Monday, January 27, 2003

NMFS says killer whale petition may have merit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The National Marine Fisheries Service will review a petition to designate a Prince William Sound killer whale group as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Troopers investigate apparent homicide in Palmer
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers are investigating the death of a Palmer man as a homicide.

Man pleads guilty in life insurance fraud case
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man accused of scheming to fake his own death so his wife could collect insurance money has pleaded guilty to one federal mail fraud charge, admitting he intended to defraud life insurance companies of $3 million.

BP's experimental GTL plant to operate in two months
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- BP hopes to begin operations at its experimental gas-to-liquids plant in Nikiski in the next two months.

Civilians to receive smallpox vaccinations
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The state plans to start vaccinating civilians for smallpox next month in Anchorage.

Juneau man arrested after standoff
JUNEAU (AP) -- Police arrested a man Monday who threatened to kill himself and three officers.

Planned Parenthood admits worker erred
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Planned Parenthood of Alaska employee exercised bad judgment in advising a caller about how to deal with a possible pregnancy, and has since been retrained, according to the head of the organization.

NTSB says ice caused fatal Dillingham crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Fifteen months after a plane crash that killed 10 people in Dillingham, The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded the crash was probably caused by ice on the wings of the Cessna 208.

Family sues trooper, state for fatal shooting
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A lawsuit has been filed against the state of Alaska and a state trooper who shot and killed a man Jan. 4.

Fewer belugas seen in Cook Inlet during June count
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The annual June count of Cook Inlet's beluga whales has produced an abundance estimate of only 313 animals, the lowest number ever reported, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Four men arrested in Fairbanks sex abuse case
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Four men have been arrested in Fairbanks on charges of sexually abusing two girls.

Roadkill intended for charities is stolen
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Hundreds of moose are killed by cars and trucks each year on roads in Alaska's Interior.

Governor's permitting plan once rejected by Hickel
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski's proposal to have Fish and Game Department habitat permits issued by the Department of Natural Resources is not new.

Fairbanks musher leads Wyoming race
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) -- Fairbanks musher Gwen Holdman was holding the lead Monday two days into a major sled dog race in the Lower 48.

Tlingit woman gets award for language expertise
JUNEAU (AP) -- Bessie Cooley used to be punished for speaking Tlingit. Now, she's getting an award from the queen of England for using her Native language.

Salmon logo wins international graphics recognition
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A regional Alaska salmon-marketing logo has been selected as one of about 600 to appear in a book honoring high-quality graphics.

Woman designs Alaska-tough packrafts
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Being a loving mother, Sheri Tingey couldn't say no when her river-rafting son made one little request. Could she make him a packraft tough enough to take into the Alaska wilderness?

State reduces charges against Palmer taxidermist
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Palmer taxidermist charged with illegally selling Alaska big game trophies nearly two years ago now faces reduced charges in state court.

Man gets 60-year sentence for 1996 Anchorage homicide
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 25-yar-old man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for the 1996 death of a teenager in Anchorage.

Nome reindeer head for Alabama
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- About 30 reindeer from Nome made a stopover here Saturday afternoon, heading for a life of star appearances with Santa at malls in a region where snow is nearly as rare as reindeer.

Former Anchorage mayor runs for old office again
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Former Anchorage Mayor Rick Mystrom is trying to win his old job back.

Fourth man arraigned on child sex abuse charges
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man charged with sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl was arraigned on felony charges Saturday. He was the fourth man accused of abusing the girls.

Homer crowd says no to oil lease
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- More than 250 people showed up at a federal hearing in Homer to show their opposition to a proposed oil and gas lease sale in lower Cook Inlet.

Outlook cloudy for summer tourism
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Bookings for the Riverboat Discovery started well his year but have tapered off, leaving Interior tourist businesses wondering about the summer season ahead.

Homicide suspect says he has stress disorder
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man accused in the beating death of a counselor for homeless veterans was a former client of the victim who became her live-in boyfriend and was being investigated for fraud, according to court documents.

Southcentral heat bills likely to rise
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An era of cheap heat for Southcentral Alaska is ending, according to Enstar Natural Gas Co., the utility that keeps half the state's population warm.

Dozens of Iditarod fans bid to ride musher sleds
WASILLA (AP) -- Martin Buser was a bargain at $1,500 when final bidding began in the 2003 Idita-Rider auction Friday.

Kuskokwim ice road provides transit, danger
BETHEL (AP) -- The taxi lurched and slipped down an icy track toward Napaskiak. A glaring sun warmed the cab, and country music blared from the radio.

Eagle historian, author Elva Scott dies
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A former mayor of Eagle instrumental in restoring the community's historic buildings has died.

Advisory group struggles with Kenai king limits
KENAI (AP) -- The Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game advisory committee will meet Monday to consider just what recommendations it will make to the Alaska Board of Fisheries regarding management of early-run Kenai River king salmon.

Kenai borough backs lower Cook Inlet petroleum exploration
KENAI (AP) -- The Kenai Peninsula Borough supports proposed lease sales by the U.S. Minerals Management Service that would open roughly 2.2 million acres of lower Cook Inlet to oil and gas exploration.

Wayward puck leaves legislator Seekins in stitches
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- New state Sen. Ralph Seekins looks a little roughed up right now, but not because of anything that happened to him during his first week in the Legislature.

Coast Guard says four fishing boats crossed to Russian waters
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Coast Guard directed four U.S. fishing vessels into port after the agency detected them fishing in Russian waters Wednesday and Thursday.

Moderate earthquake occurs in Aleutians
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A moderate earthquake struck near the Aleutian Islands Saturday night.

Dispatchers help parents deliver baby at home
JUNEAU (AP) -- A baby was born at a Lemon Creek area home Thursday morning with the help of police and fire department dispatchers.

Three men arrested in counterfeit checks case
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three men suspected of making counterfeit state checks have been arrested in Anchorage.

Man dies after Anchorage home fire
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man died after his apartment caught fire Friday night, Anchorage fire officials said Saturday.

Murkowski's permanent fund decision scares Democrats
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski wants to use the muscle of the Alaska Permanent Fund's $23 billion investment portfolio to open corporate doors for Alaska.

Weather can be harsh on dry skin
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Winter's chilly temperatures can bring out the worst in skin.

NOW PLAYING - Darkness Falls
"Remember, when the Tooth Fairy comes, don't peek." Now, I don't know about you, but I don't recall that being a part of the story I heard growing up. In fact, I don't remember hearing anything about the

Plan to extend arctic drilling season gets chilly reception from environmentalists
Petroleum exploration in arctic Alaska has for decades occurred during the coldest months of the year to protect the ecosystem. Now, a plan to extend the season has environmentalists worried about the impact on wildlife and the likelihood that oil and gas production will spread more quickly to remote areas.

Soldotna, Kenai city officials hold meeting
Putting aside a rivalry as old as the towns themselves, the leaders of Kenai and Soldotna came together Monday for the first joint meeting of city officials.

Airport facility takes off
After experiencing a little turbulence with its communications systems, the Kenai Airport Operations Facility is finally up and running at full capacity.

Peninsula opinions differ on lease sales
The battle over two proposed federal oil and gas lease sales in Cook Inlet is shaping up as a struggle between north and south.

Advisory group struggles to agree on fishery
Despite a marathon meeting Thursday, the Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game advisory committee failed to agree on what recommendations it will make to the Alaska Board of Fisheries regarding management of early-run Kenai River king salmon.

House fires spark interest in fire protection
Three house fires in Kasilof in less than two weeks have again brought attention to the fact that the community lies outside the Central Emergency Services fire protection district and many homes there are uninsurable.

Caucus focuses on joint cause
Two members of the Alaska Senate have joined with four colleagues from the House to form what they hope will be a strong and unified voice for the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak.

Photo feature: Heating up?
The warm rays of sun shine over frozen Headquarters Lake at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on a crisp winter day.

Witnesses disagree on how dogs' transportation handled
SHELBY, Mont -- The regional head of the Humane Society and a sled dog racer from Seeley Lake, Mont., disagreed Friday over whether conditions in the tractor-trailer used to transport 181 animals from Alaska to Montana were cruel and inhumane.

Louise Pounds McDonald
Louise Pounds McDonald died Friday, Jan. 24, 2003, in North Richland Hills, Texas. She was 75.

Raymond 'R.D.' Darrill Smith
Longtime Alaskan Raymond "R.D." Darrill Smith died Friday, Jan. 24, 2003, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 58.

Edward W. Liebenthal
Longtime Alaskan Edward W. Liebenthal died Thursday, Jan. 23, 2003, at Friendship Terrace Assisted Living in Homer. He was 84.

Letters to the Editor
Board of Game supports wildlife management, not preservation Coalition wants to control policy for lower peninsula watersheds Racing Lions sno-cross slated for Feb. 1 Writer takes blame for bad information about committee

Board appointments put special interests, politics over people What others say
Hunting and trapping are an important part of Alaska's heritage. While there are organizations and individuals who would dispute the value of these activities, they are distinctly Alaskan and undeniably worthy of defense as both a rural lifestyle choice and a recreational endeavor.

Extreme early-run measures don't address issue, only hurt guides
Thursday night I attended the Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Board, and I returned home near midnight literally full of anguish and disgust, once again reminded of why I swore-off these meetings years ago.

Star Trek characters offer hopeful vision for future, lessons for today's world
"So, are you a trekkie?" It's a question I'm often asked, and it's usually followed by snickering or belittling comments like, "Isn't that just for pre-pubescent teen-agers and comic book geeks?"

State of the Union speech set for Tuesday; Bush prepares to detail Iraq policy
WASHINGTON-- President Bush is readying his State of the Union speech in unusually trying times that are marked by a shaky economy, expanding federal deficits, the longest stock market decline in 60 years, increased worries about terrorism and escalating nuclear tensions with North Korea.

Lots of difficult work, cooperation will pave road to brighter future
Alaskans hoping that Gov. Frank Murkowski had some kind of magic bullet to cure the state's financial woes and jump start its economy may have been disappointed by his State of the State speech Thursday night.

Photo feature: Weathering the wind
Dune grass, seemingly rooted in snow, stands in rigid defiance against blustery winter winds at Kenai Dunes Beach.

Around the Peninsula
Food bank, Head Start offer class FAS presentation planned today Adult fitness swim lessons offered Fish and Game committee to meet Entrepreneurship workshop set Kenai chamber plans job shadow, meeting Rec Center announces winter, spring programs Canine Good Citizen class offered

Man swimming length of river to make point
KELLER, Wash. (AP) -- A swimmer neared the halfway point in a 1,250-mile journey down the Columbia River -- a trip designed to raise awareness of its pollution levels and to encourage a cleanup.

Couple celebrates 60th anniversary
Paul and Jessie Mettille of the Heritage Place Long-Term Care Center in Soldotna celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Monday, Jan. 20, 2003.

From clutter... to simplicity
Jackis Story The day Before New Years The best books and organizing tips I found: Time Savers: But I Dont Have the Time ... Victorias Secrets Costly Clutter The Quiz Donations: Where, When, What to Bring Common Household Diseases And the cure Organizing Wisdom:

Community Schools
The following is a list of Soldotna Community Schools classes and activities beginning this week. The list is printed to serve as a reminder to registered participants. If you are interested in a class or activity but are not preregistered, call the Soldotna Community Schools office at 262-6768.

Community News
SCI offers $1,000 scholarship Alaska Junior Miss coming to Soldotna

Rogers, Legg plan May wedding
Valerie Jeanne Rogers and Adam Legg were engaged Nov. 21, 2002. The couple plans to marry Saturday, May 3, 2003, at Kincaid Park in Anchorage.

Club News
Elks table tennis tournament results announced

Emergency preparedness saves lives
It is common knowledge that following a large-scale disaster there is a lag time of about 72-hours. That is three days, before help may arrive.

Melinda and Avery Pennington

Around the Peninsula
Fish and game advisory committee to meetFAS presentation plannedNorth Peninsula chamber meeting plannedHospice wine tasting plannedRefuge fun day plannedHospital board to meetYoung Marines seek volunteersBlood bank needs blood

Peninsula People
Soldotna student graduates college Sterling man joins Navy Kenai youth earns honors at military institute Soldotna youth completes Marine infantry training Sterling woman added to AER board

Trail conditions behind Nikiski pool make for enjoyable competition
The Kenai Klassic was hosted by Kenai Central High School, but it was Nikiski high school coach Dale Bakk making the friends at Saturday's meet at the trails behind the Nikiski pool.

Nikiski hockey nears school wins record
The Nikiski hockey team broke open a 3-3 game by scoring five unanswered goals in the third period to defeat Glennallen 8-3 Friday in Greatland Hockey Conference play at the Jason Peterson Memorial Ice Rink.

Kenai, SoHi hockey get sweep in valley
The Kenai Central High School hockey team completed its trip to the Valley with a win, defeating the Colony Knights 7-5 in a North Star Conference game at Brett Memorial Ice Arena in Wasilla.

Heatley heats up net vs. New York
NEW YORK -- Dany Heatley scored three goals to lead the Atlanta Thrashers to a 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday.

Agassi takes Aussie title
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Andre Agassi just keeps getting better with age.

Cook Inlet Academy boys pick up district win over Seldovia
The Cook Inlet Academy boys high school basketball team netted a big win Saturday, defeating the visiting Seldovia Sea Otters 57-45 in District 3/2A play.

Creighton regains 'mojo' against TCU
OMAHA, Neb. -- After an embarrassing loss to Evansville three days earlier, No. 10 Creighton was staring at a 12-point halftime deficit against TCU on Sunday.

SkyHi, SoHi play to split
The Soldotna High School girls basketball team remained perfect this season, defeating a surprisingly feisty Skyview squad 68-43 in Region III/4A play Saturday at Soldotna.

Skyview girls topple Kenai
The Skyview High School girls basketball team stole a page from Kenai Central's playbook Friday, using its corps of quick guards to pressure the Kardinals ballhandlers up and down the court.

Athletes can benefit from training in the water
WASHINGTON -- Aquatic exercise programs are not just for grandmas riding foam floats. Water is good for athletic training, too, and experts say more athletes are making use of it.

Tampa wins first championship; makes Oakland, Gannon walk the plank
SAN DIEGO -- Just defense, baby!

Gruden: expensive, but worth it
He was racing up the sideline Sunday, features frozen by the most intense kind of concentration, matching the ball carrier stride for stride. All the while, his right fist was punching the air.

Super Bowl Records
Records set or tied in the 2003 Super Bowl:

Inside and outside, Soldotna girls too much for Homer
HOMER -- Four varsity basketball teams from Soldotna and Homer high schools met and tangled here in Region III/4A action Friday. Three of those teams are playing ball in hopes of someday landing themselves among the elite teams in Class 4A. The other team continues to prove that they are already there.

Frazar takes lead into final round of Phoenix Open
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Harrison Frazar separated himself from his challengers with a birdie on the 17th hole Saturday, and took a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Phoenix Open.

Stars, Panthers shine at borough wrestling
Fierce competition defined the final regular season meeting of the big-schools wrestling teams at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Wrestling Tournament Saturday at Skyview.

No. 1 Arizona comes back from 20 points down to stop Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Salim Stoudamire led a 10-0 run to open the second half and No. 1 Arizona rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat No. 6 Kansas 91-74 Saturday.

Capitals top Rangers
WASHINGTON -- Sergei Gonchar had a goal and three assists and the Washington Capitals scored five power-play goals in a 7-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Sixers pull out victory over Heat
MIAMI -- Keith Van Horn scored 26 points and Allen Iverson added 25 to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Miami Heat 97-91 on Saturday.

Tigers control Vandy
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Seimone Augustus scored 21 points as No. 6 LSU shook off No. 18 Vanderbilt for a 70-59 victory Sunday afternoon, its 14th straight win at home.

Jackson earns Super Bowl MVP honors
Super Bowl MVPs

Seward girls assert supremacy against Valdez
The Seward girls, ranked first in Class 3A in the first prep poll, blew out Valdez 61-32 Friday in nonconference basketball action in Seward.

Sports Briefs
KITZBUEHEL, Austria -- Daron Rahlves' excitement over a milestone victory on the notorious Hahnenkamm wasn't diminished by a shortened course.

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