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Thursday, March 22, 2001

Ketchikan borough takes step to assist veneer plant
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly took steps Monday to approve a new loan for owners of a troubled veneer plant.

White Pass Railroad to delay scheduled service to Carcross
SKAGWAY (AP) -- The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad says it plans to delay indefinitely scheduled service from this historic Gold Rush city to the Yukon community of Carcross.

Panel investigating ACS decision to stop building new phone lines
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Regulatory Commission of Alaska is investigating whether Alaska Communication Systems is violating any rules by refusing to build new phone lines in Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Brothers killed in Kodiak vehicle accident
KODIAK (AP) -- Two Kodiak teen-agers were killed and one was critically injured early Wednesday after the Jeep Cherokee they were riding in swerved off a road, rolled over and landed upside down in Pillar Creek.

Man charged in Anchorage paintball attack
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 20-year-old man was charged with seven counts of misdemeanor assault Tuesday in connection with paintball shootings Jan. 14 that targeted Alaska Natives.

Judge rules Anchorage curfew unconstitutional
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A state judge has declared Anchorage's curfew law for teenagers unconstitutional.

Sexually transmitted disease rates on the rise
ANCHORAGE -- Rates of sexually transmitted diseases in Alaska are rising as health care workers increase efforts to test patients and notify sexual partners who could be infected.

Opening statements presented in Ketchikan murder trial
KETCHIKAN -- Attorneys presented opening statements Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of Matthew Cook Jr., charged with stabbing Harold James Trout to death 15 months ago.

On the fly: Club teaches students to tie their own
KENAI (AP) -- Fifth-grader Justin Smith's ''monster'' fly might not be added to the catalogue of Alaska fly patterns any time soon, but the Nikiski Elementary School fifth-grader's creation has opened the world of fly fishing to a new generation of anglers.

Five Kodiak teens credited with rescue in fatal accident
KODIAK (AP) -- Five Kodiak teens are credited with rescuing a group of other teens whose Jeep Cherokee swerved off a road and plunged into Pillar Creek early Wednesday.

Longer season and lower prices mean good year for halibut consumers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- If you haven't heard -- and that seems unlikely -- the halibut harvest began Thursday, so fresh flatfish from local grocers and fishmongers awaits.

McClatchy lowers profit forecast
NEW YORK (AP) -- McClatchy Co., a newspaper publisher based in Sacramento, Calif., is expecting lower profits in the first quarter of this year as advertising revenues soften and newsprint costs rise.

Senate bill would set up victims' rights office
JUNEAU (AP) --The state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would set up a state office of victims' rights.

Aleutian goose is off the threatened list
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Aleutian Canada Goose has returned from the brink of extinction and has been lifted from the federal government's threatened species list.

Bill would send some Permanent Fund earnings to communities
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill that would send some Permanent Fund earnings to communities to pay for local projects cleared its first House committee Tuesday.

Norton wants to address national park maintenance backlog
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Bush administration is serious about addressing the nearly $5 billion maintenance backlog in national parks, Interior Secretary Gale Norton says. But she also wants parks to be managed better.

Both sides increase ANWR lobbying in Washington
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Both sides in the battle over oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge may wish they could reach every household in America with their messages.

Second Cordova cruise tax recount on hold
CORDOVA (AP) -- Cordova residents will have to wait to find out whether voters approved a $5-per-passenger cruise-ship tax in a recent election.

Owls are on the prowl around Alaska. Hoo has an owl box?
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- It should come as no surprise that a boreal owl has been hanging out at Al Blahuta's miniature horse farm off Steele Creek Road just north of town. After all, Blahuta offers free room and board.

Another developer withdraws from Hatcher Pass ski project
WASILLA (AP) -- The latest plan for a ski resort at Hatcher Pass has fallen through, in part because the developer determined a ski area alone wouldn't make any money.

World of fine dining discovers 'white kings'
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- White-fleshed king salmon are native to certain rivers of Southeast Alaska and Canada -- the Taku, the Chilkat, the Quesnel.

Minority groups call for more action on paintball attack, racism
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Leaders of minority groups say state and federal authorities must do more in reaction to a paintball attack on Alaska Natives in downtown Anchorage and other examples of racial injustice.

NANA profits again top $5 million
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- NANA Regional Corp. posted a $5.1 million profit in 2000, down 2.5 percent from a year earlier, the company's annual report says.

Army gets new replacement trucks
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Army is getting 373 new medium tactical trucks this spring at a cost of $51.2 million.

Clam farming banned on bottom and beaches of Kachemak Bay
KENAI (AP) -- Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer has signed new regulations banning shellfish farming on the beaches and sea floor of Kachemak Bay and the Fox River Flats.

Man killed in Anchorage vehicle accident identified
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage police released the name of the man who died in a vehicle accident Monday night on Gambell Street.

Release of census figures marks start of redistricting effort
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Armed with figures from the 2000 Census, the Alaska Redistricting Board has 30 days to draft a new political map for the state.

Knowles pushing bill to provide cancer treatment
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles tried to drum up support Wednesday for a bill that would pay for breast and cervical cancer treatment for some women who lack insurance.

Southeast Food Bank faces closure
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Southeast Alaska Food Bank will close at the end of the month because it has no money to rent operating space.

Brothers killed in Kodiak vehicle accident
KODIAK (AP) -- Two Kodiak teen-agers were killed and one was critically injured early Wednesday after the Jeep Cherokee they were riding in swerved off a road, rolled over and landed upside down in Pillar Creek.

Legislative leaders take aim at halibut charter IFQs
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Four leading state legislators are opposing a plan to establish individual fishing quotas for halibut charter boat operators.

Senate passes bill that would award diplomas to vets
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would let the state award diplomas to World War II veterans who didn't finish high school.

Anchorage sees 30 percent jump in Native population
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Maggie Irrigoo made the move from Nome to Anchorage seven years ago, following her children who came to the state's largest city for work.

Delta boy killed when vehicle strikes dead moose
NORTH POLE (AP) -- A Delta boy was killed Tuesday night when the car he was in riding struck a dead moose, Alaska State Troopers said.

Census shows Fairbanks saw slow growth
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Fairbanks grew at about half the statewide rate during the past decade, making it the slowest-growing urban area in Alaska, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Man critically injured in drilling platform accident
KENAI (AP) -- A Kasilof man was critically injured in a weekend accident on Forest Oil Corp.'s Osprey drilling platform in Cook Inlet.

Business finds low-cost power 200 feet down
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- With energy rates rising, Brian McGovern was nervous about his plans to double the size of his print shop. He thought long about the heating bills, which are already hitting $500 a month at his existing downtown Insty Prints business.

New technology tries to bring trust to Web transactions
The Internet brought us shopping from our personal computers. Now a Kansas company says its going to make that shopping safer, and more convenient, with a first-of-a-kind set of tools that includes online payment, escrow and shipping to and from home or office.

The bad news hasn't yet sunk in
NEW YORK (AP) -- For people who'd turn blue were an errant wind to blow away a $20 bill, investors seem remarkably detached, even blase, about seeing more than $4 trillion in equity assets disappear into the air.

ACS phone line decision draws fire
'I cannot afford to wait any longer for phone service, as this is an expected part of running any business.'

State was warned of $14 billion Big Dig price tag in 1994, report says
BOSTON (AP) -- Big Dig officials were warned as early as 1994 that the Boston highway project would probably cost $14 billion, but kept reporting an $8 billion price tag, according to a state report issued Tuesday.

Business Briefs
Homer Electric will supply power to BP plantSeward hosts economic forumSoldotna Chamber Plans outdoor show boothFood forum planned in HomerAllstate recognizes local firmWells Fargo Home Mortgage posts record earningsKAKM plans Sheldon documentaryKnorr, Bird honoredMicro Loan sources listed

Savings bonds, CDs and money funds are alternatives for savers with stock market jitters
NEW YORK (AP) -- If the ups and downs of the stock market are making you queasy about your savings, there are alternatives from inflation-indexed U.S. Savings Bonds to bank certificates of deposit and money market mutual funds that can provide some earnings stability.

Leading indicators drop 0.3 percent, though index does not signal recession
NEW YORK (AP) -- A key gauge of economic activity fell 0.3 percent in February, but the U.S. economy so far has avoided slipping into a recession, the Conference Board said Thursday.

Winter tourism numbers may be on decline again
PHOENIX -- Experts say it's too early to tell conclusively how Arizona fared with winter visitors this season, but occupancy levels at recreational vehicle and mobile home parks suggest the state's annual gathering of snowbirds may be on the decline.

The anchor of your finances: A home.
NEW YORK (AP) -- As stocks tank and investors wander in the wasteland, they might pause to give thanks for having made at least one great investments. They may in fact be sitting in it as they read this.

U.S. markets mixed, Europe lower while Tokyo soars
NEW YORK (AP) -- Investors pushed stocks lower Wednesday, once again expressing their disappointment over the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy.

New IRA rules benefit retirees
DENVER (AP) -- The Internal Revenue Service has significantly simplified the rules that require retirees to start taking money out of their traditional IRAs and qualified retirement plans.

Around the Peninsula
Chamber luncheon todayComputer classes offeredKDLL board meeting slatedChurch to hold saleSoldotna Day Aglow slatedKBEA scholarship applications availableBoys and Girls Club offers class Marine guide offered to boat owners

Community Calendar
The Community Calendar lists events and meetings of nonprofit organizations. Deadline for submissions is noon the preceding day. To have your event listed, or to change information, call 283-7551 or fax 283-3299.

Around the Peninsula
Planning committee meeting slatedSoldotna Day Aglow slatedKBEA scholarship applications available Boys and Girls Club offers classMarine guide offered to boat owners

Community Calendar
The Community Calendar lists events and meetings of nonprofit organizations. Deadline for submissions is noon the preceding day. To have your event listed, or to change any information, call 283-7551 or fax 283-3299.

Soldotna to get new 63 room hotel with pool
Construction is scheduled to begin in June on a 63 room Aspen Hotel in downtown Soldotna, according to Carol Giliam, Vice President of the Alaskan hotel chain. The hotel is scheduled to

Few voters show up for Soldotna's recently held mayoral election
There was a very low turn out last month as voters went to the poles in Soldotna to elect a new Mayor to replace Ken Lancaster who was elected last fall to the state House of Representatives. 289 out of some 2,800 registered voters in the city of Soldotna cast ballots for 5 candidates.

Paul Gray's "Exploring Alaska" TV program starts third season
Producing a local television program is huge undertaking, that is why there are so few locally produced Alaskan TV shows. Hundreds of hours are expended to complete each show. It takes more than someone who is a s

"Caring for the Kenai" offers incentives for science departments
The award winning environmental awareness contest "Caring for the Kenai" (CFK) has been sponsored since 1990 by Unocal Alaska. This year Alaska's newest corporate citizen, Agrium, joins Unocal Alaska as a co-sponsor of the po

Dr. Suess's birthday is annually celebrated at Redoubt Elementary
For the last few years, Sharon Hale, Parent Liaison at Redoubt Elementary School, has taken the occasion of legendary children's author Dr. Suess's birthday to encourage students to have fun reading.

Mayor Bagley proclaims March as American Red Cross Month
Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley joined the rest of the nation last week in officially proclaiming March as American Red Cross Month. According to local Red Cross branch manager, Debra Holle, the Red

Alternate hair color for Alternative School principal
While many school principals are known for getting gray hair from their work, Dennis Dunn, principal at Kenai Alternative School, may be the first to have gone flaming orange from his work.

Outdoors
Sure has been a strange winter for us hearty Alaskans to endure.

The heart of art
Every two years, the Kenai Fine Arts Center in Old Town Kenai features a Kenai Juried Art Exhibition. This year, Cordova resident and show juror Michael Anderson chose a large array of art that captures the heart of area talent.

Art Briefs
Clock makers sought for showPoems sought for contestJuneau to host quilt exhibit

What's Happening
Best Bets, Events and Exhibits, Entertainment, In the Future, Down the Road, Anchorage Events, Films

Senate bill would set up victims' rights office
JUNEAU (AP) --The state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would set up a state office of victims' rights.

Bill would send some Permanent Fund earnings to communities
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill that would send some Permanent Fund earnings to communities to pay for local projects cleared its first House committee Tuesday.

Legislative leaders take aim at halibut charter IFQs
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Four leading state legislators are opposing a plan to establish individual fishing quotas for halibut charter boat operators.

Food city 500
When: 1 p.m. Sunday

Safety efforts should be openly discussed
ATLANTA -- Ford teams are unhappy with the rules on the Winston Cup Series circuit, and their problems aren't likely to be addressed any time soon.

MONEY LEADERS
Money leaders in the Winston Cup series.

Schedule
Winston Cup racing schedule

Photos back on table
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Lawyers for Dale Earnhardt's widow and the Orlando Sentinel were headed back to mediation four days after they reached an agreement over access to the racing star's autopsy photos.

points standings
Point standings so far in the Winston cup series

High ratings validate deal worth billions
ATLANTA -- It's hard to figure out which number is more mind-boggling: The amount Fox Sports paid for NASCAR racing or the current ratings. Either way, the figures exceeded all expectations.

Pet of the Week
The Soldotna Animal Shelter is featuring two young, small, mixed breed dogs this week.

Zero-tolerance policy adopted toward wildlife-harassing dogs
The message is quite simple -- if you love your dog then keep it safe by keeping it home.

Mayoral candidates ready for runoff
With less than one week to go before the special runoff election to determine who will be Soldotna's next mayor, both A. Kearlee Wright and David Carey have stepped up their campaigns.

Tuesday morning power outage darkens Kenai
A malfunctioning relay at Homer Electric Association's Marathon Road substation plunged the core of downtown Kenai into darkness shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Overdue kayakers all found safe
Four kayakers reported overdue were located safe in Thumb Cove on the east side of Resurrection Bay Monday by the tour boat Coastal Explorer.

Photo feature: High perch
Scott Dolan watches his children play on the beach with his dog Cole from a sunny spot on the bluff in Kenai Wednesday afternoon.

Prison measure moving along
Legislation designating the Kenai Peninsula Borough

Injured Osprey Platform worker in critical condition
A Kasilof man was in critical condition Tuesday following injuries sustained on a Cook Inlet oil platform.

Soldotna man found guilty of assault, 3 counts of sexual abuse
A 48-year-old Soldotna man was found guilty of three counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of third-degree assault Friday at the Kenai Courthouse.

Ninilchik woman donates her hair
Do you have any spare hair to share?

Census numbers show population rise
The numbers are rolling in.

Early halibut flood market
Good weather and the promise of high prices set the 2001 halibut season off in a rush.

Nikiski murder goes to trial
One year after his gun shots took the life of one individual and wounded three others, Zebulon E. Nudson, 23, of Nikiski, finds his life resting in the hands of 14 individuals -- a jury of his peers.

Betsy E. Sears
Former Kenai resident Betsy E. (Sneesby) Sears died March 17, 2001, in Wasilla. She was 89.

Brenda "Kay" Watkins
Former Funny River resident Brenda "Kay" Watkins died Monday, March 19, 2001, at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was 56.

Has economic wizard lost his magic when it comes to forecasting financial future?
WASHINGTON -- When George W. Bush was asked during a campaign debate last October how he would handle a stock market crash or other major financial crisis, his answer was straightforward: first call Alan Greenspan.

World begins to warm to Alaska's winter fun
What time of year does this sound like?

Applause
Community support means kids can learn life skills on BB court

Financial sky not falling; market undergoing natural adjustment
Chicken Little Democrats are clucking that the financial sky is falling and it's all President Bush's fault. The talking points have gone out from Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee: Blame

Versatile clothing a real catch for anglers, outdoorsmen
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Fishing vests, with all those pockets, are a fisherman's dream, assuming all the pockets are in the right place and open on demand.

World of fine dining discovers 'white kings'
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- White-fleshed king salmon are native to certain rivers of Southeast Alaska and Canada -- the Taku, the Chilkat, the Quesnel.

Owls are on the prowl around Alaska. Hoo has an owl box?
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- It should come as no surprise that a boreal owl has been hanging out at Al Blahuta's miniature horse farm off Steele Creek Road just north of town. After all, Blahuta offers free room and board.

Can SoHi's defense crash Thunderbirds?
When the Soldotna High School boys basketball team takes the floor tonight against East High School in the Alaska School Activities Association 4A State Championships at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, the Stars will be relying on what has become their bread and butter this season -- solid man-to-man defense.

Bring it on - District 3/2A cagers begin battle for region supremacy
In high school basketball, with kids shuffling in and out of school every four years, it's hard to set up an operation of complete, long-term domination.

Texas Tech will offer job to Knight
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Legendary coach Bob Knight will be offered the job as the men's head basketball coach at Texas Tech, university chancellor John T. Montford told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on Thursday.

Seward takes on Valdez
The Seahawks open the tournament against Valdez in what has the potential to be the closest game of the tournament.

Run 'n' gun replaces fun 'n' sun for 'Dawgs
While other students and their families from the Kenai Peninsula were booking exotic spring break trips to Hawaii and Mazatlan, the Nikiski High School girls basketball team had a closer -- but just as exciting -- destination in mind: four days and nights in Anchorage for the Alaska School Activities Association State Basketball Championships.

Last state trip left Kenai girls hungry
Two years ago, when the Kenai girls basketball team made a shocking run to the state tournament, the state tournament games themselves were icing on the cake.

Sports Briefs
Panthers place well in SoldotnaKnight edges closer to Texas Tech job Indiana sticks with Davis

Knights take tourney opener
The Community Christian School girls basketball team opened up the Region II District 3/2A tournament with a win Wednesday, defeating Bristol Bay 64-25 at Homer High School.

Louisville wins Pitino derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Rick Pitino became Louisville's basketball coach Wednesday, returning to the state where he won a national championship in 1996.

State journey fulfills dreams for area teams
I don't know if I am jealous or just impressed. The Kenai Kardinals and Nikiski Bulldogs girls basketball teams along with the Soldotna Stars boys are going to experience the journey of a lifetime -- a trip to the Alaska state championship basketball tournaments.

Sports Briefs
Gemmell, Petersen finish with strong swimsMidnight Sun spikers notch successful winterPlushchenko takes short program over Yagudin

Kwan, Slutskaya top qualifying groups
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Michelle Kwan fought off the distraction of a broken boot during warmups to lead a U.S. sweep of the top three spots in their qualifying group Wednesday night at the World Figure Skating Championships.

Suzuki homers, doubles twice for Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki is catching on about life in the majors. He's also catching up with the pitching.

Texas Tech will offer job to Knight
Legendary coach Bob Knight will be offered the job as the men's head basketball coach at Texas Tech, university chancellor John T. Montford told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on Thursday.

Islanders beat Blues in OT
ST. LOUIS -- Roman Hamrlik scored 23 seconds into overtime as the New York Islanders spoiled Al MacInnis' return to the St. Louis Blues lineup with a 4-3 victory Tuesday night.

Boilermakers beat Auburn 79-61 in NIT second round
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Maynard Lewis scored 16 points and Purdue made eight 3-pointers in a 79-61 victory over Auburn in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday night.

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