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Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Psychologist says Wasilla fire victim was depressed, possibly suicidal
PALMER (AP) -- Anchorage psychologist Susan LaGrande told jurors Monday that Samuel Welton was depressed and may have been suicidal.

Man dies in fall from ladder
JUNEAU (AP) -- A Juneau man died Sunday after he fell from a ladder while painting.

Alaska glaciers shrinking faster over past decade
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Alaska's glaciers have shrunk by an average total of about 50 cubic kilometers each year since the 1950s. But in the last decade, the rate of shrinkage has doubled, a team of scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has found.

Man charged in flare gun fire after release from hospital
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man who police said fired a flare gun at his ex-wife's fiance last week was arrested Tuesday after his release from Providence Alaska Medical Center.

Private prison, gas line bills re-emerge
JUNEAU (AP) -- A private prison bill and a railroad bond bill re-emerged Monday in a special session of the Legislature after having died when the regular session ended last week.

Princess Tours bus crashes into pickup at Anchorage construction site
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Princess Tours bus with 43 passengers on board failed to stop for a construction zone and smashed into a pickup truck Monday, state troopers reported.

Police arrest two men on rape charges
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two Anchorage men were arrested over the weekend in separate incidents on suspicion of raping women they had met at downtown bars.

Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend on board Cordova fishing boat
CORDOVA (AP) -- A 40-year-old woman is accused of stabbing her boyfriend on a fishing vessel in Prince William Sound after he refused to dock in Cordova and buy her alcohol.

Hot, dry weather brings early spate of fires
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Firefighters are swinging into gear across Alaska as hot, dry weather has brought the arrival of wildfires about a month earlier than last year.

Fourth man pleads no contest in Fairbanks theater robbery
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The fourth man accused of robbing a Fairbanks theater on Super Bowl Sunday has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

UAA plans to buy space at Anchorage mall
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The University of Alaska Anchorage plans to buy a 90,000-square-foot section of the University Center Shopping Mall for needed classroom space, UAA officials announced Monday.

Zambia or Zimbabwe? African country trips up Alaskan in geography bee
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Yan Matusevich passed through the preliminary round of the National Geographic Bee, but was tripped up in the semifinals by the landlocked country between Botswana and Mozambique.

Lawmakers work for resolution to Knowles bills
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lawmakers worked to avoid a third special session on Monday by taking up two issues that Gov. Tony Knowles has demanded be addressed before leaving town.

Prison, Peace Corps bills among the dead at session's end
JUNEAU (AP) -- A private prison won't be going up in Whittier, and Peace Corps volunteers won't get Alaska Permanent Fund dividends while they're out of the country.

Anchorage man stabbed after stopping assault
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man who intervened when he saw a woman being beaten was stabbed Sunday.

Halibut haven on Cook Inlet yields dozens of hungry -- but small -- halibut
COOK INLET, Alaska (AP) -- All around the charter boat Julia Lynn, the halibut schooled like so many trout in a hatchery pond at feeding time. Inches below the surface of the clear, blue-green water, they competed to get onto an angler's hook.

Conoco returns to North Slope
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Conoco Inc. is once again a leaseholder on the North Slope, nearly a decade after leaving Alaska.

Boating safety patrols to take place on Stikine River
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Law enforcement agencies will patrol the Stikine River with extra officers on Memorial Day Weekend.

Benzene contamination found in Sterling water well near spill site
STERLING (AP) -- Benzene contamination has been found in the drinking water well of a Sterling auto shop located near the site of a major gasoline leak discovered late last year.

Anchorage mayor asks south-side residents to restrict water use
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Mayor George Wuerch has issued a plea to south-side residents to voluntarily conserve water.

Fire damages buses in cargo ship's belly at Anchorage port
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Four buses were damaged and 35 cars were covered with soot when a fire broke out in the belly of a cargo ship at the Port of Anchorage.

Alyeska announces transfer of Fairbanks engineers to Anchorage
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. will move 40 project engineers to Anchorage, Alyeska President David Wight said Tuesday.

Man dies in Juneau motorcycle crash
JUNEAU (AP) -- Juneau carpenter David McRae, 37, died over the weekend after his motorcycle skidded off the Glacier Highway, Juneau police said.

Zambia or Zimbabwe? African country trips up Alaskan in geography bee
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Yan Matusevich's passed through the preliminary round of the National Geographic Bee, but was tripped up in the semifinals by the landlocked country between Botswana and Mozambique.

Chickaloon merchants say highway relocation bad for business
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- With downtown consisting of a gas station, general store, lodge and a post office, Chickaloon is the quintessential blink-and-you-miss-it community.

Audit says BP used Alaska workers, vendors for Northstar
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Most of the $400 million BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. spent to develop its Northstar oil field went to Alaska-based contractors and vendors, according to a new legislative audit.

Alaska law enforcement agencies get grants for bulletproof vests
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- More than a dozen law enforcement agencies in Alaska will share more than $56,000 in federal grants to buy bulletproof vests, Sen. Ted Stevens said Monday.

Copper River salmon prices drop in second opener
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Fishermen in the Copper River Delta, hard hit by competition from a huge return of hatchery fish, saw prices for the second opener of the prized Alaska sockeye drop Tuesday to $1.35 a pound and $4.50 a pound for kings.

Fairbanks man changes plea in methamphetamine case
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A man charged with running a methamphetamine lab reached a plea agreement Monday requiring him to serve five years.

Legislature adjourns without deal on RCA reauthorization
JUNEAU (AP) -- The 22nd Legislature adjourned its special session on Tuesday seven days late and without agreement on a plan to extend the state's utility regulatory agency.

Chickaloon woman mauled by dog
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Rottweiler mauled an Anchorage woman in Chickaloon on Sunday afternoon, Alaska State Troopers said.

Sterling residents contest DEC gas leak estimates
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Some Sterling residents are questioning estimates by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation that 100,000 gallons of leaked gasoline is floating on the water table beneath the closed Sterling Zip Mart.

Alaska sees unseasonably warm weather
It's been 90 years since the temperature reached 74 degrees on May 20 in Fairbanks, but the record didn't have a chance Monday.

Haines man sentenced for molesting 6-year-old girl
JUNEAU (AP) -- A Haines man was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in prison for molesting a 6-year-old girl.

House and governor increasingly frustrated with Senate
JUNEAU (AP) -- Hardline Senate Republicans intent on dismantling a utility regulatory agency created by Gov. Tony Knowles face a deadline Tuesday.

Favorable winds help Kalskag fire crews
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three fire crews and eight smokejumpers continued to battle a 3,000-acre fire Tuesday that began two days ago when burning at the Kalskag dump got out of control.

Anchorage Aces file for bankruptcy
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska's only professional sports franchise has filed for protection from creditors in federal Bankruptcy Court

A typical Lowe-hit total outing vs. White Sox
BOSTON -- Derek Lowe allowed two hits in eight innings just 23 days after pitching a no-hitter, leading the Boston Red Sox over the Chicago White Sox 9-0 Monday night.

Mussina stops Blue Jays on three days' rest
NEW YORK -- Mike Mussina, working on just three days' rest, allowed only four hits in 6 2-3 innings and the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Tuesday night for their sixth straight victory.

Steroid rumors irk Bonds
Now that he's settling into retirement, Jose Canseco is threatening to write a book that will blow the lid off steroid and supplement use in baseball.

Sosa homers as Cubs split doubleheader with Pittsburgh
CHICAGO -- Sammy Sosa hit his first homer in 10 games as the Chicago Cubs gained a doubleheader split against Pittsburgh, beating the Pirates 4-3 in the second game Tuesday night.

Kasilof man sinks his teeth into new product line
Coming soon to a ballpark near you: dogfish dogs? Fred West, owner of Tustumena Smokehouse, has perfected a technique for making polish sausage, bratwurst, pepperoni and breakfast sausage entirely from pink, chum (or "dog") and sockeye salmon. And judging from the reaction he's been getting from customers, the product is bound to be a hit.

Unocal springs for clean up
A creative partnership with Teri Hoffman's 5th & 6th grade students at Sterling Elementary School has been a double win for the community. Ms. Hoffman was already thinking spring last fall when she approached Unocal Alaska with an idea to fund a class field trip to Otter Cove Science Center across Kachemak Bay.

Painting ceiling tiles raise money for Relay For Life
The 4th Annual Peninsula Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society is coming May 31st at Skyview High School. As the event has grown, so have the creative ways of raising funds to help in the fight against cancer.

Challenger Institute for Teachers gets lift off with 5 K from 3M Foundation
The first annual Summer Institute for Teachers at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska got a $5,000 boost last week from 3M Alaska. Paul Sander, Business Development Manager for 3M Alaska, presented a large check for $5,000 to the Center's executive director Steve Horn at last weeks Kenai Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Habitat for Humanity celebrates 10th Anniversary with 10th house
Ten houses in ten years was cause for the Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity (CPHH) supporters to throw a party at O'Neill Hall in Soldotna.

Soldotna Lion's Club selects Citizens of the Year
Last year the Soldotna Lions Club created a special Citizen of the Year award to recognize an outstanding individual in the community. This year the Lions wanted to recognize a man and a woman with their special award so they doubled the new tradition.

Halibut haven on Cook Inlet yields dozens of hungry -- but small -- halibut
COOK INLET, Alaska (AP) -- All around the charter boat Julia Lynn, the halibut schooled like so many trout in a hatchery pond at feeding time. Inches below the surface of the clear, blue-green water, they competed to get onto an angler's hook.

Lawmakers work for resolution to Knowles bills
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lawmakers worked to avoid a third special session on Monday by taking up two issues that Gov. Tony Knowles has demanded be addressed before leaving town.

Private prison, gas line bills re-emerge
JUNEAU (AP) -- A private prison bill and a railroad bond bill re-emerged Monday in a special session of the Legislature after having died when the regular session ended last week.

House and governor increasingly frustrated with Senate
JUNEAU (AP) -- Hardline Senate Republicans intent on dismantling a utility regulatory agency created by Gov. Tony Knowles face a deadline Tuesday.

Legislature adjourns without deal on RCA reauthorization
JUNEAU (AP) -- The 22nd Legislature adjourned its special session on Tuesday seven days late and without agreement on a plan to extend the state's utility regulatory agency.

Treatment center discussed
More than 350 Alaska children are receiving mental health treatment out of state at any given time -- including five to 15 from the Kenai Peninsula. But that soon may change if Central Peninsula Counseling Services finds community support for a private residential treatment center in Kenai.

Community dialogue on contaminated sites slated
Several high-profile contamination sites in the area have caused headaches for residents who have questions about what's being done to clean up the mess. On Thursday, some of those questions finally will be answered when the Kenai Watershed Forum hosts a "community dialogue" to discuss contaminated sites on the central Kenai Peninsula.

Fire risks still high
Despite suspending burn permits Saturday because of the recent warm, dry and windy weather, state and local firefighters battled six wildfires over the weekend that were caused when people lit slash, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry.

Seth D. Wright
Clam Gulch resident Seth D. Wright died Sunday, May 19, 2002, at his home on South Cohoe Loop. He was 62.

Margaret 'Maggie' (Steik) Rucker
Anchor Point resident Margaret "Maggie" (Steik) Rucker died Thursday, May 16, 2002, at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer after a long bout with cancer.

Mildred Inez (Moeller) Martin
Soldotna resident Mildred Inez (Moeller) Martin died Sunday, May 19, 2002, at her home. She was 74.

Clajon Miller
Former Kenai resident Clajon Miller died Thursday, May 16, 2002, in Delhi, Texas. He was 20.

Public access vs. public safety
While state leaders pushed to restrict public access to government records after Sept. 11, many of the open government laws passed since the attacks have turned out to be compromises with free-speech advocates.

Letters to the Editor
Measurements misused

Applause
Musical event a success

Session drags on; news not all bad
As you well know, that as of Tuesday, the Legislature was still confined in Juneau. If I had my way, I would have had business done and been home with my wife and family by this time. It just wasn't meant to be.

To act on every threat would finish normalcy
For those critical of President George W. Bush for his alleged "prior knowledge" of the Sept. 11 attacks, here's a little sample of what a new warning might really look like. Highly placed sources told this columnist last week that U.S. officials fear the potential for another al-Qaida strike in the United States in the coming months.

Draft of new Tongass policy restores hope for viable timber jobs
Can it be? Could balanced, multiple-use land management be returning to the Tongass National Forest? Possibly, if the draft recommendation announced last week by the U.S Forest Service becomes policy.

Second Amendment myths laid to rest by Bush administration
The enduring and absurd notion that the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution recognizes only a collective right to gun ownership finally is being laid to rest by the Bush administration.

Applause
Many contribute to success of indoor soccer program

Photo feature: Some like it hot -- not
A thermometer in Kenai acknowledges Tuesday afternoon the warm summer weather the area has been experiencing in the last few days. Below, while Kenai reco

Outdoors instructor finds new home
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) -- Scott McGee's first telemark gear consisted of 72-millimeter skinny ''sticks'' and a pair of leather cross-country boots.

Ancient aerial hunters: Program teaches kids about owls
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) -- Linda Holden has it easy when it comes to making second-graders' eyes bug out. She simply tells them that their eyes would be as big as softballs if they had eyes as big as owls' in proportion to their bodies.

Around the Peninsula
Tackle donations soughtHomer chamber to take boat rideSterling seniors plan eventsGun club to host historical shootHospital to offer Safe Sitter coursePlans set for Relay for LifeDEC to hold food safety course

Around the Peninsula
GTL plant, elections, golf to be discussedTourism tops chamber luncheon agendaGovernment workshop plannedClean Water Act presentation slatedFestival booth deadline extendedSoldotna library to sponsor child health dayParks on North Peninsula chamber agendaForum to discuss contamination, managementNames sought to honor military deadLions seek community grouch

Photo feature: Horsin' around
Roulette Bars, presented by Amber Cabana of Cabana Paint Horses, canters past on Sunday. The Kenai Peninsula's finest studs were shown at the Soldotna Equestrian Association's first peninsulawide Stallion Parade.

Awards
Skyview High School recently held its annual awards night. The following students won scholarships and recognition:

Ninilchik students set course to follow dreams
Awash in a sea of blue and gold caps and gowns, speakers at Ninilchik High School's Sunday graduation ceremony took their cue from the class motto, "If you can dream it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it."

Photo feature: Flying high
Students and staff members at Nikiski Elementary were visited by a helicopter, fire truck and white limousine May 10. Students who reached a targeted goal int he schoolwide Accelerated Reader program were entered in a drawing for rides in the three special vehicles. Dolly Barrett, Kristen Heazlett, Kelsey William, Carra Dixon, Alex Rodriquez and Amy Wicker were the lucky students who won the helicopter ride. They were joined by third-grade teacher Elizabeth Hufford and Title I math specialist Tyson Cox.

Skyview grads walk with pride, patriotism
High school graduations are bittersweet affairs, mixing tears and exultation. This year, Skyview High School's Class of 2002 shed a few extra tears for the events of Sept. 11 and roared back with Panther pride in their nation and school.

Elementary program reduces pregnancy, STDs, in young adults
SEATTLE -- An elementary-school program designed to promote social competency and academic success has had some unexpected long-term results: reduced pregnancy, birth and sexually transmitted disease rates for partipants by age 21.

Steps toward future link grad Brieanna Leman to past
Footsteps measuring a lifetime of accomplishments carried Ninilchik High School senior Brieanna Leman onto the stage Sunday afternoon. Within seconds, her hard-earned diploma securely in hand, Leman's high school days were behind her and the future lay ahead.

CIA graduates take more than education with them
"In Christ Jesus lies hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Col. 2:3. Three high school seniors celebrated the ending of a 12-year journey and the beginning of a new adventure Sunday, armed with education, hope and faith.

Students assist oceanographers
Summer vacation is around the bend. Perhaps yours will include time to stroll on area beaches or get out on the waters of Cook Inlet.

Atheist teacher sues school for too much prayer
DENVER (AP) -- A teacher upset that his seventh-grade daughter will have to sit through a prayer at graduation filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the practice.

Around the District
School year ends todaySchool board meets June 3, 4

District School News
News from schools around the district

New college director has background in military, NASA
Kenai Peninsula College is happy to announce that after an exhaustive search, a new director has accepted the position. Gary J. Turner will assume director duties sometime in June. Turner brings 22 years of experience in administration, management, communication and university teaching to KPC.

Photo feature: Making change
Eric Morris, Lawrence Kline and Anthony Kline count change collected during "Penny Wars," at Soldotna Middle School's After the Bell Program.

World view guides senior's path choice
Bethany Thornton was one of the students giving the farewell remarks at Monday night's Skyview High School graduation.

Carter hangs up turf shoes
MINNEAPOLIS -- After 15 years, 1,093 catches, 129 receiving touchdowns -- but no Super Bowl rings -- Minnesota Vikings receiver Cris Carter announced his retirement from football Tuesday.

Sports Briefs
Woods wins as Monty self-destructsRamirez due for another X-rayNASCAR opens new training schoolHewitt, Capriati are top seeds at French Open

Carolina cuts Leafs to pulp
TORONTO -- Jeff O'Neill didn't let a severely swollen right eye keep him from giving the Carolina Hurricanes another overtime victory.

Celtics do it with defense
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Boston Celtics did it with defense on a night when Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker weren't all that special on offense.

Sports Briefs
Rockets pay much attention to Yao MingGriffey could return this weekendSnyder eyes Northern Virginia for baseball teamRocker sent to minorsSlumping Athletics make changes

Colorado stifles Red Wings
DETROIT -- Chris Drury and Patrick Roy did it again. Drury scored his 10th career game-winning goal in the playoffs at 2:17 of overtime Monday night as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 to even the Western Conference finals.

Lakers can't stomach Kings
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Whether it was food poisoning, fouls or simply bad shooting, the Los Angeles Lakers couldn't summon their customary fourth-quarter magic.

Athletics help Lewis make the grade
One of the most compelling arguments for keeping extracurricular activities intact occurred Monday when Skyview's Tony Lewis accepted his diploma.

Bear tracking gives researchers insight into grizzly habits
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- At one minute past midnight on the 13th of October, 2001, a big old grizzly bear lumbered across the empty campground at Seeley Lake.

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