Friday, May 25, 2001

Anchorage cargo carriers announce layoffs
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two air-cargo carriers are laying off 36 pilots and other workers in Anchorage, citing the economic slowdown in the Lower 48 and parts of the Far East.

Yakutat man missing, feared drowned
YAKUTAT (AP) -- The search continued Thursday for a Yakutat man missing and feared drowned, Alaska State Troopers said.

Murkowski: Jeffords' decision won't impact ANWR plans much
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Vermont Sen. James Jeffords' decision to leave the Republican Party would not have a big impact on efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, Sen. Frank Murkowski said Wednesday.

Investigators want look at Arctic Rose
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Coast Guard officer heading the investigation into the deadly sinking of the commercial fishing boat Arctic Rose says he has considered options for getting a glimpse of the doomed boat now resting on the bottom of the Bering Sea.

Ketchikan School Board looks at drug-testing policy
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The Ketchikan School Board may start requiring random drug tests for students involved in sports.

Ketchikan recall vote points to removal of school board members
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Preliminary results from a vote Thursday indicate four of the five Ketchikan School Board members named in a recall petition have been removed from office.

Fort Richardson soldiers return from Australia
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- About 300 soldiers from Fort Richardson returned to Alaska Wednesday after three-weeks of field training in Australia.

Stevens expresses few regrets over loss of chairmanship
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Sen. Ted Stevens mourned the loss of his ''beautiful office'' in the Capitol on Thursday but expressed few other regrets over surrendering the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Biologists predict worst Copper River sockeye run in 10 years
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Dipnetters at Chitina may find it harder to fill their freezers with red salmon from the Copper River this year.

Governor signs assistant adjutant general bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill creating a new position to aid in establishing and operating space and missile defense programs in Alaska was signed into law Thursday.

Charter boat taking on water in Chatham Strait
JUNEAU (AP) -- Eight people on a charter boat were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday morning after the vessel apparently hit rocks about 11 miles south of Angoon in Chatham Strait. No injuries were reported.

VECO named Alaska exporter of the year for 2000
JUNEAU (AP) -- An Alaska company that employs 4,500 people, including 2,000 in foreign countries, is Alaska's Exporter of the Year for 2000.

Police who allegedly used excessive force will not be prosecuted
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two Anchorage police officers who allegedly used excessive force in arresting a drunk driver will not face criminal prosecution.

Herring bait shortage plagues frustrates fishermen
JUNEAU (AP) -- A shortage of herring is frustrating Southeast sport fishermen, who rely on the bait to target salmon.

Airline shuttles tons of salmon from Cordova
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska Airlines said it transported 285,095 pounds of Copper River salmon last weekend following the season's first 12-hour opening.

Fish and Wildlife Service investigates polar bear hunter
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking into a possible case of illegal polar bear hunting near Point Hope earlier this month.

Logging ban suspended
JUNEAU (AP) -- A federal judge issued an order Wednesday that will allow logging to resume in the Tongass National Forest, at least temporarily.

BLM, Division of Emergency Services, offer evacuation rides in Koyukuk
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- About 30 to 50 people were taking part in a voluntary evacuation of Koyukuk on Friday after flood waters from an ice jam on the Yukon River covered about three-fourths of the community's runway.

Search teams finds body of Japanese adventurer in Arctic
TOKYO (AP) -- A search team has found the body of a Japanese adventurer missing in the Arctic since last week, his support team reported.

Murkowski thinks natural gas line could boost railroad line
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Sen. Frank Murkowski, long a promoter of a rail line from Alaska to Canada, thinks a natural gas line to the Lower 48 could make both more economically feasible.

Anchorage man convicted of murder in DWI crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man was convicted of murder Wednesday for the drunken driving crash that killed his best friend.

State board puts pipeline value at $3.017 billion
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The State Assessment Review Board has ruled that the trans-Alaska pipeline system is worth $3.017 billion, almost $1 billion more than what its owners argued the 800-mile pipeline system is worth.

Fairbanks man disappears in Chena River
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man was missing and feared drowned in the Chena River, Alaska State Troopers said.

Station owner defies FCC order to shut down repeaters
KENAI (AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission last week ordered seven radio station repeaters off the air across the Kenai Peninsula and on Kodiak Island. But station owner Dave Becker of Peninsula Communications Inc. in Homer has continued to broadcast.

Liquefied gas supporters continue pushing for Alaska project
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Despite formidable obstacles, backers of a liquefied natural gas project continue to push for a monumental, multibillion-dollar plan to ship Alaska's natural gas reserves overseas.

Natural gas policy council meets in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Williams Gas Pipeline Co. is looking into whether petrochemicals could boost the financial attractiveness of building a natural gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope.

Two teens held on bogus bill charges
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two Lathrop High School students have been arrested and charged with making and passing counterfeit $20 bills.

Knowles signs service area bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles has signed into law a bill that would prevent local governments from changing the boundaries of road and fire service areas without a vote of the people within them.

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- In a May 21 story about the census, The Associated Press reported erroneously that state demographer Greg Williams thinks there may have been an undercount of young children in rural Alaska.

Man to serve 3 years for break-in, assault
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fort Yukon man has been sentenced to three years in prison for a pair of break-ins and assaults.

NMFS considers critical habitat designation for Beaufort bowheads
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The National Marine Fisheries Service is considering designating parts of the Beaufort Sea as critical habitat for the bowhead whale, according to an announcement Tuesday in the Federal Register.

Conference looks at preventing injuries
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Safety advocates from 19 countries were in Anchorage this week to discuss research and programs to promote injury prevention and community wellness.

Wade Hampton census area is youngest in United States
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- In the rural villages that dot the flat, treeless wetlands of the lower Yukon River, as many as half the residents are children.

Inlet spill came from Cross Timbers, Coast Guard says
NIKISKI (AP) -- A Coast Guard lab in Connecticut has determined that oil found floating in Cook Inlet earlier this month came from facilities of the Cross Timbers Operating Co.

Board tries to maintain status quo Southeast seat
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Alaska Redistricting Board has put aside a proposal for new House districts in Southeast that would have pitted Rep. Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, against Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell.

Intertie appeal settled
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Parties involved in an appeal of the state permits for a Healy-Fairbanks power line have reached a settlement.

Ethanol plant might be built in Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- An ethanol manufacturing plant might be built on the site of the old Ketchikan Pulp Co. mill. Sealaska Corp. made the announcement at a U.S. Department of Energy Ethanol Workshop in Ketchikan Tuesday.

Yakutat man missing, feared drowned
YAKUTAT (AP) -- The Coast Guard Thursday suspended the agency's search for a Yakutat man missing and feared drowned.

Kenai education takes state job
KENAI (AP) -- The assistant superintendent of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has been appointed deputy commissioner for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

Fairbanks suicide hot line to shutdown due to lack of money, volunteers
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The local suicide hot line will shut down at the end of May, due to a lack of money and volunteers.

Rangers explore removing human waste from Mount McKinley
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Some people might say the job of finding a way to keep human waste from piling up on the slopes of Mount McKinley stinks, but Roger Robinson has taken it on willingly.

Interior breakup is late
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Normally at this time of year, Steve Bergman and the other residents of Allakaket would be out catching whitefish in the Koyukuk River.

Biologists track hooligan
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Pelted by wet spring snow, a couple dozen fishermen with dip nets scooped the silty water at the head of Turnagain Arm.

Local boundary commission approves Fairbanks consolidation vote
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The state Local Boundary Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to put a plan to merge the Fairbanks city and borough governments before voters this summer.

Man pleads no contest to manslaughter in death of baby son
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man pleaded no contest to manslaughter for the shaking death of his 8-month-old son last year.

Chartered yacht hits rock in Chatham Strait
JUNEAU (AP) -- No one was injured when a chartered yacht apparently hit a rock and began taking on water early Thursday morning in Chatham Strait.

AOL raises price of unlimited-use Internet service
SPRINGFIELD, Va. (AP) -- America Online is raising the price of its unlimited-use Internet service by $1.95 to $23.90 a month -- the first increase in three years.

Some buy the Big Toy without going broke
NEW YORK (AP) -- It hits some Baby Boomers sooner and harder than others, that yearning for a tangible reward for years of sweat and sacrifice: the Big Toy.

Variable annuities aren't for everyone
NEW YORK (AP) -- It's been said that variable annuities are not so much bought by consumers as they are sold to them.

State seeks millions from mining company for highway damage
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The state Department of Transportation has sued Yellow Eagle Mining Co., charging that a mining pit dug by the Canadian company is causing millions of dollars of damage to a stretch of the Parks Highway near Ester.

Can anything stop the proliferation of solicitations?
NEW YORK (AP) -- There are few American businesses more aggressive than the credit-card industry, though you might think they wouldn't have to seek out customers for what they're selling, which is money.

Business Briefs
New wireless service will provide T-1 linesSeldovia Native Association starts Anchorage hotelForest Oil earnings riseEarly derby draws 85 fishersTAPS owners seek 30-year right-of-way renewalForest association seeks to intervene in Tongass suitRealtors schedule classesQuorum VP will be interim hospital administrator

Verizon, Qwest boost charges for national long-distance listings via 411
NEW YORK (AP) -- Verizon Communications and Qwest Communications are increasing the charge for long-distance directory assistance to as high as $1.25 per request, the latest in a series of price hikes by the nation's big local phone monopolies

In forecasting, there's no guarantees. The caveat's the thing
NEW YORK (AP) -- While the Federal Reserve is receiving high marks for steering the economy through the shoals, barely averting recession, there is no assurance an obstacle might not stray into its path.

Joint effort promotes tourism businesses
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- To advertise its backpacking and rafting trips in the Brooks Range, Arctic Treks, a Fairbanks company, has relied on its Web page and word-of-mouth, both low-budget ways of finding high-dollar clients.

Around the Peninsula
Home buyer education seminar offeredRCAC meeting slatedBenefit set to help Kasilof familyWRCC to hold meetingVolunteer host positions openBrain walk planned for June 9 Library sponsors summer reading programKenai Fine Arts Center is accepting artworkRegister a team for the Relay for LifeMeditation seminar offeredWorkshop for small-business owners scheduledEnvironmental workshop for teachers offeredNew clinic hours announced in HomerVolunteers neededFree developmental screening offered

Around the Peninsula
Equine dentist to offer seminarCandlelight dinner to benefit gardenMissions garage sale planned in KasilofLions Gun Show coming upDinner, auction to benefit childClass held to discuss weedsSummer clubs plannedRiver festival plannedChamber to present July 4th activities Membership meeting planned

Community Calendar
The Community Calendar lists events and meetings of nonprofit organizations. Deadline for submissions is noon the preceding day. To have your event listed, or to change any information, call 283-7551 or fax 283-3299.

Halibut, clams and kings
The biggest crowds in Alaska this weekend will congregate on the lower Kenai Peninsula. The action will center on the clam beaches, the halibut and king salmon in the marine fishery and the midnight king salmon opener on the Ninilchik River.

Fish of the week
Joseph and Tempest Miller from Soldotna pose with a 48-pound king salmon caught Tuesday at Eagle Rock on the Kenai River.

'Grizzly Almanac' educates, entertains with information
"Few animals are as awe-inspiring as the grizzly bear" begins the fly-leaf of "The Grizzly Almanac." Author Robert H. Busch obviously believes it.

Art Briefs
Drama camp coming to the peninsulaRehearsal planned for June 3Theatre conference plannedNew artists sought

Kenai band 'metals' in music
With its new-school metal countenance and obsessive focus on the world and why it sucks, you won't find Kenai band InCide playing proms.

What's Happening
Best Bets, Events and Exhibits, Entertainment, In the Future, Down the Road, Anchorage Events, Films

Winston Cup series schedule

Points standings
Point standings in the Winston Cup series

Racing gets prepared for full weekend
CONCORD, N.C. -- The campsite a half-mile from Lowe's Motor Speedway posted a common sign out front a week ago: No Vacancy.

Coca-cola 600
When: 5:45 p.m. Sunday

Tony Stewart plans to repeat 1,100-mile feat in just 10 hours
Tony Stewart, waiting as his crew prepares his car for a May 11 practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will attempt to race in the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Winston Cup Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.

Money leaders so far in the winston series

Drilling advocates ponder defection
ANCHORAGE -- Vermont Sen. James Jeffords' decision to leave the Republican Party would not have a big impact on efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, Sen. Frank Murkowski said Wednesday.

Cooper Landing teen goes the distance
Leon Galbraith finished Skyview High School with a grade-point a

114 earn SoHi diploma
Tuesday night, the 114 members of the Soldotna High School graduating cla

Station owner defies FCC orders to shut down
The Federal Communications Commission ordered seven radio station repeaters off the air across the Kenai Peninsula and on Kodiak Island, but station owner Dave Becker of Peninsula Communica-tions Inc. in Homer is defying the commission and continues to broadcast.

Summer tourism outlook tough to call
The only safe time to predict the strength of summer tourism is after the season, said the owner of North Country Charters in Homer.

New Nikiski grad eyes life outside peninsula
Ella Olsen has lived in Alaska since she was 2. But in a week she will get on a plane and head out for the wider world.

Photo feature: See ya
The grown-ups at Mountain View Elementary School wave goodbye to the youngsters Wednesday afternoon as the students head home at the end of their last day of school. It was difficult to tell which group was more excited.

Coast Guard Auxiliary offering boat checks
It's that time of year when eyes light up at the thought of catching monstrous Cook Inlet halibut or salmon. Memorial Day weekend marks the official beginning of the season and a steady line of boat-towing vehicles on the Seward Highway is heading toward favorite launch sites.

Road work no problem
Even road builders get a long weekend. While miles and miles of roads on the Kenai Peninsula are under reconstruction this summer, most work will cease come this afternoon to accommodate the expected flood of Memorial Day weekend visitors.

Kenai rural analysis names 3 options
The Federal Subsistence Board has postponed considering proposals for subsistence moose hunts and salmon fisheries open to all rural Kenai Peninsula residents until it reconsiders whether the entire peninsula is rural.

Mary Agnes Mahan
Soldotna resident Mary Agnes Mahan died Tuesday, May 22, 2001, at her home off Mackey Lake Road. She was 82.

Walter Emerick
Longtime Soldotna resident Walter Emerick died Tuesday, May 22, 2001, at his residence in Soldotna of natural causes while working in his garden. He was 76.

Nancy Kay Littleton
Former Kenai Peninsula resident Nancy Kay Littleton of Kalama, Wash., died Sunday, May 13, 2001, at Southwest Medical Center after a long illness. She was 58.

Ward E. Bible
Former Soldotna resident Ward E. Bible died Thursday, May 17, 2001, at the Anchorage Pioneer's Home. He was 88.

Mary Mahan
Soldotna area resident Mary Mahan died Tuesday, May 22, 2001, at her home. She was 82.

Cynthia L. Cobb
Kenai resident Cynthia L. Cobb died Friday, May 18, 2001, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage of heart failure. She was 40.

Walter Emerick
Soldotna resident Walter Emerick died Tuesday, May 22, 2001, at his home in Soldotna. He was 76.

Unlike his critics, Bush at least has energy plan
Say what you will about President Bush's energy plan, at least he has one. The absence of any long-term planning in the past decade has left America short of electricity, natural gas and refined fuels for vehicles, as well as overly dependent on foreign oil.

Playing it safe can make summer fun even more enjoyable
School's out. A long three-day weekend beckons. Moose and caribou have begun calving. Fishing for kings in Ninilchik River, Anchor River and Deep Creek opens this weekend. Road construction is under way. Traffic congestion grows a little more each day.

Letters to the Editor
Don't people know importance of Memorial Day observances?

ABATE helps raise funds for Shriners' hospitalsBachelors, many others make benefit auction successful

Nation's energy policy should not be dictaed by high-paid lobbyists
In the late 1880s, electric power's infancy, Thomas Edi

Today's whining generation mostly unfit to carry duffel bag of WWII veteran
When I was growing up in the Washington, D.C., area, patriotism wasn'

Unity Trail connecting Kenai, Soldotna should be completed as proposed
It was early in the morning when I decided to try crossing the Warren Ames Memorial Bridge on foot. I wanted to walk the highway to it over the Kenai River flats. At 6:30 a.m., my breath vaporized into the starchy morning sunlight.

U.S. energy proposal fails to address cause of crisis
The U.S. government announced a new national energy policy that could influence world trends. The policy's many concrete recommendations, such as resuming the construction of nuclear plants, lifting the ban on oil and natural gas development in Alaska and creating new tax incentives for low-pollution vehicles, reflect aspects of both supply and demand.

Biologists predict worst Copper River sockeye run in 10 years
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Dipnetters at Chitina may find it harder to fill their freezers with red salmon from the Copper River this year.

Biologists track hooligan
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Pelted by wet spring snow, a couple dozen fishermen with dip nets scooped the silty water at the head of Turnagain Arm.

Rangers explore removing human waste from Mount McKinley
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Some people might say the job of finding a way to keep human waste from piling up on the slopes of Mount McKinley stinks, but Roger Robinson has taken it on willingly.

Photographer aims to keep the 'wild' in wildlife
Wildlife is the subject. Understanding wildlife is the message.

Tips for nonintrusive wildlife photography
During a year, John Toppenberg estimates he takes 2,000 wildlife photographs.

Listeners help predict the ruffed grouse population
TWO HARBORS, Minn. (AP) -- The sound begins as a single muffled whump somewhere off in the woods. You feel it as much as you hear it.

Conservative Pennsylvania parish quits Episcopal Church
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A conservative parish has left the Episcopal Church over its tolerance of same-sex unions and ordination of women and gays.

University caters to Mormon students on East Coast
BUENA VISTA, Va. (AP) -- Most people could probably list all the Mormon schools they know on one finger: Brigham Young University. But a small institution in Virginia hopes to change that.

Appointment of new Venezuelan cardinal sends message to government
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- The Roman Catholic Church and President Hugo Chavez each fight for Venezuela's poor. But they have clashed in the process, and don't expect the church to back down from its confrontations with the leftist leader.

Buddhist monk vows to fight Vietnam travel ban
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- A dissident Vietnamese Buddhist monk vows to defy travel restrictions next month despite government threats, according to his outlawed religious body.

Federal appeals court affirms graduation prayer decision
ATLANTA (AP) -- A federal appeals court has again ruled that public school students in a Florida county may choose a class member to give a prayer or personal message at high school graduations.

Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox to honor Armenians' 1,700th anniversary
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Council of Churches and National Conference of Catholic Bishops will sponsor an unusual joint prayer service on Wednesday to mark the 1,700th anniversary of Armenian Christianity.

Leaders from multiple faiths join to criticize U.S. energy plan
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Thirty-nine Protestant, Orthodox and Jewish leaders attacked U.S. policies that rely on fossil fuels and nuclear power, an implicit criticism of President Bush's energy plan.

Religion Briefs
Area resident raises funds for causeChoir members wanted for musicalSoldotna Day Aglow sponsors day for womenVisiting evangelist to be featured in Soldotna revival

Syria's top Muslim attacks the West after Assad's Jewish remarks
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- Syria's government-appointed Muslim leader, Sheik Ahmad Kiftaro, has defended President Bashar Assad's remarks on Jews during Pope John Paul II's visit, calling Western criticisms ''an echo of the Zionist hatred of the Arabs.''

Church approves health aid for domestic partners
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The 831,000-member Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has become one of the first mainline Protestant denominations to authorize medical coverage for domestic partners of unmarried employees.

Alaskans represent world unity on Mount Carmel
On Tuesday, 19 Alaskans joined some 4,500 people from more than 200 countries and territories at the foot of Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel. The representation includes a wide ethnic and indigenous selection, including a number of youths.

No smoking in Victory Lane
Until now, it was easy to choose sides any time anybody in sports battled Big Tobacco.

Patience, experience brought smooth realignment as NFL heeds own history
Even many of the participants never expected the NFL's realignment to go so smoothly. An hour's discussion and a unanimous vote put in place the eight four-team divisions for 2002, when Houston rejoins the league.

East nets match-winner with fluky goal to advance past Kenai girls
ANCHORAGE -- Unfortunately for the Kenai Central girls, in soccer the proof is in the put-in.

Kenai girls, boys soccer teams set for ASAA state tournament
With the Alaska School Activities Association State Soccer Championships set to begin today in Anchorage, the Kenai Central High School boys and girls soccer teams are ready to test their skills against anyone -- even each other.

Allen has answer for Iverson in Bucks win
PHILADELPHIA -- Ray Allen was masterful. Allen Iverson was miserable.

Mariners take round 2
MINNEAPOLIS -- David Bell hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning, leading the Seattle Mariners over the Minnesota Twins 5-4 Wednesday for a split in the series between baseball's best teams.

Kards trumped in first round. Kenai boys give up two early goals in opener with Dimond
ANCHORAGE -- The Kenai Central boys soccer team had the same exact problem that the game balls did Thursday -- they started the game out a little flat.

Get into swing of things
The golf season is here and if you haven't been to the course, what are you waiting for?

Athletes ready for live competition
The only thing a lot of Alaska's elite track and field athletes have to compete against all year is a stopwatch or a measuring tape.

Colorado confronts Rocky hockey past
DENVER -- Chris Drury was a history major at Boston University, so the question seemed appropriate.

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