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Thursday, May 23, 2002

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.

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.

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.

Alaska delegation advances rural mail plan
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Legislation affecting Alaska's bypass mail service to rural villages moved Wednesday in both the House and the Senate.

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.

Mine critics win partial attorney fees
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A group that appealed permits for a Fairbanks-area mine has been has been awarded $22,242 in attorney fees.

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.

Fairbanks man pleads no contest to sexual assault
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 38-year-old Fairbanks man pleaded no contest Wednesday to sexually assaulting his 17-year-old live-in baby sitter.

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.

House Speaker Porter will not seek re-election
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- House Speaker Brian Porter will not seek re-election.

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.

Knowles blasts Legislature for missteps this session
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles lambasted GOP lawmakers for a just-completed legislative session focused more on politics than statesmanship.

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.

ACLU appeals gay benefits case to state Supreme Court
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Alaska Civil Liberties Union appealed a lawsuit Wednesday to the state Supreme Court in an effort to get benefits extended to gay couples working for the state or Municipality of Anchorage.

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.

Preliminary findings of ferry study released
JUNEAU (AP) -- Preliminary findings of a pilot study for revitalizing the Alaska Marine Highway System were released Wednesday by the Southeast Conference.

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

Anchorage woman stabbed to death in domestic dispute
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage woman was stabbed to death Wednesday and police arrested her husband on murder charges.

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.

African-American museum to reopen at Alaskaland
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The African-American Community Museum will resume business at Alaskaland this summer after all.

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.

Autopsy planned for woman swept into Gastineau Channel
JUNEAU (AP) -- The body of a woman was being sent to Anchorage for an autopsy after being swept into Gastineau Channel by the swift waters of Gold Creek Tuesday.

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.

Sitka couple found guilty of molesting three girls
JUNEAU (AP) -- A Sitka couple accused of molesting three girls have been convicted on 41 counts of sexual abuse.

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.

Family files lawsuit in Dillingham air crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Relatives of two people killed in a crash at the Dillingham airport in October have filed suit against PenAir, Cessna Aircraft and the estate of the dead pilot.

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

Authorities identify body found in Juneau
JUNEAU (AP) -- Authorities have identified a body found Tuesday in Gastineau Channel as 39-year-old Kathleen Michelle Fawcett.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Family files lawsuit in Dillingham air crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Relatives of two people killed in a crash at the Dillingham airport in October have filed suit against Peninsula Airways, Cessna Aircraft and the estate of the dead pilot.

Glavine posts career shutout No. 22 in Montreal
MONTREAL -- Tom Glavine pitched a four-hitter for his 22nd career shutout to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 2-0 win over the Montreal Expos on Wednesday 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.

Still no outs in baseball
There are still no homosexuals in baseball. Not officially, anyway. A gossip column in Monday's New York Post repeated what it called ''a persistent rumor around town that one Mets star who spends a lot of time with pretty models in clubs is actually gay and has started to think about declaring his sexual orientation.''

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.

Blue Jays snap Yankees win streak
NEW YORK -- Carlos Delgado's bases-loaded double drove in three runs and Eric Hinske and Raul Mondesi hit home runs as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated New York 8-3 on Wednesday, ending the Yankees' six-game winning streak.

MSN Messenger vulnerable to hackers
SEATTLE -- Users of the latest versions of Microsoft's popular MSN Messenger program are vulnerable to computer hackers, the company has warned.

Garage sales prove truth of adage: One person's trash is another's treasure
Nice weather and unwanted goods make strange bedfellows, one would think. This is the formula that is finding families digging through old articles of clothing, books, household items and more to sell to someone with greater need or desire for them. And it's all usually available at bargain prices.

Business Briefs
Kenai Peninsula Public Radio hires news teamHomer Electric part of state capital project budgetDeadline extended on disaster loan

Whether you're buying, selling, it pays to heed some do's and don'ts
Regardless of which side of the sale table you find yourself on, there probably is no right or wrong way to visit or to host a garage sale. Each person is led by his or her own motivations and goals. A search of World Wide Web sites, however, yields some tips for getting the most out of such endeavors.

Audit: 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.

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.

Art Briefs
Raku workshop plannedSummer interpretive programs to beginVendor space still available for concertWriters' conference scheduled

Local artisans raise the roof for a good cause
Kaladi Brothers Coffee in Soldotna combined its need to redecorate with the creativity of its customers to come up with an inventive and artistic way to raise money for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

Alphabet books teach kids ABCs and more
When Mary Poppins sang, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down," easily she could have been referring to teaching methods. In the footsteps of that famous nanny's sound advice, a new wave of books pours a tasty amount of sugar into young minds learning the subtle intricacies of the ABCs.

Elvis Costello getting rowdy after ballad singing
NEW YORK -- Elvis Costello and his band, the Imposters, were nearing the end of a rousing, rocking set at a Manhattan club when the audience's attention began to wander.

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

American Indian art from 17th to 20th centuries showcased at Stanford
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- When a group of New England explorers set sail more than 200 years ago, they brought back souvenirs from the indigenous people they encountered, hoping to inspire later generations.

Knowles blasts Legislature for missteps this session
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles lambasted GOP lawmakers for a just-completed legislative session focused more on politics than statesmanship.

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.

Labonte concedes to Rudd
CONCORD, N.C. -- When Ricky Rudd began his streak of consecutive starts on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, he didn't know whether he'd be racing the next week, much less in the next 655 consecutive races.

In the spotlight: Mark Martin
A short bio on your favorite NASCAR racers

Points standings
1. Sterling Marlin 1,645 2. Matt Kenseth 1,513 3. Kurt Busch 1,454

This week's race: the Coca-Cola 600
Where and when

Race Schedule
February 17 - November 17 2002.

Money leaders
1. Ward Burton $2,333,1812. Sterling Marlin 1,762,5743. Tony Stewart 1,693,289

Racing is No. 1 for teen
CONCORD, N.C. -- Brian Vickers didn't go to his senior prom, and he didn't partake in a yearbook-signing party. About the only ritual for high school seniors that he plans to join is graduation if there's no traffic.

Borough assembly mulls new buses
Safety demands that 39 aging vans and full-size school buses be replaced as soon as possible, say three members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, who announced Tuesday they are contemplating amending the proposed fiscal year 2003 budget to continue the boroughwide mill rate at 7 mills.

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.

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

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

Seth D. Wright
Clam Gulch resident Seth D. Wright, a commercial fisher, hunter, trapper and adventurer, died Sunday, May 19, 2002, at his home after a long battle with cancer. He was 62.

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.

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.

Letters to the Editor
Peninsula needs more troopers, more engaging activities for teensShouldn't after-school programs be cut before in-school classes?Ulmer shows understanding of tough education issues

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.

Legislators adjourn, but what have they really accomplished?
The Legislature adjourned Tuesday. Finally. A week later than the scheduled 121-day session.

Applause
Many contribute to success of indoor soccer program

Applause
Assembly sends powerful message by honoring 'stewardship rangers'

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
Free yoga classes offered ThursdayArmy Corps of Engineers to hold open houseFire department plans barbecueCity looking for volunteers to plant flowersAMVETS to boil crawfish SaturdayVisitors and Cultural Center summer programs beginConservation center open house plannedChallenger center plans summer eventsChamber seeks volunteers

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.

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.

Photo feature: School's out
Sevin-R Michaels and Cole Covey (in blue) swing their way toward summer vacation during a school picnic at North Star Elementary School in Nikiski Wednesday, the last day of public 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.

Student planning for future
The end of high school is typically a time when graduates are faced with uncertainty about their future plans and must begin to make decisions about what they will do next in their lives. For Breanna Butler of Nikiski, this isn't the case.

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.

Pomp, circumstance lead Nikiski grads into world
Nikiski Middle-Senior High School's Tuesday night commencement ceremony was filled with the usual laughter, tears, inspirational messages, well-wishes and celebration. But not everything went by the book for the ceremony.

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.

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

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.

District School News
News from schools around the district

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.

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.

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

Weather triggers hot scoring at Birch Ridge
Wow, this weather the past week has been absolutely amazing. In looking at the temperatures in the Lower 48 these past few days, we have had warmer temperatures than most of our southern neighbors. And last weekend while we basked in 70 plus degree temperatures snow was falling in New York City.

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

Red Wings take Round 3 from Avs in OT
DENVER -- Another unsung hero came through for the Detroit Red Wings.

Skyview netters offer volleyball camp
Members of Skyview High School's state runner-up volleyball team will put on a volleyball camp for any interested junior high athlete. The camp is slated for May 28-30 and will run from 9 a.m. until noon at Skyview High School.

SoHi, Kenai, Homer ready for state
Soccer teams on the Kenai Peninsula, now in their fourth year as a full varsity sport, are beginning to make an impact on the rest of the state.

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.

Kenai Golf Course in full swing for summer
The Kenai Golf Course driving range is busy and the driving carts are running from fairway to fairway again. The course is in full swing and it appears we have another golfing season just where we prefer it, directly ahead of us.

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.

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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