Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Drug agents seize two kilos of cocaine in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Drug enforcement agents confiscated 2 kilograms of cocaine from a Los Angeles man at the Fairbanks International Airport early Saturday morning.

Report says a prime piece of Permanent Fund real estate could be sold
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A New York development company may be interested in buying the Alaska Permanent Fund's flagship real estate property -- the Tysons Corner Center mall just outside Washington, D.C.

Leader of state employee union suspended
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Saying he had engaged in ''conduct imminently dangerous to the welfare of the local,'' the executive board of ASEA-AFSCME Local 52, one of Alaska's largest state employee unions, has suspended its president.

Mom pleads innocent in assault of teacher
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage mother who police say attacked her daughter's teacher pleaded innocent Tuesday in Anchorage District Court to charges of assault.

Lawmakers waste no time in debating closing fiscal gap
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lawmakers took a first step toward a possible statewide tax aimed at closing the $1.1 billion deficit in Alaska's budget when they returned to work on Monday.

Fairbanks school superintendent to retire
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- School superintendent Jim Holt is retiring after 31 years with the district.

Anchorage school deficit vanishes
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Anchorage School District's expected budget deficit has disappeared.

Fairbanks gallery owners keep an eye out for thieves
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A pilfering patron of the arts has been making opening nights at the Well Street Art Co. expensive events for gallery owner and artist David Mollett.

Fish board approves cooperative plan for Chignik sockeye fishery
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Looking for ways to revive the ailing Alaska salmon industry, the state Board of Fisheries approve a dramatic change in the way one of the state's major salmon fisheries operates.

Wasilla teacher motivates at-risk kids with area's largest telescope
WASILLA (AP) -- For science teacher Tim Lundt, the universe is as close as a small building a few yards behind his classroom at Burchell High School.

Briefs from the Alaska Legislature
JUNEAU (AP) -- Two Republican state senators were named to chair key committees vacated by former Sen. Drue Pearce, who left in June to take a job with the Bush administration in Washington, D.C.

Troopers bust marijuana operations
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Narcotics agents served warrants on homes in Willow and Talkeetna over the weekend, seizing marijuana plants at both homes.

Craig mayor takes stand in state redistricting trial
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The mayor of Craig testified Monday that Alaska's new redistricting map makes it impossible for Prince of Wales Island residents to receive fair representation.

Palmer man charged in September sexual assault case
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 26-year-old Palmer man was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of kidnapping Friday.

Legislators begin debate on anti-terror costs
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lawmakers began dissecting Gov. Tony Knowles' $102.1 million anti-terrorism package in a committee hearing on Tuesday.

Construction company reports fuel spill at Chevak
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An estimated 1,000 gallons of fuel oil spilled at a new school construction site in the Western Alaska village of Chevak, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said Tuesday.

Trial begins for man charged with murder after basketball game
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The trial of an Anchorage man charged with murder after a basketball game began Monday in Anchorage Superior Court.

Fred Meyer to offer gas in Juneau
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Fred Meyer store in Juneau plans to offer gasoline for sale at its Juneau store.

Briefs from the Alaska Legislature
JUNEAU (AP) -- Two Republican state senators were named to chair key committees vacated by former Sen. Drue Pearce, who left in June to take a job with the Bush administration in Washington, D.C.

Knowles to offer phased in $1.2 billion statewide tax plan
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles plans to recommend imposing $400 million in statewide taxes to begin closing a $1.2 billion budget deficit within three years, an administration official said.

Joint legislative committee hires gasline consultant
JUNEAU (AP) -- A Fairbanks economic research firm was hired by a joint legislative committee to research North Slope natural gas issues.

One dead in air crash near Haines
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The pilot of a small commuter plane died Tuesday in a crash northeast of Haines.

Gatt wins Copper Basin 300
GLENNALLEN (AP) -- Canadian mushers finished in the top three spots of the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race on Monday.

Shipper to begin weekly barge service to Cordova
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska Marine Lines will begin weekly barge service between Cordova and Seattle in April.

Wilderness Society names new regional director
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Wilderness Society has named a new Alaska regional director.

Association reaccredits UAF
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges has renewed the University of Alaska Fairbanks' accreditation.

House hears second verse of Flag Song
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Alaska Youth Choir gave the state House a chance to hear -- literally -- one of the bills they'll probably vote on this year.

Troopers say more than one weapon fired in Fairbanks shooting
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- An Eielson Air Force Base airman was killed Sunday after military personnel and civilians went to a mobile home to exact revenge for a fight involving soldiers the night before, Alaska State Troopers said Tuesday.

Eielson airman shot, killed at trailer park
FAIRANKS (AP) -- A 19-year-old Eielson Air Force Base airman was shot and killed early Sunday morning at a mobile home park south of Fairbanks.

Legislative Briefs Correction
JUNEAU (AP) -- In a Jan. 14 story about new state Senate committee assignments, The Associated Press erroneously reported that Sen. Gary Wilken is the new chairman of the Resources Committee. Wilken will serve as vice-chair. Sen. John Torgerson, R-Kasilof, remains as chairman.

Board member accuses Alaska Redistricting Board of hidden agenda
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A member of the Alaska Redistricting Board said some board members were governed by a hidden agenda put forth by special interest groups in approving a new political map for Alaska.

Home is where the heart (and $90 million) is for Bonds
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds knew he'd stay with San Francisco the day he reported to spring training last February.

Photo feature: Laying down the traction
Mike Hatten spreads sand on the ice in a parking lot in Kenai Tuesday afternoon. Icy conditions have kept sand crews busy this month.

Watershed Forum discusses results of water quality study
Several years ago all of the state, federal, and local agencies that are responsible for taking care of the Kenai River agreed that there was a major gap in data regarding the water quality of the river, according to Robert Ruffner, executive director of the Kenai Water Shed Forum.

Alaska Materials Exchange tops $2 Million in savings
The Alaska Materials Exchange (AME) is a program for businesses that find themselves with an excess of usable materials that they no longer need. The AME is a free service designed to help Alaskan businesses reuse materials and find alternatives to throwing valuable materials into Alaska's landfills.

The Kenai Chamber wants you in 2002
The Kenai Chamber of Commerce is surging into the New Year with a new president and "A Salute to Our Unsung Heroes," the 25th anniversary Town & Gown Awards Banquet.

Wildlife refuge stays open for snowmobiling
The unseasonably warm weather on the Kenai Peninsula has measurably reduced the protective snow cover on parts of the vast Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR).

Efforts for Homeland security to increase in the year 2002
In the wake of last year's terrorist attacks, even remote communities like the Kenai Peninsula are receiving visits from officials charged with homeland security. Last week, General Korenek, Commander of the Alaska Army National Guard, accompanied by Jim Harris, Recovery Manager for the Alaska Division of Emergency Services, addressed the first meeting of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce in 2002.

Lt. Governor Fran Ulmer addresses the Soldotna Chamber
Lt. Governor Fran Ulmer addressed the first meeting of 2002 for the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce last week at the Riverside House. Buffeted by windy weather that delayed her arrival, the Lt. Governor wasted no time in getting to the issues that are forecasting a turbulent legislative session in Juneau.

Gatt wins Copper Basin 300
GLENNALLEN (AP) -- Canadian mushers finished in the top three spots of the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race on Monday.

Murkowski beats Ulmer
ANCHORAGE -- Republican Frank Murkowski, who has been Alaska's junior senator for 22 years, rolled to a victory on Tuesday in his bid to become Alaska's next governor.

Election results
Governor/Lt. Gov. State House District 33 District 34 District 35 State Senate District Q Bonding propositions Ballot measures

Wagoner unseats Ward
Kenai Peninsula voters turned two-term incumbent Republican Jerry Ward out of office Tuesday, opting to hand his seat in the Alaska Senate to his Republican Moderate challenger Tom Wagoner.

Republicans retain control of state Senate, despite loss of 2 seats
ANCHORAGE -- Republicans held on to a majority in the state Senate on Tuesday but two familiar faces were sent packing.

State-owned natural gas line gets go-ahead
ANCHORAGE -- Voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative Tuesday that would open avenues for a state-owned natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez.

Young, Stevens sail to easy re-election
ANCHORAGE -- Alaska's Republican congressional delegation coasted to re-election victories Tuesday, easily besting a crowded field of lesser known and underfunded challengers.

House loses 1 incumbent, keeps GOP majority
ANCHORAGE -- Buoyed by the defeat of a Fairbanks incumbent and a strong showing in Alaska's largest city, Republicans won at least 27 seats in the state House of Representatives and easily kept control of the 40-member body.

Prop C passing will help peninsula schools
ANCHORAGE -- Voters on Tuesday approved two large bond packages to improve public schools and roads throughout Alaska, and a third measure to provide veterans with residential mortgage money.

Lawmakers jump in on budget debate
JUNEAU -- Lawmakers took a first step toward a possible statewide tax aimed at closing the $1.1 billion deficit in Alaska's budget when they returned to work on Monday.

Briefs from the Alaska Legislature
JUNEAU (AP) -- Two Republican state senators were named to chair key committees vacated by former Sen. Drue Pearce, who left in June to take a job with the Bush administration in Washington, D.C.

Lancaster says difficult decisions must be made, even if it means losing seat
Entering an election year might have many lawmakers feeling nervous about making any radical moves for fear of political fallout next November.

HEA to finish removing beetle-killed spruce trees
HOMER -- While the recent storm that left hundreds of lower Kenai Peninsula residents without power for up to a week cracked many dead spruce near power lines, it didn't come close to taking down all the remnants of the spruce bark beetle infestation.

Lawmakers jump in on budget debate
JUNEAU -- Lawmakers took a first step toward a possible statewide tax aimed at closing the $1.1 billion deficit in Alaska's budget when they returned to work on Monday.

New gate won't block beach access
One of Nikiski's new neighborhood watch programs won't get in the way of commercial setnet fishing off Salamatof Beach, although the erection of new gate posts at the beginning of Salamatof Beach Road could mean a change in access to the beach.

No death penalty for U.S. Taliban
WASHINGTON -- John Walker Lindh, the 20-year-old Californian who fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan, was charged Tuesday with conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens. He will be tried in a civilian court and could face life in prison.

Chenault: Cuts key to budget fix
Alaska lacks a long-range fiscal policy because its oil wealth has always been there to undermine the political will needed to create one, Rep. Mike Chenault said in an interview Monday shortly before the opening gavel of the second session of the 22nd Legislature.

Military wants to cut back fighter patrols
WASHINGTON -- The military has flown more than 13,000 fighter-jet patrols over American cities since Sept. 11 at a cost exceeding $324 million. Now it wants to cut back.

Soldotna checks into senior tax breaks
The city of Soldotna is actively exploring the possibility of offering a tax break to senior citizens renting their homes. Although no action was taken on the issue at Wednesday's Soldotna City Council meeting, the council weighed the pros and cons of the idea and received feedback from a member of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Storm cost expected to be near $1 million
When two storms ripped through the Kenai Peninsula in late December, toppling hundreds of trees into power lines, the cost of repairs for Homer Electric Association quickly began adding up, but electric rates are not expected to go up as a result.

Scalzi gets feet wet on fishing issues
House Speaker Brian Porter set what he hoped would be the tone of the second session of the 22nd Legislature on Monday when he urged his colleagues to set aside their differences and personal agendas and focus on finding a way to bridge the fiscal gap.

Conrad 'Con' Potter
Former Alaska resident Conrad "Con" Potter of Issaquah, Wash., died Friday, Nov. 2, 2001, at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Wash. He was 73.

Jimmy W. Deal
Former Alaska resident, Jimmy W. Deal died Friday, Dec. 21, 2001, at his home in Missouri. He was 75.

Richard 'Dick' Hubley
Sterling resident Richard "Dick" Hubley died Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2002, at his home. He was 74.

James W. "Bill" Hatfield
Homer resident James W. "Bill" Hatfield died Monday, Jan. 14, 2002, at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. He was 86.

Lyle Psick
Ninilchik resident Lyle Psick died Saturday, Jan. 12, 2002, after a long battle with cancer. He was 66.

Letters to the Editor
Everyone was right about encore played by Alexander String Quartet

Letters to the Editor
Federal, state constitutions protect equal access of fish, game, watersEncounter with college-level shortcomings truly disappoints

Alaska moving full speed ahead toward financial brick wall
A possible fiscal crisis has been looming over the state of Alaska for many years now. But state leaders have been more than willing to let the issue slide rather than face the hard decisions necessary to find a long-term solution.

Enron probe 'not a witch hunt'
WASHINGTON -- The expanding investigation into the collapse of Enron Corp. and the company's close ties to the Bush administration could quickly turn into a consuming political liability for President Bush in spite of his currently high approval ratings. And Democrats are pressing hard for just that.

Southeast Alaska's economy, not forest, is what's endangered
As federal Judge James Singleton ponders yet another injunction restricting logging in the Tongass, it's an appropriate time to put things into perspective. At issue this time around are 19 tracts of timber proposed by the U.S. Forest Service for harvest in remote areas of the Tongass.

Applause
MS group expresses thanks for successful 2001 walkCommunity's generosity makes 'Holiday Kindness Project' possibleTourney's success reflects quality of those participatingFunny River group says thanks

Around the Peninsula
DAV changes monthly meetingChamber to meet todayFish and Game advisory committee to meetMusic and Movement class open for registrationArt guild to meetHoop-shoot contest scheduledPresentation to examine changing work forceTickets available for chamber awards ceremony

Around the Peninsula
Borough to hold spruce bark beetle discussionsMonthly AMVETS, auxiliary meeting plannedSocial Security rep to visit peninsulaCommercial fishing future to be discussedTickets available for auction, wine tastingHomer Winter Carnival scheduled for FebruaryHospital now accredited for mammography

Photo feature: Slick moves
Peter G. Castel braves the ice in Old Town to walk to a friend's house Monday afternoon. Sunday's light snowfall quickly turned to puddles Monday morning.

Pet of the Week, Kenai
The Kenai Animal Shlter has an assortment of rats available for adoption. Visit the shelter on Willow Street or call 283-7353 for more information.

Busy schedule just another preparation for real world
Returning to school from the holidays is, honestly, a drag. Not that I don't enjoy seeing all the familiar faces, but I dread starting the year off with a list of obligations and things you just gotta do.

Robots challenge students
The 21st century is here, and the robots have come to town.

Around the District
Public comment sought on teachers' contract talksQuarter ends FridaySoHi senior wins Horatio Alger awardGrant helps vets interested in teachingMountain View announces Students of the MonthNinilchik announces Students of the MonthAfter the Bell Program

New semester brings new options
Kenai Peninsula College is buzzing with activity as the new semester gets under way. The halls are full of students making constructive changes in their lives. What a great environment for anyone who is looking for a positive place to be.

Is Freedom Really Free?
"Today ... our very freedom came under attack," said President George W. Bush in his statement to the American people following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But America has always known that freedom is not really free.

Home-school girl earns top honors for patriotic piece
On Jan. 9, judges selected the central Kenai Peninsula winners of the VFW's annual youth essay contest.

School Menus
What's on the menu for area students

Students gather to record world's largest group hug
MILAN, Mich. (AP) -- An elementary school's group hug has been certified as the world's largest by Guinness World Records.

District School News
News from schools around the district

Lunch Menus
What's on the menu with our area seniors

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Actors say fewer older entertainers portrayed
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- For years, ''Lou Grant'' television star Ed Asner has worked hard to stay in the business. And it keeps getting harder.

Capriati, Sampras earn wins in Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Jennifer Capriati began defense of her Australian Open championship with precision shotmaking that made short work of Silvija Talaja.

A-Train rolls to offensive rookie honors
Anthony Thomas, not even a starter in Chicago at the beginning of the season, still rolled to a 1,000-yard performance that earned him The Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Young American with monster serve advances to third round
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Yevgeny Kafelnikov went out missing and mumbling. Sebastien Grosjean was eliminated when he couldn't overcome neck pains.

13 coaching vacancies yield one black hire
INDIANAPOLIS -- When 13 college football coaching positions opened, the Black Coaches Association believed it had an opportunity to make a difference.

Roenick leads Flyers to sixth straight
OTTAWA -- Jeremy Roenick had a goal and two assists and the Philadelphia Flyers extended their winning streak to six games with a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

O'Neal to sit for three tilts
NEW YORK -- For once, Shaquille O'Neal can be thankful for his poor aim.

Flyers top Canadiens
MONTREAL -- John LeClair had two goals, and Philadelphia scored three times in the third period to rally the Flyers to a 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night and extend their winning streak to five games.

Buccaneers fire Dungy after six seasons
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tony Dungy era is over in Tampa Bay.

Despite dismissals, black coaches making progress in NFL circles
On the surface, the forced dismissal of Dennis Green in Minnesota and the firing of Tony Dungy in Tampa looks bad for the NFL as it tries to promote black coaches.

Redskins hand Spurrier $25 million contract
ASHBURN, Va. -- Steve Spurrier made his mark on the NFL even before coaching his first game or running a practice.

Host of players file for arbitration
NEW YORK (AP) -- On the day baseball owners hate most, 90 players filed for salary arbitration Tuesday, a group that includes Scott Rolen, Jorge Posada and Darin Erstad.

No. 12 Wildcats race past Mississippi; UConn women bounce Hoyas
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Tayshaun Prince scored 19 points and Marquis Estill had 15 as No. 12 Kentucky beat Mississippi 87-64 Tuesday night.

Iverson's career-high 58 points powers 76ers to victory
PHILADELPHIA -- Allen Iverson scored a career-high 58 points, the most in an NBA game in almost two years and the fourth-highest total in team history, as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Houston Rockets 112-106 in overtime Tuesday night.

Sports Briefs
Bell romps to top defensive rookie honorsLeon Smith back in the NBA with HawksGiuliani, firefighter to be honored by Little LeaguePrentice raises Red Sox bid to $755 millionRobinson could become manager or GM of Expos

Lakers pummel Grizzlies
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant made certain the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers wouldn't miss suspended star Shaquille O'Neal.

Tampa Bay admits interest in Parcells to replace Dungy
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers acknowledged for the first time Tuesday that they are pursuing Bill Parcells.

Better tax breaks for families with children this year
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tax breaks for many families with children get more generous this year, including a bigger child tax credit and larger credits for adoption of children.

Where to Find Help
Phone numbers and Internet sites taxpayers can use to get free tax filing assistance, forms and other information from the Internal Revenue Service:

For some capital gains taxes have improved.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Taxpayers with relatively modest incomes could take advantage this year of a new 8 percent capital gains tax rate for long-term investments they sold in 2001.

The IRS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Considering the mountains of paper mailed each year to the Internal Revenue Service and the millions of people who call, it's hardly surprising that the nation's tax collector is trying to push people toward computers and automation.

Some rebate benefits still available
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Many taxpayers who didn't receive a rebate check in 2001 could still get the benefit when they file income tax returns this year. Even some children could qualify.

Taxes: Why Pay?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Think you can get away with not paying income taxes? The Internal Revenue Service says you better think again.

Alternative minimum tax changes
WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's good news and bad news this year regarding the dreaded alternative minimum tax.

Retirement accounts can receive higher contribution limits
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some changes are in store in 2002 for people saving for retirement, including higher contribution limits for some plans and better tax benefits.

Dozens of Changes have been made in this years tax laws
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lower income taxes, a bigger child tax credit, new breaks for education and enhanced retirement savings are only a few of the dozens of changes awaiting taxpayers in 2002 as a result of the sweeping tax law enacted last year.

New tax law changes give advantage to saving for education
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A host of tax law changes makes it smart money to take advantage of new opportunities to save for education.

Estate Tax exemptions rise
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Estate tax exemptions rise and the top tax rate falls in 2002 as the tax begins its long march to repeal at the beginning of 2010 -- a situation that opens up a whole new set of problems.

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