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Friday, May 9, 2003

Wireless feature requires opt-out from customers
ANCHORAGE (AP) ACS Wireless and MTA Wireless both recently added voice-activated dialing to their calling features, and are offering it free to customers for a trial period.

Public interest lawsuit bill clears House committee
JUNEAU (AP) Environmental groups and others challenging state resource agency decisions in court could pay more in legal costs under a bill that passed the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Prison bills on hold while issues get new look
ANCHORAGE (AP) Rival bills to build a large prison are on hold in Juneau as Gov. Frank Murkowski's administration takes a look at corrections issues.

Fairbanks steps up seat belt enforcement
FAIRBANKS (AP) Beginning Saturday, Fairbanks will be the first city in Alaska to allow police to pull motorists over simply for not wearing their seat belts.

Joule taken to hospital after apparent heart attack
JUNEAU (AP) Rep. Reggie Joule was flown to an Anchorage hospital early Wednesday after suffering a heart attack.

Researchers want more federal earthquake funding
FAIRBANKS (AP) The nation should triple funding for earthquake research and protection, a scientist told a congressional committee in Washington.

Search continues in Anchorage for missing woman
ANCHORAGE (AP) Relatives and friends have been searching Anchorage greenbelts, trail heads and parking lots for a 21-year-old missing woman.

Private contractors reopen state parks
ANCHORAGE (AP) Seven Matanuska-Susitna parks closed by the state last year will begin reopening in private hands over the weekend.

House approves change to coastal management program
JUNEAU (AP) A bill revamping the Alaska Coastal Management Program passed the state House on Wednesday, over objections from some representatives that it reduces local control over development projects.

Parents, students could pay $100 for truancy
JUNEAU The Juneau Assembly is considering adopting a new law calling for more stringent ways to deal with school truants.

North Pole parents can decide where sixth-graders go
FAIRBANKS (AP) North Pole parents will get to choose whether sixth-grade students stay in elementary school or graduate to middle school next fall.

Private contractors reopen state parks
ANCHORAGE (AP) Seven Matanuska-Susitna parks closed by the state last year will reopen in private hands over the weekend.

Ocean Beauty image as price leader challenged
ANCHORAGE (AP) A processor's claim of a competitive Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery came under fire Wednesday by fishermen's attorneys who called Ocean Beauty Seafoods a price follower in a shrinking market.

Murkowski gets behind sales tax measure
JUNEAU (AP) Gov. Frank Murkowski has given his support to a plan for a statewide sales tax that would automatically double during the summer tourist season.

Knowles talks to top Democrats in Washington, D.C.
ANCHORAGE (AP) Former Gov. Tony Knowles made a quiet visit to Washington this week where he was spotted in the halls of the Senate.

Democrat numbers reduced by health problems
JUNEAU (AP) Three House Democrats a quarter of the 12-member House minority caucus were in the hospital Thursday.

Bidders spend almost $1 million in oil, gas lease sale
ANCHORAGE (AP) Speculators bid nearly $1 million this week for oil and gas leases in Cook Inlet and the North Slope Foothills.

Longtime Quest volunteer has cancer
FAIRBANKS (AP) Leo Olesen, who has done everything for the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race except run it, has a tough trail ahead. He was recently diagnosed with an incurable variety of glandular cancer.

Alcohol a factor in teen crash
JUNEAU (AP) Alcohol was involved in a weekend car crash in Juneau that left three local teenagers hospitalized in Seattle, police said.

BP expects new data to improve Prudhoe drilling success
ANCHORAGE (AP) BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. has completed new seismic surveys of most of the Prudhoe Bay oil reservoir, updating data from the 1980s and 1990s, along with checking areas around Deadhorse never before surveyed.

House goes along with Senate plan to cut Denali KidCare
JUNEAU (AP) The state House decided Wednesday night to go along with a Senate plan to reduce the number of people eligible for state health care through Denali KidCare.

State ferry's second trip to Dutch Harbor delayed
UNALASKA (AP) The Alaska state ferry Tustumena was stuck at the dock in Homer with a mechanical problem Thursday instead of heading for Dutch Harbor.

Help available for people affected by windstorm
ANCHORAGE (AP) Disaster recovery centers opened in Palmer and Anchorage Wednesday for people affected during the March windstorms in parts of Southcentral Alaska.

Stowaway sentenced to community service
ANCHORAGE (AP) An Oregon man has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service for stowing away on an Alaska state ferry.

Legend turns big grizzly into monster proportions
ANCHORAGE (AP) A massive grizzly has taken on mythical proportions since it was killed in Prince William Sound 19 months ago.

UAF professors receive award
FAIRBANKS (AP) Three University of Alaska Fairbanks professors have been honored for their decades of service to the university, and each will get a check for $10,000.

Ceremonial hammer comes home to Tlingit clan
SITKA (AP) Katlian's Hammer, a Russian blacksmith hammer used as a weapon by the Tlingit chief Katlian in the 1804 battle at the mouth of the Indian River, has been returned to the Kiksadi clan after 30 years in possession of the National Park Service.

Alcohol a factor in teen crash
JUNEAU (AP) Alcohol was involved in a weekend car crash in Juneau that left three local teenagers hospitalized in Seattle, police said.

House Finance approves rental car tax
JUNEAU (AP) A bill to impose a tax on rental cars and recreational vehicles passed the House Finance Committee on Wednesday.

GCI quarterly revenue better than last year
ANCHORAGE (AP) General Communication Inc. reported its first-quarter revenue rose 5 percent, gaining profits of $2.6 million over the $2.2 million earned during the same period last year

Senate panel approves vehicle registration fee increase
JUNEAU (AP) Registering a motor vehicle in Alaska will be a little more expensive under a bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday.

Native corporation invests in auto-sharing business
ANCHORAGE (AP) Bristol Bay Native Corp. has invested $1 million in a car-sharing service based in Seattle.

House committee approves permanent fund bill
JUNEAU (AP) The House Judiciary Committee approved a resolution Wednesday to put a constitutional amendment before voters that changes the way permanent fund payouts are calculated.

Ketchikan hospital deals with two false SARS alarms
ANCHORAGE (AP) Ketchikan General Hospital tested its SARS isolation procedures after two patients showed some SARS virus-like symptoms.

Sitka blacktail deer spotted in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE (AP) Sitka blacktailed deer have been venturing far from home in Prince William Sound all the way to Anchorage.

Boone's boomers secure Reds win
CINCINNATI Aaron Boone led off the second, sixth and seventh innings with homers, leading the Cincinnati Reds to an 8-6 victory Thursday and four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Blue Jays overcome Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas Shannon Stewart hit a three-run homer for his 1,000th career hit as the Toronto Blue Jays overcame Rafael Palmeiro's 499th home run to beat the Texas Rangers 8-6 Thursday.

Maintaining inlet's infrastructure critical to industry, say officials
ANCHORAGE Industry and state efforts are under way to extend the operating life of Cook Inlet's aging oil production platforms.

Business Briefs
Mrs. Fields Cookies founder to be featuredSmall business expo set for SaturdayDEC to offer free food handling classTransportation forum set for June 2

Department stores retool fashion lines in a bid to win baby boomers
NEW YORK (AP) When Ann Pinkerton was in her 20s and 30s, she was a slave to the latest fashions, from bellbottoms to micro mini skirts. Now, in her early 50s, Pinkerton wants to look stylish, but has trouble finding clothes that fit, even though her size has crept up only to an 8.

Watercooler
GENDER DIFFERENCES: Men and women differ markedly when it comes to their assessments of working conditions and career advancement opportunities, according to a survey by an Internet job search site.

Outfitters cater to baby boomers with travel
When outdoor gear and apparel retailer Recreational Equipment Inc. launched REI Adventures in 1987, the travel division catered mostly to hard-core outdoor enthusiasts.

Tips for finding the right home improvement contractor
NEW YORK (AP) Finding a reputable contractor is important for families who are planning home improvement projects, not only to ensure quality work but also to avoid getting bilked.

Measure would give companies incentives by reducing royalties
ANCHORAGE Legislation aimed at extending the operating life of aging Cook Inlet platforms by reducing the state royalty on declining offshore fields was approved by the House Oil and Gas Committee late last month. Similar legislation is in the state Senate.

Inflation-fighting Federal Reserve now wants inflation
NEW YORK (AP) Was that the inflation-fighting Federal Reserve cheering for higher prices?

MBAs get extra help to land jobs
COLLEGE PARK, Md. Patty Buchek usually works with senior managers in her position with an executive search firm. But her recent clients included University of Maryland MBA candidates in need of coaching and some hand-holding as they went off to their first job interviews.

Making the best of two hobbies: model railroading and gardening
NEW MARKET, Va. (AP) Want to work on the railroad? Then become a gardener. Many families are crossing gender and generational lines to make model railroading and gardening into one year-round landscaping project.

What's Happening
Best BetsEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentUpcoming EventsFilmsDown the RoadAnchorage Events

Book showcases jewels of refuge system
The United States is celebrating the centennial of the National Wildlife Refuge system this year. It's an especially big deal in Alaska because we have far more refuge lands here than anywhere else in the country.

James Dean gallery on the move
FAIRMOUNT, Ind. (AP) The curator of a gallery of James Dean memorabilia plans to move the display from the film star's hometown.

Junior theater members put on a honey of a play
It's tough to improve on a classic.

Ailey's 'Revelations' changes classroom
NEWARK, N.J. Nine dancers stand in a tight wedge formation, heads thrown back, ready for their opening steps. They are a study in concentration until one smacks his lips loudly and the others dissolve into giggles.

Art Briefs
Potters guild holds sale SaturdayWriters' conference slatedPoetry contest welcomes submissionsBooth space for festival availablePratt soliciting ornament designsATY offers summer classesMuseum solicits fiber artwork

House goes along with Senate plan to cut Denali KidCare
JUNEAU (AP) The state House decided Wednesday night to go along with a Senate plan to reduce the number of people eligible for state health care through Denali KidCare.

House committee approves permanent fund bill
JUNEAU (AP) The House Judiciary Committee approved a resolution Wednesday to put a constitutional amendment before voters that changes the way permanent fund payouts are calculated.

House approves change to coastal management program
JUNEAU (AP) A bill revamping the Alaska Coastal Management Program passed the state House on Wednesday, over objections from some representatives that it reduces local control over development projects.

Tustumena PTO pays tribute to outstanding teachers, staff
Our public school system continues to be closely examined. Education experts and government leaders have suggested all kinds of ways to strengthen our education system. And at the forefront of implementing these ideas are our teachers.

Residents should not be silent out of fear of retribution
When I first read about the person who tossed a bucket of water at a group of war protesters, I wrote it off as a case of an overzealous father who let his feelings get the better of him.

Are legislators really acting in Alaskans' interests all the time?
Did we send legislators to Juneau to represent us our thoughts and opinions?

Legislators will protect Alaska's future by protecting dividends
I commend the Democrats' position to defend our permanent fund dividends. I hope all citizens get behind their position, as the future of Alaska depends on House Joint Resolution 3.

Newsmaker: Kim Wood
In honor of Mother's Day, Kim Wood, daughter of Wood Brothers Racing founder Glen Wood and sister to current car owners Len and Eddie Wood, talks about her mother's role in racing. Bernece Wood saw the sport evolve from its ban on women in the garage area to women drivers and car owners.

Points Leaders
1. Matt Kenseth 1,6192. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1,599 3. Kurt Busch 1,452

This week's race: Charter Pipeline 250
Where and when

Multi-car owners are turning NASCAR into a Team sport
ATLANTA Rick Hendrick wasn't the first car owner to have more than one race team. But just about everyone on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series now agrees he's the first to make it work.

Owners seeking drivers
ATLANTA All of a sudden it's a driver's market on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

Money Leaders
1. Michael Waltrip $2,312,2012. Kurt Busch 2,172,4113. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1,975,228

Soldier returns home
The Friends and Allies Fund will sponsor a "hero's welcome home" celebration Saturday for Amie Joy of Soldotna.

Grannie Annie's Alaskaladas
Alaska-style enchiladas.

Ordinance to spend $55 million approved by assembly in Seward
Running the Kenai Peninsula Borough in fiscal year 2004 is expected to cost just over $55.6 million, including $31.1 million earmarked for schools.

Decision to leave gravel roads alone this summer kicks up a little dust
Anyone who lives on an unpaved road in the summer knows that some degree of dustiness is an unavoidable fact of life.

Volunteers turn to peninsula for missing woman
Volunteers looking for a 21-year-old missing Anchorage woman are expected to be on the Kenai Peninsula today putting up posters asking people to help find the woman.

Hamilton: Strong university system needed
University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton has long maintained that a strong education system is the only path to economic success in the state.

Peninsula groups benefit from gaming on different levels
For some nonprofit groups, acquiring a state gaming permit may be necessary only for rare fund-raising events. For others, who raise significant sums, gaming is the lifeblood of their charitable operations.

Prodigy Alaska high bidder in lease sale
Prodigy Alaska LLC was the high bidder in Wednesday's Cook Inlet Areawide 2003 state oil and gas lease sale, bidding a total of $415,386 on seven tracts totaling 21,120 acres.

'Grannie Annie' goes nationwide
Anyone in the central Kenai Peninsula who has read one of Ann Berg's cookbooks knows she has a knack for whipping up creative, authentic Alaska cuisine. After today, the rest of the country will know as well.

Following new paths
More than 150 students earned recognition for their continued education at the Kenai Peninsula College commencement ceremony Wednesday night at Kenai Central High School.

HEA board gets 2 new members
A kind of changing of the guard happened Wednesday in Homer when a pair of long-time incumbent members of Homer Electric Association Board of Directors lost their bids for re-election.

Maxine Cowan-Sterling
Maxine Cowan-Sterling of Canon City, Colo., died Tuesday, May 6, 2003, in Canon City. She was 90.

Daniel Kenneth Dunbar
Former Soldotna resident Daniel Kenneth Dunbar died Sunday, May 4, 2003, at the Muskogee Regional Medical Center in Oklahoma. He was 40.

Helen D. Hale Obituary
Kenai resident Helen D. Hale died Saturday, April 29, 2003, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 75.

Wesley E. Bethje Obituary
Longtime Nikiski resident Wesley E. Bethje died Wednesday, May 7, 2003, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 78.

Country lacks key ingredient for prolonged imperial adventures: willing people
WASHINGTON The word empire'' is being used more often these days to describe America's global role. With Saddam Hussein out of the way, President Bush wants to transform not only Iraq but neighboring countries as well.

Alaska Peninsula road shows value of access
The Denali Commission describes itself as an innovative federal-state partnership ... to provide critical utilities, infrastructure and economic support throughout Alaska.''

Alaska Legislature running out of time to bridge fiscal gap
With just a week and a half left of this year's legislative session adjournment is scheduled for May 21 it's easy to wonder what will happen to the myriad of proposals that have been floated to help bridge the state's fiscal gap.

Income tax no fix for budget woes
While I have clearly and consistently opposed reinstating a state income tax, the time seems ri

Photo feature: Taking in the view
It won't be long until the "Land of the Midnight Sun" is living up to its name. The long days are making for some picturesque sunsets such as this one earlier in the week over Upper Cohoe Lake in Kasilof.

Proof is in the performance -- not the price
The days are growing longer, the temperature is getting warmer, trees and flowers are starting to bud and bloom -- spring is in the air. It's a time when many people's thoughts turn to backpacking and camping in the great outdoors.

For the birds: Swallows appreciate a nice spring cleaning
As the birch leaves emerge and sprinkle green onto our passing winter landscape, I find myself digging into the garage and dusting off my golf clubs. Then, I hear a subtle chirping reminder that I have other duties to perform before I play.

Outdoor Briefs
Tsalteshi Trails Triathlon slated for Memorial Day Boat safety checks coming up Kayak Fest offers something for all paddlers Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival this weekend Great Backyard Bird Count collects 50,000 lists Barn door already in the boat

Around the Peninsula
Center hosts domestic violence support group College offices closed Friday Kenai Teen Center plans May events Letter carriers to help stamp out hunger Potters through fund-raising sale Soldotna Historical Museum cleanup slated Blood drive set for Saturday Boy Scouts to host Mothers Day breakfast Skyview seeks help with after-grad party Cook books for sale Peninsula Stallion Parade ready to run Historical society plans garage sale

Around the Peninsula
Forest Oil official to speak at Nikiski chamberWRCC holds domestic violence workshopKPC closes for campuswide meetingBlood drive plannedWomen For Sobriety meeting plannedDOT requests inputKayak festival planned

Church Briefs
Mothers Day service planned Christian music group to perform Hartliep to speak to Womens Aglow Anger management taught School plans Great Kingdom Caper Vacation Bible school planned Summer camp planned God and country rally set Childrens Bible scool slated Church offers camp for all ages Sterling church plans Bible school Church seeks military names

Israeli, Polish presidents pay tribute to 1943 Jewish Warsaw ghetto fighters
WARSAW, Poland (AP) In a solemn commemoration, Israeli President Moshe Katzav and his Polish counterpart, Aleksander Kwasniewski, paid tribute to the heroism of fighters in the 1943 Jewish Warsaw ghetto uprising and to other victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

Kentucky's Presbyterian seminary celebrates 150 years
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) The Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary's 150th anniversary celebration emphasized the school's efforts to heal North-South divisions.

Research shows small congregations are key to Episcopal Church's growth
NEW YORK (AP) Worship attendance in the Episcopal Church increased by nearly 17,000 from 1995 to 2000 and small congregations account for much of this, said a new study by the denomination's research director, C. Kirk Hadaway.

After leading Focus on the Family for nearly three decades, Dobson to share duties
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) More than 25 years after starting an evangelical ministry that has won a worldwide audience in the millions and boasts an annual budget of $130 million, James Dobson is about to start easing out of his day job.

Washington archdiocese nominates its first saint, a charity founder
BETHESDA, Md. (AP) Mary Virginia Merrick, who founded the Bethesda-based Christ Child Society to help needy and emotionally disturbed children, is the first person nominated for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.

Jesus leads the way to new life
Springtime is a wonderful time of new life budding forth. Fresh new plants are springing up around old dead growth. New seeds sprout from previous mother plants that have withered and died.

Roman Catholic lay group allowed to meet in Brooklyn churches
NEW YORK (AP) The Brooklyn diocese has lifted a ban on a Roman Catholic lay group that seeks reforms in the wake of church sexual scandals, allowing it to meet on church property.

Pope names successor for troubled Dublin archdiocese
VATICAN CITY (AP) Pope John Paul II has chosen the Vatican representative to United Nations agencies in Geneva, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, as coadjutor for Dublin, meaning he will eventually take over the troubled Irish archdiocese.

Iraq's unusual religious makeup will complicate postwar efforts for democracy
President Bush told a gathering of Iraqi-Americans last week that everyone in the new Iraq will enjoy freedom, whether you're Sunni or Shia or Kurd or Chaldean or Assyrian or Turkoman or Christian or Jew or Muslim, no matter what your faith.''

Dallas roars past Sacramento in NBA Playoffs
DALLAS Nick Van Exel insisted that the Dallas Mavericks ignore the Sacramento Kings. Just make shots, he said repeatedly, and everything will be fine.

Wizards cut ties with Jordan
WASHINGTON Imagine that, an NBA team showing Michael Jordan the door. Even he was shocked.

SoHi girls, Kenai boys tighten grip on tourney berths
The Kenai Central High School boys soccer team tallied a goal in the closing minutes to notch a 2-1 win over Soldotna Thursday in a key Region III-Southern Division match in Kenai.

Birch Ridge Golf Report: A primer on golf
The origin of the word "golf" from its Celtic beginnings is vague, uncertain and, quite possibly, the biggest joke ever played on modern man by his prankish ancestors.

Minnesota rallies to win series vs. Canucks
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) The Minnesota Wild made history and the Western Conference finals with a pair of improbable comebacks.

Wild wards off elimination again
ST. PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Wild won't go away, or stop scoring.

U.S. soccer team plays to draw with Mexico
HOUSTON (AP) There was no revenge for Mexico on Thursday night. Eleven months after the United States knocked the Mexicans out the World Cup, the teams played a scoreless tie in an exhibition game as both nations tested many of their younger players.

Lakers lose grip on Spurs series
SAN ANTONIO Bruce Bowen called it the game of his career, and given his performance and what was at stake, it's easy to see why.

Lewis is volleyball's answer to 'Hoosiers'
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. Dude, Lewis University's volleyball team isn't a bunch of tall, blond California kids. They don't have the cash or the fancy facilities like the big schools.

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