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Saturday, March 12, 2005

With immunity, Canseco ready to face Congress
WASHINGTON — Jose Canseco is willing to tell all before a congressional committee looking into steroids in baseball, but first he wants assurances he won't get in trouble for what he says.

Titanic-recovery technology ready for anglers eyeing smaller catch
EUFAULA, Ala. — Side-imaging sonar, technology used to locate the wreckage of the Titanic deep in the North Atlantic, is now available to anglers who just want to find a good fishing hole.

Lower 48 trappers want to cash in on fur revival
DALLAS (AP) — To the dismay of animal activists, fur is hot again. Texas trappers, though dwindling in number, are ready to cash in.

Gebhardt first to Yukon
Kasilof musher Paul Gebhardt and his team of 16 hard-charging huskies continue to lead this year's Iditarod despite innumerable obstacles and adversities.

Gebhardt has Iditarod lead
ANCHORAGE — Rick Swenson, the only five-time winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, dropped out of the running Thursday — the first time he's scratched from the 1,100-mile trek to Nome in 29 years on the trail.

Borough could save money by cutting back on handouts
How can we solve the sales tax increase and money problems?

What impact will veneer plant have on air and water?
I was surprised that the March 6 Clarion article about proposed laminated veneer and fiberboard plants on the Peninsula did not mention potential air or water quality impacts. Is anyone asking these questions?

Numerous community members helped Soldotna children
The following letter was submitted by Kathi Overpeck, administrative assistant at the Abundant Life Assembly of God church in Sterling:

Speculation is ChevronTexaco interested in acquiring company
Rumors that ChevronTexaco is interested in acquiring Unocal Corp. have left many economists, analysts and other experts unclear about what that could mean for Unocal's operations in the Cook Inlet basin.

Engineer picked to lead study for Pebble Mine
An engineer with an extensive background in mining has been appointed to direct and complete an ongoing feasibility study for Northern Dynasty Minerals Limited's Pebble Mine project, the company announced in a press release Tuesday.

Hardly used?
A sign on Rick Wood's snowmachine and the temperature reading at Kenai Auto Thursday morning suggests spring is on the way. Forecasters are calling for showers today with highs around the same as in the photo.

Annoyance calls drop following Fish and Game program
Susan Carr, a resident of Valhalla Heights in Kenai, said she has had bears in her neighborhood forever. But it reached a point where she, and others in her neighborhood, saw the bears as a growing danger.

Federal cuts blow cops' cover
Due to budget cuts made by President George W. Bush, there will no longer be a Soldotna police officer working as an undercover drug task force officer on the Kenai Peninsula. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice said the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance (Byrne Formula Grant Program) has been completely discontinued. 2004 was the final year of funding.

Daniel F. Murphy
Soldotna resident Daniel F. Murphy died Wednesday, March 2, 2005, at his home. He was 64.

State must treat peninsula fairly
As legislators consider school funding, they should be prepared to tell Kenai Peninsula residents why their students are valued at less than students in other parts of the state. For years, study after study has told legislators that very thing, but legislators have turned a deaf ear to the message.

Legislature needs to increase education spending in borough
At the March 7 school board meeting the school board unanimously passed a resolution urging the Alaska State Legislature to implement the changes recommended in the recently-released Alaska School District Cost Study Update produced by ISER. If the results of this study were enacted, it could result in an additional $10 million per year to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. To phrase it another way, the amount of state money allocated to educate kids on the expansive, geographically diverse Kenai Peninsula would increase from $ 46.1 million to $ 56.3 million, or an increase of 19 percent.

Hard-core rock climbers don't let winter stand in their way
BEND, Ore. — A little snow has never bothered rock climbers Ian Caldwell and Darryn Meade. If necessary, the Redmond couple will dig out snow at the base of a climb. But what about all that snow falling on their faces as they ascend the rock?

Outdoor Briefs
Kachemak ski club plans racesWinter salmon derby slated for March 19

Author relocates to Alaska to write, mush
ANCHORAGE — Writer Gary Paulsen left the Hollywood party scene years ago for a less glamorous life.

Around the Peninsula
Dance concert slatedTeen dance slatedLittle League begins registrationPSDRA plans fund-raiser raceRogers benefit dinner planned

Good coaching drives Christians to final days
A term many people are familiar in the month of March is "March Madness." Unless one is a follower of basketball, this might seem more like a sequel of a horror movie.

Church Briefs
Prophetic seminar setDrama troupe formingBible study group to meetClothes 2 Go openClothing availableChurch production slatedEaster services plannedGuest planned for Sunday

Eagles boys stifle Nikolaevsk offense
The Cook Inlet Academy boys high school basketball team advanced to the championship game of the Peninsula Conference tournament, using a smothering defense to defeat Nikolaevsk 50-32 Thursday in the Soldotna Middle School gymnasium.

Miller closes in on World Cup overall title
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland — Bode Miller felt good during the final World Cup downhill of the season.

Armstrong affirms support for NYC
MONTELIMAR, France (AP) — Lance Armstrong backpedaled a bit Thursday, saying that while he backed Paris for the 2012 Olympics, New York City was ''the bid of my heart.''

Nikolaevsk ends CIA girls' season
The fifth-seeded Nikolaevsk Warriors ended the Cook Inlet Academy Eagles girls basketball season Thursday with a 37-33 win at Soldotna Middle School.

Favre returns to Pack
Brett Favre is returning to work. Plaxico Burress is still looking for a job.

Campbell takes two-shot lead in Honda Classic
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Chad Campbell warmed up as the weather did.

Wood heads back to Chicago for tests
While Cubs ace Kerry Wood headed back to Chicago for tests on his right shoulder, teammate Mark Prior made his first start of spring training.

NCAA selection committee faces daunting task
The few puffs of smoke emanating from the NCAA tournament selection committee so far suggest their room-service tab at a downtown Indianapolis hotel this weekend will be enormous.

West Virginia upsets BC in Big East tourney
NEW YORK — Mike Gansey scored 21 points and West Virginia hung on to upset No. 7 Boston College 78-72 in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament Thursday, ruining the Eagles' bid for a final conference championship.

O'Neal takes down Timberwolves
MIAMI — Shaquille O'Neal had 33 points, and the Miami Heat rode an 18-2 second-half surge to a seventh straight victory, 107-90 Thursday night over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Do long tails tell the tale? Reported mountain lion sightings in the news
In the summer of 2001, two seasonal staff members on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge were together driving down Swanson River Road. Suddenly, on the road ahead of them appeared an unusual animal. After crossing the road, it paused in the vegetation at the edge of the road long enough for them to get a good look at the animal, which they described as a large, long, brown cat with a long tail. They claimed that it definitely was not a wolf, coyote, or lynx.

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