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Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Group ministers to Alaska Bush missionaries
KENAI (AP) -- Missionaries stationed in the Alaska Bush face a difficult task, and with the added rigors of isolation and the lack of everyday conveniences the burnout rate can be high.

Man accused of molesting two enters plea agreement
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A North Pole man arrested in August on charges of taking pornographic pictures of four minor teenage boys and molesting two of them faces a maximum of nine years in prison after agreeing to a plea deal in Fairbanks Superior Court.

Senator falls ill during committee hearing
JUNEAU (AP) -- Sen. Ralph Seekins, R-Fairbanks, was taken to the local hospital here after briefly losing consciousness during a committee hearing on Tuesday.

Three plead guilty in gun theft case
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two Anchorage men have pleaded guilty to stealing guns from a Fred Meyer store last month and using the guns in a home-invasion robbery. A third man, who prosecutors say drove the getaway car, also pleaded guilty.

Senator falls ill during committee hearing
JUNEAU (AP) -- Sen. Ralph Seekins, R-Fairbanks, was taken to the local hospital here after briefly losing consciousness during a committee hearing on Tuesday.

Quest mushers continue to Dawson City
PELLY CROSSING, Yukon (AP) -- All of the remaining 20 mushers in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race have passed through the Pelly Crossing checkpoint and were on their way to Dawson City Wednesday.

Cap on state spending proposed
JUNEAU (AP) -- A freshman Republican is proposing to change the constitution to place a tight cap on state spending.

No one injured in helicopter crash near Delta Junction
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A helicopter, operated by Delta Aviation, was heavily damaged in a crash Monday morning about 70 miles south of Delta Junction, Alaska State Troopers said.

Mat-Su wants ferry to sail until Knik Bridge is built
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Matanuska-Susitna Borough is moving ahead with plans for a ferry between Anchorage and Point MacKenzie, even though Sen. Ted Stevens -- once the project's most powerful advocate -- has withdrawn his support.

Search suspended for man missing from Selawik
KOTZEBUE (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers have suspended their search for a man missing nearly two weeks from the northwest Alaska village of Selawik.

Union opposed to shift in habitat permitting
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Officials with a union that represents state workers said Gov. Frank Murkowski will have a fight on his hands if he follows through with plans to streamline habitat permitting.

Homer says 'no' to big box stores
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Faced with the prospect of a Fred Meyer store opening in town, the Homer City Council voted Monday to ban, at least temporarily, construction of stores larger than 40,000 square feet.

Austerman picked as special assistant to fisheries
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski appointed state Sen. Alan Austerman to become his top fisheries adviser on Monday.

Three burn snowmachines while waiting for rescue
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Noel Fears and two friends were hungry, wet and hypothermic after spending a sleepless night huddled under a space blanket in a bog of chest-deep snow in the Alaska Range.

Volunteers continue search for missing kayaker
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers and the Coast Guard have ended their search for a woman missing in a kayak near Seward, but local volunteers continued to look for her Monday.

Anchorage schools to drop minority enrollment preferences
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Anchorage School district has been notified by federal civil rights authorities that it can no longer allow minority students to jump ahead of white students on waiting lists to enroll in the district's popular optional programs and alternative schools.

Alaska's petroleum reserve getting more attention
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The vast National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is drawing more attention now that oil drillers have effectively been locked out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Shipper offers vessel to transport military hardware
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage-based Totem Ocean Trailer Express has volunteered one of its three ships to transport military hardware to the Persian Gulf.

Buoys track ocean junk
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Wasilla pilot and high-tech entrepreneur Tim Veenstra was eating lunch at a marine science conference in Anchorage a few weeks ago when a buoy rang his cell phone from the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Stevens, Young defend Tongass measures
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young are defending measures they have put into the 2003 federal spending bill that could make more of the Tongass National Forest available to loggers.

Girdwood company wins heliskiing contract
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Helicopters can continue to fly skiers and snowboarders into the Chugach National Forest backcountry this winter after the U.S. Forest Service approved a one-year permit for a Girdwood company.

Iditarod board votes to move restart to Fairbanks
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Officials unanimously approved a plan Tuesday to move the restart of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to Fairbanks rather than cancel the entire event because of a lack of snow south of the Alaska Range.

Alaska delegation adds Tongass Riders
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska's congressional delegation is trying to add riders to a national spending bill that would loosen restrictions on logging in the Tongass National Forest.

Board of game to take up wolf control in McGrath
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state Board of Game will put lethal wolf control on the forefront of its agenda, a move that could turn around eight years of protections for the predators.

Frontrunners in Quest leave Pelly Crossing
PELLY CROSSING, Yukon (AP) -- Mushers in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race were leaving the Pelly Crossing checkpoint Tuesday, headed for the next checkpoint at Dawson 203 miles away.

Jury finds Kenai man guilty of double murder
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- After two previous failed attempts, a jury on Tuesday convicted a Kenai man of murdering two people in 1994.

Hundreds gather in Barrow for Inupiaq celebration
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Hundreds of people are gathering in Barrow for an Inupiaq celebration hosted by the area's whaling captains.

Eleven fish farms shut down for two months
KODIAK (AP) -- Eleven fish farms off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia have shut down for two months, according to Canadian officials.

Legislators look at renewing gas incentive act
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lawmakers have started work on legislation to provide the ''fiscal certainty'' major oil and gas companies operating in Alaska say they need to pursue a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope.

Lawmakers look at shorter legislative sessions
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lawmakers are looking at a proposal to shorten legislative sessions from 120 to 90 days.

Buoys track ocean junk
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Wasilla pilot and high-tech entrepreneur Tim Veenstra was eating lunch at a marine science conference in Anchorage a few weeks ago when a buoy rang his cell phone from the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Juneau Assembly approves $837,000 for school design
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Juneau Assembly has approved $837,000 for design funding for a Mendenhall Valley high school.

Fisherman say processors kept them guessing on prices
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A permit holder in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery said Monday that processors often kept fishermen guessing about what price their catch would net until well after the end of the season.

Judge clears Huna Totem board
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Huna Totem Corp. board of directors did not breach its duty to inform shareholders during a 1999 fight over who would control the board, a judge has ruled.

Data suggests gill net fishery not harming sea otters
KODIAK (AP) -- Preliminary data suggests that one Kodiak Island fishery, the Kodiak Island gillnet fishery, may be off the hook if sea otters are placed on the federal endangered species list next year.

KPB Deputy Clerk elected President of State Association
Sherry Biggs has been a Deputy Clerk for the Kenai Peninsula Borough for the last five years and in her position prides herself in always knowing what is scheduled for an Assembly meeting.

Warm weather doesn't diminish Winter Games
Despite un-seasonably warm temperatures, enough snow and ice remained on the Kenai Peninsula to have the largest Peninsula Winter Games ever held.

"The Wiz" is coming
Once again it's show time for the Kenai Performers as they present "The Wiz" that razzle-dazzle odyssey to Oz, opening February 14th, Valentines evening at the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School.

Republicans throw Grand Old Party for Murkowski/Leman
There is a broad consensus that last week's Governor's Inaugural Ball at the King Salmon Motel and Convention Center in Soldotna was the biggest formal party the Peninsula has ever thrown.

Mushers get e-mail with changes in Iditarod route
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have been notified by e-mail that the race restart will be moved north to Fairbanks or Nenana, due to rapidly deteriorating trail conditions in Southcentral Alaska.

Legislators look at renewing gas act
JUNEAU -- Lawmakers have started work on legislation to provide the ''fiscal certainty'' major oil and gas companies operating in Alaska say they need to pursue a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope.

Speed freaks team up with computer geeks
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Four laptops line the table in the lounge of Jeff Gordon's hauler, each one spewing out different charts and graphs.

Crash takes out five cars in practice
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Jeff Burton, Elliott Sadler and Mike Skinner will switch to backup cars after a crash Tuesday proved just how risky even practice for the Daytona 500 can be.

Replacement interest expressed
Kodiak Sen. Alan Austerman's appointment Monday to the position of fisheries policy adviser to the governor frees up the Senate seat representing Senate District R, which encompasses Homer, Seward and Kodiak Island.

Bannock named new DMV director
Gov. Frank Murkowski has tapped longtime Kenai City Council member Duane Bannock to head the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles.

Billy D. Smith convicted on 2 counts of murder; sentencing April 14
An Anchorage jury Tuesday found Billy D. Smith guilty of the 1994 murders of Harold Enzler and Nancy Bellamy.

Search efforts end for missing woman
Except for a Civil Air Patrol flyover of Cape Resurrection and Day Harbor shorelines, search efforts to find a woman missing in a kayak near Seward have ended.

Kenai airport may be site of expansion
An Anchorage-based civil aviation consulting company is considering the Kenai Municipal Airport as a location for expansion. But the airport will have to contend with the airport in Palmer, which is closer to the company's headquarters.

Photo feature: Making a splash
A driver tries to dodge a puddle on the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai last weekend. The forecast calls for more of the same for the next few days.

Senator appointed to fisheries post
Gov. Frank Murkowski on Monday appointed state Sen. Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak, to the position of fisheries policy adviser.

Could U.S. be wrong, critics right?
WASHINGTON -- Already at odds with the United Nations, the Bush administration now finds itself quarreling with NATO, the Western alliance the United States has always dominated. Snubs from France, Germany and Belgium have riled U.S. policy-makers and raised fresh questions on war preparations and goals.

Tournament travel woes underscore fiscal challenges Alaska schools face
The weather-embattled ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State 4A Wrestling Champion-ships held Feb. 8 and 9 may have enlightened some Alaskans who read the numerous headlines describing the woes of travel-weary teams trying to get to Ketchikan.

Letters to the Editor
Governor's decision may put valuable environment at riskIs Cook Inlet Keeper's mission curbing economic development?Library brainstorming session shows need to share informationParents, don't let it take a tragedy for your child to get your attentionGuided-nonguided issue is discrimination, pure and simple

Applause
Sterling supports its seniorsTeens enjoy karaoke contest

State is not private business and can't be managed as one
For all the reams of paperwork and megabytes of data that flow to and from our state's capital, some of the most powerful messages are those that are left unsaid.

One of Kenai's most valuable assets desperately needs more room
I attended the Kenai Community Library visioning session on Feb. 4. About 20 people attended who were not directly associated with the library staff or commission. Not a remarkable representation of the community, but respectable for an icy Tuesday night.

Winston Churchill's economic wisdom still applies today
Politicians spend 40 percent of everything the average American earns. Liberals say the taxpayers who want to keep what's left are greedy.

Around the Peninsula
Clothes Closet open todayCARTS advisory group to meetBlood drive todaySeniors to discuss budgetKenai to present comprehensive plan draftTalent show scheduledSled dog association to meetSteering committee to meetGenealogy class to be offeredCanine Good Citizen class offered

Around the Peninsula
Era reps to speak at Soldotna chamberSmall business center offers workshopsPFLAG plans monthly meetingInternational adoption class tonightLivestock forum offeredPhotographers Guild meets tonightSocial Security rep to visit peninsulaEconomic census forms due WednesdayCPGH to hold cardiac patient reunionMasks are focus of historical society talkCIRCAC committee to meet FridayNonprofit marketing training planned

Nationwide budget cuts force renewed talk of consolidation
WALDO, Kan. -- Peering out from behind the counter at the Waldo post office, Carol Shaffer remembers when this tiny north-central Kansas village had two grocery stores, two filling stations and a vibrant K-12 school.

Test your memory
The following historical quotes and news excerpts are recorded with Kenny G's millenium mix rendition of "Auld Lang Syne." Juniors studying U.S. history at Soldotna High School spent several days identifying the speaker, date and historical significance of each quote.

School health centers help asthmatic kids
CHICAGO (AP) -- Health centers in schools can help poor and uninsured children with asthma improve their attendance and stay out of the hospital, a study in New York City found.

School menus
White or chocolate milk served at each meal.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society inducts new members
Students strive to keep their grades up for a variety of reasons, one of which is to be recognized for their achievements. At KPC, students who have a grade point average of 3.5 or above are eligible to be invited into the internationally reco

Bush wants more money for history classes
WASHINGTON -- President Bush has asked Congress for $25 million to spread knowledge of American history, especially to young people, in a new project that would include an annual National History Bee.

Honor Roll
The following students were named to the honor roll for the second quarter at Kenai Middle School and Soldotna Middle School.

District School News
News from schools around the district

Students use music to study 20th century
High school juniors are hardly the target audience for jazz saxophonist Kenny G.

Around the District
No school Monday, TuesdayApplications available for Artists in Schools grantsDistrict announces decathlon resultsLadies auxiliary to sponsor flag poetry contestScholarships available for high school studentsUAA to host Model U.N. for high-schoolers

For the love of books
Margaret Gilman shows children pictures in a book in the reading corner at the Peninsula Reading Carnival on Feb. 1.

Students of Month
The following students were named Students of the Month at Kenai Central High School and Mountain View Elementary School.

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

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Senators pushing measure to protect elderly from abuse
WASHINGTON -- Two senators hope to combat abuse against the elderly with a bill that would better train workers to detect abused senior citizens and require FBI criminal background checks of nursing home aides.

Former Seahawks coach has an itch to scratch in NFL
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Dennis Erickson was hired Tuesday by the San Francisco 49ers to replace Steve Mariucci as coach in a surprising end to a search that stretched nearly four weeks.

Terriers upset Eagles for Beanpot title
BOSTON -- It doesn't matter that Boston College is ranked higher than Boston University or that the Eagles beat their crosstown rivals three times during the regular season.

Kerry blue terrier wins best in show at Westminster
NEW YORK -- At last, a Triple Crown winner. Only this one is a terrier, not a thoroughbred.

Green surprises favored Earnhardt with pole victory
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. had planned to beat everybody this month. He just hadn't figured on Jeff Green.

Hull pots goal No. 700
DETROIT -- Brett Hull became the sixth player in NHL history to score 700 goals as the Detroit Red Wings beat the San Jose Sharks 5-4 on Monday night.

Rare goal by Finley propels Blues past Sabres
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Jeff Finley scored with 4:59 left to end a 173-game goal drought and lift the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

'It felt good just being out there'
He passed on the perfect ending the last time he had the chance.

Sports Briefs
Rangers reacquire Kovalev from Penguins

Verba's upbeat attitude keeps Panthers pumped
Attitude is everything in high school sports. Just ask Skyview High School senior Ann Verba.

Wolverines' streak snapped by Homer
When the Homer and Ninilchik high school girls hooked up for a midseason basketball game, and Homer handed the visiting Wolverines a 48-38 defeat, it was just another game, right? Not exactly.

Pacers click as NBA begins second half
INDIANAPOLIS -- Jermaine O'Neal scored 28 points and Brad Miller had 25 as the Indiana Pacers opened the second half of the season with Ron Artest back in the lineup and coach Isiah Thomas on the sidelines in a 107-96 victory over Cleveland on Tuesday night.

Sports Briefs
Correction to CIA-Nikiski hoops start timesSorenstam could be headed to Hogan's AlleyRiley fined $20,000 for criticizing officialsPhillips first woman to coach Division I men's team

Melvin not very busy as M's start spring training
PEORIA, Ariz. -- For once, Bob Melvin went to work at the ballpark and found little to do.

No. 23 UConn nets quality win over No. 17 Syracuse
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut needed a big-time win and the 23rd-ranked Huskies got it Monday night by using balanced offense and solid defense to beat No. 17 Syracuse 75-61.

Weather helps, hinders wildlife
The unusual weather is once again affecting the wildlife on the Kenai Peninsula. The above average temperatures, lack of snow and heavy amounts of rainfall are benefiting some animals, but hindering others.

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