Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Backers of gas-line initiative say Murkowski shortchanging effort
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Backers of a voter-approved effort to build a gas pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez are upset with Gov. Frank Murkowski's decision to put just $150,000 into the state-owned authority the voters mandated.

Pandas make brief stop in Anchorage on way to Memphis
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two giant pandas from China made a brief stop in Anchorage this week on their way to their new home in Memphis, Tenn.

Federal panel approves crab plan
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A federal panel has approved the finishing touches on a plan to divide up Alaska's crab fisheries, allocating the amount fishermen may harvest and processors may process.

E-mail harassment bill passes Senate
JUNEAU (AP) -- Sending harassing electronic mail would be a crime under a bill that passed the Senate on Wednesday.

Anchorage teens arrested in truck thefts, vandalism
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three Anchorage teenagers are under arrest, accused of stealing and destroying two late-model pickup trucks, Alaska State Troopers said.

Sitka radio station broadcasts whale sounds
SITKA (AP) -- Sitka radio station KAQU is broadcasting what may initially sound like static. But listen closely and you will hear the underwater sounds of the ocean near Whale Park, and maybe even whales.

Garbage man hauls 15 tons a day
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Mark Hardesty hauls 15 tons of garbage a day from Fairbanks, Fort Wainwright or North Pole. He fell into the job after graduating high school, and he now earns more than $22 an hour.

Anchorage hospital experiences SARS false alarm
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage hospital responded to a suspected case of severe acute respiratory syndrome this week that turned out to be a false alarm.

Pioneers' Home resident spends cold night outside
JUNEAU (AP) -- A Juneau Pioneers' Home resident spent a cold night outside after a morning fall went unnoticed.

Errant rocket recovered
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Parts of an errant rocket have been retrieved by a team from Poker Flat Research Range.

Activist jailed on trespassing charge
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A political activist and candidate for the Chugach Electric Association Board was arrested in Anchorage over the weekend for distributing election fliers outside the city-owned Sullivan Arena during a sports show.

Sex offender names returned to state Web site
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Responding to a court order, the Alaska Department of Public Safety has returned 3,000 names to the state's sex offender registry Web site.

Governor criticized for not allowing aerial wolf control
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Gov. Frank Murkowski's reluctance to authorize aerial wolf control near McGrath has left some people feeling betrayed.

MEA board member ousted for not taking drug test
PALMER (AP) -- A member of the Matanuska Electric Association board was ousted from the panel for failing to follow a new drug-testing rule.

Body found in Tenakee is Maggie Wigen
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state medical examiner's office has determined that the body found last week in a shallow grave in Tenakee Springs is 19-year-old Maggie Wigen.

First geese of spring arrive in Delta Junction
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The first Canada geese of the season have landed in Delta Junction.

Medicaid bill changes would bump people off Denali KidCare
JUNEAU (AP) -- A Senate committee proposed Monday saving about $2 million next year by providing health care to fewer pregnant women and children.

Juneau to tackle issue of dogs on trails
JUNEAU (AP) -- Do dogs belong on city trails?

Gains in other industries offset seafood losses
KENAI (AP) -- Alaska's salmon industry saw more jobs disappear last year along the Gulf of Alaska, continuing a trend that has seen a 38-percent decline in seafood industry employment there over the past eight years.

House Republicans reject Democrat amendments to budget
JUNEAU (AP) -- The House is poised to approve a fiscal 2004 spending plan that restores more than $50 million in cuts proposed by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Juneau panel OKs mining law changes
JUNEAU (AP) -- A Juneau Assembly committee has approved changes to the city's mining law, paving the way to make it easier to establish and operate mines in rural areas of the Juneau borough.

Jury acquits teen in baby's death
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A Ketchikan teen was acquitted Tuesday of charges that he killed his girlfriend's baby.

Military waste toxins the focus of Fairbanks meeting
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The effects of military hazardous waste sites and weapons testing on Alaska communities will be the focus of a Fairbanks conference expected to draw an estimated 100 scientists, community leaders, health professionals and activists.

Leading educators call for more schools money
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton warned of budget ''carnage'' if a spending plan now under debate in the state House is adopted.

Fairbanks man convicted of sexual abuse of minors
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man has been convicted of sexually abusing two teenage girls last year.

Targeting environmental suits proves challenging
JUNEAU (AP) -- Murkowski administration lawyers are trying to come up with a way to make environmental groups pay more legal costs when they sue the state. But a couple of the approaches they've tried haven't panned out.

Alaska couple awaits details of son awarded Bronze Star
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Their son has been awarded a Bronze Star for heroic or meritorious service in Iraq, but Nick and Kathi Goddard of Juneau don't know why.

Importer pressed for low fish prices, memos show
ANCHORAGE (AP) - Documents presented Tuesday in a price-fixing lawsuit detail efforts by a Japanese importer to lower prices paid to Bristol Bay fishermen in 1991.

Judge lifts protective order against trooper
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Superior Court Judge has denied a request for a long-term domestic violence protective order against an Alaska State Trooper involved in the fatal shooting of a disabled man in January.

Baker, Cubs triumph in opener at Wrigley
CHICAGO -- Dusty Baker quickly warmed to Wrigley Field.

Matsui conks home run in Yankees' win
NEW YORK -- Hideki Matsui hit a grand slam for his first major league home run, leading the New York Yankees over the Minnesota Twins 7-3 Tuesday in their home opener.

Production up in MLB's first week
NEW YORK -- Look out, pitchers! The lowly Chicago Cubs had the biggest opening-day win by any team in 52 years, with Corey Patterson driving in seven runs.

Back-to-back-to-back dingers secure Braves win over Marlins
ATLANTA -- Gary Sheffield, Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones hit consecutive home runs in the sixth inning Monday, leading the Atlanta Braves over the Florida Marlins 3-0.

April proclaimed Sexual Assault Awareness Month
At last week's Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting, Borough Mayor Dale Bagley issued an official proclamation making April Sexual Assault Awareness Month on the Kenai Peninsula.

Local runners to compete in Mother of all Marathons
While the mild winter has been a bane to winter sports enthusiasts, it has been a blessing to local runners training for the 107th running of the mother of all marathons Boston Marathon.

Vaughn's Mini Mart now serving Shell gasoline
Early in March, a change was happening to Vaughn's Mini Mart on K-Beach Road. The red Texaco signs were being replaced with bright yellow Shell signage.

Food Bank Fantasy Feast increases awareness
The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank's Fantasy Feast at the Soldotna Senior Center last week turned out to be a taste of reality and an experience in awareness that no one was expecting.

CFK Finalists prepare for oral presentations
From nearly 500 entries in the 13th Annual Caring For the Kenai (CFK) environmental awareness contest, a broad based panel of 8 judges have selected 13 finalists to compete in the oral presentation portion of the contest for over $5,000 in cash awards.

Weekend rallies support Troops
Not since the attacks of 9-11 has there been such a patriotic display at the "Y" in Soldotna.

10 tips for eating healthier
1. Eat less margarine, better shortening and oil. These items are a big waste of calories and sometimes promote heart disease. Instead, choose low-fat or nonfat margarine. On toast try honey or jam instead of artery-clogging butter. Avoid frying foods like fish and chicken.

Health week targets obesity
There's an epidemic sweeping across America at an unprecedented rate, and it's not limited to any particular age, gender, race or ethnic group -- it's an epidemic known as obesity.

Alaskans should contact legislators if they want to save dividends
Would you be surprised to find out that the first resolution introduced by the 23rd Legislature was to take your permanent fund dividend away? Kiss your permanent fund dividend goodbye if Rep. Rokeberg gets has his way with House Joint Resolution 1.

Living in Alaska is bonus enough; state can't afford free lunches
Thanks to modern medicine and better hygiene, Americans' life expectancy has risen to age 75 and older. Clearly, how are we supposed to continue paying $100 to $250 per month in longevity

Legislators should protect, not restrict, Alaskans' rights
I strongly oppose legislation which restricts the initiative process. Rather than its stated purpose to "encourage broad, statewide support," House Bill 31 and House Joint Resolution 5 do the opposite. This proposed legislation would create difficult and unnecessary requirements, which would make initiatives more expensive and difficult to get on the ballot.

Daughter grateful for troopers' work in mother's murder case
I would like to take a moment to personally thank the Alaska State Troopers and, in particular, the Cold Case Unit for getting an indictment in my mother's murder case.

Community donations to remember 'Eadie' Henderson appreciated
I wish to thank each and everyone who made donations for the headstone for Ethel "Eadie" Henderson. She was a great lady and thank you all for remembering all she did for the people and the community.

Antarctic explorer offers wisdom applicable to school district's woes
The March issue of the Skyview High School newsletter contained some positive guidelines for the present school district difficulties. I would like to quote some of Mr. Pothast's remarks. He quoted some mottoes of Sir Ernest Shackleton, who was stranded with 27 men for almost two years in the Antarctic.

Hospital improvements may go before voters
South Peninsula Hospital Service Area residents could be voting July 1 on a proposed $10.5 million general obligation bond package to add further additions to the Homer medical facility.

Anchorage man gets 5 years for summer assault in Kenai
An Anchorage man convicted of a July assault in Kenai was sentenced in Kenai Superior Court on Monday to spend five years in jail.

Nikiski residents to make 'wish list'
The North Peninsula Community Council is seeking ideas from Nikiski area residents about what road improvements they would like to see.

Murkowski administration pitches budget on peninsula, seeks ideas
The commissioner of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development told the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday that Gov. Frank Murkowski's budget team has spent the first 100 days of the new administration making tough decisions on how to reduce state spending.

Kenai's efforts to cut budget raise concerns
A meeting to discuss a proposal in which the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula would partner with the city of Kenai to operate the Kenai Recreation Center starting July 1 raised more questions than answers.

Majority of Americans believe Bush best leader to deal with Iraqi dictator
President Bush's iron hand in overthrowing Saddam Hussein is sitting well with most Americans. They prefer his tough-guy methods to the more dovish policies that likely would have come from three Democrats -- his predecessor, his 2000 challenger and his chief critic.

Story of courage captivates nation
The story of 19-year-old soldier Jessica Lynch is one made to order for Army recruiters.

Statistics explain why it's necessary to call attention to child abuse
Why do we need a declaration naming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month?

Photo feature: Blowin' in the wind
Justin Schaffner launches his daughter's kite on the bluff next to Vintage Pointe Manor in Kenai on Saturday afternoon.

Around the Peninsula
Photographers guild to meetMurkowski representative to speak at chamberCRPC meeting plannedWrestling club to hold fund-raisersHorse first-aid class planned this weekUsed book sale planned4-H Petting zoo plannedSoccer registration ongoingVolunteer court observers soughtKDLL board to meetChamber plans July 4 meeting

Photo feature: Hoop action
Molly Watkins trades hoops with her sister Hannah while riding a unicycle in Kenai last weekend.

Around the Peninsula
Chambers to host state budget repsPFLAG to meet tonightBagley to address Kenai chamberWorkshop to explore business funding sourcesHistorical society to discuss village excavationSpaghetti feed plannedWolf to speak at town hall meetingSeniors plan Trash and Treasure Sale

Around the District
School board plans special meetingStudents to get day off

Photo feature: Blackhawk down
Darrell Rasor, a member of the Alaska Air National Guard, explains the finer details of a Blackhawk helicopter to students at Kenai Central High School on Friday.

District School News
News from schools around the district

Legislature needs to hear education needs from parents, communities
Last month, I was in Juneau attending the Alaska Superintendents Association Last month, I was in Juneau attending the Alaska Superintendents Association Legislative Fly-in. Each year superintendents statewide convene in Juneau to speak to legislators about educational issues. This year, I believe our work with legislators had an impact and was instrumental in their response to the governor's budget (it is not just being accepted).

School Menus
White or chocolate milk served at each meal.

Program targets Internet safety
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is trying to make its students a little safer. But that doesn't mean installing metal detectors or hiring security guards for area buildings.

2003 summer session sizzles with opportunities for students
KPC will offer a wide range of classes during the 2003 summer session. Due to many requests from current students and the community at large, KPC has put together the most ambitious summer session offered in many years.

High school journalists cover Iraq war at home
SKOKIE, Ill. (AP) -- Jenny Klein and Becky Bloom dashed out of class when they heard students at Niles West High School were staging a walkout against the war in Iraq.

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Senior Menus
What's on the menu for our area seniors

CDC: Senior-citizen population to double
ATLANTA -- America's population of senior citizens is expected to double by 2030 to 71 million, and the nation needs to begin preparing for the demands they are going to put on the health care system, the government said recently.

Ailing wrist could hamper Jagr's first playoff series with Caps
ODENTON, Md. -- After years of beating the Washington Capitals in the playoffs, Jaromir Jagr finally gets a chance to help them win a series.

Red Wings eye another run at Stanley Cup
SYOSSET, N.Y. -- Peter Laviolette spoke softly, his voice taxed by an intermittent cough. The message he sent to the NHL's top team was loud and clear.

Miyara's skills a good fit with champion Bulldogs
Sure, Nikiski is a hotbed for girls high school basketball, but how about Okinawa, Japan?

Anthony faces huge decision
NEW ORLEANS -- Decisions, decisions.

Jordan gives Cavs one final shellacking
CLEVELAND -- Michael Jordan bid the Cleveland Cavaliers a final, fitting farewell on Tuesday night.

UConn defends national crown
ATLANTA -- After winning the national championship last year, Connecticut lost its four senior starters but still had the one player it needed -- Diana Taurasi.

Orangemen defeat Jayhawks to clinch NCAA championship
NEW ORLEANS -- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim got the final four seconds right this time.

Sports Briefs
KPHA girls team takes Coach MacKenaitzes host Youth Olympic MeetStern gives ultimatum to WNBA playersStrawberry released from prisonMartinez says he'd like to finish career in Boston

Maybe it's time for Williams to consider taking job at Carolina
Roy Williams looked as if he lost 10 pounds, his face drained, his eyes rimmed red.

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