Friday, March 8, 2002

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.

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.

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.

Murkowski targets gap in federal pipeline law
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Legislation introduced by Sen. Frank Murkowski would make shooting at the trans-Alaska oil pipeline a federal crime.

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.

Study shows more Alaska children live in poverty

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.

Former archbishop Hurley released from California hospital
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The former archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Anchorage has been released from a San Francisco area hospital.

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.

Lawmakers scatter for annual break
JUNEAU (AP) -- Most lawmakers headed out of town Thursday for an annual break that started several years ago so a handful of legislators could attend meetings on energy policy in Washington, D.C.

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.

Alakanuk boy accused of molesting younger sister
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 14-year-old boy is accused of molesting his 9-year-old sister in Alakanuk.

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

Plane crashes near Barrow, but no one injured
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Four people on board a Cessna 208 walked away with no injuries when the plane crashed about 50 miles southeast of Barrow, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

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.

Chugach School District accepts Baldrige Award
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Representatives of the Chugach School District received a Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award on Thursday for outstanding educational achievements.

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.

Whittier prison bill clears first committee
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill calling for a private prison in Whittier cleared its first hurdle Thursday, passing the House State Affairs Committee 4-2.

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.

Judge Beistline moves closer to becoming Alaska's next federal judge
Washington (AP) -- State Judge Ralph Beistline of Fairbanks is another step closer to being Alaska's next federal judge.

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.

Investigators suspect collision in whale death
KODIAK (AP) -- A Cuviers beaked whale found on a beach on the east side of Kodiak Island last weekend probably died after a collision with a boat, according to marine investigators.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Job burnout drives some boomers to distraction, new careers
CHICAGO (AP) -- Deep into the rat race but far from the finish line of retirement, many baby boomers are at risk of hitting the career wall.

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.

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

What will massive debt mean for young consumers' spending power and retailers
NEW YORK (AP)-- Tamara Weber, 25, saddled with $22,000 in college loans and $6,500 in credit card debt, has stopped impulse spending and postponed buying a car and other big-ticket items so she can pay down her debt.

E-filing taxes can save time, speed refund
NEW YORK (AP) -- Millions of Americans are setting aside their pens and pencils and switching on their computers to prepare and file their income taxes.

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.

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.

Power line tree-trimmer delivers a manicure, not a haircut
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- For the better part of three decades, Bill Jardel's job has involved cutting back trees.

Drought conditions need not mean putting off gardening for the season
NEW MARKET, Va. (AP) -- Although a persistent drought is baking the soil brick hard in more than 20 states, that doesn't mean having to hang up the hoe for the upcoming growing season.

Surgeons ask exercising baby boomers not to abuse their new knees
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Exercising baby boomers must realize new knees are not like new tires: You can't just wear out one set and buy another.

Study suggests stem cells in bloodstream can build tissue in other parts of body
Researchers have found evidence that stem cells circulating in the bloodstream can grow new tissue in the liver, gut and skin.

Cancer society promotes diet, exercise to reduce cancer risk
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The American Cancer Society, worried about a nation that does too little exercise and grows more obese, is putting a new emphasis on exercise as a way to reduce the risk of getting sick and dying of cancer.

New Mexico becomes the first state to allow non-physicians to prescribe drugs
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- New Mexico has become the first state to let psychologists prescribe drugs for mental illness, a move lamented by some physicians.

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.

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.

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.

Top mushers take layovers
CRIPPLE, Alaska (AP) -- Linwood Fiedler was feeding his dogs and Martin Buser was playing with his team as a brisk wind blew through the Cripple checkpoint Thursday.

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 wins gourmet meal as first musher to the Yukon River
RUBY (AP) -- It's not your typical breakfast of champions.

Iditarod families keep eye on race from home
Six days into the 2002 Iditarod Dog Sled Race, lead mushers are resting at the halfway point, peninsula mushers are scattered along the trail and families are watching -- some patiently and some not so patiently -- from home.

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.

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.

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

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.

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!''

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heavy bombs rock eastern Afghan towns
GARDEZ, Afghanistan -- U.S. troops scoured caves and cleared ridges of al-Qaida diehards Thursday, but sandstorms and high winds grounded helicopters and threatened to disrupt the U.S.-led air and ground offensive.

Community, Kenai City Council donations allow CARTS to continue school-day service
Kenai citizens, businesses and city council combined Wednesday to keep a popular kindergarten transport program on track.

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.

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.

Borough assembly to introduce measure to clarify legislative priorities
As state lawmakers continue looking for ways to save, they must recognize that cuts alone can't bridge the yawning fiscal gap, and that upkeep on facilities such as schools and roads will require additional funding no matter how deeply they carve next year's spending plan.

School district axes positions
The cuts are starting and so is the pain.

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.

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.

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

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

Harold E. Litchfield Obituary
Peaks Island, Maine, resident Harold E. Litchfield died Wednesday, March 6, 2002, at Sebastian River Medical Center in Roseland, Fla., following a brief illness. He was 84.

Steve A. James Obituary
Claudville, Va., resident Steve A. James died Thursday, March 7, 2002, at his home in Virginia. He was 54.

Elmer T. Clavell Obituary
Soldotna resident Elmer T. Clavell died Monday, March 4, 2002. Mr. Clavell was born Nov. 3, 1935. He was co-owner of the Treasure Cache in Soldotna.

Oilers Corner
Oilers sign Oregon State lefty

Letters to the Editor
Public transportation makes world of difference to those who need it

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.

'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.

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

Proceeds from quilt raffle will fund community projects

Parents, students should be heard on school funding
It's unfortunate that a legal glitch grounded this week's planned trip by parents to talk with legislators about the financial woes of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

Donation turns reading event into successful celebration

Doing nothing wrong answer
I have begun to compile a list of legislators who seem to believe their constituents are so uninformed that they can insult their intelligence without any repercussions.

Forest regeneration efforts benefit moose on wildlife refuge
Moose habitat management has a long and colorful history on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Outdoors photo feature: Personal time
A bald eagle grooms itself in a tree Sunday, March 3, 2002 in Juneau, Alaska. An eagle can stay busy grooming as it has around 7,000 feathers from head to tail. An adult female eagle can weigh as much as 15 pounds and have a body length of 34-37 inches, with a wingspan of over seven feet. Males are slightly smaller. The bald eagle's scientific name is "Haliaeetus Leucocephalus," which means "sea eagle with a white head."

Around the Peninsula
Education association to hold rally Fund-raising dinner to aid family Healthy Communities meeting planned Planning workshop scheduled Public radio board meeting planned

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

Pittsburgh Diocese removed 'several' priests from ministry
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Roman Catholic Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh has removed several priests from the ministry because of accusations of child sexual abuse, a spokesman for the diocese said.

Texas bishop appointed to lead Apostleship of the Sea in United States
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bishop Curtis Guillory has been appointed leader of the Roman Catholic Apostleship of the Sea in the United States of America.

Judge orders removal of Ten Commandments plaque from courthouse
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A federal judge Wednesday ordered county officials to remove an 82-year-old Ten Commandments plaque from a courthouse, calling it an unconstitutional display of the biblical text.

Moderate Baptists in Texas create fund for missionaries, angering conservative leaders
DALLAS (AP) -- Moderate Baptists in Texas have pledged $1 million to help Southern Baptist missionaries who decline to endorse a conservative doctrinal statement they are being asked to approve.

Founder of conservative group getting the ultimate sign of pope's admiration -- sainthood
ROME (AP) -- The founder of the conservative Roman Catholic group Opus Dei will be elevated to sainthood this October, receiving a posthumous honor in 27 years that's often bestowed on notable Catholics only after centuries.

Islamic art exhibit back in town hall in Rhode Island
TIVERTON, R.I. (AP) -- An Islamic art exhibit in town hall was removed then put back on display after a dispute over whether the show violated the separation of church and state.

Episcopal leaders condemn conservative breakaway group
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The executive council of the Episcopal Church issued a statement saying it is ''saddened and grieved'' by the actions of the conservative breakaway group, the Anglican Mission in America.

Priest's slaying stirs up bad memories for retreat that remade itself after scandal
JEMEZ SPRINGS, N.M. (AP) -- The shock of a Roman Catholic priest's slaying at an isolated spiritual retreat has brought back memories of a disturbing period when the center was involved in sex abuse allegations.

Muslim leaders reject plan to resolve temple dispute
NEW DELHI, India -- Muslim leaders on Thursday rejected a compromise plan aimed at preventing Hindu hard-liners from immediately starting construction of a temple on a site held holy by both religions.

Adjustments can help anchor beliefs
A friend of mine fishes the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska for a living. He has faced huge waves and high winds numerous times aboard a boat almost a hundred-feet long.

Religion Briefs
Fellowship to host Aleut evangelist Nikiski church plans events Prophecies topic of speaker Mens community dinner planned

Synagogue cooks 738.5 pound pastry, hopes for record
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A synagogue hoped to bake its way into the record books with a 738.5 pound, 20-foot-wide hamantasch, a confection traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday of Purim.

Photo feature: On the move
Horst Haunold glides behind Stephanie McGahan and his son Gabe during a ski class for Mountain View Elementary School students at the Kenai Golf Course last month. See story, C1.

Good skiing available
For those who missed the Tour of Anchorage, or have managed to recover from it, this Saturday Homer offers another racing option in the Kachemak Bay Marathon Ski.

Young skiers learn by doing
Tuesday and Thursday afternoons this winter, the sound of children could be heard across the Kenai Golf Course. Not just two or three, either. As many as 20 kids, laughing, chatting, shouting and enjoying the Alaska outdoors.

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.

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.

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.

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

Florida State overcomes Clemson in OT thriller
Delvon Arrington scored a career-high 24 points for the Seminoles, who defeated Clemson 91-84 in overtime and advanced to play top-seeded Maryland in one of four quarterfinal games Friday in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C.

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.

Tourney picture to firm up on final weekend
The peninsula's high school basketball teams have one weekend left of regular season play, and while things look pretty clear at the top of the Region III/4A standings, the situation at the middle and the bottom of the standings has some exciting tournament implications.

Sports photo feature: All I had I gave
Denver University's Ola Berger shows the strain of his national championship-winning run in the Men's 10K Classic event of the NCAA Skiing Championships Thursday, March 7, 2002, in Anchorage, Alaska.

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

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