Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016

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Former Fairbanks state Rep. Mike Kelly dies in plane crash

Andrew Kitchenman and Dan Bross, KTOO and KUAC, Juneau and Fairbanks

Governor Bill Walker has ordered flags lowered to half-staff across the state in memory of former Republican State Rep. Mike Kelly of Fairbanks. Kelly, who was 74, died when his plane crashed south of Fairbanks on Wednesday.

Search continues for missing Port Alsworth plane

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

A second day of search efforts are underway for a plane that went missing between Port Alsworth and Anchorage Wednesday. Four people from Port Alsworth were onboard.

Official who created state’s pot rules to leave just as industry gets on its feet 

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The state’s alcohol and cannabis regulator is stepping down. Or, at least, aside. Cynthia Franklin took over what’s become the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office a little over two years ago, just before voters opted to legalize commercial cannabis.

Congress adds soldiers, removes pressure for JBER cut

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

President-elect Donald Trump has called for a much bigger military, and Congress took a step in that direction today.

Newtok to ask Obama for federal disaster declaration

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Officials say a federal disaster declaration may be the best chance to unlock federal funds for relocation before the existing village becomes uninhabitable.

Energy bill fails; Murkowski blames House

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

It was two years in the making, but it seems Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s energy bill is now dead. Murkowski says House leaders stopped negotiating on the bill, which included Republican and Democratic priorities.

Problems with Mat-Su code could lead to pot shop in Talkeetna

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

An oversight in Mat-Su Borough code could allow a marijuana store to open on Talkeetna’s Main Street without a conditional use permit from the borough. At public meetings this week, some Talkeetnans expressed their concerns and asked the Mat-Su Borough Assembly to step in.

Census Bureau adds areas, languages to be translated for Alaska elections

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

More people who speak Alaska Native languages but who have limited English proficiency will receive translated sample ballots and other election material. That’s due to changes the U.S. Census Bureau announced on Monday.

Pribilof scientists work to bring back decimated blue king crab population

Zoe Sobel. Alaska’s Energy Desk – Unalaska

The last commercial harvest of Pribilof Island blue king crab was almost two decades ago. Extremely low population numbers have kept that fishery closed.

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