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Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Man charged with felony assault
JUNEAU (AP) -- A man was charged with felony assault for allegedly beating his girlfriend, dousing her with lighter fluid and threatening to set her on fire.

Fairbanks City Council approves bed tax disbursal
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Fairbanks City Council approved a plan to disburse bed tax money to 23 local organizations.

Interior land plan adopted
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Thousands of acres of state land near the Taylor Highway will be available for remote settlement as part of a new land-use plan adopted by the state Department of Natural Resources.

Lack of snow forces change for Alpine Championships
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has decided to relocate next month's Alpine Championships from Girdwood to the Lower 48, due to poor snow conditions in Alaska.

Proposals pit public, private prisons
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A proposal to build a 1,200-bed private prison in Whittier is running into competition for state funding from a rival 1,200-bed prison proposed for Sutton in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Gatt holds onto lead in Quest
CENTRAL (AP) -- Defending champion Hans Gatt arrived Tuesday afternoon at the Central checkpoint, hours ahead of his nearest competitor in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Lawmaker seeks more restitution for nonprofits
JUNEAU (AP) -- A lawmaker is seeking to change a law he says prevented the Alaska Folk Festival from collecting full restitution from an accountant who embezzled thousands of dollars from the organization in the 1990s.

Strong earthquake felt in Dutch Harbor
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A strong earthquake was felt in Dutch Harbor on Tuesday evening, according to the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.

Permanent Fund recoups some losses
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A relatively strong stock market from October through December gave the $22 billion Alaska Permanent Fund a 4.4 percent return on its investments for the quarter, fund officials said.

Murkowski proposes $63 million supplemental budget
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski is proposing a $63.3 million supplemental spending plan to make up for shortfalls and unanticipated expenses that arose in the last fiscal year.

Gatt holds onto lead in Quest
CIRCLE CITY (AP) -- Defending champion Hans Gatt was holding onto a comfortable lead in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Bill would revoke licenses in fatal accidents
JUNEAU (AP) -- Drivers who cause fatal accidents could lose their licenses for up to three years under a bill that passed the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.

Snowmachiner caught in avalanche
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- While waiting for the rescue helicopter to arrive, Lucas VanBebber's friends worked to keep him warm and stable.

Murkowski names Oil and Gas Conservation Commissioners
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski has appointed two prominent Republicans, Sarah Palin and Randy Ruedrich, to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Former archbishop says he failed abuse victim
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A letter from retired Archbishop Francis Hurley apologizing for his failure to help a teenage parishioner who reported sexual abuse by a priest two decades ago was read in churches throughout the Archdiocese of Anchorage.

Eaglecrest offers ski refunds
JUNEAU (AP) -- Too little snow is prompting the Eaglecrest Ski Area to offer refunds to people holding season passes.

Trooper that shot man had history of aggression
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Several incidents have turned up in Arthur Jesse Osborn's past in a review conducted after the Alaska State Trooper shot and killed a disabled man on a highway turnout in January.

Barton named to head transportation department
JUNEAU (AP) -- Mike Barton was named Tuesday to head the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Anchorage parents, police differ on causes of melee
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Angry parents and teenagers bombarded Mayor George Wuerch and Anchorage police commanders Monday with questions about what police are calling a riot that broke out after a Fur Rendezvous teen dance.

Baltimore pitching prospect Bechler dies of heatstroke
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Steve Bechler died of heatstroke Monday, unable to recover from a spring training workout a day earlier that sent his temperature to 108 degrees.

Coroner: Weight-loss drug probably contributed to Bechler's death
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A weight-loss drug containing a stimulant probably contributed to the heatstroke death of Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Steve Bechler, a coroner said Tuesday.

Gwynn tossed from San Diego State game
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Tony Gwynn found out fast that some college umpires have a quicker thumb than the ones working in the majors.

Government Offices, Law Enforcement and Hospitals appreciate shadows
From law enforcement agencies in need of recruits, to hospitals facing future nursing shortages or government offices in need of trained employees, the enthusiastic response to the Job Shadow program in the Central Peninsula last week was unanimous.

Giving From the Heart
These staff members of the Boys and Girls Club were recently recognized at a Board of Directors meeting after hearing of the generosity by this group of caring staff members.

KCHS Shadows inspire local professionals
For over 100 juniors at Kenai Central High School last week it was a legitimate day to skip classes and take a look at what the "real world" may have to offer them a few years down the road.

PRISM impresses future firefighters
For TJ Hancock and Kenny Dormady, juniors at Kenai Central High School, it was a day to get fired up about fire fighting at the Pacific Rim Institute of Safety & Management (PRISM).

Outdoors
There I was sitting in my favorite chair looking out at my very icy driveway and thinking how much I would like to be out fishing than sitting here in my house. The thought of being out calling in coyotes or maybe even a wolf or a lynx are also amongst my thoughts.

Local Grad to take helm of DMV
Governor Frank Murkowski appointed local Cook Inlet Academy graduate and long time Kenai City Council member Duane Bannock to head the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles last week.

After the Bell program to Stretch the Arts
The Soldotna After the Bell program was started over three years ago with the help of a 3-year 21st Century grant from the federal government.

Quest lead in sure Hans
CIRCLE CITY (AP) -- Defending champion Hans Gatt had a six-hour lead Monday over his nearest competitor in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Murkowski names oil, gas commissioners
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski has appointed two prominent Republicans, Sarah Palin and Randy Ruedrich, to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Lack of rain, snow could precipitate dangerous spring
Late last fall when the Kenai Peninsula was awash with overflowing rivers swelled by intense rainfall, it might have been hard to anticipate the dryness experienced this January and early February.

Program helps Alaskans receiving disability benefits get back to work
For the longest time, those receiving disability benefits were relegated to an either-or scenario: having to choose between governmental health care subsidy or working.

Next year's district staff faces big cuts
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education approved Monday night two actions that will shape the staff makeup in the district for the 2003-04 school year.

Timber group forms to combine efforts
Up from the roots of necessity and past failures springs Kenai Peninsula Timber Inc., a nonprofit organization that aims to put the lumber industry back on the map on the Kenai Peninsula.

Murkowski proposes $63 million supplemental plan for shortfalls
JUNEAU -- Gov. Frank Murkowski is proposing a $63.3 million supplemental spending plan to make up for shortfalls and unanticipated expenses that arose in the last fiscal year.

Wildlife troopers keep busy despite quiet fishing season
Just because the winter until now has been too mild to get a lot of folks out ice fishing and trapping on the Kenai Peninsula doesn't mean Alaska Fish and Wildlife Protection Troopers have been idle.

Slim budget has administrators making challenging decisions
Financial conversations in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District have been decidedly grim in the last two months, and things didn't look any brighter this week as school board and borough assembly members met in work sessions to discuss the 2003-04 district budget.

Lawmaker seeks more restitution for nonprofits
JUNEAU (AP) -- A lawmaker is seeking to change a law he says prevented the Alaska Folk Festival from collecting full restitution from an accountant who embezzled thousands of dollars from the organization in the 1990s.

Photo feature: Getting an early jump on sales
Julie Trudell, right, checks the merchandise as Danielle Williamson waits for more customers at her yard sale in Kenai on Saturday. Normally a spring custom, sale signs are cropping up as people take advantage of the warm weather.

Bertha 'Kay' (Rasmussen) Dillon
Soldotna resident Bertha "Kay" (Rasmussen) Dillon died Friday, Feb. 14, 2003, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 76.

Everett 'Ev' Faass
Longtime Alaskan Everett "Ev" Faass died in his home in Soldotna on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2003, with his son nearby, after a lengthy illness. He was 75.

Terror alert makes it hard to act as if nothing is different
Most people, at some point in their lives, have lived in close proximity to something that can be rather annoying -- airports, busy highways, neighbors with barking dogs, railroad tracks -- but after a time those annoyances blend into daily life and are hardly noticed.

Transportation bill needed to help spur Alaska's economy
Sen. Lisa Murkowski has her priorities straight.

Applause
Battle of the Books winners make rest of school proudThose involved in Battle of Books show cooperation, sportsmanshipCommunity's generosity makes scholarship program successfulKids begin to learn lots of life skills on basketball courtEvent teaches kids ways to keep safe when riding snowmachines

Longtime Alaskan has some advice for complaining Cheechakos
I have to admit my viewpoint on this subject is slightly skewed. I am a lifelong Alaskan, over 60 years now, who wouldn't live anywhere else. Nothing much gets my dander up like my acquaintances, who blame Alaska for their problems. I'm not saying its perfect, but with all its imperfection, it is not the cause of their problems.

Letters to the Editor
Teachers will stop working unpaid overtime hours next weekParks survey biased; "crowding" has many different meaningsSome letter writers aren't getting their history rightCRPC board only interested in environmental agendasConsent law fails to address real problem of teen pregnancy

Photo feature: Waiting to learn
Selia Butler, bottom right, rests her head Tuesday afternoon while waiting to learn the next process in a book making class with Noelle Schmitter-Schrier, at left, Rachel Mackie and Vienna Schmitter-Schrier.

Around the Peninsula
Health centers meeting todayAARP to meetNonprofit training session offeredKRSMA board to meetBlood drive SaturdaySafety course offeredCollege to hold garage saleLip sync contest plannedTea party to honor 'Women of Seward'Applications for visitor services available

Around the Peninsula
Clothes Closet open, donations needed4-H Rally Day set for todayWomen invited to 'Call of the Wild' brunchCIRCAC committee to meetMarathon rep to speak to The AllianceSoldotna chamber to meet todayForest to hold scoping meetingKDLL board meets tonightGenealogy workshop plannedMarketing workshop slatedCPHC to meet WednesdayCommittee to discuss salmon plansTea party to honor 'Women of Seward'

New Vista program volunteer is familiar face at college
KPC's Learning Center announced a "new" Vista volunteer working in its literacy program. What's not so new about this Vista volunteer is that he has been a student at KPC for several years pursuing his bachelor's degree in anthropology.

School Menus
White or chocolate milk served at each meal.

Honor Rolls
Kenai Peninsula College fall semester honor rolls

Cinnamon roll project helps class raise funds, learn lessons
The smell of cinnamon, sugar and baking dough wafted through the hallway at North Star Elementary School last week, but the aroma wasn't coming from the kitchen. Rather, it came from the school's multipurpose room, where Sherry Matson's sixth-grade class had created a cinnamon roll factory.

Around the District
CTSO conference set for Feb. 28Battle of Books winners announcedOcean Sciences Bowl comes to Seward

District School News
News from schools around the district

Studies have mixed message for diet and Alzheimer's risks
CHICAGO -- Some dietary fats might help prevent Alzheimer's disease, others may increase the risk and -- contrary to some reports -- antioxidant vitamins may have no effect on the mind-robbing ailment, two studies suggest.

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors.

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

Ninilchik boys, girls roll to Nenana titles
The Ninilchik boys and girls won Nenana Invitational Tournament championships Saturday.

Seward's Smith 42nd in Nordic championships
Aubrey Smith, a graduate of Seward high school, finished 42nd in a 15-kilometer mass start Tuesday in the world Nordic championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

Kidd leads Nets to win over Heat
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jason Kidd fed Jason Collins for a go-ahead three-point play with 1:50 to play, then hit a clinching 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds left to lead the New Jersey Nets to an 84-79 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

Bibby, Malone expected to be added to Team USA
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Sacramento Kings guard Mike Bibby said Tuesday he will accept an invitation to play for the 2004 U.S. men's Olympic basketball team, with Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz also expected to join the roster.

Superlative season rewards Nikiski skater's hard work
It took a lot of seasoning, but finally a hockey season has left just the right aftertaste in the mouth of Nikiski senior Josh Pepper.

Late Friesen goal gives Devils tie in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA -- Jeff Friesen's goal with 4:45 left lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 2-2 tie with the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

Alfredsson's assists stymie Rangers
OTTAWA -- Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson assisted on goals by Radek Bonk, Mike Fisher and Martin Havlat as the Senators beat New York 3-2 on Monday night to spoil Pavel Bure's return to the Rangers' lineup.

The world will be watching -- and keeping score
She teed it up against men on a course that became known as Hogan's Alley, and while she held her own, the world's best female golfer failed to make the final cut.

Sports Briefs
Snow nearly wipes out Northeast scheduleDecision to start race early saved the Daytona 500Tyson fight officially called off

'Dawgs sink Mariners on hardcourt
The Nikiski basketball teams notched a sweep of Homer Tuesday night in nonconference basketball play in Nikiski.

Pistons pump past Heat
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Richard Hamilton scored a season-high 34 points and Ben Wallace added 19 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons routed the Miami Heat 93-62 Monday night.

Swiss sail to 3-0 lead over Kiwis
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) -- Nothing but stern. That's what Alinghi of Switzerland showed beleaguered Team New Zealand all the way around the course, and the America's Cup is that much closer to going to Europe for the first time in 152 years.

Mouton's treys push Texas past Texas Tech
AUSTIN, Texas -- Brandon Mouton hit five 3-pointers in the first half to spark No. 3 Texas to a 77-65 victory Monday night over Texas Tech, which played without suspended guard Andre Emmett, the Big 12's leading scorer.

Tyson fight back on; opponent unclear
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Just when it seemed Mike Tyson's world couldn't get more bizarre, he outdid himself.

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