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Friday, May 30, 2003

Man cleared of murder charges
KETCHIKAN (AP) A 39-year-old man who spent 14 months in jail has been cleared of charges that he murdered another man on Christmas of 2001.

Coast Guard cutter retired in Kodiak
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Coast Guard planned to retire the cutter Firebush Thursday in Kodiak after nearly six decades in service.

Bodies of plane crash victims recovered
ANCHORAGE (AP) The bodies of the four people killed in a plane crash were recovered from Mount Hunter in Denali National Park and Preserve, officials with the National Park Service said Thursday.

Goose disrupts power for 30,000 customers in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE (AP) A goose flew into a utility's electrical equipment in Anchorage, disrupting power for about 30,000 customers in south and east sections of the city.

Biologist says whale likely killed by ship
ANCHORAGE (AP) A ship probably struck a humpback whale whose carcass was seen floating near the mouth of Yakutat Bay in mid-May, according to a federal biologist who examined the animal.

Ex-scout leader accused of sexually abusing young girls
ANCHORAGE (AP) Numerous sexual abuse charges have been filed against a former Boy Scout leader from Eagle River who is accused of abusing three girls over the past 18 months.

Crews subdue Anderson fire, battle Tok blaze
FAIRBANKS (AP) A 1,500-acre fire near Anderson is expected to be under control by Saturday, but firefighters continue to battle a steadily growing blaze southeast of Tok.

Former state commissioner to lead United Way
ANCHORAGE (AP) Michele Brown, former commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, is tapped as the new president and chief executive officer of United Way of Anchorage.

Engine-room fire sidelines ferry Columbia
JUNEAU (AP) The state ferry Columbia was sidelined in Ketchikan Thursday after a fire broke out in the engine room, three years after a major overhaul was done to the vessel's electrical system.

Murkowski appoints Grimes to head troopers
JUNEAU (AP) Julia Grimes was appointed to head the Alaska State Troopers Thursday, becoming the first woman ''top cop'' in the state's history.

Prosecutor says pastor may face grand jury
ANCHORAGE (AP) Palmer's top prosecutor said he'll likely ask a grand jury to decide whether criminal charges should be filed against a Big Lake pastor who fatally shot two men reportedly burglarizing his church.

Murkowski signs off on six bills
JUNEAU (AP) Gov. Frank Murkowski signed six bills into law this week, most of them aimed at saving the state money.

Four killed in plane crash near Mount Hunter
ANCHORAGE (AP) Two mountain climbers, a tourist, and a pilot were killed Wednesday when their small plane went down in Denali National Park and Preserve, according to officials with the National Park Service.

Ketchikan borough wants state grant to buy cannery
KETCHIKAN (AP) The Ketchikan Gateway Borough is applying for a $5 million state grant to buy the Wards Cove Cannery.

Canadian faces new charges in crash that killed Fairbanks girl
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) A Calgary man faces four counts of criminal negligence over a highway crash last summer that killed a Fairbanks girl.

Search underway for missing Valdez doctor
VALDEZ (AP) A search continued Thursday for a doctor whose empty rowing scull was found drifting in the port of Valdez.

Woman found guilty in death of Nome man
NOME (AP) A Nome jury has found a Little Diomede woman guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the death of a Nome man last summer.

Alaska Science and Technology Foundation to shut down
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Alaska Science and Technology Foundation is shutting down at the end of June.

Yankees overcome Boston in ninth
NEW YORK Brandon Lyon walked Jorge Posada with the bases loaded in the ninth and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 6-5 Wednesday night after Mariano Rivera blew a four-run lead in the top half.

Padres stumble in ninth vs. Brewers
SAN DIEGO Padres starter Brian Lawrence took a three-hit shutout into the ninth but stumbled as the Milwaukee Brewers beat San Diego 3-2 on Thursday.

Baker working his magic on baseball's lovable losers
CHICAGO Memorial Day has come and gone, the temperatures are rising and June is fast approaching. For the Chicago Cubs' faithful, that usually means one thing time to write off another season and start holding out hope for next year.

Hitting the ground cranking
ATLANTA Atlanta became only the second team in major league history to start a game with three straight homers and went on to a 15-3 rout of the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

Angels edge Devil Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Jarrod Washburn pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning as the Anaheim Angels beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2-1 Thursday night.

Tight supplies of natural gas worry officials
NEW YORK Although natural gas is primarily a winter fuel, the industry is getting an unusually high level of attention as summer rolls around because supplies are tight and prices are soaring.

Working on the railroad; Plans focus on transportation issues as well as economic ones
ANCHORAGE No one can accuse Jim Kubitz of not having vision.

Unions challenge presidential hopefuls
WASHINGTON Everybody is for health care. So Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, wanted to raise the bar for Democrats.

500-gallon spill shuts down some wells 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. State regulators and BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. were investigating the spill, which was spotted Tuesday afternoon.

Peninsula has plenty to offer anglers this weekend
Decisions, decisions. What to take advantage of this weekend?

Porcupines: A gardener's worst nightmare
JUNEAU Porcupines can provide uncommon chances to see a wild animal up close, but for some gardeners, a porcupine is worse than a thousand slugs.

New children's show planned
BOSTON (AP) WGBH, the leading creator of programming for the Public Broadcasting Service, will produce its first children's series for a commercial network.

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

Art Briefs
Pratt to discuss future plans todayMovie auditions this weekendNative plants for saleQuilting projects wantedMuseum solicits fiber artworkFine arts camp plannedArtists in Schools solicits interest

Bob Hope's 100th birthday brings 'Memories'
LOS ANGELES Bob Hope might need another century to be thanked by all the veterans who cherish the wisecracker's performances for U.S. troops.

Eccentric explorer makes compelling hero
Nearly a century ago, exploration of the Polar Regions generated a sense of adventure comparable to putting a man on the moon.

New play applauded
NEW YORK There are a lot of things to cheer in ''I Am My Own Wife,'' the highly theatrical new play by Doug Wright.

'Finding Nemo' a fish tale for all to enjoy
Disney's homegrown cartoons remain hit-and-miss propositions. The one sure thing in the studio's arsenal is its partnership with Pixar Animation, which maintains its perfect record with its latest charmer, the fish tale ''Finding Nemo.''

Coffee shop chess club a big hit
Every Saturday at Kaladi Brothers Coffee in Soldotna, a competition as intense as a triple shot of espresso on an empty stomach is waged.

People, businesses contribute to talent show's success
The Skyview High School National Honor Society and the Mock Trial Team in conjunction with the Community Schools program would like to thank the following people and businesses for making the 2003 Skyview Talent Show a great success

Community businesses provide great learning experiences
I would like to take this opportunity to thank several facets of our community. Many businesses, recreational centers and individuals helped provide our classroom with a wealth of learning.

Great community support makes school trips possible
The support of our community makes it possible for our school to have many special projects and events with students. Our annual Spring Carnival is a community event that raises funds for our Halibut Cove and Anchorage Zoo trips.

Big thanks to Nikiski PTA
I would like to send out a huge thank you to the PTA at Nikiski Elementary. Every year I am amazed at the amount of time, money and love these people give to our school. From their endless work in the fall for the carnival to the very end of the year Hot Dog Day, and everything in between, these people work so hard for our children. No child gets overlooked!

Efforts for peace appreciated
Homer Friends Meeting (Quakers) wishes to acknowledge the efforts of many individuals and groups on the lower Kenai Peninsula who have actively worked towards peace, understanding, religious tolerance and social justice. These groups include Vessels of Hope, Kind-ness Without Borders, Women and Men in Black, Friends in Soldotna and many others. We know that this work requires effort and commitment. We continue to hold you and the world in the Light.

'Thank you' seems inadequate
Soldotna Elementary PTA has had another fun year, with so much help from the staff, parents, students, businesses and organizations in our community.

2-cent tax could go long way, says Young
"Transportation is the No. 1 major problem in our country," U.S. Rep. Don Young told the Kenai Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

Bluff project in wait mode while studies being done
When it comes to the bluff along the mouth of the Kenai River, the city of Kenai is well versed in the tactic of hurry up and wait.

Assembly set to OK budget
When the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meets Tuesday evening, it will be charged with approving $55.8 million in expenditures for the borough's fiscal year 2004 budget, which will take effect July 1.

Soldotna police chief resigns
The Soldotna City Council sat in surprised silence Wednesday as Mayor Dave Carey announced the resignation of Police Chief Shirley Gifford.

Eclipse to occur today, Saturday; cloudy skies may hamper visibility
An annular solar eclipse will occur today and Saturday as the moon crosses exactly between the Earth and the sun, according to Andy Veh, Kenai Peninsula College physics and astronomy instructor.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Budget: At A Glance
The Kenai Peninsula Borough will consider approving a $55.8 million Fiscal Year 2004 borough budget at its Tuesday meeting.

Students use own energy to boost recycling efforts
Stop. Don't throw that soda bottle away.

EDD stands to lose its borough funding
A major funding source for the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District is in jeopardy and could be wiped out with one vote next Tuesday.

Juneau inn says SARS risk means no room for 2 men
JUNEAU After spending four days in Alaska last week criss-crossing the state on business, mining executive John Fox and consultant Peter Bosse were ready for a one-night stay at the Westmark Baranof Juneau before heading home.

Delores E. Andersen
Longtime Kenai resident Delores E. Andersen died Sunday, May 25, 2003, at her home in Kenai. She was 66.

Dachande Trinity Murdock
Dachande Trinity Murdock died Friday, May 23, 2003, at Central Peninsula General Hospital from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. She was 18 months old.

Dennis James Pittmann
Anchorage resident Dennis James Pittmann died Thursday, May 22, 2003, at his home following a heart attack. He was 55.

Americans drowning in spam
The deluge of spam e-mails is prompting legislators to pass federal anti-spam laws that will protect Americans from junk.

Relay for Life raises money, awareness to help battle cancer
It might be difficult for most people to associate cancer with a celebration and weekend of fun.

South Peninsula Hospital's nice facilities no accident
Often in the summer, a visitor may arrive at South Peninsula Hospital as a result of a sudden illness or an accidental injury.

Americans must learn to live with uncertainty that terrorism creates
The terrorist bombings in Israel, Saudi Arabia and Morocco show how difficult it is going to be to wage a war against terrorism.

Restoring old cabins on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge merges past with present
Midnight, June 21. You are sitting on the shore of Lake Tustumena near Andrew Berg's cabin. The colors of twilight surround you, painting the lake and mountains with pink, blue, and lavender hues. The only sounds reaching your ears are the water lapping at the sand and the wind rustling through the treetops.

Around the Peninsula
KVCC begins summer interpretive programKenai Recorder's office to close for trainingFood handlers class offeredHomer Chamber retail committee to meetSocial Security rep to visit peninsulaGolf tournament to benefit American Red CrossClothes Closet open to public, donations

Photo feature: Scooting into summer
Mac Dallmann and Brad Fusaro practice new tricks on their Razor scooters at a gas station on Kalifornsky Beach Road. They are enjoying some free time now that school is out.

Around the Peninsula
Motocross racing begins todaySoldotna library begins summer reading programKCHS dance team to hold concertArea pools offer summer swim lessons4-H gets 'Buggy with it'Safari Club presents slide showHistorical Society holds board meetingDeadline for Kenai River Festival extendedSmall Business Center sponsors workshopUmpires neededEarly registration for 5K run-walk encouraged

Patriarch opens ecological campaign
ATHENS, Greece He has cast flower wreaths onto the oil-fouled Danube River. He's warned that the Black Sea is teetering on ecological collapse.

Church Briefs
Vacation Bible school plannedBible school promises funBible school plans kingdom caperCreation seminar offeredNikiski Bible study slatedVacation Bible study plannedSummer camp plannedSunday school, youth camp slatedGod and country rally setChildren's Bible school plannedChurch offers camp for all agesSterling church plans Bible schoolBible study looks to JerusalemFriendship closet openHealing Rooms open weekends

Snowmachine fatalities hit four-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.

Venus struggles, two U.S. men left in Paris
PARIS Venus Williams' play was so erratic, Mom sat up and took notice.

Agassi grits out a five-setter
PARIS Andre Agassi sat in his chair a few extra seconds at each changeover, resting his body and composing his mind.

King James is what you get for $90 million these days
LeBron James' sneaker deal isn't the end of sports as we know them. Not even close.

The pride behind the beanie
Pride wouldn't have been the first thing that came to mind to anyone who saw John Steckel Monday at the Tsalteshi Trails Triathlon.

Nowitzki 'very doubtful' for Game 6
DALLAS (AP) Dirk Nowitzki is not expected to play in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals, Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson said Wednesday.

Howell breezes through Muirfield with 64
DUBLIN, Ohio A sunny day at Muirfield Village should have been the first clue that the opening round at the Memorial might contain a few surprises.

For first time, Mighty Ducks deal with adversity
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Ask Martin Brodeur about the New Jersey Devils' 1-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals and his own superlative play, and it sounds as if he's talking about a preseason practice or a trip to the dry cleaners.

Ducks goosed again
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Martin Brodeur isn't getting jiggy with anything. He says he's not motivated by his Stanley Cup finals duel with Jean-Sebastien Giguere, but two straight shutouts say he is.

Birch Ridge Report: The ace that wasn't
Summer is absolutely knocking on our door. You could see it everywhere on the Birch Ridge Golf Course last week. Not only are the flowers bloomin' and the greens greenin' but the ladies are golfin'.

Regrets get left behind
DENVER Patrick Roy's piercing blue eyes gave no hint of the emotional moment. While those around him choked back tears and had trouble speaking, Roy barely blinked.

Photo feature: Bear snacks
A young black bear cub browses in grass near Skilak Loop on Wednesday evening. The bear's mother and a sibling were feeding nearby.

Campaign aims to keep the average bear wild
RENO, Nev. The ''Don't Feed the Bears'' routine that tried to keep Yogi and Boo-Boo from picnic baskets a generation ago is getting a makeover in California and the Sierra Nevada.

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