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Monday, March 3, 2003

Report shows poor and minorities pay more for insurance
JUNEAU (AP) -- Rural Alaskans and residents in low-income urban neighborhoods pay more for their auto and homeowners insurance.

Valley child dies in single car rollover
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 5-year-old child died Friday afternoon after the car she was riding in rolled over on the Parks Highway.

No new wilderness needed in Tongass, agency decides
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The U.S. Forest Service says there's no need for any more wilderness in the 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska.

Lawmakers considering new lobbying law
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lawmakers are considering two measures that could weaken state regulations governing how much lobbyists have to disclose to the public.

Study says state's mining reputation slipping
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska's image as a place to explore for and develop minerals is slipping in the world mining industry, according to an annual survey presented to state lawmakers, commissioners and members of the Murkowski administration.

31st Iditarod kicks off in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Sixty-four dog teams pushed off on the frozen Chena River on Monday, launching the 31st Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race along a novel route born out of Alaska's warm winter.

Snowfall opens snowmachining in Denali, Hatcher Pass
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Snowfall in Denali Park and at Hatcher Pass has opened up areas to snowmachine use.

Fairbanks clinic to offer abortion services
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- For the first time in more than three years abortion is available in Fairbanks, with the opening of a Planned Parenthood of Alaska clinic.

Economist testifies in price-fixing fisheries suit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An economist testified Friday evidence exists there was a conspiracy to fix prices in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon markets.

B.C. mine construction near Taku River could start next year
JUNEAU (AP) -- Construction of a British Columbia mine that environmentalists say threatens the Taku River could begin as soon as spring 2004, according to the developer.

Alaska weather may get even wackier before it's over
UNDATED (AP) -- The wanton warmth that has embraced most of the state since November -- ruining recreation while flirting with a new warm-winter record -- is about to get slapped aside by a prim, old-fashioned Arctic snap.

State chamber of commerce seeks lobbyist rule change
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A pair of bills in the Legislature would dramatically loosen the requirement that people seeking to influence lawmakers must register as lobbyists.

2003 Iditarod takes off from Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Temperatures hovered above freezing and the trucked in snow looked more like pulverized ice, but that didn't keep dogs from pawing the air and yipping their impatience to get started Saturday in the 31st Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Scientists seek whales sightings
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska mariners are being asked to keep track of cruising killer whales this week to find out how many swim near the state in the winter.

State issues public health alert for hepatitis in Kodiak
KODIAK (AP) -- State health officials have confirmed a case of Hepatitis ''A'' in Kodiak.

Groups survive close calls with avalanches
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two groups of skiers survived avalanches Saturday in Hatcher Pass.

Resort road proposals picks up momentum
JUNEAU (AP) -- A proposal to have a road link Chena and Arctic Circle Hot Spring resorts is gaining momentum in the form of additional road proposals.

Lathrop wins Alaska Academic Decathlon
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Lathrop High School team took first place Saturday in the statewide Academic Decathlon in Anchorage.

Judge delays trial for man accused of multiple crimes
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A judge has delayed a trial for a man accused of murdering a woman in an Ester apartment, stabbing a man in Fairbanks the same day and conspiring to kill three other people.

Anchorage crime rates rise slightly
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- For the second straight year, the number of serious reported crimes rose in Anchorage.

The head of CIRCAC stepping down
KENAI (AP) -- Jim Carter, the executive director of the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council, is retiring.

Anchorage woman struck, killed by pickup truck
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 37-year-old Anchorage woman was killed after being struck by a pickup truck early Saturday morning.

Fish and Game boards stumped over commissioner
JUNEAU (AP) -- The boards that oversee fishing and hunting in Alaska are at an impasse over their nominations for the next Fish and Game Commissioner.

2003 Iditarod takes off from Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Temperatures hovered above freezing and the trucked in snow looked more like pulverized ice, but that didn't keep dogs from pawing the air and yipping their impatience to get started Saturday in the 31st Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

NOW PLAYING: Cradle 2 the Grave
There are good movies, there are bad movies, and then there are movies like Cradle 2 the Grave, which I classify as inconsequential; movies no one will be talking about two weeks after their release, and next year no one will even remember them coming out.

Kenseth wins gamble
LAS VEGAS -- Matt Kenseth solidified Roush Racing's hold on Las Vegas Motor Speedway by winning the UAW-Daimler-Chrysler 400 on Sunday -- giving his team its fourth victory in the track's six-year Winston Cup history.

CPGH, Aetna teaming up
Central Peninsula General Hospital's services now will be available to more patients. Hospital administrators elected Thursday to enter an agreement to be a preferred provider organization for Aetna Health Management members.

Kmart closing affects Soldotna
The city of Soldotna likely will see some sales tax benefit when the Big Kmart in Kenai closes its doors. But Soldotna City Manager Tom Boedeker said shoppers may bypass his city all together in search of bargains.

Contest prepares teens for careers in construction
"Can we build it? Yes, we can!" Although the popular phrase has come to be associated with Bob the Builder, it was heard loud and clear in the construction competition held at Kenai Peninsula College on Friday.

Bills aim to speed up permit process
As Gov. Frank Murkowski's administration actively seeks quicker returns from Alaska's resource wealth, state lawmakers of both parties are proposing bills designed to speed up the state's sluggish permitting process and remove perceived impediments to development.

School board, unions reach agreement
Negotiating teams from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and its teacher and support staff associations reached a final-hour contract agreement early Friday morning, averting arbitration and a potential employee strike.

Groups survive close calls with avalanches
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two groups of skiers survived avalanches Saturday in Hatcher Pass.

Wagoner, Wolf hear concerns about Fish and Game head, state funding for education
Kenai area residents got a chance to speak directly to their Legislative delegation Saturday at a town hall meeting with Rep. Kelly Wolf and Sen. Tom Wagoner at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Building.

Arizona residents scout out Harmans' new property
Upset by the saga of the collies in Montana, Diane Troxell of Arizona wondered what type of facility dog owners Jon Harman and Athena Lethcoe-Harman had in mind if and when they relocated their dogs to her part of the world.

South peninsula residents should reexamine opposition to drilling
More than quite a few years back my father explained America's fascination with the automobile in a way I could immediately grasp. Freedom of mobility once you set out on the road blurs the lines between rich and poor and makes each person a master of their own destiny for a brief moment in time.

Jeb Bush sides with brother against states
The National Governors Association is a very exclusive club. Membership is limited to 50, and every one has to win a state election. The members, now split 26-24 between Republicans and Democrats, tend to be all for one and one for all for the good of their states.

GOP harmony sounding off key
WASHINGTON -- President Bush is used to dealing with political enemies. It's some of his friends who are giving him headaches these days.

Board of Fish should meet on the Kenai
Among the issues the Alaska Board of Fisheries will discuss when it meets in Anchorage later this month are Kenai River rules that it passed last year. Those rules, which turned the early-run of Kenai kings into a catch-and-release fishery unless the fish are very big or very small, created a firestorm of controversy on two fronts.

Numerous factors help spur rising gas prices
The Department of Energy reported last week that average per-gallon gasoline prices went up 8 cents in one week. In fact, since the end of 2002, the price of a gallon has gone up 29 cents, on average. By the end of last week, the American Automobile Association reported, the average national price was $1.66, a nickel below the record average of $1.71, which was reached in May 2001.

If both sides in debate on Iraq are wrong, how can anyone know what's right?
Liberals make me sick; conservatives are idiots.

Contract resolution what's best for kids
It's the best news we've heard in a long time: After more than a year of negotiations, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the unions representing teachers and support staff have reached an agreement.

Applause
Kenai Indian Tribe event succeeds thanks to community help

Letters to the Editor
Keep Kenai closed until after enough kings have entered the riverHelicopters have no place landing in Moose PassBoys and Girls Club, After the Bell continue unique partnership

Club News
Soldotna Elks announce table tennis winners

Around the Peninsula
Club plans reading eventSCI slide show slatedEDD to host visitors industry summitInstaller training offeredCooper Landing festival plannedKPC to present comedy showcaseSoccer club to hold tryoutsKCHS reunion plans being made

Winter stars start fading from view
The planets this month are still Saturn and Jupiter, the latter being the brightest object in the evening sky, high in the south. Saturn is 40 to 50 degrees to the west of Jupiter, somewhat fainter and appearing yellow-red beneath the pentagon-shaped constellation Auriga.

Community News
'Fun raiser' planned to benefit fair

Photo feature: Spring cleaning?
Johnnie Miller washes his truck in his driveway Saturday afternoon. Warmer-than-usual temperatures have created breakup-type weather in the central Kenai Peninsula, turning many vehicles all the same color -- dirt brown.

Births
Maria and Matthew Dammeyer

Around the Peninsula
Nutrition classes offeredBoys and Girls Club celebrates Dr. Seuss birthdaySchool board meets tonight in HomerWomen's addiction recovery program starts todayNorth Peninsula council meets tonightLockwood to speak at Soldotna chamberACS rep to speak at Kenai chamberNorth Peninsula chamber to meet ThursdayDEC plans informational open houseFamily Planning Clinic to close for week

Peninsula People
Homer student featured in SoccerAmerica magazineKenai student named finalist in scholarship programLadies Auxiliary announces scholarship winnersArea youth named finalist in competition

Cribbage players put skills, luck to test for charity
"You rat!" "Go for it, God hates a coward!" "If you go out to the parking lot and your tires are flat, don't talk to me!" From the sound of cards shuffling and some of the statements being made, a passerby might think they were overhearing a high-stakes poker game in a tough bar room.

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.

Photo: Getting warmer
Young hockey players peer through the protective screen at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility as Rick Baldwin, left, and his crew take time out from installing benches and coat hooks in the two warm-up huts they built.

The hunt is on! Find hidden treasure in the freezer
My first winter in Alaska was in 1993. I remember when March arrived I began feeling very restless. No trees or flowers were blooming; there were no signs of spring, yet the calendar said it was supposed to be spring.

My Best Friends
Doc and Cholco find something interesting to check out, creating a humorous image from this side of the tree. Doc, a black Labrador retriever, belongs to Laura Maciariello, and Cholco, a chocolate Lab, belongs to Kevin Kier.

Nothing's too good for Fido
ATLANTA -- When walking the aisles of your neighborhood pet store this spring, don't be surprised to find kosher animal food, cat breath mints or bacon-flavored popcorn for dogs.

Total world domination
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Tiger Woods completed his sweep of the World Golf Championships on Sunday, building a big lead and then holding off a gritty comeback from David Toms to win the Match Play Championship.

Wasilla snaps Stars' 19-game win streak
All things being equal, somebody still had to lose.

Jones takes belt from Ruiz
LAS VEGAS -- Roy Jones Jr. surprised John Ruiz by not running. There was nothing surprising about the masterful skills he used to become a heavyweight champion.

Sports Briefs
Homer splits games at KodiakDragila breaks world record in pole vault

Bulldogs get sweep of Grace
For those that might not have had a chance to catch the Nikiski High School girls basketball team in action for the past couple of weeks, hold on to your hats -- the Bulldogs are looking as formidable as ever, as demonstrated by their 57-27 victory over District 3/3A opponent Grace Christian Saturday in Nikiski.

Skyview girls finish fourth in state, Soldotna boys nab seventh
"It was definitely the best ski meet I've been to," Soldotna High School senior Dan Harro said Saturday afternoon at the conclusion of the Alaska School Activities Association State Cross Country Ski Championships in Fairbanks.

Woods, Toms to tangle in Match Play final
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Pushed to the limit for the first time all week, Tiger Woods advanced to the final of the Match Play Championship on Saturday by making a clutch 5-foot par putt on the 19th hole and then watching Adam Scott miss from 3 feet.

Red Wings score eighth victory in nine games
DETROIT -- Pavel Datsyuk had two goals and two assists for a career-high four points as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2 Sunday night without captain Steve Yzerman.

Heritage boys top Cook Inlet Academy in overtime
The Cook Inlet Academy boys high school basketball team went to double overtime before falling to Heritage Christian, one of the top District 3/3A teams, 71-68 Saturday in Anchorage.

St. John's topples No. 6-ranked Blue Devils with clutch free-throw shooting
NEW YORK -- Marcus Hatten capped a 29-point performance by making a free throw with no time left on the clock and St. John's beat No. 6 Duke 72-71 Sunday, snapping a four-game losing streak by holding the Blue Devils scoreless over the final four minutes.

No. 1 Wasilla teams impress large Kenai crowd
Suspenseful, it wasn't. Impressive, it was. Both the Wasilla girls and boys basketball teams showed a large crowd why they are the No. 1-ranked Class 4A teams in the state Friday night in sweeping host Kenai Central in Region III/4A action.

Garnett, Szczerbiak knock out Knicks
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Garnett had 22 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, and Wally Szczerbiak added 26 points and 11 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves won their seventh straight by beating the New York Knicks 99-90 Sunday.

Roenik's game winner pushes Flyers past Bruins
BOSTON -- Jeremy Roenick scored his second goal of the game one minute into overtime, lifting the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory Saturday over the Boston Bruins.

Spurs top Kings, win for 12th time in last 13 games
SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker matched his career high with 32 points, including 19 in the first quarter, to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 108-100 victory over Sacramento on Saturday.

Wright's 11-month-old daughter dies
DALLAS (AP) -- Sierra Wright, the 11-month-old daughter of Memphis Grizzlies' center Lorenzen Wright, died Saturday morning at the family's home in Memphis, Tenn.

USOC will move fast to name interim CEO
DENVER -- The last time a U.S. Olympic Committee chief executive resigned, it took a year to find a replacement. The organization can't afford that kind of delay now.

Price is right as Oklahoma tops Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Hollis Price scored 23 points, including two free throws with 7 seconds to play, and No. 3 Oklahoma held off Texas A&M 69-64 Saturday.

Sports Briefs
Swiss breeze to America's Cup sweepRedskins stay busy with signing of Noble, UpshawMiller third behind Von Gruenigen in giant slalom

No. 1 Huskies wrap up 10th straight Big East title
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Ann Strother scored 13 points and Diana Taurasi added 12 as No. 1 Connecticut beat Providence 70-52 on Saturday and won its 10th straight regular-season Big East title.

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