Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Saxman city manager steps down
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Saxman City Manager Tom Fitzgerald, 59, is stepping down after six years and will accept a half-time job as director of the Saxman Seaport.

Fairbanks man charged with murdering ex-wife
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks woman died Monday night and her ex-husband has been charged with first-degree murder in her death.

Possible century-old cache uncovered near Delta Junction
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two tins of LaMont's Improved Crystallized Egg bearing testimonials from Mrs. General Custer. Two dog collars. A cleaning kit for a .30-c

Man dies after driving into crane
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man reported to have been driving erratically died Tuesday evening when his car jumped a median and crashed head-on into a crane.

House cuts Denali Commission budget
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush included $40 million for the Denali Commission in his budget for next year, but a U.S. House committee eliminated three-quarters of the money on Monday.

Troopers identify Bristol Bay deckhand who drowned last week
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers have released the name of a deckhand who fell from the fishing vessel Blue Falcon and drowned in Bristol Bay last week.

June 21, 2001: The Anchorage Daily News notes how tables turned from a decade ago:
For several months the sharpest political knives in Alaska have been flashing as the state Reapportionment Board went about its decennial revision of state election districts.

Eielson airmen use survival skills in river rescue
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- When Capt. Jon Boulet and three friends from Eielson Air Force Base loaded up their gear and slid their canoes into Tangle Lakes, they were expecting to cruise a few rapids, catch some fish, enjoy the wilderness and exit the Delta River with three fun days and 31 river miles behind them.

State Fish and Wildlife Trooper dies in plane crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A state Fish and Wildlife Protection officer died when his single-engine Piper Cub went down near Lake Illiamna Monday night, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Alaskan wildfires
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- While firefighters battled uncertain conditions at the Kenai Lake fire, cooler temperatures and higher humidity were helping to slow the spread of two big wildfires in the Interior.

Prescribed burn goes beyond lines near Kenai Lake
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A prescribed fire along the north shore of Kenai Lake has pushed beyond its planned boundaries and authorities are responding with nearly 300 firefighters as gusts to 25 mph are expected to push the blaze east toward the Seward Highway, about seven miles away.

Cargo loader naps, wakes up over Pacific
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A United Parcel Service cargo loader who snatched a quick nap during a work break at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Tuesday took an unscheduled trip to Asia.

University museum gets $500,000 grant
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The University of Alaska Museum has received a $500,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

Troopers close Glenn Highway during manhunt
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Wasilla man with a violent past was shot and taken into custody Thursday morning after a manhunt that closed a portion of the Glenn Highway for more than six hours.

New Hampshire man drowns in Kenai Peninsula Lake
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A New Hampshire man is dead after he accidentally tipped over his fishing inner tube in a Kenai Peninsula lake and drowned, according to Alaska State Troopers.

About 500 gallons of diesel spill in Juneau harbor
JUNEAU ((AP) -- Spill response workers were trying to clean up about a 500-gallon diesel spill Thursday morning in Tee Harbor, about 20 miles from downtown Juneau.

June 24, 2001: But the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner proposes a whole new composition for the Legislature:
Incumbents are howling about the effects of the new redistricting schemes on their home seats. Their distress is understandable; most members of the current Legislature face the unenviable prospect of running against fellow incumbents or retiring.

Massage parlor owner faces federal indictment
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The owner of a massage parlor and a check cashing company has been indicted by a federal grand jury on more than 100 felony counts, including charges of running a prostitution ring, loan-sharking and distributing crack and cocaine.

Troopers, police, park officials search for missing nurse
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An itinerant nurse who failed to show up for a job in Bethel is the subject of a search near Anchorage.

Governor signs bills aimed at curbing identity theft
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Rep. John Coghill's dual proposals to curb the use of Social Security numbers for identification are now law.

Troopers release identity of crash victims
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers have released the identities of the victims of a car crash Sunday afternoon on the Taylor Highway.

Fire official stands by decision on prescribed burn near Kenai Lake
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The federal fire official who ordered the prescribed burn that became a wildfire near Kenai Lake says he stands behind the decision.

Diesel spill reported in Auke Bay
JUNEAU (AP) -- About 400 gallons of diesel fuel spilled Tuesday morning from a fuel dock at a marina in Auke Bay, about 13 miles from downtown Juneau.

Eielson airman drowns in base lake
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- An Eielson Air Force Base serviceman drowned Wednesday morning after trying to swim across Polaris Lake on base.

State Fish and Wildlife Trooper dies in plane crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A state Fish and Wildlife Protection officer died when his single-engine Piper Cub went down near Lake Illiamna Monday night, Alaska State Troopers said.

Oil company cutbacks force layoffs
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Scores of workers are facing layoffs as Alaska's big oil companies cut spending at Prudhoe Bay in the second half of the year.

Fire officials question contractors in cause of Interior fires
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Contractors working on the route for Golden Valley Electric Association's Northern Intertie may have been responsible for starting two wildfires that have burned more than 170,000 acres on the Tanana Flats south of Fairbanks.

Suit filed to stop rumored merger of compressed gas firms
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska's two main suppliers of compressed gases are being sued for conspiring to form a monopoly, even though neither supplier has announced they're merging.

Fatal duck virus found
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Scientists have found a virus that killed what they suspect is a large number of long-tailed ducks on the North Slope last summer.

Businessman disputes connection to airline accused of fraud
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Businessman Neil Bergt disputed on Wednesday the Justice Department's assertion that he is an owner and operator of Alaska Central Express, a cargo airline he helped found in 1996 that is being accused of illegally keeping $365,000 in Postal Service overpayments.

Anchorage officer accused of sex crimes quits
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage police officer accused of sexual abuse of a teen-age girl has quit his job, according to the police department.

Ketchikan school board postpones action on proposed drug-testing policy
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The Ketchikan School Board has postponed taking action on a proposed drug-testing policy for student athletes.

June 20, 2001: Alaska Newspapers Inc. says the plan is good for Bush voters:
The new legislative districts approved by the Alaska Redistricting Board on Monday are far from perfect. Yet for the most part, they will benefit rural Alaska.

Petersburg man injured blowing up culvert
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Petersburg man was injured Tuesday night when he and four buddies set off explosives on an abandoned logging road.

June 21, 2001: While the Voice of the Times calls the plan outright theft:
It now turns out that the redistricting plan to steal the Legislature from Alaskans and drop it neatly into the pocket of the political far left was foisted on us by a sub-Rosa outfit about which the public knows little.

Anchorage police identify man found Monday
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man found dead Monday morning in a field behind a gas station was identified by police Wednesday as Roger Johnson, 46.

Small claims miners prepare for federal rule changes
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Small miners on federal claims in Alaska have until September to obtain bonds to cover any potential costs of restoring the land should their mines close, but debate over that rule and other new mining regulations continues.

Sitka man drowns off Kruzof Island
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Sitka man was found drowned Tuesday near the southern point of Kruzof Island west of Sitka.

Workers begin Elmendorf cleanup
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A piece of buried history has unexpectedly cropped up on Elmendorf Air Force Base, forcing officials to clean up a newly found pocket of contaminated soil.

Canadian, U.S. Navy ships visiting capital
JUNEAU (AP) -- Crews from a U.S. Navy oiler and two Canadian Coastal Defense vessels plan to take part in Fourth of July festivities in Juneau.

Quake rocks Yukon Territory
PALMER (AP) -- An earthquake shook the ground about 40 miles northwest of Burwash Landing in the Yukon Territory on Tuesday morning.

Russian River anglers cash in on huge return of sockeye salmon
COOPER LANDING (AP) -- The line for admission to the most popular attraction on the Kenai Peninsula in late June stretched out and around the corner of the access road to the Russian River campground.

Anchorage man sentenced for sexual assaults
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man convicted of sexually assaulting a child and a woman last year was sentenced Monday to 37 years in prison.

Former borough official sentenced in charity scam
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A former North Slope Borough official who set up a phony charity that awarded him scholarships to study at Harvard has been sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Initiative backers want to restore dividends to Peace Corps volunteers
JUNEAU (AP) -- A Fairbanks graduate student is proposing a ballot initiative to restore Permanent Fund Dividends to Peace Corps volunteers.

Trees fall on boat, injuring tourists
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Four tourists from Wisconsin got a little more adventure than they were expecting while on a fishing trip on the Yentna River Tuesday night.

First female post commander in Alaska takes charge at Fort Wainwright
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Lt. Col. Tori Bruzese took over as post commander at Fort Wainwright on Tuesday morning in Fairbanks, becoming the first woman post commander in the state.

Federal departments announce compensation for ill nuclear workers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Former atomic program workers on Amchitka Island who have developed certain forms of cancer or two other diseases will be entitled to compensation of $150,000 and medical care costs starting July 31 under a federal program announced Tuesday.

Dick Cook, legendary Eagle trapper, feared dead in river accident
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The discovery of Dick Cook's body Monday closes the final chapter for the Bush rat made famous in John McPhee's classic book about Alaska, ''Coming Into the Country.''

Juneau changes policy on killing bears
JUNEAU (AP) -- Juneau police officers will no longer kill bears unless they pose an immediate threat to people.

Anchorage police, fire departments announce crackdown on fireworks
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- With fire danger high, the Anchorage Fire and Police departments are preparing for a joint crackdown on fireworks use in the municipality.

Knowles signs cancer measure, 20 other bills
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles signed 21 bills into law Monday. One new law provides breast and cervical cancer treatment to poor women, another repeals term-limit pledge laws, and a third requires convicted burglars to submit to DNA testing.

Man dies after driving into crane
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man reported to have been driving erratically died Tuesday evening when his car jumped a median and crashed head-on into a crane.

Searchers find body that may be missing trapper
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Searchers on Monday found a body near the mouth of the Tatonduk River, according to Alaska State Troopers. They were not sure Monday whether it was Richard Cook, 70, who has been missing for several days.

Federal government joins suit against air cargo line
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The U.S. government has joined the whistle-blower lawsuit of a former employee of Anchorage entrepreneur Neil Bergt, accusing the air cargo line operated by Bergt and his family of bilking the U.S. Postal Service out of $365,000.

Alaska Wildfires
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two giant wildfires continued to burn on the Tanana Flats Monday as crews worked to contain them and winds shifted to drive the flames eastward and away from the Parks Highway.

Cook Inlet Tribal Council gets $8 million grant for at-risk youth
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Cook Inlet Tribal Council has received an $8 million federal grant to provide programs for at-risk youth.

Cordova fisherman dies
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 25-year-old Cordova fisherman was found dead in his boat with ad head injury Monday, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Alaska educators win Milken Awards
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three Alaska educators have received $25,000 awards from the Milken Family Foundation.

Kenai Peninsula processors looking for workers
KENAI (AP) -- With the commercial fishing season beginning in Cook Inlet, Kenai Peninsula processors are worried they won't be able to handle the flow of fish because of a shortage of workers.

Citizens advisory council gets new president to replace Stephens
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council has elected John Allen as its new president.

Indians closer pitches perfect ninth inning as Cleveland stops Yankees
NEW YORK -- John Rocker pitched a perfect ninth inning in his first game in New York with the Indians, and Einar Diaz and Roberto Alomar hit two-run homers to rally Cleveland past the Yankees 5-3 Tuesday night.

Twins have fun in Midnight Sun
The American Legion Post 20 Twins baseball team finished off the Midnight Sun Tournament in Fairbanks Sunday with what coach Lance Coz termed the team's best full day of baseball this season.

Cubs send Mets to sixth straight defeat
CHICAGO -- Jon Lieber allowed two runs, and Gary Matthews Jr. sparked a seventh-inning rally with a two-run double Tuesday as the Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets 4-2.

Jordan sparks Braves to NL East win
PHILADELPHIA-- Brian Jordan's three-run homer sparked a six-run third inning, and Greg Maddux pitched seven innings as the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-4 Monday night in a matchup of the top teams in the NL East.

Martinez pinch-hit homer lifts Yankees
NEW YORK -- Tino Martinez hit the first pinch-hit homer of his career, a two-run shot in the seventh inning that lifted the New York Yankees to an 8-7 win over the Cleveland Indians on Monday night.

Parent to Parent program comes to the Peninsula
For their 30th wedding anniversary Jim Kuhnsman and his wife took a cruise to Alaska from t

Kenai Peninsula College announces spring Chancellors and Deans lists
Kenai Peninsula College announced today the names of 48 students who made the Chancellor's List for Spring Semester 2001. KPC Director Ginger Steffy said these are full-time students who have achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

CPGH celebrates 30th Anniversary with Baby Reunion
Central Peninsula General Hospital, commonly known as CPGH, celebrated it's 30th Anniversary last Thursday

Noble Lipizzaner Stallions tour Alaska
Peninsula residents had the opportunity last week to enjoy one of the "Highest" forms of entertainment, the "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallions, and their legendary "Airs Above The Ground."

School project turns into intern project with the City of Soldotna
Alana Ratliff started attending Soldotna City Council meetings last year when she needed to find a community service project for her government class at Soldotna High School. "After attending City Council meetings for my government c

Russian River anglers cash in on huge return of sockeye salmon
COOPER LANDING (AP) -- The line for admission to the most popular attraction on the Kenai Peninsula in late June stretched out and around the corner of the access road to the Russian River campground.

Uribe keeps lead in Homer Jackpot Derby
Anglers brought in several halibut over 220 pounds last week, but nobody was able to displace Don Uribe of Carmel Valley, Calif., as the leader of the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby. Uribe boated his 250.2-pound halibut on June 6.

Salmon season opens strongly
Monday's first period for Cook Inlet commercial fishers yielded a decent sockeye harvest for both setnetters and driftnetters while still providing sport fishers nearly 11,000 to catch on the Kasilof River.

Photo feature: Little bit of sunshine
Mary and Leroy Hubble walk around the fountain in Leif Hansen Memorial Park at sunset last winter. Now that the summer solstice has passed, the daylight is waning once again.

Pilot critically injured in crash in trees
A Soldotna pilot was airlifted to Anchorage in critical condition Tuesday after a crash near a residential neighborhood near West Poppy Lane.

Visiting angler dies in refuge
One man drowned in a freak fishing mishap and another person was airlifted to an Anchorage hospital after becoming ill in the wilderness.

Borough grapples with growing pains
Dilbert would feel right at home.

Prescribed burn becomes wildfire
Despite upgrading it to "wildland fire" status on Monday, the U.S. Forest Service still maintains the prescribed burn ignited near Kenai Lake on June 15 went well.

War birds return
Like swallows to Capistrano, World War II bombers are returning to the city of Kenai.

Flooding possible in Kenai basin
Recent weather hasn't given Kenai Peninsula residents anything to complain about, but it is causing some concern over rising water in the Kenai River basin.

Soldotna teen vies for national title tonight
The past six months of 17-year-old Kara Merrill's life have been packed with activity.

Kenai rural decision could come Thursday
The Federal Subsistence Board meets Thursday in Anchorage to reconsider a finding that the entire Kenai Peninsula is rural and eligible for federal subsistence on federal lands.

Oilers stumble against Glacier Pilots
The Peninsula Oilers lost their third straight game, falling 11-7 to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots Tuesday in Anchorage.

Letters to the Editor
Simple solutions to in-river fishing problems being ignored by state

Redistricting reveals it's time for Alaskans to weigh other options
Incumbents are howling about the effects of the new redistricting schemes on their home seats. Their distress is understandable; most members of the current Legislature face the unenviable prospect of running against fellow incumbents or retiring.

Letters to the Editor
Borough land-use issues raise issues of competency, fairness State swindle or Kenai Peninsula Borough incompetence? Guideline harvest limit for halibut fleet would create race for fish Subsistence debate should center on eligible gear types, not people

Kenai Elks Lodge donations show support, interest in area teens Soldotna resident appreciates hot, cold work by city employees

Government intrusion cause of many of today's heath-care ills
When my car needs servicing, I call a mechanic. When I need help managing money, I contact a financial adviser. When I want medical expertise, I call a physician, not a politician.

Community participation makes hospital celebration great success Oilers appreciated for sharing time, talents with Little Leaguers

Forest Service officials face dilemma in getting rid of 'fuel' in Chugach
It would be easy to second guess Chugach National Forest officials and the wisdom of starting a 1,100-acre prescribed burn June 15.

Raising leeches a brisk business
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- Phil DeVore pulls a folded piece of aluminum from a murky pond. The aluminum looks like a piece of siding that's blown off a building, but DeVore knows it's much more valuable than that.

Offbeat resort being put together in Mystic Hot Springs, Utah
MONROE, Utah (AP) -- The Sevier Valley is about the last place you would expect a rock-music venue, a hot springs spa, a tropical fish farm and a pioneer cabin preservation project, all at the same spot.

Nature's wind tunnel is the place for extreme windsurfing
LYLE, Wash. (AP) -- In the wind, Al Brown believes, he has found his best metaphor for God -- invisible, powerful and it doesn't care whether you live or die.

Around the Peninsula
Chamber meeting today Gauge testing planned Class reunion to be held UCIDA meeting planned Art workshops planned for youth Races scheduled Hand bell group to perform Chamber seeks participants Donations are requested

Around the Peninsula
Russian River ferry closed Workshop planned for today Chamber luncheon today WRCC annual meeting today Salmon panel planned Celebrate the Fourth in Homer Swimming lessons scheduled Emergency test planned Benefit to be held

Pope visits Babi Yar, symbol of Jewish suffering
KIEV, Ukraine -- Pope John Paul II offered a prayer for Holocaust victims Monday under a statue of twisted and tormented figures at Babi Yar, the ravine where the Nazis unleashed the mass-scale, systematic slaughter of Europe's Jews during World War II.

Pope addresses Ukraine Catholics
LVIV, Ukraine -- Pope John Paul II led a crowded outdoor Mass in western Ukraine on Tuesday, picking a region long contested by Poles and Ukrainians, Catholics and Orthodox, Communists and nationalists as the place to make a plea for a spirit of forgiveness in Eastern Europe.

Research suggests positive attitude could make life longer
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- If you're happy and you know it -- you just may live longer.

Senior Briefs
Calendar of events at the Senior Centers around the Peninsula

Lunch menus for the Peninsula Senior Centers .

Jones to go for four golds again at world track and field championships
EUGENE, Ore. -- Marion Jones joked that she will be shirking her job at track's world championships in August.

Popular Bourque retires for more family time after 22 years in NHL
DENVER -- For 22 seasons, Ray Bourque performed like few others on the ice. On Tuesday, he showed he knew how to make a grand exit, too.

Golfing rolls on in Kenai
The days are flying by as they always do when the weather is warm and wonderful! Things are really going at the Kenai Golf Course. The tournaments are happening over the weekends, but golfers can get out on the course by noon or shortly after on most tournament days.

Sports Briefs
Banta wins Pro Street Class at drag races Uribe keeps lead in Homer Jackpot Derby Bird takes Solstice Fun Run/Walk Alaska Sports Car Club comes to area

Wimbledon sees no major upsets
WIMBLEDON, England -- Venus Williams began defense of her Wimbledon title Tuesday with her first win in more than a month as order returned after Martina Hingis' startling opening-day loss.

Sports Briefs
Kircher Jr. takes Ransom Fun Run Fell fares well at Alaska Sprint Tour

Hingis bounced in first round at Wimbledon
WIMBLEDON, England -- Because of her turbulent love life, rifts with mom and a 2 1/2-year Grand Slam slump, Martina Hingis carried a lot of baggage into Wimbledon.

Bourque expected to call it a career
DENVER -- Raymond Bourque, his quest for the Stanley Cup realized, will retire at a news conference scheduled for Tuesday.

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