Friday, March 17, 2000

Statehood defense money deleted from supplemental budget
JUNEAU (AP) -- Money aimed at defending Alaska's statehood rights against the federal government was pulled from a supplemental spending bill Thursday after Attorney General Bruce Botelho said he never asked for the politically controversial funding.

Local 71 members ratify contract, await budget decision
JUNEAU (AP) -- Members of Public Employees Local 71 have ratified a new labor contract their leaders negotiated with the state in January.

State finds electrical problems in Whittier tunnel
An inspection of the Whittier Tunnel has turned up electrical code violations that could have, in a worst-case scenario, led to explosions, fire, electrocution and possible asphyxiation from toxic fumes in the tunnel, state officials say.

Iditarod Trail gets $20,000
KENAI (AP) -- Alaska's Iditarod Trail has won a $20,000 grant as part of a nationwide Millennium Trails program.

Police say caregiver kept murder victim in slum-like conditions
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Weeks before his death David Haynes was living in slum-like conditions without running water while his unlicensed care givers had full access to his bank account, according to Fairbanks Police.

Appeals court rejects Exxon appeal of $5 billion verdict
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected an appeal by Exxon Corp. on the $5 billion Exxon Valdez verdict handed down by a jury nearly six years ago.

West Coast Democrats ask for ban on North Slope oil exports
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Some congressional Democrats from the West Coast are proposing that the Clinton administration reinstate the ban on exports of Alaska North Slope crude oil as a way of reducing soaring gasoline prices.

New manager named for Innoko wildlife refuge
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Innoko National Wildlife Refuge in the western Interior is getting a new manager.

Earthquake shakes Aleutians
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A light earthquake shook the eastern Aleutians Wedneday, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

Knowles signs college savings bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- Parents will soon have a new way to save for their children's college education.

Carrs killer gets robbery sentence
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Jon Woodard, the man serving a 66-year sentence for the 1992 murder of a Loomis guard at an Anchorage Carrs supermarket won't have to serve extra time for the robbery that precipitated the killing.

Light earthquake reported near Kodiak
PALMER (AP) -- A light earthquake Thursday afternoon was felt on Kodiak Island.

Game Board approves wolf hunting from snowmachines
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Shooting wolves from a moving snowmachine will be legal starting next winter in selected areas of Alaska.

Anchorage man arrested for smuggling Ecstasy
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 33-year-old Anchorage man has been charged with federal drug violations for allegedly trying to smuggle the drug known as Ecstasy into the state.

Two arrested in Sitka drug raid
SITKA (AP) -- John E. Lucas, 55, of Sitka and Michael E. Eells, 45, of Port Alexander were arraigned Thursday on drug trafficking charges.

Youth who escaped from McLaughlin Youth Center captured
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A teen who escaped from the McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage Wednesday was apprehended early Thursday, Anchorage police said.

Nearly three-quarters of Flight 261 wreckage recovered
PORT HUENEME, Calif. (AP) -- Having pulled about three-quarters of the wreckage of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 from the Pacific Ocean, investigators are close to wrapping up recovery operations.

House panel OKs land grant for university
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House Resources Committee approved legislation Wednesday giving the University of Alaska up to 500,000 acres of federal land and providing at least $70 million in federal grants to the Pribilof Islands.

Alaska's fast ferries won't resemble rejected Canadian vessels
JUNEAU (AP) -- State officials say there is little resemblance between fast ferries proposed for Alaska and those now used in the waters of British Columbia, which will be sold because of continuing problems.

Sportfish advocate appointed to federal fisheries board
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles has appointed one of his biggest political backers to a position on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Bob Penney of Anchorage is a strong supporter of sportfishing interests.

Environmental groups target British Columbia logging
JUNEAU (AP) -- Five environmental groups filed a complaint Wednesday with an international regulatory commission claiming the government of British Columbia has allowed logging practices that destroy fish habitat.

Propane leaks from tank on cargo vessel after rough trip
KODIAK (AP) -- Rough seas tore a 9,000-gallon propane tank from its cradle on a cargo vessel and caused the tank to start leaking, according to the Coast Guard.

Palmer, Fairbanks girls to represent state at national spelling bee
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two 14-year-old girls will represent Alaska at the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C. in May.

State unemployment remains low in February
Alaska's statewide unemployment rate remained low in February, according to the Alaska Department of Labor. The monthly jobless rate of 7.5 percent was the lowest ever recorded for the month of February, said John Boucher, a state labor economist.

Tanana Chiefs delegates question Knowles
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles left Fairbanks with a silvery wolf parka ruff after his address to delegates of the Tanana Chiefs Conference annual convention Tuesday afternoon.

Man crushed to death between barge and dock
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Chignik Lagoon man died Thursday of injuries suffered when he was crushed between a barge being moored and the Chignik city dock, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Quake shakes Interior
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A light earthquake shook the Interior early Wednesday.

Anchorage man accused of having child pornography
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man has been indicted on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, along with charges related to marijuana growing and selling, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Jury returns murder verdict against man accused of killing best friend
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks jury found a 26-year-old man guilty of murder this week in the stabbing death of his best friend.

Unruly man breaks into plane's cockpit, attacks pilot
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- An unruly and incoherent man apparently broke into the cockpit of an Alaska Airlines jet Thursday and attacked a pilot during a flight from Mexico to San Francisco, according to an airline spokesman.

Juneau teen returns with new heart
JUNEAU (AP) -- Fourteen-year-old Chrysantha Bradley returned to Juneau on Wednesday with a heart nearly twice her age.

Tanana Chiefs vote to end ban on alcohol sales at Fairbanks tribal hall
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Tanana Chiefs Conference has lifted a ban on alcohol sales at the Chief Peter John Tribal Hall here in efforts to operate the building at a profit.

Stevens says new merger agreement could save jobs
JUNEAU (AP) -- The sale of Arco Alaska Inc. assets to Phillips Petroleum Co. is a step toward allowing critical exploration to move forward in Alaska, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens said Thursday in his annual address to the Legislature.

British Columbia scrapping its fast ferry program
VANCOUVER (AP) -- The British Columbia government will find it almost impossible to sell its troubled fast ferry fleet, an international ferry expert said Tuesday.

Driver sentenced in death of Native leader
JUNEAU (AP) -- The man who caused the death of a Juneau Native leader in a car crash will serve six to 12 months in jail if a plea agreement worked out with prosecutors is accepted by a Superior Court judge.

Reaction generally favorable to BP Amoco-Phillips deal
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Phillips Petroleum Co.'s purchase of Arco Alaska Inc. generally met with approval in the state, though some watchers offered a more guarded outlook until they learn more about Phillips' North Slope plans.

Sheldon Jackson trustees vote to stay open
SITKA (AP) -- The Sheldon Jackson College Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to keep the private four-year institution in operation while it goes through a reorganization to stem financial losses.

GOP majority rejects minority budget amendments
Republicans in the House used their superior numbers Wednesday to block money for the University of Alaska, aid to local government, rural power subsidies and international trade development.

Al Adams, others elected to NANA board
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- State Sen. Al Adams is one of four new members of the board of the NANA Regional Corp.

Alyeska reaches settlement with state over 1996 leak
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. has reached a settlement with the state Department of Environmental Conservation over a 1996 oil leak along the trans-Alaska pipeline, Alyeska officials announced Wednesday.

Endurance cyclist meets his match on the Iditarod Trail
NOME (AP) -- Endurance cyclist Pat Norwil met his match on the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail.

Boeing exec: Striking workers harming company's reputation
SEATTLE -- A top Boeing Co. executive this week called on striking engineers to stop ''maliciously attacking our company and deliberately trying to destroy our reputation'' by writing letters to airlines, government officials and colleges.

Business briefs
Cook Inlet Region Inc. earned $57.4 million in 1999, up 14.3 percent from net income of $50.2 million in 1998. Its 2000 gross revenues were $297 million.

Around the Peninsula
Assistance for Census 2000 being offered

Community Calendar
LIO Schedule

Iditarod National Historic Trail lands big grant
One part of the Iditarod Trail is for racing. But the entire 938-mile stretching from Seward to Nome, the Iditarod National Historic Trail, is a chunk of Alaska history dating back thousands of years that recently captured $20,000 in attention from the American Express Company.

Art Briefs
Art Briefs

What's happening
Best Bets

Knowles nominates 2 to fishery council
JUNEAU (AP) -- Outgoing Fish and Game Department Deputy Commissioner David Benton and Kenai River sportfishing activist Bob Penney are Gov. Tony Knowles' choices for seats on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Nudson bail appeal rejected
Protection of the public and the death of an individual weighed heavy in Kenai District Court Judge David S. Landry's decision Thursday to refuse Zebulon Eugene Nudson's request for a $200,000 bail reduction.

Governor touts 'Children's Budget'
Gov. Tony Knowles says the future of Alaska rests with the the state's children.

Protesters upstage Knowles appearance
Salmon may not have been on the menu at Paradisos Restaurant Thursday, but it was certainly on the minds of the people holding picket signs outside.

Photo Feature: Spill-proofing
Scott Shirnberg chips ice from his driveway in Kenai Wednesday afternoon.

Parks funding remains intact
Services at state parks on the Kenai Peninsula and around the state may suffer if cuts that have cleared the State House hold up in the Senate.

St. Patrick's Day events
Forget slush. Soldotna is green today with special events the Greater Soldotna Chamber of Commerce has organized honoring Saint Patrick's Day.

Soldotna readies St. Patrick's Day festivities
Mike Sweeney is, without doubt, the biggest leprechaun in Soldotna.

Borough leaders look to pipeline opportunity
Company officials say it is too early to predict the Cook Inlet effects of Phillips Petroleum Co.'s impending purchase of Arco Alaska Inc., but local leaders have high hopes.

Justin Allen Meireis
Nikiski Resident Justin Allen Meireis died Sunday, March 12, 2000, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 19.

Mollie M. Deaver
Longtime Alaska resident Mollie M. Deaver died Wednesday, March 15, 2000, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 93.

Conditions vary across times, trails
Bitter-cold temperatures, snow and competitive high school and middle school cross-country skiing are fast disappearing at this time of the year.

Despite low prices and fur protesters, many in Lower 48 still run trap lines
FORT BENTON, Mont. (AP) -- Mornings, autumn through winter, find Don Judkins tending his trap line.

Mountain biking in the snow's a 'hoot'
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) -- It's winter. It's cold. You're cross-country skiing or maybe snowmobiling up a frosty creek bottom trail when you look ahead and see Emmett Purcell riding his mountain bike. What the ...?

Minnesota legislators consider allowing lighted lure
ST. PAUL (AP) -- Using lights to lure fish long has been illegal in Minnesota, but Dan Foss of Apple Valley, inventor of the GloJig, hopes fishing-crazy lawmakers soon will change all that.

Mount Marathon not for the sane, faint of heart
It was about 11 p.m. Friday when, along with cold, boredom and fatigue, an unfortunate bout with reason finally set in.

RV historian tracks American vacationers' trails
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -

Seward's gym ready to rock with District 3/3A mayhem
The District 3/3A high school basketball tournament tips off today at Seward High School in a gym termed intimate by some and intimidating by others.

Big game suits Soldotna Stars
The Soldotna High School boys basketball team came out firing Thursday at the Region III/4A Championships in Palmer.

Change is a good thing for Kenai's Beeson
He was stuck in a rut and needed something fresh. He was tired of boys turning up ineligible. He knew the girls had more talent. He didn't want to coach the same boys in basketball that he had in football.

Sports Briefs
Last Coach's Show of season tonight

Seahawks upset by Houston girls
The Houston High School girls basketball team pulled off an upset Thursday, beating Seward 52-49 in the Seahawks' gym in the opening round of the District 3/3A Championship.

Boys first round has intriguing matchups
If the regular season is any indication, there shouldn't be any gimmies once the Region III/4A boys tournament starts today in Palmer.

Let the madness begin
Listen to Palmer girls coach Lyle Busbey talk, and it's no wonder girls teams from Region III/4A have claimed six of the last nine Class 4A state championships.

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