and businesses closed, Nome’s city council hunkered down for their monthly meeting on Monday. And it’s a good thing they didn’t give into the weather and cancel, because on the agenda was a resolution to formerly change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
It’s been a long and unproductive road for the Rock Creek Mine, but now that its being stripped and sold for profit, money will finally flow into the pockets of its current owner, Bering Straits Native Corporation.
Updating and streamlining the strategic plan for Nome’s port expansion was the theme of the hour-long work session that preceded last week’s Port Commission meeting.
With the polls closed and preliminary results in, it looks like Nome will be saying “Hello Central” to a new mayor. With 352 votes for Richard Beneville and 229 for Denise Michels, Beneville will replace Michels, who has held the job since 2003.
As sea ice melts and temperatures rise, the Arctic is seeing an increase in vessel traffic, but it’s not just icebreakers and research vessels making the journey up north. Cruise ships, mainly European ones, are also taking advantage of the region’s more navigable waters. Download Audio
ABOARD THE USCGC MUNRO - Throughout the summer, Nome’s horizon is dotted with oil tankers, cargo vessels, and foreign icebreakers —anchoring off-shore to avoid the port’s shallow depth. A recent stopover by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Munro raised questions about the Nome’s inability to host patrol vessels that help ensure the nation’s security in the Arctic.
In what’s becoming an increasingly common sight, tens of thousands of walrus have hauled out on the coast of the Chukchi Sea near the Native Village of Point Lay. Download Audio
Word is out already on one initiative President Obama is likely to announce while he's in state -- a plan to put the Denali Commission in charge of a project on village relocation. Download Audio
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert McDonald, traveled to Point Hope and Kotzebue to address their concerns. Remote access to care and information are among the most common problem facing veterans in Alaska. Download Audio
The Bering Straits Regional Commission says travel restrictions for Alaska Natives to Chukotka have been lifted—leaving many with relatives on the Russian side of the strait feeling relieved. Download Audio
The Bering Straits Regional Commission says travel restrictions for Alaska Natives to Chukotka have been lifted—leaving many with relatives on the Russian side of the strait feeling relieved, tired of being used as pawns in international disputes.
Nome’s role in the future of Arctic shipping was the main topic of discussion at the most recent meeting of the Nome Port Commission. With the summer shipping season in full swing, harbormaster Lucas Stotts said the port had a busy July, emphasizing that, “both docks are completely jam-packed full until August 2.”
Western Alaska is in midst of one of the best salmon runs in decades, and that means both subsistence and commercial fishermen in waters around Norton Sound and Kotzebue are catching record numbers of chum. Download Audio