In Nome, KNOM’s news department is on the front lines for a story with worldwide interest: the Russian tanker Renda makes an unprecedented winter fuel delivery, escorted in its journey through the frozen Bering Sea by the US Coast Guard icebreaker Healy. The delivery comes in the wake of an epic, fall 2011 storm that delayed Nome’s final fuel shipment.
KNOM covers the inaugural running of a sled-dog race honoring a community leader in Western Alaska. The Paul Johnson Memorial Norton Sound 450 sends dog teams from the community of Unalakleet (YOU-nuh-luh-kleet) to the finish line in Nome. In the pre-dawn hours, musher Pete Kaiser finishes first, and KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen calls the finish live.
KNOM rallies to cover all angles of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (the 1,000-mile competition from Anchorage to Nome). The race is an inspiration to thousands, and in 2012, a new generation takes center stage: 25-year-old Dallas Seavey wins the race, while young musher Rohn Buser finishes alongside his father, Martin, a multiple-time Iditarod champ.
Volunteer Matty Guiffré visits the community of Little Diomede (DYE-yuh-meed), located on the steep slopes of an island adjacent to the International Date Line and the Russian border. He reports: “the residents of Diomede were very welcoming, and I quickly became accustomed to what it was like to live on a cliff.” Matty collects interviews with Diomede students.
We’re thrilled to report that KNOM alumna Betsy Brennan has re-joined our staff in the role of Development Data Manager. We also offer thanks to architect Frank Schmidt and contractor Randy Pomeranz for their prep work for our digital studios. Finally, we highlight recent guests to our studios: among them, respected elder Dina Sagoonick (pictured).
In the Static, we report that KNOM has received its fifth Crystal Award (recognizing excellence in community service) from the National Association of Broadcasters. We also bid farewell to news volunteer Ben Matheson (pictured) and report on the installation of dynamic carrier control, a more efficient method of power management for our AM transmitter site.
Our newsletter pages detail a special benefit concert in Nome dedicated to KNOM’s digital studios project. As we report, the community event was the first-ever concert to support KNOM specifically; its performers – including old-time ensemble Landbridge Tollbooth, pictured – bring in $5,385 for the planned studio annex.
We say goodbye to volunteer music director Rebekah Pierce (pictured with sister Kathryn), who departs after a year of service. In the Static, we report on a major fire in the nearby community of Teller; the conflagration destroys three buildings but stops short of Teller’s Catholic church. On-location reports from news volunteer Matthew Smith lead our newscasts.
It’s a season of hellos and goodbyes. We greet an entirely new group of volunteers – first among them, music director Joshua Cunningham – but also bid farewell to second-year news volunteer Matthew Smith (pictured). Meanwhile, our new system of power management at our AM transmitter site – dynamic carrier control – has already paid for itself.
The Static includes warm welcomes to volunteers Dayneé Rosales and Eva DeLappe and thanks to engineers Rolland Trowbridge, John Kelsey, and Tom Bunger, each of whom has done fix-it or maintenance work at our station (and/or at our transmitter site). We also report on the first construction steps of our digital studios: the laying of its foundation pilings (pictured).
We offer greetings to new volunteers Margaret DeMaioribus and Lucus Keppel, both of whom had arrived earlier in the fall. We also detail a trip taken by Lucus and news volunteer Eva DeLappe to the village of Teller; at the village school, the two attend a unique community event that confronts domestic violence, an issue that’s tragically rampant in rural Alaska.
Our Christmas newsletter leads with a group photo of KNOM’s current staff and volunteers; the crew is standing on the site of our future studio annex. The Static also announces the transition of our online newsletter to our Mission Blog (this blog!).
This article is part of the Year-End 2012 edition of our newsletter, The Nome Static.