Monday, March 24, 2003

Fairbanks borough eyes jobs cuts
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- About a dozen Fairbanks North Star Borough jobs could be cut due to budget reductions, according to the borough's personnel director.

Panel may lower priority for Anchorage's coastal trail
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The committee that decides transportation priorities for Anchorage served notice Thursday it may bump the proposed extension of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail from near the top of the trail-building list to a far lower ranking.

Fish and Game takes step toward predator control in McGrath
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Employees of the Department of Fish and Game will conduct spotting flights near McGrath to provide trappers with information on where to find wolves, the agency said Friday, announcing a predator control program for the Interior village.

Death claims flamboyant Fan Man
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- To his friends, he was James Miller, gentle and fun-loving, passionate about hiking, mountain climbing, and above all, flight.

Mobile mammography van heading for Latin America
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A mobile clinic that's provided mammograms to more than 10,000 women across Alaska is being sent to Central America because new federal regulations say its X-ray dosage is too high to be used here. A smaller van will replace ''Mollie,'' as the 43-foot van has been called.

State reaches tentative deal with union
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state reached a tentative deal with all but two of its labor unions by a Friday deadline, the governor's office said.

Big Anchorage seafood plant thinks small
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Managers at a big seafood plant built here with state money are recasting the company as a smaller, less ambitious operation.

Alaska faces $30 million bill from fee lawsuit, someday
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state of Alaska faces a bill of nearly $30 million to pay refunds to commercial fishermen from other states who forked over triple the amount paid by Alaskans for the necessary licenses and permits.

Three arrested on crack charges
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Three people have been arrested on drug charges after authorities received a tip that people were making crack cocaine in a local hotel, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Fan man correction
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- In a March 21 story about the death of James Miller, known as the Fan Man for his stunts flying a paraglider, The Associated Press incorrectly reported the last name of Miller's brother. His name is Eric Miller, not Eric Williams.

Port Lions man accused of sexual abuse of girl
KODIAK (AP) -- A Port Lions man has been charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in his household.

Ex-pound dog becomes mushing star
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A young husky mix dog adopted from the Fairbanks North Star Borough's animal shelter has become a star on the junior sprint-mushing race circuit.

Musher experiments with new dog harness design
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A new harness design may help cut down on sled dog injuries, according to a former Iditarod champion.

Congress crafting gas line legislation once again
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Congressional committees are crafting more legislation to promote building a natural gas line from Alaska's North Slope to the Lower 48.

Predator control correction
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- In a March 21 story about , The Associated Press reported erroneously that the Board of Game has set a population target of between 3,000 and 3,500 moose for a 520-square-mile study area near McGrath where predator control measures have been approved.

State wants old sex offender list online
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state is asking a federal judge to reverse a ruling that required authorities to take some sex offenders off a Web site.

War protesters gather in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- About 150 people gathered Thursday in Fairbanks to protest the war in Iraq and more protests are planned for Saturday.

Two indicted on fraud charges
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A federal grand jury has indicted two Alaska men on charges that they defrauded a Veterans Affairs program of $450,000.

Safety net may not catch more seniors
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state's safety nets for older Alaskans may not catch any more needy people if the longevity bonus program is eliminated.

Wasilla man indicted on weapons charges
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Wasilla man who led Alaska State Troopers on a six-hour manhunt in June 2001 was charged by a grand jury last week in U.S. District Court with two counts of being a felon in possession of weapons.

Man indicted on attempted murder charge
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Takory Stern, 19, of Fairbanks was indicted last week on charges of attempted murder and assault in the Sept. 21 shooting of another man in Fairbanks apartment.

Fairbanks rural utility installs backup battery system
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Slightly larger than a computer hard drive, Golden Valley Electric Association's new 160-pound batteries look like a cross between a car battery and a Tupperware suitcase.

Fairbanks man charged with abusing 8-year-old
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 41-year-old Fairbanks man has been charged with having sexual contact with an 8-year-old girl.

Flights help scientists understand sea ice changes
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A NASA airplane flew west out of Fairbanks on Saturday scanning a swath of Alaska's coast to learn how the area's climate is changing.

Silos will be ready on deadline, company pledges
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A clock in Boeing's offices counts the minutes -- down to the nearest tenth of a second -- until Sept. 30, 2004. That's the date Boeing is scheduled to finish its work on the silos at Fort Greely that will house America's new missile defense system.

Glacier Bay fishermen, processors get compensation checks
JUNEAU (AP) -- After more than four years of waiting, fishermen, processors and communities affected by commercial fishing closures in Glacier Bay have started to receive federal compensation.

Trial on hold in Big Lake fire lawsuit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Big Lake fire civil trial is taking two weeks off.

Haines needs volunteers to build playground
HAINES (AP) -- Children in Haines are getting a new playground this summer, and the city of Haines needs volunteers to build it.

Vazquez could miss Expos' opener with bad calf
Montreal ace Javier Vazquez could miss the team's season opener because of a strained calf muscle.

Reds' manager Boone firms up pitching staff
Jimmy Anderson is in the Cincinnati Reds' rotation, Kent Mercker is in the bullpen and Barry Larkin could wind up in the outfield.

Taking on Half Dome: Teen tells of trek up peak
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- Clutching a steel post in my right hand, dangling about 300 feet above the weathered granite of a canyon ledge, I struggled to get a hold on the cliff. The National Park Service notice at the trailhead had said, ''Half Dome cables to be taken down for repair this Sunday.''

NOW PLAYING: Dreamcatcher
Usually, when I go to see a movie adapted from a popular novel, I arrive with a sense of skepticism, the feeling that I will have to lower my standards somewhat in order to fully enjoy the picture.

Busch repeats at Food City 500
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Kurt Busch, a runner-up three times this season, earned his first win of the year Sunday and defended his Food City 500 title by gambling on pit strategy and avoiding all but one of the 17 cautions at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Board of Fish seeks consensus on king issues
ANCHORAGE -- Now it's up to the board. Committee F, the committee tasked with sorting through the management of Kenai and Kasilof early-run king salmon, spent all day Saturday trying to find a consensus on several key issues relating to how the state should manage the two rivers. It wasn't an easy task.

Cuts will affect rec center
Since it was built in 1980, the Kenai Recreation Center has been a popular attraction in Kenai.

Sterling Highway accident kills Anchorage woman
An Anchorage woman was killed Saturday afternoon in a car accident near Anchor Point. Several other individuals also were injured in the collision, which is believed to have been caused by icy road conditions.

Peninsula activists voice concerns of war
The can was open and worms were everywhere as war proponents and antiwar activists met again Saturday to debate their differing ideologies in front of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Building on North Binkley Street in Soldotna.

Democrats say halfway point lacks progress
Alaska House and Senate Democrats noted Wednesday what they called a remarkable lack of progress as the 23rd Legislature nears the halfway point of its first session, and they laid the blame on Gov. Frank Murkowski's proposed budget and the confusion it has caused within the ranks of the majority Republicans.

Security up on peninsula
Although the Kenai Peninsula has received no direct threats related to the war in Iraq, the U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska National Guard and Alaska State Troopers are on heightened awareness for possible trouble.

Residents oppose longevity bonus cut
Longtime Kenai Peninsula residents overwhelmingly oppose the elimination of Alaska's longevity bonus program.

Bertha McCracken
Sterling resident Bertha McCracken died Saturday, March 22, 2003, at home with her family. She was 96.

Nancy Lee Mapes
Soldotna resident Nancy Lee Mapes, known to many as "Granny," died quietly with family present on Tuesday, March 18, 2003, at her home in Soldotna. She was 69.

Josephine 'Jo' Bertha Jarvis
Kenai resident Josephine "Jo" Bertha Jarvis died Saturday, March 8, 2003, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 75.

Big reward helps flush out al-Qaida network
Pakistani authorities have apprehended more than 400 al-Qaida suspects since Sept. 11, 2001. Among them was an obscure Egyptian radical, described as an al-Qaida foot soldier, who surrendered during a raid last month.

Story assignment leads to reflections on discreet discrimination in society
I recently was assigned to cover a story on the Native Youth Olympics, a story that deals with a unique facet of Alaska Native heritage that has transcended time.

War gives Bush new political strength
President Bush is acting forcefully against Iraq in just the political nick of time. And his bold move to go ahead with a war likely will earn him soaring job approval ratings.

Letters to the Editor
Birthday party for Dr. Seuss is wild, wonderful library affairMock Trial Teams say thanks to volunteers for their help4-H appreciates Soldotna resident's time and video expertiseAARP says thanks to all those who participated in Village FairGroups take CAN-do attitude toward conquering hunger

State can no longer ignore budget's red ink, but decisions not easy
My office has had many phone calls, e-mails and faxes critical of the governor's proposed budget cuts.

ANWR arguments need fine-tuning before next round
Last week's defeat in the U.S. Senate of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge provides more proof of the truth that close only counts when it comes to horseshoes and hand grenades.

Photo feature: Mixed message
Signs of spring and evidence of winter come together last week in front of Kenai Peninsula College. Forecasters are calling for a continuation of mixed weather for this week.

Around the Peninsula
Women's sobriety group to meetFlood damage topic at Soldotna chamberFishing group set to meet WednesdayPothast to speak at Kenai chamberNewbould to discuss Caring for the KenaiTraffic study meeting plannedVolunteers sought for Easter musicalTack swap plannedSBDC offers business seminarChild development screening available

Club News
Soldotna Elks table tennis results announced

Peninsula People
Area students named to deans' listsKasilof student named in 'Who's Who'Soldotna woman completes zoological training

Ask a Firefighter
Question: If I am in a public building and there is a fire, what should I do?

Community News
Anchorage High School class of 1953 plans reunion

Around the Peninsula
Nutrition classes continue todayNorth Peninsula rec board to meetWomen invited to brunchKDLL board meets TuesdayOilers offer scholarships for seniorsTack swap plannedSBDC offers business seminarChild development screening available

Hero of the week
My letter is written with the deepest appreciation and thanks to our local Central Emergency Services. What I say here in words cannot compare to what I have experienced so recently.

Krivopustova, Carlyle plan March wedding
Natalya Valeryevna Krivopustova and William Cody Carlyle have announced their plans to marry Saturday, March 29, 2003, at the Advanced Business Service building in Soldotna. Randall Eberline will officiate.

Too much ado about busyness
"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin, real life. Then there was always some obstacle in the way -- something to get through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid -- then life would begin. At last, it dawned on me, that these obstacles were my life." -- Father Alfred D'Souza

Births
Kayla Saltzgiver and Todd MearsBrandy and Ryan Nelson of SoldotnaAngeline Morrill and Matthew Lincoln QuinerVirginia Morgan and Thomas Gossard

Local athletes prepare for Native Youth Olympics
Rigid as a plank, beads of sweat dripping from his brow, T.J. Olick can feel the searing pain in his fatiguing muscles, but he doesn't let it stop him from methodically hopping on his knuckles a few yards more.

My best friend
Logan Parks, 6-year-old grandson of Roy and Sharon Baldwin of Soldotna, takes a break with Kootz, a 13-year-old "puppy." Grandma says just watching the two play makes her tired, too!

'Mouser' improves his lot in life after being shot, rescued
Mouser the cat, now surrounded by a loving family, has a warm house to live in and soft pillows to rest on, but life wasn't always this good for Mouser. He suffered some hard knocks and endured some extensive surgery before his story came to a happy ending.

Schafer leads Wasilla past Crimson Bears
The Warriors survived a battle with the Crimson Bears in the championship semifinals Friday at the Class 4A state tournament, notching a 45-53 victory.

Woods gives a 'so good it's sickening' effort
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Not even a nasty bout of food poisoning could stop Tiger Woods from winning the Bay Hill Invitational for the fourth straight year.

CIA boys, Ninilchik girls take titles
As reigning state champions, the Ninilchik girls and the Cook Inlet boys each came into the District 3/Class 2A basketball tournament at Homer High School as the teams to beat.

Hawks top Pacers
ATLANTA -- Theo Ratliff blocked a potential game-winning dunk by Jermaine O'Neal in the final seconds Saturday night to help the Atlanta Hawks to a 92-89 victory over Indiana, sending the Pacers to their 11th consecutive road loss.

Bulldogs find way to plunder Vikings
ANCHORAGE -- Fearless. Unyielding. Undaunted. Game. This is how Nikiski girls basketball coach Ward Romans instructed his team to play through the Alaska Schools Activities Association State Class 3A tournament. And that's what he got Friday night when the Bulldogs (22-4 overall) defeated Petersburg 43-29 at the Sullivan Arena.

Stars storm to third place
ANCHORAGE -- "That was a different team." These were the pregame words Lathrop head coach Tim Hagedon used to describe his team in a 55-51 home loss to Soldotna in December after blowing a 15-point fourth-quarter lead.

Agassi blows past Chang
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) -- Andre Agassi earned the victory. Michael Chang settled for a curtain call. As the two longtime rivals walked off the stadium court, Agassi graciously took a sideline seat so Chang could bask alone in one last round of applause at Key Biscayne.

Stars capture Pacific crown
DALLAS -- Brenden Morrow scored a pair of first-period goals and Marty Turco had to make only 12 saves in his return from an 18-game absence as the Dallas Stars wrapped up the Pacific Division title with a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.

Sports Briefs
Senette, Besse make all-tournamentSoldotna man takes Winter King tourney

Nikiski takes seventh state championship in 12 years
ANCHORAGE -- They can't always be pretty.

Bulldogs rip Louisville by hitting 14 3-pointers
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A team of blue-collar kids with crew cuts from a tiny Indiana school beat a powerhouse in the big tournament.

Schafer leads Wasilla past Crimson Bears
The Warriors survived a battle with the Crimson Bears in the championship semifinals Friday at the Class 4A state tournament, notching a 45-53 victory.

Spurs blow past Lakers
SAN ANTONIO -- Tim Duncan had 27 points and Tony Parker scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half as the San Antonio Spurs beat Los Angeles 98-89 Sunday for a four-game regular-season sweep of the Lakers.

Arizona survives two overtimes from upset-minded Gonzaga
SALT LAKE CITY -- Arizona moves on, but not before a double-overtime thriller that ranks with the best in NCAA tournament history.

Woods dominates at Bay Hill Invitational
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Even when competing against Ernie Els, Tiger Woods was the only show at the Bay Hill Invitational -- as usual.

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