Saturday, January 27, 2001

Service area bill would put limits on local government
JUNEAU (AP) -- A legislative committee debated a bill Thursday that would keep local governments from changing the boundaries of service areas that provide road work and fire protection without a vote of the people in those areas.

National Bank of Alaska extends Iditarod sponsorship
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The National Bank of Alaska has extended its sponsorship of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Ship headed to Japan loses load of logs
KODIAK (AP) -- Boaters near Kodiak might find themselves surrounded by floating logs after a ship transporting raw timber lost some of its load southwest of the island.

Stevens doesn't get Budget Committee post
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Senate Republican leadership announced its picks for new GOP members of the Senate Budget Committee on Thursday, and Sen. Ted Stevens wasn't among them.

One year later, Alaska Airlines on way to recovery
SEATTLE (AP) -- Flight 261's fatal plunge into the Pacific was the low point of a bad year for Alaska Airlines.

California power woes dim Alaska department stores
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- California's power woes have dimmed the lights of some Alaska department stores.

Permits issued for True North gold mine project
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Permits have been issued for the True North gold mine project, clearing the way to start construction of the project 30 miles north of Fairbanks.

Bill would let lawmakers oust governor from Capitol
JUNEAU (AP) -- Rep. Scott Ogan has a simple cure for the Capitol's cramped offices and crowded committee rooms -- oust the governor.

Fairbanks city officials sign pay raise agreement with police
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Fairbanks police have reached an agreement with the city over a pay raise for most department workers.

State seeks reasons for resident fishing decline
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is mailing out out 8,500 surveys to randomly selected Alaskans in an effort to learn the reasons behind a decline in resident fishing license sales.

An Athabascan council adds nine new Alaska members
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Hoping to rebuild ancient ties and protect tribal interests, an international Athabascan council has added nine new Alaska members.

Bill would stiffen penalty for lying in court
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill that would stiffen the penalty for lying in court will again come before the state Legislature. Under House Bill 86, a party to a lawsuit or a lawyer could lose a case for lying and be subject to another lawsuit for damages.

Senate opposes NCAA proposal for preseason tournaments
JUNEAU (AP) -- A basketball flew around the Senate on Thursday as lawmakers passed a resolution opposing a proposed NCAA rule change that could spell disaster for two preseason college tournaments held each year in Alaska.

Panel studies proposed changes to Alaska primary elections
JUNEAU (AP) -- A task force will look at ways to make Alaska's primary election comply with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Weather delays efforts to reach cargo plane crash site
UNALASKA (AP) -- Snow and blustery weather delayed plans Thursday to reach the crash site of a cargo plane with two people aboard.

Memorials will remember 88 who died on Alaska Airlines Flight 261
Relatives of 88 people killed in the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 will mark the anniversary of the Jan. 31, 2000, tragedy by returning to Port Hueneme, Calif., near where the jet plunged into the Pacific Ocean. Some events:

Valdez loses big money it never had
VALDEZ (AP) -- Valdez officials are blaming a communications breakdown between city departments for the capital improvement budget containing $719,000 less than expected.

Families to remember victims of Alaska Airlines Flight 261
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A year has passed since Alaska Airlines Flight 261 suddenly spiraled out of control and smashed into the Pacific Ocean, but pain and anger remain for families of the 88 people aboard who were killed.

House joins Senate in NCAA resolution
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state House on Friday joined the Senate in opposing a proposed NCAA rule change that could end two preseason college tournaments held each year in Alaska.

Community Calendar
The Community Calendar lists events and meetings of nonprofit organizations. Deadline for submissions is noon the preceding day. To have your event listed, or to change any information, call 283-7551 or fax 283-3299.

Around the Peninsula
Deadline ends today for registration Award banquet held tonightDinner held to benefit causeClosing reception held Saturday Boot camp registration slatedTournament kicks off weekly events

Kenai Watershed Forum to study abundance, impact of non-native northern pike in peninsula rivers, lakes
The prospect of winning one of more than $2,000 in prizes with no entry fee is almost enough to get anyone out of their cabins and onto the frozen lakes of the Kenai Peninsula.

Seed savers reap satisfying harvests
POUND RIDGE, N.Y. (AP) -- In an era of speed gardening, when shortcuts vie for attention, some vegetable gardeners still cherish the old, slow ways. Instead of saving time, they save seeds.

What's Happening
Best BetsEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentIn the Future Down the RoadAnchorage Events

Bill would stiffen penalty for lying in court
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill that would stiffen the penalty for lying in court will again come before the state Legislature. Under House Bill 86, a party to a lawsuit or a lawyer could lose a case for lying and be subject to another lawsuit for damages.

Bill would let lawmakers oust governor from Capitol
JUNEAU (AP) -- Rep. Scott Ogan has a simple cure for the Capitol's cramped offices and crowded committee rooms -- oust the governor.

Service area bill would put limits on local government
JUNEAU (AP) -- A legislative committee debated a bill Thursday that would keep local governments from changing the boundaries of service areas that provide road work and fire protection without a vote of the people in those areas.

Program sparks hope, concerns
Welfare reform has improved many lives; but for others, trouble lies ahead. Under new laws, some families will lose general assistance benefits starting in July 2002.

Administrative committee to review each; finalists to be chosen by Feb. 12
Four organizations officially threw their name in the borough's prison-proposal hat Wednesday. Each of the groups formally expressed their interest to work with the Kenai Peninsula Borough as it moves toward planning, constructing and operating the state's first private prison.

Billy McCann
Longtime Kenai resident Billy McCann died Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2001, at the Sitka Pioneer's Home. He was 84.

As criminal activity diminishes on the street, it flourishes in cyberspace
We've all seen the headlines, and we've heard the anecdotal evidence. We can see it with our own eyes -- crime is down, and midtown red-light districts like New York's Times Square have been remade. Prostitution and scams are no longer offered to passers-by in broad daylight. The statistics look good, and the streets are cleaner.

Minimum wage increase makes good sense for all
In one of the first acts of the new legisla-tive session, Gov. Tony Knowles presented his proposal last week to increase the state's minimum wage to $6.40 an hour. While the proposal likely elicited groans from the business community, it is an idea whose time has not only come, but is long overdue.

Cloud-reflected heat warms Earth, humans and moose alike
By any standards, this is a strange winter in Alaska. Fairbanks temperatures are about 18 degrees above normal this winter, and Anchorage is up about 10-11 degrees. My black Lab is shedding, garden perennials in Homer are sprouting, and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge still hasn't been opened for snowmachining, due to lack of sufficient snow. What is going on!?

Shrine at center of peace talks being disputed
JERUSALEM -- Negotiations over a disputed Jerusalem holy site are failing to take into account its central role in the end-times prophecies of Judaism, Christianity and Islam alike -- or to calm those who want to see the prophecies played out, an Israeli author warns.

Growing minority of lawmakers questions opening prayer
DENVER (AP) -- A small but growing group of state representatives is questioning the practice of opening each session of the Colorado House with a prayer.

Study: Church can be fun
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) -- Church can be exciting and fun, concludes a study on church excellence that focuses on 600 congregations around the nation, including some that are far from traditional.

Science has gone too far, says manifesto by world-religions expert
NEW YORK (AP) -- The complaint has a familiar ring: Science-driven secularism has simply gone too far. It has arrogantly tyrannized American higher education, shoving religious faith to the margins, and has moved on to colonize huge tracts of American culture, law, media, and even some churches.

Boys denied school enrollment because of long hair
DALLAS (AP) -- Two East Texas boys whose religious beliefs forbid hair-cutting until age 13 have been barred from attending a public school because their locks are too long.

German diocese, Vatican compromise on counseling
LIMBURG, Germany (AP) -- A Roman Catholic diocese has reached a deal with the Vatican that allows its anti-abortion program to continue offering certificates of counseling to women who may then seek a legal abortion.

Dogs help people with disabilities at church services
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) -- At St. John's Episcopal Church in this Detroit suburb, even dogs have vocations.

Dissident Episcopalians convene first conference of Anglican Mission in America
PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) -- The Episcopal church in America faces extinction unless it changes policies that some find too liberal, a leader of the dissident Anglican Mission in America said during the group's first conference last week.

Religion Briefs
Siblings called to serve missions

Recent snow revs up skiers
Pessimists would say the tease is on again. Optimists would say the snow has finally arrived for good. Whatever the case, a couple of moderate snowfalls this week have resurrected cross-country trail skiing on the central Kenai Peninsula.

Super Bowl from zero to 800 million
TAMPA, Fla. -- Super Bowl by the numbers:

Williams sisters double the fun
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Venus and Serena Williams completed a career Grand Slam in women's doubles Friday, beating Lindsay Davenport and Corina Morariu 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 in the Australian Open.

Defensive coordinators in coaching on-deck circle
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The arithmetic fits: Two head coaching openings, one in Buffalo, the other in Cleveland, and two high-profile defensive coordinators preparing for Sunday's Super Bowl.

Super Bowl teams find solutions to internal struggles
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Three months ago, the Baltimore Ravens went five games without scoring a touchdown. Last season, two New York Giants ripped the coach and the offense.

A Super Bowl minus superstars
TAMPA, Fla. -- This is the Super Bowl without superstars.

Agassi rallies past Rafter for spot in finals
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Andre Agassi pounded shots that made Patrick Rafter lunge, dive, scamper and jump. It was all too much.

Blues' second-leading scorer nets two goals, clinches game in overtime
ST. LOUIS -- The second time the St. Louis Blues put a late deflection past Martin Brodeur, it wasn't a false alarm.

Utah's Stockton hits last-second technical foul shots to clinch win
SALT LAKE CITY -- John Stockton hit two technical foul shots in the last 1.3 seconds, lifting the Utah Jazz to an odd 98-96 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.

Hawks turn out lights on 'Dawgs
Literally, the lights went out on the Nikiski hockey team with 9 minutes, 55 seconds, left in the third period. Figuratively, Houston had turned out the lights on the Bulldogs long before that.

Scientists investigate dietary quirks of captive caribou
This is the warm and fuzzy side of wildlife biology -- nine little caribou calves clustered around Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Techni-cian John Crouse.

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