Alaska News Nightly: Monday, Dec. 28, 2015

Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Bacterial infection to blame in Kachemak otter die-off

Daysha Eaton, KBBI – Homer

Tests results are back on dead sea otters from Kachemak Bay. About 82 percent of them had streptococcus syndrome, which is caused by a bacterial infection, according to biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

With gov’s support, Bethel to be seat of new scout battalion

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

With National Guard recruit numbers at a low in Alaska and concerns for Arctic security at a high, Gov. Walker wants to start a new line of defense across the state.

Conoco withdraws from Russian Arctic

Monica Gokey, KSKA – Anchorage

American oil titan ConocoPhillips has sold its 50 percent stake in the Polar Lights drilling project in the Russian Arctic, according to Russian news media. The sale marks Conoco’s complete exit from Russia.

Colorado guide charged with game waste violations

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

Following more than a yearlong investigation, state wildlife troopers have charged a Colorado man with eight counts of “unlawful acts while acting as a big game guide” in Alaska, specifically in GMU 19. That hunting area stretches from Kalskag, past McGrath, to the border of Denali National Park and Preserve.

Alaska’s pot cafes to give patrons a taste of cannabis

Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau

Alaska is about to become the first state to have pot cafes — businesses where people can buy and consume marijuana, similar to Amsterdam. Right now, that’s not legal in other states that have recreational marijuana.

Governor may release video of St. Michael man who died in prison

Laura Kraegal, KNOM – Nome

Nearly a year after Larry Kobuk’s death in the Anchorage Correctional Complex, a special assistant to the governor traveled to St. Michael last week and met with the late man’s family.

Anchorage Chamber announces 2016 legislative priorities

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce this week released its legislative priorities for the upcoming session.

High winds close Whittier tunnel

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

High winds in the Portage area and along Turnagain Arm this morning closed the Anton Anderson Tunnel to vehicular traffic for the better part of the day.

More high wind on horizon in Turnagain Arm

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Anchorage-based National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Snider says Turnagain Arm, Portage Valley and Girdwood will potentially have higher winds again starting tomorrow night and into Wednesday.

High winds imperil travel along Richardson, Parks Hwys

Robert Hannon, KUAC – Fairbanks

Strong winds are blowing over the Alaska Range, the result of the first of two Chinook events.

Strong El Nino, ‘Blob effect’ may mean more winter precipitation

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Chinook pattern is one characteristic of El Nino winters. National Weather Service climatologist Rick Thoman describes the warm Pacific Ocean waters of El Nino as raging across the equatorial region.

After 15 years of closure, Rampart school seeks teacher

Robert Hannon, KUAC – Fairbanks

The village of Rampart is looking for a teacher. The school re-opened earlier this year after 15 years of being shuttered.