Friday, March 1, 2002

Taxpayers have until April 15 to apply for 1998 refunds
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska taxpayers who did not file a tax return in 1998 have until April 15 to apply for their unclaimed funds.

Report praised response to pipeline spill
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A government report on the response to the October shooting of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline praises the spill cleanup but notes areas for improvement.

Safety threats close Kivalina school
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Kivalina school was closed indefinitely Wednesday because of threatening behavior toward staff members, the chief executive officer of the Northwest Arctic Borough School District said.

Timber companies threaten to sue over owl's status
SEATTLE (AP) -- A coalition of timber companies is threatening to sue the federal government if it doesn't review the protected status of the northern spotted owl, whose classification under the Endangered Species Act halted logging on millions of acres of public land.

Knowles: Daschle supports natural gas line incentive
JUNEAU (AP) -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle has agreed to support financial incentives to spur development of an Alaska natural gas pipeline, Gov. Tony Knowles said Wednesday.

Environmental group wants cut in bycatch
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A new environmental group has asked federal regulators to decrease the amount of catch wasted by the U.S. commercial fishing industry.

Man accused in theater robbery agrees to no contest plea
FAIRBANKS -- A 19-year-old man is pleading no contest to a charge involving a robbery at a Fairbanks multiplex theater where two workers were tied up with cords.

North Pole police find suspected methamphetamine lab
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A suspected methamphetamine lab has been found in a reportedly vacant North Pole house near the Richardson Highway.

Second Fairbanks infant hospitalized with suspicious injuries
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- For the second time in a week, a Fairbanks infant has been hospitalized with suspicious injuries.

Environmental groups want access to ANWR records
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- An environmental law firm is asking that the White House and Department of Interior release any documents relating to recent discussions on opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

Fiscal Policy Caucus crafts deficit-reducing plan
JUNEAU (AP) -- A group of lawmakers began crafting a specific plan to use an income tax, Permanent Fund revenues and an increased alcohol tax to close the state's billion dollar deficit.

State urges speedy reopening of Kivalina schoolf
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A state education official said Friday he knew of no other case similar to the Northwest Arctic Borough School District's abrupt shutdown of the Kivalina village school this week.

Spruce bark beetles expected again this spring
KENAI (AP) -- The spruce bark beetle has been so successful in devastating the southern Kenai Peninsula forest it will be hard for the forest to regenerate, a scientist said.

Coast Guard gives Petersburg basketball contingent free ride to Wrangell
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Coast Guard played good Samaritan for a support contingent of the Petersburg High School basketball team.

Panel approves bill to give dividends to Peace Corps volunteers
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaskans serving in the Peace Corps could supplement their Third World stipends with permanent fund dividends under a bill that's begun moving through the Legislature.

Anchorage households outspend the average American household
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage area households outspend the average American household, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Former Archbishop Francis Hurley has surgery in California
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The former archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Anchorage has undergone heart-related surgery in California.

Little dog named Boo saves owner
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Dan Cofey's 4-year-old sheltie, Boo, isn't usually allowed on the bed at night.

Moderate earthquake hits near Cold Bay
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A moderate earthquake struck the Alaska Peninsula area early Thursday morning.

Lodge caretaker killed by falling tree
CHENEGA BAY (AP) -- The body of an Anchorage man working as a lodge caretaker on Knight Island was found Wednesday.

Anchorage liquor lobbyist begins sentence for fifth DWI conviction
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The former president of the Anchorage group that lobbies on behalf of bars, liquor stores and restaurants has begun serving 240 days under electronic monitoring following his fifth conviction for driving while intoxicated.

Survey of DEC employees raises several concerns
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A survey of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation employees raises several concerns, including whether big oil has too much influence and if the agency is adequately funded.

State seeks federal funding for Amchitka Island monitoring
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska's environmental officials are again seeking federal help in finding out if Amchitka Island is leaking radioactive substances into the Bering Sea.

Father, son counterfeiters sentenced to prison
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Alaskan and his son will serve prison terms for counterfeiting.

Senate approves bill to allow voting equipment for visually impaired
JUNEAU (AP) -- Visually impaired voters could one day vote in private under a bill that passed the state Senate on Wednesday.

Knowles appoints two to Anchorage and Bethel courts
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles appointed two new judges to courts in Anchorage and Bethel this week.

Bill would let more retired teachers return to classroom
JUNEAU (AP) -- Legislators are considering letting teachers who retired early come back to work in Alaska schools. The measure is an attempt to help ease teacher shortages some districts are facing.

Safety threats close Kivalina school
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- State Department of Education officials are keeping close tabs on developments at Kivalina's only school after it was closed indefinitely.

President of First National Bank of Alaska named Alaskan of the Year
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Dan Cuddy, chairman and president of First National Bank of Alaska, has been the 2002 Alaskan of the Year.

Move under way to repeal Barrow smoking ban
BARROW (AP) -- It didn't take long for Barrow smokers to react to a new ordinance banning smoking in public buildings.

Native group wants stop to funding for conservation group
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Kaktovik Inupiat Corp. is urging foundations to stop funding a nonprofit conservation group that opposes oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

House Finance plans to put off tax measures and tackle budget
JUNEAU (AP) -- The House Finance Committee will set aside tax talks for a while and focus first on making deep cuts in Gov. Tony Knowles' $7.3 billion budget, Co-Chairman Eldon Mulder said.

Alaska unloads surplus grizzly bear hides in public sales
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Bill Slavin wanted something out of the ordinary to hang inside his new cabin in Guntersville, Ala. An Alaska grizzly bear would be ideal, he decided, exuding the mystique of the wild Far North.

Twins open spring training competition with drubbing of Reds
The Minnesota Twins could not be more excited to play a spring training game in February.

Red Sox sold to Henry group, ending Yawkey era
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Former Florida Marlins owner John Henry and his partners completed their record $660 million purchase of the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, ending seven decades of ownership by the Yawkey family and its trust.

Carrier applies for Sept. 11 loan
Frontier Flying Service Inc. is asking for a $10 million federal loan to help it recover from the effects of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Business Briefs
GCI increases involvement along Iditarod trailGrand opening of new Soldotna hotel setProComm Alaska offers radio frequency (RF) classes

Era Aviation could see competition
Commuters in search of choices in the air market to Anchorage may soon have another alternative.

Sept. 11 insurance premiums have airline carriers seeing red
Insurance premiums are skyrocketing for air carriers, and the number of companies willing to write policies in Alaska has dropped to just a handful in the past few years.

Boomer skin care adds up to big dollars for industry
NEW YORK (AP) -- When lotions failed to smooth the crow's feet around Cheryl Hoover's eyes and restore the firmness to her skin, she turned to Botox, collagen and laser treatments to ease the effects of aging.

Confidence, savings rate don't match when it comes to retirement
NEW YORK (AP) -- There seems to be a ''disconnect'' in American thinking when it comes to retirement savings.

Doctors are encouraging women to exercise during and after pregnancy
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pregnancy and birth make big changes in a woman's life, and doctors want women to consider adding one more.

Swingley set to defend title in 30th running of Iditarod
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Defending champion Doug Swingley is confident and matter of fact without sounding boastful when he talks about his chances for an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Cincinnati electrician leads double life as Iditarod musher
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The way Jim Oehlschlaeger figures it, he must have been left outside in a snowstorm as a baby.

Mackey hopes to follow brother, father into winner's circle of Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
For Kasilof musher Lance Mackey, competing in the Iditarod isn't just about coming in first or collecting prize money, it's the realization of a lifelong dream to make it to Nome.

Iditarod mushers and their starting order
The starting order of the 2002 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race:

2001 Yukon Quest champ, 3-time Jr. Iditarod winner eyes big prize
You've gotta keep it all in the family.

Something to howl about
The Olympics were fun, but for a winter sport with teeth turn your attention to Anchorage on the first Saturday in March for the Iditarod.

Boys and Girls Club encourages kids to 'Read Across America'
Children and parents can get their fill of "Green Eggs and Ham," as well as the more traditional pizza and juice at Read Across America, an event celebrating literacy on the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

What's Happening
Best BetsEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentUpcoming EventsFilmsDown the RoadAnchorage Events

Retailers, fans wonder why industry killing off the single
NEW YORK -- The first time you entered a music store, chances are it was because there was one song you had to have.

Dancers prepare to step into New York spotlight
After proving their dancing prowess in Alaska, the Aurora Dance Company from Vergine's Dance Studio in Soldotna is setting its sights quite a bit higher this summer -- all the way to New York.

'John Q' could use less heart, a brain transplant
It's hard to knock Denzel Washington's earnestness in ''John Q,'' the story of a desperate man who takes over an emergency room at gunpoint to force doctors to give his dying son a heart transplant.

House panel: More cuts before taxes
JUNEAU -- The House Finance Committee will set aside tax talks for a while and focus first on making deep cuts in Gov. Tony Knowles' $7.3 billion budget, co-chair Eldon Mulder said.

Wage hike bill revised
JUNEAU -- The House Finance Committee approved a Republican plan to raise the state's minimum wage and duplicate a labor union's initiative set to go on the November ballot.

Race Schedule
February 17 - November 17

Money Leaders
1. Ward Burton $1,486,8272. Elliott Sadler 1,032,0013. Geoffrey Bodine 688,641

Point Standings
1. Sterling Marlin 3272. Ward Burton 3093. Kurt Busch 292

In the spotlight: Geoffrey Bodine
A short bio on your favorite NASCAR racers.

Baby Steps Park begins comeback from injury
HAMPTON, Ga. -- At 178.264 mph, Steve Park was more than 10 mph behind the slowest qualifying speed for last year's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

This Week's Race: UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400
The where and when

Busch calls Las Vegas home
ATLANTA -- You can ask Kurt Busch about his surprising third-place position in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings.

Photo news feature: Traffic stopper
Kenai Police and Fire departments, Alaska State Troopers and Central Emergency Services respond to a three-car wreck at Mile 4 of the Kenai Spur Highway that stopped traffic between Kenai and Soldotna for about an hour Thursday evening. Five people were transported to Central Peninsula General Hospital with unspecified injuries.

Chenault plan clears House
A bill that would let the Kenai Peninsula Borough grant property tax breaks to land owners who must build improvements such as roads in order to clear dangerous beetle-killed spruce passed the Alaska House on Wednesday.

Fire chief retires
Nikiski Fire Chief Bill Harris is retiring today. Harris, who has been with the Nikiski Fire Department since Dec. 1, 1979, has a total of 43 years of firefighting experience. Prior to joining the department, he worked as a firefighter in the U.S. Army.

Suspect in assault case pleads not guilty
The Soldotna man charged with the attempted murder and sexual assault of a Soldotna woman pleaded not guilty to the five charges against him Thursday in Superior Court.

Priorities keep Soldotna family grounded
While economists say diversity is the Kenai Peninsula economy's greatest strength, Lisa Parker and Steve Horn of Soldotna say their ability to adapt to change in a small job market has proven to be one of their greatest assets.

Teens making most of limited incomes
Parents may think their kids don't know the value of a dollar, but a sampling of students who earn and spend their cash on the Kenai Peninsula may prove them wrong.

Wayne Albert Harris
Nikiski resident Wayne A. Harris died Feb. 21, 2002, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 85.

Tourist dollars, not conservation, are behind newest fish board regulations
Well, folks, indecent proposals have left us burdened with indecent regulations. Courtesy of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, the Kenai River Professional Guides Association, and the Board of Fisheries, resident dipnetters have had their fishing cut nearly in half, guides may now fish Sundays and after 6 p.m., and fishing the first run of Kenai kings is a fiasco.

Peace initiatives up in smoke
WASHINGTON-- Most armed conflicts, whether internal or international, have what diplomats commonly call a ''peace process.'' Some are more successful than others.

Peninsula's diverse economy will soften blow of changing times
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, it

'Super Poll' to be unveiled next week
You've heard of the Super Bowl in sports and Super Tuesday in voting. Now comes the "Super Poll."

Applause
Many contribute to memorable Soldotna chamber awards banquetSterling seniors sing praises of 'Four On The Floor' quartet

Letters to the Editor
Unemployment benefits should be increased to help bridge gapPlatform on land-use issues is what got Bagley elected

Americans begin to relax even as things continue to change from Sept. 11
Security in airports from Fairbanks to New York City and all points in between underwent a major change this (month). ... But to the average traveler, it probably seemed like not much happened.

Photo feature: Low profile
Clouds obscure Mount Redoubt Thursday afternoon, leaving only the lower peaks of the Chigmit Mountains exposed.

Iditasport races have evolved over the years
ANCHORAGE -- Two decades ago, a dozen intrepid skiers broke trail with the first ever Iditaski, a 120-mile backcountry ski race that followed a stretch of the famed Iditarod Trail.

On filling empty spaces
I still had to go in there. As I sat in a tow truck, headed for Fairbanks on the night of Christmas, a thousand raging and boiling thoughts in my mind coalesced into one strange feeling of impending quest for meaning.

Far-flung volcanoes mysteriously share eruption patterns
Pavlof, an Alaska volcano with a fondness for erupting in fall, is not alone. Three other volcanoes from around the globe seem to share Pavlof's preference, erupting mostly from September to December. This routine behavior in a very unpredictable world intrigues Steve McNutt.

Around the Peninsula
Bear-viewing applications due Blood bank celebrating birthday Talent show set for Saturday Health Fair to be held Saturday Young women's conference planned Library events coming up Dinner to support foreign exchange students North peninsula council meets Monday Winter lectures continue

Around the Peninsula
English to address chamberAlaska Anvil hosting blood driveReading celebration plannedMeeting to focus on homelessLandscaping workshop offered for businessesTalent show on SaturdayAARP holding driver safety programSt. Patrick's Day festivities planned

19-day Baha'i Fast gets under way Saturday
Saturday, the Baha'is of the Kenai Peninsula will join 5 million Baha'is worldwide in their annual period of fasting.

Residents strike back after ACLU sues town over religious signs
FRANKLINTON, La. (AP) -- Civil libertarians won a battle over public religious displays in this small Louisiana town. But residents feel they're victors, too.

Religion Briefs
Prophecies topic of speaker Women's Bible study to start Fellowship to host Aleut evangelist Nikiski church plans events

Muslims begin voter registration drive
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations has started a campaign to register more than 100,000 Muslim voters before the November elections.

World history course in California draws criticism for section on Islam
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Complaints that California schools present Islam in glowing terms but shortchange Christianity are highlighting a classroom dilemma: How do you teach -- but not preach -- religion?

Retired L.A. bishop appointed interim head of Berkeley Divinity at Yale
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- A retired Episcopal bishop from Los Angeles has been appointed interim head of the troubled Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.

People, churches can make a difference
Poor children are sounding a cry that goes largely unheard. Consequences from our deaf ear are neglect, abuse, depression, violence and even early death.

Southern Baptists choose Greensboro, Nashville for upcoming annual meetings
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Southern Baptist Convention is choosing locations for its next few annual meetings and it appears Nashville and Greensboro, N.C., will be among the sites.

Assemblies of God hopes to keep presence in Belgium despite permit problems
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- The Assemblies of God hopes to maintain its missionary work in Belgium despite having four church volunteers deported from the country for violating work permit laws.

Religion in the News
A summary of California state standards for the unit of seventh-grade world history looking at the civilizations of Islam in the Middle Ages.

Churches consolidate to serve changing congregations
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Facing a shortage of priests and rapidly changing congregations, many Roman Catholic churches in central and eastern Connecticut are merging or reducing Sunday services.

Ski choices all about timing
This week, spring skiing arrived on the Kenai Peninsula. Timing has now become everything.

Madden signed by MNF team
NEW YORK -- Boom! Just like that, John Madden is in, and Dennis Miller is out.

Jordan has surgery, could return this season
WASHINGTON -- Michael Jordan will probably be able to play again this season. Whether he can make it back in time to save the Washington Wizards' drive for the playoffs is another matter.

Virginia defeats Duke to keep hopes alive
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Virginia, desperate for a win to keep alive its NCAA tournament hopes, wiped out a 12-point deficit over the final seven minutes and beat No. 3 Duke 87-84 Thursday night, giving the Atlantic Coast Conference title to Maryland.

Jordan-less Wizards play well in loss to Blazers
WASHINGTON -- Rasheed Wallace had 22 points and 14 rebounds Wednesday night, and the Portland Trail Blazers pulled away with a 12-2 run to open the fourth quarter in a 105-101 victory over the Wizards.

Top-ranked Jayhawks rout Kansas State
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kirk Hinrich had 24 points as No. 1 Kansas scored its most points ever against Kansas State on Wednesday night and beat the Wildcats for the 24th consecutive time, 103-68.

Sports Briefs
Prep basketball player attacked by rival studentsDavis gets new deal; Romanowski a Raider

Madden in talks to join MNF crew
NEW YORK -- John Madden is in talks with ABC Sports to join ''Monday Night Football,'' two TV industry sources told The Associated Press.

With Jordan sidelined, young players need to fill his shoes
WASHINGTON -- Washing-ton Wizards coach Doug Collins called Michael Jordan after the game, and they analyzed it player-by-player.

Aikman enjoying life after football
WACO, Texas -- Troy Aikman still believes he can play in the NFL. A year after he was cut by the Dallas Cowboys, though, he doesn't miss it as much as he thought he would.

Lemieus out for remainder of season with bad hip
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins star Mario Lemieux, his team fading fast from playoff contention, is expected to miss the rest of the season because of the painful hip injury that has bothered him since training camp.

Allison, Deadmarsh, Palffy click
PITTSBURGH -- Jason Allison had a goal and two assists on Los Angeles' newly formed top line and the Kings remained successful on the road, winning 5-4 Wednesday night to run Pittsburgh's winless streak to eight games.

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