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Rhonda McBride

Alaska truly is the Last Frontier of great storytelling. Although I’ve been a reporter in Alaska since 1988, my “to do” list of stories is ever a work in progress.

Stories by Rhonda McBride

  • Alaska News

    Aftermath of Bethel school fire: New facility considered

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 13, 22:19

    It’s only been 10 days since an early morning fire destroyed a building which housed Bethel’s Yup’ik language immersion program and the Kuskokwim Learning Academy, an alternative regional boarding school. But the Lower Kuskokwim School District is moving quickly to get students out of temporary classrooms at the district headquarters and at Gladys Jung Elementary […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    The face of spice: A close-up look at the effects of Anchorage’s drug crisis

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 02, 21:31

    Anchorage police believe they’ve pinpointed the rapid increase in the use of spice among the homeless to a specific time frame in July, when drug dealers began offering free samples. Gradually, police say, they began charging for the drug and slowly raising the price. Spice is a form of synthetic concoction, often laced with dangerous […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Spice: Street drug continues to plague Anchorage homeless

    by Rhonda McBride on Oct 30, 20:52

    For the month of October, more than 20 percent of Anchorage calls for emergency medical services were related to spice, a synthetic form of marijuana laced with chemicals that make it much more potent than pot. The fire department logged more than 350 calls this month. Most of those came from Bean’s Café and Brother […]

  • Alaska News

    Alaska Native Heritage Center hosts circumpolar music festival

    by Rhonda McBride on Oct 02, 21:37

    Two Inuit throat singers from Ottawa stood facing each other on the stage at the Alaska Native Heritage Center on Friday afternoon, preparing for their performance Saturday as part of the 2015 Circumpolar World Music Celebration. To the uninitiated, the sounds are exotic — rhythmic breaths, grunts and moans, primitive yet sophisticated. Kathy Kettler and […]

  • Alaska News

    Helping the homeless: ‘Forget Me Not’ movement gains momentum in Alaska

    by Rhonda McBride on Sep 11, 21:02

    When Samuel Johns created a Facebook page in June to help the homeless, he had no idea it would take on a life of its own. Today, it’s approaching 9,000 members. Johns is an Alaska Native rap artist who uses music and social media to raise awareness about the homeless. The page, called “Forget Me […]

  • Alaska News

    Bristol Bay community uses river currents to generate power

    by Rhonda McBride on Sep 04, 21:32

    It was a big week for Igiugig. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave a shout out to the Bristol Bay community for its innovative renewable energy project, dubbed the “RivGen” power system. Igiugig, in partnership with the Ocean Renewable Power Company, has been testing a system which uses currents from the fast-moving Kvichak River […]

  • Obama in Alaska

    Presidential visits to Alaska: Memorable, if not quirky

    by Rhonda McBride on Aug 28, 21:55

    With all the buildup to President Barack Obama’s visit to the 49th state next week, it’s worth a look back at past presidential visits. They’re far and few between. Usually, Alaska is not the destination but rather a refueling stop for Air Force One. What’s significant about this trip is the length of stay. Obama […]

  • Alaska News

    Anti-setnet initiative spurs protests

    by Rhonda McBride on Aug 21, 23:13

    As next Wednesday’s Alaska Supreme Court hearing on an initiative banning commercial setnet fishing in Cook Inlet approaches, tensions grow on the Kenai Peninsula. The Kenai Fisherman’s Association organized two protests this week. Many of those who took part carried signs expressing their opposition to the setnet initiative. But Dave Athons, the retired fisheries biologist […]

  • Alaska News

    Kenai River king run appears poised for a turnaround

    by Rhonda McBride on Aug 21, 21:23

    Based on preliminary numbers, state fishery managers are hopeful the Kenai River king salmon run is finally making a comeback. Escapement — the number of fish that return to their spawning grounds to reproduce — is much stronger than it has been in the past two years. The Department of Fish and Game’s minimum goal […]

  • Fairbanks

    Chena Renewable Energy Fair celebrates 10-year milestone

    by Rhonda McBride on Aug 17, 19:47

    Every August, hundreds of people are drawn to Chena Hot Springs near Fairbanks. Many who make the pilgrimage to the annual Chena Renewable Energy Fair believe there’s a better way than fossil fuels. Others come in search of ways to save energy. Wind, solar, geothermal and biofuels are the latest in greenhouse lighting and cold […]

  • Alaska News

    The store outside your door: Nome woman uses traditional plants and foods to heal

    by Rhonda McBride on Jun 12, 20:16

    We met MaryJane Litchard at a booth at the Rural Providers’ Conference in Nome last week.  She was selling salves made from plants she gathers in the wild. The conference is part of a grassroots sobriety movement that travels to a new community every two years. At the gathering this year, there was a lot […]

  • Alaska News

    Grand opening of Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau

    by Rhonda McBride on May 15, 8:07

    There will be dancing in the streets of Friday to celebrate the grand opening of the Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau, starting with a children’s dance group from Angoon, the hometown of the building’s namesake. Dr. Walter Soboleff was an elder Tlingit statesman and spiritual leader who died at the age of 102. Throughout his […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Special sessions: More likely than not

    by Rhonda McBride on Apr 21, 10:50

    Special sessions. How “special” are they really? In most years, the odds of a special session of the Alaska Legislature are pretty good. In the last decade, there have been more than a dozen. So how much does it cost the state when lawmakers go into those extra legislative innings? Pam Varni, head of the Legislative […]

  • Alaska Politics

    End of session budget bottleneck keeps Legislature in overtime

    by Rhonda McBride on Apr 19, 22:01

    On the final day of the legislative session, lawmakers weren’t ready to cash in their chips yet. It appeared there were a few more hands of high-stakes political poker to play over the operating and capital budgets. On Sunday night, just hours before midnight when the 90-day session was set to expire, the House recessed […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska Legislature confirms Craig Richards as attorney general

    by Rhonda McBride on Apr 19, 15:10

    One of Gov. Bill Walker’s most controversial appointments, Craig Richards, has been confirmed by the Legislature as attorney general. Thirty-one votes are required for confirmation. Richards was confirmed 36-23 in a joint session of the Legislature, which got underway at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. There was speculation Richards might not be confirmed, because the Republican Majority […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Medicaid expansion and reform likely taken up in special session

    by Rhonda McBride on Apr 19, 14:05

    It’s Day 90 of the legislative session, with work on capital and operating budgets still underway. House and Senate Majority leaders say there isn’t time to give the governor’s bill on Medicaid expansion and reform its due. On Saturday, Gov. Bill Walker said he was preparing for a special session and would soon be talking […]

  • Alaska Politics

    AKLeg Day 88: Race to the finish of session begins with drama, uncertainty

    by Rhonda McBride on Apr 18, 12:21

    Friday, the 88th day of the 90-day legislative session, was full of the drama that characterizes the end-of-session chaos. The day started out with the governor calling off a joint session of the House and Senate he had ordered, to get lawmakers to vote on his cabinet and board appointments. The governor demanded the session […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Medicaid expansion supporters grow more vocal as session comes to a close

    by Rhonda McBride on Apr 17, 7:57

    The pressure on lawmakers to pass Gov. Bill Walker’s Medicaid expansion bill continues to grow as church coalitions ask their congregations to write letters and attend rallies in support. One is planned at Wasilla Lake at noon on Friday at Newcomb Park. Two were held on Thursday, one in Anchorage and another on the Capitol […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Governor orders joint session: Another showdown between executive, legislative branches

    by Rhonda McBride on Apr 17, 7:36

    The Legislature will convene in joint session at 10 a.m. Friday morning at the call of Gov. Bill Walker. He wants them to vote on his cabinet and board appointments. Republican Majority leaders had originally scheduled the confirmation vote for Friday afternoon, but suddenly postponed it in the middle of a battle with the governor […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Drama over confirmation vote: Clash between governor and Legislature not unprecedented

    by Rhonda McBride on Apr 15, 17:34

    Updated Thursday, April 16 at 9 a.m. Gov. Bill Walker took an extraordinary step on Wednesday. He issued an executive order calling the Legislature in joint session to vote on his cabinet and board appointments. The governor has scheduled Friday morning for the vote. Legislative leaders had originally set aside Friday afternoon, but postponed it. […]