Thursday, March 7, 2002

Norwegian mushers handle Iditarod's bumpy trail as teammates
RAINY PASS (AP) -- Sled dog racing isn't generally considered a team sport. But the three Norwegian mushers racing in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race this year refer to themselves as Team Norway.

Dead caretaker's loyal dog finds new home
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A new home awaits Buddy, the black Labrador retriever that stayed by his dead owner's side for 12 days after a tree-cutting accident on a remote Prince William Sound island.

British Columbia pilot charged with drug misconduct
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A Canadian pilot's suspicious activities led to his arrest on drug charges last week.

Interest increasing in black cod farming
PETERSBURG (AP) -- There may soon be additional players in the growing farmed black cod industry.

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.

Tanana River ice from Manley to Tanana not safe for travel
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Travelers are being warned to stay off the Tanana River from Manley to Tanana because the ice is eroding.

Man pleads guilty in Juneau sexual assault
JUNEAU (AP) -- A 24-year-old Juneau man pleaded guilty Monday to sexually assaulting a woman while she was drunk and passed out at a party Sept. 15.

Zirkle's team comes face to face with ornery bison and its calf
McGRATH (AP) -- When her dog team came to an abrupt halt Tuesday afternoon in the Farewell Burn, musher Aliy Zirkle found herself eyeball to eyeball with brown death -- a gigantic and disturbed bison blocking the trail with its calf only yards away.

Fairbanks massage therapist found guilty of sexual assault
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks massage therapist accused of inappropriately touching three clients in Barrow has been found guilty of six counts of second-degree sexual assault.

Front-runners settle in for 24-hour layovers
CRIPPLE (AP) -- Martin Buser, Linwood Fiedler, DeeDee Jonrowe and other top mushers were in Cripple Thursday morning, settling in for their mandatory 24-hour layovers at the halfway point of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Lawsuit filed in musher's fatal accident
FAIRBANKS -- The widow of Two Rivers musher Jerry Louden has filed a $100,000-plus lawsuit accusing a Wasilla musher with causing the truck accident that killed her husband last summer.

Gambell teens survive suicide attempts
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two Gambell teen-agers have survived an attempted double suicide, Alaska State Troopers said.

Top Iditarod teams reach Nikolai
NIKOLAI, Alaska (AP) -- Top teams in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race left the Alaska Range behind and spent much of Tuesday resting in the afternoon sunshine in this Kuskokwim River village.

Fairbanks man gets nine years for molesting girls
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 32-year-old Fairbanks man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for molesting two of his live-in girlfriend's daughters.

Senate bill targets state Supreme Court spill ruling
JUNEAU (AP) -- An Alaska Supreme Court ruling that requires state regulators to look harder at oil companies spill response plans would be overturned by a bill that passed a Senate committee this week.

Union headquarters orders local president reinstated
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The suspended president of the Alaska State Employees Association will be reinstated under orders from union international headquarters.

Tourism funding remains in doubt in the Senate
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill to provide emergency marketing aid to the state's tourism industry lacks support among majority Republicans in the Senate, said Senate President Rick Halford.

Buser wins nuggets, trophy at Iditarod halfway point
OPHIR, Alaska (AP) -- Veteran Martin Buser reached the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race checkpoint at Cripple early Wednesday night, claiming gold nuggets and a trophy for being the first to the race halfway point.

Not in Our Town fund to be dissolved
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A fund set up in Anchorage out of sympathy for an Arab print shop owner is being dissolved.

Senate backs bill changing attendance for some first graders
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill that makes some 6-year-olds comply with the same compulsory attendance requirements as older students passed the Senate on Wednesday.

''Dirty Dozen'' squadron heading to southern Iraq
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Members of the ''Dirty Dozen'' are being deployed to southern Iraq, Elmendorf Air Force officials said.

State appeals Appellate Court decision on embezzlement restitution
JUNEAU (AP) -- State prosecutors want the Supreme Court to reverse an appellate decision that relieved the former treasurer of the Juneau Folk Festival from paying $5,000 in restitution.

Fielder first out of Ophir as leapfrogging continues
OPHIR (AP) -- The leapfrogging among mushers continued Wednesday in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Former Fairbanks shelter worker pleas in sexual abuse case
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A former part-time employee at a shelter for homeless, runaway and abandoned youth pleaded no contest Tuesday to sexual abuse of a minor.

DEC regulator resigns after reassignment
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A top regulator has resigned from the Alaska Department of Environment Conservation, 2 1/2 months after she was stripped of authority to oversee some North Slope oil activities.

Group tries to recall Fairbanks borough assembly, mayor, school board
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A group of rural residents has filed applications to recall the entire Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, the school board and the borough mayor.

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.

Musher Hans Gatt puts himself to the ultimate test in sled dog racing
NIKOLAI (AP) -- Take the Iditarod and multiply by two. That's what Hans Gatt has done.

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.

Bill removing coastal zone appeal passes House
JUNEAU (AP) -- The House passed a bill Wednesday that removes a citizen's right to ask for a state review of coastal zone program decisions.

House finance leaders consider cut to ferry system
JUNEAU (AP) -- House budget leaders are considering a $5 million cut in the state ferry operations budget.

Bill aims to deal with inspections backlog
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state Labor Department hopes to deal with a backlog of elevator and boiler inspections through a bill that passed the House on Wednesday.

Ocean Beauty intends to aquire Cook Inlet Processors
KODIAK (AP) -- Ocean Beauty Seafoods has signed a letter of intent to acquire Cook Inlet Processors, according to Bill Terhar, president and chief executive officer of Ocean Beauty.

Legal questions squash plans for Kenai Peninsula parent lobbyists
KENAI (AP) -- A legal glitch has grounded plans for the Kenai Peninsula Borough to pay for a group of parents to fly to Juneau to lobby on behalf of the school district.

Teen charged with firing blanks at passing motorist
KENAI (AP) -- A Nikiski teen-ager was charged with assault Saturday after firing blank cartridges at a vehicle from the window of a pickup truck near Sterling.

Social agency accused of theft
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- State advocacy officials have accused a private nonprofit agency of stealing money from Alaskans put under its care by the court system.

Competing prison proposals get hearings
JUNEAU (AP) -- Competing prison proposals came up for debate Tuesday in the Capitol. A House committee looked at a plan to build one large private prison in Whittier, while a Senate committee took up a bill to expand state-run prisons around the state.

Musher Hans Gatt puts himself to the ultimate test in sled dog racing
NIKOLAI (AP) -- Take the Iditarod and multiply by two. That's what Hans Gatt has done.

Kivalina school remains closed
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Kivalina's school remained closed this week as details emerged about what went wrong over the past several months in the small Inupiat village.

Former AFN president appointed to Permanent Fund board
JUNEAU (AP) -- Janie Leask, former head of the Alaska Federation of Natives, was appointed by Gov. Tony Knowles to the Permanent Fund board on Wednesday.

Swingley explains his Iditarod sabbatical
NIKOLAI (AP) -- With a near-perfect trail and a powerful dog team in front of him, four-time Iditarod champion Doug Swingley says he fought the impulse to compete in the first couple days of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

New manager Cubbage wins in Red Sox debut
Mike Cubbage began what could be a very short tenure as Boston Red Sox manager with a victory.

Kerrigan out with Red Sox; Escobar out for season
The Boston Red Sox took another step in their transformation under new ownership, firing manager Joe Kerrigan on Tuesday and replacing him with interim manager Mike Cubbage.

Alaska hotel chain sets up house
The city by the river has a new neighbor. Soldotna's newest resident plans to open its doors for business Monday. Aspen Hotels will add a fourth property to its chain when the 63-room hotel checks in its first guests next week.

Business Briefs
Cuddy named 2002 Alaskan of the YearProgram to show networks from hackers' perspectiveShow to feature remodeling methods, new homes

Natural gas pipeline progress published online
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.

KPTMC gets new leadership
The Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council has a new face at the helm in Marketing Director Dru Garson. Originally from White Plains, N.Y., Garson came to the Kenai Peninsula after two years as sales manager for the Alaska National History Association at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center in Juneau.

Lake full of lunkers draws fishermen
LAKE RUFUS WOODS, Wash. (AP) -- If you see beauty in a sumo wrestler, you'll adore reeling in the rainbows from Lake Rufus Woods.

Colorado department receives Grade A for youngster's elk hunt
DENVER (AP) -- In 27 years as a hunter, Brian Soliday has heard the carping, and watched the slings and arrows hurled in the general direction of the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The Frederick resident feels compelled to disagree.

Season treated Southeast Alaska hunters well last year
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) -- Southern Southeast Alaska hunters had a good season last year. The Etolin and Zarembo islands elk harvest took the most bulls ever in 2001, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Games Division of Wildlife Conservation.

Musher Hans Gatt puts himself to the ultimate test in sled dog racing
NIKOLAI (AP) -- Take the Iditarod and multiply by two. That's what Hans Gatt has done.

Buser takes $3,000 in gold
OPHIR, Alaska (AP) -- Veteran Martin Buser reached the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race checkpoint at Cripple early Wednesday night, claiming gold nuggets and a trophy for being the first to the race halfway point.

Swingley explains his Iditarod sabbatical
NIKOLAI (AP) -- With a near-perfect trail and a powerful dog team in front of him, four-time Iditarod champion Doug Swingley says he fought the impulse to compete in the first couple days of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Norwegian mushers handle Iditarod's bumpy trail as teammates
RAINY PASS (AP) -- Sled dog racing isn't generally considered a team sport. But the three Norwegian mushers racing in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race this year refer to themselves as Team Norway.

Front-runners settle in for 24-hour layovers
CRIPPLE (AP) -- Martin Buser, Linwood Fiedler, DeeDee Jonrowe and other top mushers were in Cripple Thursday morning, settling in for their mandatory 24-hour layovers at the halfway point of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

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.

Iditarod musher capitalizes on summers spent on Norris Glacier
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- For many of the more than 1,000 dogs running in Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race this year, training is shortened by summers spent lazing around the kennel when not running a few laps on the dog wheel or being hitched up to a team that pulls a four-wheeler down a trail.

Top Iditarod teams reach Nikolai
NIKOLAI, Alaska (AP) -- Top teams in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race left the Alaska Range behind and spent much of Tuesday resting in the afternoon sunshine in this Kuskokwim River village.

Musher Hans Gatt puts himself to the ultimate test in sled dog racing
NIKOLAI (AP) -- Take the Iditarod and multiply by two. That's what Hans Gatt has done.

Zirkle's team comes face to face with ornery bison and its calf
McGRATH (AP) -- When her dog team came to an abrupt halt Tuesday afternoon in the Farewell Burn, musher Aliy Zirkle found herself eyeball to eyeball with brown death -- a gigantic and disturbed bison blocking the trail with its calf only yards away.

Tales from the dip side
MINNEAPOLIS -- Even without arms or legs, Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato are leaping off the videotapes and onto the stage of ''VeggieTales Live!''

Alaska Geographic puts bark into Iditarod 'tails'
With the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race under way and more than 60 mushers winding along a northern route between Anchorage and Nome that is used in even-numbered years, it's the perfect time to curl up with a good book on the "Last Great Race" and discover what the excitement is about.

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

Missing depth: 'Time Machine' no match for original
There's a scene in ''The Time Machine'' that made me want to go back in time so I could choose not to see the movie at all.

Kenai visitors center to host 'Bob's Shorts: In Public'
It's not every day that an eager crowd forms to catch a glimpse of Bob's shorts. In fact, for Kenai Peninsula residents, it will only happen today.

Art Briefs
Bazaar, bake sale plannedPoetry workshop to be heldPratt Museum seeking volunteers

Senate panel kills tourism bill
Money the tourism industry says it desperately needs to lure travel-wary visitors to Alaska this summer is linked to legislation unlikely ever to come up for a vote in the Senate.

Tourism funding bill remains in doubt in Senate
JUNEAU -- A bill to provide emergency marketing aid to the state's tourism industry lacks support among majority Republicans in the Senate, said Senate President Rick Halford.

Small stickers mean big money
HAMPTON, Ga. -- At the bottom of Ricky Craven's race car, 3 inches above the exhaust pipe and 3 inches in front of the rear tire, is a bumper sticker promoting Kenmore appliances.

Money Leaders
1. Ward Burton $1,593,1022. Elliott Sadler 1,095,7763. Sterling Marlin 835,818

In the spotlight: Kenny Wallace
A short bio on your favorite NASCAR racers

Seat belts face new standards
HAMPTON, Ga. -- NASCAR took its requirements for better seat belts a step further by adding three requirements in time for this week's MBNA America 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

This Week's Race: MBNA America 500
Where and when

Race Schedule
February 17 to November 17, and the races' present and past winners.

Point Standings
1. Sterling Marlin 5072. Ryan Newman 4323. Jeff Burton 420

Winter still here, despite conditions
Kenai Peninsula residents can expect to keep their view of the sun for the remainder of the week, marking signs of a slightly early spring. The clear skies and sometimes thawing streets do not mean winter is quite over, though, according to the National Weather Service.

Man dies following reaction to medication
A Nikiski resident died Wednesday morning after taking medication to treat pain from oral surgery.

Man arrested for disorderly conduct at accident scene
Alaska State Troopers trying to aid those involved in a Sterling Highway collision Tuesday afternoon were hampered by a driver who didn't want to wait for roadblocks to be removed.

CARTS' kindergarten service in jeopardy
Central Area Rural Transit System is extending its deadline to find funding for its free kindergarten transport program before permanently discontinuing the service.

Animal euthanasia bill eases restrictions
Alaska is one of a few states where animal shelter workers lack the authority to administer drugs to euthanize severely injured, mortally sick or abandoned animals.

Fire damages cabin in Sterling; cigarette blamed
A cigarette was apparently the cause of the fire that started in the bathroom of a 16-by-12-foot cabin near Mile 85 of the Sterling Highway on Tuesday, causing nearly $20,000 in damage to the structure.

No injuries reported in school bus accident
A driver who said he was blinded by the sun was the focal point of a collision with a school bus and another vehicle near the intersection of Reflection Lake Road and teh Sterling Highway at 2:47 p.m. Tuesday.

Glitch puts end to Juneau trip
A delegation of parents had planned to be in Juneau today to meet with legislators about the financial woes of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

Photo feature: Road hazard
Patterns in the ice on Spruce Streeet guide a motorist in Kenai Wednesday afternoon. Icy roads are likely to remain a hazard for peninsula drivers in the coming days, as forecasters see no warming trend through the rest of the week.

Stephen S. Wade
Nikiski resident Stephen S. Wade died unexpectedly Wednesday, March 6, 2002, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 30.

Eleanor F. Parsons
Homer resident Eleanor F. Parsons died Monday, March 4, 2002, at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. She was 96.

America's anti-Iraq agenda could spark new flash point
Intentionally or not, the U.S. has recently upped the ante on Baghdad, reinforcing the belief that Iraq is the next target on Washington's anti-terror agenda.

Applause
Community works together to make kids' activities safer

Deaths of American soliders remind U.S. war is far from over
Eight Americans died in recent days during combat assaults in Afghanistan. The heaviest days of U.S. casualt

Six months after terrorist attacks, children worry about personal safety, flying Sept. 11 prompts kids' questions
Six months after Sept. 11, many children across the country are still dealing with the aftermath. Experts say children's responses to trauma often come through their actions, not words. But some do talk about their concerns and ask questions.

ASEAN must work as group to combat menace of terrorism
The move by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to link anti-terrorism activities among member countries and coordinate with one another is seen as a vital requisite to both homeland and regional security.

More patriotic? More spiritual? Americans differ on how Sept. 11 changed them
NEW YORK -- ''United we stand'' has been a fitting motto for the nation since Sept. 11, as Americans have pulled together in prayer and patriotism. But if unity in crisis is a national trait, so are doubting and debating.

'Super Poll' carries good news for Bush
There's good political news for George W. Bush, some relatively surprising good news for Al Gore, but a real shock in store for many Beltway big shots -- from Hillary Clinton to Tom Daschle. The "Super Poll" results are in.

Applause
Donation turns reading event into successful celebration

Letters to the Editor
Fiscal plan should be Legislature's first priority; any delay is stall tacticMessage to legislators: Tax oil, not Alaskans

Photo feature: On the fly
Dan Martin keeps tabs on his kite Tuesday during a series of flights from the Bridge Access Road boardwalk. His 2-year-old daughter Kami, not pictured, was less enthusiastic about the afternoon activity.

Around the Peninsula
Soroptimists to meetKCHS to present student-directed comedyAARP holding driver safety programSoldotna Historical Society meeting plannedScholarship applications soughtHigh schools looking for past graduatesWomen's center seeks volunteersForum on proposed pork project planned

Around the Peninsula
Kenai chamber meets todayKCHS to present student-directed comedyEducation association to hold rallyFund-raising dinner to aid familyCPR class offeredVeterans organization to hold electionsBake sale plannedBenefit dinner and auction plannedSPCA preparing for spay-neuter clinic

Pet of the Week
The Soldotna Animal Shelter is featuring a selection of rats this week. Give the shelter staff a call at 262-3969 or visit them on Kobuk Street.

Alaska Legislators open doors for Head Start parents, staff
Head Start parents and staff members visited local legislators in Juneau in February. The Kenai Peninsula, villages as far north as Nome and as far south as Ketchikan and representatives of a variety of Head Start organizations met with their Senate and House representatives. The purpose of the meetings was to encourage support from legislators for Head Start programs statewide.

District School News
News from schools around the district

Honor Roll
The following students were named to the second-quarter honor roll at Nikiski Middle-Senior High School and Voznesenka School near Kachemak Bay.

Light bulb question answered -- finally!
CHICAGO (AP) -- The University of Chicago finally has its own answer to a vexing question: How many students does it take to change a light bulb?

Menus
What's on the menu for our area public school students

Brothers each victorious in Colorado spelling bee
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- For the first time, brothers have placed first in their grade-level competitions at the Pikes Peak Regional Spelling Bee. And English is their second language.

Nikiski students make school papers thrive on North Road
Nikiski Middle-Senior High School is the only central Kenai Peninsula high school with a student paper. It even has two.

Reception planned for KPC retirees
Kenai Peninsula College is getting ready to say goodbye to several key faculty members at the end of this semester.

When life gets tough, friends always come through
Friends come and go. They pop up in the most unexpected places, and you never know how the relationship will turn out. Friends range in levels of maturity and personality, but they never let you down.

Photo feature: Exchanging ideas
Na Sairsuwan does a traditional Thai dance at the AFS banquet Sunday in Kenai. The banquet, an annual event for 22 years, raises funds to assist central Kenai Peninsula high school students in the AFS international student exchange program.

Around the District
Tests now, vacation laterKenai students score permanent fund bonusSkyview art shines at ocean sciences contestChildren test stage voices SaturdayMusicians perform to aid schoolHomer places at Academic DecathlonProgram seeks worthy youth to honorScholarship program seeks student scientistsPublic invited to learn about Title IKenai Middle School announces Students of the MonthKnowles proclaims School Breakfast WeekArtists in the Schools seek applications

Going downhill fast
University of Alaska Anchorage skier Aurore De Maulmont slides to a national title in the giant slalom event at the NCAA National Championships Wednesday at Mount Alyeska near Anchorage.

Sports Briefs
Nikiski's Hall fourth at Junior Olympics2002 Junior Olympics Cross Country ChampionshipsSeward to host basketball, volleyball tourneysMiddle school students compete at boroughs

Red Wings fly better than Maple Leafs
DETROIT -- Sergei Fedorov scored twice and the Detroit Red Wings had three power-play goals in a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.

Iverson dumps 46 on Cavaliers
PHILADELPHIA -- Allen Iverson broke the 40-point barrier for the third time in four games, scoring 46 Wednesday night in leading the Philadelphia 76ers to an 85-76 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Next Level
Morgan Hansen of Kenai, a freshman at Alma College in Alma, Mich., has been named to the 2002 all-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association women's swimming and diving team.

Boston College keeps tourney dreams alive
Boston College helped its NCAA tournament hopes Wednesday by rallying from a double-digit deficit to beat Rutgers 60-55 in the opening game of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden.

2001 SoHi graduate Liebner finishes fifth in Older Junior race
Kikkan Randall and Mark Iverson paced the Alaska contingent with victories in the classical races at the 2002 Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships Wednesday in McCall, Idaho.

Sports Briefs
Baseball bargaining recessesU.S. gymnastics champion, two others warnedEberharter regains dominance over downhill

With Jordan still hurt, Wizards corral Bulls
WASHINGTON -- Reserve Courtney Alexander scored 26 points as the Washington Wizards won their second straight without Michael Jordan, beating the Chicago Bulls 115-90 Tuesday night.

Penguins earn stripes from lowly Panthers
PITTSBURGH -- Alexei Kovalev scored his second goal of the game with 1:37 left in overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 6-5 victory Tuesday night over the struggling Florida Panthers.

2002 moose road kill totals down slightly
Kenai Peninsula moose are getting a break this winter, but not much.

Researcher pinning down behavior of native dogs
WINONA, Minn. (AP) -- Ben Bigalke goes on night patrol a couple of times each week to spy on seven coyotes roaming Wabasha County.

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