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Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Senate Democrats block speedy education appointment
JUNEAU (AP) Gov. Frank Murkowski will have to wait a little longer to appoint the state's next education commissioner.

Anchorage airport fighting industry slump
ANCHORAGE (AP) Alaska's largest airport is fighting a slump in the airline industry by attempting to market value-added services.

Anchorage man convicted in girlfriend's death
ANCHORAGE (AP) A jury has found an Anchorage man guilty of intentionally killing his girlfriend.

New parks and outdoor recreation director named
ANCHORAGE (AP) A former U.S. Forest Service official has been appointed as the director of the state Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.

Senate Republicans turn back Democrat amendments
JUNEAU (AP) Senate Democrats unsuccessfully tried to use more than $20 million from the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation endowment to prop up next year's education funding.

Nenana man makes plea deal in sexual abuse case
FAIRBANKS (AP) A Nenana man has agreed to a plea deal in a sexual abuse case involving two daughters.

Possible human remains found near Chignik Bay
ANCHORAGE (AP) Three bones that appear to be human have been found near Chignik Bay.

Athabascan leader dies in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS (AP) Ralph Perdue, an Athabascan leader and former president of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, has died at age 73.

Alaska scientists go to South Seas on field trip
ANCHORAGE (AP) Blazing sun, crashing surf and exotic shorebirds on the wing. Days spent hiking white-sand beaches of deserted Polynesian atolls, partly for a chance to see Alaska's rare bristle-thighed curlew in its winter home.

Dozens testify against aerial pesticide spraying
JUNEAU (AP) Dozens of people from across Alaska spoke out this week against the use of aerial pesticides for forestry management.

House approves boost in vehicle registration fees
JUNEAU (AP) The cost of registering a car may be going up.

Jury begins deliberations in Big Lake fire case
ANCHORAGE (AP) Jurors in the Big Lake fire trial began deliberations Wednesday, nearly seven years after Alaska's most destructive blaze.

Man accused of defrauding Veterans Administration
FAIRBANKS (AP) A Fairbanks man is on trial on 45 federal charges of defrauding the Veterans Administration out of $63,000.

At least 19 winners in Nenana Ice Classic
NENANA (AP) The ice went out on the Tanana River Tuesday evening to end the suspense in this year's Nenana Ice Classic.

Dog collector gets help with his 400 pooches
FAIRBANKS (AP) Richard Hall's dog yard became more manageable this week after about 100 local volunteers set up an assembly line to spay, neuter euthanize or adopt out many of the nearly 400 dogs he was keeping.

Juneau Assembly approves resolution on USA Patriot Act
JUNEAU (AP) The Juneau Assembly has approved a resolution asking Congress to take another look at some aspects of the USA Patriot and Homeland Security acts. The vote for the resolution Monday was 6-1, with two assembly members absent.

Coast Guard to retire cutter
ANCHORAGE (AP) A Coast Guard cutter with more than two decades of service in Alaska is retiring.

Senate approves fiscal 2004 operating budget
JUNEAU (AP) Senate Republicans signed off on a $2.3 billion operating budget Tuesday that restores some of the cuts in education proposed by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Feds address Arctic climate research
FAIRBANKS (AP) Arctic climate research should focus on such concerns as rising winter temperatures, thinning sea ice and thawing permafrost, said the Bush administration's global climate change program director.

Two women charged with diner burglary
KENAI (AP) Two women were arrested after authorities say they tried to burglarize a Kenai diner early Friday.

Okaya knew all prospective buyers in Bristol Bay
ANCHORAGE (AP)

$14 million contract awarded for power line work
KETCHIKAN (AP) A contract for about $14 million has been awarded by the city to Columbia Helicopters, Inc., despite a late, unsolicited bid from another company for about $2.3 million less.

Executive says airport not at risk of becoming flyover city
ANCHORAGE (AP) Anchorage is not at risk of becoming a flyover city anytime soon, according to a Boeing executive.

Iliamna road gets some basic repairs
ANCHORAGE (AP) An unlikely consortium is making improvements to Pile Bay Road, the narrow, rough connection between Iliamna Lake and tidewater in Cook Inlet that was built as a short-cut for fishing boats heading to Bristol Bay.

Murkowski names two Interior judges
JUNEAU (AP) Gov. Frank Murkowski has appointed two Fairbanks men to Interior judgeships.

Student dies of injuries from Sitka bicycle crash
SITKA (AP) A fifteen-year-old student at Mt. Edgecumbe High School died last weekend from injuries suffered a week earlier when he tried to ride his bicycle down a flight of metal stairs at the school, school officials say.

Soldotna water thrower faces criminal charges
ANCHORAGE (AP) Criminal charges have been filed against a man who says he was being patriotic when he dumped water on war protesters in Soldotna.

Citizens initiative expected on cruise ship taxes
JUNEAU (AP) A citizens' initiative to tax cruise ships and require them to get environmental permits was filed Tuesday with the lieutenant governor's office.

Klondike ice jam puts water on Dawson streets
WHITEHORSE, Yukon (AP) The Klondike River, which has been spilling over onto Dawson's roads and even into a few low-lying cabins, has begun to recede, that town's emergency measures coordinator said Tuesday.

Taxi cab hits wolf in Mendenhall Valley
JUNEAU (AP) A taxi cab struck a wolf in Mendenhall Valley, forcing police to put the injured animal down.

Arizona whips Marlins
PHOENIX Junior Spivey went 3-for-5 with his first home run of the year and the Arizona Diamondbacks won three games in a row for the first time this season by beating the weary Florida Marlins 7-1 Monday night.

Maddux keeps rolling as Braves beat Astros
HOUSTON Greg Maddux pitched seven sharp innings to win his third straight decision and Gary Sheffield hit a two-run single as the Atlanta Braves beat the Houston Astros 3-1 Tuesday night.

Mariners rip Yankees in Ichiro-Matsui clash
NEW YORK Roger Clemens failed to get his 298th win, and Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui didn't do very much either in their first matchup in the major leagues.

Connecting daily lives with the Stations of the Cross
For the fifth year, members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna made a 3-mile pilgrimage in honor of Good Friday and the Easter celebration.

Oh Bother! Pooh Bear comes to Kenai
The Little Theatre at KCHS is alive these days with the characters created by A.A. Milne as Kenai Performers Director Carol Ford works with her cast in preparation for the May 9th opening of the musical classic, "Winnie the Pooh."

Soldotna Mayor honors SoHi Cheerleading Champions
"It's times like this when I just really love this job," said Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey as he gave copies of an official proclamation honoring the 3A/4A Division State Championship Cheerleading squad from SoHi.

Former Soldotna Coach gearing up for 2003 Memorial Day Triathlon
For the first time since 1999, swimmers, bikers and runners will be taking off Memorial Day for a test of endurance and skill at the 2003 Tsalteshi Trails Triathlon thanks to the enthusiasm of Race Director and former Soldotna Coach John Steckel. According to Steckel the event will be attractive to a variety of skill levels.

Rowing Club makes ready for Crewsing
With only six seasons behind them, the Kenai Crewsers Rowing Club has already achieved international recognition and the cover photo of last month's Rowing News. The national magazine listed Kenai as one of "The Ten Best Places to Row in America." A bit of a surprise to the followers of the stereotypical New England Ivy League sport. Indeed the other places that made the top ten included Boston, Maine, Dartmouth etc.

Photo feature: Dirty work
Heidi Meehan weeds a flower garden in her yard on First Street in Kenai last Friday. "I'm going for garden of the week, so be looking for me," she said.

Webster's arguments for dousing protesters just don't hold water
Jeff Webster just doesn't get it! His laughable attempt to justify his actions in his letter published April 24 sheds further light on his self-glorified, misdirected efforts.

Protesters object to war; their beef is not against those in military
If a simple yes/no survey was taken of the "Webster Water War" incident, I believe the results would show Mr. Webster could fit the total of his supporters in the bed of his pickup (they could sit on upturned buckets)!

Volunteers add special touch to food bank's Easter dinner
The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank hosted its second annual Easter Dinner for the public on April 20. Those attending were served turkey, ham, potatoes, cooked and raw vegetables, and various desserts. The dinner was free to those who attended.

If Mr. Webster's rights have been violated, he should contact police
As an honorably discharged Korean veter

Can Alaskans call legislators 'tax-and-spend conservatives'?
I reviewed my crystal ball predictions of 40-plus days ago. Sad, but true, the predictions are coming to pass.

Proposed capital budget doesn't add up, says Wagoner
If Gov. Frank Murkowski's proposed capital spending plan for fiscal year 2004 passes as is, Kenai Peninsula state election districts would be in line for $14.5 million in project funding aimed mostly at utilities, highways and buildings.

Electrician suffers burns in accident at refinery
A Kenai man was in satisfactory condition at the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle Monday where he was taken after being burned in an industrial accident Saturday.

BLM seeks public's help to better manage lands
The Bureau of Land Manage-ment will conduct public meetings in Alaska locations, including the Kenai Peninsula, to gather input on the job its doing managing public lands.

2 women arrested for burglary
Two women were arrested early Friday morning after they allegedly tried to burglarize the K-Beach Diner in Kenai.

Alliance gives HEA more power to deal with national issues
Homer Electric Association has joined forces with nearly 600 electricity cooperatives around the country to bolster its voice in the utility industry, officials said.

Motorcyclists help crash stereotypes during show
Few things are as awe-inspiring as the thunderous rumbling and pulsating roar of a horde of bikers.

Gaming legislation tabled for now
Proposed state legislation to increase taxes on charitable gaming was tabled Tuesday afternoon, pending further investigation.

Soldier's mother breathes easier, still awaits son's safe homecoming
Like so many family members and friends on the Kenai Peninsula, Margie Westmoreland of Kenai is holding her breath for news of one local soldier.

Soldotna water thrower faces criminal charges
Four additional misdemeanor charges have been filed against the Soldotna man accused of throwing water on peace demonstrators at the Soldotna "Y" April 1.

Dano Barnhart
Clam Gulch resident Dano "Brother Dan" Barnhart died of a heart attack in his new apartment in Soldotna on Saturday, April 26, 2003. He was 53.

Quentin Leslie Johnson
Seward resident Quentin Leslie Johnson died Friday, April 25, 2003, at home in his sleep. He was 82.

William (Bill) Robert Staley
Longtime Soldotna resident William (Bill) Robert Staley died Saturday, April 26, 2003, from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning while on a fishing trip in Homer. He was 46.

School bus funding needs further study
In the debate over the various aspects of funding for Alaska's K-12 school system, no one argues that the cost of busing students has risen at the exorbitant rate of 65 percent statewide since 1997.

Rebuttal on HB 259: Getting kids to school safely cheaper than alternative
Recently Jim Clark, the governor's chief of staff, a

Graduated license bill will save lives What others say
Nearly everyone has high school memories of a tragedy involving classmates who were involved in car crashes resulting in personal injury or loss of life. Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch relates his own experience of totaling two family vehicles during his high school years.

Around the Peninsula
Soldotna chamber to hear about railroadFishermen's Fund to meet tonightWorkshop planned for Agrium employeesKCHS concert set for May 6Kenai chamber to hold luncheonVolunteers needed for frog surveyLifeguard sign-ups continue

Around the Peninsula
Arctic Winter Games topic of chamber lunch WRCC board meeting planned Talent show tonight Financial seminar slated Carnival to support field trips Wastewater installer training planned Circle track meeting planned Homer cleanup day Saturday Tree grafting class set Host families needed Child development screening offered

Soldotna High
Eighth-graders will visit SoHi from 8 to 11 a.m. today. Incoming students will receive a tour of the facility and information about the many programs and activities offered at the school.

Kenai Central High
The pop concert will be Tuesday, with rehearsals at 2 p.m. Sunday and 1 p.m. Monday.

Peninsula Grace Preschool
Happy birthday to Sloan, Taylor and Noah, who celebrated April birthdays.

Required eye exams uncover problems parents didn't suspect
WASHINGTON Dr. William Reynolds covered the 5-year-old's left eye while the boy read an eye chart. The boy's mother wondered aloud why an exam from an eye specialist was now required to enter Kentucky schools especially since her son seemed to see fine.

Ninilchik
The National Honor Society inducted new members in a ceremony April 22.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary
Mrs. Klaben's fourth-grade class will take a field trip to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge from 8:10 to 11 a.m. Friday.

Grace Lutheran
This week, the children are learning about Jesus coming to Galilee and giving his disciples the Great Commission: to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching and baptizing in the name of God.

Montessori Charter
Montessori students will go on an overnight field trip to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward on Monday.

Graduated license programs reduce teen accidents
WASHINGTON Requiring teens to get learner's permits or go through other interim stages before gaining their driver's licenses reduces auto accidents among young drivers though they continue to have the highest rate of fatal crashes.

Tustumena students swarm stage for spring concert
Tustumena Elementary School was crawling with bugs this week, but school officials didn't call an exterminator.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High
Nikiski High School seniors only have a few days left. Graduation will be at 7 p.m. May 19. The walk practice will be at 8:30 a.m. May 16. All seniors must attend the walk practice.

Redoubt Elementary
All Redoubt Elementary School volunteers are invited to a luncheon in their honor between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday.

Skyview High
Thanks to the teams that participated in last weekend's track and field invite. More than 20 teams participated. Skyview will host boroughs and regions in May.

Sears Elementary
The PTA will meet Thursday. Mr. Dawson from Mountain View will be there to talk to second-grade parents.

Cook Inlet Academy
Students of the week were Owen Phillips, for showing good sportsmanship; Aaron Julien, for dedication to excellence in written work; Reid Schmelzenbach, for special kindness shown in the classroom; Riley Smithwick, for diligence in schoolwork; and Cody Munn, for leadership in the classroom.

Sterling Elementary
Congratulations to Natasha Mallett, Sterling Elementary's Masonic Student of the Year. Natasha has gone to Sterling Elementary since kindergarten. She has been involved with student council, band, choir and many other activities over those years.

Wings Christian Academy
The end of the school year is coming up quickly and the students at Wings Christian Academy are working hard to finish up.

College co-sponsors 'Alaska 2003: A Celebration of Wildlife Art'
KPC, along with the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center, announces the opening of a must-see, international exhibition of world-class wildlife art at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center beginning Friday.

Soldotna Cooperative Preschool
This week, the students are celebrating the earth and Earth Day by making paper mache globes and learning how to recycle. The kids also took a litter walk and cleaned up trash around the neighborhood.

New Jersey school district testing security system
PLUMSTED, N.J. The biggest security breach in recent memory in this small central New Jersey school district happened when a parent forgot to sign in at the office before delivering cupcakes to a child's classroom.

Menu
White or chocolate milk served at each meal.

Aurora Borealis Charter
Mr. Severson's fourth-grade class hosted its sixth annual Business Day on April 16. I

Kenai Middle
Students have worked hard on a kayak building project, which took longer than the previously made canoes. The kayak is 15 feet, 2 inches long, 32 inches wide and 12 inches deep and weighs 75 pounds.

Defining moments: Area youth competes in vocabulary contest
Parsimonious. Sesquipedalian. Supercilious.

Connections
Enrollment is open for the 2003-04 school year. Interested families may call 262-6315 for more information on the program or to make an enrollment appointment.

Tustumena Elementary
Ms. Jacquline Erion, who is a park ranger with the Alaska State Parks met with all Tustumena Elementary classes last week to deliver boating safety educational curricula.

Students graduate from Soldotna DARE program
Students from 10 fifth- and sixth-grade classes graduated Monday from the Drug Abuse Resistance and Education program conducted in Soldotna, Sterling and Kasilof.

Nikiski Elementary
The BoxTops Blast was a huge success. The kindergartners took an early lead and never looked back.

Senior Briefs
Forget-Me-Not Care Center

Volunteer weather watchers stick to their daily measure for decades
GRAFTON, N.Y. Tempera-ture checks are easy. Everett Wagar simply looks at the thermometer.

Senior Menus
Homer

SoHi boys get tie, girls get win with dramatic scores
A pair of late goals gave the Soldotna girls a win and the Soldotna boys a tie Tuesday in Region III Southern Division games against visiting Nikiski.

Sports Briefs
Popovich is NBA's Coach of the Year

Stars snap Ducks' six-game playoff win streak
ANAHEIM, Calif. Somebody finally slowed down the Mighty Ducks.

Getting cut in eighth grade inspires Sturm's soccer skill
In soccer, it's called a turn. To execute the move, the player receives the ball facing one way, controls the ball, and takes off dribbling in the opposite direction.

SkyHi tops Kenai, stays unbeaten
The Skyview High School boys soccer team notched a convincing victory Tuesday, defeating Kenai Central 5-1 in Kenai.

Lakers flash championship form in throttling Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS The Los Angeles Lakers snapped back to life, with everyone from Kobe Bryant to Derek Fisher to Robert Horry to Shaquille O'Neal exhibiting championship form.

Referees, Canucks rein in Wild play
ST. PAUL, Minn. The referees kept a tighter lid on the boiling rivalry between Vancouver and Minnesota, and the Canucks took full advantage.

Diversity drops in pro, college sports hires
Women and minorities are losing ground with jobs in professional and college sports, reversing a trend toward greater diversity, according to a study released Monday.

Iverson struggles, Philly surges
NEW ORLEANS The Philadelphia 76ers didn't need a heroic effort from Allen Iverson to regain command of their playoff series with the New Orleans Hornets.

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