Thursday, February 13, 2003

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.

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.

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.

Rep. Young appointed to Homeland Security Committee
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, has been appointed to the newly-formed Homeland Security Committee.

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.

Elmendorf planes, personnel sent to Thailand for exercise
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- More than 200 people and several aircraft from Elmendorf Air Force Base will be participating in a multi-national military exercise in Thailand starting next week.

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.

Gatt takes lead in Yukon Quest
DAWSON CITY, Yukon (AP) -- Defending champion Hans Gatt has jumped into the lead in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race early Thursday.

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.

Commissioner meeting ends with blueprint
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski's commissioners emerged from a three-day cabinet meeting -- the first since he took office in December -- with a blueprint for how to pursue his ambitions for Alaska.

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.

Company plugs, abandons Beaufort Sea exploration well
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Calgary-based company exploring the McCovey oil prospect in the Beaufort Sea has plugged and abandoned an exploration well and decided not to drill a second well to probe the prospect further.

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.

Skijoring popularity spreading
ASHLAND, N.H. (AP) -- Skijoring, a popular winter pastime in parts of Alaska, is taking hold in New England and the upper Midwest.

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.

Quest mushers head for Dawson City
DAWSON CITY, Yukon (AP) -- Mushers competing in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race were through the Pelly Crossing checkpoint, with the leaders expected to reach Dawson City at about 4 a.m. Thursday.

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.

Bill would extend abuse reporting law to religious leaders
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill filed by a lawmaker would hold priests, ministers, rabbis and other religious leaders accountable for failing to report incidents of abuse or neglect of a minor.

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.

Murkowski issues habitat division order
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski introduced an executive order Wednesday setting into motion a controversial plan to strip permitting duties from the state habitat division.

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.

Bill intended to shrink delays in shallow gas wells
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill intended to speed up development of shallow natural gas fields passed the state House of Representatives on Wednesday.

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.

House OKs bill clarifying victims' advocate's authority
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill making clear that a state victims' rights advocate can get involved in municipal cases passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

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

Dawson City musher proves himself a friend on Quest trail
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- While camaraderie is common among mushers competing in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, Dawson City musher Rick Atkinson showed he was a true friend during the 1987 race.

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

Warm winter affecting Kenai Peninsula wildlife
KENAI (AP) -- The warm winter, with its lack of snow and heavy rainfall, is affecting wildlife on the Kenai Peninsula.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Web sites cater to boomers
NEW YORK -- Sharon Whiteley knows all too well that the baby boomer generation she belongs to is like no other. So she's trying to cater to that group by giving an old concept a new twist.

Photo: High times
A makeshift carboard sign stating "Gas Prices: Arm and Leg," hangs from a tire rack in front of the Palmetto BP gas station in Palmetto, Fla., Tuesday.

Business Briefs
New real estate office opensBank donations top $1.2 million

Are you at risk?
Did you know that predatory lenders are increasing their focus on Alaska and Alaskans?

NPRA gets closer 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.

Dawson beckons mushers
DAWSON CITY, Yukon (AP) -- Mushers competing in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race were through the Pelly Crossing checkpoint, with the leaders expected to reach Dawson City at about 4 a.m. Thursday.

What's Happening
Best BetsEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentUpcoming EventsFilmsDown the RoadAnchorage Events

The wonder that is 'The Wiz'
Prepare to be razzled, dazzled and most importantly entertained as the Kenai Performers put on their most sensational production yet -- "The Wiz."

Art Briefs
Show accepting actsWriters' Night deadline nears

NASCAR officials say the Daytona 500 name is
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Fenders and hoods on racecars are adorned with decals of big-dollar sponsors. The horizon at most racetracks is cluttered with billboards. Most race names read like a corporate directory. Track names have been auctioned like mint condition Mickey Mantle baseball cards on the Internet.

Gordon divorce invades garage
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Brooke Gordon's attorneys say their attempts to deliver subpoenas at Daytona International Speedway in her divorce with four-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon is all about business.

Race Schedule
February 16 to November 16, 2003

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.

NASCAR Newsmakers
Q&A with Sammy Packard, the only surviving member of the group that founded NASCAR.

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.

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.

Kids get taste of working world
Kenai students hit the streets Wednesday to find out what the future holds.

'Reporter' thinks career could be right choice
This morning, I pondered the question: "What would it take to be a journalist?"

Vania named new management biologist for Cook Inlet region
A new regional management biologist has been named to oversee the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Cook Inlet Sport Fish Division.

Peninsula lawmakers introduce new bills
Sen. Tom Wagoner, R-Kenai, has introduced a bill to register and regulate commercial fishing permit brokers under state fish and game statutes.

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.

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.

George 'Bud' Danby
Longtime Homer resident George "Bud" Danby died Saturday, Feb. 1, 2003, of a heart attack in Homer. He was 78.

Copier donation helps Kenai Fine Arts Center stay in business

FDA must streamline approval process Needless beauracracy keeps drugs from those who could benefit most
The Columbia space shuttle tragedy and the looming threat of war and new acts of terrorism have intensified the need for something that at first seems unrelated -- stepped up biomedical and advanced pharmaceutical research, and the rapid approval and improved accessibility of new drugs and medical treatments.

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.

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.

Letters to the Editor
State, national Republican officials hide behind wall of silenceLegislature defies constitution, public by meeting in privateAnti-war group crosses the line between protest and treason

Sterling supports its seniorsTeens enjoy karaoke contest

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.

Environmentalists threaten Southeast
As if Southeast Alaska hasn't weathered enough bad news on the economic front over the past few months with the closing of Wards Cove, trouble at Gateway Forest Products and the depressed commercial fishing industry, one of the last remaining active logging companies in Southeast Alaska is in trouble.

Photo feature: Be my valentine
Anya Hondel reaches from her mother Sara's lap to greet Clara Leckwee during story time at the Soldotna Public Library Wednesday morning. This week's stories featured a Valentine's Day theme. Story time is every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

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
Lapthorn to speak at chamberCollege Council to meetTalent show applications availableKids game night plannedChurch to host valentine coffeehouseAlliance meeting scheduled4-H to hold rally dayNonprofit training session offered

School menus
White or chocolate milk served at each meal.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

Sports Briefs
Woods, Mickelson settle their differencesBaseball plans for international travelCampbell says USOC should be reworked

Another round of Miller time
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland -- Bode Miller became the first American man to win three medals in a world championship. He is the first to capture two golds. He's also the first American to win the giant slalom world title in 21 years.

Sorenstam accepts invitation to compete with men at Colonial
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Annika Sorenstam wondered how she would stack up against stronger players on tougher courses under the most suffocating scrutiny.

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

Carter's late surge hangs up Hawks
TORONTO -- Vince Carter scored 13 of his 21 points in the final five minutes as the Toronto Raptors beat the Atlanta Hawks 97-96 Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.

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.

Nikiski skaters hungry for Hawks
The Nikiski hockey team has much to celebrate. At the Greatland Hockey Tournament, the Bulldogs will look for even more to celebrate.

Jackets' Denis shuts out Sharks on 38 shots
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Marc Denis stopped 38 shots and rookie Rick Nash provided the only goal as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the San Jose Sharks 1-0 on Wednesday night.

Kenai, Soldotna skaters long for 'W' column
Making the Alaska School Activities Association State 4A Hockey Championships is still a big deal.

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.

Woman to make history by coaching NCAA men's team
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Forget women's rights and gender equity. When Teresa Phillips decided to substitute for a suspended coach, the athletic director saw herself as Tennessee State's only option.

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.

Billikens upset No. 2 Louisville
ST. LOUIS -- Marque Perry scored five of his 25 points in the final 13 seconds, and maneuvered inside for the game-winning layup with 3.2 seconds to go as Saint Louis upset second-ranked Louisville 59-58 Wednesday night.

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.

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.

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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