Alaska News Nightly: Monday, Feb. 1, 2016

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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As U.S. buys more guns, state agency has more dough than it can handle

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington
The Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation is largely funded by a federal tax on the sale of guns and ammunition, and sales nationwide are booming. But now the division may have to give back a portion of its bounty.

Retired workers file dental benefits suit

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO/APRN – Juneau
An association of retired state workers has filed a lawsuit saying state cuts to dental benefits violate the Alaska constitution.

Court rules in favor of municipalities in pipeline case

Robert Hannon, KUAC – FairbanksA ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court Friday has strengthened the role municipalities have in setting the tax value of Trans-Alaska Pipeline and similar structures. The ruling overturns a lower court decision that said the Alaska Department of Revenue had the final say.

Congress OKs Coast Guard bill to transfer lands

Liz Ruskin, APRN-Washington
Congress has approved a Coast Guard bill that includes several land transfers Alaska’s congressional delegation has pursued for years. One of them is at Point Spencer, to advance the possible construction of an Arctic deepwater port near Nome.

BlueCrest Energy updates drilling plans

Quinton Chandler, KBBI-Homer
BlueCrest Energy, the company drilling for oil north of Anchor Point, gave an update on their effort at a forum in Kenai last week.

Reports conflict on Donlin Creek Mine’s effects

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK-Bethel
Two federal agencies have come to different conclusions on the potential effects the proposed Donlin Creek mine could have on subsistence along the Kuskokwim River. The site sits 10 miles north of the village of Crooked Creek. Donlin estimates it could excavate 34 million ounces of gold over almost three decades.

3 Togiak men die in boating accident after successful hunt

Dave Bendinger, KDLG-Dillingham
A moose hunting trip ended in tragedy this weekend in Togiak, after a boat carrying three men and three moose was swamped in heavy surf.  The three men, who all died, were attempting to cross from the mouth of the Togiak River back to the village just after dark Saturday.

How a deer can cause a plane crash

Emily Kwong, KCAW-Sitka

Throughout this year’s hunting season, Sitka’s airport has been contending with an unusual issue: dead deer. Carcasses have been washing up on the runway since November, attracting birds. And that has posed a big problem to airport operations. KCAW’s Emily Kwong has more.