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Posts by KJ McElwee

Scott Kingeekuk Honored for ‘Keeping Toilets Flushing’

A photo of Scott Kingeekuk.

Scott Kingeekuk, the primary water plant operator in the village of Savoonga, has been named Alaska Rural Water Association’s Wastewater Operator of the Year. Kingeekuk and his crew are responsible for servicing the village’s water plant, the sewage lagoon, and handling repairs for Savoonga’s 600 residents. There are approximately 150 serviced buildings, all of which…

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Quality Census Data Could Reduce Overcrowding

A photo of a weathered home in the village of Savoonga.

As the 2020 Census begins, rural Alaskans hope the effort will shed light on a pervasive lack of housing in rural Alaska. Former CEO and President of Bering Straits Regional Housing Authority, Chris Kolerok, shared some troubling statistics: In the region surrounding Nome, the overcrowding rate is 37%. 19% of those homes are classified as…

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White Mountain Without Mail Service For Christmas

A photo of the village of White Mountain.

In a familiar story for rural Alaska post offices, the village has been without regular postal service since late October. Amazon packages on cargo flights are the only deliveries. Mail is a village lifeline. Checks and money orders aren’t arriving in White Mountain, which especially affects elders who do not use debit cards. Bills cannot…

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Power Returns to Diomede After Week in the Dark

A photo of homes and buildings in Diomede, a small community on an island in the Bering Sea.

An intense winter storm caused a power outage in Diomede on November 21. Harsh weather in Nome prevented a technician from reaching the 118-person community, accessible only by helicopter, for seven days. It took several more days for phone service to return. David Lee, an Emergency Management Specialist with the State Emergency Operations Center, said…

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2019 at KNOM: Year in Review

In a highlight from 2019, fans cheer for Pete Kaiser at the Iditarod finish line in Nome. January Alaska’s new governor, Mike Dunleavy, is inaugurated. The ceremony was intended to be held in Noorvik, the home village of First Lady Rose Dunleavy. Weather conditions prevent landing in the village, so the inaugural ceremony is held…

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From the GM’s desk (End-of-Year 2019)

“The year is full of inspirational stories and moments of humble service. Hope is alive and thriving, lived out through vocational “fiats”, community encouragement, wellness, and spiritual nourishment. The KNOM star remains a constant reminder of this mission, radiant as a new year and a new decade dawn. Thank you for your openness to live…

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Financial Report 2019

Christmas decorations on a willow tree in Nome.

KNOM spent 9% less than budgeted in fiscal year (ending June 30) 2019. The reduction is largely due to vacancies of one full time position and three volunteer positions. If last year’s volunteers were paid regular wages, FY 19 expenses would be $81,588 higher (net, after benefits), and an additional $122,382 higher if the 3…

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