Friday, January 18, 2002

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.

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 man enters plea to theft, assault charges
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man charged with stealing a truck and using it to ram seven vehicles pleaded no contest to vehicle theft, assault and driving while intoxicated charges Wednesday.

Naknek man charged with putting wireless camera in pool locker room
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Naknek man has been charged with indecent viewing for installing a wireless video camera in the girls locker room at the village swimming pool, Bristol Bay Borough officials said Thursday.

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.

Three safe after fishing boat sinks near Kodiak
KODIAK (AP) -- Three men were rescued Thursday as their commercial fishing boat sank near Kodiak.

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.

Magistrate says Maad's fraud trial should not be moved
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A federal magistrate has recommended that a U.S. District judge deny Nezar ''Mike'' Maad's request to move his bank fraud trial out of Alaska.

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.

Anchorage visitors bureau reports record year in 2001
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Despite the sharp drop in tourism after the September terrorist attacks, the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau enjoyed a record year for convention sales in 2001.

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?

Group says Alaska felons elude background checks
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska felons who are barred by federal law from owning firearms have slipped past background checks and illegally bought guns, according to a report by a national advocacy group, Americans for Gun Safety Foundation.

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.

Police search for owners of ancient artifacts found beside trail
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Police are trying to figure out how ancient artifacts, apparently from Latin America, came to be dumped alongside a snowmachine trail in Peters Creek, north of Anchorage.

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

Health commissioner kills plan for smoking shelter
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state's health department has killed a proposal to build a shelter for employees who smoke at the department's main office building.

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

Agency seeks funds to cover increased oilfield activity
JUNEAU (AP) -- Oil production is up, state officials say, but success comes with a price.

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.

Panel approves adding verse to state song
JUNEAU (AP) -- A House committee Thursday unanimously approved a bill that would add a verse honoring Alaska Natives to the state song, ''Alaska's Flag.''

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.

Regulatory delay crimps Fairbanks depot plans
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Alaska Railroad will have to hustle if it wants to open a new Fairbanks depot in 2004.

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.

Juneau man sentenced for interference, failing to register
JUNEAU (AP) -- A twice-convicted sex offender will spend about nine years in prison under terms of a sentence handed down Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court.

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.

Company seeks permits for Over-the Top gas line route
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Houston-based company has applied to Canada authorities for approval of its proposal to ship North Slope natural gas to market by a route that would bypass Interior Alaska.

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.

Redistricting board member denies conspiracy
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A state board member credited with coming up with Alaska's new redistricting map denied Thursday that he conspired with other board members to get a plan approved.

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 charge Knowles understates $116 million in costs
JUNEAU (AP) -- State spending could rise by as much as $296 million next year under proposals from Gov. Tony Knowles, the Legislature's chief budget analyst said Thursday.

Student charged after threats, taking guns to school
BETHEL (AP) -- A 15-year-old Tununak boy was arrested Jan. 11 after he threatened to shoot teachers and fellow students at Tununak High School.

Alaska and Russia Native students participate in snow mercury testing
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Native students from Barrow and two Siberian villages are learning to collect snow samples to help scientists better understand mercury contamination in the Arctic.

Prefab home buyers, retailers feel pinch of tighter lending
HINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) -- Cindy Elder wants to sell more mobile homes, and the customers who walk onto her lot sure want to buy them. Yet she says she's being forced to turn away nine of every 10.

Boomers get mixed treatment on TV
NEW YORK (AP) -- The first generation to grow up with TV is starting to gray -- but you would never know it if you turned on the television.

Kmart shakes up management to try to restore investor, lender confidence
DETROIT (AP) -- Discount retailer Kmart Corp. announced sweeping management changes Thursday in an attempt to restore its credibility with bankers, vendors and investors.

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.

Harsh lesson from Enron: Don't put too much company stock in your retirement account
NEW YORK (AP) -- In testimony before a Senate committee earlier this month, Enron retirees told devastating stories about the fate of their retirement accounts.

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.

Getting away with something
NEW YORK (AP) -- The accounting practices that brought down Enron Corp. and also cast doubt on the credibility and future of auditor Arthur Andersen have come as a great shock to the energy trader's employees and shareholders and plenty of other people who have watched Enron unravel.

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.

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

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

Kuskokwim 300 delayed by warm weather
BETHEL (AP) -- The start of the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race has been delayed.

Ice fishing -- food and solitude
Ask an avid ice angler just what the appeal is of sitting out in the middle of a frozen lake waiting for a nibble, and the first answer you generally get is an "I don't know."

CDC: Reported cases of Lyme disease climb again to a record high in 2000
ATLANTA (AP) -- Reported cases of Lyme disease, the tick-borne illness that can cause fatigue, sore joints and heart damage, climbed to a record high in 2000, the government reported Thursday.

Virginia center will no longer create embryos for stem cells for research
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- The first U.S. research institute to announce it was creating human embryos for the sole purpose of harvesting stem cells said Thursday it will stop the practice.

Precautions, fear of contamination dominate homes around the nation's largest lead smelter
HERCULANEUM, Mo. (AP) -- Parents here warn their children not to play in the dirt or along the curb. If they are allowed to play outside at all, their toys and swing sets are washed down first, and they have to leave their shoes on the doorstep when they come back in.

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

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.

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.

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.

'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.

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

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.

Candidate says government stalemate impeding progress
Alaska's fiscal crisis has been exacerbated by the lack of dialogue between the legislative and executive branches in Juneau, and that's something he can fix if elected governor next fall, Sen. Frank Murkowski told a Soldotna Rotary luncheon audience Thursday.

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.

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

Terror video shown
WASHINGTON -- A chilling videotape of an alleged member of al-Qaida, cradling a rifle, eyes closed, is among videos and photos of five suspects delivering what authorities call ''martyrdom messages from suicide terrorists.''

Inconsistent Kenai River water quality still under study
Water-quality monitoring on the Kenai River could continue indefinitely, Kenai Watershed Forum director Robert Ruffner said at Tuesday's Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Luncheon.

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.

Republicans rip Knowles' budget plan
JUNEAU -- State spending could rise by as much as $296 million next year under proposals from Gov. Tony Knowles, the Legislature's chief budget analyst said Thursday.

Photo feature: Keepng in step
Daniel and Gwen Mort and Dr. Barton Richards work on the exercise equipment at the Kenai Recreation Center earlier this week. Lysa Diorec, a recreation assistant at the facility, said attendance is up, particularly with the icy conditions outside. "It goes up considerably, especially after the new year. The cold and the dark affect things too."

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.

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

Oilers Corner
Oilers add Highlander to roster

United Way makes move with lots of helping hands

Debt, accessibility make good cases for KPC education
Two recent news items bolster the case that Alaska students may be best served by getting their college education at home whenever possible.

After Sept. 11: Hope vs. just the facts
WASHINGTON -- Call this particular illusion the ''after'' effect.

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.

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.

Redistricting: It's part of democracy
What's the big deal about redistricting? Not interested? Boring? Why all the controversy by some Alaskans?

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.

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.

What makes ice safe?
When judging the safety of ice, it is better to err on the side of caution, because there may not be a chance to make a mistake a second time.

Outdoor Briefs
Snaring seminar to be offered Bear viewing permits open for application

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.

New additions, improvements make refuge more user friendly
Changes. Sorry, this will not be a discussion of the David Bowie song from his glitter rock days, so put your platform heel boots back in the closet.

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

Around the Peninsula
Blood drive continues today Elks holding hoop shoot MDA to lock up citizens for charity Fish and Game requesting shellfish permits Talent show applications available UFA rep to speak at CIAA Homer Community School adds workshop Health center now open

Philadelphia Cardinal Bevilacqua leads national anti-abortion effort
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Roman Catholic bishops are trying to regain the momentum in the long fight over abortion rights, and it is Philadelphia Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua who will lead their charge.

Methodists make final payment to fund for black, Hispanic clergy
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The United Methodist Church has made its final payment from a $23 million fund created to address pay inequities between the denomination's white and minority clergy.

Actions of aid workers freed from Afghanistan raise questions about missionary work
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- As a Roman Catholic missionary in the Islamic nation of Mauritania, Sister Claire Rheaume discussed her faith only with close friends and never made the sign of the cross before meals at restaurants.

New Hampshire Episcopalian still has hopes of being the first openly gay bishop
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A clergyman who has sought six times to become the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop may try again when New Hampshire's bishop retires in 2004.

Court hears arguments over use of feathers
DENVER -- Three people have asked a federal appeals court to allow them to use eagle feathers in their religious practices, even though they are not members of federally recognized American Indian tribes.

Religion Briefs
Mini-retreat starting today Old Time Religion workshop planned Clothing ministry open Saturday Russian minister to speak at SolFirst Conference slated at Christian center Well Springs Ministries to hold meetings

New Hampshire Episcopalian still has hopes of being the first openly gay bishop
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A clergyman who has sought six times to become the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop may try again when New Hampshire's bishop retires in 2004.

Presbyterians abandon plan for hospitality center at Olympics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Financial woes have forced the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to drop plans for a denominational welcome center at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Chicago Archdiocese to close 14 elementary schools
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago plans to close 14 elementary schools in the city and suburbs because of continued low enrollment and dwindling finances. The archdiocese also will consolidate two schools and open three new ones.

Presbyterians abandon plan for hospitality center at Olympics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Financial woes have forced the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to drop plans for a denominational welcome center at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

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

Weird skiing on tap
Like Michael Jordan's commitment to retirement, Oprah Winfrey's waistline and Dennis Rodman's hair color, the ski conditions on the Kenai Peninsula have been ever-changing in the past week.

Southern California firm invades northland to sell snowsleds
VISTA, Calif. (AP) -- As he unloaded a rental truck in frigid West Yellowstone, Mont., nearly three years ago, Kent Harle was gambling that his upstart snowmobile company would be taken seriously.

Teams look to cash in on home field advantage in NFL playoffs
Three of the four home teams won last week in the NFL's wild-card round. That's not unusual: In the past four seasons, home teams have won 27 of the league's 34 playoff games.

Williams pushes Duke past Terps
DURHAM, N.C. -- All-American Jason Williams scored 34 points to lead top-ranked Duke to a 99-78 victory over No. 3 Maryland on Thursday night.

Thunderbirds shake up Kards
If the East High School girls basketball team appeared to be quick on the court Thursday at Kenai, well, they had to be -- they had a plane to catch.

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.

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.

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.

Ninilchik notches two wins
The Ninilchik School boys and girls basketball teams each notched victories at the Heritage Tournament in Anchorage Thursday.

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.

Ninilchik looks to prolong run at top of state
The Ninilchik girls have become the "ER" of the Alaska basketball world -- different cast of characters, but always near or at the top.

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.

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

Iverson pumps in 33, Sixers edge Hornets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Allen Iverson, coming off a career-high 58-point performance, scored 33 and hit two free throws with 11 seconds left to seal Philadelphia's 93-88 victory over the Hornets on Thursday night.

Williams, Seles advance to fourth round
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Venus Williams looked healthy again and overpowered Daniela Hantuchova 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 Friday to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Flyers thrash Atlanta
PHILADELPHIA -- John LeClair scored the go-ahead goal 2:02 into the third period, and the Philadelphia Flyers won their seventh straight, beating the Atlanta Thrashers 6-3 on Thursday night.

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.

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.

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