Sunday, January 6, 2002

Flooded Soldotna church gets help from other congregations
KENAI (AP) -- Neighboring congregations are lending their support and facilities to the Soldotna Church of God after a flooded basement forced parishioners out of their building two weeks ago.

Alyeska spill story correction
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- In a story Jan. 3 about an Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. spill of refrigerant brine solution at Pump Station No. 1 of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, the amount of leak

Man killed mother, hid body in trailer, police say
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A 37-year-old Texas man visiting his mother strangled her in her Anchorage trailer, bound the corpse with duct tape, wrapped it in a blanket, then hid it in the breakfast bar, police said.

Fairbanks borough stays out of redistricting issue
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- An attempt to get the Fairbanks North Star Borough to weigh in on a lawsuit over legislative reapportionment withered Thursday but did not quite die.

Candidates' campaign contributions exceed expectations
JUNEAU (AP) -- It's not official, but the campaigns of Alaska's two leading gubernatorial candidates say they raised roughly $350,000 in the closing months of 2001.

Police find 101 marijuana plants at Houston home
HOUSTON (AP) -- A search at a Houston home Thursday yielded 101 marijuana plants growing under high-intensity lights, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Nikiski mechanic's death believed to be homicide
SOLDOTNA (AP) -- The body of a 61-year-old airplane mechanic was found in a Nikiski hangar Friday, and Alaska State Troopers say they are investigating the death as the first homicide of the new year.

Fletcher makes U.S. snowboard team for Olympics
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Girdwood snowboarder Rosey Fletcher is headed for the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City for her second attempt to win a cherished Olympic medal.

Three new vehicles stolen from Fairbanks dealership
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Thieves early Thursday morning made off with three new vehicles from a Fairbanks auto dealer.

Former welfare worker will pay restitution for theft
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- She was a welfare cheat on the other side of the counter whose crime was uncovered by a hospital security guard.

Yakutat sends bill to cruise ships for use of bay
JUNEAU (AP) -- Yakutat's municipal government has sent a bill to seven cruise lines for a $1.50-per-passenger tax approved by the community's assembly a year ago.

Former meth lab operator accused of having chemicals again
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Not long after James Grijalva got out of prison for running a methamphetamine lab, a probation officer found ingredients that appeared to be the beginnings of another meth production line.

State turns to students to name new ferries
JUNEAU (AP) -- State officials are looking for help from Alaska students to name two new Alaska Marine Highway ferries.

Three arrested in burglary attempt at Anchorage high school
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An 18-year-old and two juveniles were caught at Service High School in Anchorage early Saturday, according to police.

Juneau man convicted of felony sexual assault
JUNEAU (AP) -- A convicted rapist was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to felony sexual assault.

Fairbanks records cleaner air in 2001
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- After getting through 2001 without exceeding federal limits on carbon monoxide, the Fairbanks area qualifies to get off the federal Environmental Protection Agency's bad air list.

At 93, Edward Teller, nicknamed 'father of the hydrogen bomb,' releases his memoirs
LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) -- He was among the pioneering greats of nuclear science. He was scorned for disavowing former boss Robert Oppenheimer. He didn't get a Nobel but did pick up the unlovely title of ''father of the hydrogen bomb.''

In the spotlight: Rusty Wallace
Your favorite NASCAR drivers close-up

It's time for NASCAR to make and keep some New Year's resolutions
ATLANTA -- New Year's resolutions are easy to make and hard to keep. The new year gives everyone a chance to start over, to lose a few pounds, to stop smoking, to become a better person.

Drivers stay busy with practice runs during off-season
ATLANTA -- The span between the final lap of the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season and the first lap in 2002 is 79 days. That's more vacation time than most get in five years, but hardly enough time for the sport to catch its breath.

Al-Qaida chief held, Omar still eluding capture
KABUL, Afghanistan -- U.S. Marines took custody of the chief of Osama bin Laden's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, while the Afghan government said Saturday it appeared former Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had escaped forces penning him in.

House, Senate on opposite sides of fiscal divide
JUNEAU -- Bill Hudson says the permanent fund dividend is in danger.

New clinic opens doors in Soldotna
Medical clinics come and go, and the central peninsula has many. But the Cottonwood Health Center, opening Monday in Soldotna, is a bit different.

Photo feature: Ice breaker
The chips fly as Kwang Kim uses a splitting maul to break up ice in front of the Longmere Lake Store alongside the Sterling Highway Saturday afternoon. Forecasters are calling for continued warmer temperatures and mixed precipitation into this week.

Borough, HEA say response adequate
HOMER -- As the weather mellowed last week, most southern Kenai Peninsula residents began to recuperate from an extended power outage that left some without heat for a week.

Animal shelters report decline in unwanted pets
Contrary to trends in other areas of the state, Kenai Peninsula animal shelters did not see an increase in the number of unwanted pets dropped off after the Christmas holidays, but they still face the ongoing challenge of getting people to spay and neuter their pets.

Old year akin to downhill slide First skiing trip brings more than a few falls, reminders of recent history
On Tuesday, at the stroke of midnight, we crossed the threshold into a new year and sealed the window shut on the year 2001. On New Year's Day, I found myself trying to ski for my first time at Alyeska in Girdwood. Feeling the bravado bolstered by my compatriots, I opted to bypass the "bunny" hill beginner's lessons and throw myself into the fire. Why not? What did I have to lose?

Plenty of options for staying in touch with Legislature
Got a beef? A suggestion for facilitating state government? Afraid your legislators will coast through the new session with an eye on the upcoming election instead of taking care of the people's business? Or maybe you'd just like to send a word of encouragement or support for a job well done.

Soldotna homesteader sees plenty of changes
The Sterling Highway settlement where Anna Tachick arrived to make her home in 1951 had a name, even though it didn't show on any map. "Soldotna" had been painted on the visible end of a Quonset hut owned by Paul Nester. Little else could be seen along the tree-lined gravel road.

Edney, Coray to wed Friday
Joanne M. Edney and David A. Coray have announced their plans to wed Friday, Jan. 11, 2002, in an evening ceremony at St. Johns Cathedral in Omaha, Neb.

Around the Peninsula
USDA workshop slated for MondayHealth center closed for holidaysSmall business workshop to be heldCARTS to meet WednesdayBoys and Girls Club board meeting plannedMaster gardener class offeredBorough seeks committee membersGenealogical speaker to talk about cemeteriesCaregiver meeting scheduledHomer Winter Carnival gearing upBlood bank in need of donationsBear viewing permits open for applicationHealth center receives accreditation

Oregon coast comes alive with tourists as winter moves in
OTTER ROCK, Ore. -- From the warmth of the car, the storm looked bad enough. Blasts of wind rattled the doors every few seconds and raindrops on the windshield sounded like fistfuls of pebbles hitting the glass.

Tips from a bus traveler who rode for 110 hours
NEW YORK -- Many long-distance travelers who would have chosen jets before Sept. 11 are now boarding buses. That can be a good choice -- for those prepared to expect the unexpected.

Lie just too good to be true
But the fib about her old beater's dentures earned her the dubious distinction of being named the World Champion Liar for 2001.

Corcoran, Boze plan July wedding
Amber Corcoran and Brandon Boze have announced their plans to marry Saturday, July 20, 2002, at the Kenai Senior Citizens Center.

Soldotna homesteader sees plenty of changes
The Sterling Highway settlement where Anna Tachick arrived to make her home in 1951 had a name, even though it didn't show on any map. "Soldotna" had been painted on the visible end of a Quonset hut owned by Paul Nester. Little else could be seen along the tree-lined gravel road.

Huskies dismiss Lady Vols
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Connecticut might be Tennessee's biggest rival, but Diana Taurasi has quickly become the Lady Vols' nemesis in just two games.

Wolverines romp past Mariners
The Homer High School boys basketball team came up short in the fourth-place game at the Anchorage Christian Schools Invitational Saturday, dropping the game 65-58 to Dillingham.

Bulldogs bite back after break
It's a new year and a new team for Nikiski hockey.

Knicks get Piercing
NEW YORK -- Paul Pierce scored 28 points and contributed to a strong defensive effort that led the Boston Celtics to a come-from-behind 90-81 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday night.

Are new PE grants enough to fight battle of the bulge?
In the 1980s, the biggest concern in education was, "Why Johnny Can't Read?" If things continue at their current pace, the biggest concern in 2010 may be, "Why Johnny Can't Bend Over to Tie His Shoes?"

Perry, Verplank tied for lead
KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) -- Scott Verplank eagled the final hole to catch Kenny Perry after three rounds of the Mercedes Championships, the season-opening tournament that is looking more like a tuneup for the British Open.

Cyanide letter threatens New Zealand Open
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Days before Tiger Woods' first appearance in New Zealand, police and U.S. Embassy officials said Sunday that the embassy received a letter containing cyanide and threats to disrupt the New Zealand Open.

Jordan eyes Chicago return
WASHINGTON -- Michael Jordan beat the Chicago Bulls and scored his 30,000th point on the same night. Those were special moments, yes, but a bigger one is coming in less than two weeks.

Florida clocks Gamecocks
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Udonis Haslem had 24 points and 10 rebounds as third-ranked Florida opened defense of its Southeastern Conference championship by beating South Carolina 69-60 Saturday.

It's Jets vs. Raiders in battle of the bickering
The New York Jets may have squandered their best shot at the playoffs when they lost last week to Buffalo. Then they began bickering about who to blame -- offensive coordinator Paul Hackett or quarterback Vinny Testaverde -- for a stupid play call late in the game.

Sports Briefs
Alaska skiers win U.S. cross country titlesFletcher makes U.S. snowboard team for OlympicsTwins hire Gardenhire as managerSanders signs one-year contract with GiantsMartin suspended for two gamesCuche wins giant slalomPaerson wins third slalom in a row

Green forced out as Vikings' coach
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Dennis Green led the Minnesota Vikings to four division titles and two NFC championship games. That success wasn't enough to save his job.

Florida faces S.O.S. alert
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The latest Spurrier Shuffle has nothing to do with quarterbacks.

Detroit shows Avs its own thunder
DETROIT -- While many are impressed with the Detroit Red Wings, their captain, Steve Yzerman, refuses to get caught up in the hoopla.

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