Thursday, February 27, 2003

Alaska groups to look at health insurer's plan
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three Alaska organizations and a disabled man are being allowed to participate in a hearing in Washington state on whether Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield will be allowed to convert to a for-profit company.

Judge to hold hearing on re-trying Montana collie case
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) -- A Montana justice of the peace is set to hear arguments Monday on whether to dismiss animal cruelty charges against an Alaska couple.

Denali release draft backcountry plan
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The National Park Service has released a draft of its backcountry management plan for Denali National Park and Preserve.

Kenai has reputation for being a bargain
KENAI (AP) -- Kenai, the state's fourth most populous borough, is a center for both high-paying oil and gas jobs and lower-paying retail and service jobs.

State seeks changes to federal education law
JUNEAU (AP) -- State officials may turn to Congress for help if the Bush administration doesn't give them the leeway they seek to make a sweeping federal education initiative work in Alaska.

Juneau man pleads to federal child porn charges
JUNEAU (AP) -- A Juneau man accused of using the Internet to attempt to lure a young boy into a sexual relationship has pleaded guilty to attempted possession of child pornography.

Chugach vows to fight refund order
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Chugach Electric Association, the state's largest electric power supplier, says it will appeal an order from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, that it lower its rates and refund customers more than $7 million.

House trims funding request for ANWR lobbying effort
JUNEAU (AP) -- The House agreed Wednesday to give a nonprofit lobbying group $1.1 million to try to convince Congress to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

Alaska Air Guard troops activated
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- More than 150 members of the Alaska Air National Guard's 176th Wing have received federal activation and deployment orders.

Sagaya moves into wholesale market
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Grocer Sagaya Corp. is moving into the wholesale market statewide, and perhaps the Lower 48.

Juneau man pleads guilty in child pornography case
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Juneau man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of attempting to possess child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Senate committee approves breast cancer bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill extending Medicaid coverage to eligible women for breast and cervical cancer treatment passed a Senate committee on Wednesday.

Economic calamity predicted for Dawson
WHITEHORSE, Yukon (AP) -- Business leaders in Dawson City are predicting devastation of the local economy and departure of half the population if new regulations for the placer gold mining industry are allowed to stand.

Hooper Bay takes action to prevent more suicides
HOOPER BAY (AP) -- The Bering Sea village of Hooper Bay is being rocked by two suicides and two attempts within a week.

Homer foundation puts $50,000 toward library
HOMER (AP) -- Local residents here have turned to their own resources to help pay for a new library and other projects with a unique institution, the decade-old Homer Foundation.

Lawmakers considering changes in school funding
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Republican lawmakers are considering shifting one-time grants to schools into an increase in the school funding formula.

Ogg chosen to replace Stevens in House district
KODIAK (AP) -- Former Kodiak Island Borough mayor Dan Ogg was recommended this week to fill the House District 36 seat vacated by former Rep. Gary Stevens.

More gold boosts life of Fort Knox mine
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Fairbanks Gold Mining found more gold than expected in 2002 and the additional gold will extend the life of the Fort Knox mine by two years, general manager Rick Dye said Wednesday.

Troopers responding to alarm discover marijuana operation
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A burglar alarm led state law enforcement to a marijuana operation of more than 2,000 plants, Alaska State Troopers said Tuesday.

Moose getting testy in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- After being chased by dogs, dodging traffic and eating frozen wood all winter, moose in Fairbanks are start getting a little testy.

Murkowski names new press secretary
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has chosen a new press secretary.

Unalaska changes liquor laws
UNALASKA (AP) -- Last call is coming a little earlier in Unalaska.

Seattle company buys Seward plant
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Seattle-based company has purchased a processing plant in Seward from Wards Cove Packing Co., which is exiting the processing business.

Moderate quake shakes King Salmon
PALMER (AP) -- A moderate earthquake shook King Salmon early Thursday, but there are no reports of any damage or injuries.

Police, residents search for answers in Wrangell killings
JUNEAU (AP) -- Wrangell teacher William Gablehouse shot his ex-girlfriend, her daughter and her niece early Monday before turning the gun on himself, Wrangell police said Tuesday.

Investment firm wants to buy Whittier eyesore
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A New York investment firm has announced plans to buy an old military building in Whittier for more than $21 million dollars.

Baypack owner says Nelbro's efforts quashed plans
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Bristol Bay fisherman testified Tuesday that a major processor quashed his 1995 effort to bring a new, independent processing vessel on line in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery,

Man reported missing on snowmachine trip found
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man from the village of Crooked Creek, missing on a snowmachine trip, has been found safe.

Prosecutors withdraws from Anchorage murder
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The prosecutor in a high-profile murder case in Anchorage has withdrawn from the trial, due to health problems.

Lawsuit over Fairbanks parade death settled
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Lawyers have reached a settlement in the lawsuit filed over the death of a 15-year-old boy who was crushed by a truck pulling a float during the Golden Days parade in July 2001.

Hotel operators learn how to spot meth labs
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The hot plates, alcohol, cold medicine, jars and chemicals collected by Alaska State Trooper Teague Widmier offered enough over-the-counter ingredients to create about five grams of methamphetamine.

BP considers shutting down Badami oil field
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- BP is considering shutting down its Badami oil field on the North Slope, due to disappointing performance.

Quest mushers protest penalties
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two mushers who were disciplined during the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race are protesting their penalties.

BP official says gas line could be reality by 2011
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A top BP official says a new pipeline could bring Alaska's North Slope gas reserves to market by 2011.

Military presents missile defense plans for Alaska
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency is proposing to increase testing around the Pacific basin, including expanding the state's Kodiak Launch Complex.

Stony River man missing after snowmachine accident
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Stony River man is missing and feared drowned after the snowmachine he was riding went through the ice on the Stony River.

DIVIDED DATA: Corporate America revels in data, tracking nearly everything imaginable related to the business. The best decisions come from complete information, right?

Fishing for a solution
A passerby walks past the Tongass Avenue entrance to E.C. Phillips Cold Storage in Ketchikan last week. The Ketchikan fish plant schedul

Business Brief
HEA board approves rate decrease

Stock rally not guaranteed if war worries ease
NEW YORK (AP) -- In the stock market, just as in life, things don't always go as planned. So don't be so sure of a super-sized rally on Wall Street once the uncertainties of war subside.

Alaska groups to review Premera's plan
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three Alaska organizations and a disabled man are being allowed to participate in a hearing in Washington state on whether Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield will be allowed to convert to a for-profit company.

Bulging boomers help push growth of weight loss programs
NEW YORK (AP) -- Despite his growing waistline, Douglas Cain never worried much about his daily diet of burritos, McDonald's breakfast sandwiches and soda. But after being diagnosed with diabetes a year ago, the 49-year-old knew he had to change.

Bristol Bay fisher says packer quashed plans
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Bristol Bay fisher testified Tuesday that a major processor quashed his 1995 effort to bring a new, independent processing vessel on line in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery,

What's Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Upcoming Events Films Down the Road Anchorage Events

Grammys reward the unconventional
NEW YORK -- For the second straight year, Grammy voters celebrated an album that fell outside the range of today's pop and racked up multiplatinum sales through word of mouth.

Artist forms characters from ceramics
If you get the feeling that the sculptures in the Kenai Peninsula College Art Gallery remind you of something or, rather, someone -- don't worry, they're supposed to.

Exhibit yields insight into Van Gogh
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Vincent van Gogh was not only a prolific painter, but a compulsive writer of letters.

Artist, author collaborate on retrospective
The carved, wooden sculptures of John Hoover have a spare simplicity. Yet they are rich with a sinuous grace and ancient imagery that speak of the sea, ancient myths and legends in an artistic voice modern viewers can understand.

Art Briefs
Poetry deadline today KPC Writers night accepts readers Magazine accepting submissions Pottery show deadline Saturday Part of visitors center closed Art designs solicited Gallery soliciting bead works Author visits Kachemak Bay campus Fine arts camp accepting registrations Pratt Museum solicits fiber arts pieces

An unexpected timeliness to a WWI anti-war play
NEW YORK -- There is an unexpected timeliness to ''Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme,'' an examination by Irish playwright Frank Mc-Guinness of war's brutality and profound sense of loss.

Race schedule
Nascar 2003 race schedule

Dale Jarrett
LAS VEGAS -- Dale Jarrett, 46, heads to Las Vegas as the most recent winner on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. His victory Sunday at Rockingham, N.C., gave the 39-an

Points leaders
Points leaders so far this year.

UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400
WHERE: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Money leaders
Money leaders so far this year

'Role of a lifetime'
Stuntman Stanton Barrett turned down a role in the next Spider-Man movie to focus on racing. He will drive the No. 60 OdoBan Ford on the Bush series.

Fox says it didn't stop race
LAS VEGAS -- The people at Fox were relieved Sunday when the Subway 400 at North Car olina Speedway wasn't threatened by bad weather.

Two accidents send 5 people to hospital
Two separate motor-vehicle accidents Monday sent a total of five people to Central Peninsula General Hospital. Alcohol was a factor in one of the accidents, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Charities, nonprofits struggling
As the nation has struggled with an economic downturn and the growing threat of war, many Americans have cut back on the amount of money they're giving to charities. And, perhaps, nowhere is that trend more apparent than here on the Kenai Peninsula.

Legion's commander planning visit to Kenai
The national commander of the American Legion will be in Kenai for the organization's Western District convention March 6-9. It will be hosted by Kenai Post No. 20.

Area principal named to state school board
Sylvia Reynolds, a longtime educator in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, is one of seven people recently appointed by Gov. Frank Murkowski to the Alaska Board of Education and Early Development.

Photo feature: On a roll
Kenai Middle School skier Chris Hall chases coach Adam Tressler down Lawton Drive Tuesday afternoon during a training session on roller skis. Without heading for the mountains, wheels are about the only option for local skiers.

Educators sticking to hours
Employees throughout the Kenai Penin-sula Borough School District are "working to rule" this week in a show of solidarity to support resolution to ongoing contract negotiations.

Kenai thrifty place to live
Beautiful scenery and great fishing are primary reasons Kenai resident Roxann Dodds said she made the Kenai Peninsula her home for nearly a dozen years.

Montana judge deciding whether to retry Harmans for animal abuse
SHELBY, Mont. -- A Teton County justice of the peace said he'll decide early next week whether to retry accused collie abusers Jon Harman and Athena Lethcoe-Harman of Nikiski or shut the books on the case and send the couple and their nearly 200 animals on their way.

Agencies stunted by rising insurance costs
The rising cost of insurance is affecting nonprofit agencies on the Kenai Peninsula, and they are left with limited options to combat the financial strain of these increases.

Homer's marine center flowing toward October completion date
In every direction there's activity, but you'd hardly have known that Monday by just staring at the exterior of the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitors Center under construction in Homer.

Without cure for 'Groundhog Day Syndrome,' president mired in rerun
In the 1993 film "Groundhog Day," comedian Bill Murray played a television personality who found himself trapped in an endless, repetitive sequence of events. He was doomed to continuously relive the events of one day in his life as a weatherman assigned to cover the telltale behavior of a legendary Pennsylvania groundhog.

Before Alaska starts building new highways, it should fix the ones it has
I certainly support our new governor's vision to expand the road system in Alaska. I have little doubt that this can be done responsibly with a minimal impact to the environment. Alaska has so many untapped resources and gaining access through a working road system is certainly a key factor in our future.

Peninsula residents named to key roles in new administration
The Kenai Peninsula definitely is getting a voice with Gov. Frank Murkowski -- directly in the administration and on several state boards and commissions of importance.

Special section takes look at peninsula's changing economy
It's no secret: Alaska is in the midst of big changes.

Letters to the Editor
War will bring more government control; will it reduce terrorism? More inspections is not whats needed to cure ills of Iraq Everyone entitled to his opinion, but Garner is way out of line Another view: Way to go, Garner!

Students don't want to lose Russian classes

Wallyball tourney boasts record number of teams

Around the Peninsula
Newbould to speak at Kenai chamber Town hall meeting scheduled Talent show set for this weekend Young women's conference planned Slide show to highlight historical meeting International dinner scheduled Shellfish permits available

Around the Peninsula
Hospital board to meet today Community foundation focus of luncheon talk Fish and game committee to meet Friday Historical society to meet North peninsula council to meet Club plans reading event Australia featured in Safari Club meeting AARP to hold driving class Prom dress sale planned Annual AFS dinner scheduled Ninilchik fair banquet planned Planned Parenthood seeks nominations

Drop-out to doctorate: KPC AmeriCorps volunteer comes full circle
It's not common for someone with 37 years experience as a professional educator to come out of retirement and volunteer on a daily basis teaching English as a second language. But that's Franklin Adams' story, and KPC's Learning Center staff is happy to have him on board.

Prospective teachers get taste of Bush life
JUNEAU (AP) -- The University of Alaska Southeast is sending prospective teachers to the Bush to get a taste of what it's really like to live and teach in rural Alaska. And some of them are deciding it's a life that's rewarding.

School menus for this week

Around the district
Aurora Borealis Charter Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Montessori Charter Mountain View Elementary Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Soldotna Elementary Connections IDEA Kenai Middle School Kenai Central High Nikiski Middle-Senior High Skyview High Soldotna High Cook Inlet Academy Grace Lutheran Wings Christian Academy Kenai Cooperative Preschool Peninsula Grace Preschool

Ragin' Cajun adds spice
The Soldotna Middle School library was appropriately quiet Monday afternoon, but Terry Myrick was anything but still.

Nikiski cagers upset Seward
The game may not have been pretty, but for the Nikiski girls basketball team a win over District 3/3A rival Seward is always a beautiful thing.

Anything can happen in head-to-head format
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Tiger Woods usually tees it up on the first day of a tournament with the intention of winning. Expectations are a little different this week.

Els loses in first round of Match Play tourney
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Ernie Els stood off to the side of the 18th green, proud of his late rally and clutch bunker shot that figured to be good enough to move one match closer to a dream final against Tiger Woods.

76ers rip Memphis, win seventh straight
PHILADELPHIA -- Allen Iverson scored 34 points and Eric Snow had his first career triple-double with 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to their seventh straight victory, 111-107 over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Duke totals 20 victories again
ATLANTA -- J.J. Redick scored 19 points and No. 6 Duke secured its seventh straight season with at least 20 victories by beating Georgia Tech 77-58 Wednesday night.

Alaska Media High School Basketball Poll
The Alaska media high school basketball poll compiled by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Feb. 22 and total points awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis.

Witt mightier than Sabres
WASHINGTON -- Brendan Witt snapped a 65-game goal-scoring drought, and the Washington Capitals extended their lead in the Southeast Division with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night over the Buffalo Sabres.

Slash cut in slashing of payrolls
Washington Redskins running back Stephen Davis and Pittsburgh quarterback Kordell Stewart were cut Wednesday, adding two attractive players to what is otherwise a lackluster free-agent class.

No. 4 Florida swamps South Carolina 96-63
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Matt Bonner scored 18 points and No. 4 Florida beat South Carolina 96-63 Tuesday night to extend its home winning streak to a school-record 19 games.

Paige decides to shun some Title IX changes
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Swiftly and surprisingly, Education Secretary Rod Paige said Wednesday he would not consider many of the controversial changes proposed for Title IX, the law requiring equal sports opportunities for men and women.

Great conditions greet skiers at state meet
For once, Kenai Peninsula cross-country skiers are actually glad to see warmer than usual weather.

Seward hammers Nikiski
The Seward boys basketball team did not look like a team that should have been picking up its first District 3/3A victory Tuesday night.

Cavs net first win since break
CLEVELAND -- Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 29 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers got their first win since the All-Star break, 93-90 Tuesday night over the New Jersey Nets.

Sports Briefs
Seward's Smith 53rd at championships

Andreychuck pots goal No. 609
TAMPA, Fla. -- Dave Andreychuk scored his 609th goal and moved into 12th place on the NHL career list, and Nikolai Khabibulin made 24 saves for his 31st career shutout as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 2-0 Tuesday night.

Helpful hints available for navigating new tax rules as 2003 tax season reaches mid-way mark
There are only 48 days left until April 15, the deadline to file federal individual income tax returns. With the latest of the 441 new tax laws taking effect this year, the annual routine of filing can be anything but routine.

Married couples often pay more tax -- and filing separately might not help
NEW YORK (AP) -- Newlyweds who face a ''marriage penalty'' when they pay their 2002 taxes might think they can avoid the extra cost by filling out their 1040 tax forms as ''married filing separately.''

How do kids file taxes on their PFDs?
Dependent children who receive the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend must pay taxes. But it's not always easy for taxpayers to figure out how to file for their children.

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