Alaska News Nightly: Dec. 19, 2016

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Alaska’s three electors vote for Trump with little incident

Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO – Juneau

Alaska’s three Electoral College members have cast their ballots for Donald Trump and Mike Pence for president and vice president of United States of America.

State irked at feds’ new GPS survey method

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

At statehood, Alaska was promised more than 100 million acres of land. So far, the federal government has transferred just 65 percent of that. That’s because it takes time to survey the land. At the current pace, it will take another 20 years. Today, the federal Bureau of Land Management announced it’s imposing a new surveying method to speed things up. But the state is not happy about it.

State tax division responds to new oil price projections

Rashah McChesney, ALaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

When it comes to the state’s bottom line, the tax division’s Revenue Sources Book predicts a patchwork of good and bad news for the state. The good? Oil prices are forecasted to go up. The bad? The money coming in from oil revenue is nowhere near enough to close the state’s budget gap, and production on the North Slope is forecasted to go down.

Alaska saw record-high number of suicides in 2015

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juenau

More Alaskans killed themselves in 2015 than in any previous year since at least 1978. 200 people died by suicide in the state, 28 more than the previous record set in 2013.

Man sentenced for attacks in Alaska’s Iditarod race

Associated Press

A 27-year-old man has been sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to charges connected with a snow machine attack on two mushers who were competing in the Iditarod last winter.

Obama brought attention to threatened Arctic villages, but little funding so far

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

It’s been more than a year since President Barack Obama visited Alaska and became the first sitting president to travel above the Arctic Circle. The trip was designed to draw attention to climate change in the lead up to last year’s international conference in Paris. And the president went out of his way to highlight Alaska villages threatened by rapid erosion. But as Obama prepares to leave office, most of those villages find themselves no closer to a solution.

Alutiiq language immersion school to open in Kodiak 

Kayla Desroches, KMXT – Kodiak

An Alutiiq language immersion preschool will open in Kodiak next month.

Puffin die-off on St. Paul Island may point to larger ecosystem problems

Laura Kraegel, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Unalaska

In the past two months, 300 dead puffins have washed up on St. Paul Island, alarming residents who had only seen six carcasses over the last decade.