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Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Kenai social service groups, government meet on homeless
KENAI (AP) -- Representatives of church groups, local government, nonprofit organizations and the community will come together Wednesday for the Kenai Peninsula Homeless Summit.

Turnagain Pass closed to snowmachines
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Off-road areas in Turnagain Pass, 60 highway miles south of Anchorage, are now closed to motorized use, while areas in Denali National Park and Preserve where snowmachining is normally allowed still hasn't had enough snow to open to motorized use.

Juneau physician recalls astronaut as friend who truly enjoyed life
JUNEAU (AP) -- Dr. Laurel Clark, one of seven astronauts to die in the space shuttle Columbia on Saturday, embraced life and heard the music in ordinary things, says Dr. Deb Lessmeier of Juneau, a close friend.

Jury selection continues in price-fixing case
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Jury selection continued Tuesday in a case that charges Bristol Bay seafood processors and buyers with price-fixing.

Retired trooper named top law officer by Murkowski
JUNEAU -- Bill Tandeske was named commissioner of the state Department of Public Safety on Monday by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Forest Service names new Chugach forester
JUNEAU (AP) -- The U.S. Forest Service has selected a 25-year agency veteran as forest supervisor for Chugach National Forest.

Antifreeze poisons dogs in Soldotna neighborhood
KENAI (AP) -- A recent spate of dogs poisonings in a Soldotna neighborhood has pet owners wondering whether someone is intentionally trying to harm dogs.

Legislators propose redesigning state seal
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A group of state representatives has proposed redesigning the seal of Alaska to better reflect the state's cultures and to recognize the contributions of Natives.

Murkowski learns the ropes in Senate
WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's no manual that can tell Lisa Murkowski what she needs to know, no helpful handbook that begins, ''So, you've just been appointed to high political office.''

Anchorage teen dies in Cooper Landing rollover
KENAI (AP) -- An Anchorage teenager died Sunday in a single-vehicle rollover accident in Cooper Landing. Her mother and the driver of the pickup truck were injured.

Mackey takes Knik 200
WASILLA (AP) -- Lance Mackey of Kasilof won the Knik 200-Joe Redington Sr. Memorial Sled Dog Race Sunday.

Group works to organize nonunion university workers
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A group backed by a state employees' union and the American Federation of Teachers is working to organize most of the remaining nonunion workers at the University of Alaska.

Economic growth termed moderate for Fairbanks in 2002
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Fairbanks economy is stable and solid even though 2002 was relatively slow for most of the city's companies, according to a state economist and representatives of the Interior business community.

Investigators say methamphetamine lab starts hotel fire
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Chemicals from a suspected methamphetamine lab ignited a blaze in a Fairbanks hotel, causing the evacuation of about 20 occupants and thousands of dollars in damage to the building.

Juneau residents to get indoor ice rink Thursday
JUNEAU (AP) -- Juneau residents can test the ice at the Treadwell Arena for the first time Thursday.

Alaska programs face cuts under Bush budget
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- President Bush's proposed $2.23 billion budget for fiscal year 2004 would cut millions from the Denali Commission and from spending on Alaska Native education but would add money for missile interceptors at Fort Greely and new oil lease sales on North Slope.

Wolf control issues in limbo
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Whether the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will kill any wolves this winter now that Gov. Frank Murkowski is in office remains up in the air.

Resort closure affects more than tourists in Central
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- When Arctic Circle Hot Springs closed for the winter last October, the village of Central lost one of the few attractions drawing visitors to town.

Murkowski pays for trip on private jet
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski has reimbursed former Alaska banking executive Ed Rasmuson for a ride home from a Scotland hunting trip in Rasmuson's private jet last month.

GCI announces 2002 earnings
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- General Communications Inc. expects to see revenue of $367.8 million for 2002, a 2.9 percent increase over 2001.

Wasilla rider fifth in Michigan snowmobile race
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) -- A Minnesota man has won the I-500 snowmobile race here for the fourth time. A Wasilla rider was fifth in Saturday's race.

Rules Committee gives chairman more power
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Senate Rules Committee has decided to quit meeting regularly to schedule bills, turning that power instead over to the chairman, Sen. John Cowdery, R-Anchorage.

Voznesenka man sentenced for crash that killed daughter
KENAI (AP) -- Efrem Erofeeff, 27, of Voznesenka, was sentenced Friday to three years in jail with all but 12 months suspended for negligent homicide and two years in jail with all but six months suspended for assault. He will have to serve a total of 1 1/2 years.

Murkowski blasts habitat division
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state habitat division has a reputation of delaying and derailing major construction projects and a change is overdue, Gov. Frank Murkowski said Monday.

Silver Bay Logging files for bankruptcy protection
JUNEAU (AP) -- Wrangell-based Silver Bay Logging has filed for bankruptcy protection, citing depressed lumber prices and increased costs of harvesting federal timber in Southeast Alaska.

Health groups recruit for Alaska villages
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska health care organizations from tribal to university institutions have kicked off initiatives and training programs to attract physicians to remote areas of the state and to train and retain providers from within.

Panther cheerleading squad roller skates toward nationals
A group of Skyview cheerleaders are working their way to the National Cheerleading Associations competition in Anaheim California.

Ice Carvers & Harvesters battle thawing temperatures
It takes more than a village to raise ice when El Nino brings thawing temperatures in the dead of winter.

SoHi hosts State Jr. Miss final
Young women from Nome to Wrangle Alaska competing for the 2003 State Jr. Miss Title spent last week on the Kenai Peninsula for a week filled with rehearsals, luncheons and personal appearances.

Kenai Chamber honors Kenai Kings & Queens
"I just really love this community and the way they treat people," said a long time Peninsula resident as she left the 27th Anniversary Town & Gown Awards Ceremony last week.

Rotary Youth Exchange builds lasting friendships
It's a long way from Argentina to Alaska and the differences in language and culture are huge. It's a huge step for a young person to volunteer a year of their life to be an exchange student and leave all that is familiar, home, family and friends to live and study in a foreign land, especially the land of Igloos and Polar bears, but the dividends are also huge.

T-200 poster contest goes on without race
Now in its fourth year, the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race poster contest has become an important part of the race itself.

Knick crown claimed for Kasilof
WASILLA (AP) -- Lance Mackey of Kasilof won the Knik 200-Joe Redington Sr. Memorial Sled Dog Race Sunday.

Fairbanks girl named Alaska Junior Miss
Rachel Warbelow of West Valley High School in Fairbanks was named the 2003 Alaska Junior Miss at the state competition in Soldotna on Saturday.

NOW PLAYING: Final Destination 2
Whatever you do, do not go see this movie by yourself! If you do, you'll end up like me, lamely trying to toss witty comments over your shoulder in a pathetic attempt to join someone el

Photo feature: Heavy duty
Max, a well built Siberian husky, shows what he was bred to do by pulling more than 650 pounds in the State Championship Dog Weight Pull.

Senate Democrats accuse Republicans of doing business behind doors
JUNEAU -- The Senate Rules Committee has decided to quit meeting regularly to schedule bills, turning that power instead over to the chairman, Sen. John Cowdery, R-Anchorage.

Legislators propose redesigning state seal
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A group of state representatives has proposed redesigning the seal of Alaska to better reflect the state's cultures and to recognize the contributions of Natives.

Audit shows borough's general fund decreased
During fiscal year 2002, the money available for operating the Kenai Peninsula Borough, its general fund, shrank by $2.1 million from the previous year, according to the latest comprehensive annual financial report released earlier this month.

KPC working to add dorms for students
Gary Turner's first year as director of Kenai Peninsula College is shaping up to be a busy one, but that's the way he likes it.

Juneau woman recalls friendship with astronaut
Dr. Laurel Clark, one of seven astronauts to die in the space shuttle Columbia on Saturday, embraced life and heard the music in ordinary things, says Dr. Deb Lessmeier of Juneau, a close friend.

Borough plans to throw support behind lease sales
A resolution to be considered at today's meeting would put the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on record as supporting the proposed federal Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sales 191 and 199.

Pet poisonings puzzle owners
A recent rash of dog poisonings from Community College Drive in Soldotna has pet owners in the area baffled and concerned.

Photo: Belle of the ball
Gov. Frank Murkowski congratulates Kelsie Leaf after she sang the "Star Spangled Banner" at the his inaugural ball at the King Salmon Motel in Soldotna on Friday evening.

Anchorage woman killed in Cooper Landing accident
A single-vehicle rollover accident in Cooper Landing Sunday resulted in the death of a 19-year-old woman and injuries to two other occupants of the vehicle.

CPGH rates to increase
New rates, will take effect this month in the Central Peninsula General Hospital's radiology, emergency and in-patient departments. While prices for some of the facility's services and medical procedures will jump, others will enjoy a decrease as the hospital seeks to align its prices more evenly with statewide rates and, more specifically, with CPGH's competitors.

School board to consider budget, consolidations again
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is working its way through a couple of outstanding issues this week, as it prepares for its twice-monthly work sessions and meeting today.

Kenai library looks to future
The Kenai Community Library has many things to offer its patrons, including books, computers, Internet access and children's story time. What it doesn't have is a coherent vision for future development and the funding to make that development happen.

Frank Bing Lee
Kenai resident Frank Bing Lee died Thursday Jan. 30, 2003, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 75.

Dana Wackler
Former Soldotna and Sterling resident Dana Wackler died Thursday, Jan. 30, 2003, surrounded by family and friends at her home in Anchorage after a long struggle with lung cancer. She was 48.

James Dale Waller
Kenai resident James Dale Waller died Friday, Jan. 31, 2003, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 97.

Letters to the Editor
Russian program should not be cut from school district budgetRussian program serves both educational, economic needsBest use of ANWR oil may be to leave it for future generationsFish and Game commissioner doesn't understand Kenai RiverEducation opportunity: What is race's role in college admissions?

Letters to the Editor
Students' successes prove Russian program a keeperShould people who are better fishers be punished for that?Borough support of lease sales leaves public out of the process

Applause
Support enables student to run in California eventAnnual event allowing residents to give food, blood is big success

Lease sale ball bounces into assembly's court
(The recent) ... public hearings on proposed oil and gas lease sales for lower Cook Inlet provided a case study in democracy in action. The hearings, conducted in Seldovia, Homer and Kenai, were set up to bring grass-roots feedback into the decision-making process.

Exempting pipeline right of way from legal action prudent course
We all know the deep, resonant clang that comes from beating an empty 55-gallon steel drum.

Photo feature: Painted sunrise
The rising sun paints a rainbow of colors in the sky and on the snow-covered Kenai River flats along Bridge Access Road on Thursday.

Club News
Elks table tennis tournament winners announced

Community Schools
The following is a list of Soldotna Community Schools classes and activities beginning this week. It is printed to serve as a reminder to registered participants.

Community News
Kenai Teen Center plans activitiesChildren's dance classes availableVFW Ladies Auxiliary offers scholarship

Around the Peninsula
Soldotna chamber meets TuesdayEntrepreneurship workshop slatedEDD plans second timber meetingLibrary commission meeting, visioning session setKenai Curves hosting blood driveFish and Game committee to meet, fill guide seatTrooper to speak at North chamberLeague of Women Voters to meetCelebration planned for Seward centennial

Births
Serena and Shawn Houser

Around the Peninsula
Flood aid deadline todayHomer Winter Carnival plans under wayNPCC to meet tonightPratt Museum reopensSoldotna chamber meets TuesdayEntrepreneurship workshop slatedEDD plans second timber meetingKenai chamber to discuss future work force

Peninsula People
Area students named to deans' listsSoldotna student interns at DA officeKenai youth offered college scholarshipNinilchik woman completes basic training

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Senior Menus
What's on the menu for our area seniors

Smaller, safer public housing is just what the elderly seem to want
PITTSBURGH -- At the still-going-strong age of 65, Jessica Wright won't mind if she outlives Garfield Heights. While she figures she still has good years ahead, the best years of the 40-year-old public housing building are long gone.

Turnagain Pass closed to snowmachines
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Off-road areas in Turnagain Pass, 60 highway miles south of Anchorage, are now closed to motorized use, while areas in Denali National Park and Preserve where snowmachining is normally allowed still hasn't had enough snow to open to motorized use.

So long, Comiskey -- hello, U.S. Cellular Field
CHICAGO (AP) -- For more than 90 years, the Chicago White Sox have played in a South Side ballpark called Comiskey Park.

Local Sports Briefs
Smiths help Kards drop ServicePeninsula skiers race in Fairbanks

Robbins' agent confirms center has bipolar disorder
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The agent for Barret Robbins confirmed Monday that the Oakland Raiders' All-Pro center has bipolar disorder, and that he expressed ''remorse and deep sadness'' for missing the Super Bowl.

Hinrich's maneuvers lift Kansas past Missouri
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kirk Hinrich scored 24 points and Michael Lee made three key free throws in the final seconds , lifting No. 12 Kansas past No. 21 Missouri 76-70 Monday night.

Williams runs away with Pro Bowl MVP
HONOLULU -- Ricky Williams' first trip to the Pro Bowl was worth the wait.

Calhoun faces cancer fight
STORRS, Conn. -- Connecticut men's coach Jim Calhoun has prostate cancer and is leaving the team for up to a month for surgery and treatment.

Weir stays steady to win Hope Classic; Haas lets victory slip into drink
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Mike Weir went with caution. Jay Haas went for the green.

James still hasn't appealed his ban
CLEVELAND (AP) -- LeBron James has yet to appeal his banishment from playing high school basketball, keeping the 18-year-old superstar off the court.

Deacons hold off Carolina advance
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- There are two givens nearing the halfway point of the ACC season -- No. 17 Wake Forest is the surprise team and Josh Howard is the favorite to win the league's player of the year award.

Nets forward pumps in 35 as New Jersey bankrupts SuperSonics
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Kenyon Martin scored a career-high 35 points and Jason Kidd hit a 3-pointer with 1:31 left in overtime to lead the New Jersey Nets to a 109-108 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Monday night.

NHL has shootoout at Sunrise
SUNRISE, Fla. -- In a trying, troubling season, the NHL almost got the All-Star game wrong, too. Even if Dany Heatley didn't.

Sports Briefs
IAAF cautious on Francis statementU.S. women win silver, bronze in Super GPirates owner says no collusion -- now

Sports Briefs
Feofanova tops own world indoor pole vault markManning calls Vanderjagt ''idiot'' during Pro BowlJames sits as his team squeaks out win

Kenai Central's Foley hits mark on court, in classroom
Throughout Ian Foley's childhood, his parents, Kim and Tom Foley, had to deal with broken objects in the living room due to Ian's love for shooting around on a 6-foot hoop.

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