Meet Sovereign Bill, the voice behind 'Molly of Denali'

Jun 27, 2019

In July, audiences across America will be introduced to "Molly of Denali," the first nationally broadcast children’s program to feature an Indigenous lead character. WGBH, the public TV station that produces the show, held a world premiere event at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where locals got to see 10-year-old Molly Mabray and the rest of the inhabitants of the fictional Interior village of Qyah for the first time.

Akiak lost a mile-long stretch of riverbank to erosion in May. Six houses are now within 100 feet of the riverbank and need to be moved as soon as possible, but some people don’t want to move.

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that part of the state’s sex offender registry violates offenders’ rights to due process – and is unconstitutional.

Under state law people found guilty of many sexual-based offenses – such as sexual assault and even some kidnapping charges -- are required to register as a sex offender.

But the court’s 3-to-2 decision says the registry provides no means for offenders to show they are not a threat to public safety.

At the center of the ruling -- a man accused of sexual battery in Virginia moved to Alaska in January 2003.

Carver and teacher shares Tsimshian traditions

Jun 25, 2019

Abel Ryan is back where he started: Teaching art in the gallery of Sitka’s Sheldon Jackson Museum. The Tsimshian carver and engraver will be a familiar face to many locals. He’s been demonstrating traditional formline art and carving at the museum on and off for 16 years.

“I’ve always doodled on stuff, longer than I can remember,” Ryan said. It was something his parents always told him: they would find Ryan drawing on his schoolwork rather than doing the assignment.

A table-side view of one of Utqiaġvik’s most animated card games

Jun 24, 2019

A card game played all over Alaska is  chaotic, competitive -- and lightning fast. While it goes by many names — on the North Slope it’s called “snerts.”

A snerts tournament even is part of the local spring festival, Piuraagiaqta, in Utqiaġvik.

It’s one of the most popular games in town. Groups of die-hard enthusiasts play on a regular basis.

Homer works with state, Army Corps to battle spit erosion

Jun 24, 2019

The Homer Spit’s future as an iconic tourist attraction is in danger of washing away. Erosion along the spit’s sea walls is not a new problem. City officials are working with state and federal agencies to find a lasting solution.

Driving onto the four-mile-long Homer Spit, you’ll notice a majority of the Sterling Highway is shielded by boulders. But as you approach the numerous restaurants and businesses that attract thousands of tourists here each year, that shield against erosion. 

The Petersburg Indian Association has a new artifact in its collection, thanks to the sharp eye of local police chief Jim Kerr. The stone tool may be thousands of years old. 

Kerr came across the artifact on the beach, totally by chance.

“I was disposing of crab guts down at low tide,” Kerr said. “And while I was walking down there I saw a rock sticking up and picked up the rock and thought it looked interesting.”

Along the West Coast, there are signs that sea stars are recovering from what's known as a wasting disease epidemic that began around 2013.

Stars suffering from the disease literally melt away within 48 hours of the first sign of sickness.

Scientists once thought it was caused by a virus or another pathogen, but now they think it may actually be another sign of climate change.

A 2017 federal murder case could reach a plea agreement ahead of its September trial date.

On Monday, June 17, a federal judge approved an unopposed motion by the U.S. Attorney to extend a pre-trial deadline to August 12.

The remains of six students from the Carlisle Indian Industrial School will soon be returned to their families.

The children died more than 100 years ago at the school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The Task and Purpose reports that the U.S. Army was scheduled to begin the process of disinterment on Saturday, June 15.