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Thursday, February 20, 2003

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.

UAA seeks smaller budget hike
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The University of Alaska Board of Regents has submitted its annual budget request, asking for a $13.6 million increase in general state appropriations and $42.4 million more for capital projects.

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

Gatt wins Yukon Quest
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) -- Hans Gatt won the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race Thursday, becoming the first musher ever to win the 1,000-mile race between Whitehorse and Fairbanks two years in a row.

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.

Murkowski says she will back Iraqi invasion if Senate votes
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will back a resolution supporting war in Iraq if it comes before the Senate for a vote, she said Wednesday.

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.

Murkowski appoints Stevens to fill Senate seat
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski has appointed Rep. Gary Stevens to an unexpired state Senate seat representing Kodiak Island and parts of the Kenai Peninsula.

UA seeks smaller budget hike
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The University of Alaska Board of Regents has submitted its annual budget request, asking for a $13.6 million increase in general state appropriations and $42.4 million more for capital projects.

Research vessel to be overhauled in Portland
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Portland, Ore., shipyard will overhaul a federal research ship before it returns to Alaska.

Ruedrich, Palin get oil commission jobs
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski on Tuesday appointed Alaska Republican Party chairman Randy Ruedrich and Republican lieutenant governor runner-up Sarah Palin to state jobs overseeing the oil and gas industry.

Jet lands after blowing tire
JUNEAU (AP) -- A medical jet landed safely at Juneau International Airport on Monday despite a flat tire.

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.

Email harrassment bill passed
JUNEAU (AP) -- Harassing someone by e-mail would be a crime under a bill that passed the House on Wednesday.

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.

Anchorage man pleads guilty in check scheme
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to one count of bank fraud in connection with a counterfeit check cashing scheme.

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.

Two rescued when fishing vessel sinks
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 42-foot fishing vessel sank Tuesday morning in Wells Bay in northcentral Prince William Sound, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

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.

Airborne romance ends in arrests
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A flight that started with kisses and coos on Valentine's Day ended with a drive to jail for two Anchorage men and an Olympia, Wash., woman.

Former champ ponders retirement from Yukon Quest
CIRCLE (AP) -- Two-time champion John Schandelmeier is contemplating making this 20th edition of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race his last.

Weight-loss supplement under scrutiny after pitcher's death
An NFL player caught taking ephedra is often subject to harsher penalties than if he snorted cocaine. An Olympic athlete can lose a medal by taking the supplement.

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.

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.

A drug policy that helps no one
The blame has to begin with the kid himself. But it better not end there.

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

Oil prices peak, nearing 12-year high
NEW YORK -- The price of oil is nearing levels not seen since 1990 as the U.S. prepares for a potential war in Iraq at a time when crude supplies are extremely tight.

Population, health-care costs growing
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The biggest reason Americans are spending more on hospital care is that more people are using hospitals, industry groups said Wednesday.

Timber industry gets jump start
Kenai Peninsula Timber Inc. has the basic infrastructure it needs to begin making a market for area beetle-kill spruce wood. And in the coming weeks, the fledgling organization will put together plans to begin making the operation work.

Automakers not ready to give up on minivan just yet
DETROIT -- Twenty years after Baby Boomers fell in love with the minivan and made it part of America's suburban landscape, the breadbox on wheels has been largely pushed aside by a surge in the popularity of SUVs.

Alaska construction industry launches recruitment effort
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Construction industry officials say the image of construction workers needs some rebuilding and they've chosen Fairbanks to launch a marketing effort.

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).

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.

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.

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.

Gatt wins Yukon Quest
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) -- Hans Gatt won the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race Thursday, becoming the first musher ever to win the 1,000-mile race between Whitehorse and Fairbanks two years in a row.

Two-time Yukon Quest champion contemplates retirement
CIRCLE (AP) -- Two-time champion John Schandelmeier is contemplating making this 20th edition of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race his last.

Artifacts
If you want to see art, you go to an art gallery. If you want to see historic relics, you go to a museum. Simple, right?

Art Briefs
Writers' Night deadline nearsBoys and Girls Club holds showArts entries acceptedPoetry contest announcedPart of visitors center closed

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

Mystery in a common place
When many people think of the Appalachian lifestyle they envision a hillbilly sitting on the front porch, wearing bibbed overalls, smoking a corncob pipe and drinking moonshine from a jug. However, these images are stereotypes placed upon Appalachians by outsiders.

Quilting on the Kenai
Alaskans often dedicate the winter months to producing arts and crafts that are functional as well as beautiful.

Race schedule
Feb. 16 to Nov. 16, 2003

Winston Cup Points Leaders
1. Michael Waltrip 1852. Kurt Busch 1703. Jimmie Johnson 170

Money Leaders
1. Michael Waltrip $1,390,7062. Kurt Busch 1,022,4513. Jimmie Johnson 712,876

Young drivers making lasting impressions
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- It took Kurt Busch a year and a half to figure out how to handle the pressure of being a driver on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

Newsmaker: Johnny Benson
Johnny Benson returns to the North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham on Sunday for the Subway 400. The raceway is special for the former American Speed Association and NASCAR Busch Series champion because i

Stewart ready for 'real' start of season
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Ask Tony Stewart a question, he will give you an answer. That's why it should be no surprise Stewart was one of many who were glad to have the Daytona 500 out of the way.

This week's race: Subway 400
Where and When.

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.

Murkowski taps Kodiak representative, leaving open House slot
Just a month into the new legislative session, Kodiak Rep. Gary Stevens is moving to the state Senate.

Communications rule tabled
The more they discussed it, the more complicated things became. In the end, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly tabled a resolution that aimed to clarify how and when members of various borough boards and commissions could communicate with nonborough agencies and officials.

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.

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.

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.

Assembly takes stance on ANWR
A resolution urging Congress to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration passed the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, but not before assembly member Milli Martin of Homer took a lonely stand in defense of what she called the gem of the arctic.

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.

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

Bush, Blair face big war questions
Whether you agree with them or not, there's no denying that the millions of protesters the world over who voiced opposition to a possible war with Iraq last weekend made a statement.

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
Honor students make winter craft fair a big successHistory competition made possible thanks to area businessesWildwood group commits positive act for the communityUnocal helps keep roof over Peninsula Art GuildCommunity comes together to support reading carnivalSoldotna hockey team inspires with stirring performance

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

Photo feature: Basking in the sun
Mount Redoubt rises above a low bank of clouds earlier this week across Cook Inlet. Forecasters are calling for cloudy skies throughout the week, with a chance of snow this weekend.

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
Disabled veterans to meetBuilders to host speaker todaySterling fun day meeting plannedCanine Good Citizen class offeredSewing group to meetCIRCAC board meeting plannedPeace vigil to be held

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sports Briefs
Tyson shows off tattoo, not much else

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

Ninilchik sweeps Homer Christian
The Ninilchik School high school basketball teams earned a sweep of Homer Christian Tuesday at Ninilchik in District 3/2A competition.

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.

Late goal saves Senators after blowing three-goal lead
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Radek Bonk scored on a rebound with 1:15 to play and the Ottawa Senators beat the New Jersey Devils 5-3 on Wednesday night after blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.

Burk calls new protest law 'intimidation tactic'
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- The woman leading the fight against the Augusta National Golf Club's all-male membership says the city's new protest law is an intimidation tactic designed to stifle free speech during the Masters golf tournament.

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

Bryant stays hot as Lakers win
SALT LAKE CITY -- Kobe Bryant continued his torrid scoring run with 40 points and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Utah Jazz 93-87 Wednesday despite playing without Shaquille O'Neal for the second straight night.

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.

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.

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