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Thursday, July 3, 2003

Fairbanks mayor to decide job fate of police chief
FAIRBANKS (AP) The Fairbanks City Council voted Tuesday to let Mayor Steve Thompson decide to fire or retain police Chief James ''Scooter'' Welch.

Governor signs tire tax bill, and other bills
JUNEAU (AP) A bill to impose a $2.50 tax on new tires sold in Alaska was signed into law on Monday by Gov. Frank Murkowski. It also imposes a $5 per tire tax on studded tires sold after July 1, 2004.

Cooler temperatures, higher humidity cool off fires
ANCHORAGE (AP) Cooler temperatures and higher humidity cooled of a couple of wildfires in Alaska on Tuesday.

Bristol Bay land added to leasing program
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas will open up millions of acres around Bristol Bay to exploration, adding them to the state's five-year leasing program, Gov. Frank Murkowski said Wednesday.

Bethel tank farm to open on time
BETHEL (AP) A tank farm in Bethel is expected to be completed on time in October.

False killer whale spotted in Southeast
ANCHORAGE (AP) A false killer whale made a rare appearance this spring in the Inside Passage waters near Juneau.

ASTF funds projects before disbanding
ANCHORAGE (AP) As one of its last acts, the board of the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation decided to use its remaining money to partly fund some projects.

Healy man first in line for Yukon Quest
FAIRBANKS (AP) The 2004 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race picked up 11 contenders Wednesday, the first day to enter the 21st annual test of dog and man between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon.

Lumber truck accident closes Sterling Highway
KENAI (AP) The Sterling Highway was closed for more than 45 minutes near Cooper Landing when a truck carrying lumber lost its load and blocked the road.

Man found dead in Fairbanks hotel
FAIRBANKS (AP) An autopsy will attempt to determine cause of death of a man found Monday night in a Fairbanks hotel room.

Heavy equipment theft prompts air search
FAIRBANKS (AP) The theft of heavy equipment Sunday from a fuel company prompted an air search and calls to state homeland security officials.

Trolleys offer visitors a fast-paced 30 minutes
JUNEAU (AP) ''Fast and furious'' is no

Remains of missing Galaxy crewman identified
DILLINGHAM (AP) Human remains from a crewman on board a fishing boat that burned and sank in the Bering Sea last year have been recovered on an Aleutian Island.

Summer camp blends Native lore, Western science
JUNEAU (AP) On a recent rainy morning, Kymberly Hoyle sands a miniature Tlingit paddle as Alisa St. Clair draws a traditional design of a beaver on tracing paper.

DNR official differs with Corps on Greely dump
FAIRBANKS (AP) A Department of Natural Resources official says he believes chemical weapons testing equipment will be found at a former military dump site near Fort Greely.

Jury convicts Wasilla chiropractor
ANCHORAGE (AP) A federal jury Wednesday convicted a Wasilla chiropractor for failing to file income tax returns.

Old Harbor getting its last parcel of ANCSA land
KODIAK (AP) Old Harbor Native Corp. of Kodiak is receiving its last parcel of land owed under the decades-old Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Hospital gets donation to start dialysis center
JUNEAU (AP) Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation has received a $200,000 donation to start a dialysis center in the Mendenhall Mall.

Troopers raid Native pulltab operation in Barrow
ANCHORAGE (AP) Authorities have raided a pulltab operation owned by the Native Village of Barrow, fueling a long-simmering dispute between the state and village leaders who say they have a federal right to conduct gambling without an Alaska gaming permit.

Mark Begich sworn in as Anchorage mayor
ANCHORAGE (AP) Mark Begich pressed his palm against the same Bible used to swear his father into public office decades ago and took the oath to become Anchorage's sixth mayor.

Unocal to shut down two Cook Inlet platoforms
ANCHORAGE (AP) The state royalty incentive passed by the Legislature to help Cook Inlet's aging offshore oil fields came too late to save two platforms operated by Unocal Corp.

Lower Southeast king salmon troll harvest felt
JUNEAU (AP) Southeast trollers took fewer king salmon and fewer hatchery fish as the spring season ended this week, the state Department of Fish and Game said.

Juneau rejects federal hazardous material team grant
JUNEAU (AP) The Juneau Assembly has rejected a federal grant that would have created a ''Level A'' hazardous materials team.

Four charged in accidentally starting Interior wildfires
FAIRBANKS (AP) Four Interior residents people have been charged with improper burning that led to wildfires.

Young announces candidacy for re-election
ANCHORAGE (AP) U.S. Rep. Don Young said Tuesday that he will seek a 17th term as Alaska's lone member in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Search suspended for missing plane
ANCHORAGE (AP) The search was suspended Wednesday for plane with three people aboard that failed to reach its destination in Homer.

Nome voters reject charitable gaming ban
NOME (AP) Nome voters have rejected a measure to prohibit charitable gaming in their city.

Man pleads not guilty in murder of wife
ANCHORAGE (AP) An Anchorage man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to raping and murdering his estranged wife.

Joseph Murdy dead at age 67
ANCHORAGE (AP) Joseph Murdy, who was active in politics his whole life, has died at the age of 66.

Fairbanks residents propose switching property tax for sales tax
FAIRBANKS (AP) A group of Fairbanks residents has proposed a ballot initiative that would almost eliminate property taxes within the city and replace them with a 3 percent sales tax.

No end in sight for Ketchikan jewelry boom
KETCHIKAN (AP) Jay Mahtani, owner of the Gold Rush jewelry store across from Ketchi

Marlins score 20 runs, thump Braves
MIAMI Rookie Miguel Cabrera homered twice and the Florida Marlins set a team record for runs, beating the Atlanta Braves 20-1 Tuesday night in a game delayed after a photographer was hit in the head by a flying bat.

Kenai Peninsula Online - Alaska Newspaper 07/02/03
BALTIMORE Rodrigo Lopez allowed one run over 6 2-3 innings and the Baltimore Orioles battered Mike Mussina, ending the New York Yankees' eight-game winning streak with a 7-3 victory Tuesday night.

White Sox get Alomar from struggling Mets
NEW YORK (AP) Roberto Alomar's disappointing stay with the New York Mets ended Tuesday when the 12-time All-Star second baseman was traded to the Chicago White Sox for three minor league prospects.

Alomar scores game winner in debut
CHICAGO Roberto Alomar scored the winning run in his White Sox debut, trotting home on Frank Thomas' second homer of the game to give Chicago an 8-6 victory in 12 innings over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

Twins split doubleheader in Fairbanks
The American Legion Twins split a doubleheader on the road against the Fairbanks Tri-Cities 49ers Tuesday, winning the first game 4-2 before losing the second game 10-6.

Georgia power companies consider marketing so-called 'green power'
ATLANTA Getting electricity from renewable sources should not cost much more than fossil-fuel power, representatives of church and environmental groups said Tuesday.

Carhartt honors Soldotna business as one of the best
Soldotna's own Carhartt king, Mike Sweeney, was sitting on top of the work apparel world Monday evening when he received a giant glass goblet signifying that he is one of the best in the business at a banquet in his honor.

Commercial fishers hopeful about season
ANCHORAGE Alaska's big salmon fisheries are gearing up around the state and commercial fishers are cautiously optimistic the slump in the industry may have bottomed out. Things should be a little better this year, at least in parts of the state.

Can or will consumers keep spending?
NEW YORK (AP) Shoppers, your economy needs you. Stop spending now and you could really spoil chances of a recovery.

Watercooler
TRICKY SALES: If you're in sales, you know how difficult the client-vendor mating ritual can become.

Economic signs still sluggish
WASHINGTON Spending on construction projects dropped in May by the largest amount in a year and manufacturing was sluggish in June, signs that the economy is still struggling to get back on firm footing.

Back in the job hunt for first time in years, boomers find things have changed
NEW YORK (AP) The last time Ginny Westermayer was looking for a job, the job pretty much found her.

Classic boasts rapid catch rate
The 10th annual Kenai River Classic fishing tournament was the big story on the Kenai River this week. According to Brett Huber, the executive director of Kenai River Sportfishing Association Inc., this year's Classic saw its second best catch rate ever.

Author pens creepy homage to Lituya's ghosts
While most people nowadays tout Alaska as a place of beauty and charm, it is prudent to recall that it can be extremely dangerous as well.

Kenai gears up for annual Fourth of July celebration
Floats, food and fire trucks will make for fun family festivities this Fourth of July in Kenai on Friday.

'Sesame Street' could help kids deal with evils of war, terrorism
NEW YORK The Muppets have more to offer than lessons on numbers, letters and shapes now they're teaching children about fear, violence and war.

What's Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Upcoming Events Films Down the Road Anchorage Events

Art Briefs
Poetry contest offers $1,000 Local group holds drama camp Museum accepting fiber artwork Artists in Schools solicits interest Museum seeks volunteers

Latin star Thalia makes English language debut
NEW YORK Thalia, already a star among Latin music and television fans, is facing one of the biggest challenges of her career as she tries to transplant her success to American airwaves.

Animal shelter fees keep pets from good homes
I recently met a young woman who had gone to the landfill to empty her trash. While she was there, she heard a tiny, plaintive voice, and she and the landfill people discovered a newborn kitten, headed for the crusher.

Money leaders
1. Jimmie Johnson $3,165,9402. Kurt Busch 2,954,8453. Michael Waltrip 2,805,880

Drivers have say on tracks
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Bulldozers have logged as many miles as race cars in the past seven years at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Points leaders
1. Matt Kenseth 2,3962. Jeff Gordon 2,2223. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2,220

This week's race: Pepsi 400
WHERE: Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Race Schedule
February 16 to November 16, 2003

Newsmaker: Shane Hmiel
The Busch Series driver was parked for a lap last Sunday at Milwaukee for rough driving.

Lajoie fired from Busch ride
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. This silly season isn't restricted only to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

Highway route alternatives narrow
State highway planners are closing in on a decision as to which of several alternative routes should be selected to replace a torturous 15-mile stretch of the Sterling Highway through Cooper Landing.

Cemetery vandalism causes grief
Cemetery vandalism is not a new phenomenon or one that is unique to the city of Kenai, but when it happens to a loved one's grave, the fact that it has happened to others is no consolation.

Officials welcome Home Depot
It's official. This fall work will begin to transform the Kenai building formerly known as Big Kmart into a Home Depot.

Peninsula students get extra help
Like Anchorage schools, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District also saw an increase in summer school attendance this year.

Missing child found safe
Alaska State Troopers using ATVs, a canine unit and a helicopter found a missing 9-year-old boy who wandered away from a group outing at Captain Cook State Recreation Area on Monday afternoon.

'Kenai Wild' earns national recognition
Just when it seemed that the words "Kenai Wild" couldn't be uttered enough around the Kenai Peninsula Borough, it seems that the salmon branding program aimed at revitalizing the Cook Inlet sockeye salmon commercial fishing industry has gotten a broader audience.

Fish and Game: Measurement restrictions show positive effect on June fishery
New regulations aimed at protecting large, early-run Kenai River king salmon appear to have had a positive impact on the June fishery, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game area management biologist Mark Gamblin

Nikiski, Kenai left in the dark
Approximately 4,500 Homer Electric Association customers were without power for about 45 minutes, beginning at 8:05 a.m. Tuesday.

Donald Lynn (Donny) Dedrick
Former longtime Alaska resident Donald Lynn (Donny) Dedrick died Dec. 11, 2002, at his parents' home in Medford, Ore. He was 41.

Johnny Earl Jones
Kenai and Ninilchik resident Johnny Earl Jones died Monday, June 30, 2003, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

Lois A. Calvin
Longtime Kasilof resident, Lois A. Calvin died Sunday, June 29, 2003, at her home in Kasilof. She was 74.

Donald Lynn (Donny) Dedrick
Former longtime Alaska resident Donald Lynn (Donny) Dedrick died Dec. 11, 2002, at his parents's home in Medford, Ore. He was 41.

Harry Mapes Jr.
Harry Mapes Jr. died Tuesday, July 1, 2003, in Mesa, Ariz. He was 70.

Oilers drop two close ballgames
Following the completion of a game which began the previous evening, the Peninsula Oilers dropped a 12-inning marathon to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots to lose two one-run games in a single day Wednesday.

Oilers, Glacier Pilots washed out
With the bases loaded and only one out in the top of the sixth inning, the Peninsula Oilers had a golden opportunity to steal a victory Tuesday evening as rain threatened to put an early halt to their 1-1 contest with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.

Murkowski budget cuts not as devastating as many have predicted What others say Predictions that Gov. Frank Murkowski's cuts to health and social service budgets ''will hurt people'' are in the words of Mark Twain about reports of his death greatly exaggerated.
The largest cut in that area was the expected elimination of $45 million in longevity bonus payments, which may be painful to recipients but was no surprise.

Tax code is broken; it easily could be fixed with flat tax
They're at it again.

Forgiveness should not be forgotten as nation discusses race relations
This past week witnessed the deaths of three prominent Southern politicians from years gone by.

Alaska can help nation get more gas
The United States is facing critical shortages in natural gas in the months and years to come; just ask Alan Greenspan and other government experts.

Fourth of July holiday serves to remind us what freedom means means
As Kenai Peninsula residents get ready for the long Fourth of July weekend, we hope it will mean more than just an extra day off work to enjoy parades, picnics, barbecues and fishing. We hope it also will be a time to remember just what it is we're celebrating.

Outdoor Briefs
Bark beetle program slated for July 10Refuge offers July programs

Photo feature: High road
A mountain biker is dwarfed by the surrounding peaks while riding the Lost Lake Trail last weekend. The trail traverses about 15 miles of mountains just north of Seward.

It's a plant-eat-bug world out there
In the corporate arena it's often a dog-eat-dog world, but in the great outdoors of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, at times it's more appropriate to say it's a plant-eat-bug world.

Remote robotic cameras offer unusual views
JUNEAU Reuben Yost can count the eyelashes on a Steller sea lion 50 miles away.

Around the Peninsula
KVCC interpretive program to highlight art Deadline for Freedom Festival looming KPRL sponsor circle track races Golf tourney for Red Cross set for Saturday Residents encouraged to apply for CPHC board Have your name set in stone

Around the Peninsula
Wellness retreats plannedSpace still available for basketball campNikiski clubhouse begins final sessionSpruce bark beetle informative hike setKennel club to host dog showsKPRL sets moto-cross scheduleHistorical society meeting slatedSocial Security rep to visit peninsula

Lesbian cleric creates rift between Baptist church and Southern Baptist Convention
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The sermon at Glendale Baptist Church one recent Sunday recalled how Jesus mingled with tax collectors and prostitutes, refusing to snub people for the unpopular things they did.

'Polyamory' followers searching for support
BOSTON No one uttered a word when Harlan White walked into church one day with two women, one on each arm. They were, he says, accepted like any other family in his Unitarian congregation.

Church Briefs
Freedom Festival setMusical troupe performsBasketball camp offeredVacation Bible school plannedProtocol seminar plannedCommunity Day coming upChurch offers camp for all agesWomen's Aglow to meetSummer camp plannedChurch plans Bible schoolChurch offers big adventureChurches host baseball gameRainbow Poets to award $5,000Assembly plans flea marketBible study looks to Jerusalem

Armstrong confident in team
PARIS Lance Armstrong is working on the principle that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Aliu upsets Greene on day of world bests
LAUSANNE, Switzerland On a day when several athletes set world bests, Olympic and world champion Maurice Greene couldn't do any better than third in the 100 meters at the Athletissima meet on Tuesday.

Driver testing gets OK
LEMONT, Ill. Hoping to remove suspicions about cheating golfers, the PGA Tour will begin using a test in January that determines whether clubs are legal.

Birch Ridge Report: Driving range improves
OK, so one slight clarification from last week. The fade, draw, blah, blah? For those who are right-handed, the direction of the ball is opposite. Confused? Good. Read it again and just keep aiming for the middle of the fairway and call it what you will.

Woods continues rant against hot equipment
LEMONT, Ill. Don't tell Tiger Woods there aren't players on tour using ''hot'' drivers. He knows better.

Vancouver gets 2010 Winter Games
PRAGUE, Czech Republic The Olympics are returning to North America in 2010, to a scenic Pacific coast city beneath snowcapped mountains.

Sports Briefs
Twins drop game to FairbanksFedorov's agent says forward won't return to WingsDavid Beckham slips on his Real Madrid jerseyBucks sign first-round draft pickRoyals acquire reliever from BrewersFSU QB McPherson pleads no contest to charges

Showers force British, Henman to be patient
WIMBLEDON, England There was no need to be at Centre Court to follow Tim Henman's fortunes in his rain-suspended Wimbledon quarterfinal Wednesday.

Kenai Golf Report
Things are hopping at the Kenai Golf Course. July is here again and much too soon. The course is in incredible shape and golfers are certainly enjoying it.

Belgians, Williams advance to semis
WIMBLEDON, England Up at the net after a stinging approach shot, Serena Williams waited for Jennifer Capriati's weak response to float down.

Red-breasted nuthatches: Newcomers work hard to raise offspring
Red-breasted nuthatches appear to be relative newcomers as nesting birds on the Kenai Peninsula. I did not see a red-breasted nuthatch in the Soldotna area until sometime in the mid- to late-1980s. The first time they were recorded during the annual spring North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge was 1995, 13 years after the BBS was first initiated on the refuge.

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