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Monday, April 18, 2005

Nationals' pastime
WASHINGTON — Just 12 games into the season, the Washington Nationals are more than merely ex-Expos.

Yanks want new home
NEW YORK (AP) #&151; The New York Yankees are close to reaching an agreement with city and state governments to build a new stadium, the Daily News reported Saturday.

Tejada's blast powers Orioles past New York
BALTIMORE — Miguel Tejada hit his eighth career grand slam, and the Baltimore Orioles roughed up Kevin Brown and completed a three-game sweep of the New York Yankees with an 8-4 victory Sunday.

Athletics outlast Angels
OAKLAND, Calif. #&151; After Rich Harden and Jarrod Washburn dueled through eight scoreless innings, Nick Swisher scored from first base on reliever Scot Shields' throwing error in the 10th inning of the Oakland Athletics' 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.

Utley, Phillies edge Atlanta
PHILADELPHIA #&151; Jon Lieber outdueled John Smoltz and Chase Utley had a tiebreaking RBI single and game-saving catch, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

NOW PLAYING: The Amityville Horror
By all rights, any remake of a 1970's horror classic that involves Michael Bay should be a recipe for disaster. Surprise, surprise, however, Bay appears to be two for two. First, the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre turned out not to be total junk. (or so I hear. I didn't actually watch it, as I'm deathly afraid of chainsaws, a device which reportedly plays a central role in the film. It's ok, I'm not ashamed of my phobia. I'm secure in my manhood, and I get to keep all my limbs intact.) And now, his remake of the "true" story of the ultimate haunted house, The Amityville Horror, fails to suck as well.

Plenty of places to look if borough needs more money
Folks, the next Borough Assembly meeting is the 19th of April in Soldotna at which assemblyman Sprague's ordinance to lower the exemption to $300,000 for senior citizens will come up. The ordinance introduced by Mayor Bagley would, as it stands now, lower the exemption to $200,000 and would include disabled vets as well as senior citizens.

Kudos to ConocoPhillips for helping with Mars mission
ConocoPhillips recently sent Cooper Landing youths, several parents, and seniors to Mars via the Kenai Challenger Learning Center. Teacher Joyce Koppert prepared the students very well for this great experience. The adults were impressed and relieved to be in such good hands on the mission. Several emergency situations occurred in flight, but the crews quickly made the proper adjustments and saved the mission and the crew from certain disaster.

Businesses appreciated for allowing mentors to help
Dunkin and Bush, Inc. and Offshore Systems Kenai (OSK) are providing release time for mentors to volunteer at Nikiski Jr/Sr High School; the Kenai Police Department and the Kenai Fire Department of providing release time for mentors to volunteer at Kenai Central High School; Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula and Kenai New Life Assembly of God Church are providing release time for mentors to volunteer at Kenai Middle School; Sweeney's Clothing is providing release time for a mentor to volunteer at Soldotna High School; Arby's of Soldotna is supporting a mentor volunteering at Soldotna Middle School; Kenai Auto is providing release time for a mentor to volunteer at Skyview High School; the City of Homer is providing release time for a mentor to volunteer at Homer High School; the City of Homer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chain Reaction/Ulmer's Drug and Hardware, Haas and Spigelmyer Attorneys at Law, Homer Electric Association, and Big Mountain Builders are all providing release time for mentors to volunteer at Homer Middle School.

Nadal cashes in at Monte Carlo
MONTE CARLO, Monaco — Rafael Nadal thrived on clay again Sunday, winning the Monte Carlo Masters against defending champion Guillermo Coria in four sets and honing his game as he awaits his French Open debut.

Board considers eligibility changes
A final decision for new eligibility requirements for high school students involved in school activities will be decided next month.

Fire safety is burning issue again
At least two small brush fires have already flared up on the Kenai Peninsula this spring. Sharon Rousch, a fire prevention officer with the Alaska Division of Forestry, spends each summer trying to spread the word that fire danger on the Kenai Peninsula is always something to be aware of. This spring she said she's trying to get the word out especially early, as dry and sometimes breezy conditions have combined to turn the forest floors and open fields of the area into a virtual blanket of fuel waiting to be ignited.

Show's focus is outdoor fun
As the snowmachines, skis and dog sleds get put away for another season, out come the four-wheelers, fishing gear and hunting paraphernalia.

New executive director excited about Games
Tim Dillon has been keeping plenty busy during his first three weeks on the job as the general manager for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games.

Agrium extends deadline for gas proposals
Agrium spokesperson Lisa Parker said at Thursday's Nikiski Chamber of Commerce luncheon that the deadline for gas producers to respond to the company's request for additional gas to continue operating the plant has been extended to May 13.

Borough faces budget choices
Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley will officially introduce the administration's fiscal year 2006 budget ordinance at Tuesday's assembly meeting, a spending plan that relies on boosting the borough sales tax to 3 percent to make ends meet.

Governor says options for keeping North Kenai plant open are still availible
Gov. Frank Murkowski met with his appointed Agrium Task Force on Friday at the Peninsula Job Center and identified several key points in an attempt to prolong operations and provide assistance to the Agrium nitrogen plant in Nikiski. The plant is scheduled to close Oct. 31.

Plea agreements a versatile tool of district attorney's trade
When criminals accept a plea agreement from state prosecutors, the person charged generally has some charges dismissed and others reduced in severity. But what does the state get in exchange? Kenai District Attorney June Stein recently answered that question.

Jeffrey Lee Hahn
Kasilof resident Jeffrey Lee Hahn died Friday, April 15, 2005, at his home. He was 49.

Marjorie Ruth Chapman
Kenai resident Marjorie Ruth Chapman died Friday, April 15, 2005, at her home. She was 92.

Howard Herrington
Kenai resident Howard Herrington died Wednesday, April 13, 2005, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 75.

Zane Haakon Olson
Soldotna resident and University of Alaska Anchorage student Zane Haakon Olson died Friday, April 15, 2005, of natural causes in Anchorage. He was 23.

Harold R. 'Rick' Lawrence
Soldotna resident Harold R. "Rick" Lawrence, known by many as "Vern," died Friday, April 15, 2005, at his home. He was 45.

Laws limiting personal choice a slippery slope
Depending on who you ask, adult-themed businesses are either the natural outgrowth of a developing city or a scourge designed to destroy the morals and values of an entire community.

Psychologists say Rudolph's writings give insight into bomber's mind
Eric Rudolph's ''manifesto'' is 11 pages of hate, intolerance and self-justification. Sometimes eloquent, often blunt, it is at once an attempt to influence history and a thinly veiled call to arms.

'Senioritis' setting in
"Hey! In 37 days, 12 hours, 11 minutes and give or take a few seconds, I'm outta here!"

Cooperative Extension has long history of helping Alaskans
Nancy Veal knows that children love chasing roosters around a building. She has seen it with her own eyes.

Community Events
Sportsman banquet set Garage sale fund-raiser slated Wellness walk planned Dinner, auction benefit slated Community race set to go Class reunion planned

Community News
Hospital seeking historical photos Host families needed Respite services available Head Start accepting applications Help for home day care providers T-200 seeking board members

Modzelewski, Samples marry in Florida
Eve Modzelewski and Scott Samples of Florida were married Saturday, Nov. 27, 2004, The Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Rev. Jim Lockard officiated.

Wilson, Zufelt marry in Soldotna
Terri Wilson of Nikiski and Guy Zufelt of Soldotna were married at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2, 2005, at Catch of the Kenai Lodge in Soldotna. The Rev. Randy Knowles officiated.

Schmidt, Cloute announce engagement
Tami Schmidt of Minneapolis, Minn., and Eli Cloute of Fort Atkinson, Wis. will be married Saturday, July 9, 2005, at the Grace Lutheran Church in Kenai. The Revs. Thomas R. Schmidt and Christopher Goelzer and Vicar Daniel Schmidt will officiate.

Around the Peninsula
Soldotna chamber to meet Food bank seeking donations Child development workshop set Genealogical society to meet 'Dunker' training available Safety day scheduled

Youngsters learning etiquette is not old-fashioned notion
FRISCO, Texas #&151; Sitting at an elegantly dressed dining table at a country club, 17-year-old Katie Allen can't decide what to do with the long green bean poised on her fork.

Peninsula People
McMichael receives scholarship Area students graduate college Edward graduates with honors

Club News
Lacrosse registration begins Wrestling club fund-raiser set Safari Club fund-raiser slated Red hat parade planned Crafters, artists sought Dog classes available

Around the Peninsula
Relay for Life meeting setSkyview after-graduation committee to meetWellness walk plannedConservation fund-raiser slated

Pets abandoned by deployment
HINESVILLE, Ga #&151; The 32 dogs look up with sad eyes or wag their tails as animal control officer Linda Cordry walks the row of chain-link cages toward a door concealing a gas chamber.

My best friend
Soldotna resident Lisa Groleske's cat, Smokey, loves to lay in the sun.

Coroner: Baby swings can trigger dog attack
NEW ORLEANS #&151; Rocking your baby to sleep in a mechanical swing can trigger a deadly attack on the child by the family dog, a coroner warns.

Alaska priest talks of service in Iraq
KETCHIKAN #&151; A U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane twisted and dived through a midnight Iraqi sky last June, maneuvering sharply to avoid any fire from the ground as the plane prepared to land.

Community Schools
Spring Fishing Garage sale basics

Culpepper leads U.S. revival in Boston
BOSTON #&151; It doesn't bother Bill Rodgers that no American runner has won the Boston Marathon in 20 years. What bothers him is that so few of the best ones try.

Biffle has a ball at Radio Shack
FORT WORTH, Texas — It took Greg Biffle a little while to overcome the mental and physical discomfort from a crash in practice at Texas Motor Speedway.

Too young to play?
NEW YORK — Andray Blatche of South Kent Prep in Connecticut believes it would be a good idea for the NBA to raise the minimum age to 20. He just doesn't think it's a good idea for him.

Hutchison picks up national title
Michaela Hutchison, a freshman wrestler on the Skyview High School team this past year, won the 108-pound freestyle division in early April at the FILA Cadet Body Bar Women's Nationals in San Diego.

Sheffield, fan both should be punished
The beer has been mopped up, the Yankees have left town and now it's up to the wise men who run major league baseball to make sense of just what happened deep in the right-field corner the other night at Fenway Park.

Big Apple offers bigger slice of Olympic pie
BERLIN — Sweetening its bid with financial and promotional incentives, New York promised Sunday to market every Olympic sport — for free — in the seven years leading up to the 2012 Summer Games.

Players set to trade gym for field
Kenai Peninsula high school soccer teams have gotten used to cramming a two-month season into five or six weeks over the past few years. The good news for this year's teams as they prepare to jump into competition is that many of them have had opportunities to practice outdoors on a full-sized pitch before their first scheduled game.

Ward wards off field at Takefuji Classic
LAS VEGAS #&151; Wendy Ward kept her cool and her touch around the greens Saturday for a wire-to-wire win in the Takefuji Classic, her first victory in nearly four years.

Area track season gets started in Homer
The gun has fired and the track and field season has started with a bang.

Carter and Kidd stymie 'Sixers
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Vince Carter had 43 points, Jason Kidd registered his 67th career triple-double and the New Jersey Nets took control of their playoff destiny with a 104-83 win over Philadelphia on Sunday that prevented the 76ers' from clinching a postseason berth.

Bulldogs split with Grizzlies
The Nikiski High School boys soccer team opened its season with a 1-0 Northern Lights Conference win over Grace Christian at Anchorage Football Stadium Saturday.

Finally at the finish line
BOSTON — He will be there at the start of the Boston Marathon, his face stenciled on the starting line. He will be there at Heartbreak Hill, young and old in a bronze handshake spanning almost eight decades of tradition.

Streaking Rockets top hot Nuggets
HOUSTON #&151; Tracy McGrady shook off a poor start to score 32 points, Mike James gave Houston a huge lift off the bench and the Rockets won their fifth straight game Saturday night, 115-87 over the streaking Denver Nuggets.

Tillman wouldn't opt out of service
PHOENIX (AP) #&151; Four months before he was killed in Afghanistan, Pat Tillman was told that he could opt out of extending his military service because National Football League clubs were clamoring for him.

Darren Clarke comes apart
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Darren Clarke needed just four words to sum up his Sunday collapse in the MCI Heritage.

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