Friday, February 28, 2003

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.

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.

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

Jurors hear opening statements in Big Lake fire lawsuit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Lawyers for property owners say inept state firefighters let the 1996 Big Lake wildfire get out of control, while attorneys for the state say a sudden wind overpowered firefighters' best efforts and whipped a small blaze into an inferno.

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

Bill would give state a share of damage awards
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill introduced in the House on Wednesday would, in effect, tax judgments commercial fishermen win in unfair trade practice lawsuits against seafood processors.

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.

AT&T, Dobson, swap wireless customers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- AT&T Wireless customers in Alaska will be switching cell-phone service providers later this year.

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.

Snowmachine found in Stony River, victim still missing
LIME VILLAGE (AP) -- Searchers have recovered the snowmachine on which two men plunged through a hole in the ice of the Stony River, killing one of them, Alaska State Troopers said.

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.

State senator won't testify in salmon price-fixing trial
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- State Sen. Ben Stevens will not testify in the salmon price fixing trial under way in Superior Court in Anchorage.

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.

Former halfway house resident sentenced
JUNEAU (AP) -- A former resident of a halfway house who tried to sexually assault another halfway house inmate will spend the next two years in prison.

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.

Lawmaker proposes legalizing roadside memorials
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A bill to let Alaskans continue to erect roadside memorials for those killed on particular stretches of the state's highways was introduced in the House.

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.

Lawyers may determine dividend's fate
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The principal of the Alaska Permanent Fund can't be touched, even to pay dividends, under the Alaska Constitution.

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.

Air Guard prepares for deployment
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The deployment location and departure date for Alaska Air National Guard personnel called to active duty this week remains a secret, Guard personnel said Thursday.

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.

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.

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.

Repeat offender sentenced to 10 years
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A federal judge sentenced a man Thursday to 10 years in federal prison for being a felony offender in possession of a firearm.

Rite of spring: Baseball brings normalcy to a troubled world
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- There's talk of war all over the tube. The economy's in the tank. And, yes, more snow is heading for the frozen Northeast.

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.

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

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

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,

Iditarod set to go despite challenging conditions
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Snow is a rarity in Anchorage these days except for occasional dirty piles scattered about. Yet organizers of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race say they'll be ready for Saturday's ceremonial start downtown.

64 mushers entered in Iditarod 2003
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Sixty-four mushers are entered to run in the 2003 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Saturday. The mushers are (by bib number):

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Money leaders
Money leaders so far this year

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

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.

Race schedule
Nascar 2003 race schedule

UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400
WHERE: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Points leaders
Points 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.

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.

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.

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.

Carter stepingdown as head of CIRCAC
Jim Carter, executive director of the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council for the past four and a half years, is retiring and will leave the organization he helped create.

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.

Surveys designed help fish board
When the Alaska Board of Fisheries meets next month to discuss early run Kenai and Kasilof River king salmon, they'll sort through hundreds of pages of public comments, advisory committee proposals and biological data.

Photo contest winners named
The annual Peninsula Clarion Photo Contest was judged Tuesday by a panel of Clarion employees. More than 100 photos were entered in this year's contest.

Photo feature: Clean sweep
Dale Baktuit rinses a city of Kenai street sweeper before calling it a day Thursday afternoon. "I just talked to my boss he's been here 20 some years and he said we've never swept in February. It's kind of nice to get a jump start," Baktuit said.

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.

Rifle shots hit home
At least one of 20 rifle shots hit a Funny River cabin Feb. 7. No one was injured.

Letters to the Editor
Smoking ban proposal is economic issue best left in peoples hands Assembly member Martin shows courage on ANWR

U.S. objectives in Iraq expand in effort to gain support for going to war
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's showdown with Saddam Hussein started with the goal of regime change and disarmament. Now the administration's objectives in Iraq are expanding as Bush searches for a compelling theme that will win support and blunt growing world opposition to war.

Applause
Wallyball tourney boasts record number of teams

For safety's sake, will United States become its own worst enemy? What others say
Perhaps you saw the Steven Spielberg-Tom Cruise flick ''Minority Report'' last year. It takes America 50 years into the future, one characterized by high-tech law enforcement that can predict and arrest murderers before they commit their crimes.

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

Alaska's tropical winter adds new challenge to this year's Iditarod
"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

Letters
Students don't want to lose Russian classes

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.

Radiocarbon dates dispel old myths about peninsula forest burns
Old myths die hard. One of my favorite hard-dying myths is that Captain Cook saw very little forest on the Kenai Peninsula when he sailed up the Inlet in 1778. Every time there is a public meeting on forest issues on the Kenai, someone trots out this story and it has become part of our oral tradition.

Learning on the fly
"Is this science?" came the question from somewhere amidst the hubbub of a Nikiski Elementary School classroom of fifth- and sixth-graders huddled around fly-tying vises.

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

Around the Peninsula
Advisory committee meeting canceled Art show opens Saturday Womens sobriety group to meet Historical society board to meet Soccer club to hold tryouts Guitar classes offered

Committee rejects plan to give drought aid to churches
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- A legislative committee has rejected a proposal that would have given the South Dakota Association of Christian Churches some state money to help its drought-relief efforts.

U.S. religious stands on war with Iraq
A summary of U.S. religious bodies' stands on a possible war with Iraq:

Religion Briefs
Love INC fund-raiser promises no speeches Poetry competition offers $1,000 top prize Native fellowship to meet March 7 Purity Conference 2003 slated Friendship closet open Wednesdays Bible study group meets Healing Rooms open every weekend Conference asks Are dinosaurs in Bible?

Zimbabwean religious leaders protest government
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Zimbabwean church leaders demonstrated against repression and human rights abuses in their troubled country, protesting in the stadium where Australia and Zimbabwe were playing a World Cup cricket match.

Against widespread clergy protest, some lay Christians justify war against Iraq
President Bush has been trying for months to make the case for using force against Saddam Hussein, but he has won little support from leaders of American and European churches.

First U.S. Buddhist high school to open in Nuuanu
HONOLULU (AP) -- The nation's first Buddhist high school is set to open in Hawaii this August with a teaching focus on peace.

Roman Catholic shrine renovation to allow display of more holy relics
MARIA STEIN, Ohio (AP) -- The sealed, glass-paneled box had been built into an altar and left unopened for more than 100 years. Soot from candles clouded the view of the inside.

Students at evangelical Christian college Wheaton allowed to dance
WHEATON, Ill. (AP) -- Wheaton College, a Christian evangelical school, has lifted its rules against on-campus dancing and has decided to allow faculty and staff to drink alcohol and smoke off campus.

Pope: Science should benefit poor, not serve economic interests
ROME (AP) -- Pope John Paul II urged scientists to use their research to help poor countries -- not to make a profit.

God has power to intercede on behalf of devoted
Friday morning, Feb. 14, as I was studying, I came across a Scripture in Job 38:22.

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.

Ottawa takes NHL points lead
OTTAWA -- Magnus Arvedson scored at 2:24 of overtime, and the Ottawa Senators took over the NHL points lead with a 3-2 victory Thursday night over the Dallas Stars.

Ninilchik girls, CIA boys perfect in 2A play
Both the Ninilchik girls and the Cook Inlet Academy boys remained undefeated in District 3/2A play Tuesday night at Ninilchik School.

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.

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

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.

Sports Briefs
Nikiski cagers to host Seldovia

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.

Snow time
Blue skies and balmy temperatures greeted Kenai Peninsula skiers Thursday at the start of the Alaska School Activities Association State Cross-Country Ski Championships in Fairbanks.

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.

'The Burk Stops Here' is out of cash
Todd Manzi says he is broke, which hardly distinguishes him from lots of other people out of work in these trying times.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.''

World-record Alaska grizzly disqualified
FAIRBANKS -- The country's most prestigious hunting fraternity has disqualified a world-record grizzly bear shot by an Alaska hunter on the Toklat River because his two hunting partners drove off-road vehicles through salmon spawning areas during the hunt.

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