Saturday, January 19, 2002

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.''

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.''

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.

Oilers Corner
Oilers add Highlander to roster

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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, 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.

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.

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.

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