What’s news? This spring, a lot

Davis family, Banner Creek

Your support makes so much possible at KNOM: including the intrepid work of our news team, which has been busy this season covering a wide slate of uniquely Alaskan stories.

Here are a few examples of the latest reports they’ve brought to our listeners.

With the end of the school year beckoning, volunteer reporter Zachariah Hughes ventured to the Norton Sound coast community of Unalakleet (YOU-nuh-luh-kleet), where he attended the high school prom. (Thanks to our ongoing sponsorship with a regional air carrier, Zach’s airfare was, as always, free of charge.)

As Zach reported, the dance was like any other youth dance, with a few Western Alaskan touches. The logistics of putting on a prom – like doing so many things in rural Alaska, off of the road system – are a bit complicated; formalwear, for instance, needs to be shipped in. “(It) turns out you get your tux like a lot of other stuff in the Bush: by plane,” Zach reported. The tuxedo rental shops charge “between $100 and $200 depending on what you get, and how you have it mailed. The cheaper option,” Zach’s story detailed, “is to have a relative stop by in person and mail it themselves; that way you can save a little on shipping. Three to six days later, you mail it all back.”

Reporter Anna Rose MacArthur, meanwhile, recently crafted a story on a family of reindeer herders living just past the outskirts of Nome in a region called Banner Creek. The family – parents Bruce and Ann Davis and daughter Bonnie, pictured at top – found and cared for two orphaned reindeer who wandered into their ranch. The animals, Blaze and Brownie, joined their existing ranch of 150 reindeer – on a property that can hold as many as 7,000 animals. Anna Rose’s story focused on the challenges of nursing a young reindeer and shone a spotlight on the larger, longtime tradition of reindeer herding: a distinctively Arctic and sub-Arctic practice still alive in our region today.

Spring whale catch in Savoonga

Of course, there are far too many more fascinating stories than we have room to mention, but we’d urge you to visit our news page to see, and hear, the many examples of the award-winning, high-caliber news reporting your generosity makes possible. A few highlights: our recent stories on Alaska’s string of spring earthquakes (here and here); the first spring whale catch in the community of Savoonga; and the potential ramifications of an increased Coast Guard presence in the Arctic (photos middle and bottom), among other stories.

US Coast Guard's Healy escorts Russian tanker Renda, Nome, Alaska, January 2012.

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy escorts the Russian tanker Renda, Nome, Alaska, January 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.

Thank you, again, for making it all possible.