Thursday, March 28, 2002

Bill would let canneries deduct housing from wages
JUNEAU (AP) -- Seafood processors in remote areas of Alaska want to be able to deduct the cost of room and board from the minimum wage they're required to pay workers.

Fairbanks police search for bank robbery suspect
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Police were searching for a man who robbed a branch of the First National Bank Alaska Tuesday afternoon.

Retired teachers bill passes House
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska teachers who took advantage of early retirement incentives a few years ago could come back to work under a bill that passed the House on Tuesday.

First gray whales spotted off Seward.
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A tour vessel has reported the first confirmed gray whale sighting in Alaska waters so far this season.

Tight budget leaves Pioneers' homes beds empty
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A recent $400,000 renovation at the Pioneers' Home in Palmer added 20 new rooms, but the beds are likely to remain empty due to a lack of funding for additional staff, state officials said.

House rejects income tax measure by slim vote
JUNEAU (AP) -- House Republicans beat back a largely Democrat proposal to impose a statewide income tax on Wednesday.

Three dead in apparent suicide-homicides in Chefornak
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three people were found dead in an apparent double murder-suicide Tuesday morning in the Western Alaska village of Chefornak, Alaska State Troopers said.

Anchorage man killed in auto accident
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man was killed Wednesday morning in a vehicle accident near the University of Alaska Anchorage, police said.

Tribal nations sign pact to protect gas pipeline interests
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Thirty-five tribal nations from the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alaska have signed a protocol to look out for each other's interests if a natural gas pipeline is built.

Vitamin settlement distributed to charities
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Money from the settlement of a lawsuit against vitamin manufacturers is being used to feed the hungry.

Fairbanks man sentenced to 19 years for sex assault
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 20-year-old Fairbanks man convicted of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl last April was sentenced Tuesday to serve 19 years in prison.

Anchorage businessman declares candidacy for lieutenant governor
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Ernie Hall, an Anchorage businessman and activist who led a campaign against a statewide property tax cap, announced Wednesday he is running for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

Athabaskan elder Doris Charles dead at age 99
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Doris Charles, an Athabaskan elder who helped Katie John in her fight for subsistence rights, has died.

Nabors Alaska Drilling threatens to strike
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Union workers at Nabors Alaska Drilling Inc. are threatening to strike over wages and benefits.

Juneau city manager is retiring
JUNEAU (AP) -- Juneau city manager Dave Palmer has decided it's time to step down.

Chena River ice road closed with the arrival of spring
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- One of Fairbanks' surest signs of spring probably won't occur this year.

Bus driver calls police, orders woman who ate candy bar off bus
JUNEAU (AP) -- A city bus driver called police after he told a woman to stop eating a candy bar, but instead she popped two more bites into her mouth and then refused to get off the bus.

Armed man robs Fairbanks bank
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- An armed man robbed the First National Bank Alaska and then fled in a vehicle, Fairbanks police said.

Rep. Scott Ogan's condition improving
JUNEAU (AP) -- Rep. Scott Ogan, who suffered a heart attack March 16, continues to improve, although his condition is still considered critical, his staff said.

Three dead in apparent suicide-homicides in Chefornak
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three people were found dead in an apparent double murder-suicide Tuesday morning in the Western Alaska village of Chefornak, Alaska State Troopers said.

Tourism marketing could be in line for $2 million
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska's tourism industry could receive some emergency funding from the Legislature after all, a key Senate leader said Tuesday.

Water main break floods street, float plane base
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A water main near the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport burst Monday night, flooding a portion of a busy roadway and the southeastern part of Lake Spenard with 3 million gallons of treated water.

Senators call for hiring freeze
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state Senate officially asked Gov. Tony Knowles to freeze state hiring Wednesday, but the governor does not intend to heed the request.

Selig says no lockout through World Series; union says he's fooling fans
NEW YORK -- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig pledged Tuesday not to lock out players through the World Series but left open the chance that owners would impose new work rules during the offseason, a move that could trigger another strike this summer.

Rocker tagged for four runs in exhibition game
John Rocker might not be up to replacing the injured Jeff Zimmerman as Texas' closer.

New Boeing technology designed to increase airplane safety in skies
SEATTLE -- From the outside, the Boeing 737-900 looks much like any other airplane. But inside, the aerospace giant's technology demonstrator is in a class all its own. Puffy white insulation surrounds the windows, wires run down the aisles and along the walls, and nearly bare bulbs illuminate the very few seats. Huge computer monitors display graphics that look more like Microsoft Flight Simulator than actual pilots' equipment.

Peninsula Center Mall gets new tenant
Anyone who thinks there isn't much available for a dollar these days obviously hasn't been to Lori Stevens' Dollar Store lately -- which is exactly what prompted Stevens to move her business from the outskirts of commercial Kenai to the Peninsula Center Mall in downtown Soldotna.

New AIH site open
Hardware enthusiasts on the peninsula now have 28,000 square feet of nuts, bolts and a lot more to choose from, thanks to the opening of Alaska Industrial Hardware's new Kenai store.

Wage, benefit issues cause workers at Nabors Alaska to threaten strike
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Union workers at Nabors Alaska Drilling Inc. are threatening to strike over wages and benefits.

Braun recognized for sales excellence
Dave Keating, owner and broker of Freedom Reality, recently recognized Fred Braun, of North Kenai, as top sales agent for 2001. An associate broker with Freedom Realty, Braun was involved in more than $12 million in real estate sales last year.

Novell attorney testifies against Microsoft
WASHINGTON -- As efforts to settle the Microsoft antitrust case dragged on in 2000, a Utah state lawyer asked software maker Novell for help in drafting a new definition that would benefit Novell, according to an e-mail released by Microsoft lawyers.

Tourism industry officials hopeful
Although signs of a thaw are appearing, Alaska's tourism industry remains under the wintry chill the Sept. 11 events cast over worldwide travel.

Shop owner wants to sink fluorocarbon fishing line
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Fly fishing shop owner Steve Schmidt is drawing an invisible line in the sand over both new and old fishing technologies that are harmful to the environment.

Columbia River chinook run exceptional, but coho numbers down
It's a situation Washington and Oregon fishery officials never thought they'd see: More than twice as many fall chinook salmon returning to the Columbia River than coho.

Long unthinkable, spring goose season now may be necessary
BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) -- Not long ago a spring goose season would have been unthinkable. The basic tenets of wildlife conservation prohibit the hunting of birds just before breeding season.

Snowshoe artisans among last to follow traditional Athabaskan technique
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Nick Dennis travels by snowmachine to the outskirts of the tiny Native village of Nikolai looking for rare stands of birch. Two hundred miles north in Huslia, George Yaska scans ridgetops for birch stands during the fall moose hunt.

What's Happening
Best BetsEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentUpcoming EventsFilmsDown the RoadAnchorage Events

Book approaches Native history one day at a time
"A Reference in Time -- Alaska Native History Day by Day"

Injury merry-go-round lands actress Jodie Foster in 'Panic Room'
LOS ANGELES -- Some cinematic karma involving mishaps to a couple of actors from Down Under brought Jodie Foster and director David Fincher together in "Panic Room," which opens Friday.

Gage show turns ordinary into extraordinary
Anchorage photographer Hal Gage is a shining example of an artist making something so complicated look so easy.

'The Rookie' not fit for short attention spans
If there's a near fatal flaw to Disney's ''The Rookie,'' which opens Friday, it's that the film takes a timing cue from its real-life subject, an average guy finally realizing his major-league dream when he's well on in years.

Senate bill changes cost-of-living pay for nonunion workers
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that could save the state money by changing cost-of-living pay for new nonunion state workers.

Retired teachers bill passes House
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska teachers who took advantage of early retirement incentives a few years ago could come back to work under a bill that passed the House on Tuesday.

Senators call for state hiring freeze
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state Senate officially asked Gov. Tony Knowles to freeze state hiring Wednesday, but the governor does not intend to heed the request.

Income tax KO'd in House
JUNEAU -- House Republicans beat back a largely Democrat proposal to impose a statewide income tax on Wednesday.

Senator proposes $2 million for marketing help
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska's tourism industry could receive some emergency funding from the Legislature after all, a key Senate leader said Tuesday.

Army Corps of Engineers opens regulatory office in Kenai
Anyone on the central peninsula wishing to place fill material in a waterway can now get filled-in on permit information and requirements without having to go to Anchorage.

Chenault recognized for remembering WWII lend-lease program
Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, was one of four Alaska politicians recognized last month for his role in remembering the Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease Program.

School district Juneau trip back on track
Citizens concerned about area public schools are packing their travel bags again. The on-and-off plans for a lobbying trip to Juneau are back on, with the first person due to leave Tuesday for the state Capitol.

Snowmobiles, ATVs may be permit-free
It may come as a surprise to Alaskans in love with backcountry motor sports, but in order for them to drive a snowmobile, boat or airplane anywhere but on private property, state law says they must have a valid Alaska driver's license.

Fuel spill sites cause concern
It doesn't take long for thousands of gallons of gasoline to spill into the ground unnoticed. Discovering the leaks and cleaning them up is a far different matter.

Popular author, artist resigning KPC position at end of term
Boyd Shaffer has never applied for a job in his life, yet he has never been unemployed and has never had a job he didn't love, he said.

Anchorage businessman to seek Democratic nod for lieutenant governor
ANCHORAGE -- Ernie Hall, an Anchorage businessman and activist who led a campaign against a statewide property tax cap, announced Wednesday he is running for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

Continued Palestinian-Israeli violence threatens Bush's anti-terrorism strategy
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's ability to aggressively push his anti-terrorism strategy in the Middle East -- including possible action against Iraq -- may hinge on what happens at an Arab League summit.

Anchorage advisory vote will send clear message to Juneau
''Vote like your life depends on it. My message is simple: It does.''

Bush riding high, but will fall follow?
For George W. Bush, these are the best of days, politically speaking. Let's hope his handlers aren't setting him up for a big tumble.

Applause
Community, business support contributes to tourney's successSchool appreciates support for Battle of the Books

Letters to the Editor
Becker's fans wish him well in battle with FCC

Letters to the Editor
Only company would benefit from pig farm on peninsulaAlaskans should not let legislators destroy nation's finest park systemState's budget must be cut; some Alaskans already pay enough taxes

Outlook for Arab summit cloudy
BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Amid the chaos of angry words, walkouts and stay-at-home protests, Saudi Arabia presented a peace plan Wednesday to an Arab summit riven by internal conflicts and historical hatreds. The lack of unity could make it difficult to sell the plan and its promise of normal relations between Israel and the Arab world.

Applause
Community, state have benefited from Sweeney's public service

Photo feature: Summer's coming
Thursday's sun silhouettes Michael Carter and Joshua Souders as they play on the muddy beach in Kenai.

Around the Peninsula
Traveling choir to give free concert tonightFish and Game sponsors bear-baiting clinicsBranding meeting planned6 P's Party slated for Friday nightFolk dance plannedNorth Peninsula Community Council to meetCooper Landing chamber to discuss Web sitesHunter education programs plannedCommunity resource directory now availableUnited Way needs volunteersReception to honor retiring college staffSoccer referee clinic to be held Saturday

Around the Peninsula
WRCC board to meetBranding meeting plannedSubsistence proposals due FridayFood bank plans its first Easter dinnerMarketing workshop to be heldBenefit dinner, auction scheduledKindergarten teachers to hold information night

Pet of the Week
The Kenai Animal Shelter is featuring a female Abyssinian cat for $75.60 with spay surgery and vaccines included. Visit the shelter on Willow Street or call 283-7353 for more information.

KPC shop to get new equipment
This fall the Kenai Peninsula College welding shop will be the first in Alaska to use new high-tech welding hoods for instruction. Called a Power Air Purifying System, it is a relatively new technology combining a standard welding hood with a fresh air supply.

Soldotna High students learn first aid techniques
Katy Pankoski walks into the room, finding a person lying on the floor unconscious. After checking the scene for safety and sending a bystander to call 911, Pankoski checks the victim's breath, administers rescue breathing, checks the pulse and begins CPR.

KPC gears up for job, career fair
The Kenai Peninsula Job and Career Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Kenai Peninsula College. This fair is for everyone, not just students.

Around the District
School board meets MondayHome-school group hosts book saleSoHi principle recognizedSoldotna teacher receives awardInternship, scholarship deadlines approach

Superintendent Peterson notes highlights of third quarter
Meetings, committees and trainingChanges and firstsAwards and recognitionUsual but important events

District School News
News from schools around the district

With future around the corner, high school takes back seat
"Okay guys, don't forget to study for the psych test Monday," says your second-hour teacher. At the sound of these dreaded words, you might not think of "studying" as too difficult. You have the whole weekend, right?

Honor Roll
The following students have been named to the honor roll for the fall semester at Soldotna High School and Wings Christian Academy

Menus
White or chocolate milk served at each meal.

Alborn wins third national title
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage ski jumper Alan Alborn won his third national championship Wednesday and decided to not retire after all.

Germany rolls past U.S. soccer team
ROSTOCK, Germany (AP) -- Germany scored three goals in a 7-minute span to beat the United States 4-2 Wednesday night in an exhibition game to prepare the teams for the World Cup.

Final Four teams have something to prove
ATLANTA -- When Dean Smith finally won his first national championship in 1982, no one was happier for him than Roy Williams.

Senators snap losing streak
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Martin Havlat scored two goals and had an assist and Patrick Lalime stopped 27 shots as the Ottawa Senators won for the first time in five games as they beat the New York Islanders 4-1 on Wednesday night.

Talented UConn looms over women's Final Four
SAN ANTONIO -- Tennessee, Duke and Oklahoma have everything it takes to win a national championship -- talented players, smart coaches, ambition and drive.

Late Panthers goal upends Canadiens
MONTREAL -- Marcus Nilson scored a power-play goal with 4:19 left in the third period, and Wade Flaherty earned his first NHL win in 14 months as Florida ended a five-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Montreal Tuesday.

Ninilchik boys buck Raiders
The only way the Unalaska boys were going to stop Ninilchik senior Buck Kvasnikoff Wednesday was by fouling him and putting him on the free-throw line. The Raiders figured that out too late in a 62-60 loss in the opening round of the District 3/2A tournament at Cook Inlet Academy.

District 3/2A schools hoop it up at Cook Inlet Academy
What's that you say? Alaska's Class 3A and 4A high school basketball teams have packed up for the season, but you're not quite ready to to trade gym shoes for waders?

Ninilchik girls sink Unalaska
The Ninilchik girls basketball team came out and played about like one would expect the defending state champion and nine-time defending district champion to play in the opening round of the District 3/2A tournament Wednesday at Cook Inlet Academy.

McGrady notches 20 points, 11 boards in return to court
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tracy McGrady had 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in his first game back after suffering back spasms last week, and the Orlando Magic beat the slumping Chicago Bulls 96-82 Tuesday night.

Magloire, Mashburn pace Hornets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jamaal Magloire scored 21 points and Jamal Mashburn added 20 as the Charlotte Hornets extended their winning streak to seven games with a 111-104 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

Memphis, South Carolina advance to NIT championship game
NEW YORK -- With Dajuan Wagner on his team, John Calipari's job is easy.

Memphis mayor expects Tyson-Lewis to pay off big
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Welcoming the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight to Memphis has nothing to do with morality -- it's about business.

Ducks take Women's NIT championship
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- After going her entire college career without a game-winning shot, Catherine Kraayeveld now has two, and the Oregon Ducks finally have a championship.

First gray whales spotted off Seward.
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A tour vessel has reported the first confirmed gray whale sighting in Alaska waters so far this season.

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