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Thursday, June 5, 2003

Medical examiner determines doctor's death a suicide
ANCHORAGE (AP) The high-profile doctor whose body was found in the Port of Valdez last week died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Valdez police said Tuesday after the state medical examiner released the results of an autopsy.

Vehicle registration fees going up
JUNEAU (AP) It's going to cost more to register a car or truck, starting in September.

APOC staff recommends fine for Anchorage assemblyman
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Alaska Public Office Commission's staff has recommended that the agency fine Anchorage Assemblyman Doug Van Etten about $10,000 for 20 alleged violations of Alaska's campaign finance laws in 2000 and 2001.

Wildlife officers go from brown shirts to blue
ANCHORAGE (AP) No decision has been made to merge Fish and Wildlife Division state troopers with Alaska State Troopers, according to the Murkowski administration, but their uniforms are about to be the same color.

Chugach Electric looks to wind power
ANCHORAGE (AP) Chugach Electric Association is developing a plan for a wind power generation site at Bird Point south of Anchorage.

Senators question oceans commission report
ANCHORAGE (AP) Alaska's U.S. senators have panned the report of a private study panel that on Wednesday made sweeping recommendations to Congress for saving the nation's oceans from pollution, commercial fishing and coastal development.

Man charged with providing marijuana to teen shooter
FAIRBANKS (AP) An 18-year-old man has been charged with providing marijuana to a 14-year-old boy two days before the boy shot another teen in March.

Couple denies plotting to kill judge, prosecutor
ANCHORAGE (AP) An Anchorage couple took the witness stand Wednesday and denied government charges that they plotted to murder a federal judge and three other people.

Man not wearing seat belt dies after rolling SUV on a curve
ANCHORAGE (AP) An Anchorage man died Monday in a single-vehicle accident near Big Lake, Alaska State Troopers said.

Alaskans lured into money laundering scheme
ANCHORAGE (AP) At least five Anchorage residents were lured into a scam that defrauded buyers on eBay out of thousands of dollars, Anchorage police said Wednesday.

American Legion post facing revocation of liquor license
SITKA (AP) Sitka's American Legion Post 13 is facing revocation of its liquor license following charges that three employees and two patrons sold drugs on the premises, the director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board said Tuesday.

Four climbers pulled off Mount McKinley
FAIRBANKS (AP) Four climbers were plucked from Mount McKinley Wednesday, including three from an elevation above 19,000 feet.

Governor signs bill to tighten Denali KidCare eligibility
JUNEAU Gov. Frank Murkowski has signed legislation that could keep about 1,300 children and pregnant women from receiving free health care over the next year, at a savings to the state of about $1.75 million.

Boy drowns in Kuskokwim River
ANCHORAGE (AP) A McGrath boy drowned Tuesday while swimming with friends, Alaska State Troopers said.

Fairbanks man pleads no contest in shooting
FAIRBANKS (AP) A Fairbanks man has pleaded no contest to assault in an agreement that will send him to prison for no more than 10 years.

Park service seeks volunteers for killing dandelions
ANCHORAGE (AP) Denali National Park and Preserve is again seeking volunteers to help remove dandelions from the park.

Judge rules Trident Seafoods liable for lax security
ANCHORAGE (AP) An Anchorage judge has ordered one of Alaska's biggest seafood processing companies to pay $1.25 million in damages for its role in the savage beating of a man at one of its remote processing plants in the Aleutians.

Former Kotzebue lawmaker Frank Ferguson dies
JUNEAU (AP) Former Kotzebue lawmaker and Alaska Native leader Frank Ferguson, who for years quietly wielded power in the Alaska Legislature as a member of the influential Bush Caucus, died Wednesday. He was 63.

Man drowns after falling off boat and trying to swim
ANCHORAGE (AP) Rescue personnel Tuesday night recovered the body of a man who fell into Big Lake and attempted to swim to shore.

State announces study to build Juneau road
JUNEAU (AP) The state Department of Transportation said it plans to study building a road up the west side of Lynn Canal to Haines as part of the Juneau Access Project.

Kennicott delayed after hitting bottom
JUNEAU (AP) The ferry Kennicott hit a rock in Wrangell Narrows early Tuesday morning and will be out of service until the damage is repaired.

Tok fire stays subdued, for now
FAIRBANKS (AP) Relatively light winds kept the fire near Tok subdued Wednesday and eased fears that the blaze would once again threaten buildings.

Police investigate alleged attempted kidnapping
ANCHORAGE (AP) Police said Tuesday they were hoping to find witnesses of a possible attempted child abduction at the Home Depot store in Anchorage.

New guest lodge opens at McKinley
ANCHORAGE (AP) Denali Park Resorts has opened a new guest lodge at the McKinley Chalet Resort and also completed a renovation.

Foundation receives support for Native artists
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Alaska Native Arts Foundation is getting $250,000 to support Native artists and arts cooperatives.

School district seeks refund for lack of security
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Anchorage School District will try to get back the money it paid a security company to guard Dimond High School early Saturday when vandals wrought up to $35,000 in damages.

Davies, Ward among early campaign filers
JUNEAU Two former lawmakers who lost in the 2002 general election have filed papers with the state signaling their intention to again run for office.

Green groups claim Tongass threatened by logging
ANCHORAGE (AP) A new report by environmental groups lists Alaska's Tongass National Forest as one of the 10 most endangered forests in the country because of threats from logging and other development.

Juneau man sentenced to more than two years
ANCHORAGE (AP) A Juneau man was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for attempting to possess child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Knowles says he's interested in Senate seat
WASHINGTON (AP) Former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles on Tuesday confirmed years of speculation and rumor: He is considering a run for the U.S. Senate.

Juneau approves two school bonds
JUNEAU (AP) Juneau voters passed two ballot propositions to support school construction in a special election Tuesday.

Murkowski signs licenses bill
FAIRBANKS (AP) A bill continuing the state's practice of requiring Alaskans to submit Social Security numbers for driver's, fishing and other licenses has been signed into law by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Sosa's other 76 bats come back clean after being tested by MLB
CHICAGO No cork or other foreign material was found in any of the 76 bats confiscated from Sammy Sosa's locker and X-rayed by baseball officials.

Jeter appointed Yankees' captain
CINCINNATI (AP) Derek Jeter was at a loss to explain the timing for one of his greatest honors.

Sosa's explanations don't add up
Sammy Sosa said all the right things. It was a mistake. It was for the fans. It was an accident that will not happen again.

Tampa Bay makes high school outfielder Delmon Young top draft pick
NEW YORK Delmon Young sat in front of his computer with family, friends and high school teammates and coaches, waiting to find out when he would be selected in Tuesday's baseball draft.

Sosa's bat uncorks scandal
CHICAGO Once Sammy Sosa was caught using a corked bat, there was one big question: Was he cheating when he hit any of those 505 home runs?

Business Brief
Seafood industry needs workers

Dow closes above 9,000 after 10-month downturn
NEW YORK The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 9,000 Wednesday for the first time in nearly 10 months, soaring more than 100 points following a pair of positive economic reports.

Unemployed workers endure longest job searches in two decades
PRINCETON, N.J. It takes just a few minutes for the sheet of ledger paper to complete its trip around the circle long enough for 28 pairs of hands to log months of frustration on its ruled blue lines.

No quiero legal action
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) A federal jury Wednesday ordered Taco Bell Corp. to pay $30.1 million to two men who claimed the fast-food chain stole their idea for the ad campaign featuring a talking Chihuahua.

Fallen but never forgotten on Memorial Day
It was a solemn, proud crowd that stood against the wind and dreary skies at last weeks Memorial Day ceremony at Leif Hansen Memorial Park in Kenai.

Past Soldotna Chamber President will move to Bethel
Past Soldotna Chamber of Commerce President, Lisa Wimmer, Assistant Vice President Business Banker at Wells Fargo in Soldotna, is moving up to Bethel Alaska to take on the position as Branch Manager in Bethel.

Resurrected Tsalteshi Triathalon great success
Based on the participation in the 2003 Memorial Day Tsalteshi Triathlon, the event may be back to stay.

Congressman Young addresses Kenai Chamber
U.S. Congressman Don Young took the opportunity to visit the Kenai Peninsula during the Memorial Day recess and during Wednesday's Kenai Chamber luncheon told those assembled that transportation is the nations number one problem.

NYLF Scholarship presented
Jackie Rainwater, a sophomore at Skyview High School, will be attending a National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) this summer in Houston, Texas. The NYLF is an opportunity for students interested in pursuing a medical career to have an up-close, real life, look at the medical profession with some of the nations most renowned physicians.

Kenai poet earns recognition after decades of writing
After writing poetry on and off for the last 67 years, it's about time William Rowe was recognized for his work.

New book combines philosophy, action
Science fiction can be escapist fare to the point of silliness. But it also can be seriously thought provoking, what fans call "speculative fiction."

Art Briefs
Deadline for festival extendedPoetry contests offer $1,000Quilting projects wantedBook sale coming upFine arts institute slatedWriters' conference slated

Modern art meets Margaret Thatcher
LONDON (AP) Margaret Thatcher, Britain's former prime minister, is better known as a scourge of socialists and champion of free enterprise than as a patron of the arts.

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

Atticus Finch tops AFI's list of heros; Hannibal Lecter is top villain
LOS ANGELES (AP) The American Film Institute's list of top 100 movie heroes and villains, with character and performer names (where applicable), and the film:

Singer Norah Jones eager to move on
NEW YORK As dreamlike as Norah Jones' past year has been, the folky jazz singer is ready to snap out of it.

Valerie Martin wins Orange Prize for Fiction
LONDON (AP) American writer Valerie Martin has won the Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel, ''Property.''

Solutions to state problems require strong candidates
The Clarion pointed out the failure of the Legislature to deal with fiscal problems. Voters are much to blame for this, since the collective we elected them. There used to be a term "yellow dog Democrat" that referred to mostly southerners who said they would vote for a yellow dog before they voted for a Republican. The problem is now reversed in Alaska. We have a majority of voters who will only vote for a Republican no matter how poor a candidate they may be.

Contributions make bus 'road-e-o' a success
Laidlaw Transit Inc. and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District would like to thank the following merchants and individuals for their generous contributions, which helped to make this year's KPBSD School Bus Road-e-o a huge success

Historical society appreciates community support for sale
The board of the Kasilof Historical Society would like to thank all those who participated in our second annual garage sale, both those who donated and those who spent their money! It was a great success and goes a long way toward our goal of having a museum.

Kenai after-grad party committee appreciates donations, support
This year's committee for Kenai Central High School's After-Grad Bash would like to thank all the businesses, parents and yes even the students of our community, for making it a terrific night! Sure, there were a few glitches, but overall, we feel it was a success.

Youth Restoration Corps gears up for summer
The first day of the Youth Restoration Corps 2003 program was June 2, and I'm happy to be back from Juneau and getting ready to work on the river this year with a dozen great youth who are ready to go restore some habitat on the Russian River and Cooper Creek.

Connections wishes graduates, families well
I would like to acknowledge the 2003 graduates of the Connections Home School Program: Roxanne Clark, Colter Demers, Lisa Hansen, Daniel Towner and Sarah Williamson. These students participated in Connections' first official graduation ceremony that took place May 14.

FORCE: City recreation center should stay under public control
Friends of the Kenai Recreation Center (FORCE) is a group of Kenai residents and voters that formed recently to oppose the city of Kenai administration's plan to turn over the Kenai Recreation Center to a private group, the Boys and Girls Club of the Kenai Peninsula, beginning July 1.

Volunteers, participants create successful Tsalteshi triathlon
As race director, I would like to thank all the volunteers who helped make the 2003 Tsalteshi Trails Triathlon a huge success. Countless hours of time were spent preparing the course and organizing the event, so we could welcome more than 230 participants for this year's races.

This week's race: Pocono 500
Where and when

Japanese likely to spend big
LONG POND, Pa. Corporate America already knows what it's like to go up against Japan's tenacity and deep pockets.

Newsmaker: Rusty Wallace
Car owner Roger Penske is on a roll. His IRL teams finished one-two at the Indianapolis 500; one of his stock car teams, Ryan Newman, won Sunday's race at Dover.

Race Schedule
Feb. 16 to Nov. 16, 2003

Drivers getting experience while still in school
HAMPTON, Ga. Twenty years ago, Richard Childress scouted local short tracks for new talent for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Now those searches have taken him to junior high schools.

Money Leaders
1. Jimmie Johnson $2,938,0452. Kurt Busch 2,644,1503. Michael Waltrip 2,584,365

Points Leaders
1. Matt Kenseth 1,9452. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1,7743. Jeff Gordon 1,758

Consolidation receives unanimous vote
The consolidation of Nikiski and North Star elementary schools became a lock Monday night after a unanimous vote from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's Board of Education.

Assembly trims 2004 budget
Several attempts to reduce the general mill levy were thwarted Tuesday evening at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting, while the Central Peninsula General Hospital service area received a half-mill increase. The general tax levy will remain at 6.5 mills.

Where are the tourists?
The outlook for this year's RV tourism on the Kenai Peninsula depends on where you go and who you talk to. RV parks in the Kenai area are seeing a decline in bookings, while the Seward area seems to be this year's RV mecca.

Kenai police install new cameras
The Kenai Police Department has begun its Project REDD record every drunk driver with the aid of new digital video cameras recently installed in every patrol vehicle in the city.

Crime Stoppers offers rewards for information
Central Peninsula Crime Stoppers is offering rewards for information about a burglary that occurred March 31 and a felony theft that took place May 5.

Media ownership changes in question on peninsula
Monday the Federal Communi-cations Commission eased rules governing ownerships of newspapers and TV and radio stations, allowing for the potential of cross-ownership in certain markets.

Kenai man fulfills promise to wife by making neighborhood a bit more colorful with flowers
It's been said that if you put two gardeners together, the only thing they'll agree on is that a third person is doing it completely wrong.

Fund-raiser planned for victim of accident
The condition of a 14-year-old Nikiski girl seriously injured when she was hit by a car two weeks ago is improving. However, the bills for her care and rehabilitation are just beginning.

Homer DMV gets ax
As Alaskans await Gov. Frank Murkowski's anticipated slashing of the budget approved two weeks ago by the state Legislature, some people in Homer already are feeling the cuts.

Activity fees item tabled after confusion
What typically would be a simple decision turned into a bit of a mess Monday night at a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education.

Joseph Maxwell 'Max' Hamilton
Alaska pioneer and Cooper Landing resident Joseph Maxwell "Max" Hamilton died Monday, May 26, 2003, at the Mary Conrad Center in Anchorage. He was 83.

Marjorie Ruth Thomson Saffell
Kenai resident Marjorie Ruth Thomson Saffell died Friday, May 30, 2003, at her home surrounded by her family after a long battle with cancer. She was 70.

Peter I. Elvsaas Sr.
Lifelong Seldovia resident Peter I. Elvsaas Sr. died Tuesday, June 3, 2003, at the South Peninsula General Hospital Long-Term Care in Homer. He was 72.

Oilers get save in Twins' victory
Peninsula Oilers Baseball Inc. has stepped up to save the season of the American Legion Twins after American Legion Kenai Post #20 dropped its sponsorship of the Twins this year.

D'Antona leads former Oilers taken on first day of draft
Three former Oilers were chosen Tuesday on the first day of the major league draft.

Joseph G. Widman
Former Sterling educator and commercial fisher Joseph G. Widman, died Thursday, May 29, 2003, at Providence Alaska Medical Center after a short, but courageous battle with cancer. He was 76.

Readers respond to polls, opinions
Back by popular demand, here are more of your responses to our recent polling, and to my take on the numbers they reveal.

Dividends should not be Constitutional guarantee
In the 44 years that Alaska has been a state, a lot of nutty ideas have come down the trail most of which, fortunately, have fallen by the wayside.

Will Arab leaders rein in militants?
SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt Arab leaders have been reluctant to take on Islamic militants who attack Israel, considered heroes by many of their people. The question now is whether they will follow through on new promises to rein in violent radicals in the name of peace.

Truth of hunger; Day brings awareness to stigmatized problem
If the United States is the land of plenty, then Alaska, especially the Kenai Peninsula, must be the place of abundance. With healthy fish and game populations, awe-inspiring natural beauty and conditions ripe for gardening (however short the growing season), the peninsula can rightfully lay claim to being the paradise of the North.

Around the Peninsula
North Peninsula chamber to meet

Around the Peninsula
Kenai immunization clinics plannedKenai pool holding swim lessonsHistorical society board to meetArt classes offeredVolleyball camp to be served up

Will Spurs be able to rein in Nets?
SAN ANTONIO The New Jersey Nets plan to run, and the San Antonio Spurs plan to stop them from running.

Costa comes back again at French Open
PARIS Albert Costa was as cool as his rackets in the courtside fridge after double-faulting to hand Tommy Robredo a two-set lead in the French Open quarterfinals.

Birch Ridge Report: Those sweet sounds of summer
Sounds you hear in the summer: "tweet," "woof-woof" (OK, that's what it sounds like to me), "Honey, the lawn needs mowing again," "Thwack," "*?#@!," "Fore!"

Spurs clip Nets for Game 1 win
SAN ANTONIO Check out Tim Duncan's phenomenal stat line from Game 1 of the NBA Finals: at least three celebratory muscle flexes, one screaming argument, countless words of encouragement and the starring role in one big win for his San Antonio Spurs.

Ducks must win in New Jersey to win the Stanley Cup
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Talk about culture shock.

Kenai Golf Course in full swing
Things are re

Sports Briefs
Four former Oilers taken in draft

Agassi ousted by Coria at French Open
PARIS Andre Agassi huffed as he chased Guillermo Coria's drop shot, each step accompanied by an exhale: shhh, shhh, shhh.

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