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Thursday, January 17, 2002

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.

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.

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

Game board to take up proposals to change Tier II system
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Tier 2 hunting regulations are getting a closer look from the Alaska Board of Game, which opens its weeklong winter meeting Friday in Anchorage.

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

Anchorage voters may be polled on subsistence
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The subsistence issue may wind up on the ballot in April -- but only in Anchorage.

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.

Alaska pollock catch surges despite world decline
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska's pollock fishery is still going strong, despite a decline in world pollock harvests.

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.

Accidental shooting doesn't fracture couple's future
JUNEAU (AP) -- Newlywed Tiffany Stocks heard the whip-smack of the bullet leaving the muzzle of her rifle. She would have caught it mid-air if she could have before it hit its unintended target: her husband, Michael.

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

Knowles calls for income tax in his last State of State address
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles called on the Legislature to bring back the first state income tax in Alaska since 1979.

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 wanted redistricting map to fix rural problems
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The chairwoman of the Alaska Redistricting Board testified Wednesday that she wanted the state's new voting map to fix problems affecting rural Alaskans.

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.

Consultant suggests multiple Alaska gas pipelines through Canada
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An energy consultant who grew up in Alaska believes the least risky way to tap the North Slope's huge natural gas reserves is to do so in stages, running multiple pipelines across the Canadian Arctic during the next 16 years.

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.

Research group aims for more specialized visitor information
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Want to know how fly-fishing tourists spend their money when they're in Alaska? Or how RV travelers research their trips?

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.

Fisherman get ready to wrap up Kodiak tanner opening
KODIAK (AP) -- Passengers on the 6:20 p.m. flight Tuesday must have wondered where they were as their plane settled for a landing over Chiniak Bay.

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.

Homer storm damage expected to approach $1 million
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The cost of repairing utility damage from two winter storms around Homer is expected to reach about $1 million.

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.

Fairbanks school board seeks delay in ranking schools
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Fairbanks North Star Borough school board has approved a resolution asking the Legislature to delay a statewide system of categorizing schools based on student performance.

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

Man stuck in driveway charged with burglary
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man whose truck was stuck in a driveway Wednesday morning is now stuck in jail.

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.

Sheen shuts down loading operations at Valdez
VALDEZ (AP) -- Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. shut down operations at its Valdez marine terminal Wednesday after workers discovered a light sheen inside the boom at Berth 4.

Body of Skagway Air pilot recovered from crash site
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The body of a pilot killed in a commuter plane crash Tuesday northeast of Haines has been recovered.

Republicans override Knowles veto on bills
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lawmakers in the Republican-dominated Legislature on Wednesday approved four bills vetoed by Democrat Gov. Tony Knowles last year.

Lower gasoline prices spur smaller-than-expected decline in retail sector
WASHINGTON -- Retail sales edged down by a smaller-than-expected 0.1 percent in December as consumers showed resilience in the face of the recession and rising unemployment.

Fish board approves co-op plan
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.

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

Former Homer News publisher takes over as GM of Alaskan Publications
Mark Turner, formerly the editor and publisher of the Homer News, has been appointed general manager of Alaskan Publications. In his new position, he will oversee publication of the Alaska Journal of Commerce, the Alaska Star, the Alaska Oil & Gas Reporter, the Alaska Equipment Trader, the Alaska Military Weekly and two base newspapers.

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.

Business Briefs
Homer Winter Carnival seeks events, activitiesNew officers elected to Homer chamberAnnual Air Conference and Trade Show plannedBallot released for 2001 Homer chamber awards

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Wallace and Gromit to make return on Internet
LONDON (AP) -- The goofy plasticine man and his long-suffering canine sidekick are coming back -- and they're bringing a whole new range of crazy gadgets.

Book gives glimpse of early challenges for homesteader
Honoring and trusting the reader with a peek behind the looking glass, "Kachemak Bay Years: An Alaska Homesteader's Memoir" is an honest, yet gentle, description of the challenges faced by author Elsa Pedersen after arriving on the southern Kenai Peninsula in 1944 -- challenges far removed from a Kachemak Bay of espresso stands and art galleries, paved highways and Internet connections.

What's Happening
Best BetsEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentUpcoming EventsFilmsDown the RoadAnchorage Events

Williams turns menacing in somber Sundance thriller 'One Hour Photo'
PARK CITY, Utah -- Robin Williams has provided some of the darkest and lightest moments at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Art Briefs
SoHi jazz dessert plannedRehearsals for Requiem under wayStudents sought for lip sync contest

'Light' shines at KPC
"Rarefied Light," a juried, statewide photography show on display at the Kenai Peninsula College Art Gallery, displays the varied techniques, mediums and subjects of several skilled Alaska photographers.

Scalzi: State to needs to get off oil dole
Rep. Drew Scalzi said any proposals for new programs this legislative session better have some pretty strong justification if their backers expect his support.

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.

Seward recognized for tsunami readiness
When the ground stopped moving on March 27, 1964, the nightmare was just beginning for residents of Seward.

War's scope widens
WASHINGTON -- Extending the war on terrorism to the Philippines, the Pentagon has sent more than 200 U.S. troops to help local forces fighting an extremist group linked to al-Qaida. And more are on the way.

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.

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.

Tsunami risk low in upper inlet
The Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound are danger zones for tsunamis. But Cook Inlet is a different story.

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.

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.

Group seeks unified fishing front
The Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee wants to be heard, and it wants the Alaska Board of Fisheries to listen. To that end, the committee has submitted a request to the fish board asking that members meet with the Kenai-Soldotna group and other Kenai Peninsula advisory committees this month.

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

Billie R. Richardson
Soldotna resident Billie R. Richardson died Monday, Jan. 14, 2002, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 78.

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

Terrorist suspect's trial good reason to allow cameras in courtroom
The public and the courts, lawyers and defendants have debated for years whether cameras should be allowed in courtrooms to provide greater access to various important trials and legal disputes. The case for televising a trial as a means of serving a larger public interest hardly could find a better example than the upcoming trial of suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui.

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

Applause
United Way makes move with lots of helping hands

U.S. military presence offers promise, possible problems for the Philippines New front in war on terrorism
MANILA, Philippines -- Deploying some 660 U.S. troops may help control the Muslim extremist group that has plagued the Philippines for a decade, but the escalating American involvement will test ties between Washington and one of its closest allies in Southeast Asia.

Teen's suicide demonstrate vulnerability of U.S. airspace
The crash of a small plane into a skyscraper in Tampa, Fla., turned out to be the pathetic suicide of a troubled 15-year-old, not another terrorist attack. But the incident once again demonstrated how vulnerable our airspace is. ...

Winter Hike offers picturesque view of Hocking Hills
LOGAN, Ohio (AP) -- Sheer rock cliffs ascend both sides of a narrow path winding among the tall stands of hemlocks and evergreens.

Hardy souls brave cold in search of walleye
ASHLAND, Wis. (AP) -- A frigid northwest wind beat against the backs of a handful of hardy souls braving the cold and thin ice for the chance to wet a line.

Accidental shooting doesn't fracture couple's future
JUNEAU (AP) -- Newlywed Tiffany Stocks heard the whip-smack of the bullet leaving the muzzle of her rifle. She would have caught it mid-air if she could have before it hit its unintended target: her husband, Michael.

In the land of the long and dark night, a headlight is a must
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- In his never-ending quest for a better, brighter headlamp to light up the trail in front of he and his sled dogs, three-time Iditarod champion Jeff King nearly fried his hair.

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

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.

Around the Peninsula
Soropomists to meet todayNorth Peninsula Chamber to meet todayFood Bank sponsoring blood driveRealtors meeting scheduledSchool hosts workshop for parentsKasilof community meeting scheduled tonightLeague of Women Voters to meet tonightKDLL holding membership meeting tonightAARP to meet todayBuilders to hold dinner meetingSterling Community Club to meet tonightSBDC plans workshopCook Inlet Aquaculture Association board to meet Saturday

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.

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.

School Menus
What's on the menu for area students

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

Photo feature: It all adds up
Josh Kalilikane, 8, plays with an abacus at the Kenai Community Library Wednesday afternoon.

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.

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

District School News
News from schools around the district

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.

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.

After fines are paid or matched, money helps others
When an NBA player is fined, the money is split between the league and the players' union to be spent for charitable purposes.

Region III/4A prep cagers off and running
Judging by the way the high school basketball season has started, competition in Region III/4A should provide a rollicking good time for all involved -- players, coaches and fans alike.

Strahan tackles defensive award
The sack has become the most glorified defensive play in the NFL, a major reason why Michael Strahan is The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year.

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.

Blue Jackets shut out Blue Shirts
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Tyler Wright and Grant Marshall scored goals and Marc Denis stopped 31 shots for his first shutout in a Columbus uniform as the Blue Jackets beat the New York Rangers 2-0 Wednesday night.

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.

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.

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.

Sweet revenge: Mavericks owner dishes ice cream instead of referees
COPPELL, Texas -- Trying desperately to perfect the curly tip on a soft-serve cone, Mark Cuban licked the remains of another failed effort from his fingertips and handed the messy treat to an excited 3-year-old boy.

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.

Nets fans watch Jordan sit out
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Nets filled their arena for the first time this season, and even Michael Jordan spent most of the night sitting and watching in awe.

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.

Sports Briefs
Team Alaska recruiting wrestlersNorth Road Wrestling sign-ups scheduled

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.

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.

Roddick tumbles from contention
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Rising American star Andy Roddick fell on an already injured right ankle in a losing first-set tiebreaker and pulled out of the Australian Open in the second round Thursday.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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:

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