Alaska News Nightly: January 2, 2015

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Traffic Deaths Jump To Highest Level Since 2007

The Associated Press

The state Highway Safety Office says traffic fatalities climbed in 2014.

Walker Plans To Stick To Marijuana Implementation Schedule, But Other Delays Still Possible

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

After considering a delay in legal marijuana sales, Gov. Bill Walker has confirmed that implementation of rules regulating the drug should meet the schedule approved by voters.

Over $63 Million Worth Of Marijuana Sold In Washington State In 2014

Conrad Wilson, Oregon Public Broadcasting

Many Alaskans are keeping an eye on pot-sale rules in other states in the wake of last year’s legalization vote. The Washington State Liquor Control Board says that state’s retail marijuana industry sold more than $63 million  worth of pot in 2014.

New Charges Filed In Homer Sexual Assault Case

The Associated Press

The attorney for a Homer man suspected of harassing an intoxicated, unconscious teenager at a 2012 party says his client will plead guilty to felony evidence tampering and hindering prosecution charges.

Prince William Sound Black Cod Fishermen Likely Facing Lower Harvest Limits

Marcia Lynn, KCHU – Valdez

Fishermen taking part in the state waters Black Cod fishery in Prince William Sound will likely be facing lower harvest limits when the fishery opens next spring.

Delta-area Birders Spot Species New to Interior During Christmas Bird Count

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Delta Junction-area birders participating in the annual Christmas Bird Count spotted a rare species not normally seen this far north in the winter.

Ambler Road Would Have Mixed Impact on NW Arctic Caribou

Jenn Ruckel, KNOM – Nome

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, or AIDEA, says it’s still moving forward to prepare an environmental impact statement for the contentious Ambler Road, even after Governor Walker has placed a hold on the project.

AK: Puppet Town

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

Haines seems like a quintessential Southeast Alaska town. There are eagles, bears, salmon, big mountains and rough water. It’s a picture-book no stoplight, no movie theater, low crime type of community. But there’s a seedier and eclectic side of Haines that emerged late this winter: the underground puppet scene.

300 Villages: Kasaan

This week, we’re heading to Kasaan, located in Southeast Alaska on Prince of Wales island. The coastal Native village is home to the oldest Haida building in the world. Frederick Otilius Olsen Junior is from Kasaan.