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Monday, January 7, 2002

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.

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

Minimum wage initiative certified for November ballot
JUNEAU (AP) -- An initiative to raise Alaska's minimum wage by $1.50 was certified to appear on the ballot in November 2002.

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.

Alaska Native Heritage Center commissions totem pole
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Alaska Native Heritage Center has commissioned a 30-foot totem pole by artist Nathan Jackson.

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.

Manokotak man dies after snowmachine goes through standing water
DILLINGHAM (AP) -- A Manokotak man is dead after the snowmachine he was riding became submerged in open water on the Weary River, about nine miles east of the village, Alaska State Troopers said.

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.

New clinic opens in Soldotna
KENAI (AP) -- A new medical clinic that opened Monday in Soldotna aims to provide better access to health care for families and individuals who are under-insured, uninsured or lack primary care physicians.

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.

Borough says fliers make false claims about zoning proposal
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A proposed plan to bring zoning to the most highly populated part of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is still a month away from a public hearing, but it has already triggered a backlash among some residents.

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.

Three moderate quakes shake Far Aleutians
PALMER (AP) -- Three moderate earthquakes shook the Far Aleutians Sunday, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

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.

Denali remains closed to snowmobiles
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Denali National Park and Preserve continues to be closed to snowmobiles, except for travel on frozen rivers.

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

North Slope rabies quarantine extended
BARROW (AP) -- The North Slope Borough's public health officer has extended a rabies quarantine due to the continuing presence of rabid foxes.

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.

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.

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.''

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

1,500 troops head to Cuba
WASHINGTON -- About 1,500 soldiers are heading to the U.S. Navy base in Cuba to prepare for the arrival of al-Qaida and Taliban prisoners. The biggest prize -- Osama bin Laden -- remains uncaptured, though there's a growing belief he's gone to Pakistan, two U.S. senators said Sunday.

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.

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.

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.

Homer annexation facing close scrutiny
The Alaska Legislature will go through Homer's annexation petition with a fine-toothed comb, and it isn't a guaranteed outcome, Sen. John Torgerson said last week.

Glen McCollum Sr.
Kenai resident Glen McCollum Sr. died Saturday, Jan. 5, 2002, at his home in Kenai. He was 84.

Gerald Sibley
North Kenai resident Gerald Sibley died Friday, Jan. 4, 2002, at a Nikiski hangar where he lived and worked as an airplane mechanic. He was 61.

Letters to the Editor
Anti-sportfishing letter sounds like salmon hypocrisy to writerLegislators mislead public about use, purpose of permanent fund'Stevens' money' does disservice to U.S. constitution, taxpayers

Time has come for ANWR
The long overdue debate in the United States Senate on oil and gas exploration on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge finally began in the first week of December. Along the way, unfortunately, it was temporarily mixed-in with other issues.

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?

Handling of American Taliban not biggest issue facing president
The fate of John Walker, the American citizen who fought for the Taliban, is hardly the most pressing issue facing the Bush administration.

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.

Around the Peninsula
EDD to host workshopSwim team tryouts plannedSchool board meets todayOnline dividend applications availableHealth center hours temporarily changedPFLAG meeting scheduledChamber meetings resume after holidaysSBDC workshop slatedCARTS meeting plannedRC and D to meetGardening program beginsBoys and Girls Club board meeting scheduledSchool budget review committee seeks membersHistorical society membership meeting slatedSS administration to visit areaFund-raiser planned for MDATown and Gown banquet slated

Sept. 11 changes Kasilof man's resolve
For most people, talking about what they do for a living easily can stretch into a long conversation. This is not the case for Intelligence Specialist Seaman Tom Perry of Kasilof. Once he says he works in Naval Intelligence, there isn't much more he's allowed to say.

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.

North Kenai Marine is prepared to fight
Calvin T. Lundy of North Kenai is the kind of guy who will take on a chore job to ensure team success -- no matter how difficult or distasteful it may be, said Charmaine Lundy, Calvin's mother. Calvin is making use of that trait as he serves his country in Afghanistan.

Photo feature: End of the season
Ronald McMillan removes a Christmas wreath from the fence in front of his home at the corner of Sunrise Court and Kobuk Street in Soldotna last week. "I guess it's time," he said.

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.

Births
Barbara and Jeff Belluomini Sarah Lea and Derrek John HowellBrandy and Marcas KensingerRachel E. and Caleb L. PlateAngela Young and Mitch Berg

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.

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

Community News
Strong dog competition plannedAlaska SeaLife Center news

Club News
Elks table tennis tournament winners announced

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.

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.

Ask a Trooper
Question: I have a 17-year-old daughter who said several people have tried to convince her that marijuana is legal for personal use. There is nothing she can say to convince them differently. I know at one time a small amount was legal.

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.

Low snow enough to slow Quest mushers
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- With the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race just a month away, mushers are traveling around the Interior looking for adequate snow to train on.

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.

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.

Strahan gets sack, can't stop Pack
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Green Bay Packers got just what they wanted Sunday -- the right to open the playoffs next week against San Francisco at frigid Lambeau Field.

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.

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

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

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.

No. 21 Longhorns lasso upset of No. 16 Colorado
BOULDER, Colo. -- Heather Schreiber scored 20 points and hit two free throws in the last 6 seconds to lead No. 21 Texas to a 70-68 comeback victory over No. 16 Colorado on Sunday

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.

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

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.

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?"

Seminoles knock off No. 1 Duke
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- That Florida State was the first team to beat Duke this season was a big surprise. That the top-ranked Blue Devils did themselves in with poor free throw shooting was a shock.

Stoops watch still on at Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With the recruiting season about to resume, Florida moved closer Sunday to an important deadline to hire a new coach, and Bob Stoops of Oklahoma was still the leading candidate.

Sports Briefs
Chugiak girls dominate SewardUAA hockey sweeps Michigan TechGarcia off to a strong startTiger assured New Zealand tourney will be safeOhio State coach Fred Taylor dead at 77Miller wins second men's slalom eventPaerson wins fourth straight slalom title

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.

Kicker's 53-yard field goal pushes Jets into playoffs
OAKLAND, Calif. -- John Hall kicked a 53-yard field goal with 59 seconds left as the New York Jets clinched a postseason berth with a 24-22 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Second-period goals insulate Jackets from Predators
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Serge Aubin and Rostislav Klesla scored in a span of 36 seconds in the second period as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 Sunday.

Counters find big numbers of little birds
Central Kenai Peninsula bird watchers ended 2001 on an avian high note. Eleven took part Dec. 30 in the 102nd Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by the National Audubon Society.

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