Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Fairbanks snowmachiner dies in accident
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks snowmobiler was killed over the weekend when he went off a trail while riding north of the city, Alaska State Troopers report.

Feb. 22, 2002 The Anchorage Daily News urges Senate president to take the fiscal lead
When it comes to fixing the $1 billion-a-year hole in state finances, Senate President Rick Halford has his finger set firmly in the wind.

Talkeetna residents to vote on whether to turn town into city
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state began mailing ballots to Talkeetna residents Monday with this question: Shall Talkeetna become a city?

Juneau assembly considers metal lids for large trash containers
JUNEAU (AP) -- The city's industrial trash containers may be in line for some heavier lids to deal with garbage bears.

Amchitka atomic veterans may get benefits and compensation
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Under new Veterans Affairs regulations, Amchitka military personnel who developed radiation-related cancers may be eligible for medical benefits and compensation.

Police seek teen charged with shooting woman
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Wasilla police are looking for a teen-ager charged with attempted murder last month in the shooting of a 75-year-old woman.

Visiting officers try out powerful weapons
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Police officers from Alaska, California and even England joined members of the Alaska Machine Gun Association over the weekend at a firearms familiarity course for law enforcement personnel attending a training convention. The gathering was rich in machine gun lore and firepower.

Coast Guard crewmember medevaced to Seattle
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A crewman on the Coast Guard cutter Storis was medevaced from Sand Point to Seattle Sunday after he accidentally shot himself in the leg.

Feb. 19, 2002 The Ketchikan Daily News supports seafood nation of origin labeling
Want to know where your shirt was made? Check the label. Most items we buy at retail stores have labels or other indicators of the country where they were produced. The information is helpful and, in some instances, can influence whether we buy something or leave it on the shelf.

North Pole woman sentenced in abuse case
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks judge has sentenced a 52-year-old North Pole woman to 2 1/2 years in prison for repeatedly beating three children in her care.

Feb. 19, 2002 The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on new federal airport safety measures
Security in airports from Fairbanks to New York City and all points in between underwent a major change this past weekend. But to the average traveler, it probably seemed like not much happened.

Mother sentenced for recklessly injuring her child
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks woman has been sentenced to two years in prison for recklessly injuring her infant daughter last summer when she drove her car into the Chena River.

New trooper kills self in weekend family dispute
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man in field training as an Alaska State Trooper died after shooting himself in the head as Anchorage police responded to a family argument over the weekend.

Warming could lead to Arctic shortcut
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- For centuries, explorers have dreamed of sailing through Arctic passages as a shortcut between Europe and Asia.

Ulmer violates campaign finance law
JUNEAU (AP) -- The gubernatorial campaign of Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer had to refund about $3,600 in campaign contributions collected last month in violation of state law, and turn a fund-raiser last week into a ''meet and greet'' session to avoid another violation.

Troopers investigate death in Port Heiden
DILLINGHAM (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers in Dillingham are investigating the death of a 23-year-old man in Port Heiden.

Broad energy bill includes ANWR, other issues
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate is ready to take up broad energy legislation that has caused splits over drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife refuge, automobile gas mileage, and electricity competition in the shadow of Enron Corp.'s collapse.

Forest Service wants to ban mining along Russian River
KENAI (AP) -- A proposal by the U.S. Forest Service to prohibit mining along a stretch of the Russian River is drawing criticism from a Cooper Landing man.

Alyeska terminal closed to visitors this summer
VALDEZ -- Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. says the public will not be allowed to tour its terminal this summer.

Use of drugs could lead to tougher sex assault sentences
JUNEAU -- Rapists who try to incapacitate their victims with drugs or alcohol could face tougher sentences if House Bill 297 becomes law.

Feb. 22, 2002 The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner urges lawmakers to support the state's travel industry
For many decades the travel industry has been a growing part of Alaska's economy. In more recent years, the advent of more affordable travel options has really opened Alaska up to adventurous vacationers from the Lower 48 and beyond.

Two snowmachiners die on weekend rides
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two snowmachiners died over the weekend in separate incidents. That brings the number of fatalities associated with snowmobiles in Alaska to 12, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Feb. 20, 2002 The Anchorage Daily News says House bill allows lawmakers to abdicate responsibility
Every time we look around, there's a new attempt to put democracy on autopilot in Juneau -- a spending limit or a tax cap or a term limit or some other attempt to rearrange the rules to convince voters that legislators will -- in the future -- be more responsible. Most of the time these tricks do nothing more than blur the focus on the real issue, which is ultimately both profoundly simple and properly difficult. The real issue is votes.

Measure sets buffer zones for loggers
JUNEAU (AP) -- Loggers in Interior Alaska would have to spare more trees close to lakes and streams under legislation that passed the House on Monday.

Feb. 17, 2002 The Juneau Empire blasts anti-mining report
A disturbing wire story crossed our desk this week dealing with a very lopsided report paid for by the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) and the Northern Alaska Environmental Center entitled: ''The role of Metal Mining in the Alaska Economy.'' Dr. Thomas Power a University of Montana professor of economics authored the report.

Highway engineers tackle problem of widening Kenai River bridge
SOLDOTNA (AP) -- Highway engineers planning to widen the Sterling Highway bridge over the Kenai River are faced with a difficult problem.

Despite slower mail, Postal Service still makes the grade
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The way Alaska's mail comes and goes, within the state and to the Outside, changed dramatically following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But the state Postal Service still gets A-minus and B-plus grades in official tests.

Home-school parents wary of proposed rules
JUNEAU (AP) -- Cailey Neary, 11, researched a history topic on the computer while her 8-year-old brother, Aidan, wrote in a workbook in the kitchen. A school district in Galena pays for their school books and the computer, while their mother does the teaching.

Alyeska terminal closed to visitors this summer
VALDEZ (AP) -- Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. says the public will not be allowed to tour its terminal this summer.

Ketchikan nurses reach tentative labor agreement
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Ketchikan General Hospital RNs United reached a tentative contract agreement with the hospital last week after seven months of negotiations, the union said.

Police arrest two men in Anchorage vandalism spree
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man helped catch two suspected vandals who were arrested early Monday morning in connection with an overnight spree that left more than 50 vehicles with broken windows.

Cruise bookings appear to be in recovery
JUNEAU (AP) -- Cruise ship bookings so far this year are on the rise, though some cruise line executives are still being cautious about the season as legislators are being asked to spend millions of state dollars promoting the tourism industry.

U.S. Nordic teams hail medal-less Olympics a success
MIDWAY, Utah (AP) -- For the U.S. Nordic skiing teams, close counts, fourth-place finishes are fantastic and best showings ever are cause for celebration. These Americans, including a new crop of Alaska athletes, aren't ready -- yet -- to measure success with medals.

Judge sticks with verdict in talk-show trial
JUNEAU -- A state judge has refused to throw out damages a jury awarded to a Juneau woman ridiculed on a national radio show.

Trial begins for man accused of shooting the trans-Alaska pipeline
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A federal trial got underway Monday for a man accused of shooting the trans-Alaska pipeline and spilling more than 285,000 gallons of crude oil.

Baez to start for Cleveland
Danys Baez has dealt with much more difficult adjustments than moving from the bullpen to the Cleveland Indians' starting rotation.

Diamondbacks' Williams breaks left leg, expected to miss opening day
For Matt Williams, spring training is becoming a series of bad breaks. The Arizona third baseman broke his left leg and dislocated his left ankle during a routine fielding drill Monday and is expected to miss opening day.

Yastrzemski won't give up rod and reel for bat and ball any time soon
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Just because Carl Yastrzemski likes the incoming owners of the Boston Red Sox, don't expect him to devote much more time to the club.

Photo feature: Me next?
Mingo watches the action while she waits her turn to race for Homer musher Jeff Szarzi Saturday during the Peninsula Sled Dog Association Classic at Soldotna Municipal Airport.

10 Dog Sunday
New names to mushing, and an old favorite were the top finishers in the Peninsula Sled Dog and Racing Association 10-Dog Classic this Saturday and Sunday at the Soldotna Municipal Airport. The event -- with a $2,500 purse -- included a 4-mile, four-dog race each day, as well as two 6-mile, six-dog races and two 10-mile, 10-dog races. The times from each day were combined in each race to determine the winner.

Little by Little, Kasilof musher gains experience
In sled dog racing, as in most things, a little experience can go a long way.

First-time Iditarod musher sets sights on Nome's finish line
Judy Merritt is about to realize a dream. After a long wait, the 41-year-old Moose Pass woman is finally setting out on her first Iditarod Trail.

NOW PLAYING: Queen of the Damned
I went into the theater to see Queen of the Damned with a mixture of bitterness and hopefulness. I'm a big Anne Rice fan. I've read most of her books, of which Queen is one of a series of vampire stories. I've even seen her house, though only from the outside. You can understand, then, why I would be so hopeful, but I know a lot of you are saying to yourself, "Queen of the Damned? Which one is that, again?" That's where my bitterness comes in.

Kenseth wins Subway 400
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Matt Kenseth admitted he wasn't too sure he would ever win again. A charge from fourth to first late in the race gave Kenseth the victory Sunday in the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway -- the second win of his career and his first in 60 races.

Village Fair's goal to inform community
The Soldotna Village Fair will sport a new look this year, as well as a few new opportunities.

Library supporters want more room
Thanks to a contribution from Kenai supporters, the Kenai Community Library can afford to purchase furniture and equipment for an additional wing. Now, somebody's going to have to foot the bill for the addition -- if there will even be a addition.

Tax assistance available by appointment
Income tax assistance is available to seniors and low-income families in the Homer area. Special arrangements may be made for home visits for those who are homebound.

CO incidents drop with detectors use
Some gifts are more valuable than others. Just ask Nikiski Fire Department Battalion Chief Warren Isham who responded to one carbon monoxide call this season.

Water questions spark forum to help find answers
The Kenai Watershed Forum will distribute free water testing kits at the Soldotna Village Fair Saturday to help Kenai Peninsula residents check arsenic levels in their drinking water.

DOT, DEC talk about bridge reconstruction
The area near the Soldotna bridge was the main topic Thursday night at the Kenai River Special Management Area board meeting. The majority of the meeting was taken up by discussion on how the area should be managed for environmentally friendly growth and development.

Mary Louise Hunter
Former Kenai resident Mary Louise Hunter died Saturday, Feb. 23, 2002, in Juneau. She was 40.

Canada gets Hockey Gold after 50 year draught
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah So many coincidental anniversaries had been pointed out. Omens had been assigned to draw parallels to previous Olympic triumphs.

Olympics over, but Russian anger continues
MOSCOW -- Though the Winter Olympics are over, resentment still runs high in Russia.

Russian skier disqualified, forced to relinquish medal
SALT LAKE CITY -- Olympic leaders have a stern warning for athletes using performance-enhancing drugs.

Gretzky redeems `98 Canadian defeat, constructs gold-medal winning team
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- Faced with an entirely new challenge in the sport he mastered on the ice, Wayne Gretzky once again played every angle perfectly.

Winter Olympics, X Games appeal
SALT LAKE CITY -- Once a genteel celebration confined to quaint country retreats, the biggest, hippest Winter Olympics in history edged closer to looking like an X Games.

Spectacular closing ceremonies
SALT LAKE CITY -- With pyrotechnics originating from the stage floor and from the peaks of nearby mountains, 60,000 flashlights beaming from the stands and Donny and Marie Osmond portraying dinosaurs, the 2002 Winter Olympics came to a close Sunday night with an eclectic flair.

End games
SALT LAKE CITY -- The world came together for fun and games, only to get a big dose of scandal along with it. American athletes soared and the home crowd cheered anyway, refusing to let anything spoil their party.

USOC explains the improved medals count for the US athletes
SALT LAKE CITY -- It was in 1988, when the United States' medal total in the Calgary Olympic Games could be counted on two hands with two fingers unused, that an embarrassed U.S. Olympic Committee vowed that it would never happen again.

A lookback at the Salt Lake City Olympics
SALT LAKE CITY _ They were billed as "The Comeback Games," a chance for America to show its post-Sept. 11 resolve, a chance for the Olympics to wash away the scandals that brought the Games to Salt Lake City.

Some olympic moments to remember
SALT LAKE CITY -- The 2002 Winter Olympics have been reduced to a memory now, one that will fade soon as we forget the American Olympians who commanded our attention over these past 17 days.

The way it was meant to be played
A game. Finally. A game without whining, whispering or screams for review. Without over-the-top displays or under-the-table deals. Just the best athletes from two nations on the world's biggest stage, playing a game that for a few hours mattered more to one of them than anything else.

Final notes from Salt Lake City
In 1932, as a gesture of Olympic friendship, two-time gold medal winner Jack Shea traded his skates to Katsumi Yamada, a Japanese skier in nordic combined who gave Shea his skis in return.

Canadian gold on ice
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- The Maple Leaf dollar buried in America's home ice turned out to be a golden omen for Canada.

U.S. Winter Olympic Medalists
A close look at the United States' medal count at Salt Lake City

U.S. Nordic teams hail medal-less Olympics a success
MIDWAY, Utah (AP) -- For the U.S. Nordic skiing teams, close counts, fourth-place finishes are fantastic and best showings ever are cause for celebration. These Americans, including a new crop of Alaska athletes, aren't ready -- yet -- to measure success with medals.

NHL wins big with Olympics
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- The United States couldn't repeat 1980. Canada finally put 1952 to rest.

Capping spending, consolidating services necessary to slow government growth
I consider it an honor to serve you. I look forward to and appreciate each letter, e-mail, public opinion message and phone call. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome and appreciated.

Letters to the Editor
Sport fishing group not interested in representing resident anglers

Comedy Club owes success to contributions of many

Letters to the Editor
Alaska's fishing industry must realize quality is key

Young unemployed face uncertain job options
BOSTON -- Priscilla Ramirez has never had stock options. She doesn't have high-tech skills. She has no MBA to fall back on. And she isn't spending her jobless months traveling through Asia.

U.S. soldiers undertake jobs which look less like fighting, more like uniting Keeping peace in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON -- U.S. troops in Afghanistan are taking on more jobs that look like peacekeeping and nation-building: They're repairing hospitals, schools and waterworks. They set up a medical school. They're going to help train an Afghan army.

Nation of origin should be noted on seafood products sold in U.S.
Want to know where your shirt was made? Check the label. Most items we buy at retail stores have labels or other indicators of the country where they were produced. The information is helpful and, in some instances, can influence whether we buy something or leave it on the shelf.

Bush's tough talk should be weighed against opportunity
Blunt and unpleasant rhetoric has been flying back and forth between the United States and Europe in the past few weeks, at remarkably senior levels of government. President Bush has been publicly chastised by the British, French and Germa

Community Schools
This listing of Soldotna Community School classes beginning this week serves as a reminder for preregistered participants. Most classes require preregistration and prepayment.

Hero of the week
My applause to Jessica Gonzales on the evening of Feb. 8. I did some shopping at Carrs and Big Kmart. It was cold and windy as I unloaded my groceries into my car so I left my cart in a cart return area of the parking lot.

Community News
Food bank Non-Run under wayLittle League registration scheduledCANcel hunger CANstruction on displayPageant applications availableSoldotna Class of 1982 seeks members

Around the Peninsula
Homer Boy Scout Troop turns 20Workshop registration ends todayMayor to speak at Soldotna chamber meetingKenai chamber to meet WednesdayJoint workshop features marketing, Internet infoNorth chamber meeting planned ThursdayDevelopment, export authority to speakKenai Library celebrates Dr. Seuss birthdayCook Inlet Lions 'Putting on the Ritz'Tax assistance available by appointment

Area man walking Iditarod Trail to support Sept. 11 attack victims
Kenai Peninsula businessman Denis Douglas began walking the 1,100 mile Iditarod Trail Feb. 17. "The Power of One: Walk for a United America Iditathon 2002," is a fund-raiser to help support the people who were impacted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the East Coast.

Peninsula People
Students named to dean's listKPC woman appointed to national volunteer boardNew board elected to Pratt MuseumFood bank president honoredHospice coordinator completes training course

Phyllis and Bob Frates of Kenai announce the birth of their daughter, Tamara Laine Frates, at 2:55 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2002, at Central Peninsual General Hospital in Soldotna.

Club News
Winners of table tennis tournament announcedYouth attend 4-H Rally Day

Around the Peninsula
Bagley to speak at Soldotna chamber todayKenai Aviation Safety meeting tonightCrisis center board to meet WednesdayKenai historical society to meetYRC video to air SundayDinner supports student exchangeCook Inlet Lions present 'Putting on the Ritz'Charter school invites applicants

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

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Author says it's never too late to pursue a new dream
FONDA, N.Y. -- Although more than a decade has passed since Ludima Gus Burton happened to read her first romance novel, she clearly remembers the title and author.

Jayhawks push past Cornhuskers by inches
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Freshman Keith Langford hit a 3-pointer with 33 seconds left and No. 1 Kansas rallied to beat Nebraska 88-87 Sunday and clinch the Big 12 regular season title for the first time in four years.

Sports Briefs
Jayson Williams charged shooting deathHughes to appear on Wheaties box

T'wolves take sting out of Hornets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wally Szczerbiak scored 24 points, and Kevin Garnett added 21 to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 97-92 victory over Charlotte on Monday night, the Hornets' third straight loss.

Determination, faith help CIA senior on the court and in life
Glaciers may be big and slow, but one of the most impressive features of these wonders of nature is that once they get moving, they're impossible to stop.

Sutherland scrapes way past top-ranked golfers to win
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Kevin Sutherland never had much reason to believe he would win the first World Golf Championship of the year.

Photo feature: Watchful eyes
Two bald eagles sit in a tree above the Soldotna landfill last weekend. A sizable population of the birds keep close tabs on trash deliveries during the winter.

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