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Monday, February 24, 2003

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.

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.

Police find four bodies in Wrangell home
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- The bodies of a Wrangell High School faculty member, his estranged girlfriend and two other women were found shot to death in a home early Monday, police said.

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.

Ellie Claus wins Jr. Iditarod
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Ellie Claus of Chitina won the Jr. Iditarod Sunday, in a race dominated by the children of top Iditarod mushers.

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.

Poker Flat rocket launches to study aurora winds
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Four rockets will be launched over the next two weeks at the Poker Flat Research Range for a study of the aurora winds.

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.

U.S. Supreme Court to hear appeal on Red Dog Mine lawsuit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from the state of Alaska that forces the Red Dog mine to use expensive anti-pollution technology for its power generation.

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.

Feb. 17, 2003 Voice of the Times on giving 16-year-olds the vote
We are more than passingly amused by some Anchorage Assembly members' ludicrous posturing about whether the voting age in our town should be lowered to 16.

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.

Feb. 19, 2003 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner warns about avalanche dangers
It's almost irresistible. With nearly nine hours of daylight, fairly moderate temperatures and snowmachines or skis at the ready, Alaskans at this time of year are drawn to the hills to play.

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.

Feb. 23, 2003 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on duct tape and Visqueen
At last, it appears the rest of the nation has caught up with Fairbanks.

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.

Feb. 23, 2003 Anchorage Daily News on studying Alaska's oil prospects
One of the most interesting -- and promising -- ideas to emerge during the new Murkowski administration is a letter from, of all outfits, the Ala

Anchorage wins grant for locating cellular callers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage has won a $500,000 grant to install advanced 911 equipment that will help emergency dispatchers locate callers from cellular telephones.

Jury selection begins in Big Lake fire lawsuit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Jury selection began Monday in Palmer in a lawsuit that charges the state could have prevented the disastrous Big Lake wildfire of 1996.

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.

Survey shows fish temperatures soar in transit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Kodiak-based fisherman-turned-scientist has discovered that fish shipped fresh from Alaska doesn't always reach its destination that way.

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.

Supreme Court favors UA in union salary dispute
FAIRBANKS -- The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that the University of Alaska is not obligated to give members of a teachers union the same pay raise that nonunion members received in 1996.

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.

Overboard shoes drifting toward Alaska shores
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Enough soggy Nike basketball shoes to outfit every high school team in the state are drifting through the Pacific Ocean toward Alaska after spilling from a container ship off Northern California.

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.

Alaska projects cut, added in federal budget
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Congress shaved millions of dollars from Alaska projects before it passed the omnibus federal spending bill last week.

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.

Bills address illegal drug lab cleanups
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A bill in the Legislature creating guidelines for cleanup of illegal drug labs passed its first committee Friday.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mandatory fish chilling bill stalled in committee
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill requiring fishers to chill their catch between harvest and delivery has run into obstacles in its first committee.

Kenai River group opposes permitting shift
KENAI (AP) -- The group that advises the state on issues affecting the Kenai River has taken a stand against the governor's plan to move permitting responsibilities from the Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Natural Resources.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

NOW PLAYING: Old School
As I searched for my seat in the half darkness of the theater, I knew, just knew, that this movie couldn't be any good.

Jarrett (not Jared) digs Subway
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Dale Jarrett outfoxed Kurt Busch during the final laps Sunday and won the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway.

Three skydivers injured before race
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Three Army skydivers were injured Sunday when strong wind knocked them to the ground before a NASCAR race.

Food bank director taking on new career
Peggy Moore, the executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, can attest that all good things must eventually end, as she prepares to resign from her position.

How the Alaska School District Cost Study method worked
Jay Chambers of the American Institutes for Research, presented the methodology of a new Alaska School District Cost Study to legislative committees on Wednesday.

Schools formula doesn't add up
A presentation on the newest education cost study produced more questions than answers for the Legislature and public alike.

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.

Borough decides to clarify glitch in communications
Advancing communications technology has led the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to consider clarifications to a 1985 ordinance authorizing a boroughwide emergency communications system.

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.

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.

Peninsula administrators question method
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is one of few districts across the state that stands to benefit from a new geographic education cost study presented to the Legislature on Wednesday.

Letters to the Editor
Better science won't change situation on the Kenai RiverPoet takes exception to Frank; says he mismanaged bankAlaska's economic future depends on natural gas line through state

Habitat Division move deserves more scrutiny
Homer Rep. Paul Seaton has announced his intention to take up the governor's decision to move the Department of Fish and Game's Habitat Divis

Opinion poll shows American distaste for France continues to grow
Here's a tip for the Bush administration: If you are going to wage war without totally debilitating longstanding international relationships and the world economy, cast aside your over-regard for the opinions of other nations and get moving.

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.

Photo feature: A splash of color
Etta Near, Alyson Stogsdill and Kari Mohn add a touch of color to the beach in Kenai during a walk Saturday afternoon.

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.

Club News
Elks table tennis results announced

Community Schools
The following is a list of Soldotna Community Schools classes and activities beginning this week. It is printed as a reminder to preregistered participants.

Ask a Trooper
Question: People don't seem to understand the designated center lane for turning only idea.

Around the Peninsula
Special advisory meeting plannedJob center to hold ADA seminarSteffy to speak at Soldotna chamberAgrium to host blood driveWilliams to speak at north chamberWRCC board to meetGardening series to beginDistrict CTSO conference FridayCIRCAC directors to meetChurch plans Mardi GrasIce fishing derby under waySquare dances planned

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.

Community News
Nutrition classes offeredFood bank to sponsor CANstruction competitionSpecial Olympics games set for March

Births
Teri and Darral LangstonCandice Howe and Mike VixAmber Mc-Farlin and Eric Lackey

Peninsula People
Sterling couple's son earns master's degreeKenai students named to deans' listsWildwood announces Employees of the YearArea doctor inducted into orthopaedic academy

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

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.

Man with flag disrupts game after player's protest during anthem
PURCHASE, N.Y. -- A Vietnam veteran came onto the court Sunday and held an American flag in front of Manhattanville senior forward Toni Smith after the Division III player again refused to face the flag during the national anthem.

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.

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.

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.

Bruins, Isles play to 4-4 tie
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Don Sweeney scored his second goal of the season with 2:24 left in regulation to lift the Boston Bruins into a 4-4 tie with the New York Islanders on Sunday.

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.

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.

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

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.

Weir beats Howell III in playoff
LOS ANGELES -- Mike Weir staged another unlikely comeback Sunday, making up a seven-stroke deficit against Charles Howell III and winning the Nissan Open with a birdie on the second playoff hole.

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.

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.

Kentucky runs winning streak to 16 games
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Keith Bogans had 18 points and seven rebounds as No. 2 Kentucky extended the nation's longest winning streak to 16 games with a 70-62 victory over No. 19 Mississippi State on Sunday.

Bryant keeps streak going in Lakers victory
LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant had 41 points to extend his remarkable streak of scoring at least 40 to nine straight games as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Seattle SuperSonics 106-101 on Sunday night.

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.

Sport Briefs
Middle school wrestlers wrap up seasonRace 4 of America's Cup postponed for fourth timeBig day for Liechtenstein; rough day for MillerWorld Cup downhill to be decided in last two racesDent beats Roddick for second career title

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

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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