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Monday, April 14, 2003

Wildlife viewing bill lurches forward
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill to charge tourists $15 for a wildlife viewing pass failed to win a ringing endorsement but cleared its first House committee Friday.

Anchorage doctor killed in avalanche
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage doctor was killed in an avalanche while skiing in Wrangell Saint Elias National Park, Alaska State Troopers said Friday.

Norton limits wilderness protection lands under her management to 23 million acres
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Interior Department wants to limit Bureau of Land Management lands eligible for wilderness protection to 23 million acres nationwide, a figure environmental groups say leaves millions of pristine acres vulnerable to development.

Board approves Kenai school contracts
KENAI (AP) Kenai Peninsula Borough teachers and support staffers finally have new contracts.

Entrepreneurs, including many Alaskans, hustle for Iraq contracts
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- As U.S. and coalition forces battle for control of Baghdad, several Alaska companies are gearing themselves for potential business in postwar Iraq.

Wasilla man dies in snowmachine crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) A Wasilla man died after he drove a snowmachine off a cliff in Hatcher Pass.

Planners pick site for new Mat-Su hospital
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A new hospital in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough will rise about halfway between Palmer and Wasilla under plans announced by hospital officials on Friday.

Fairbanks man still in critical condition in Seattle
FAIRBANKS (AP) A Fairbanks man remained in critical condition following a car crash last week in a Seattle suburb.

Murkowski condition a mystery to aides
JUNEAU (AP) -- While Gov. Frank Murkowski was undergoing a medical procedure in Anchorage to open a blocked coronary artery, most in his Juneau office were unaware of the seriousness of the condition, said his press secretary.

Court mulls over protected speech lawsuit
JUNEAU (AP) A lawsuit filed by a former Juneau high school student raises questions about what constitutes protected speech and what determines a school event.

University president offers to work for $1 a year
JUNEAU (AP) -- University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton says he'll work for $1 if the Legislature gives the university another $10 million next year.

Supreme Court decision could affect Exxon Valdez judgment
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) A U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting the size of jury awards in civil cases could affect the $5 billion judgment still pending in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case.

Fare cuts boost bus revenue
JUNEAU (AP) -- Juneau's young people have been riding the bus more since Capital Transit cut its youth fares last year, and the bus system as actually been collecting more money despite the lower fares.

Whale migration to Alaska is under way
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) The migration of gray whales from the Baja Peninsula in Mexico to waters off Alaska is well under way.

Union files grievance over Habitat Division changes
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A state employees union has filed a grievance over layoffs that will result from Gov. Frank Murkowski's executive order to eliminate the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Habitat Division.

Juneau's median family income jumps
JUNEAU (AP) -- The median family income in Juneau grew from $65,200 last year to $81,200 in February, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Anchorage teams win Arctic Man
8 FAIRBANKS (AP) -- No fog rolled in, no snow fell and, as a result, a record dropped Friday at the 18th annual Arctic Man Ski and Sno-Go Classic.

State considers how to use millions in salmon funds
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state is trying to determine how to use millions of dollars earmarked to help Southeast's salmon industry.

Ketchikan borough lays off two directors
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The Ketchikan Gateway Borough laid off two department directors last week in a budget-cutting move.

Sen. Murkowski gets ethanol exemption for Alaska
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski has convinced an energy committee to exempt Alaska and Hawaii from a proposed nationwide requirement that refineries add ethanol to their gasoline.

Patriot Act resolution voted down
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly narrowly rejected a resolution stating it would not support the USA Patriot Act and that the war on terrorism should be fought while still emphasizing individual rights.

Supreme Court decision could affect Exxon Valdez judgment
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting the size of jury awards in civil cases could affect the $5 billion judgment still pending in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case.

House passes energy bill including ANWR
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House approved nearly $19 billion in tax breaks Friday for energy companies and power producers and set up a showdown with the Senate over energy policy, particularly oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Troopers identify human remains found near Wasilla
WASILLA (AP) -- Human remains found near Wasilla last month have been identified as a woman missing for at least 16 months.

Togiak rallies behind its soldiers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- With two native sons serving in Iraq, the Bristol Bay village of Togiak is sending what it can to make them comfortable -- letters, baby wipes, dried fish.

Jurors in Wade trial take weekend off
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The jury in the Joshua Wade murder trial put in two full days of deliberation and then decided to take the weekend off.

Canadians try experiment to help Chisana caribou herd
WHITEHORSE, Yukon (AP) -- The very existence of the Chisana woodland caribou herd may depend on the success of a unique experiment under way in southwest Yukon to save more newborn calves, says territorial caribou biologist Rick Farnell.

Fairbanks man indicted on sexual assault charge
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 40-year-old Fairbanks man has been charged with raping a 17-year-old girl in his apartment March 21.

Processor always hoped next season would be better
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A processor who's a defendant in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon lawsuit says his company kept returning to the bay, year after year, despite millions of dollars in losses.

Prosecutor allows secret tape in Mateu trial
JUNEAU (AP) -- A state prosecutor on Friday attempted to link Jose ''Che'' Mateu to a rifle that may have killed his father, then surprised the court by agreeing to let jurors hear an informant's recording of Mateu rejecting an offer to get rid of the weapon.

Regulators deny legality of limited spring subsistence hunts
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- New federal subsistence hunting rules that legalize traditional spring waterfowl hunts violate the Alaska Constitution, according to state game officials.

Red Sox coach taken off on stretcher
BOSTON (AP) -- Boston Red Sox third base coach Mike Cubbage had a diabetic seizure and collapsed on the field during Saturday night's home opener against the Baltimore Orioles. He was expected to make a full recovery.

Wood sits down 13 Pirates as Cubs post shutout
CHICAGO -- Kerry Wood struck out 13 in eight impressive innings and Damian Miller homered and drove in two runs, leading the Chicago Cubs past the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 Saturday.

Royals remain perfect by ripping Indians
CLEVELAND -- Nine up, nine down for the perfect Kansas City Royals.

NOW PLAYING: Anger Management
Jack Nicholson is a true talent. If there was any question of that, just look at the two completely different roles he has embodied this year.

Many contribute to successful basketball season for youths
The Boys and Girls Club's seventh- and eighth-grade basketball league recently concluded its season. Boys and girls from throughout the central Kenai Peninsula area had the opportunity to be a part of a team, get a little exercise and socialize with their friends.

Story of women marathoners brings back fond memories
Wow! What an inspirational story regarding the four women marathoners from Kenai and Soldotna ("Runners support each other on road to Boston Marathon.")

Anti-war protesters should expect others to disagree
Re: Water for our troops and Jeff Webster

Auction and benefit once again show caring side of community
I wish to thank all the businesses and people who donated items for the Becky Langston Chinese auction and benefit and for all who came to help make it a great success.

Lady Stars recognize winning team includes help from others
The Soldotna Lady Stars basketball team would like to thank the many people who showed their support and helped make our wonderful memories ones that will never be forgotten.

Americans should not forget past friendship with French
The position of the French leaders does not necessarily reflect the position of most citizens of France. Perhaps we should be admonished for our French bashing.

Gordon wins Virginia 500
MARTINSVILLE, Va. With 35 laps of frustrating failure behind him and only 13 left to pass Bobby Labonte, Jeff Gordon did what he thinks any other driver would have done.

Last chance for bargains; Big Kmart closing today
Kmart's 10-year presence in Kenai ends today.

Borough landfill project to get funds
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is expected to approve a resolution Tuesday authorizing the sale of up to $7.04 million in general obligation bonds to pay the costs of improvements to the Central Peninsula Baling Facility at Soldotna.

Awareness day gives insight to 4-H activities
"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" announced the rooster. Several children jumped back startled by the noise, but then approached again smiling after being assured it was OK by Mary Lambe.

School contracts approved
It's over. Kenai Peninsula Borough School District teachers and support staff workers officially have new contracts.

North Road extension agreement reached
Federal, state and borough officials have penned an agreement launching the first phase of the Kenai Spur Road extension project that eventually will extend the Kenai Spur Highway 26 miles beyond its current terminus at Captain Cook State Recreation Area.

City to split costs for paving with residents
The Soldotna City Council voted Wednesday to approve the creation of two special assessment districts (SADs) that will allow the city to split the cost of paving eight Soldotna streets with local residents.

Officials pitch budget; residents raise questions
Stumping in Kenai and Nikiski for Gov. Frank Murkowski's proposed state budget Thursday, the heads of the Alaska Department of Public Safety and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game told members of both the Kenai and North Peninsula Chambers of Commerce the challenge is to contain spending while keeping a state income tax off the table.

Public asks why income tax not part of proposal
After hearing Gov. Murkowski's Cabinet members Bill Tandeske and Kevin Duffy give presentations on the governor's proposed budget for fiscal year 2004 Thursday, members of the public weren't shy about commenting on the governor's plan.

Donald Ben Thompson
Former 34-year Soldotna resident Donald Ben Thompson of Gustine, Texas, died Thursday, March 20, 2003, in Stephenville, Texas. He was 68.

Melvern Newby
Longtime Alaska resident Melvern Newby died Sunday, March 30, 2003, at his home in Pahrump, Nev. He was 76.

Nothing about war appealing
About a dozen or so years after I got out of the army, I happened to be golfing at Admiral Baker Field Navy golf course in San Diego with my friend, Charlie.

War in Iraq will produce heroes who deserve countrys support
"Who are the heroes?" you ask.

Bush could lose ground at home
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's troops in Iraq have proved unstoppable, but his commanders on Capitol Hill are losing ground.

At what price is budget road show touring state?
Members of Gov. Frank Murkowski's budget team -- lots of them -- were on the central peninsula last week not only to pitch the governor's spending plan, but also to get ideas to bring back to their boss.

Borough's economy not all gloom, doom
Finding the balance between looking through rose-colored glasses and viewing the world through a lens of doom-and-gloom is difficult. The optimist appears naive; the pessimist too worldly for anyone's benefit.

Murkowski goes soft on wolf control plan What others say
What happened to the best science'' approach for implementing a predator control program around McGrath?

'Tis the season for fish canning workshops
Alaska Extension Agents witness it every summer, improperly canned fish in cans. In an attempt to address this problem, the Cooperative Extension Service is offering a canning fish in cans workshop. This free workshop will be

Peninsula People
Residents honored in state hero ceremony Soldotna student makes grade at UAA Students earn MSU scholarship offers Kenai student honored at university Skyview grad to finish college

Hollers, Jackson, schedule wedding date
Angel Hollers of Sol-dotna and Ross Jackson are planning to wed Saturday, June 28, 2003, at King Circle Assembly of God Church in Corvallis, Ore.

Around the Peninsula
School to present adolescent issues videoMacDowell to speak at Alliance meetingImmunization clinics canceledInformative brunch scheduledSkyview to hold basketball banquetBlood drive plannedAARP to meetRelay for Life meeting plannedDEC plans food handling classCleanup day planned

Photo feature: Window watcher
Hanna Segura takes in the view from a window on display at the Kenai Peninsula Builders Home Show on Saturday at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Community Schools
The following is a list of Soldotna Community Schools classes and activities starting this week. It is printed as a reminder to preregistered participants. Anyone who is interested in a class but not preregistered should call Soldotna Community Schools at 262-6768.

Doyle, Sanders plan June wedding
Rebekah Ann Doyle of Missoula, Mont., and Joshua Sanders of Nikiski have announced their plans to marry on Sunday, June 29, 2003, near Bigfork, Mont.

Community News
CARTS receives grant for Kinder program Volunteer conference slated ACT registration deadline approaches Boy Scouts honor troops KCHS classes plan reunions Navy announces upcoming reunions

Around the Peninsula
Nutrition classes continue today Hospital service area board to meet Women For Sobriety meets tonight Public health clinics planned Soldotna chamber to discuss trade KDLL board meeting slated Group offers family reunion planning session Parenting classes to be offered Skyview basketball awards banquet planned Sen. Murkowski to speak at Kenai chamber KPC to host anthropology presentation Games contract signing, reception planned Fish and Game rep to speak at north chamber AARP to offer Medicare training session

Births
Charly and Chris Dullum Nate and Charlotte Saavedra Bettina and Lambert Lavea Sharon and John Harris

Club News
Elks table tennis results announced

4-H Awareness Day winners announced
The following youngsters won awards at the 4-H Educational Awareness Day:

Proposal recognizes pets as companions, not property
DENVER (AP) -- Several Colorado lawmakers are supporting legislation to elevate the status of cats and dogs from property to companions.

Tips for keeping cats sane while uprooting them
Moving to a new home can be a traumatic time for both people and cats.

California town bans vets from declawing cats
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Saying it hoped to send a message to other communities, the City Council unanimously approved a measure that bans the declawing of cats.

Alternative health care for pets gaining popularity
BOISE, Idaho -- Eight years ago, the fluffy white mutt was living outside a bar, surviving on popcorn she begged from patrons.

Sports Briefs
Bulldogs get first win against Wasilla Basketball awards banquet to be held Injured umpire leaves hospital Radcliffe sets world best

Wallace trey saves Portland from L.A. comeback
PORTLAND, Ore. Rasheed Wallace hit a 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left as the Portland Trail Blazers held off the Los Angeles Lakers 101-99 Sunday to break a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference.

Brodeur posts shutout to beat Bruins 3-0
BOSTON Martin Brodeur's latest shutout has the New Jersey Devils a win away from the second round and the Boston Bruins wondering how to get the puck past him.

Absurdities mark Masters protests
Instead of a robe, the Klansman wore a shirt and jeans. He proudly showed people pictures of his poodles, Q-Tip, Biscuit and Tinker Bell.

Ice, snow clear area tracks early
It's not uncommon at this time of year for high school track and field athletes to be shoveling instead of running, jumping and throwing.

Sports Briefs
Nikiski girls top WasillaUSOC task force proposes drastic changesTexas' T.J. Ford wins Wooden Award

Weir first Canadian Masters winner
AUGUSTA, Ga. A Maple Leaf grows among the towering pines of Augusta National.

Jordan to finish out of playoffs
WASHINGTON -- Michael Jordan sounded like a dad let down by his kids.

Winning with what he has left
He was a kid, and the greatest golfer of all time wrote back and told him not to change a thing. It might be the best advice Mike Weir ever got.

Stars, Panthers take relay titles
With earlier access to the tracks than is normally available, Kenai Peninsula athletes were able to get in more repetitions on their respective tracks and push themselves ahead of where they would normally be at this time of the year.

Woods moves within striking distance
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Saturday at the Masters was a show-stopper, all right.

Mighty Ducks bury Red Wings in 2-0 series hole
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings are in playoff trouble -- again.

Minnesota takes Frozen Four championship
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Freshman Thomas Vanek sparked a four-goal third period, leading Minnesota to a 5-1 victory over New Hampshire in the NCAA championship game Saturday night.

Barrera stops Kelley in featherweight bout
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Marco Antonio Barrera retained his world featherweight title by stopping former champion Kevin Kelley in the fourth round Saturday night.

Fans turn violent after hockey championship
Fans from the winning and losing teams at the NCAA hockey championship threw bottles and rocks, smashed store windows and set trash bins on fire in separate outbreaks of violence that resulted in more than 100 arrests.

Jordan misses game winner against Hawks
WASHINGTON -- In his first game ever with no playoff meaning, Michael Jordan made a thrilling go-ahead shot in the final minute. But he missed the game-winner at the buzzer.

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