Alaska News Nightly: Friday, Nov. 16, 2018

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Ongoing vote counting flips tight Fairbanks legislative races

Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Public Media & KTOO – Juneau

Democrat Scott Kawasaki grew his lead over Republican Pete Kelly for Kelly’s state Senate seat, while Republican Bart LeBon regained a lead over Democrat Kathryn Dodge to fill the vacancy left by Kawasaki in the Alaska House, in the latest election results announced Friday.

Dunleavy inaugural celebration schedule announced

Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Public Media & KTOO – Juneau

Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy’s transition team announced Friday the schedule of inaugural celebrations.

Murkowski won’t block judges to get Mueller protection bill

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington

Sen. Lisa Murkowski supports a bill that would protect the Mueller investigation, but she said Friday she won’t join Sen. Jeff Flake in his pledge to hold up judicial confirmations to force a vote on the bill.

Heroin disguised as Christmas package seized in Anchorage

Associated Press

A 53-year-old Anchorage man suspected of importing a bowling-ball size package of heroin faces federal drug charges.

Chukchi Sea polar bears thriving, study shows

Associated Press

A population study of polar bears in the Chukchi Sea between Alaska and Russia finds that the population is thriving for now despite a loss of sea ice because of climate change.

Municipalities share state funding concerns

Kirsten Swann, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Officials from communities around the state gathered in Anchorage this week for the annual conference of the Alaska Municipal League, where they shared concerns about potential state budget cuts.

Outgoing Lt. Gov. Davidson considers political future in Alaska

Christine Trudeau, KYUK – Bethel

Alaska’s newly appointed Lieutenant Governor Valarie Davidson took her first trip back to the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta earlier this week.

ADF&G forecasts a ‘return to normal’ for Bristol Bay sockeye in 2019

 Avery Lill, KDLG – Dillingham

If the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s forecast is correct, the total run would be 10 percent below the most recent 10-year average of 44.4 million reds, but it would still come in well above the long-term average of 34 million fish.

State taps Portugal. The Man, other local bands for new hold music

Abbey Collins, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The State of Alaska is changing its phone system hold music after a three-year collaborative effort.