Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Suspect in brutal Soldotna assault pleads innocent
SOLDOTNA (AP) -- A 20-year-old man charged with the attempted murder and brutal sexual assault in early February on a Soldotna woman has pleaded innocent to five charges against him.

Railroad straightens first three miles of track to Mat-Su Valley
ANCHORAGE -- The Alaska Railroad Corp. has completed the first in a $78 million series of track improvements between Anchorage and Wasilla.

Fiedler takes lead on speedy Iditarod trail
RAINY PASS (AP) -- This normally quiet lodge was bustling with activity Monday as nearly two dozen dog teams bedded down for a rest as the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race moved into its second day.

Fairbanks motorists help catch runaway dog team
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- When Tom Fisher saw the dog team coming down the road at him, it was a sight that demanded action.

Snowmachiner dies after striking moose
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 39-year-old snowmachiner died Monday after a collision with a moose on a street in Aniak.

Iditarod champion musher Swingley says he's retiring from this race
RAINY PASS (AP) -- Lagging far behind the top competitors, Montana champion dog musher Doug Swingley said Tuesday he's retiring from the competition in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

And they're off! Iditarod teams set out on trail to Nome
WASILLA (AP) -- Sixty-four mushers and more than a thousand dogs headed out under a cloudless blue sky Sunday for the 30th running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

State employees required to take sensitivity training
JUNEAU (AP) -- All state managers must take diversity training and some other state employees will receive similar training under an order signed by Gov. Tony Knowles on Tuesday.

Feb. 26, 2002 The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on the upcoming ANWR debate in the Senate
The Senate is expected to take up debate on sweeping energy legislation this week -- legislation that already has proved divisive on a number of issues including the question of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

House passes animal euthanasia bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- Animal control officers would be able to administer euthanasia drugs to some animals under a bill passed Monday in the House.

Web site offers latest updates on gas line project proposals
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Dave Harbour is a self-appointed news service, when it comes to the idea of an Alaska natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48.

Wasilla man dies in snowmachine accident
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 45-year-old Wasilla man died Monday night from injuries received in a snowmachine accident on Knik Lake, Alaska State Troopers said.

New York Port Authority Police officer on hand for K-9 dedication
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- New York Port Authority Police Officer David Lim was on hand Friday for the dedication of a dog named Sirius.

Labor Study: Alaska pay averaged below national, regional level
JUNEAU (AP) -- Annual pay earned by Alaskans in 2000 was below both the national average and the average for the five Pacific states, according to a U.S. Department of Labor study released Tuesday.

Canadian accused of pot smuggling
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A 46-year-old Canadian man tried to smuggle 42 pounds of marijuana into Alaska, according to Alaska State Troopers, but he was nabbed on his boat near a remote Southeast Alaska island.

Police find active meth lab in Anchorage motel room
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Police responding to a 911 call found an active methamphetamine lab in an Anchorage motel room.

Feb. 27, 2002 The Peninsula Clarion says recent fish board decision minimizes importance of fish as food for Alaskans
It was during his successful campaign for governor in 1994 when Tony Knowles first made popular the statement: ''The most important fish is the one on Alaska's dinner table.''

Virus kills tons of sardines off Vancouver Island
VICTORIA, B.C. (AP) -- Tons of dead Pacific sardines are floating in Quatsino Sound on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island -- the victims of a virus.

Feb. 26, 2002 The Anchorage Daily News blasts proposal to cut state's Kid Care program
Time ran out earlier this month before Dr. David Alexander could tell a state House committee hearing what he thought of state Rep. John Coghill's proposal to cut state medical coverage for pregnant women and children who don't have health insurance.

Iditarod front-runners reach Nikolai
NIKOLAI (AP) -- Top teams in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race left the Alaska Range behind and traveled through the night, reaching this Interior village on the Kuskokwim River early Tuesday.

Ice Classic officially kicks off
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The 86th annual Nenana Ice Classic is officially under way, now that a familiar structure is in place on the frozen Tanana River.

Hundreds want to adopt dead caretaker's dog
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Owners of a remote lodge whose caretaker died in a tree-cutting accident say they've been flooded with phone calls from people who want to adopt the dead man's dog.

Military seeks permit for radar
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The U.S. Missile Defense Agency has applied for a wetlands permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin construction of a portion of the nation's new missile defense system at Eareckson Air Station on Shemya Island.

UA president honored by National Association of Scholars
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- University of Alaska president Mark Hamilton will be honored by the National Association of Scholars next weekend.

Boulding forges ahead to lead in the Iditarod
RAINY PASS (AP) -- Charlie Boulding of Manley forged ahead late Monday morning to take the lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

High court to review wireless dispute
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a dispute over the ownership of wireless phone frequencies, a conflict that has tied up millions of dollars belonging to several Alaska Native corporations.

Ice farm manager gears up for ice art championships
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Andy O'Grady, who grew up on a small farm in Minnesota in the 1930s, has fond memories of the family ice house.

Fiedler leads mushers into Rohn
NIKOLAI (AP) -- Linwood Fiedler arrived in Rohn at 4:38 p.m. Monday, giving him the lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Feb. 24, 2002 The Juneau Empire on triumph, tragedy and emotions
On Thursday in a Utah ice rink, Sarah Hughes realized the American dream, skate-scripting a new Cinderella story and establishing a lifetime of name recognition in four magical minutes. Forevermore, she will be associated with figure-skating perfection, the triumph of the underdog and Olympic gold. All this at 16.

House Fiscal leaders plan to swap labor contracts for cuts
JUNEAU (AP) -- Cutting millions from state coffers will not be done without pain, and the pain will be felt by the public, a key Republican lawmaker said Monday.

Sealaska plans to close plastics plant
JUNEAU (AP) -- A money-losing plastics factory in Washington state owned by two Alaska Native corporations will halt production next month and close down in June, according to Sealaska Corp. executives. It's not clear what that will mean for the Southeast corporation's shareholders.

Senate approves disabled parking bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- People who illegally park in spaces reserved for the disabled would pay heavier fines under a measure unanimously passed in the Senate.

Man pleads guilty to harassment
JUNEAU (AP) -- A man accused of exposing himself in the front window of his home has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge.

Bill would prohibit schools from recommending psychiatric drugs
JUNEAU (AP) -- A state Senate committee took testimony Monday on a bill that would prohibit school staff from recommending drugs to control children's behavior problems.

Daschle: ANWR drilling all but dead
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush's plan to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is all but dead for now, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said Sunday.

Bill would make adults liable for providing alcohol to kids
JUNEAU (AP) -- Adults who provide alcohol to underage drinkers could be liable for the damages those drinkers cause under a bill approved by the House on Monday.

Knowles: More money for children saves money in long run
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles defended his proposal for higher spending on children's programs Monday, saying the moves will actually save money in the long run.

IHS doctors disciplined for sexual misconduct, medical errors
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dr. Thomas W. Michaelis spent two months in an Ohio prison in 1991 for trying to molest four teen-age girls.

Indian's Escobar out with knee injury; Jeter, Giambi dinged up
Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi will probably just miss a couple of spring training games. The Cleveland Indians might have much more to worry about.

Back to back commending resolutions for Skyview wrestlers
Last year the Skyview Panthers wrestling team made history by winning their first ever state wrestling championship. This year they added to that benchmark, the first ever back to back state titles and returned to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Chambers for another resolution of commendation last week.

Torgerson takes his hat out of the ring for State Senate race
Sen. John Torgerson, R-Kasilof, told the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce last week that he will not be seeking re-election to the state senate seat that he has held for eight years.

Arness throws his hat into a new ring
The day after State Senator John Torgerson announced that he would not seek re-election to the senate, popular school board member and long time Nikiski resident Joe Arness, announced that he would challenge Sen. Jerry Ward in the Republican primary for the new senate district Q seat.

CFK '02 to include ideas for natural disaster preparedness
The sponsors of the annual Caring For the Kenai (CFK) environmental awareness contest, Unocal Alaska, and Agrium, are not resting on the laurels of their past program successes. According to Denise Newbould, Agrium's Environmental Health and Safety Superintendent, the contest has expanded its program to include ideas for natural disaster preparedness.

Home Schooler's have Connections
Through a program of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD), over 400 home school children receive services through a program called Connections. Erling Hofseth is the principal of the program which started about three years ago.

Fairbanks motorists help catch runaway dog team
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- When Tom Fisher saw the dog team coming down the road at him, it was a sight that demanded action.

Fiedler leads mushers into Rohn
NIKOLAI -- Linwood Fiedler arrived in Rohn at 4:38 p.m. Monday, giving him the lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Boulding forges ahead to lead in the Iditarod
RAINY PASS (AP) -- Charlie Boulding of Manley forged ahead late Monday morning to take the lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

And they're off! Iditarod teams set out on trail to Nome
WASILLA (AP) -- Sixty-four mushers and more than a thousand dogs headed out under a cloudless blue sky Sunday for the 30th running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Summer job gives Fiedler's team 'Juneau advantage'
As the sled dog teams lined up in Wasilla for Sunday's restart of the 30th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the 1,000 dogs all harnessed up each had already logged thousands of miles of training just from this winter alone.

Iditarod champion musher Swingley says he's retiring from this race
RAINY PASS (AP) -- Lagging far behind the top competitors, Montana champion dog musher Doug Swingley said Tuesday he's retiring from the competition in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Marlin fastest finisher in Vegas
LAS VEGAS -- It's already been a strange season for Sterling Marlin after just three races.

Forum focuses on area's economy, growth
Diversity is the key to a healthy, growing economy. And several agencies across the state are helping add diversity through a multitude of economic

Busting bioterrorists part of police picture
Being a police officer today involves a lot more than just busting crooks. And in the wake of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the threat of anthrax, the people who protect us are getting more specialized training.

Nikiski teens charged after shooting blanks at vehicle
"Pure, simple stupidity" was the cause of an encounter near Sterling Saturday night in which several teen-age boys were allegedly involved in firing blank cartridges from a pistol at a passing vehicle from the window of their Dodge pickup.

Lancaster attempts to finally rid Alaska of daylight-saving time
Let the rest of the nation "spring ahead" or "fall back" as often as they please. Alaskans would prefer inhabiting the standard temporal sphere year round, thank you.

American helicopters come under attack in deadly air, ground offensive
WASHINGTON -- Seven American soldiers were killed and 11 were wounded Monday when two U.S. helicopters took enemy fire during the most deadly allied air and ground offensive of the war in Afghanistan.

Kenai trying to tap into land deal for city
The city of Kenai is certainly not a desert. However, city officials are in search of more sources of water, nonetheless. And the prospects appear just as bleak.

Fisheries permit bill clears House
Alaska House members passed a bill Wednesday that would change the way limited-entry permits for the Bering Sea Korean hair crab and weathervane scallop fisheries are issued.

Lack of accessible housing proves a stumbling block to independence
For the most part, Soldotna resident Cindy Wood is a typical 22-year-old. She enjoys fishing, skiing and watching movies. She speaks out for causes she believes in and greets challenges head-on. She longs for independence, ready to begin a life on her own.

Terry Lee Boroughs
Soldotna resident Terry Lee Boroughs died Sunday, March 3, 2002, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 54.

It's likely there will be many more casualties as war on terrorism continues indefinitely
WASHINGTON -- Defeating the Taliban, it turns out, may have been the easy opener. After months of what seemed mostly mopping up, the sudden escalation of the war in Afghanistan makes clear that tracking down and eliminating the well-armed, mostly hidden al-Qaida is going to be tougher.

Parents best remedy for reducing problems of teen-aged drinking
Booze binges can be hazardous to anyone's health, but they are especially alarming among teen-agers.

Soldotna seniors say thanks

Benefits for jobless should be extended
What recession? A year since it actually began and just three months after it was formally declared, the recession of 2001-2002 shows signs of losing steam already.

Mentors' contributions make difference in lives of studentsWinter festival fun for all

Letters to the Editor
District should bargain with unions in good faith, with professionalism

Pearl's death strengthens resolve to fight terrorism
He is not the first casualty of the war. He is not even the first journalist who has died as a result of the international war on terror. But Daniel Pearl's death is somehow different.

Economic stimulus proposals include natural gas line, railroad, utility plants Variety of bills attack fiscal gap
Editor's Note: The Kenai Peninsula's legislative delegation has been invited to keep residents informed of what's happening in Juneau in this column, which runs weekly during the legislative session. Peninsula lawmakers take turns writing the column.

Poll: More Americans now believe energy crunch real
WASHINGTON -- Half of Americans believe there is a real energy shortage in this country -- a significant increase from last summer, according to an Associated Press poll.

Breaking the ice
Lonnie Stanford, right, uses a metal detector to locate a frozen drain on Barnacle Way last week for city of Kenai co-worker Dale Baktuit. The two used steam and shovels to try to free water trapped on the road.

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.

Community News
ACF seeks award nominationsBuilders association offers scholarshipsLabor council to offer scholarship

Around the Peninsula
Safari Club to meet tonightKenai chamber plans WednesdayNurses to visit area villagesVisitor services permit applications available

Kenai graduate uncovers history in north Montana
Nate Murphy may not be making history, but he is touching it. The 1976 Kenai Central High School graduate has spent more than 10 years as the curator of paleontology at the Phillips County Museum in Malta, Mont., and as the director of the Judith River Dinosaur Institute.

UA gets less than hoped for in early budget deliberations
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The spending plan proposed by House Republicans includes a smaller increase for the University of Alaska than its administrators requested.

Only 1 state acts on cell phone ban at the wheel
DAYTON, Ohio -- Many states over the past year have considered banning the use of hand-held cellular phones while driving, but so far only one -- New York -- has taken that step.

Peninsula People
Area students named to dean's listSeward woman graduates basic trainingAlaska woman named to national Camp Fire boardKenai teen named Youth of the YearKenai teen to compete for state scholarship

Around the Peninsula
North Peninsula Community Council meets todaySoldotna health center offers careWinter lectures continueAARP holding driver safety programSocial Security reps to visit peninsulaABCS enrollment lottery applications dueSkyview reunion planned

Club News
Elks table tennis tournament winners announced

Crime Stoppers alert
A vehicle fire was reported on First Street in Kenai on Jan. 15. The theft of a remote controlled snowmachine was reported to the Soldotna Police Department on Jan. 25 by Don's Hobbies in Soldotna. A report of a stolen snowmachine was received by Soldotna police on Feb. 10.

CAN-do attitude
From left, Sally Hoagland, Jenni Mishler and Debbie Hutson from Enstar pose with Vonnie Hanlin, Gladys Deer and Stephanie Carrol from Alaska Communications Systems behind their winning CANstruction submission, titled "No AmeriCAN should go hungry."

Laura and Sonny Mese of Kenai announce the birth of their daughter, Jessie Suzannah Mese, at 2:20 a.m.Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2002, at their home. She weighed 9 pounds and measured 21 inches.

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

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

Seminar for care givers held
About 70 health care professionals and home care givers from all over the Kenai Peninsula gathered at the Homer Senior Citizens Center Feb. 22 and 23 for a rare and free opportunity to learn more about dealing with problems of caring for elderly dementia patients.

Scientists say protein key to aging
Scientists have identified a stretchy protein they say is associated with the ravages of aging and chronic diseases such as emphysema.

Huskies prevail after spotty play
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Asjha Jones scored 16 points, and No. 1 Connecticut overcame some spotty play to beat Seton Hall 78-48 Sunday in the Big East tournament quarterfinals.

Arco no sweat for Miller-less Indiana
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Jermaine O'Neal had 29 points and 11 rebounds as Indiana shook off Reggie Miller's suspension to win in the NBA's toughest road arena.

Stars move up, beat San Jose
DALLAS -- Pierre Turgeon and Jamie Langenbrunner scored 37 seconds apart in the first period, and the Dallas Stars beat San Jose 4-1 Sunday to move within five points of the Pacific Division-leading Sharks.

Men's volleyball team places fourth in Anchorage tourney
Scott Bremer, Ramon Carreon, Ray Hamby, Curt Shuey, Mel Gabel and Jason Diorec ranked fourth in a statewide men's recreational volleyball tournament in Anchorage Feb. 23 and24.

Thomas questions retaliating, fighting call
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Indiana Pacers reacted angrily Sunday to the NBA's decision to suspend Reggie Miller and Kobe Bryant two games apiece for their fight at the end of a game.

Sports Briefs
Former NBA star scheduled to appear in courtUnexpecteds make biggest marksPadres blank Mariners in spring ball

Harrington gunning for No. 1
INDIANAPOLIS -- Joey Harrington isn't thinking about being the No. 1 pick in April's NFL draft.

Coach appeals buyout
LITTLE ROCK -- Former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson intends to appeal the university's decision to buy out his contract, his lawyer said Monday.

Gooden leads Kansas to undefeated season
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Top-ranked Kansas finished the first unbeaten Big 12 season by beating the team that gives the Jayhawks fits.

Pierce, Walker lead Celtics past 76ers
PHILADELPHIA -- Paul Pierce scored 28 points and Antoine Walker added 17, leading the Boston Celtics to a 100-94 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.

Tough season, championships all add up for Soldotna senior Ben Histand
Soldotna senior Ben Histand has learned a lot in high school. He's learned so much in math that he couldn't even find a math class to take in town this year. He also learned what it feels like to win two state championships.

Els outlasts Woods comeback
MIAMI -- A duel that Ernie Els never wanted turned into a victory he desperately needed Sunday in the Genuity Championship.

Flyers drop Bruins
BOSTON -- Jiri Dopita scored twice and Brian Boucher stopped 21 shots on Monday night as the Philadelphia Flyers rallied to beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in a matchup of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.

Leafs focus after pregame death
TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs tried to turn their attention to a crucial four-game road trip, one day after a pregame ceremony took a tragic turn.

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