Alaska News Nightly: Monday, Aug. 7, 2017

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Trump administration signals it could open more of the Arctic to drilling

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The Bureau of Land Management announced Monday that it will consider allowing oil development in parts of the National Petroleum Reserve on Alaska’s North Slope that are currently protected.

Witness hearings start Monday in F/V Destination investigation

Laura Kraegel, KUCB – Unalaska

Starting Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard is holding two weeks of public hearings as part of its investigation into the sinking of the F/V Destination.

Drue Pearce appointed to US pipeline safety agency

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

A former Alaska Senate president has a new job in the Trump administration. Drue Pearce is now the deputy administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

With a few weeks to go, Alaska schools are short 228 educators

Quinton Chandler, KTOO – Juneau

On top of Alaska’s regular recruitment challenges, the Lower 48’s economy is strong, its supply of teachers short, and educators’ salaries are on the upswing.

PenAir files for bankruptcy protection as CEO promises to refocus on Alaska routes

Laura Kraegel, KUCB – Unalaska and Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

The largest air carrier in southwest Alaska has filed for bankruptcy protection.

In Angoon, a rural water system is built with the help of beavers

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

The village of Angoon’s drinking water comes from a lake held up by a beaver dam. That might sound sketchy. But the beavers are one of reasons the city has public water. Not all Alaska towns do.

More than $100,000 raised for injured Anchorage firefighter

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

An Anchorage firefighter badly hurt during training is making progress in a Colorado hospital amid an outpouring of support from Alaska.

Firefighters work to extinguish Chistochina Fire

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

State and federal firefighters are mopping up a wildfire in the Copper River Valley.

Teaching the next crop of whale entanglement responders

Zoe Sobel, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Unalaska

Unalaska has experienced three entangled whales in the last two years. There used to be only one person on the island who could respond to the incidents. But thanks to a recent training, a new response team is in place.

Norton Sound salmon arrive in high numbers, save for kings

Nick Ciolino, KDLG – Dillingham

The Norton Sound commercial fishery could log near-record catch and escapement numbers for all of the returning salmon species this season, except for king salmon. Like some other regions in the state … the king run in the Norton Sound has failed to meet escapement goals.

Forest Service could delay Wrangell contaminated soil move

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The U.S. Forest Service could put the brakes on a state plan to store contaminated soil near a Wrangell recreation area.