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Friday, February 14, 2003

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.

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.

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.

BP executive wants gas line talks
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An executive with BP is suggesting the state form a ''small, experienced negotiating team'' to negotiate an agreement for development of a natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48.

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

Wasilla businesses say they'll miss Iditarod restart
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Wasilla-area businesses said they will feel the pinch from the decision to move the Iditarod restart to Fairbanks.

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.

INS sweep nets fewer illegal workers in Dutch Harbor
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A sweep last week by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service of seafood processors and fishing boats in Dutch Harbor netted fewer than 20 illegal immigrants, compared with about 60 arrested in a similar operation in 2000.

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.

Woman sentenced for DWI crash that killed teen
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A woman charged with killing a teenager while driving drunk last summer in Anchorage has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

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.

Salmon industry considers asking for federal help
JUNEAU (AP) -- Some representatives of the salmon industry are considering petitioning the federal government for financial relief from the effects of the salmon industry decline.

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.

Yukon Quest teams wrap up rest in Dawson City
DAWSON CITY, Yukon (AP) -- The top teams in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race were preparing to hit the trail again Friday afternoon after taking a mandatory 36 hour layover.

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.

Oil industry seeks full NPR-A access
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Oil industry officials are calling for full access to a giant new chunk of North Slope land the federal government might offer for oil and gas development.

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.

Gatt takes lead in Yukon Quest
DAWSON CITY, Yukon (AP) -- Defending champion Hans Gatt took the lead Thursday as racers in the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race reached the halfway mark.

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.

Lobbyist working to hone message for lawmakers
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lobbyist and former Anchorage television reporter Jonathan White is consulting with lawmakers on how to better communicate with the media.

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.

Man to enter plea agreement in North Pole homicide
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A man charged with murdering a 16-year-old North Pole girl has indicated he plans to agree to a plea deal.

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.

Fairbanks man enters plea in abuse of minor case
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man faces up to four years in prison after he was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor.

Man arrested after threatening state worker
JUNEAU (AP) -- A 27-year-old Juneau man was arrested Thursday morning after reportedly threatening an employee of the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Defendant pressured to lower prices to fishermen
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Bristol Bay sockeye salmon processor testified Thursday that a Japanese importer who bought its products demanded repeatedly that it lower prices to fishermen.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Art Briefs
Show accepting actsWriters' Night deadline nears

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."

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.

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

Race Schedule
February 16 to November 16, 2003

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

Dear soldier: Carey starts letter-writing campaign
Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey wants members of the U.S. Armed Services to know his city cares about those who put themselves in the line of fire.

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.

Photo feature: For the birds?
A flock of ravens sit with hope next to Ronda Holben's car as Holben finishes her lunch in Kenai Thursday afternoon.

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

Era could consider future in Soldotna
While Era Aviation has no plans to begin a Soldotna operation in the immediate future, that is a possibility that may fly later.

Glick's proposal aims for uniform message
Service area boards and advisory planning commissions might soon be required to clear with the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly the contents of any correspondence they may have with Alas-ka's governor, state and federal lawmakers, nonborough agencies and other officials outside the borough government.

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.

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

Linda Marie Norman
Port Graham resident Linda Marie Norman died surrounded by her family at South Peninsula Hospital on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2003, after a courageous battle with colon cancer. She was 44.

Applause
Copier donation helps Kenai Fine Arts Center stay in business

Students not only ones who benefit from job shadowing
"A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. ..."

Letters to the Editor
Lease sales will do little to help local residents get cheap energy Chugach, Tongass need protection from congressional delegation

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.

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.

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

Iraq needs to address U.N. demands, credibility issues
There is a lot that points toward a credible military threat being a condition for avoiding a war.

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

Outdoor Briefs --
Outdoor club seeking new members Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend

Three people share Washington treehouse
STEVENS PASS, Wash. (AP) -- With a chain saw, a rope and a hatchet, Tony Detmer built his dream house -- suspended 20 feet up, in a stand of Douglas fir and cedar.

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

Arctic char a special fish on the Kenai Peninsula
The lakes along the Swanson River drainage have some special fish. Let's say that you've just caught a fish in one of these lakes. Your fish does not have the typical black spots found on a rainbow trout. Instead, it has light pink or red spots and white-edged ventral fins. If you look closely, a few spots are larger than the pupil of the eye.

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

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
CIAA board to meet Valentine coffeehouse planned CIRCAC committee to meet KRSMA board to meet Security forum planned After the Bell to hold fund-raiser Job center to hold ADA seminar Gardening series to begin Applications for visitor services available Volunteers sought for Easter musical

'E-tithing' catching on in some denominations, helps churches keep revenue steady
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- For Sally Hanneman, church giving has gone high-tech.

Clergy salaries up but still not great for many, study finds
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Pay for Protestant clergy in the United States has increased faster than inflation over the last 25 years, but the economic picture is still tough for many pastors, a survey conducted by Duke University's Divinity School says.

Former Jehovah's Witnesses want the faith to disclose abuse files
TORONTO (AP) -- The Canadian wing of the Jehovah's Witnesses is resisting disgruntled former members who want it to release data on known child molesters in its ranks.

Ohio evangelist sells his cathedral to Hindus
DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) -- Television evangelist Leroy Jenkins has sold his longtime base, the nine-acre Healing Waters Cathedral complex, for $1.3 million to a Hindu group, the Yogi Divine Society.

Princess with pope, cardinal and patron saint in family now follows the Vatican from outside
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Her family tree includes the pope who put the finishing touches on St. Peter's Basilica, a cardinal who amassed one of Europe's greatest art collections and one of Italy's two patron saints.

Texas law would regulate Islamic foods
AUSTIN (AP) -- Food labeled as halal, or meeting Islamic dietary laws, would be regulated under a bill introduced in the Texas Senate.

Prominent New Testament scholar gets Church of England's fourth-ranking post
LONDON (AP) -- The Rev. N. Thomas Wright, a prominent New Testament scholar, was named Tuesday as the new bishop of Durham, the fourth-ranking post in the Church of England.

Focus on Family reduces staff, spending
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- Declining donations have forced Focus on the Family, an influential evangelical ministry with a global media reach and national political clout, to cut $5 million from its budget and lay off 34 employees.

Church Briefs
Deadline Saturday for religious poems New 2 U clothing ministry closes Native fellowship meets Feb. 21 Love INC fund-raiser promises no speeches Poetry competition offers $1,000 top prize Bible study group meets Healing Rooms open every Friday and Saturday Conference asks Are dinosaurs in Bible? Writers sought for faith anthology

United Methodist Church reports belt-tightening
NASHVILLE (AP) -- The mission board of the 8.3 million-member United Methodist Church has frozen recruiting of new missionaries and notified 19 foreign workers their contracts won't be renewed.

Holiday is good time to practice true love
A holiday dedicated to love is a wonderful thing!

Catholic abuse victims' group reports major expansion during 2002
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests reports its membership grew substantially during 2002, when many Roman Catholic molesting cases came to light.

Bulldogs move on in Greatland tourney
The Nikiski hockey team defeated Kenny Lake 2-0 Thursday in the first round of the Greatland Hockey Conference Tournament at the Brett Memorial Ice Arena in Wasilla.

Thunderbirds press depth advantage against Kards
The Kenai Kardinals put on a good show Thursday in the opening round of the Class 4A state hockey tournament at the Soldotna Sports Center.

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

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.

Alaska School Activities Association State 4A Hockey Championships
Schedule for the Hockey games this weekend.

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.

Woods suffers a little rust, a lot of frustration in return
SAN DIEGO -- A soupy fog made Tiger Woods wait four hours before he could tee off Thursday in the Buick Invitational.

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.

State events need more off-roading
Once it finally got going, the Alaska School Activities Association's Class 4A state wrestling championship moved smoothly this past weekend at Ketchikan High School's Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.

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.

Lalime posts shutout as Senators top Oilers
OTTAWA -- Patrick Lalime stopped 24 shots for his second consecutive shutout and league-leading seventh of the season as the Ottawa Senators beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 Thursday night.

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.

Gleason makes mind-numbing 51 saves for Soldotna
First, this reporter would like to apologize to his editors for missing deadline.

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.

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