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Friday, February 7, 2003

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.

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.

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.

Weather sinks Fur Rendezvous sled dog races
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- For the second time in four years the Fur Rendezvous will be without its centerpiece event -- the Open World Championship Sled Dog Race.

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.

Palmer teen victim of apparent accidental shooting
PALMER (AP) -- Police say A 16-year-old Palmer boy died Wednesday evening after he was apparently accidentally shot by a friend handling a large-caliber handgun, Palmer police said.

Subsistence designation rescinded for dipnet fishery
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Alaska Board of Fisheries has rescinded the subsistence classification for dipnetters who scoop salmon out of the Copper River at Chitina.

West Virginia man enters plea in illegal hunting case
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A West Virginia man who Alaska State Troopers charged with 17 hunting violations has agreed to a plea deal and must serve 39 days in jail.

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.

School bus hit by snow plow
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The driver of a school bus suffered minor injuries but no children were injured when a state snowplow struck a bus Wednesday morning at Mile 4.5 Petersville Road, Alaska State Troopers said.

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.

Young names new chief of staff
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Rep. Don Young has a new chief of staff in his Washington office.

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.

Senate votes to send ANWR message
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state Senate voted Friday to send its biannual message to Congress asking that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge be opened to oil drilling.

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.

Marubeni reaches settlement in price-fixing case
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Marubeni Corp., a major defendant in the $1 billion Bristol Bay salmon price-fixing lawsuit, has reached a $25 million settlement in the case, the company announced Thursday.

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

Murkowski still has big Senate war chest
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski still has $230,000 in campaign money he collected to run for the U.S. Senate before entering and winning the 2002 race for governor of Alaska.

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.

High school principal says priest also abused him
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A high school principal stepped forward Thursday to say he also was a victim of abuse by a former Anchorage priest.

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.

Wrestler overcomes arthritis, stage fright
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- David Mann hopes to pull off a unique double Friday night at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.

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.

Recidivism rate varies for juvenile offenders
JUNEAU (AP) -- Most Alaska kids who break the law appear to stay out of trouble after they get off probation, preliminary statistics show. But the picture is bleaker for those whose crimes were serious enough to land them in the state's long-term, lockup facilities.

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.

Juneau ski area considers options due to lack of snow
JUNEAU (AP) -- Officials of Juneau's Eaglecrest Ski Area are trying to decide what to do for season pass holders who have not been able to ski much this season.

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.

Governor: Fund could open doors for ANWR
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski said the $23 billion Alaska Permanent Fund could be used to flex the state's political as well as its financial muscle.

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.

FBI agent prepares to hit trail in Yukon Quest
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two Rivers musher Bruce Milne has been living a double life -- FBI special agent by day, dog musher by night.

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.

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.

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.

Trapper Creek school faces cuts
PALMER (AP) -- School administrators in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District say they are willing to keep Trapper Creek Elementary open, but only with staffing cuts.

Bush proposals offer opportunities for people with a lot of money to save
NEW YORK (AP) -- President Bush's budget proposal includes new savings accounts that could revolutionize the way Americans save to buy homes, finance college educations for their children and fund retirement.

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.

PRODUCT REVIEW: New browser a fine alternative to Microsoft
NEW YORK (AP) -- It doesn't take much time to appreciate the advanced, flexible features of Opera Software's new Web browser.

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.

Old-fashion dating services attract baby boomers
NEW YORK (AP) -- Internet dating wasn't an option for Jordan Stevens.

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

Bush, Iraq and the economy: Is it 1991 again?
NEW YORK (AP) -- The similarities are hard to ignore: A Bush is in the White House, a war is brewing in Iraq and the U.S. economy is on a shaky path.

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.

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.

Watercooler
BOOSTING FRUGALITY: If your credit card debt is piling up, the folks at BillSaver.com have some tips to help you cut spending, free up cash and get those lenders off your back.

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.

Give burglars the brush-off by landscaping for security
EDITOR'S NOTE -- Dean Fosdick retired in May 2001 after 23 years with The Associated Press, 15 of those as Alaska bureau chief. He has covered the Exxon Valdez oil spill, volcanoes, galloping glaciers and harvesting Alaska-grown 100-pound-plus cabbages. He can be reached at: deanfosdick(at)netscape.net

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.

'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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

R.J. Reynolds may cut off NASCAR
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The millionaires sat at their tables, discussing the latest business deals and how their portfolios might be affected.

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

Daytona speedweeks
Schedule

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.

Smith's third murder trial in final stages
ANCHORAGE -- Attorneys in the third trial of accused murderer Billy D. Smith presented closing arguments in Anchorage Thursday. The state will be allowed to counter the defense arguments prior to jury deliberations, which are expected to begin today.

Assembly set to accept salmon-branding grant
The Cook Inlet salmon-branding project known as "Kenai Wild" has just gotten notice of another financial shot in the arm.

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.

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.

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.

Agencies discuss better ways to serve homeless population
In order to better serve the Kenai Peninsula's homeless population, increased communication and coordination is needed between the public, lawmakers and service organizations.

Jasmine Marie Webber
Anchorage resident Jasmine Marie Webber died Monday, Feb. 2, 2003, at Providence Alaska Medical Center. She was 19.

Oilers Corner
Oilers coach changes bullpens

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.

Applause
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

Letters to the Editor
Alaskans should protest plan to transfer permitting authority Idea: Create new runs; turn Kenais early kings into permit fishery Faith-based initiatives will lead to church, state becoming emeshed Do elected officials really think they know better than voters do?

Alaska's flag song would be even richer with addition of verse
Tampering with tradition? Or celebrating the state's pride in its diverse cultures?

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

Outdoor Briefs
Refuge to host Winter Fun Day More Chugach areas closed to motorized use Muskoxen hunt opened by emergency order McNeil River bear viewing applications available

In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love
One week from today some of us will recognize our relationships with loved ones in a special way. And if you are one of those who are prone to forget dates like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, this can serve as a reminder. You can thank me later.

Scientists look for clues to rise in bird deformities
Avid bird watchers in Southcentral Alaska may be familiar with black-capped chickadees with deformed bills, and those that aren't soon may be because the number of birds affected appears to be on the rise.

Around the Peninsula
Soccer registration deadline today KPC to host Irish trio concert Chinese New Year celebration planned SBDC to host bookkeeping seminar Photographers guild to meet PFLAG to meet Iditarod fundraiser planned Canine Good Citizen class offered Church plans Mardi Gras

Tenafly to appeal eruv fight to U.S. Supreme Court
TENAFLY, N.J. (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to intervene in the case of a symbolic district which the Orthodox Jewish community has built by marking utility poles -- thus allowing its members to follow religious law.

A woman's place: Religion without reference to gender
There is a famous Chinese saying that women hold up half of the sky. But, such has not always been acknowledged by the leadership of most religions, which have traditionally been dominated by men.

It's an old American tradition: U.S. presidents tangling with their religious denominations
President Bush and his father each have been at odds with leaders of their Protestant faiths over a potential war with Iraq, recent examples of what academics say is an often contentious relationship between presidents and their clergy.

Lesbian United Methodist minister won't face church trial
SEATTLE (AP) -- A ruling by an appeals committee within the United Methodist Church will allow a lesbian pastor to avoid a church trial and pave the way for her return to ministry.

Son succeeds father as Grace Bible president
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- Ken Kemper has been chosen to succeed his father Bruce as president of Grace Bible College.

Church Briefs
Native fellowship meets tonight Speaker slated for Aglow meeting Baha'i hosts interfaith devotions 'Lightning Lady' to speak Bible study group meets Friendship closet open Wednesdays Religious poems sought

Hundreds demonstrate against decision to forcibly evict rebel monks
OURANOUPOLIS, Greece (AP) -- More than 600 people chanting ''Orthodoxy or death'' protested against a decision to forcibly evict rebel monks from a monastery on Mount Athos.

Pope says nations should make clear, ethical laws about human procreation
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope John Paul II, expressing concern about people who desire to have children ''at all costs,'' urged nations to enact ethically sound laws regulating artificial procreation.

Friends reflect on life of radical priest who disappeared 20 years ago
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The Rev. James Carney, friends say, was a maverick -- a radical Roman Catholic priest whose convictions led him to challenge injustice in his adopted country of Honduras.

Miller strikes gold in men's combined
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland -- Bode Miller dropped to one knee on the snow, gripping his forehead with one hand.

Travel problems delay state wrestling tourney
Organizers of the Alaska School Activities Association State 4A Wrestling Championships, slated to begin today in Ketchikan, saw their worst fears realized Thursday as weather prevented many wrestling teams from landing in the Southeast city.

Bryant's 46 points humble New York
NEW YORK -- Kobe Bryant dazzled the New York Knicks with an array of drives, jumpers and dunks, scoring 46 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 114-109 victory Thursday night and their first winning record of the season heading into the All-Star break.

Colony stops SkyHi's season
The Skyview High School hockey team lost its Region III/4A tournament opening-round game 5-3 to the Colony Knights Thursday at the Brett Memorial Ice Arena in Wasilla.

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?

Sports Briefs
Micmacs to host Anchorage squad for charity CIA girls top Kenai JV Track body glad Jones severed ties with coach

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.

Virginia stuns No. 8 Maryland with second-half rally
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Reserve Devin Smith scored 17 points and keyed a 16-0 second-half run as Virginia erased a 12-point deficit and stunned No. 8 Maryland 86-78 Thursday night.

Skyview looks for fifth state championship
When the state wrestling tournament gets under way in Ketchikan, the Skyview wrestling team is hoping to ride the momentum it created by defeating Wasilla at the Region III championships last week.

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.

Bruins stay hot by topping Montreal
BOSTON -- Martin Lapointe scored his first goal since the second game of the season and Jeff Hackett stopped 28 shots against his former team as the Boston Bruins beat Montreal 6-3 on Thursday night.

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.

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.

Sports Briefs
Nikolaevsk splits with Skyview JVBristol Bay sweeps Homer Christian

Wolf restoration a success
HELENA, Mont. -- Once driven to near-extinction in the lower 48 states, the gray wolf is swarming over the Northern Rockies in numbers not seen in a century, and federal wildlife managers are about to declare victory in the $17 million effort to return the storied predator to part of its ancestral range.

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