Monday, February 7, 2005

Source: Tigers agree to deal with Ordonez
NEW YORK (AP) — The Detroit Tigers snared the last remaining premier free agent of the offseason, agreeing to a $75 million, five-year contract with outfielder Magglio Ordonez, a baseball source said Saturday.

NOW PLAYING: Million Dollar Baby
In anticipation of the upcoming Academy Awards, this week we'll look at one of the top contenders, Clint Eastwood's masterpiece, Million Dollar Baby. It's not playing here. In reviews past, I've complained that we, on the Peninsula, never get the "great" movies. Indeed, Sideways and Ray never showed, but we did finally get Finding Neverland, and The Aviator is showing right now. So maybe Baby will show eventually. If not, it's certainly worth a drive.

Aurora Gas explores new horizons
With oil production declining in Cook Inlet, some believe there still is potential to find more. Aurora Gas LLC said it has oil prospects in the inlet and announced last fall it is looking for partners to share the risk of exploration.

Firefighters quench desire to climb
Four years ago, the idea of naming a nearby mountain peak, climbing it and returning safely to Kenai, all as a way to pay tribute to fallen firefighters, was just a dream for Kenai's Sam Satathite and John Harris. Today, the two Kenai Fire Department members have fulfilled their mission of going where no one had ever gone before.

Stuck on you
Trent Semmens of Kenai Central High School pulls a protective strip of duct tape from his face after Saturday's Kenai Peninsula Borough Ski Meet at Skyview High School. Frigid cold temperatures delayed the start of the morning races but the event was concluded later in the day.

Kenai council opposes borough cap, backs search for other options
Kenai City Council members Wednesday sent a mixed message to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

School district seeks foundation funding increase
Due to a funding gap of at least $23 million between Gov. Frank Murkowski's budget plan and what the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will need next year, the school board plans to request from the state an increase in foundation funding, the amount of money allocated for each student in Alaska.

Starkweather sentencing postponed
Sentencing of Justin Starkweather, which was scheduled for this morning in Kenai Superior Court, was postponed. Starkweather is the 23-year-old man convicted of the 2002 sexual assault and attempted murder of a 46-year-old woman in her home near West Poppy Lane.

Food program goes with least expensive brands
ANCHORAGE (AP) — Clients of a supplemental food program for women and children will have to start buying the least expensive brands for some foods, Alaska health officials said Thursday.

Doris Ann (Sommer) Riemann
Doris Ann (Sommer) Riemann died Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005, in her home surrounded by her family. She was 83.

Voices of the clarion: The road less traveled
Sometimes it's important to do things just for the sake of a good adventure. So when planning my move from Iowa to Alaska, I was faced with a couple of options. I could have sold my two-wheel drive, 150,000-mile Mazda, found a cheap airfare and purchased a car when I arrived. Or, like many do, shipping the car also was an option. But none of those were really ever considered.

Seniors' point of view should carry weight
Kenai Central High School Principal Dennis Dunn is facing a tough test.

Real tax reform needed sooner rather than later
The millions of Americans about to prepare their income taxes are headed for yet another reminder on why a simpler U.S. tax code would be a blessing.

The sky guy: Bright stars light up south
The diagram depicts the sky around 9 p.m. in early February and about 8 p.m. later this month. I outlined a few prominent constellations and labeled the brightest stars.

Around the Peninsula
CES seeking volunteers NPRSA sets gym schedule PFLAG to meet After prom party committee to meet Fish and game to meet Women voters meeting planned Volunteers for wildlife education sought

Peninsula hosts dog weight-pull
Special awards went to Falcon for Best Dog, Pound for Pound for pulling 18.6 times his body weight; Falcon for Best Novice Dog, Pound for Pound; Gorgeous George for Most Weight Pulled; and Falcon for Most Weight Pulled, Novice.

Peninsula People
Area youth competes in JNYO Students named to dean's lists Histand travels abroad McKay to serve a mission Pereira joins Air Force McDonald graduates college Roderick to attend West Point Schouweiler joins Coast Guard

The write stuff: Kenai Writers' Group has its way with words
Metaphor and hyperbole filled the Kenai Community Library conference room on a recent Thursday night. About a dozen members of the Central Peninsula Writers' Group had gathered to share their latest work and exchange ideas. The authors took turns reading their poetry, short stories, and novel excerpts aloud, and then absorbed suggestions on how a phrase might be polished, a character further developed or a redundancy deleted.

Starks, Swarner marry in Arizona
Phyllis Starks and Dr. Dennis Swarner of Kenai were married in a sunset ceremony Friday, Dec. 31, 2004, on the terrace of Villa TiZoc in Puerto Villarta, Mexico, at the home of friends Archie Romane and Jody Indelicato of Tuscon, Ariz.

Community News
Hospital adds links to Web site Library plans October events

Hero of the week: Returned bag makes boy's birthday
On Jan. 16, my hockey bag was left by accident at the Kenai ice arena. After three days of worrying and stress, my birthday was the next day and it was shaping up to be the worst ever.

Be ready if disaster strikes
Building Stronger, Safer, Better Prepared Communities on the Kenai Peninsula

Births
He joins brother, James Cullen II, 1. His grandparents are Margie and Carl Baisden Sr., and Bonnie and Don Vannatter, all of Verdunville, W.Va.

'Jackalope' picked as official mythical creature
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Meadowlark, bison, cutthroat trout, horned toad — all official symbols of Wyoming, in one category or another. The jackalope, most elusive of the state's critters, may soon join the list.

Police dogs begging for food
LAS VEGAS — An impromptu relief effort mobilized in southern Nevada after an Army Reserve officer sent home a plea for food to feed starving Iraqi police dogs at a training center in Baghdad.

Miller, Rahlves give U.S. a first, second at world championships
BORMIO, Italy — Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves gave American skiing a day like no other. Never before had U.S skiers — men or women — finished 1-2 in any event at an Alpine World Championships.

SkyHi, Kenai split region contests
The Skyview girls and Kenai boys basketball teams picked up Northern Lights Conference victories Friday at Skyview High School.

Dillingham girls nip Ninilchik in double overtime
Dillingham, a Class 3A school, saddled Ninilchik, the top-ranked school in Class 2A, with a 27-26 double overtime loss Friday in nonconference action in Ninilchik.

No. 1 Illini remain undefeated
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — James Augustine scored 16 points and Deron Williams had 11 assists to lead No. 1 Illinois to a 60-47 victory over Indiana on Sunday.

Wasilla knocks off Kenai
The Wasilla hockey team defeated Kenai Central 2-1 Saturday at the Palmer Ice Rink to win the North Star Conference Tournament and snap Kenai's two-year run atop the tournament.

Charmed
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The New England Patriots became a dynasty Sunday night, a team as sure and steady as the mighty river flowing outside the stadium where they won their third Super Bowl in four years.

Nikiski girls, ACS boys notch wins
Friday night, the Nikiski Bulldogs faced Southcentral Conference opponent Anchorage Christian Schools at Nikiski.

Kardinals, Mariners go to state
The Homer Mariners earned the second seed in this week's State 3A hockey tournament despite a 6-1 loss to Houston in the Great Land Conference tournament's championship game Saturday in Houston. The Mariners will face Tri-Valley Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the tournament's first round in Fairbanks.

Stars sweep team crowns
The temperature was about 0 degrees Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails but, considering the alternative, Skyview seniors Noah King and Elisabeth Habermann were overjoyed to be skiing behind Skyview High School at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Ski Meet.

Mickelson takes four-shot lead at FBR Open
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Cheered on by tens of thousands who consider him their hometown hero, Phil Mickelson forged a four-shot lead over Kevin Na through three rounds of the FBR Open, a giant party that happens to have a golf tournament going through it.

Eli Hutchison takes state again
Skyview High School's Eli Hutchison won his third individual championship Saturday, winning by fall at the state 4A wrestling championships at Chugiak High School.

Carter pours in 41 points as Nets trounce Pistons
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Vince Carter had his best game since joining the New Jersey Nets, scoring 41 points and leading a second-half surge in a 107-85 victory Saturday that snapped the Detroit Pistons' five-game winning streak.

Another win hurts so good for Brady
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Tom Brady was far from flawless.

Krzyzewski collapses, Blue Devils stand strong
DURHAM, N.C. — Mike Krzyzewski collapsed from a dizzy spell during a timeout in the first half of No. 4 Duke's 82-65 victory against No. 25 Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Marino, Young elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Steve Young was a high school senior being recruited by Army when he stood on the sideline at West Point and watched a freshman for Pitt named Dan Marino.

Yao sinks two clutch free throws to finish Los Angeles
HOUSTON — Yao Ming scored 23 points, including the winning free throws with 15.2 seconds left, to lead the Houston Rockets to a 103-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Study: Changes in tax law could raise billions from benefits, wages
WASHINGTON — Abusive tax shelters, inflated deductions and other misdeeds cost the U.S. Treasury little when compared with money lost because some employee benefits and wages escape taxation.

Don't be taken in by tax scams
The IRS reminds taxpayers not to fall victim to a variety of tax scams. These schemes take numerous shapes, ranging from promises of special tax refunds to illegal ways of "untaxing" yourself. Frequently, taxpayers are charged money for the incorrect advice by those promoting the scheme. People who think something may be unscrupulous should report suspected tax fraud to the IRS at (800) 829-0433.

Report Permanent Fund dividend for federal tax purposes
Alaska Permanent Fund dividends for both adults and children are taxable for federal income tax purposes.

IRS e-file now available
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service recently marked the opening of IRS e-file with an appeal to taxpayers and tax professionals alike: Hit the "send" button.

Tax credit available for state's working poor
ANCHORAGE (AP) — Alaska has the lowest participation rate in the nation among people eligible for an Internal Revenue Service-administered program for the working poor.

Procrastination could lead to costly mistakes
WASHINGTON — Swamped in tax paperwork with nowhere to turn? Here are some tips to get started and to find help when you need it:

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