Wednesday, May 28, 2003

More than $650,000 approved for wind storm damage
ANCHORAGE (AP) Individuals and business owners affected by the March windstorm in Southcentral Alaska will receive a total of $656,000 in federal disaster recovery funds so far, according to state and federal officials.

Searchers find missing man on board fish processing boat
ANCHORAGE (AP) A man reported missing from a fish processing boat in Bristol Bay over the weekend was found hiding aboard the vessel early Monday, the Coast Guard said Monday.

Overdue walrus hunters return safely to Gambell
NOME (AP) Two Gambell men who were reported overdue from a weekend walrus hunting trip returned safely to Saint Lawrence Island Tuesday morning.

Troopers issue 250 citations in seat-belt campaign
ANCHORAGE (AP) Alaska State Troopers issued 250 citations statewide for seat belt violations during the first week of their ''Click It or Ticket'' campaign.

Changes made in Prince of Wales deer hunting
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Federal Subsistence Board has made some changes for the 2003-2004 season in hunting deer on Prince of Wales Island.

Anchorage police seek two people in missing woman case
ANCHORAGE (AP) Anchorage police are looking for two people who may have information about the disappearance of a 21-year-old woman who was last seen at her apartment building May 3.

Wasilla man dies in weekend car crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) A Wasilla man died in a car crash over the weekend, Alaska State Troopers said Tuesday.

Fairbanks fugitive pleads not guilty to bank fraud
ANCHORAGE (AP) Thomas Miklautsch, a former Fairbanks banker and city councilman, has pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges.

Anchorage schools lose more than 1,000 students
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Anchorage School District has encountered a baffling dilemma: the loss of more than 1,000 students this school year.

Hotel guests rejected under new SARS screening policy
JUNEAU (AP) The Westmark Baranof Juneau hotel has turned away two Outside businessmen under a new policy to screen potential carriers of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Man gets one year for drunken driving fatality
JUNEAU (AP) A man was sentenced to one year in prison for driving drunk and killing a man as he walked down a Hoonah highway.

Elderly tourist found dead on board cruise ship
ANCHORAGE (AP) A 75-year-old tourist was found dead on board the cruise ship Norwegian Wind, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

State supreme court rejects lawsuit
ANCHORAGE The state is not liable when a juvenile released from its custody later commits a murder, the Alaska Supreme Court has ruled.

Alaska snowmachine deaths at 4-year low
FAIRBANKS (AP) Alaska saw the lowest number of snowmachine-related deaths in at least four years, thanks to a snow drought through much of the state over the winter.

Troopers kill injured bear in North Pole
FAIRBANKS (AP) Authorities killed a badly injured black bear that was seen limping near the Richardson Highway in North Pole, Alaska State Troopers said.

Crews clean up spill at Prudhoe Bay
ANCHORAGE (AP) Crews were cleaning up a mixture of crude oil, natural gas and water that spilled from a pipeline in Prudhoe Bay.

Firefighters battle blaze near Anderson subdivision
ANCHORAGE (AP) Firefighters on Tuesday were beginning to gain an upper hand on a wildfire that forced the evacuation of some homes in an Anderson subdivision, state fire officials said.

Japan dispatches fighter jets to Alaska for aerial refueling drills
TOKYO (AP) Japan dispatched six fighter jets and a surveillance plane to Alaska on Wednesday for aerial refueling exercises with the U.S. Air Force, a Japanese defense official said.

Former Juneau Assembly member hospitalized
JUNEAU A Juneau activist and former Assembly member was in critical condition at a Baltimore hospital, suffering from pneumonia and congestive heart failure.

New head of state prosecutors appointed
JUNEAU (AP) Anchorage District Attorney Susan Parkes will lead the state's team of prosecutors, Attorney General Gregg Renkes announced Tuesday as he continued to reshape the department and change some lawyers' roles.

Alaskans heavy handed in Republican political donations
FAIRBANKS (AP) Alaskans leaned heavily toward Republicans when it came to political donations during the federal elections last year. In fact, they had the highest margin in the nation, according to a recent analysis.

Goldbelt selling cruise ship unit
ANCHORAGE (AP) Goldbelt Inc., the Juneau-based Alaska Native corporation, is selling its regional cruise ship subsidiary. The corporation, which has several tourism businesses, lost $4.4 million in 2001.

Senate wants review of defense testing program
FAIRBANKS (AP) The Senate has reinstated some of the internal review requirements for missile defense testing eliminated by the Pentagon more than a year ago.

Murkowski enters long season of fund raising
ANCHORAGE (AP) Lisa Murkowski said Tuesday that since moving to Washington five months ago, she hasn't had a spare minute in her new job as a U.S. senator.

Escaped inmate returned to Bethel
ANCHORAGE (AP) An escaped inmate was re-arrested after he was found on a sandbar, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Murkowski Signs Medical Parole, SARS Bill
JUNEAU (AP) The state can establish a program to control the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome under a bill Gov. Frank Murkowski signed into law Tuesday.

Alaska bikers gather for Memorial Day ceremony
BYERS LAKE (AP) Hundreds of Alaska bikers congregated at the state veterans' memorial Sunday to honor those who have served the United States military.

Hughes school has its first graduate
FAIRBANKS (AP) The Johnny Oldman School in Hughes has its first high school graduate.

Appeals court rules in DWI date case
FAIRBANKS (AP) The Alaska Court of Appeals has shot down a man's argument that he should not be charged with felony drunk driving because his offense occurred before a new state law making his crime a felony went into effect.

Wasilla man dies in weekend car crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) A Wasilla man died in a car crash over the weekend, Alaska State Troopers said Tuesday.

Native women in military honored
WASHINGTON (AP) While traditional Memorial Day ceremonies took place Monday at Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam War Memorial, another event focused on the role of Native Americans in the military.

Light earthquake jolts Kodiak Island
ANCHORAGE (AP) A light earthquake struck Kodiak Island Tuesday morning.

Firefighters battle blaze near Anderson
ANCHORAGE (AP) Firefighters continued to gain an upper hand on a wildfire near Anderson that consumed three buildings, state fire officials said late Tuesday.

Boston defies Rocket
NEW YORK The Boston Red Sox made Roger Clemens get rid of his lucky glove, then took away his best chance at becoming the only pitcher to win his 300th game in Yankees pinstripes.

Jeter helps Yanks pick up rare home victory
NEW YORK Derek Jeter sparked the slumping Yankees on Tuesday night, hitting a leadoff homer to send New York to an 11-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox that snapped a five-game skid.

Rockies snap Dodgers' winning streak
DENVER Larry Walker drove in four runs, helping the Colorado Rockies snap the Los Angeles Dodgers' 10-game winning streak, 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Four-year-old leads Assembly in Pledge of Allegiance
It may not have been intended as the kick off for the Memorial Day holiday, but the opening of last Tuesday's Borough Assembly meeting couldn't have been more appropriate. Four-year-old Matthew Daugherty of Sterling led everyone assembled in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag in a manner that renewed the respect and admiration for a government of the people by the people. Daugherty loves saying the Pledge according to his grandmother, Assemblyperson Grace Merkes.

Toastmasters gather local following
Tired of being traumatized or passed over when you are asked to speak in public? Well, public speaking butterflies is not an uncommon malady and a local Toastmasters group has been organized to help get those butterflies in formation, according to Deanna Cashman, president of the Soldotna Toastmasters.

Remembering those fallen in the line of duty
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy wrote the executive order creating the National Police Memorial Day. It was one of his final acts as President of the United States. During the investigation of President Kennedy's assassination, an officer who was killed became among the first honored at the Police Memorial.

Glaves transitions to Boys & Girls Club position
When Michelle Glaves came to the Peninsula Clarion, her youngest daughter was 5 years old, today she is in her third year of college and Michelle is joining the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula. For the past 15 years Michelle has worked in advertising at the Clarion, becoming advertising director in charge of the classified and display ads in the Clarion and Dispatch.

Nikiski Valedictorians
Nathan SmithRainy Reilly

Students earn diplomas at home
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District offers a home-school program, Connections. The following students graduated from the program May 14.

Seward High honors 51 graduates, 2 valedictorians
Fifty-one students graduated from Seward High School on May 22.

Cook Inlet Academy Valedictorian
Miranda Zindel

Kenai Valedictorians
Megon Marie CoonJames Gregory GabrielRachelle Aimee McIntyre

4 students graduate from Wings Christian
Four students graduated from Wings Christian Academy on May 16. The private Christian school, which serves as a ministry of Immanuel Baptist Church, offers kindergarten through 12th-grade education.

Masons honor outstanding students
Kenai Masonic Lodge No. 11 hosted the 36th annual Masonic Outstanding Student awards banquet April 24 in the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School.

Wings Christian Academy Valedictorian
Brandon James Ruffridge

Area nurses earn RN certification through Weber State
Thirteen licensed practical nurses graduated from a one-year nursing program through Weber State University, based in Ogden, Utah, on May 12.

Kenai Alternative grads look forward to next step
Students, family and friends shared an evening of laughter and tears May 16 at Kenai Alternative High School's graduation.

Cook Inlet Academy honors graduates, God
Cook Inlet Academy Principal Charles Crapuchettes lead the graduating class of nine seniors in the Lord's Prayer before the graduation ceremony began. He then told them they had earned this and wished them all the best. Flashbulbs popped and loved ones watched with weepy eyes as the students made their entrance for one last school function commencement.

Kards fly through high school graduation
The seniors who graduated from Kenai Central High School received more than diplomas this year. They also received instruction in the "Graduate's Bill of Rights," from commencement speaker Roger Phillips, a social studies teacher at the school.

Nikiski students prepare to move on
A crowd of hundreds gathered to see the 73 graduates of the 2003 senior class from Nikiski High School.

IDEA students go the distance
The Interior Distance Education of Alaska (IDEA) program, run through the Galena School District, offers home-school curriculum and support throughout the state.

Small schools select valedictorians
Josif Yakunin, Nikolaevsk SchoolAmelia Dillon, Susan B. English School

Homer Flex honors 12 graduates
Twelve students graduated from Homer Flex High School on May 17.

Skyview Valedictorians
Christina ColvinLela Wiley

Ninilchik Valedictorian
Whitney Leman

Seward Valedictorians
Tara DeRuweNicholas Christian Swann

Ninilchik students say goodbye after 12 years
Ninilchik High School's class of 2003 had just 13 students marching to the strains of Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance and lining up for diplomas on May 18, but judging from the enormous turnout filling the school gymnasium, that singular ceremony marking their coming of age was no trivial matter to this quiet Kenai Peninsula community.

Soldotna High students reach for the stars
With hundreds of relatives, friends, fellow students, school personnel and other well-wishers packed into the Soldotna Sports Center to cheer them on, the 118 Soldotna High School graduates had no problem shining like starts in the spotlight of their graduation ceremony.

KPC graduating class varies in age, education
More than 150 students earned recognition May 7 at Kenai Peninsula College's commencement ceremony at the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School. The graduates, whose ages differed by more than 25 years, earned everything from general education diplomas to industrial certifications and from associate's degrees to bachelor's degrees.

Small schools celebrate graduations
A number of smaller Kenai Peninsula schools honored graduates throughout the month of May. Graduates included:

7 top students honored in Homer commencement
Elizabeth BushellAdam CrumHolly Michelle McCuneJacob OwensNate RaymondEvan SmithHeather Strutz

98 Homer seniors earn diplomas
Ninety-eight students completed their high school educations May 19 as they graduated from Homer High School.

Soldotna High Valedictorians
Lauren ChristensenRachel GoldsteinMark McCartanMatthew MeachamCarlene MillerSamantha Penner

18 students complete Bible school program
Eighteen students graduated from Soldotna's Alaska Christian College on May 4. The Bible college, affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church of America, targets primarily Native students and prepares them for a life of discipleship and mission work through a one-year Bible-based curriculum.

Panthers prepare to meet the world
Friendship was an essential building block to success at Skyview High School for many members of the Class of 2003, and it is what will be remembered most when they are gone.

NOW PLAYING: Bruce Almighty
There is one deliriously funny scene in Jim Carrey's latest effort at career revival that makes us remember the heady days of Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber. Jim's Bruce, a frustrated features reporter for the six o'clock news who has recently been rendered omnipotent, decides to stick it to main rival who he feels unfairly stole his spot at the anchor desk.

Plan to rid Soldotna of tourist riffraff coming together nicely
I think Soldotna should install a toll booth. It appears that city officials have a well organized business plan that is nearly in place. Now they need to move to the next phase.

Sterling Elementary appreciates great community commitment
Sterling Elementary is a community school. As such, we could not offer half of the wonderful learning opportunities we are able to provide were it not for the dedication, volunteering, caring and commitment of our community members themselves.

Water-dousing incident brings to mind words of Samuel Adams
Though I have to admit I did not know much about this particular water-dousing incident until recently,I was deeply disturbed when I did find out the circumstances. I am a second generation American immigrant on my father's side. My father came to this country and became a citizen as well as served his country in the armed forces.

Charges far too harsh; it was just an accident
I can't believe there hasn't been more of a public rising about the charges brought against Mr. Petterson. I think there will be once everybody gets over the shock of the absurd extent of the charges being brought against him. He is not an evil person, he didn't go looking to hurt anybody that day or any day before or after this accident.

Americans need to be vigilant to prevent erosion of basic rights
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is to be commended for unanimously enacting a resolution renouncing attempts by those in our federal government who seek to suspend our rights through the USA PATRIOT Act, the Homeland Security Act, the Draft Domestic Security En-hancement Act of 2003, and the various presidential executive orders issued through the present administration.

North Star's top readers say thanks for cruises in 'really cool cars'

Generosity of many raises $10,000 for endowment fund
Thank you! Thank you! The Sterling Senior Center Pig Roast and Auction held May 16 was indeed a great success, a lot of fun and good eats for those who attended.

'After Midnight In Paris' party creates evening of memories
I am a winner in more ways then one! The junior class of Soldotna High School and its many supporters sponsored a wonderful evening for all of those who attended the prom.

Wal-Mart not coming to peninsula
For anyone holding out hope of seeing Wal-Mart move to town, that hope now can be laid to rest.

Answers to river issues elusive
Last month's decision by the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to avoid a potential loss in court by rescinding an earlier moratorium on registering new Kenai River guides has put management of the river and its resources back to square one.

End of trail (work) in sight
Alaska Department of Trans-portation and Public Facilities officials hope to complete the Kenai Spur Highway Unity Trail this summer.

18-month-old child dies after being hit by truck
An 18-month-old girl died of injuries sustained when she was accidentally run over by a pickup truck behind Cadre Feeds in Soldotna on Friday.

Salmon's return brings different groups together
The generosity of some area children and the setting aside of differences by some adults came together recently to the joy of 50 seniors and friends celebrating the return of the salmon at Soldotna's Heritage Place.

BLM seeks out public on land management
The Bureau of Land Management has concluded public meetings in an Alaska study area it calls the Ring of Fire, which includes the Kenai Peninsula.

Retrial in animal abuse case under way today
ANACONDA, Mont. The retrial of Jon and Athena Harman, formerly of Nikiski, on animal abuse charges gets under way today.

Kenai ceremony honors war dead
Overcast, blustery May skies held back rain Monday afternoon, but they could not keep away the nearly 200 people who emerged at Leif Hansen Memorial Park in Kenai for the American Legion Post No. 20 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10046 Memorial Day Service.

Attempts to limit guides not new
The Kenai River Special Management Area was created in 1984. Following development of the Kenai River Comprehensive Management Plan, the state Department of Natural Resources began registering river guides.

Nancy Marvilene Upchurch
Former Anchorage resident Nancy Marvilene Upchurch died Saturday, May 24, 2003, at Heritage Place in Soldotna in the presence of family members. She was 79.

James (Jim) W. Schroeder
Longtime Kenai resident James (Jim) W. Schroeder died from heart disease Saturday, May 24, 2003, at his home in Kenai. He was 67.

K. Darrell Rogers
(Kenton) Darrell Rogers, 58, died Friday, May 23, 2003, at his home in Seward following his battle with lung cancer. He was 58.

Delores Anderson
Longtime Kenai resident Delores Anderson died Sunday, May 25, 2003, surrounded by her family at her home in Kenai. She was 66.

Robert Serge
Homer resident Robert Serge died in an ultralight accident Wednesday, May 21, 2003, at the Homer Airport. He was 45.

Dachande Trinity Murdock
Kasilof resident Dachande Trinity Murdock died Friday, May 23, 2003, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 18 months old.

To its credit, Legislature extends life of regulatory panel by another 4 years
Alaskans could be the winners in the latest installment of what has come to be known as the ''Phone Wars.''

Legislature failed to resolve state's financial problems
The just-concluded first session of the 23rd Alaska Legislature, though it consists of hard-working politicians who approved several sound pieces of legislation, should nevertheless be remembered for a single act: failing, like so many Legislatures before it, to resolve the state's long-term financial problem.

Young adults have big plans
As summer approaches, there is good news and bad in our latest InsiderAdvantage poll. With terrorism in the back of our minds and a terrible economy in the front of it, only 17 percent of American adults say they plan to travel less this summer than in the past. Twenty-four percent say they will travel more. The rest say nothing has changed this vacation season from past ones.

Community News
SeaLife Center cares for abandoned seal pupHomer Community Schools offers summer classes

Ginni and Joel DeLonMaryanne Kay and Brent Alan Rogers

Around the Peninsula
WRCC board of directors to meetPratt Museum plans series of brown bag lunchesLeague of Women Voters plans progressive dinnerResidents invited to plant a row for the hungryHead Start begins early registrationHospital to offer safe-sitter coursesImmunizations in Ninilchik scheduledCPGH to hold board meetingKachemak Kayak fest continuesRelay for Life to raise money for cancer societyPlant and sidewalk sale to benefit Pratt MuseumBrain Injury Support Group to hold awareness walkKenai beautification project needs volunteersAir Fair takes flightHomer immunization clinics offered through June

Photo: Extra mile
Special Olympics team members display a check from the Kenai Chapter of the Alaska Peace Officers Association.

Peninsula People
Soldotna man graduatesSoldotna grad earns second degreeSterling couple's daughter to earn master'sKenai student finishes collegeStewart earns business degreeNikiski student to earn degree6 peninsula students graduate in BoiseSterling man completes collegeVerba chooses collegeSterling woman completes basic trainingArea woman named Mrs. AlaskaAAA awards scholarship to local studentStaab earns academic scholarshipSchool librarian gets new 'do

Photo: Trading places
Members of the Rotary International Group Study Exchange from England and Wales lend a helping hand at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank Wednesday during their five-week visit to Alaska and Yukon, Canada.

Club News
Nikiski Lions seek votes for 'Grouch"

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Texas Tech grad proves it's never too late for degree
LUBBOCK, Texas William Whitfill graduated from college earlier this month after three careers and a 65-year absence from the classroom.

Senior Menus
What's on the menu for our area seniors

Serena flies through first round of French
PARIS Serena Williams warmed up with sister Venus on center court at the French Open, then barely broke a sweat in her opening match against Barbara Rittner.

Ducks a team that's better than the movie
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Usually, the idea is to do something so great, so unrivaled, so stirring in sports that someone will do a movie about it. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks got it all wrong.

New format of Tsalteshi Triathlon draws large crowd of competitors
The Tsalteshi Trails Triathlon took three years to bounce back. Soldotna junior Ari Goldstein took a little less than two days.

Devils shell Mighty Ducks
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Jeff Friesen wouldn't trade this for anything: a Stanley Cup finals lead against his old team.

Brown steps down as coach of Sixers
PHILADELPHIA Larry Brown hasn't lost his passion for coaching. He just felt he and the Philadelphia 76ers needed a change.

St. Patrick's day finally comes
DENVER Colorado's Patrick Roy is retiring, ending the 18-year career of one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history.

Indy 500 winner de Ferran isn't ready to fade away
INDIANAPOLIS Gil de Ferran still enjoys the sensation he gets from driving a race car: his hands gripping the wheel, the air whipping across the top of his helmet.

Kenai Golf Report: Course conditions are prime
Mixed Doubles

Chang plays for last time at French Open
PARIS Michael Chang cried at the French Open for the second and last time.

Sports Briefs
Women's World Cup returns to United States

Sports Briefs
Bettman says obstruction crackdown workedBaseball's disciplinarian investigating SchillingGuerrero sidelined with back injuryACC to begin site visits to Miami, Syracuse, BCRockets owner, GM talk with Larry Brown

Mavericks stay alive with big comeback

Photo feature: After dinner flight
A young eagle takes off after eating part of a fish at the mouth of the Kenai River on Tuesday afternoon. The young eagle will lose its immature feathers and develop the markings of an adult bald eagle.

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