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Friday, June 6, 2003

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.

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.

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 in favor of school officials
JUNEAU (AP) A federal judge ruled that Juneau school officials did not violate a student's rights by confiscating a banner during the Olympic Torch Relay last year.

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.

State to close seven DMV offices July 1
ANCHORAGE (AP) The state plans to close seven offices of the Division of Motor Vehicles at the end of the month because of budget cuts.

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.

Police identify victims of ultralight crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) One of the state's top ultralight aircraft pilots and a student were killed Thursday in a crash about two miles from the Birchwood airport.

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.

Coast Guard says captain's error caused ferry accident
JUNEAU (AP) A captain's error caused the state ferry Kennicott's accident earlier this week, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said Thursday.

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.

Lawmakers object to Denali backcountry plan
FAIRBANKS (AP) Republican leaders in the state House and Senate have sent a letter to the National Park Service objecting to the proposed Denali National Park backcountry management plan.

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.

Public Offices commission admonishes Murkowski, Ulmer
JUNEAU (AP) Gov. Frank Murkowski's gubernatorial campaign did not collect more than the $20,000 allowed from out-of-state contributors, the Alaska Public Offices Commission ruled on Thursday.

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.

Agencies told to study school consolidation
JUNEAU (AP) Two state agencies are looking at whether Alaska's smallest school districts should be combined with other districts.

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

Tourism season gearing up in the Interior
FAIRBANKS (AP) Dan Archuleta and Jacquelyn Poulin are nomads traveling in style. They've traded their ocean-view California home for a new RV and headed north.

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.

Fewer bears getting into Juneau garbage
JUNEAU (AP) Fewer bears are getting into people's garbage in Juneau this year, a decline perhaps due in part to bears being removed or killed last year, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

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.

Juneau luthier marks 20 years
JUNEAU (AP) The String Shop has a fresh, slightly spicy smell: part wood and part dandelion wine, which owner Jim Hanes likes to make in his limited spare time.

Unique 'duck' works on land and sea
KETCHIKAN (AP) Airline passengers know the feeling. Jet engines power the plane down the runway. The nose lifts. You wonder, if this thing is going to fly?

APOC fines Anchorage assemblyman, group
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Alaska Public Offices Commission voted unanimously Thursday to fine Anchorage Assemblyman Doug Van Etten $11,013.50 for 20 violations of state campaign finance and disclosure laws.

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.

Sosa awaits penalty for using corked bat
CHICAGO The bats have been checked and the interviews done. Now all Sammy Sosa can do is wait to see what his punishment will be for using a corked bat.

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.

Williams loses no-hitter, Cardinals rip Jays
ST. LOUIS Woody Williams took a no-hitter into the eighth inning as the St. Louis Cardinals beat Toronto 13-5 Thursday night in a game the Blue Jays played under protest.

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.

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.

Business Brief
Seafood industry needs workers

Weekend fit for kings on Peninsula
It should be a weekend fit for kings, especially on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

Chicks with Sticks; Course introduces basics of fly-fishing to women
A soft breeze blew across the emerald lawn and the honking of a sandhill crane could be heard in the distance.

Couple backpacking from coast to coast
VIRGINIA CITY, Nev. On a sunny, windy morning on March 5, 2002, Joyce and Pete Cottrell waved goodbye to the Atlantic Ocean in Delaware and began a walk from sea to shining sea.

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."

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:

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

French serve as example of active citizenship
It has been "de rigueur" among some in our country to dismiss out of hand people who disputed and questioned the sources and validity of the faulty intelligence used as overwhelming justification for a first-strike war against another sovereign nation. Some extended allegations of treason or openly called for boycotts of some nations' products.

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.

Skyview after-grad party committee thanks parents, sponsors
Wednesday, May 21, was the Skyview senior graduation day. Following the ceremony was the after-graduation party organized by the parents and friends of the senior class and made possible from generous donations. These donations came from senior parents and area merchants.

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.

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.

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

Race Schedule
Feb. 16 to Nov. 16, 2003

This week's race: Pocono 500
Where and when

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

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.

FEMA awards funding
Local and state agencies on the Kenai Peninsula have been approved to receive more than $400,000 in public assistance funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state of Alaska.

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.

Rangers tout the other PFD
When Alaska State Parks rangers are patrolling the Kenai River this summer to ensure people are complying with fishing regulations, the officers also will be keeping an eye toward boater safety.

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.

Photo feature: Decorative duty
Cory Hershberger hangs a decorative banner from a light pole alongside the Kenai Spur Highway on Thursday. Six months from now, Christmas holiday ornaments will be hanging in the same spot.

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.

Rec center debate sparks referendum
Members of the Friends of the Kenai Recreation Center group aren't letting a Kenai City Council vote stop them from opposing a partnership agreement between the city and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula that calls for the club to operate the center.

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 council passes trim budget with tax increase, cuts to services
The city of Kenai has a bare bones budget for next year, that may get barer still.

Assembly spares threatened agency, awards it $50,000
The Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District survived the budgetary ax that threatened to wipe out its primary funding. But the organization did not escape some major fiscal downscaling, as its $90,000 budget was reduced by 44 percent at Tuesday night's Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting.

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.

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.

Robert 'Bob' William Honeysett
Longtime Soldotna resident Robert "Bob" William Honeysett died Wednesday, June 4, 2003, at his home in Soldotna after a long illness. He was 75.

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.

Virginia Darline Hill
Anchorage and Anchor Point resident Virginia Darline Hill died Saturday, May 24, 2003, at Third Medical Group Hospital on Elmendorf Air Force Base from complications of chronic ailments. She was 76.

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.

Betty Elizabeth Warren
Former longtime Kenai resident Betty Elizabeth Warren died Friday, March 14, 2003, in Ajijic, Mexico She was 85.

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.

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.

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.

Threat from Iraq remains in question
John F. Kennedy gambled in 1962 when he ordered the U.S. Navy to quarantine Cuba. When Kennedy and his advisers learned that the Soviet Union had built nuclear missile bases just 90 miles from Florida, they considered doing nothing.

British war inquiries should focus on data
In the U.S., two Senate committees have now called joint hearings on whether the Bush administration misused intelligence information to make its case for an attack on Iraq. In Australia, the Labor opposition announced last night it is taking ''a long, hard look'' at calling for an independent inquiry on the same issue (Australia's defense minister has already said public confidence may require such a move).

Climbers summit Mount Hood a year after accident
TIMBERLINE LODGE, Ore. A yearlong journey of sorrow and doubt ended in five minutes last Friday as survivors of a deadly climbing accident stood together on the summit of Mount Hood and silently released handfuls of yellow rose petals into the wind.

Preparedness is the key to effective fire management on Kenai refuge
Be Prepared I remember learning that motto as a young boy, during my short stint as a Cub Scout in the hill country of southern Illinois. And though the phrase seems indelibly etched upon my brain, the reasons behind the memorization of that motto are now lost somewhere amid the clutter in the attic (my brain).

Outdoor Briefs
Women's shooting clinic set for Cooper LandingFormer Seward skier to conduct clinicChugach staff plans National Trails Day projects

Many canoe, kayak owners unaware of regulations
Most boat owners in Alaska are aware of registration requirements. Professional guides on the Kenai River know they need special guide registrations as well.

Around the Peninsula
CPGH to hold blood drive todayOpen burning allowed with permitDefensive driving course offeredBike safety rodeo plannedFund-raiser for accident victim Sunday

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

Religion Briefs
Church sponsors inflatable gamesCreation seminar offeredNikiski Bible study slatedBaha'i hosts interfaith devotionsBasketball camps scheduledVacation Bible school plannedJews for Jesus musical program slatedSummer camp plannedSunday school, youth camp slated

Don't sacrifice the future for the pleasures of the present
Like many Americans, I resolved to make some positive changes in my life not long after the first of the year.

More problems with the French
PARIS It started in the very first game, when a few fans applauded an errant forehand. By the final set, thousands loudly cheered missed serves.

Shoulder surgery possible for Bryant
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) Kobe Bryant has a tear in the tissue around his right shoulder socket that might require surgery.

Sorenstam stands tall at LPGA
WILMINGTON, Del. Annika Sorenstam ran into familiar foes Thursday in the LPGA Championship a punishing DuPont Country Club and Wendy Ward.

Sports Briefs
Report: Neuheisel says he was in gambling poolSources: Big East schools may want earlier exitGuerrero out with herniated discGeorgia AD's contract won't be renewedGriffey out of lineup a day after tweaking armSierra back to Yankees? Trade talk swirls

Belmont has six horses, one story
Too many people will tune into the Belmont for a few minutes Saturday afternoon, find out there are only a half-dozen horses entered, and wonder what all the fuss is about.

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.

Devils knock the stuffing out of Ducks
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. So much for defense, so much for shutouts. The New Jersey Devils used crazy bounces and lucky breaks to turn around a tight series and get within a victory of the Stanley Cup.

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

Questions abound about Nets' strategy
SAN ANTONIO There was plenty of second-guessing Thursday at the NBA Finals, most of it centered around Nets coach Byron Scott, New Jersey forward Kenyon Martin and the defensive strategies against San Antonio's Tim Duncan.

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!"

Sports Briefs
Four former Oilers taken in draft

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