Thursday, February 6, 2003

Judges refused venue change in third Mateu trial
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins has turned down a prosecution request to move the murder trial of 19-year-old Jose ''Che'' Mateu out of Ketchikan.

Fire destroys historic Palmer building
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A wind-whipped fire destroyed a historic building in downtown Palmer Tuesday night, drawing a crowd of onlookers and sending fire crews scrambling to protect nearby structures.

Senator proposes tax break for whaling captains
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Eskimo whaling captains could be in line for a tax break if legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is approved.

Defense begins opening arguments in Bristol Bay sockeye lawsuit
ANCHORAGE (AP) - World market conditions, not a conspiracy, were the real culprit behind lowered prices to fishermen, defense attorneys in the $1 billion Bristol Bay sockeye salmon lawsuit told Superior Court jurors Thursday.

Anchorage man slashed
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man was attacked and slashed so severely his scalp was exposed Monday night.

Alaska getting unusually warm weather
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Typically by February, Alaskans are hoping for a reprieve from winter's cold and snow.

Iron Dog remains canceled despite efforts of racers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Snowmachiners who had hoped to race in the Iron Dog 2000 this year tried without success Tuesday night to get the race's board to reverse its decision to cancel the race.

Mother charged with helping stepfather rape girl, 12
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage woman has been indicted on charges she helped her husband repeatedly rape her 12-year-old daughter, according to documents filed this week in state Superior court.

Ketchikan faces backlash for hosting state meet
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Last October, Rick Collins got the gift he had desired most of all in seven years as head wrestling coach at Ketchikan High School -- hosting the state championship.

Opening arguments begin in Bristol Bay sockeye lawsuit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Attorneys for Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishermen told a Superior Court jury Wednesday that fish processors and importers conspired to take a higher cut of profits as their markets shrank in the late 1980s.

Murkowski to seek funds for pipeline authority
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski plans to appoint a board and seek funding for a new natural gas pipeline authority created by voters in November.

Avalanche closes Seward Highway
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An avalanche shut down the Seward Highway between Anchorage and Girdwood on Wednesday and caused power outages in several communities.

Citizens group says Alaskans shut out by Legislature
JUNEAU (AP) -- It's going to be more difficult for Alaskans to follow the flow of some proposed laws from afar after a seemingly minor change in the Senate Rules Committee, a citizens watchdog group said Tuesday.

Southeast processors look to use fish waste
JUNEAU (AP) -- Southeast fish processors are smelling opportunity in a byproduct that traditionally has caused people to turn up their noses -- decomposing fish carcasses.

House approves second verse to state song
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state House voted Wednesday to add a new verse honoring Alaska Natives to the state song, although some representatives argued the change unnecessarily tampers with tradition.

Subsistence designation rescinded for dipnet fishery
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Alaska Board of Fisheries has rescinded the subsistence classification for dipnetters who scoop salmon out of the Copper River at Chitina.

Noorvik teen arrested on attempted murder charge
KOTZEBUE (AP) -- A teen from Northwest Alaska village of Noorvik is facing a charge of attempted murder, Alaska State Troopers said.

Sen. Murkowski offers her first bills
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced her first three bills this week. All are initiatives her father had pursued when he was senator.

Wards Cove tells fishermen to pack up, pay up
DILLINGHAM (AP) -- The Wards Cove Packing Company is telling fishermen from Seattle to Egegik that it's time to settle up their accounts and move their gear off company property.

FBI seeks fourth man in state check counterfeiting scam
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- FBI agents are seeking a fourth man they say is connected to a counterfeit check-cashing ring that bilked banks out of more than $100,000 using bogus state checks, the FBI said.

Nonresident hire in Alaska up slightly in 2001
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The number of nonresidents working in Alaska increased slightly from 2000 to 2001.

Grand jury indicts man accused of killing vets' counselor
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man has been indicted by a state grand jury in the bludgeoning murder of his girlfriend last month.

Neighbors protest after approval of fish plant
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Juneau Assembly voted unanimously Monday to allow Alaska Glacier Seafoods to build a fish-processing plant in Auke Bay and neighbors are threatening legal action.

Shipping industry looks to hire fishermen
KODIAK (AP) -- The shipping industry and the Seafarers International Union are hoping some Alaska fishermen jump ship for the merchant marine when a steady paycheck and benefits start looking better than crew wages.

State waits for response on Ketchikan airport inspection
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A November inspection of the Ketchikan International Airport revealed deficiencies that threaten its operation, according to a letter from state to borough officials.

Bills would yank PFDs from drunk or uninsured drivers
JUNEAU (AP) -- People who drive drunk -- or without insurance -- could lose permanent funds dividends under bills introduced Wednesday.

Judge wants second look at plea agreement in shooting
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Superior Court judge Monday balked at a deal giving a wife killer five years, saying she questioned ''whether or not the sentence is appropriate in light of the facts.''

Bill would ban soft drink sales in schools
JUNEAU (AP) -- Children wouldn't be able to buy sugary soft drinks at schools under a bill introduced Wednesday.

President tries again for ANWR leases
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supporters of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are hoping the third try is the charm.

Murkowski lauds new tourism venture
JUNEAU (AP) -- It wasn't a commercial, but Gov. Frank Murkowski gave a strong endorsement to an idea by an Anchorage-based tourism company to begin nonstop flights from Tokyo.

Lack of snow puts freeze on businesses
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Bob Sewell, owner of A-1 Engine & Mower Co. in Salt Lake City, is usually busy this time of year pushing snowblowers out the door and repairing and tuning up machines getting a heavy workout clearing mounds of snow.

Business Briefs
Robinson, Fritz Creek honoredMerchant marine jobs availableSBS offers vocational scholarshipFree tax help available

Fish plant protested
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Juneau Assembly voted unanimously Monday to allow Alaska Glacier Seafoods to build a fish-processing plant in Auke Bay and neighbors are threatening legal action.

Soldotna hospital explores remodeling
Central Peninsula General Hospital officials are eying a remodeling project that will address space needs identified in the past six months by hospital employees and administrators.

Kmart gets closure approval
CHICAGO (AP) -- A federal judge has approved Kmart's plan to close 316 stores and borrow $2 billion as part of its effort to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and continue operating.

Doctoring do-it-yourself airplanes
LEWISTOWN, Mont. (AP) -- Even the most knowledgeable flying enthusiasts don't always know what they're getting into when they plunk down $25,000 or more for a do-it-yourself airplane kit.

'Mamma Mia!' heads to Las Vegas casino
LAS VEGAS -- The beach is out back by the wave pool. Sports betting and a nightclub are nearby. And in a small theater past the slot machines and gaming tables, a Broadway production of ''Mamma Mia!'' is trying to lure tourists away from gambling to settle in for more than two hours of ABBA tunes.

Arts Briefs
Racing Lions meeting FridayWriter's Night accepting submissionsPart of visitors center closedBoys and Girls Club holds showGCI solicits poems for insertTalent show accepting actsMuseum hosts free dayArts entries accepted

Aspiring Artists
Though they probably haven't heard of names like Renoir, Michelangelo, Monet or Picasso, a group of peninsula children have a lot in common with these famous artists.

What's Happening
Best Bets

Natives, scientists collaborate in arctic book
A few years ago, travelers in Nunavut's hinterlands came upon a startling sight: "an antler forest" where a caribou herd fell into a lake, drown and were suspended when it refroze.

Sen. Murkowski offers her first bills
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced her first three bills this week. All are initiatives her father had pursued when he was senator.

Bill would ban soft drink sales in schools
JUNEAU (AP) -- Children wouldn't be able to buy sugary soft drinks at schools under a bill introduced Wednesday.

Bills would yank PFDs from drunk or uninsured drivers
JUNEAU (AP) -- People who drive drunk -- or without insurance -- could lose permanent funds dividends under bills introduced Wednesday.

Daytona speedweeks

NASCAR finds big audience for night races
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- These are the easy days at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Only 200 of the daily calls to the ticket office are concerning the Sharpie 500, the race that shed new light literally on stock car racing.

NASCAR '03: Young guns still shooting for top gun
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Young guns or old hands, it doesn't really matter: the 2003 Winston Cup season is going to be a shootout.

Hendrick signs Busch to contract
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- When Rick Hendrick sees something he likes, he's not afraid to go after it.

Oil lease sales win assembly approval
A resolution supporting proposed Outer Continental Shelf federal lease sales 191 and 199 scheduled for 2004 and 2006 was adopted by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday.

CES aims for improved services
Members of the Central Emer-gency Services service area may see some new faces in different places at the department, but the changes shouldn't raise an alarm.

School board considers drastic budget cuts
Curriculum, support staff and co-curricular travel budgets may be next on the chopping block unless a miracle can correct shortfalls in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's 2004 fiscal year budget.

Gilman takes post at congressional office
The Kenai office of the Alaska congressional delegation has a new face.

New judge found for Nikiski couple's trial
SHELBY, MONT. -- A justice of the peace in a nearby county has agreed to preside over a new trial of accused collie abusers Jon Harman and Athena Lethcoe-Harman and will set a trial date and place as quickly as possible, he said Tuesday.

Challenger Center expanding
The inside of a space shuttle can make for cramped quarters, but the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska, though still NASA-themed, will no longer emulate shuttles in their lack of elbow room.

Photo feature: Remembering seven
Nancy Anderson and Audrey Russell walk Tuesday afternoon past seven roses tied to the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska's flagpole in honor of the seven astronauts who perished in last weekend's Columbia disaster. The Kenai facility is one of 43 Challenger Centers built following the 1986 shuttle disaster that also killed seven. It's mission is to inspire students to study science, math and technology.

Darrel G. Ployhar
Darrel G. Ployhar of Lexington, Ore., died Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2003, in the home of Kent Ployhar and Jackie Robinson in Kennewick, Wash. He was 68.

RayLee Brickey
Former Alaska resident RayLee Brickey died Saturday, Feb. 1, 2003, in Grants Pass, Ore. He was 55.

Millie 'Mim' Effler
Pioneer Alaskan and Homer resident Millie "Mim" Effler died Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2003, in Escondido, Calif. She was 78.

Letters to the Editor
Communitys encouragement would be appreciated by Marine If small stores are to survive, than they must be able to compete State should eliminate welfare to municipalities, nonprofit groups Chambers Fourth of July decision disappoints visitor

Bush earns praise for economic plans, strategy with Iraq
By almost any standard, President George W. Bush hit a grand slam with his State of the Union speech. ...

Kenai Rotarians teach seniors valuable business, life lessonsVolunteers who made Christmas drive big success are appreciatedMany contribute to success of SoHi ski team's prom dress sale

Change will harm Alaska's fish
As former commissioners of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, with a combined experience spanning 30 years, we urge Gov. Frank Murkowksi to keep the responsibility to protect the habitat of Alaska's salmon, trout and other fish resources within the Department of Fish and Game and not transfer this authority to the Department of Natural Resources.

Letters to the Editor
Space station one way to keep Columbia astronauts in mindInstead of bashing guides, let's work together to protect the fishDistribution plan for damages from Exxon spill doesn't cut itAcademics, not sports, should be school district's prioritySportfishing guides correctly defined as commercial industryKenai River issue not about guides, it's about salmon harvest parity

Hard questions need to be asked to avoid another shuttle tragedy
The space shuttle program faded from national consciousness as the 1986 Challenger disaster faded from memory. The shuttles became less explorers and more workhorses, hauling construction materials to the International Space Station.

Around the Peninsula
Chamber to discuss future work force Ice fishing derby has begun Trooper to speak at North chamber League of Women Voters to meet Celebration planned for Seward centennial Family Fun Day canceled Lip sync contest planned

Honor Roll
The following students were named to the honor roll for the second quarter at Nikiski Middle-Senior High School:

Schools around the District
Aurora Borealis Charter Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Montessori Charter Mountain View Elementary Nikiski Elementary Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Soldotna Elementary Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Kenai Middle School Soldotna Middle School Connections Kenai Central High Nikiski Middle-Senior High Ninilchik Skyview High Soldotna High Cook Inlet Academy Wings Christian Academy Soldotna Cooperative Preschool Sterling Head Start

Community opposes consolidations
Discussions of a preliminary plan to consolidate schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has met opposition from community members at every turn, and the school board meeting Monday night was no exception.

Students with ants-in-space project carry on as tribute
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Four high school students plan to finish their ants-in-space experiment started aboard Columbia, seeking to honor the shuttle's seven fallen astronauts and their commitment to scientific discovery.

School menu for next week.

Photo feature: Mass appeal
Homer High School choir students rehearse Tuesday afternoon at Kenai Central High School in preparation for last night's Kenai Peninsula Borough High School Mass Choir concert. Students from across the district participated in the annual event.

Texas colleges to slice at least $1 million
AMARILLO, Texas -- Amarillo College and West Texas A&M University are each preparing to cut more than $1 million from their current fiscal year budgets, the result of Gov. Rick Perry's mandate requiring state agencies to cut spending.

New computer systems degree can take students anywhere
There has never been a better time to look at a career in computer technology. Since computer technology permeates almost every aspect of modern life, the opportunities for qualified individuals is essen

College entrepreneurship programs growing in popularity
DAYTON, Ohio -- The job insecurity that has settled over the nation during the past few years has made the idea of self-employment more appealing to college students.

Students of Month
The following students were named January Rotary Students of the Month at Skyview High School:

Around the District
DTP boosters available, required VFW Ladies Auxiliary offers scholarship

Cheney High students remember fallen alum
CHENEY, Wash. -- The students entering Cheney High School Monday had not been born when Michael Anderson roamed these same halls -- a young man on a mission.

Shocking additions
Central Emergency Services Chief Jeff Tucker, left, and Capt. Tim Cooper install a new auto-emergency defibrillator into a wall mount at Skyview High School Thursday a

Ashe's impact felt far beyond tennis
On a winter's day, James Blake gave a clinic for children at the Harlem Tennis Center, the old wood-floored armory where Arthur Ashe once did the same when Blake was a child.

Knight gets 800th win with Tech's 75-49 victory over Nebraska
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Now that Bob Knight has won his 800th game, he's got his next goal in mind.

Region III/4A hockey tournament kicks off today at Brett Memorial Arena in Wasilla
The Region III/4A North Star Conference hockey tournament kicks off today at the Brett Memorial Ice Arena in Wasilla, but two of the peninsula's three entrants will have to wait until Friday to hit the ice.

Clark dunk nets win for Sacramento
DALLAS -- Despite their league-best record, the Dallas Mavericks have been saying all season that the Sacramento Kings are the team to beat in the NBA. The Kings again showed why Tuesday night.

Sports Briefs
Nikolaevsk splits with Skyview JVBristol Bay sweeps Homer Christian

Ketchikan feels resentment for hosting state 4A wrestling tourney
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Last October, Rick Collins got the gift he had desired most of all in seven years as head wrestling coach at Ketchikan High School -- hosting the state championship.

Less marveling, more suspicion
Once we marveled at human achievement. Now we suspect better living through chemistry. Which raises the question: What was Marion Jones thinking?

Peninsula teams prepare for 'milk run'
The Kenai Peninsula's Class 4A wrestling coaches have mixed feelings about having to leave the state to get to the state tournament.

Madden hat trick propels Devils past Capitals
WASHINGTON -- John Madden scored three goals, and the New Jersey Devils set a team record with at least one point in 14 consecutive games when they beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 Wednesday night.

Mariucci set to take reins as new head coach in Detroit
DETROIT -- Cast aside by the San Francisco 49ers, Steve Mariucci found his services in strong demand back in his home state.

Ilgauskas, Cavs edge Yao, Rockets
CLEVELAND -- Ricky Davis scored 21 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 20 in a matchup with Houston center Yao Ming, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Rockets 105-102 Wednesday night.

Kentucky knocks off No. 1 Florida
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Keith Bogans scored all 15 of his points in the first half and No. 6 Kentucky used overwhelming defense to beat Florida 70-55 Tuesday night, snapping the Gators' 14-game winning streak one day after they moved to the top of the rankings for the first time in school history

Jagr reaches 500 goals in Caps win
TAMPA, Fla. -- Jaromir Jagr scored three times, giving him 500 career goals, as the Washington Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 Tuesday night.

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