Thursday, May 1, 2003

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.

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.

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.

King Cove votes to raise levy
ANCHORAGE (AP) The village of King Cove has voted to raise its local sales tax.

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

Judge dismisses lawsuit against Native corporation
ANCHORAGE (AP) A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against a Native corporation in Goodnews.

Delta hearing favors Pogo mine
DELTA JUNCTION (AP) City officials favor construction of the Pogo gold mine near their community, they said at a public comment meeting on the mine conducted by the government agencies responsible for issuing permits for the $250 million project.

Board's vote puts railroad closer to terminal purchase
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Alaska Railroad Board has authorized management to finalize a deal that would have the state-owned railroad purchase the dormant Seward coal terminal.

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.

Salcha gets flooded again
FAIRBANKS (AP) Salcha residents are dealing with another round of flooding, less than three months after icy overflow seeped into some homes.

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.

Flags lowered for Ralph Perdue and Nadine Price
ANCHORAGE (AP) Alaska flags were lowered at all state offices Thursday in memory of Alaska Constutional Convention editor Nadine Price, who died last week.

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.

Man gets 10 years for killing 16-year-old girl
FAIRBANKS (AP) A North Pole man was sentenced Wednesday to ten years in prison for killing a 16-year-old girl last July.

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.

Plan would base longevity bonuses on need
JUNEAU (AP) Senior citizens would have to prove financial need to continue getting monthly longevity bonuses under a measure being considered by the Senate Finance Committee. Dozens of older Alaskans testified against the idea Wednesday night.

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.

Murkowski names two to Fish Board
JUNEAU (AP) Gov. Frank Murkowski announced two appointments Wednesday to the Board of Fisheries.

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.

Jury finds for state in Big Lake fire case
PALMER (AP) Jurors in the Big Lake fire trial spent just four and a half hours Wednesday deciding that state firefighters weren't negligent in their attempts to control Alaska's most destructive wildfire.

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.

Gambling bill running out of time
ANCHORAGE (AP) A proposal to allow video gambling machines in bars and clubs to help balance the state budget appears dead or nearly so as the Legislature enters its final weeks.

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.

Government to cut 6,000 screening jobs, but small Alaska airports are gaining screeners
WASHINGTON The government announced plans Wednesday to eliminate 3,000 more airport screening jobs by the end of September.

$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.

Supreme Court won't hear Tok trapping case
FAIRBANKS (AP) The Alaska Supreme Court has refused to consider an appeal of the nearly $200,000 damage award against an animal rights group whose Alaska researcher cut an injured wolf out of a Tok man's trap back in 1997.

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.

Anchorage man fights air rage charge
ANCHORAGE (AP) An Anchorage man is fighting a federal felony charge of interfering with a flight crew on a Valentine's Day trip from Seattle.

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.

Energy bill passes Senate committee; toughest fights ahead
WASHINGTON (AP) Loan guarantees for building a North Slope natural gas pipeline are included in an energy package that won approval Wednesday from a Senate committee, which dodged some contentious issues from car mileage to climate change.

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.

Bill would impose 3 percent sales tax
JUNEAU (AP) A bill calling for a year-round 3 percent sales tax was introduced Wednesday in the House. Gov. Frank Murkowski did not rule out supporting the proposal, although he said he prefers a seasonal sales tax.

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.

High oil and gas prices boost ConocoPhillips' net income
HOUSTON (AP) High oil and gas prices and high worldwide refining margins boosted ConocoPhillips' first-quarter net income to $1.4 billion, the company said Wednesday.

Rehabilitated young sea lion released back to the wild
ANCHORAGE (AP) Five days after a little female sea lion named Faith was rescued off the rocky beach south of Ketchikan last June, its health began to fail. It had a blocked digestive tract, followed by a debilitating infection.

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.

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.

Adding value to one's home
NEW YORK The arrival of spring signals to many homeowners that it's time to start redecorating and remodeling. Experts caution, however, that not all home improvements are good investments.

Business Briefs
Insurance agents honored

Western-led oil boom in Iraq far from done deal
The overthrow of Saddam Hussein puts petroleum companies closer to their goal of tapping the world's second-largest proven reserves. A Western-led oil boom in Iraq, however, is still far from guaranteed.

Bing Crosby fans celebrate singer's 100th birthday
HILLSBOROUGH, Calif. In a glade of towering eucalyptus trees south of San Francisco looms the Bing Crosby manor, its tall red-brick facade and peaked gray-blue slate roof resembling a stately house of England.

Novel retells one of Alaska's amazing tales
Move over Nostradamus. Alaska has its own prophet, and the story of his life is so odd and wonderful that it is a mystery so few know his name.

Photography guild show opens today
William Heath's photograph "Autumns Past" is one of the images on display in the Kenai Peninsula Photographers Guild's spring show at the Kenai Fine Arts Center on Cook Avenue in Kenai.

Superhero movies succeed, multiply
LOS ANGELES Look! Up on the screen! It's ... a superhero!

What's Happening
Best Bets

'Jerry Springer the Opera' hits the stage
LONDON All my guests have guilty secrets,'' sings an onstage Jerry Springer.

All-reality TV cable channel planned to air in 2004
LOS ANGELES The audience appetite for reality television could be tested by a planned cable channel that will offer a diet of all reality, all the time.

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.

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.

Instead of taxes, Alaska should use permanent fund earnings
Several letter writers have suggested that the fa

Spring weather prompts community cleanups
Spring cleaning may be a dirty job, but with warm temperatures and sunny skies making more frequent appearances on the Kenai Peninsula, now is the time to do it.

Trash disposal tips
Winter's snow has melted, and with it the most convenient excuse for people to put off spring cleaning.

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

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.

Area legislators consider tax options
Rep. Paul Seaton of Homer said Tuesday he believes an income tax would be better than a sales tax for Alaskans and Alaska businesses, but his Republican colleague from the central Kenai Peninsula, Rep. Mike Chenault of Nikiski, says he's not so sure.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

North Korea's military thrives
WASHINGTON It is a country with 1.17 million military personnel, the world's fifth largest. Its air force has more than 1,700 aircraft and the navy more than 800 ships.

End of war now blurs with rebuilding nation
... This war in Iraq will lack the finality

Looting of Iraqi artifacts harms liberators' cause
Military personnel and journalists were

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

Around the Peninsula
Superman to speak at chamber lunch

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

White or chocolate milk served at each meal.

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

Golfers get early opening
Kenai Golf Course set its own record for the earliest official opening since 1986. The greens are in use and the range is open. After a very strange winter that was unkind to skiers, ice skaters and snowmobile enthusiasts

Janson commits to Montana Tech
Kenai Central High School senior Cory Janson has signed a letter of intent to play football next at Montana Tech in Butte, Mont.

Trail Blazers stay alive against Mavericks
DALLAS The Portland Trail Blazers are trying to carve a new image: The never-say-die underdogs.

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

Ducks flatten Stars
ANAHEIM, Calif. They swept defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit and are one win away from eliminating Dallas, the top seed in the West.

Sports Briefs
Seward girls, ACS boys take invite

Homer boys shuffle Kards
The Homer High School boys soccer team came up with a Region III Southern Division win Wednesday, holding off Kenai Central for a 2-1 win in a rugged, rough and tumble match in Kenai.

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.

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.

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.

Volunteers needed to assess wood frog populations
Imagine yourself taking a leisurely stroll in the twilight of evening. As you move through the woods, coming up on the familiar site of the neighborhood pond, the forest suddenly comes alive all around you.

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