Monday, January 29, 2001

New state elections chief named
SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- An Alaska state election official was appointed as Oregon elections director by Secretary of State Bill Bradbury on Friday.

Searchers reach plane wreck, recover bodies
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The bodies of two Anchorage pilots were recovered Friday from the wreckage of a DC-3 cargo plane on the side of the mountain above Unalaska.

Bush cabinet member to visit Alaska
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The new secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will apparently be the first member of President George Bush's cabinet to visit Alaska.

Bush to focus on prescription drugs, religion
WASHINGTON -- After starting his presidency with a focus on the safe topic of education, President Bush this week ventures into more treacherous waters: He is promoting his proposal to turn certain government services over to religious institutions, and pushing the GOP plan to provide prescription drugs to senior citizens.

Fairbanks rural electric cooperative president resigns
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The president and chief executive officer of Golden Valley Electric Association has resigned after 10 months on the job.

January 26: Anchorage Daily News on welfare reform in Alaska:
The numbers are encouraging.

Four companies state interest in private prison project
KENAI (AP) -- Four organizations have formally expressed interest in building and operating a private prison in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

January 25: Voice of The (Anchorage) Times on running the Alaska Railroad:
The choice of Air Force Gen. Patrick K. Gamble to become the new president and chief executive officer of the Alaska Railroad was something of a stunning surprise. A great and welcome surprise, it needs to be quickly said.

Bush cabinet member to visit Alaska
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The new secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will apparently be the first member of President George Bush's cabinet to visit Alaska.

January 24: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on compensation for public service:
''It's a form of compensation or an incentive to get people to run for office, and I think we all have a stake in that.''

Foster mother sentenced for killing 10-year-old in her care
ANCHORAGE -- A foster mother was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison, with 10 suspended, for the beating death of a child in her care.

January 26: Peninsula Clarion on boosting Alaska's minimum wage:
In one of the first acts of the new legislativ

GCI wins $2.7 million from ACS
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The cable TV and phone company GCI has won an order from the Federal Communications Commission that rival ACS owes GCI $2.7 million plus interest for charges by its subsidiary ATU, formerly the Anchorage Telephone Utility.

Dogs victimized by traps around Mat-Su
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Dogs are falling victim to traps around the Matanuska and Susitna valleys.

Knowles names Brown, Sampson to head Gas Policy Council
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles created an Alaska Highway Natural Gas Policy Council on Friday and named Arco Alaska Vice President Frank Brown and former Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Sampson as co-chairmen.

Moose road-kill numbers down in Mat-Su
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The number of road-killed moose is reported down in the Mat-Su region.

Murkowski law increases role of Coast Guard
JUNEAU (AP) -- Federal legislation brokered by Sen. Frank Murkowski has increased the regulatory role of the U.S. Coast Guard when testing cruise ship wastewater discharges.

Weather blamed for poor Kodiak hunting, bear-viewing last year
KODIAK (AP) -- Weather was blamed for a lack of hunter and bear-viewing success on Kodiak Island last fall.

Drug officers raid three homes in Wasilla area
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three methamphetamine laboratories in the Wasilla area were raided Friday, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Many lobbyists come to the job after interning in politics
JUNEAU (AP) -- Thyes Shaub's job as one of the best-paid woman lobbyists in Alaska means more than winning over clients, staying on top of issues and overcoming gender barriers.

Drug officers raid three homes in Wasilla area
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three methamphetamine laboratories in the Wasilla area were raided Friday, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Alaska International Airport System posts cargo increases
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Alaska International Airport System has posted increases in cargo landed weight for the peak shipping season at Fairbanks International Airport and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

BP counsels patience in expecting an Alaska natural gas pipeline
ANCHORAGE -- High natural gas prices that have supercharged enthusiasm for a pipeline to export North Slope gas also create a potential barrier, a top BP executive said Friday.

Two people appointed to commission
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two people have been appointed to a commission that is responsible for dispersing over a half million dollars in state and local funds each year.

Stevens says he's preparing for 2002 campaign
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens said Friday he will campaign in 2002 for a sixth term.

Anchorage man killed by a hit and run driver
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man who was walking across a road Sunday was killed by a hit and run driver, Anchorage police said.

Air Force considers outsourcing Elmendorf supply squadron
ANCHORAGE -- Elmendorf Air Force Base could lose 175 personnel and 33 civilian jobs if plans proceed to replace its supply squadron with a private contractor from Texas.

Ulmer appoints panel to study changing Alaska's open primary
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer has named a task force to review Alaska's open primary election.

Bulldozers roll as mine construction begins
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Angry residents of Cleary Summit watched from their homes Thursday as bulldozers cut a swath through trees and brush to make way for the Interior's newest mine.

Crab biologist finds treasures in the Gulf of Alaska
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Brad Stevens wasn't sure what he was looking at when he first spotted a reddish creature with long, spindly legs and giant claws crawling along the side of a mountain rising from the floor of the Gulf of Alaska.

Bush pledges go-ahead on missile defense and cuts in nuclear forces
WASHINGTON -- President Bush said Friday he intends to go ahead with plans for building a nationwide missile defense, despite Russian objections, and also cut the number of U.S. nuclear weapons.

Internet opens world of information to aurora borealis fans
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Internet is opening up a world of information to astronomy buffs and scientists who are using satellite data to get a good look at the northern lights.

Tax cap backer tries new tack
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Uwe Kalenka, the father of last year's failed property tax cap, is launching a new petition drive to give municipalities more flexibility in levying local property taxes.

Jury orders medical groups to pay almost $2 million in damages
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Superior Court jury has ordered the state's largest nonprofit hospital to pay almost $2 million in damages to two doctors who filed an antitrust suit.

Fairbanks man pleas no contest to manslaughter
FAIRBANKS -- A man who faced charges of first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder and other charges for two 1999 shootings has pleaded no contest to manslaughter and a probation violation.

North Slope mayor says nuclear waste plan is lunacy
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Arctic North Slope Borough Mayor George Ahmaogak thinks the idea of shipping nuclear waste across the top of the globe is another example of how the world takes liberties with the Arctic Ocean.

Reactions mixed on state graduation exam
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska students don't have to pass a high school exit exam until 2002, but the test is already profoundly affecting schools and students.

Around the Peninsula
Peer counselors to lead mothers groupCommunity chorus to meetShellfish permits dueBeer tasting tops fund-raiserEntrants sought for contestKids arts on displayCommunity to gather of Valentines Day

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
Native descendants to meet Timber topic discussed at chamber lunchClothes closet now openImmunization clinic planned, one canceledBoard of directors meeting slatedWinter games events slatedAdvisory committee to meetSports day plannedAlumni of 1981 sought

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.

Movie review:The Pledge
I left the theater after seeing Jack Nicholson's new movie feeling a little conflicted. On the one hand, I had enjoyed almost everything about the film, so I should have been feeling pretty good, right?

Falling down
Among towering spruce trees, the people of the Kenai Peninsula have built their homes. The green-needled giants provided a wall, behind which residents found the privacy they sought.

Weddings
Joy Langston and Steven Webb Kenai couple celebrates 50 years together

My Best Friend
Cream and sugar? Beth Mishko of Soldotna said her cat Tikki loves to dip her paw into Beth's morning coffee while she reads her newspaper. And Tikki likes her coffee black, said Beth.

Proposal prompts flood of calls, e-mails to Soldotna legislator
Legislation proposing a $10 fee for personal-use dipnet fishing in the Kasilof and Kenai Rivers is short on words, but big on response, according to its sponsor, Rep. Ken Lancaster, R-Soldotna.

Reactions mixed on state high school graduation exam
Alaska students don't have to pass a high school exit exam until 2002, but the test is already profoundly affecting schools and students.

Scenic Sterling Highway?
HOMER -- Already named a scenic state route, the Sterling Highway between Anchor Point and the end of the Homer Spit could be headed for designation as a National Scenic Byway.

Survey searches for cause of frustration
Sales of Alaska resident sport-fishing licenses are falling despite Alaska's increasing population. The state hopes to find out why with a survey on the way to 8,500 Alaska residents.

Family fun
Molly Watkins follows her father Jed across a bridge during a ski outing at the Kenai Golf Course Saturday afternoon. Her brother James and sister Hannah were practicing on a hill nearby.

SoHi senior named Alaska Junior Miss
Despite some initial indecision over entering the Alaska Junior Miss Scholarship Program, Soldotna High School senior Kara Merrill came away as the big winner Saturday night.

Funds for convention center plans get approval
The Soldotna City Council continues to take steps toward making a new convention center a reality. At Wednesday night's meeting, the council approved a $56,950 appropriation to fund schematic designs.

Photo feature: Winter sky
Clouds rolling off Mount Iliamna reflect Saturday's fading light.

Community leaders honored at banquet
The dimly lit Soldotna Elks Lodge was filled with excitement Friday as all awaited the start of the 42nd annual Greater Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet.

Proponents say measure will save lives, decrease violence; critics cite loss of revenue, tout personal responsibility
A bill to close bars statewide by 2 a.m. is drawing mixed reviews from central Kenai Peninsula bar operators.

New Head Start to open doors
After years of discussion, the Sterling Head Start program will open its doors Monday at Mile 81.5 Sterling Highway, next to Cook's Corner Tesoro.

Weather promises pothole bonanza
Potholes, usually a harbinger of spring, are blooming early on Kenai Peninsula roads. Like the pussy willows, their untimely appearance traces to the weird, warm weather.

John B. Luy and D. Joseph Luy
Kenai residents John B. Luy and son D. Joseph Luy died Sept. 28, 2000, in an airplane accident while traveling from Spokane, Wash. to Kenai.

Learning the ropes in Juneau
First, I want to thank everyone for their support and the opportunity to make a difference. I would like to introduce my staff to all of you: Helen Donahue, Michael Huckabay (Huck) and Leonardo Wasillie from Seward. They are willing to be of assistance anytime you need our help.

Bush education plan calls for flexibility, real accountability
As promised, President Bush has sent Congress a serious proposal for reforming public education in America. It's a good, balanced plan with excellent prospects of drawing the bipartisan support that Mr. Bush fervently wants so he can convert a campaign pledge into a tangible achievement.

Letter to the Editor
I have lived on the Kenai Peninsula for the past seven years. I'm a U.S. citizen since birth, a registered voter in Kenai, I drive school bus for a living and have a unique situation.

Letters to the Editor
Sunday column about racism, intolerance draws responseDipnet fee good idea if residency requirements enforced

Ugly incident underscores beautiful truth
"Even when walking in a party of no more than three, I can always be certain of learning from those I am with. There will be good qualities that I can select for imitation and bad ones that will teach me what requires correction in myself." Confucius

Challenger tragedy anniversary marks end and beginning
Fifteen years ago today, seven astronauts lost their lives in the tragic explosion of the Challenger space shuttle.

Applause
Kenai chamber says thanks for success of annual banquet

Births
Andrea Dalon and John Raymond McGrane Mary E. and Michael L. Hutchison

Kenai couple celebrates 50 years together
David and Mary Thornton of Kenai recently celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Langston, Webb plan spring marriage
Joy Langston and Steven Webb will be married at Holy Trinity Church on Mercer Island in Washington on April 29.

Challenger Center receives check from BP
Kenai Mayor John Williams, left, shares a $60,000 check from British Petroleum with incoming Challenger Center of Alaska Executive Director Steve Horn.

Ask a Trooper
Question: My husband and I are having a debate we hope you can settle. Someone broke into our shed and took so

Community News
Nominations sought for first lady's awardHEA offers scholarshipHomer chamber looking for volunteers

Alaska SeaLife Center news
Harbor seal hormone study continues Harlequin duck study nearing completion

Langston, Webb plan spring marriage
Joy Langston and Steven Webb will be married at Holy Trinity Church on Mercer Island in Washington on April 29.

Peninsula People
Soldotna man receives trainingMedical student trains in areaStudents named to honor listsNew pioneer officers installed New members electedPing pong tourney results

Defending their turf
Nikiski High School girls basketball coach Ward Romans said his squad has the potential to explode this season.

Stars grab two games from Homer
The Soldotna Stars girls and boys basketball teams allowed the Homer Mariners through the front door of the House of Blue Saturday and escorted them out with two losses.

Baltimore stifles Giants to take home Super Bowl
TAMPA, Fla. -- This Super Bowl was a roll in the mud, not a grand passing duel between future Hall of Famers.

Kards blow past Wolverines
The Ninilchik High School girls basketball team got an up-close-and-personal look at the Kenai Central High School defense Saturday at Kenai in a nonregion game.

San Antonio gets fourth straight victory against Utah
SALT LAKE CITY -- Tim Duncan is on a roll, and this time the Utah Jazz were in his way.

Big Apple can relish topping Los Angeles
NEW YORK -- Shaquille O'Neal never left the locker room, and the rest of the Lakers never really showed up, either.

Hawks down Kenai
The Houston hockey team picked up a 3-2 victory over Kenai late Saturday night in nonconference action at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Stars top Houston in hockey action
The Soldotna hockey team scored the first nine goals of the game in cruising to a 10-1 nonconference victory over Houston Friday at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Lewis earns MVP trophy for Ray-venous defense
TAMPA, Fla. -- As Ray Lewis came out of the tunnel before the Super Bowl began, he followed a season-long ritual: He scooped up a few blades of grass from Raymond James Stadium.

Skyview girls get tough win at Kodiak
The Skyview High School girls basketball team scored a victory Saturday, defeating Kodiak 50-38 in a non-region game at Kodiak.

Agassi picks substance over style
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Andre Agassi no longer feels the need to be flashy. He wore a bland black and white outfit to work Sunday, then played tennis that was smart and steady rather than spectacular.

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