Saturday, April 29, 2000

Audit: State's child protection agency improves but still struggling
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A legislative audit says Alaska's child protection agency is doing a better job of responding to reports that children are being abused or neglected.

House Finance Committee amends capital budget
JUNEAU (AP) -- The House Finance Committee approved a billion-dollar capital budget Thursday after rejecting most amendments offered by minority Democrats. A vote on the floor was delayed until at least Friday.

Fairbanks Borough mayor Hove won't seek reelection
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Hank Hove said he will not seek reelection when his term expires in October.

Diesel spill fouls water in Pitkas Point
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A diesel fuel spill this week in a lower Yukon River village has fouled the community's only source of drinking water, state environmental officials said Friday.

State sets start of fire season on Kenai Peninsula; permits required
KENAI (AP) -- The state Division of Forestry has set the official start of the fire season on the Kenai Peninsula.

Fairbanks family welcomes triplets
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks family is welcoming Seth Andrew, Jerimiah Owen and Jacob Michael into the world -- just the third set of triplets born at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital in the past 20 years.

State employee union offers concession; Senate fires warning shot
JUNEAU (AP) -- The largest state employee union offered a concession Thursday and a Republican leader in Senate pushed a backhanded counteroffer that indicates a tough fight over new contracts for state workers could dominate the Legislature's final days.

Coast Guard finds tramper fleet safety record much improved
DUTCH HARBOR (AP) -- The foreign-owned tramper fleet carrying cargo between North America and Asia has drastically improved its safety record in recent years, Coast Guard inspectors say.

Jury adds $4.4 million to judgment against lodge over beer sale
DILLINGHAM (AP) -- A jury Thursday added $4.4 million in punitive damages against a remote lodge for the wrongful death of a Levelock man.

Peninsula students win Caring for the Kenai competition
KENAI (AP) -- A Soldotna High School freshman has won the grand prize in this year's Caring for the Kenai competition.

Four whales taken in Arctic
BARROW (AP) -- Four bowheads have already been harvested in the spring whaling season for northwestern Alaska, and the count could climb quickly with reports of open water near Barrow and large numbers of migrating whales.

U.S. icebreaker begins Northwest Passage voyage
OTTAWA (AP) -- A U.S. ship built for traveling through ice-packed polar waters has started a rare trip through Canada's disputed Northwest Passage.

Safeway sells final store in divestment order
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Safeway has disposed of the last of the supermarkets it was forced to sell when it took over the Carrs Gottstein Foods chain last fall in a $330 million deal.

Craig man faces criminal charges over child support
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A Craig man was arraigned this week on charges of criminal nonsupport after prosecutors say he racked up $66,000 in back child support.

Federal research ship damaged en route to Alaska
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A U.S. government research ship on its way to Alaska to study fish populations ran aground off Canada during the weekend and was scheduled to return to Seattle for repairs.

Scientist cite contaminant risk in Arctic subsistence
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Alaskans living a subsistence life in the Arctic may face a risk of serious illness due to environmental contamination by pesticides and other chemicals from Europe, a panel of experts agreed Wednesday.

Budget committee chooses smaller university increase
JUNEAU (AP) -- A joint House-Senate committee approved the smaller of two proposed budget increases for the University of Alaska on Thursday.

Wolf that attacked child was not rabid
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A wolf that bit a 6-year-old boy in a Yakutat-area logging camp this week did not have rabies.

Alaska Airlines mechanic says company falsified records
SEATTLE (AP) -- A former Alaska Airlines mechanic alleges that the company falsified maintenance records, pushed him to work faster and ridiculed his requests for manuals.

Around the Peninsula
Speech-language-hearing meeting begins todayMarch of Dimes walk planned for SaturdayCar seat check up to be offered SaturdayMall's grand opening celebration scheduledPeninsula Grace Brethren to host concertPeer-training program meeting planned Garage sale to raise funds for soccer team

Community Calendar
The Community Calendar lists events and meetings of nonprofit organizations. Deadline for submissions is noon the preceding day. To have your event listed, or to change any information, call 283-7551 or fax 283-3299.

Activist group hits Sierra timber swap agreement; may trigger backlash
NEVADA CITY, Calif. (AP) -- A new activist group hoisted a 60-foot wide banner between two pine trees Wednesday in what it said was the first Greenpeace-style direct action against a Sierra Nevada timber company.

Feds sign biggest-ever contract for green power
DENVER (AP) -- With a gentle breeze blowing, U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson announced the biggest-ever federal contract for ''green power'' on Thursday.

Snake dams to stand at least five or 10 years -- then could go
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Marine Fisheries Service is expected to say next month that four Snake River dams should remain standing for at least another five or 10 years.

Senators hear about protections for Black Rock Desert
WASHINGTON (AP) -- As Gold Rush emigrant Goldsborough Bruff struggled across Nevada's Black Rock Desert in 1849, he sketched a hardscrabble hill covered with sagebrush and crowned with a rock outcropping.

State, feds tribes learning more about threatened cutthroat trout
WADSWORTH, Nev. (AP) -- State and federal biologists and a local tribe are releasing 50,000 Lahontan cutthroat trout into the Truckee River in the final phase of a five-year study aimed at helping to save the fish from extinction.

Daughters join mothers at work
Shirley Warner, Soldotna police chief, had company in the patrol car Thursday.

Photo feature: Taking wing
Tech. Sgt. Andrew Elliott showed preschool students from Cook Inlet Academy an Alaska National Guard helicopter Thursday.

Officials emphasize safety, common sense
It's official, the Alaska Division of Forestry has announced the beginning of the fire season. Starting May 1, burn permits will be required for burning brush, grass and yard debris.

Ninilchik bluff project under scrutiny
When excavators started bulldozing the bluff at Deep Creek without permits last week, some Ninilchik residents were alarmed.

Delane Robert 'Trader Bob' Grubb
Longtime Alaska resident Delane Robert "Trader Bob" Grubb died Sunday, April 23, 2000, at Central Peninsula General Hospital. He was 61.<

Donna A. Grundman
Kenai resident Donna A. Grundman died of cancer Friday, April 14, 2000, at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. She was 72.

Blowdowns allow foresters to witness nature's regeneration firsthand
BAGLEY, Minn. (AP) -- When you're a forester, it's the long view that counts.

Local kayaking duo tests Colorado's creeks for guidebook
DENVER (AP) -- It's been a long wait.

Snowmobiles banned in National Parks
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Park

Photo feature: Spring hunting
An adult and two adolescent bald eagles rest on a perch overlooking the Soldotna dump earlier this month.

Catholic and Anglican bishops set May international confab
LONDON (AP) -- Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops from 13 regions of the world will meet May 14-20 near Toronto to review three decades of formal dialogue between the two branches of Christianity, and to consider future steps.

Montana Episcopal bishop faces trial on sex charges
HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Bishop Charles I. Jones, 56, leader of the Episcopal Church in Montana, will go before a church tribunal in September on charges of immoral conduct with a woman parishioner in Kentucky in the 1980s.

Religion Briefs
Kodiak choir to perform area concertsSolFirst sportsmen's banquet plannedPeninsula Grace BrethrenCrowder to speak at SolFirstNational Day of PrayerChristian church plans meeting for women

'Speed Dating' aims to match Jewish singles
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (AP) -- The start of a long-lasting relationship could take only seven minutes of conversation in a coffee shop.

Church council takes over legal aid for Elian Gonzalez's father
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Council of Churches has taken over the fund paying legal expenses for Elian Gonzalez's father from the United Methodist Church's Board of Church and Society.

Women want 'sacred place' at prison
MITCHELLVILLE, Iowa (AP) -- The women at the Mitchellville prison cannot escape the din of the loudspeaker, the ''squawk box,'' even to worship. But that is about to change.

Charges filed against Methodist bishop in lesbian wedding dispute
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- United Methodist parishioners have called for an investigation of Bishop Melvin Talbert following a church tribunal's decision to take no action against 68 ministers who jointly conducted a lesbian wedding last year.

Catholic church decries upsurge in guerrilla extortion
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Not even charity offerings collected in provincial Roman Catholic churches are immune from extortion by Colombia's largest rebel band, which has stepped up pressure on priests to turn over cash, the church's leader says.

Conflicting views of Bible at root of Protestants' homosexual split
NEW YORK (AP) -- The 992 delegates heading to Cleveland for the United Methodist Church's most important gathering will lug 1,900 legislative proposals in their bulging briefcases. But only one agenda topic has potential to split their denomination: Homosexuality.

Fellman nets hat trick to lead Skyview past Houston
Jake Fellman netted the Panthers' first-ever hat trick as the Skyview High School boys soccer team downed Houston 4-1 Thursday at Houston.

Devils get Tucker-ed out
TORONTO -- Darcy Tucker is the first to admit his goals aren't always pretty.

Whalers top team at Mid-Valley meet
The Soldotna Whalers werstling club took home the first-place team trophy at a meet in Wasilla Saturday.

Activities ball in assembly's court
If the sales pitch of two Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members is successful Tuesday, the assembly will make the large cuts to the activities budget for the 2000-01 school year disappear.

Baseball doles out punishment for Tigers-White Sox fisticuffs
CHICAGO -- In what is believed to be the harshest penalty for a brawl in baseball history, 16 members of the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox were suspended Thursday for a total of 82 games.

Oilers Corner
The Peninsula Oilers have resigned Stephen Correa, a sophomore at Pepperdine University.

Baseball doles out punishment for Tigers-White Sox fisticuffs
CHICAGO -- In what is believed to be the harshest penalty for a brawl in baseball history, 16 members of the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox were suspended Thursday for a total of 82 games.

Bucks actually win in playoffs
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Milwaukee Bucks found their offense and shed a decade of playoff frustration.

Alaskan bear cubs arrive at their new home
HEBER CITY, Utah (AP) -- Two orphaned Alaska bear cubs have arrived at their new home on a farm south of Heber City.

Peregrine falcon finds mate in Tacoma
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- A male peregrine falcon that took up residence in the downtown area five years ago has found a mate, and the two birds soon may produce offspring in a nest on a drawbridge.

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