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Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Early morning quake measures 4.5
PALMER (AP) -- A quake was a magnitude of 4.5 was felt early Sunday in Anchorage and Seward, but no injuries or damage were reported, according to the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.

Interpreter helps ice sculptors get to Alaska
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The reverberations of Sept. 11 have made Mimi Chapin's job as interpreter for Ice Alaska more important than usual.

UA president receives award for supporting academic freedom
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton received an award from a national group in recognition of his support of academic freedom.

Buser in lead, losing ground to Brooks
SHAKTOOLIK, Alaska -- Martin Buser, who is moving along at a record pace in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, reaching Shaltoolik at 11:42 a.m. Sunday after pushing through gusts to 48 mph along the coast of Norton Sound.

Southwest Alaskan finds purpose in carving, culture
BETHEL (AP) -- Vernon Bavilla was at a crossroads in his life. He had just been released from prison after serving a three-year sentence for attempted sexual abuse of a minor. His wife was divorcing him. He'd been thrown out of his house. He needed a job and a reason to stay away from the alcohol that had been the source of so much trouble in his life.

Knowles embarks on trip to promote tourism
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles was joined by 20 state and business leaders Tuesday for a one-week trip to England and Germany to promote Alaska tourism, seafood and energy development.

March 5, 2002 The Anchorage Daily News says legislative relocation is a distraction
Think we'd get better government if we moved the Legislature to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough?

Disabled to get more privacy in voting
JUNEAU (AP) -- Disabled voters may enjoy more privacy at the polls, thanks to a new law.

Iditarod officials report first dog death of 2002 race
RUBY, Alaska (AP) -- Race officials have reported the first dog death in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Buser wins fourth Iditarod in record time
NOME, Alaska (AP) -- Waving a large American flag as he entered the finish chute, Martin Buser claimed his fourth victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Tuesday, winning in record time.

March 4, 2002 The Voice of the Times says lawmakers should not have to be doing the administration's job
Let's see if we've got this right. According to those who love to jab needles in the hide of the Republican legislative leadership in Juneau, it's wrong -- dead wrong -- for lawmakers to expect various governmental agencies to prioritize the tasks they face.

Necropsy shows Iditarod dog died of neck injury
NOME, Alaska (AP) -- The dog that died in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race suffered a spinal injury in its neck when it got tangled up in the gangline, according to race officials.

EPA allows Alaska log transfer sites to operate
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Environmental Protection Agency will allow timber companies to operate log transfer sites in Alaska waters, although it will take more public comment on new rules that govern the sites.

Judge Beistline becomes Alaska's next federal judge
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska has a new U.S. District Court judge.

March 10, 2002 The Juneau Empire says science, not ideology, should drive federal wildlife decisions
A controversy over water usage in the Oregon-California Klamath Basin is receiving national attention. The facts break down like this: Last March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued statements claiming that if local farmers used their normal allocations of water, suckers in a nearby lake would be killed due to a lowered water level in the lake. Based on the report with supposedly scientific underpinnings, a federal judge cut off irrigation water supplies from Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River to the Klamath Irrigation Project. For the first time in 100 years, farmers were left without water.

Accused child molester loses sentencing appeal
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 60-year-old career child molester has lost an appeal to the sentence he received in his latest offense.

UAF team puts clean car engine in snowmachine
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A team at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has mounted a small car engine, complete with catalytic converter, in a snowmachine to compete against clean snowmobile designs from engineering students at 15 other universities.

Bodies of two men found at Anchorage snow dump lot
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage police were investigating the deaths of two brothers whose bodies were found in a city snow dump lot Monday.

Buser leads mushers out of Shaktoolik
ELIM, Alaska (AP) -- Big Lake musher Martin Buser maintained his record-breaking pace but barely held on to the lead Monday morning in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Martin Buser reaches Nome to claim 4th Iditarod victory in record time
NOME, Alaska (AP) -- Martin Buser cruised down Front Street behind his dog team Tuesday to claim his fourth victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, finishing in record time.

Psychiatric patient gets lost for three hours
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A patient from Alaska Psychiatric Institute was temporarily missing during a supervised weekend shopping trip in a downtown Anchorage mall.

Bodies of two men found at Anchorage snow dump lot
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage police were investigating the deaths of two men whose bodies were found in a city snow dump lot Monday.

Custody dispute turns deadly in Mexico
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Eagle River woman is in Mexico, searching for her 2-year-old daughter as she tries to cope with her son's death.

Necropsy shows Iditarod dog died of neck injury
NOME, Alaska (AP) -- The dog that died this week in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race suffered a spinal injury in its neck when it got tangled up in the gangline, according to race officials.

Iditarod vets give expertise, get adventure in return
KALTAG (AP) -- From a sled dog's perspective, the people in the green parkas probably seem a little nosy. Helpful, nice, but awfully curious.

Proposals call for doubling shellfish farming in Alaska
JUNEAU (AP) -- The number of shellfish farms in Alaska could more than double under proposals moving through the Legislature.

Tourism survey: ''Mixed reviews'' for 2002
JUNEAU (AP) -- Bookings for 2002 are a mixed bag, Alaska tourism businesses reported in a recent survey for the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau, with many in the industry predicting they'll attract about the same number of visitors as last year.

Stevens has substantial cash for re-election campaign
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Sen. Ted Stevens has raised substantial cash to help finance his re-election campaign this year.

Ketchikan veneer plant wants cash from creditors
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Lawyers for Gateway Forest Products want the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Ketchikan Pulp Co. and Foothill Capital Corp. to provide $400,000 for attorney fees and other administrative expenses.

Flags to be lowered for former Craig legislator
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles ordered Alaska flags flown at half-staff Tuesday in honor of former Craig legislator Charles M. Jones.

Buser leads mushers out of Shaktoolik
SHAKTOOLIK, Alaska (AP) -- Ramey Brooks has cut half an hour from the lead of Martin Buser in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, but the three-time champion from Big Lake still had a lead of two and a half hours, with a bigger team than his closest pursuer.

Ketchikan nurses approve hospital pact
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Nurses in Ketchikan have ratified their first contract with Ketchikan General Hospital.

March 8, 2002 The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says lawmakers are underfunding state university
In politics and finance, remember the adage: Don't believe everything you hear.

Knowles says Republican budget cuts go too far
JUNEAU (AP) -- A House Republican plan to make deep cuts in state spending goes too far and puts essential state services at risk, Gov. Tony Knowles said.

Red Sox hire Little to manage club;
Boston has a new manager in Grady Little, who knows enough about the turbulent history of the Red Sox to admit his warm welcome won't last if he doesn't win.

Red Sox get rejection from Twins skipper
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Boston's search for a new manager will take longer than expected after the team contacted more clubs Sunday seeking permission to talk to potential managerial candidates.

Tourism survey: ''Mixed reviews'' for 2002
JUNEAU (AP) -- Bookings for 2002 are a mixed bag, Alaska tourism businesses reported in a recent survey for the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau, with many in the industry predicting they'll attract about the same number of visitors as last year.

Sixth Graders plan a new park for Soldotna
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, a group of Anne Pfitzner's six grade students at Soldotna Elementary School, went to the Village Fair at SoHi to showcase their plan for a new park in Soldotna at the former DOT site next to the Soldotna Creek Park.

Peninsula contingency will travel to Greenland in pursuit of Arctic Games
While many Alaskans will be heading to palm tree laden places for Spring Break, a group from the Kenai Peninsula is heading slightly further north to Baffin Island in Greenland and Canada. The group's mission is to gather information and lend credibility to the Peninsula's bid to host the 2006 Arctic Winter Games.

Home school carver takes first place at Fur Rondy
The ancient craft of woodcarving is experiencing a renaissance on the Kenai Peninsula, thanks to carvers and mentors like Del Otter of Sterling.

No green eggs & ham at Redoubt Elementary, but lots of Cats in hats
For the last three years, Sharon Hale, the volunteer coordinator at Redoubt Elementary School has been celebrating the birthday of the one of the most renowned children's authors of all time to help kids fall in love with reading.

State Public Use Cabins are filling up fast
As people from all over the world finalize their plans to visit the Kenai Peninsula this summer, Chris Degernes, Alaska State Parks Kenai Area Superintendent, is encouraging local residents to beat the stampede and get their reservations made for the public use cabins that are available on the Peninsula.

Contingency planning is a high priority for industry and government
Following the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, the state legislature enacted laws that are still among the strictest in the nation with respect to oil contingency planning. Alaska has very specific standards on how long it may take to contain spills that are on open waters, according to Jeffery Mach, Oil and Gas Coordinator with Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation.

A Great day for a Health Fair
The Village Fair was an idea that was born seven years ago as the result of a survey conducted by Healthy Communities/Healthy People, according to Soldotna City Councilwoman Jane Stein.

Buser leads mushers out of Shaktoolik
ELIM, Alaska (AP) -- Big Lake musher Martin Buser maintained his record-breaking pace but barely held on to the lead Monday morning in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

'Urban Iditarod' hits streets of San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Urban Iditarod hit the hilly streets of San Francisco over the weekend and featured 150 humans dressed like dogs and pulling shopping carts.

Martin Buser reaches Nome to claim 4th Iditarod victory in record time
NOME, Alaska (AP) -- Martin Buser cruised down Front Street behind his dog team Tuesday to claim his fourth victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, finishing in record time.

Buser leads mushers out of Shaktoolik
SHAKTOOLIK, Alaska (AP) -- Ramey Brooks has cut half an hour from the lead of Martin Buser in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, but the three-time champion from Big Lake still had a lead of two and a half hours, with a bigger team than his closest pursuer.

Iditarod officials report first dog death of 2002 race
RUBY, Alaska (AP) -- Race officials have reported the first dog death in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Wearing o' the green in White Mountain
Though St. Patrick's Day is still a few days away, volunteers at the White Mountain checkpoint are getting into the spirit of things.

Iditarod vets give expertise, get adventure in return
KALTAG (AP) -- From a sled dog's perspective, the people in the green parkas probably seem a little nosy. Helpful, nice, but awfully curious.

Web site offers personal Iditarod touch
A 17-year-old from the town where the National Iditarod Historic Trail begins is using the Internet to combine dog mushing with the information age.

Photo feature: Dog tired
One of Tim Osmar's dogs snuggles in his blanket and takes a nap during a rest from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in the Yukon River village of Kaltag, Sunday.

Iditarod Notebook
AND THE SPIRIT OF ST. PATRICK AWARD GOES TO...: Though St. Patrick's Day is still a few days away, volunteers at the White Mountain checkpoint are getting into the spirit of things.

Knowles: Republican budget cuts go too far
JUNEAU -- A House Republican plan to make deep cuts in state spending goes too far and puts essential state services at risk, Gov. Tony Knowles said.

Yupik cultural leader to speak to area youth
Earl Polk, a member of the Alaska Native sobriety movement and a Yupik cultural leader will speak at several sites in the Kenai-Soldotna area Wednesday and Thursday. Although he is well-known throughout Alaska, this will be his first tour of the central Kenai Peninsula.

Bagley proposes new plan for land
Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley has proposed a substitute plan for subdividing land at Point Possession that is meant to ease concerns raised recently by members of the borough assembly.

Trial date set for man accused of killing couple in 1994
More than eight years after a Kenai Peninsula couple disappeared, the man charged with their murders is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 17

Attendance encouraged at bridge meeting
Sometime in mid- to late 2003, construction will begin on the Sterling Highway to widen the bridge going across the Kenai River in Soldotna. The project will take a toll on the central Kenai Peninsula, and on Soldotna residents and businesses, in particular.

Soldotna residents protest basin
As a side effect of pending construction on the Kenai River bridge on the Sterling Highway in Soldotna, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities plans to build a sedimentation basin on land intersected by Riverside Avenue and Marcus Street.

Public gets chance for budget input
Kenai Peninsula residents get a chance to bend the ears of state lawmakers on spending Wednesday when the House Finance Committee begins hearings on the proposed fiscal year 2003 state operating budget.

Soldotna looking for cemetery
An eternal resting ground after death for Soldotna citizens has evaded the city since its establishment. But now, city officials are looking into possibly correcting this oversight.

Justin Hogue
Kenai resident Justin Hogue died Saturday, March 9, 2002, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Reno, Nev. He was 19.

Applause
Soldotna seniors say thanks for donations

Is ferry feasibility study worth cost?
Traveling to the south side of Kachemak Bay is like visiting another world. The geology is different, the vegetation is different and the pace of life is different. Part of the mystique of the south side of Kachemak Bay is its semi-remote location, away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world.

Buck stops with 22nd Legislature
The governor's proposed budget for fiscal year 2003 is nearly one billion dollars in the red.

Applause
Many contribute to successful cross country ski season at Nikiski

Holding university's funding steady shows lack of vision for future
In politics and finance, remember the adage: Don't believe everything you hear.

Legislative proposal would have Alaskans eating at their own risk
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but in the most advanced country in the world, we have come to take for granted that at least lunch will be free from food poisoning.

Letters to the Editor
Legislators need to tell Alaskans hard truths about state budgetAlaskans should speak out about fish board nominationsHomer will continue to value freedom over more governmentOil companies not improving record of hiring more Alaskans

KRSA took position on every issue before board; it welcomes others to join its work
Since the recent Board of Fisheries meeting, some attention has been directed toward the board's changes to the management of early-run king salmon on the Kenai River. While opinions have been prevalent, the facts have not.

Photo feature: Making tracks
Danny Hughes gets an early start on the dirt bike season Saturday afternoon on the beach in Kenai. His ride was short, though, as the tide was high enough to cover all but a little exposed sand.

Peninsula People
Area students named to deans' listsKenai student honored at UNCArea residents enlist in Army

Births
Sara Jane and Zakeriah Jason SmithAngie and Edward ChallansWendy and Mark Winans

Lip sync, choreography contest lets Soldotna youth show off skills
The Showin' Off the Kids lipsync and choreography competition was held March 2 at Soldotna High School. Four winners in each category were awarded U.S. Saving Bonds from First National Bank of Anchorage and Wells Fargo Bank Alaska.

Crime Stoppers alert
A plate-glass door-pane was broken at the Soldotna Bible Chapel on 300 W. Marydale Ave. sometime during the night of Feb. 19. The damage is estimated at $300.

Community News
Scholarship program planned for SaturdayChallenger offers classroom scholarships'Will to Win' application deadline approachesHomer Community School makes announcementsASLC plans spring bird week

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.

Around the Peninsula
SeaLife rep to speak at chamberHistorical Society meeting slatedCaribou Cabin Hoppers plan family daySweeney's offers fashions for Moms on the RunSocial Security rep to visit peninsulaCook Inlet Lions 'Putting on the Ritz'St. Patrick's Day festivities plannedKPC offers short computer coursesBenefit dinner, auction scheduledFriends of Pets offers coupons

Around the Peninsula
Soldotna chamber meets todaySeminar to provide libertarian trainingPublic radio holding fund driveWilliams, Bannock to speak at Kenai chamberCARTS advisory partners to meet WednesdayConservation-development district to meet ThursdayPDK discusses educator trainingABCS enrollment lottery applications duePoetry slam workshop set for SaturdayCPR class offeredBenefit dinner, auction scheduledRepublicans to hold district conventionFriends of Pets offers couponsDiet seminar Thursday in Soldotna

Club News
PEO Sisterhood officers elected

Sterling students get visit from area musher
Some lucky elementary school kids got a chance Friday to meet with a few of their canine heroes.

Florida university reaches out to seniors
TAMPA, Fla. -- Ham Hutchinson is reveling in the past and loving it. For two hours every Friday, he can be found in a college course called ''History of the United States: 1945-1963.''

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

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

Sports Briefs
Nikiski and Heritage split Saturday gamesBaseball bargaining resumes Monday

Hasek homecoming spoiled by 5-1 defeat to Sabres
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Dominik Hasek's homecoming proved short and miserable, as he was pulled 40 minutes into a 5-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.

Opposition unlikely to dissuade D.C. from licensing Tyson
WASHINGTON (AP) -- It would take a surprise, last-round knockout to keep Mike Tyson from getting a boxing license in Washington. The judges' scorecards are already well in his favor going into Tuesday's public hearing.

Kuchar wins Honda Classic by two strokes
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- Matt Kuchar could have done this years ago.

Rangers pull out last minute win
NEW YORK -- Sandy McCarthy scored with 45.5 seconds left to give the New York Rangers a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night in a game where all the goals were scored with less than six minutes remaining.

Drowsy in Dayton as NCAA begins
DAYTON, Ohio -- C'mon in, Alcorn State and Siena. Lace 'em up and learn firsthand what it's like to play in the only NCAA tournament game that inspires more dread than dreams.

Clippers creep toward playoffs with victory over Timberwolves
MINNEAPOLIS -- Darius Miles had three soaring dunks among his 20 points Monday night, and the Los Angeles Clippers crept closer to a playoff berth with a 108-99 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Huggins goes soft on Bearcats
CINCINNATI -- Four strands of white nylon net drooped from the rim, waiting to be snipped in the final act of a championship celebration.

Gonzaga steamed about NCAA seeding
SPOKANE, Wash. -- A No. 6 seed in the NCAA basketball tournament means Gonzaga is still struggling for respect, forward Zach Gourde says.

Tourney seeding close to home
INDIANAPOLIS -- The first NCAA tournament that tried to keep teams closer to home features two old hands and two first-timers in the top spots.

Big 12, SEC favorites lose conference finals
Big 12 Conference At Kansas City, Mo. ChampionshipAtlantic Coast Conference At Charlotte, N.C. ChampionshipSoutheastern ConferenceBig Ten Conference At Indianapolis Championship

Photo feature: Enjoying the view
A cow moose pauses while browsing on the bluff in Kenai shortly after the sun set behind Mount Redoubt Friday night. The peninsula is receiving nearly 12 hours of daylight again.

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