Emily Schwing, special to Alaska Public Media

Emily Schwing, special to Alaska Public Media
two women cut a red ribbon in front of a blue building

‘This missing piece of the pie’: Aviation program that trains rural pilots finds a home in Anchorage

CKT Aviation contracts with Alaska EXCEL to provide pilot training to students from communities off the road system.
a woman holding a bottle

September storm leaves behind treasured beach finds

The remnants of Typhoon Merbok flooded homes and destroyed personal belongings across Western Alaska last month — but also left behind a few treasures.
kids playing in Newtok

Newtok residents are desperate to relocate after September storm

Newtok is among more than 40 communities in Western Alaska affected by the storm.
two people talking

Chevak rallies to repair storm-damaged subsistence gear

During a community meeting, Chevak residents said better emergency planning should be a long-term priority. For now, though, assessing damage is the focus.
a man looking into a freezer

‘It’s just devastating’: Chevak stunned by subsistence food losses after storm

Chevak residents have lost not only the food they’ve already gathered after freezers lost power, but also the boats and subsistence gear to replace it.
damaged boats in chevak

Chevak subsistence gear ‘strewn all over the place’ by storm

Reporter Emily Schwing discusses Chevak's response to damaged boats and water contamination from last weekend's storm.
water and supplies in chevak

Drinking water a top concern for local leaders after Western Alaska storm

After last weekend's storm, Chevak lost power for nearly three days. At the water plant, pressure in a pump fell below a state-required threshold, triggering a boil-water notice.
a downed radio tower

Chevak leaders declare local emergency after storm losses

The Chevak Native Village and the City of Chevak declared a state of emergency in response to the storm during a joint meeting Tuesday night.

In Tanana, Alaska, ‘a way of life’ comes to a bittersweet close

The team narrowly missed the state title, and it will be years before the village sees another team step onto a court.
three members of a basketball team

In one Interior Alaska village, ‘a way of life’ comes to a bittersweet close

“There’s not going to be basketball here,” said high schooler John Erhart Jr. “This is like a basketball community.” 

Iditarod will require COVID vaccines this year, its third pandemic-altered race

While the Iditarod is returning to a more normal 1,000-mile route this year, many other things about the sled dog race will be different due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Youth dance at AFN conference in Anchorage.

Tribes aim to ask voters for state recognition

Across the US, only 10% of Indigenous tribes with federal recognition also have recognition from their respective state governments. In Alaska, tribal members aim to change that. Last year, they organized to collect tens of thousands signatures in support of a ballot initiative that would ask voters to decide. Supporters say the recognition opens up doors for more resources and symbolizes a respectful government-to-government relationship.
An Alaska Native man in a baseball cap sits at a voting booth

State tribal recognition initiative surpasses signature goal

Officials with the effort say they’ve collected more than 53,000 supporting signatures. 
A road has a giant hole through the center of it.

After smashing records and destroying roads, rain continues to fall in Girdwood

By Monday morning, just under 14 inches of rain had fallen in three days in Girdwood — the most rain since the National Weather service started keeping track in the ski town, in 1955.

Ancient tracks lead to better understanding of how Arctic dinos lived

This summer, three scientists ventured to the foot of the Aleutian Mountain range to collect evidence that dinosaurs once roamed the southern coast of the Alaska Peninsula. They hope to reconstruct the ancient ecosystem that allowed dinosaurs to thrive here for tens of thousands of years. 

As lumber prices climb, Alaskans increasingly mill their own

A year and half ago, Rittgers said he was taking orders for one sawmill a week. Now, he and his daughter take deposits for three or four sawmills a day.
a person cuts down a tree

Tiny beetles threaten spruce trees and homes in Alaska

https://youtu.be/JanC26BhtAw Take a flight over the Mat-Su valley, the Anchorage Bowl, or the Kenai Peninsula and you may notice areas that were once evergreen, but have now turned a rusty reddish brown. All of those...

Alaska Native pilots fly with hometown values

https://youtu.be/lFbyE7-XH9A Many of the pilots who fly for smaller commercial airlines in the state didn’t grow up in the remote communities they serve. Recruiting local Alaskans to become pilots for their home communities is at...

What’s up with that igloo by Denali and also the tallest building in Fairbanks?

https://youtu.be/AyXEiQecad8 A giant, artificial igloo marks the halfway point between Fairbanks and Anchorage along the Parks Highway. It was supposed to be a roadside hotel, but it never opened for business. Our field producer Emily...

Weekend storms pummel Arctic coastal villages

Over the weekend, much of the state saw snowfall, icy roads and the first wintery conditions. Photos from Shishmaref, a small village along the Bering Sea coast, show a large swath of road that leads from the community to the sewage lagoon has been completely washed away by waves. A number of other villages were also battered by high seas and gusting winds.