Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Wet conditions slow most wildfires
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Just two new wildfires were reported Sunday and two more Monday as rain in Alaska's Interior slowed burning.

Knowles to expand special session to include veterans bill
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles will expand a June 24 special session of the Legislature to include a request for $2.6 million more in funding for a veterans initiative, he said Monday.

Nebraska man killed in Sterling Highway crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Nebraska man was killed Tuesday in an accident on the Sterling Highway at Cooper Landing.

Fire chars condominiums
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A car struck a natural gas meter Tuesday evening in front of an Anchorage condominium building and sparked a three-alarm fire that damaged the front of the 30-unit, four-story structure.

State finds $1 million in budget for Delta Junction debt
JUNEAU (AP) -- In a lean budget year, lawmakers still managed to find $1 million to pay the costs of an out-of-court settlement for the city of Delta Junction.

FBI holds field training exercise to protect pipeline from terrorists
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The FBI is sponsoring a field training exercise to practice for a potential terrorist strike along the trans-Alaska oil Pipeline and at the Valdez Marine Terminal.

Independent-travel woes hurt Native corp.'s income
JUNEAU (AP) -- Goldbelt Inc. reported a loss of $4.4 million last year, due in part to a weak independent travel market.

Gov. Knowles asks unions to keep loading Alaska-bound ships
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- With less than a month before a West Coast longshoremen's contract expires, shipping companies operating in Alaska are girding for a possible strike or work slowdowns. Gov. Tony Knowles, meanwhile, has asked the longshoremen's union to continue loading Alaska-bound ships if a strike occurs.

Missing Norton Sound boaters found
NOME (AP) -- Three boaters reported missing in Norton Sound Sunday evening were found alive and in good condition late Monday.

Fairbanks school board approves teachers contract
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board on Tuesday night unanimously approved a new three-year contract with its teachers union.

Nenana man sentenced to 99 years for killing trapper
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Nenana man was sentenced to 99 years in prison Monday for killing a Nenana trapper last year.

Alaska Native veterans seek land allotments
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska Native veterans are urging Congress to pass a bill that would allow each Native veteran of the Vietnam War to select 160 acres of federal land.

Troopers identify body of man who disappeared in March 2001
BETHEL (AP) -- The remains of an Akiachak man who disappeared more than a year ago have been identified, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Viral illness hits cruise ship passengers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A viral infection that commonly strikes cruise-ship travelers in Alaska has struck again.

Fire's cause remains a mystery
JUNEAU (AP) -- Investigators may never why fire broke out in a storage building here Sunday, torching millions of dollars in property and forcing firefighters to dodge exploding bullets.

Evergreen plans exploratory drilling for coalbed methane
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Evergreen Resources Alaska Corp. has applied to drill an eight-well exploration project to test the ability of coal in the company's 72,000-acre Pioneer unit in the Lower Susitna Valley to produce natural gas.

Anchorage restaurateur convicted of murder
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage restaurateur was convicted of killing another Anchorage man and wounding his son in a 2000 shooting in Macedonia.

Ketchikan borough assembly votes to keep school boat
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly has voted to approve an agreement between the borough, the volunteer Ketchikan Maritime Education Committee and the school district to provide for maintenance and operation of the school vessel Jack Cotant.

Sewage main backup floods Anchorage apartment
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Sewage fouled five apartments in an Anchorage neighborhood Sunday when grease plugged an 8-inch main pipe nearby, authorities said.

Delta Junction man sentenced for assaults
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Delta Junction man convicted of assaulting seven boys was sentenced to 21 years, nine months in prison Tuesday.

Seward man convicted of threatening judges
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Seward man has been convicted of three counts of threatening a federal judge.

BP Alaska fined for delays installing Prudhoe Bay leak detection system
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- BP Alaska has agreed to pay a $300,000 fine for delays encountered in installing a leak detection system on its crude oil transmission pipelines at Prudhoe Bay.

Searchers seek three in boat on Norton Sound
NOME (AP) -- Searchers Monday were looking for two men and a woman missing on a boat trip in Norton Sound.

Ketchikan man sentenced to 25 years for rape conviction
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A man convicted of rape was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison.

Fire damages landmark Talkeetna building
TALKEETNA (AP) -- A fire damaged a landmark building in Talkeetna early Sunday morning.

Corps of Engineers awards contract for Fort Wainwright power plant
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded an $18.5-million contract for emission control system improvements for the Fort Wainwright power plant to GHEMM Co. of Fairbanks.

French oil company top bidder in NPR-A lease sale
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The big French oil company TotalFinaElf SA dominated bidding Monday in a sale of oil and gas leases for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska that netted $63.8 million. The money will be split 50-50 between Alaska and the federal government.

Evergreen plans exploratory drilling for coalbed methane
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Evergreen Resources Alaska Corp. has applied to drill an eight-well exploration project to test the ability of coal in the company's 72,000-acre Pioneer unit in the Matanuska Valley to produce natural gas.

Juneau fire destroys millions in property
JUNEAU (AP) -- A fire fueled by propane and rounds of ammunition blazed through a self-storage warehouse Sunday, causing more than a million dollars in damage and destroying belongings of about 150 renters.

Mosquitos appear with a passion in Interior
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- It's summertime and the living is itchy. The season's first squadron of mosquitoes has invaded Fairbanks in full force, and residents can expect a summer-long assault after a cool, wet spring provided prime breeding conditions.

Ground broken for Kenai youth detention facility
KENAI (AP) -- State and local officials broke ground last week for a new $5 million Kenai Peninsula Youth Detention Facility.

Dot Lake man arrested on sex abuse charges
MENTASTA LAKE (AP) -- A man from the village of Dot Lake has been arrested on charges of sexual abuse of a minor.

Six Interior residents charged with welfare fraud
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Six Interior residents were indicted last week on charges they lied about their income to the state Department of Public Assistance in order to illegally receive food stamps and other public assistance money.

Twins split doubleheader with West
The American Legion Post 20 Twins took one of two games Sunday against West Anchorage. The Eagles won the first game 12-9, but rebounded to win the second game 17-15 with a fifth-inning comeback.

Milwaukee rallies for win against Chicago
MILWAUKEE -- Paul Bako and Lenny Harris hit back-to-back homers to start a five-run seventh inning as the Milwaukee Brewers overcame Sammy Sosa's 20th home run and rallied past the Chicago Cubs 7-6 Monday night.

Homer happy Yanks rip Orioles
NEW YORK -- Jason Giambi hit a three-run homer during New York's eight-run sixth inning and the Yankees hit four home runs in a 13-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.

Blue Jays notch win under new manager
TORONTO -- Jose Cruz Jr. homered twice as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-1 Monday night for their first win under new manager Carlos Tosca.

Pirates take pitcher with top pick
NEW YORK -- The Pittsburgh Pirates know No. 1 draft pick Bryan Bullington still needs some work.

Goodwill Ambassador inspires Peninsula
The Kenai Peninsula received a visit last week from someone who left the community a better place than it was when he arrived.

The big one that got away on purpose
Introducing kids to sport fishing as well as the rewards of catch and release fishing were the goals of the Kenai River Professional Guides Association when they took Caring For The Kenai semi-finalists for a free fishing day a few weeks ago.

Author reveals canoe trail secrets
copies of the popular book at KNWR Canoe Safety Days, # (3), (4), (5), Dan Quick, author of Kenai Canoe Trails, demonstrates his personal canoe at Headquarters Lake during the KNWR Canoe Safety Day.)

New Salmon product gets rave reviews from public in Juneau & here
Fred West, owner of the Tustumena Smokehouse in Kasilof, has perfected a technique for processing Pink, Chum, and Red salmon into a tasty pepperoni, polish sausage, bratwurst, or breakfast sausage. West's new product has captured the interest of local and state officials interested in revitalizing Alaska's troubled fishing industry.

Record attendance at local Memorial Day Service
No one needed to be reminded that Memorial Day was more than the first three-day weekend of the summer this year. The attack of September 11th took care of that. This year all across America people wanted to do something more than fire up the barbeque and have a family outing, they wanted to honor those who for over 200 years have paid the ultimate price to secure this nations freedoms.

Knowles to expand special session to include veterans bill
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles will expand a June 24 special session of the Legislature to include a request for $2.6 million more in funding for a veterans initiative, he said Monday.

Knowles gets 1 more session request
"It ain't over till it's over," said Rep. Ken Lancaster, R-Soldotna, quoting Yogi Berra, the famous New York Yankee.

Photo feature: Digging in the dirt
Beth Odom, right, and her daughter Ali plant vegetables in their plot of land at the community gardens in Kenai. There are still several plots available for folks who want to tend their own food. For more information, call 262-5824.

Kenai residents speak out on budget
The Kenai City Council will meet today to decide what to do about the estimated $335,000 deficit the city is faced with in its proposed 2002-03 fiscal year budget. Several Kenai residents shared their views Tuesday on what the council should do.

Fighter planes testing over peninsula
Residents of north Kenai and Nikiski will get a taste of life on an Air Force base over the next two weeks.

Board approves new teachers for 2002-03
In 1996, Kalifornsky Beach Elementary teacher Terri Carter was heralded as a promising first-year teacher to watch when she won the Sally Mae Teacher of the Year award.

Sterling family makes Oregon man's first Alaska trip 'shear' fun
"Bleeteeteeteeteeteeteeteeteet!" This shrill, sustained protest accompanied the dull, but equally high-pitched whine of high-powered clippers Thursday morning. This was no typical visit to the barber shop.

Nebraska man dies in Cooper Landing accident
A Nebraska man was killed Tuesday when he apparently lost control of his vehicle while trying to navigate a sharp curve at a high rate of speed on the Sterling Highway in Cooper Landing.

Student achievement tops list for district's priorities
Accountability for student achievement will be the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's primary focus for the 2002-03 school year, school board members and instructional team administrators decided Tuesday.

Assembly members plan second trip to D.C.
Three members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will fly to Washington, D.C., Wednesday to meet with Alaska's congressional delegation and the borough's capital lobbyist and discuss the borough's federal wish list.

Last-minute candidate filers make deadline
The deadline for filing to run for state and national office came and went Saturday as last-minute filers made real contests out of some races, while other candidates emerged unchallenged.

Mayor changes mind on tax hike
After months of railing for a mill rate increase in the 2002-03 fiscal year budget to balance the estimated $335,000 budget deficit, Kenai Mayor John Williams is now toning back his rally cry in the interest of reaching an agreement with the council.

Maurice J. 'Joe' Heffernan
Maurice J. "Joe" Heffernan died Friday, May 31, 2002, in Kasilof. He was 64.

Joyce H. Janota
Former Soldotna resident Joyce H. Janota died Wednesday, May 22, 2002, at Alaska Regional Medical Center after a short battle with cancer. She was 71.

Nine former Oilers get selected on first day of draft
Nine former members of the Peninsula Oilers were taken in the opening day of the Major League Baseball draft Tuesday.

Good news for Alaska's fishers: Seafood labeling could take effect soon
Sen. Frank Murkowski already had success in securing language in the federal farm bill that within two years would require that seafood products be labeled with their country of origin and whether the fish was caught in the wild or farm raised. In the meantime, such labeling would be voluntary.

Letters to the Editor
Kasilof River crowded with guides; bank anglers give up in frustrationPrescription drug benefit needed now in MedicareBiased questions compromise integrity of Kenai River survey

Father, son could use some help putting Kenai cemetery in orderSoldotna Elementary School says thanks for support throughout year

What happens in distant place could well trigger terrorist activity nearby
In these dangerous times, even previously unnoted robberies can provoke worries about terrorism.

Skyview grads say thanks

Europe's closed door policies cause of right-wing extremism
Europe needs more immigrants. All economic studies show that there will be a shortage of manpower in a couple of decades if we don't open our borders to more immigrants.

Americans more interested in preventing attacks than assigning blame for Sept. 11
WASHINGTON -- For President Bush, congressional inquiries into Sept. 11 intelligence lapses are at best an unwanted distraction. The political uproar has to be particularly discouraging to a leader who prides himself on order and control and whose father is a former CIA director as well as a former president.

Is Bush confusing Republican base?
Here we go again. Several weeks ago, this column suggested that political insiders were noticing evidence that the 2002 election cycle might be much like the one of 10 years ago. The 1992 national election brought to the polls many voters who viewed the country as adrift.

Around the Peninsula
Immunization clinic todayO'Hara to speak at Kenai chamberMile 45-60 project meetings canceled2002 Central Peninsula Air Fair plannedRed Cross to hold CPR class

Around the Peninsula
Free immunizations availableSCI monthly meeting plannedChamber meeting scheduledScavenger hunt rescheduledPublic meeting slatedCMCD course offeredHomesteader village open for summer

Peterson reviews accomplishments of 2001-02 school year
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent, Donna Peterson, has assembled the following list of noteworthy points in review of the 2001-02 district school year.

Honor Roll
The following students were named to the honor roll for the fourth quarter at Kenai Middle School, Nikiski Middle-Senior High School, or for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average for the spring semester at Kenai Peninsula College

Around the District
Sixth-grade teacher Anne Pfitzner has been selected as one of three national winners of an Einstein Fellowship in Washington, D.C.Tony and Wayne Aitkin were presented awards for perfect junior high and high school attendence at Nikisk Middle-Senior High School's awards night.

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

Cell phone program keeps seniors connected
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Hertha Gross knew there had to be a use for the old cell phones people toss out when they move on to newer models.

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Red Wings strewn to pieces by unexpected force of 'mongrel' Hurricanes
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings have the stars, the big salaries and the Hall of Famers. All the Carolina Hurricanes have in these supposedly one-sided Stanley Cup finals is the lead.

Message received
One guy can do only so much. The same thought that provided some consolation for Mike Bibby probably sent shivers down Jason Kidd's spine. The New Jersey guard was at home Sunday night, all the way on the other side of the country, when the Los Angeles Lakers took out Bibby's Sacramento Kings in the battle of California. But the message came through his TV set loud and clear:

Phil, Kobe could have been Nets
LOS ANGELES -- Imagine if Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson were with the New Jersey Nets instead of the Los Angeles Lakers.

One year after Bourque, will Hasek finally get his Stanley Cup?
DETROIT -- This Stanley Cup story line worked so well last year, it may be worth repeating.

Sports Briefs
Twins split doubleheader with WestPeninsula riders fare well at snowmachine event

Italy, Brazil open with group wins
YOKOHAMA, Japan -- The big boys are asserting themselves early in the World Cup.

South Korea tops Poland, looms ahead for U.S.
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) -- South Korea was the biggest star on Asia's biggest day at the World Cup.

Kenai Golf Report: Putting keeps on improving
T he Kenai Golf Course crew is really doing a great job with the course. The greens are filling in and the putting is great and improving each day. It is a very pleasant surprise to have the greens in the shape they are in now. Things are really looking up at the course and the golfers are happy

Williams sisters advance
PARIS -- Big Sis went out and made a past French Open champion look utterly hapless at Roland Garros. Then Little Sis did, too.

Reyna, Mathis hurting heading into U.S. opener
SEOUL, South Korea -- The United States has been aching for four years to show the world it's no longer a last-place team. Now, on the eve of its World Cup opener, the United States is just plain aching.

Agassi comes back from brink to reach quarterfinals
PARIS -- Andre Agassi was in a rut: His rhythm was off, his much younger opponent couldn't miss, his deficit was growing.

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