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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

  • Episode 95: Blindsided by Heroin

    by Rhonda McBride on Feb 20, 11:42

      The Southwest Alaska community of Quinhagak would seem to be the last place on earth you’d find heroin. The Yup’ik village of roughly 700 people still subsists on wild foods – caribou and moose from the Kilbuck Mountains and salmon from the Arolik and Kanektok Rivers. But last August, there were four heroin overdoses […]

  • Crime

    20 years later: Anniversary of Bethel school shooting still emotional

    by Rhonda McBride on Feb 20, 8:54

    Feb. 19, 1997. If you lived in Bethel on that day, you would remember exactly where you were and what you were doing, even though it was 20 years ago. That’s the day Evan Ramsey took a 12-gauge shotgun to school and opened fire in the lobby just before class started. The shooting rampage at […]

  • Episode 93: President Trump’s immigration order – Alaska reacts

    by Rhonda McBride on Feb 06, 16:00

    Maybe one reason the order strikes such a nerve: Almost all Alaskans, not just immigrants, are newcomers to this state -- except of course for Alaska Natives, who make up about 15 percent of the population.

  • Alaska News

    Chalkyitsik, Fort Yukon tribes celebrate historic land-use plan

    by Rhonda McBride on Jan 15, 18:35

    As one tribal leader put it: The land is our culture and our culture is the land. That’s why two interior Alaska tribes in Chalkyitsik and Fort Yukon celebrated historic land-use agreements with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that were more than eight years in the making. The BLM land-use plan covers about 6.5 […]

  • Alaska News

    Alaska halfway house walkaway numbers show marked improvement

    by Rhonda McBride on Jan 14, 12:27

    Halfway houses are one of the final steps to freedom for inmates, where they can leave during the day to go to work or look for jobs. But early last year, an alarming number of inmates simply chose to walk away and become fugitives. The Alaska Department of Corrections touted a statewide turnaround in those […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Alaska Seeds for Change growing opportunity for homeless teens

    by Rhonda McBride on Jan 12, 12:12

    Inside what was once a cabinet-making business in Spenard, people can find warm, moist air, purple-tinted lights and rows of lettuce, kale, basil and chervil. But there’s another thing growing there — hope. As the name for the program suggests, Alaska Seeds for Change is about more than just crops. The youth employment project has been […]

  • Education

    Inuit education conference showcases Toksook Bay students

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 11, 20:24

    “Indigenize! Indigenize! Indigenize!” That was the mantra of a gathering in Anchorage this week of Alaska Native teachers and school administrators. Their mission? To give their students an education that incorporates their language and culture. It’s been a decades long battle to bring more programs designed to meet the needs of indigenous students, as well […]

  • Education

    Small steps for toddlers, giant steps for learning Inupiaq

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 02, 15:19

    Words matter a lot on Alaska’s North Slope. That’s why the town of Barrow recently voted narrowly to change its name to Utqiaġvik, the Inupiaq name for the community. Some elders say it means “place where you gather roots.” While there’s a lot of debate about going back to the community’s original name, the word […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Historic US Senate debate in Barrow focuses on the Arctic

    by Rhonda McBride on Oct 26, 21:32

    Organizers billed it as the first ever U.S. Senate debate held above the Arctic Circle. Sen. Lisa Murkowski faced three challengers on the stage at the Barrow High School auditorium on Wednesday. But even before the candidates had a chance to engage, there was a distinctly different flavor to this debate, which began with a prayer […]

  • Alaska News

    Athabascan bead artist gets ready for AFN

    by Rhonda McBride on Oct 19, 22:41

    Donna Pulliam, an Athabascan bead artist, has worked hard all year to prepare for the Customary Arts Show at the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) convention. When AFN gets underway in Fairbanks on Thursday, she’ll join more than 100 other artists who share the same passion for their traditional art and culture — and the thrill […]

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Politics of the past explored in ‘The Ticket’

    by Rhonda McBride on Oct 07, 22:29

    This is the last weekend to see “The Ticket” at Cyrano’s playhouse in downtown Anchorage. There are only two characters on the stage: two former Republican governors, Walter “Wally” Hickel and Jay Hammond — political adversaries who became friends later in life, although they were philosophically polar opposites.  Although both men are now gone, their […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Anchorage dahlias escape the frost, for now

    by Rhonda McBride on Oct 03, 21:09

    The dahlias grow in a parking lot at 880 N Street as if there is no tomorrow — a riot of color and probably among the last hold-outs in Anchorage from the frost, which has put most city gardens to rest. But that won’t kill Graeme Pincott’s passion for growing them. Pincott, a longtime Anchorage […]

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Emotional conclusion to Hiland Mountain Lullaby Project

    by Rhonda McBride on Sep 25, 12:01

    The inmates who took to the stage at a concert on Saturday clearly weren’t used to applause, which broke out often, along with tears that flowed from the audience and inmates alike. Several hundred people filled the gym at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River to hear lullabies inmates wrote for their children. The […]

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Zuill Bailey’s one-man cello crusade

    by Rhonda McBride on Sep 16, 19:53

    Zuill Bailey and his 323-year-old cello turn up in cities all over the country. But since he took over as artistic director of the Sitka Summer Music Festival in 2011, he says Alaska has begun to feel like home. He now spends more than four months a year here. In September, he came to Anchorage […]

  • Alaska News

    Hiland Lullaby Project nears completion

    by Rhonda McBride on Sep 09, 20:48

    The very first Lullaby Project, launched in Alaska this summer, is in its final stages. The vision: to pair mothers serving time at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center with another group of women, local singer-songwriters and instrumentalists. Together, they’ve composed lullabies for the inmates’ children, to be compiled on a CD. The women will also […]

  • Alaska News

    Hiland Lullaby Project: Music to connect inmates and their children

    by Rhonda McBride on Aug 26, 22:04

    There’s something promising cooking at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center for women. The recipe is simple. You bring women together –- both inmates and local musicians –- to compose lullabies. The artists record the songs on a CD, along with a personal message from the inmates. The result? A way for inmates to connect with […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska primary: 5 votes separate Nageak, Westlake in House race

    by Rhonda McBride on Aug 17, 16:20

    It’s not clear if two rural Democrats, who joined the House Republican Majority, are returning to Juneau. With all precincts in, Rep. Ben Nageak and his opponent Dean Westlake, of Kotzebue are separated by a mere five votes, with absentee and question ballots still pending. With such a close race, a recount is likely to […]

  • Energy

    BlueCrest Energy launches ‘Cosmopolitan’ project at Anchor Point

    by Rhonda McBride on Jun 27, 21:19

    Updated at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28 Cook Inlet may be an aging oil field, but it still has some surprises. A Texas company struck oil in March near Anchor Point and hopes to tap a reservoir that could hold between 70 and 200 million barrels of oil. BlueCrest Energy may have its headquarters in […]

  • Sci/Tech

    Bear researchers say they have more questions than answers

    by Rhonda McBride on Jun 18, 10:09

    It was a journey of discovery this week, just to walk the halls of the Dena’ina Center, where hundreds of scientists from all over the world gathered to share their research on bears. The theme of the International Bear Association’s conference was “Bears of the World: Learning from our Past to Inform our Future.” “For […]

  • Politics

    Special session resumes Monday, fiscal fix still elusive

    by Rhonda McBride on Jun 10, 21:35

    When lawmakers return to Juneau on Monday to resume their special session, the big question is; what will they do to address Alaska’s fiscal crisis? The governor has tasked them with a long “to do” list, including a number of revenue measures that would raise money to close the state’s fiscal gap, now at more […]