Thursday, June 6, 2002

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.

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.

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.

Subsistence whalers vow to continue, despite IWC decision
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Subsistence whaling in Alaska will continue despite a recent setback by the International Whaling Commission, said Jacob Adams, chief executive of Arctic Slope Regional Corp.

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.

Marijuana seized in Big Lake
BIG LAKE (AP) -- Drug agents seized marijuana and growing equipment from a home in Big Lake Tuesday.

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.

Bill requires Interior to contract with Natives for park work
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A bill that would require the Interior Department to contract with Alaska Native tribes for work in parks and refuges got a chilly reception from an Interior Department official and an environmental group.

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.

Remains of missing Eielson sergeant found
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- An Army archaeological team has recovered the remains of an Eielson Air Force Base sergeant missing since mid-August.

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.

Remains of missing Eielson sergeant found
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- An Army archaeological team has recovered the remains of an Eielson Air Force Base sergeant missing since mid-August.

Bids for Juneau fisheries research facility come in over estimates
JUNEAU (AP) -- Bids for construction of a federal fisheries research facility have come in over estimates.

Fog at Unalaska airport keeps fishery council members from meeting
UNALASKA (AP) -- The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's opening day meeting was canceled Wednesday after weather prevented most members from reaching Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands.

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.

Truck injures Anchorage girl at bus stop
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 7-year-old girl was injured when she was hit by a truck Monday morning while waiting at a school bus stop with other children.

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.

Energy Committee approves Adak land transfer bill
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The transfer of land on Adak Island to the Aleut Corp. moved forward Wednesday.

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

Villagers, managers cope with western fish shortages
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Fishermen in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region are seeing regular closures of fishing opportunities and disruptions in customary subsistence patterns as federal and state regulators make decisions aimed at rebuilding salmon stocks.

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.

Voter files complaint challenging Kohring's residency
JUNEAU (AP) -- Rep. Vic Kohring, who owns houses in both Alaska and Oregon and also rents living space from his parents, will again have to answer questions about where he's living these days.

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.

Lightning strikes cause spot fires in Interior
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Overcast skies and light rain slowed several large Alaska fires Wednesday, but firefighters were faced with another challenge -- putting out spot fires caused by lightning strikes.

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.

Flags lowered for constitutional convention delegate
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- State flags will be at half staff Thursday in honor of James Hurley, a delegate to the constitutional convention who died May 30 at his home in Hilo, Hawaii. He was 87.

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

Legislative move group wants commission to study costs
JUNEAU (AP) -- A citizens' group trying to move legislative sessions out of Juneau wants a commission to study the costs of the move now, not later.

Knowles vetoes abortion funding bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have restricted state funding for abortions for poor women.

Rookie hurler keeps Yankees in check
NEW YORK -- Rookie Travis Driskill held baseball's most powerful team in check, and Tony Batista hit his 14th home run as the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 4-3 Wednesday 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.

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

Bonds passes Robinson on all-time list
SAN DIEGO -- Barry Bonds hit an eye-popping grand slam to move ahead of Frank Robinson for sole possession of fourth place on the career home run list with 587, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 12-2 win over the staggering San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

Business Briefs
Hall named vice president of NAHBNew professional engineerFirst National Bank earns top ratingsBest Transit Mix gets flooring license

Alaska job market still growing despite decline from 2001
On the whole, job growth in Alaska was slower during the first quarter of 2002 than during the same period last year, a state labor economist said this week, but here in the Cook Inlet region, the rate of growth kept pace with 2001 figures, a sign that the economy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough is relatively healthy.

Labor Department gets helps from U.S. companies
WASHINGTON (AP) -- With unemployment at an eight-year high, the Bush administration is reaching out to private companies to help workers find jobs.

New development next to Carrs to cater to small businesses
If in search of ground-breaking news, just look next door to the Napa Auto Parts store in Kenai. Tri City's Construction has broken ground on a new strip mall. The building was commissioned by developer Allan Norville, the owner of Kenai Plaza where Carrs and Big Kmart dominate a cluster of retail stores on the Kenai Spur Highway.

Homegrown author brings book to peninsula
"The Dragline Kid" By Lisa Augustine. Hardscratch Press. The title is a dead-giveaway that "The Dragline Kid" has something to do with gold-mining. But reader beware; the title merely scratches the surface of the gold vein stretching between the covers of author Lisa Augustine's new book.

Godzilla smashes into art world
KAWASAKI, Japan -- Don't be fooled by the zippered-up lizard suit, plastic-model skylines and stock footage of crowds fleeing in terror when Godzilla smashes into town.

Writers bring poetry to people
NEWTOWN, Pa. -- Written on the wall of a parking garage. Discussed in a prison reading group. Read aloud at a Habitat for Humanity groundbreaking.

Museum showcases board game exhibit
NEW YORK -- It turns out the classic American board game Monopoly was not the first to have ''greed is good'' as its basic objective.

Fiddling for the festival
The Kenai River Festival will be headlined by a big name this year -- Ken Waldman, otherwise know as Alaska's Fiddling Poet. Waldman, accompanied by David McCormick from Anchorage, will play at 6:30 p.m. Saturday during the festival at the Green Strip Park in Kenai, across the Kenai Spur Highway from the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center.

'Bad Company' takes plot from other films
Terrorists obtain a stray nuke and easily smuggle it into the United States, where they intend to detonate it for no rational reason other than providing a crisis for CIA agents to defuse in a Hollywood action flick.

Academy offers chance to help kids excel in art
The idea that art is an integral part of education, culture and society is one that is a central theme to the Arts Education Academy.

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

Knowles vetoes abortion funding bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have restricted state funding for abortions for poor women.

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.

In the Spotlight: Ken Schrader
A short bio on your favorite NASCAR racers

Race Schedule
Feb. 17 to Nov. 17 2002

This Week's Race: Pocono 500
Where and when

Points Standings
1. Sterling Marlin 1,8992. Jimmie Johnson 1,7633. Jeff Gordon 1,739

Rookie starts strong
LONG POND, Pa. -- When Jimmie Johnson started on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series five months ago, his goal was to win the rookie-of-the-year title.

Car technology takes toll
LONG POND, Pa. -- The competitive edge that once separated the NASCAR Winston Cup Series from other forms of racing has been lost in a mountain of geometric quotients and engineering projects.

Money Leaders
1. Mark Martin $2,880,2612. Ward Burton 2,564,3863. Ryan Newman 2,069,239

Winter games bid coming together
Tom O'Hara thinks the Kenai Peninsula has a great chance to host the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, and if anyone knows the Arctic Winter Games, it's Tom O'Hara.

School board structure issue ready for ballot
Voters in October will get to choose whether to leave the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education as it is or increase its size to nine members and elect them by district.

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.

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.

KPEA: Unfair practices claim unfounded
An unfair labor practices complaint against the Kenai Peninsula Education Association is unfounded and should be dismissed, the association told the Alaska Labor Relations Agency this week.

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.

Patient care is focus of program at CPGH
Patients will one day have more say about their treatment at Central Peninsula General Hospital.

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.

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.

Borough gives some a tax break
Many borough property owners are about to get a tax break. The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday approved a reduction in the general fund property tax mill rate for fiscal year 2003, shaving the current 7-mill levy to 6.5 mills, a savings of $50 a year on a $100,000 home

Young voices unite in choir
Tuesday afternoon, when most Kenai Peninsula elementary school-age children are at the baseball or soccer fields, 15 kids ranging from first to sixth grade were lying on the floor at Peninsula Christian Center with books on their stomachs watching them rise and fall as they took deep breaths in and out.

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.

Frank DePietro
Longtime Soldotna resident Frank DePietro died Friday, May 31, 2002, at Sharp Hospital in Chula Vista, Calif., after a short battle with cancer. He was 73.

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

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.

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.

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

Applause
Skyview grads say thanks

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.

Who should shoulder search-rescue costs?
The tragic spate of deaths and dramatic rescues on two Northwest peaks last week has spurred suggestion

Applause
Bike safety rodeo successful

Around the Peninsula
Chamber to meet todaySalvation Army mobile kitchen to visitPublic meeting slatedCMCD course offeredHomer chamber mixer scheduledWriters group meeting offeredAnnual Run for the River, festival plannedNuclear defense education tour plannedCharity golf tournament seeking participants

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

Another all-Williams major final close; rain halts men's play
PARIS -- A sizzling stroke went right to its appointed spot down the line, so clearly out of even a top player's range that the crowd began to clap and yell.

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.

Hole in one recorded on the sixth hole at Birch Ridge Golf Course
I was innocently cleaning our garage when a clatter arose and I heard Pat yelling, "It's going in!"

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.

U.S. begins with shocker
YOKOHAMA, Japan -- The U.S. team wasted no time rebounding from the bottom of the soccer world.

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.

'In the end, it comes down to what we do'
Right around the time of the World Cup, Americans emerge from a four-year slumber and want to know why their team is still not a soccer power.

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.

Lakers clip Nets in Game 1
LOS ANGELES -- A game that began as a mismatch became only mildly intriguing. Whenever it got close, the champs were able to keep their distance.

Sports Briefs
Homer High School searching for swim coachPalmer angler leads Homer June standingsAlaska swimmers place 18th at Masters nationalsRacing Lions hold motocross, dirt-track races

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

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