Saturday, May 10, 2003

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Grannie Annie's Alaskaladas
Alaska-style enchiladas.

'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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.''

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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