Sunday, February 23, 2003

Corrections head backs state, not private, prison
JUNEAU (AP) -- The new commissioner of the Department of Corrections says a bill that includes a big state-run prison in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough would be cheaper for the state than a competing plan for a private prison in Whittier.

Denali Borough teachers' union files complaint
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The union representing teachers in the Denali Borough School District has filed an unfair labor practices complaint.

Moose rescued by a nose isn't happy about it
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The cow moose really didn't like being pulled out of the Chena River by its nose.

Veco gets millions in settlement
HOMER (AP) -- Veco Corp. will receive an extra $4 million to settle a disagreement over the cost of moving an electric generator to the Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski.

House votes to continue Salmon Task Force
JUNEAU (AP) -- The House voted Friday to let the Joint Legislative Salmon Industry Task Force keep working for another year.

Alyeska gets national race back for next year
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- After the U.S. Alpine Championships were moved from Alyeska Resort for lack of snow, national organizers said they'd come back next year.

Placer dome buys interest in Donlin Creek Mine
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Plans to develop Donlin Creek, Alaska's largest known gold deposit, got a big boost when mining giant Placer Dome announced plans to become majority owner and inject tens of millions of dollars into the project.

Sen. Murkowski picks legislative director
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- An Anchorage lawyer who worked as a congressional aide 20 years ago has been picked by Sen. Lisa Murkowski to serve as her chief counsel and legislative director.

Advisory panel tweaks Kenai king proposals
KENAI -- After nearly five more hours of discussion, the Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee made a few minor adjustments to its recommendations for early-run Kenai and Kasilof River king salmon fishing. The Alaska Board of Fisheries will make the final decision on the rules.

Hatchet killer gets 99 years
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man who hacked another man to death with a hatchet and seriously wounded the man's girlfriend for no apparent reason has been sentenced to 99 years in prison.

House gives strong send-off for budget cuts
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington's House gave nearly unanimous approval Friday to a belt-tightening budget plan that takes the first step toward erasing a $2.4 billion deficit.

Study: Payrolls for salmon far below pollock numbers
JUNEAU (AP) -- The salmon industry is the largest employer among Alaska's commercial fisheries, but the total payroll for the pollock industry is $200 million more. And for the fishing industry as a whole, paychecks for Alaska residents amount to less than 40 percent of the total.

Air Force hurricane chasers look for storms in North Pacific
OVER THE NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN (AP) -- At 30,000 feet the temperature outside the airplane is 118 below and the four turboprops drone a deafening single note.

Iditarod changes trail route again
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is being rerouted yet again. Race officials made another alteration to the sled dog race Friday that eliminates checkpoints at Iditarod, Cripple and Ophir and adds a novel loop from Kaltag to Grayling on the Yukon River.

Report says Alaska gas line unlikely by 2020
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A new report from a prominent energy consulting firm says there is little chance that Alaska will see construction of a natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48 anytime soon.

Russians seek access to state fisheries
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Russian commercial fishing interests are peppering the state with requests for access to Alaska's salmon fisheries this summer.

Kenai pipeline construction on track
KENAI (AP) -- A new pipeline to link gas fields near Ninilchik with the southcentral Alaska gas pipeline system at Kenai is meeting construction deadlines so far, according to company officials.

Former state worker pleads guilty to fraud
JUNEAU -- A former state worker accused of stealing nearly $300,000 from the state Department of Education to fund his drug habit pleaded guilty to several charges Friday. Gary Martin, 43, faces up to 16 years in prison.

Murkowski names seven to Board of Education
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski named seven members to the state's school board Friday, including retiring Education Commissioner Shirley Holloway.

Man faces murder charge for accidental shooting
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man who shot a 15-year-old to death accidentally has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Complaint filed against former Administration head
JUNEAU (AP) -- A complaint has been filed against Jim Duncan, the former commissioner of the Department of Administration, accusing him of violating a state ethics law by taking a job with the largest state employees' union.

Program seeks to recruit more Native teachers
JUNEAU (AP) -- Faced with a unique culture, harsh winters, and Spartan living conditions, many Lower 48 teachers who accept jobs in rural Alaska don't last long.

PCB report on St. Lawrence Island stirs controversy
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An unusual public dispute has broken out among scientists and health officials over a study of cancer-causing PCBs in the blood of Yupik villagers on St. Lawrence Island.

Iditarod changes trail route again
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is being rerouted yet again. Race officials made another alteration to the sled dog race Friday that eliminates checkpoints at Iditarod, Cripple and Ophir and adds a novel loop from Kaltag to Grayling on the Yukon River.

Interior steps up for race
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Brian Houston was so excited to hear that the restart of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was taking place in Fairbanks that he wanted to volunteer for it.

Are you resistant to physical activity?
"Eating alone will not keep a woman well; she must also take exercise. For food and exercise, while possessing opposite qualities, yet, work together to produce good health."

Experimental implant under the scalp zaps away crippling headaches
WASHINGTON -- Teresa Lamesch endured a constant, incapacitating headache for almost two years. The slight touch of wind blowing against her forehead caused shocking jolts of pain. Bright sunlight or loud noises could make her retch.

Chenault moves to Finance Committee
Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, was picked late Thursday by the Alaska House Republican Majority to assume a seat on the powerful House Finance Committee left vacant earlier last week when Rep. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, was appointed to the Alaska Senate by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

KRSMA board opposes Murkowski's new permit plan
The group responsible for advising Alaska State Parks on issues affecting the Kenai River spoke out Thursday against Gov. Frank Murkowski's plan to move permitting responsibilities from the Habitat Division of the Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Natural Resources.

Kenai weighs options after Kmart closing
The Kenai City Council's current plan for dealing with the gloomy financial situation the closure of Big Kmart and other factors have created for the city's budget will result in higher taxes and lost jobs for city employees.

House Republicans could have saved state some money
It was disheartening to read an Associated Press story earlier this month that reported House Republicans are consulting with a lobbyist and former Anchorage television reporter on how to better communicate with the media.

Can nation divided on war issue ever claim victory on battlefield?
Hell-bent. Brazen. Willy nilly. Might these be the words to describe our way of approaching foreign relations? You decide.

Around the Peninsula
Peace vigil to be heldSpecial advisory meeting plannedJob center to hold ADA seminarSteffy to speak at Soldotna chamberWRCC board to meetWrestling club to meetVolunteers sought for Easter musicalWolf to hold town meetingNutrition classes offered

Model trains aren't just child's play
Fall, 1968: Heavily loaded with a hundred cars of fresh-picked apples, a Great Northern Railroad train begins to pull sluggishly away from the station in Wenatchee, Wash. On its long journey across the state, the train will wind through apple country, climb the Cascade Mountains and eventually come to rest on the West Coast. There, the apples will be unloaded for shipment to ports around the world.

Most people turn their heads to right when kissing
When you kiss your sweetheart this Valentine's Day you may well turn your head to the right, echoing a preference born in the womb, a researcher suggests.

Corn snakes perfect choice for novice reptile hobbyists
So you want a pet snake? The very idea turns many people queasy, but for those who find reptiles, and snakes in particular, interesting, the decision on that first pet purchase can be a difficult one. There are many species to choose from and not all are suitable for a novice reptile hobbyist.

Sports Briefs
Rookie wins CART pole in first outingPoor weather hurts North Carolina SpeedwayUConn coach back on bench after cancer surgeryEberharter wins World Cup downhill titleRace 4 of America's Cup postponed again

Penguins waddle past Blues
PITTSBURGH -- Mario Lemieux set up Shawn Heins' first goal in nearly 2 1/2 years, giving the Pittsburgh Penguins a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

Kardinals girls take title at GCI Invitational
The Kenai Central High School girls basketball team defeated Bethel 40-21 Saturday to take first place in the GCI Invitational tournament in Bethel.

No. 1 Arizona quiets large Sun Devils crowd
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Luke Walton scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and No. 1-ranked Arizona used a 24-5 run late in the first half and early in the second to beat Arizona State 92-72 on Saturday night.

Charles in charge of field at Nissan Open
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Charles Howell III wasted no time turning the Nissan Open into a one-man show Saturday, making birdies on the first two holes to open a big lead and then keeping his distance with a 3-under 68.

Hornets grind Pistons to halt
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Jamal Mashburn scored 29 points and hit a turnaround jumper with 0.2 seconds left to give the New Orleans Hornets a 93-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.

Tejada arrives at A's camp after caring for son
PHOENIX -- Miguel Tejada reported to the Oakland Athletics' spring training facility Saturday after being delayed for two days because he was caring for his ill son.

CIA posts sweep of Lumen Christi
The Cook Inlet Academy high school basketball teams chose an excellent way to celebrate senior night Friday, notching a pair of District 3/2A wins over visiting Lumen Christi.

Alpine Championships come back to Alyeska
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- After the U.S. Alpine Championships were moved from Alyeska Resort for lack of snow, national organizers said they'd come back next year.

Tyson introduces Etienne to canvas
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- There's still some badness left in Iron Mike after all.

Kenai boys, girls get past Bristol Bay
The Kenai Central High School basketball teams earned a shot at the GCI Invitational tournament title by defeating the Bristol Bay Angels in Bethel Friday.

Bad apples shouldn't spoil bunch
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, but you also never get a second chance to leave a last impression.

Photo feature: The lookout
A male pine grosbeak keeps a watchful eye open on a tree branch in Sterling recently while its mate busily hunted for food on the ground below.

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