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Thursday, June 27, 2002

Voters turn down fuel tax by nearly 2-to-1
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Residents of the Fairbanks North Star Borough soundly rejected a proposed fuel transfer tax Tuesday, putting an end to the latest chapter in the argument over reducing property taxes.

Steese Highway Smokey Bear sign missing
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A life-size Smokey Bear sign, one of Fairbanks' best known firefighters, has been missing in action for a week.

Independence Mine Historical Park to reopen
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Independence Mine Historical Park will reopen to the public Saturday following a two-year closure for renovations and construction.

Refuge managers say prescribed burn at Myster Creek a success
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A prescribed fire in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Sterling has successfully burned 585 acres of black spruce forest.

Sterling man killed in motorcycle accident
KENAI (AP) -- A Sterling man was killed in a motorcycle accident near Cooper Landing, Alaska State Troopers said.

Helicopter rolls over on Yanert Glacier
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Era Aviation helicopter with five passengers on board rolled over Wednesday evening on Yanert Glacier in the Alaska Range, the Federal Aviation Administration reported.

Charter plane makes emergency landing after cowling flies off
PETERSBURG (AP) -- An LAB Flying Service plane with five tourists aboard made an emergency landing on an island near Petersburg Tuesday after its cowling fell off and the engine sprayed oil over the windshield.

Lawmakers reach compromise on RCA reauthorization bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska's utility regulatory agency was extended for another year in an early morning deal reached by the Legislature on Thursday, but it escaped significant restructuring being pushed by some in the Senate.

Stevens, Murkowski could chair committees again
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Alaska Sens. Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski could once again chair key committees if Republicans regain control of the Senate, following the November election.

Alaska Eskimo dies after harpooned whale tips boat
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Alaska Eskimo died Wednesday after a harpooned whale flipped his whaling boat and he struck his head.

Child rescued from Kuskokwim River
NAPASKIAK (AP) -- A 3-year-old boy who fell into the Kuskokwim River near the western Alaska village of Napaskiak was revived after being pulled out by a teacher, Alaska State Troopers said.

Board reins in anglers during subsistence fishery closures
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- This year's return of king salmon on the Kuskokwim River appears strong enough to meet subsistence needs and spawning goals, according to biologists.

Legislators looking for solutions to park closures
JUNEAU (AP) -- Carol Kane said she doesn't care whose fault it is two Big Lake parks are closed, she just wants lawmakers to find a solution.

Cleveland picks Boozer in NBA draft
NEW YORK -- Former Juneau basketball star Carlos Boozer was picked by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA draft Wednesday.

Industry study support tax credit for Alaska natural gas line
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Sens. Tom Daschle and Frank Murkowski are promoting a new oil company-sponsored analysis that endorses tax credits for a natural gas line from Alaska to the Lower 48.

Bush approves Alaska's request for flooding assistance
JUNEAU (AP) -- President Bush on Wednesday declared a disaster area for portions of Interior and western Alaska hit hard by spring flooding.

Helicopter rolls over on Yanert Glacier
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Era Aviation helicopter with five passengers on board rolled over Wednesday evening on Yanert Glacier in the Alaska Range, the Federal Aviation Administration reported.

Bill for legislative overtime now at $300,000
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lawmakers have spent $300,000 so far this year going into extra innings.

Bartlett Hospital agrees to new contract
JUNEAU (AP) -- The union representing Bartlett Regional Hospital workers has accepted a new contract that will increase staff pay during the next three years.

Federal appeals court rules Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional because of words 'under God'
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Stunning politicians on both the left and right, a federal appeals court declared for the first time Wednesday that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional because of the words ''under God'' inserted by Congress in 1954.

Anchorage police say DNA evidence links man to homicide
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage police said DNA evidence links a suspect to a 2-year-old murder.

Floatplane sinks after flipping in landing attempt in Nikiski
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two men escaped injury when their floatplane flipped during a landing attempt in Nikiski, Alaska State Troopers said.

Legislature overrides governor's veto of campaign funding bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lawmakers voted 41-16 Tuesday to override Gov. Tony Knowles' veto of a campaign funding bill.

Stevens, Murkowski could chair committees again
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Alaska Sens. Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski could once again chair key committees if Republicans regain control of the Senate, following the November election.

Railroad plans more than $52 million in capital improvements
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Alaska Railroad Corp. is planning more than $52 million in capital improvements with much of the work to be done this summer.

Anchorage police say DNA evidence links man to homicide
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage police said DNA evidence links a suspect to a 2-year-old murder.

Ambler man dies after scuffling with VPSO
AMBLER (AP) -- An Ambler man died Tuesday after scuffling with the village police officer who was responding to a domestic violence call.

Tour boat cracks hull on rock in Lynn Canal
JUNEAU (AP) -- The 65-foot, Haines-based tour boat Fjordland began taking on water Monday night after striking a rock in Lynn Canal.

Taylor wants stricter oversight of RCA, but no extension
JUNEAU (AP) -- Sen. Robin Taylor is proposing several changes to the state's utility regulatory agency, but no extension of its sunset provision that is due to expire this month.

Charter plane makes emergency landing after cowling flies off
PETERSBURG (AP) -- An LAB Flying Service plane with five tourists aboard made an emergency landing on an island near Petersburg Tuesday after its cowling fell off and the engine sprayed oil over the windshield.

Anchorage Aces offered for sale on eBay
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- There amid the vintage comic books and pop-star memorabilia for sale on eBay sit the Anchorage Aces.

Fairbanks to vote on banning snowmachines in residential areas
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A proposed snowmachine ban will go on the ballot in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

Anchorage TV stations not yet ready to go digital
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The six-station consortium of television stations serving the Anchorage area is hoping for another extension from the Federal Communications Commission on a requirement that the stations begin broadcasting digital signals.

Sen. Stevens to chair Anchorage hearing on universal service
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens will hold a field hearing in Anchorage on telecommunications access.

Tour boat cracks hull on rock in Lynn Canal
JUNEAU (AP) -- The 65-foot, Haines-based tour boat Fjordland began taking on water Monday night after striking a rock in Lynn Canal.

Alaska political leaders condemn court decision on pledge of allegiance
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska's congressional delegation and leading candidates in the governor's race condemned the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the Pledge of Allegiance.

Six communities get funds for study of air service needs
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Six Alaska communities will be getting $240,000 in federal grants to study ways to enhance their air transportation service.

Damon helps Red Sox top Cleveland
BOSTON -- Johnny Damon's bases-loaded triple highlighted a six-run fifth inning as the Red Sox and Pedro Martinez overcame three Cleveland homers and beat the Indians 7-4 Wednesday night.

Local TV not digital ready
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The six-station consortium of television stations serving the Anchorage area is hoping for another extension from the Federal Communications Commission on a requirement that the stations begin broadcasting digital signals.

Cook Inlet salmon fishers likely to get lower prices than last season
Upper Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishers are once again facing the prospect of a dismal season.

Tips for consumers: Know thy realtor
Nearly 80 percent of all home sales nationwide are made with the assistance of a real estate agent or broker. Both home sellers and buyers enlist the services of real estate professionals to help them with real estate transactions.

AOL Time Warner merges with Advance/Newhouse
NEW YORK (AP) -- Shortly before he took the helm at AOL Time Warner Inc. last month, incoming chief executive Dick Parsons promised to streamline the company's sprawlingly complex structure. The company just got a little bit simpler, but it also lost control of 16 percent of its cable subscribers.

Inlet commercial fishers weather changes for way of life, livelihood
It was quitting time at Deep Creek Custom Packing Tuesday afternoon, and Steve Vanek stood in front of a packing crew trying to motivate the various workers to stay longer to prepare for the next day's work.

Business Briefs
Aspen Hotels announces new Soldotna general managerChugach to hold public meetingsAnchorage Aces offered for sale on eBay

Trading Bay enters into agreement with U.S. Petroleum Corp.
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Trading Bay Energy Corp. has entered into an agreement with U.S. Petroleum Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, to sell all of its Cook Inlet working interest holdings.

Female aviation executives in state lead global numbers
ANCHORAGE -- Alaska is a place where men are men and women run airlines.

Photo feature: Pack it in.
Jason Brown, left, of Kasilof and Robert Lloyd of Ninilchik cut and de-vein Gulf of Alaska rockfish Tuesday at Deep Creek Custom Packing in Ninilchik. The plant will be ready to receive and process the first catch of Cook Inlet salmon later today.

Bonkers for big brookies? Colorful trout may be restocked in Henry's Lake
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) -- They are the floozies of the fish world.

Board reins in anglers during subsistence fishery closures
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- This year's return of king salmon on the Kuskokwim river appears strong enough to meet subsistence needs and spawning goals, Kuskokwim, according to biologists.

Anchorage angler takes weekly Seward prize
Robert Jakubek of Anchorage took the weekly $500 prize in the Seward Jackpot Halibut Derby, hitting the target weight of 120 pounds right on the nose with his catch.

Photo feature: Showers for flowers
Kyle Mitchell waters new grass and marigolds at the Coffee Depot in Soldotna Wednesday afternoon. Forecasters are calling for a little help from above with scattered showers expected today.

Trapshooting: sport, hunting practice and competition between friends
OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Mitch Larsson has not hunted since 1982. But he still carries a gun.

Art Briefs
Drama summer camp announcedKenai Peninsula poets soughtPoetry contest ends SundayWriting conference planned

New museum celebrates glass
TACOMA -- The bridge that links this blue-collar city's downtown with its spiffy new Museum of Glass and Commencement Bay is named for native son Dale Chihuly. But the opening-day exhibits mark a declaration of independence from glass generally and the pop prince of glass-blowing in particular.

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

Computer geek cartoon makes debut
BALTIMORE -- Comic creator Mort Walker knew he was on to something when he brought a computer technician into Beetle Bailey's world and asked fans for their input.

New play highlights youth court, safe schools
"A Substantial Risk," a courtroom drama being performed this week in Kenai, blurs the line between theater and reality with its topic taken from current events, its actors who participate in a real court program and even the setting -- the courtroom in the old Kenai courthouse.

Legislative overtime costs state $300,000
JUNEAU -- Lawmakers have spent $300,000 so far this year going into extra innings.

Knowles' campaign funding bill vetoed
JUNEAU -- Lawmakers voted 41-16 Tuesday to override Gov. Tony Knowles' veto of a campaign funding bill.

Taylor wants stricter oversight of RCA
JUNEAU -- Sen. Robin Taylor is proposing several changes to the state's utility regulatory agency, but no extension of its sunset provision that is due to expire this month.

Lawmakers reach compromise on RCA reauthorization bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska's utility regulatory agency was extended for another year in an early morning deal reached by the Legislature on Thursday, but it escaped significant restructuring being pushed by some in the Senate.

Legislators looking for solutions to park closures
JUNEAU -- Carol Kane said she doesn't care whose fault it is two Big Lake parks are closed, she just wants lawmakers to find a solution.

This Week's Race: GNC Live Well 250 Fact Box
What: GNC Live Well 250 (Race 17 of 34).

In the Spotlight: Jerry Nadeau
A short bio on your favorite NASCAR racers.

Former bad boy quietly reforms his image
ATLANTA -- It is hard to decide which is more unusual: the fact Tony Stewart is challenging for the Winston Cup Series championship so early in the season or the fact he's done it without any trips to the NASCAR hauler.

Money Leaders
1. Mark Martin $3,201,5102. Ward Burton $2,817,7263. Sterling Marlin $2,302,557

Racing's midterm report
ATLANTA -- While the third and final off weekend of the NAS CAR Winston Cup Series isn't the mathematical midway point of the racing season, drivers traditionally have considered it the start of the second half.

Race Schedule
February 17 to November 17, 2002.

Points Standings
1. Sterling Marlin 2,1982. Mark Martin 2,1363. Jeff Gordon 2,116

Court: No pledge in public schools
SAN FRANCISCO -- Stunning politicians on both the left and right, a federal appeals court declared for the first time Wednesday that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional because of the words ''under God'' inserted by Congress in 1954.

Plane flips in lake; men escape injury
Two men swam safely away from an aircraft after it crashed Monday morning in Nikiski's Island Lake.

Reaction: 9th Circuit decision goes too far
"(The courts) are the epitome of hypocrisy. They pick and choose what parts of the constitution to obey." Nikiski Middle-High School history teacher Bob Bird said his opinions may not be popular, but when it comes to a federal appeals court decision Wednesday that deems reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional, his reaction was the norm.

Tax exempt initiative drive slow going
An initiative drive to place a measure on the Oct. 1 municipal election ballot asking voters to exclude fruits, vegetables and other nonprepared grocery items from city and borough sales taxes is not gathering signatures as fast as sponsors had hoped.

Weather cooperates with prescribed burn
Weather conditions were right for a prescribed burn by the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge last weekend and allowed state forestry officials to lift the burn-permit suspension Monday morning. But that may not last for long.

Thomas Loren Palm
Wasilla resident Thomas Loren Palm died Sunday, June 23, 2002, of natural causes near his home. He was 39.

Mat-Su stops Oilers' three-game win streak
The Mat-Su Miners topped the Peninsula Oilers 6-3 Wednesday night at Coral Seymour Memorial Park to snap the Oilers' three-game winning streak.

Oilers' bats boom against Miners
The Peninsula Oilers baseball team left town for a few days, and came back with a whole new team.

Oilers outlast Bucs
The Peninsula Oilers won their second straight Alaska Baseball League game Monday night, defeating the Anchorage Bucs in 10 innings at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

Looser classification of species hurt by spill should not be allowed
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council may loosen the definitions on whether wildlife species damaged by the 1989 oil spill have recovered. The council also may ask at its July 9 meeting whether it's possible to even measure the recovery of some species.

Kind of Palestinian government pushed by Bush rare among Arab nations
WASHINGTON -- President Bush says Middle East peace depends on a Palestinian democracy ''based on tolerance and liberty'' and ''reliable justice,'' and he wants Arab nations to nurture those ideals.

Reasonable payment may help fill vast need for more organ donors
There is the science-fiction horror, along the lines of the best-selling novel ''Coma,'' in which humans are stored in meat lockers so their body parts can be sold on a lucrative black market to the ailing rich.

Candidates face mine field of issues
The inside story on this year's elections reveals some potentially devastating issues for candidates across the nation. Here's a sample:

U.S. has mixed record of trying to install new leaders in international hotspots Influencing regime changes
WASHINGTON -- If it's any consolation to Yasser Arafat, he has a lot of company. The United States has a long history of trying to get rid of foreign leaders who don't measure up.

Letters to the Editor
Wildfires one sign of poor stewardship

5-year-old Anchorage club growing, planning for future
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- As coach Sarah Riggs barked orders on a sunny Saturday afternoon, eight rowers lifted a 60-foot-long, wooden rowing shell weighing roughly 300 pounds off a rack on the east bank of Anchorage's Sand Lake. Following her commands, the rowers hoisted the shell over their heads and locked their elbows. Then they leaned their heads to show which side they intended to chose when it came time to lower the boat onto their shoulders. On command, they lowered the boat onto their shoulders and trundled centipedelike out of a fenced storage pen toward the water.

Catching some waves: Wakeboarding is still growing in popularity
LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) -- Sometime during the mid-1980s, water skiers looking for a new thrill started strapping a wide, oval-shaped board on their feet. Hence, the sport of wakeboarding -- or skurfing, as it was known during those early years -- was born.

Pet of the Week
The Soldotna Animal Shelter is featuring a female husky mix for $84 with shots, license and neuter surgery included. Visit the shelter on Kobuk Street or call 262-3969 for more information.

Around the Peninsula
Genealogy society to meet tonightHabitat groundbreaking ceremony plannedScience program presents 'Meet an AquanautHealth center to close July 4Watershed forum sponsoring mountain walkSoldotna museum openWRCC looking for radiothon volunteersAnimal society in need of donations

Around the Peninsula
Area artist featured in programChamber meeting to feature KPC administratorsBoard meeting scheduled at WRCCSoldotna teen to compete for national titleCommunity services to offer free clinicChamber to judge patriotic decorationsSoldotna swim team inviting children to competeBlood bank in need of donations

Anchorage Aces offered for sale on eBay
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- There amid the vintage comic books and pop-star memorabilia for sale on eBay sit the Anchorage Aces.

Rockets select center Yao Ming first in draft
NEW YORK -- Yao Ming went from China to Houston on a night when the NBA draft had a bigger foreign influence than ever before, and Antonio McDyess was dealt to the New York Knicks in the major trade of the day.

Agassi, Sampras make early exits
WIMBLEDON, England -- Pete Sampras sat, elbows on knees and head bowed, digesting the disappointment while his opponent walked off to an extended standing ovation.

Boozer goes 35th
NEW YORK -- Former Juneau basketball star Carlos Boozer was picked by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA draft Wednesday.

Sports Briefs
Tatum O'Neal says McEnroe used steroids

Ronaldo moves team to third straight final
SAITAMA, Japan -- The expectations are simple. Brazil must win the World Cup -- and with style.

Germany nips South Korea
SEOUL, South Korea -- Only one thing could have stopped the singing, swaying sea of red. It came in the 75th minute off the foot of German midfielder Michael Ballack, no stranger to breaking hearts. Ending the most improbable run in an upset-filled World Cup, Germany advanced to its record seventh final with a 1-0 victory over co-host South Korea on Tuesday night.

Birch Ridge Report: Seniors swingin' out of rain
The weather decided to cooperate and not rain on our Monday Senior League parade. In fact, it was really nice for the 14 contestants who showed up to challenge each other in another low net contest. Taking the honors for the top spot was Ray Hamby, who shot a great net 31. Coming in closely behind him was Chiya Bazan, who shot a great net 32. Great games, you two!!

'Second Goran' scores first major upset
WIMBLEDON, England -- Even if defending champion Goran Ivanisevic isn't at Wimbledon, his considerable spirit is alive and well in the form of another lanky Croatian: Mario Ancic.

Kenai Golf Report: Course greens up quickly
The Kenai Golf Course fairways have all been fertilized. The rain settled it in shortly after the application was completed. So, very soon the mowers will be out and continually mowing the fairways.

Sports Briefs
Anchorage angler takes weekly Seward prize15-year-old leads Homer derby monthly standingsRed Cross Golf Classic slated for July 6Alyeska to host 5-kilometer fun runCurly Ashfield golf tourney slated for July 13

After finally winning Stanley Cup, Hasek retires
DETROIT -- Dominik Hasek's career is complete. One of the most accomplished goaltenders in history will retire to the Czech Republic as a Stanley Cup champion.

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