Monday, July 21, 2003

Denali Commission formalizes policy guidelines
ANCHORAGE (AP) A federal agency that funnels hundreds of millions of dollars into rural Alaska construction projects is considering a subtle policy shift that could determine which villages survive and which don't.

Cruise ship passenger charged with sexual assault
JUNEAU (AP) A cruise-ship passenger was charged with sexually assaulting another passenger on a cruise.

Girdwood man rescued from cliff
ANCHORAGE (AP) A 27-year-old Girdwood man was rescued from a Mount Alyeska cliff after getting stranded.

Challenger Learning Center struggles to find operating money
KENAI (AP) The Challenger Learning Center has been highly successful at finding grants to build its facilities dedicated to space education. But finding the money to keep the doors open is proving to more difficult.

Prescribed burn planned for weekend
ANCHORAGE (AP) Fire crews will conduct a long-planned prescribed burn in the Alphabet Hills northwest of Glennallen over the weekend, if conditions allow.

Park service seeking volunteer seed collectors
ANCHORAGE (AP) The National Park Service is seeking volunteers to hand-pick seeds from Denali National Park's native plants.

Palmer residents rescued after climbing plan thwarted
ANCHORAGE (AP) Four Palmer residents who intended to climb Augustine Volcano on an island in Cook Inlet were rescued by the Coast Guard after they wrote an SOS message on a beach.

Anchorage man dies in head-on collision
BIG LAKE (AP) A 49-year-old man died in an accident early Sunday morning between Palmer and Big Lake.

Girl dies weeks after auto accident
ANCHORAGE (AP) A 14-year-old Nikiski girl died of injuries sustained six weeks earlier when she was struck by a car as she crossed the Kenai Spur Highway.

Upper Cook Inlet sees strong return of sockeye salmon
KENAI (AP) Commercial fishermen in the upper Cook Inlet are seeing a strong return of sockeye salmon, prompting the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to grant some increases in fishing time.

Thieves take the cake
ANCHORAGE (AP) These thieves really take the cake.

Seward slaying suspect sought
ANCHORAGE (AP) A Seward man has been the subject of a manhunt since Saturday night but so far has eluded Alaska State Troopers and other law enforcement officers.

Along the waterfront, rats are Kodiak regulars
KODIAK (AP) ''Rats!'' Kodiak Harbor patrol officer Dick Ross said, shining a flashlight into a dark hole of the city small boat harbor.

Butte man killed in tractor accident
PALMER (AP) A Butte man was killed Sunday morning in a tractor accident.

Soldier who graduated from Dimond High killed in Iraq
ANCHORAGE (AP) A soldier with ties to Anchorage died while serving in the Army in Iraq, according to the Defense Department.

Farmer hopes his will be prize-winnng cabbage
PALMER (AP) Scott Robb gives his giant cabbages all a plant could possibly want: good soil, water, regular fertilizing and, on hot days, air conditioning. That's right. Air conditioning.

Vietnam emigre greets Murkowski
FAIRBANKS (AP) A young woman at the Governor's Picnic reminded Frank Murkowski of what he called the highlight of his 22-year U.S. Senate career.

Murkowski bill would create national heritage area
KENAI (AP) Sen. Lisa Murkowski has introduced a bill that would create a national heritage area in the northern Kenai Peninsula.

Seward slaying suspect sought
ANCHORAGE (AP) A Seward man has been the subject of a manhunt since Saturday night but so far has eluded Alaska State Troopers and other law enforcement officers.

Skinny Dick's sold, keeps memorable moniker
FAIRBANKS (AP) A 70-year-old woman, long retired from the grocery industry, walked into a joint called Skinny Dick's Halfway Inn on Mother's Day.

Group to go horseback from Valdez to Fairbanks
PALMER (AP) Two French citizens have come to Alaska to travel horseback from Valdez to Fairbanks, and perhaps even as far as Prudhoe Bay.

Kids learn Shakespeare in four weeks
JUNEAU (AP) A colorful pile of scarves, seriously rumpled paperback copies of ''Twelfth Night,'' and two rapiers and a dagger cover a table in McPhetres Hall downtown as a dozen youths sit in a circle on the floor.

Ultra Challenge wheelchair race gets under way
FAIRBANKS (AP) The 19th annual Midnight Sun Ultra Challenge for wheelchair and handcyclist racers got under way Saturday.

Gov. Murkowski hosts picnic on the park strip
ANCHORAGE (AP) Gov. Frank Murkowski hosted the 43rd annual Governor's Picnic at an Anchorage park.

Predator control in McGrath appears to be working
ANCHORAGE (AP) An experiment to remove predatory bears from moose-calving grounds around the Interior town of McGrath to increase calf survival appears to be working.

Lake Otis gets park sponsor
ANCHORAGE (AP) An Anchorage foundation has decided to sponsor a group of South Anchorage residents who want to create a park.

Children's home remembered by former residents, staff
JUNEAU (AP) It sounds like a Lo

Court of Appeals considering pot case
FAIRBANKS (AP) The Alaska Court of Appeals is considering a case that could set precedent in the 1975 Alaska Supreme Court ruling protecting marijuana possession for personal use in the home.

Prehistoric 'fish lizard' discovered in Southeast
KETCHIKAN (AP) A team of paleontologists researching marine invertebrates near Kake made an unexpected find earlier this month: a 220-million-old marine reptile called an ichthyosaur.

Blue grass festival organizers vow to play on
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Matanuska-Susitna Borough last week refused to ease special event permit restrictions for organizers of the Talkeetna Bluegrass and Music Festival, but organizers expect the event to proceed next month.

U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft defends Patriot Act
ANCHORAGE (AP) U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft defended the USA Patriot Act during a visit to Anchorage Monday, while dozens of demonstrators outside waved signs criticizing the anti-terrorism law and Ashcroft.

Home is where the hurt is for Griffey in Cincinnati
CINCINNATI As an entire city went giddy, Ken Griffey Jr. slipped on a Cincinnati Reds' cap and explained why he had come home.

Giambi sparks Yankees
NEW YORK Derek Jeter scored from first on Jason Giambi's three-run single, and the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 7-4 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.

Astros hold on for victory
CINCINNATI Lance Berkman, Richard Hidalgo and Morgan Ensberg hit consecutive home runs in the first inning, and the Houston Astros held on to beat the Cincinnati Reds for the ninth straight time, 9-8 on Saturday.

Twins lose at Service
The American Legion Twins dropped both games of a double-header against Service Sunday in Anchorage, losing the first game 17-14, and falling 5-2 in the seven-inning second game.

Twins drop two to East
The American Legion Twins baseball team dropped a pair of games to the East Thunderbirds in Anchorage Saturday.

Kenai little league softball team loses Game 1 of state tourney
A pair of overpowering pitchers and experience in previous state tournaments helped Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars get off to a big start in the opening game of the Alaska State Senior Division (Age 15-16) Little League Softball Tournament.

Photo feature: Dipping in
The sun hides momentarily from dipnet fishers Friday at the mouth of the Kenai River. Both the fishing and the weather have been good for the past few days.

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde
Legally Blonde 2 begins as one of the worst scripted and worst acted films that I've seen in a long time.

Medicaid cuts threaten letter writer's independence
I am writing in regards to the Medicaid cuts in my home care. These cuts will affect me in areas I can't take for granted. Even though I have cerebral palsy and am mentally able to run my life, I am not physically able to take care of myself.

Nikiski Community Day event full of blessings from beginning to end
Wow! I don't know of a better word to use in describing the way God blessed Nikiski's second annual Community Day event.

Many contribute to success of park concert for kids
The Soldotna After the Bell program would like to thank the following for helping to make our Concert in the Park for Kids a great success:

Gordon eyeing run at fifth Winston Cup title
LOUDON, N.H. Two disappointing performances at New Hampshire International Speed-way last season made Jeff Gordon cross the track off his list of favorites.

Peninsula 3rd largest growing area in state
The Kenai Peninsula is the third-fastest growing area in the state, according to a state labor economist.

Neighborhood sets up first line of defense against trash-bin bears
The first line of defense against would-be trash-bin bruins was laid out Thursday when bear-resistant garbage tilt cans were distributed throughout the Valhalla Heights and Saginoff subdivisions in Kenai.

Inlet fishers seeing red
Commercial fishers in Upper Cook Inlet are seeing a strong return of sockeye salmon, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has responded by granting some increases in fishing time.

Sockeye bag limit raised for sportfishing on the Kenai
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Saturday raised the sportfishing bag limit for Kenai River sockeye from three to six fish.

Ruling questions validity of Kenai contracts
A judge's preliminary injunction issued July 10 that stops the city of Kenai from continuing a Kenai Recreation Center management contract with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula calls into question the validity of other city management contracts issued in the same manner.

Man shot to death in Seward
SEWARD -- A Seward man was found shot to death in his driveway Saturday night, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Bear season still planned
If many more bears die as a result of human encounters, the Kenai Peninsula's brown bear hunting season will be canceled.

Fungus turning rose hips orange
No, Alaska does not have a new variety of rose hips that are day-glow fluorescent orange.

Criminal offenders no-shows for court-ordered counseling
An increasing number of offenders are failing to show up for court-ordered counseling sessions with alcohol and drug treatment programs on the Kenai Peninsula ever since state budget cuts eliminated a program that kept tabs on defendant compliance, the head of a peninsula treatment program said this week.

Funny River fire being investigated as arson
Firefighters worked quickly in windy conditions Thursday afternoon to keep a structure fire from turning into a wildland fire on Funny River Road.

Anglers still flood confluence waters for opportunity to catch red salmon
Bear activity at the confluence of the Kenai-Russian rivers remains high following last week's mauling. But it hasn't diminished the crowds at the popular angling destination. Combat fishing still reigns despite the potential danger from the resident bruin populations.

Fish and Game offers suggestions to avoid bear-human confrontations
Despite knowing there has been a high frequency of bear activity at the confluence of the Kenai and Russian rivers, anglers are still showing up in droves, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has a few suggestions for keeping things safe for humans and animals.

Robert 'Bob' Lee Wetherelt
Soldotna resident Robert "Bob" Lee Wetherelt died Monday, July 14, 2003, of bladder cancer at his home off Funny River Road in Soldotna. He was 65.

Carl A. Lindman
Former Alaska resident the Rev. Carl A. Lindman died Thursday, July 17, 2003, at Bethany Covenant Home in Minneapolis. He was 86.

Oilers leapfrog AIA for second
The Peninsula Oilers used some clutch hitting and took advantage of some Athletes in Action errors to win their seventh consecutive game Saturday night at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Fire hold off Oilers
The Peninsula Oilers lost their final home game to the Athletes In Action Fire 8-7, Sunday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai in a hard-fought contest that was anybody's ball game up until the last pitch.

President Bush hits rough patch
WASHINGTON Bad news is building for President Bush: Americans are dying in Iraq at the rate of nearly one a day, deficits are skyrocketing, Bush's poll numbers are falling and the administration is grappling with embarrassing prewar claims about Iraqi arms.

DEC works to keep waters clean
Alaska is fortunate. We have abundant clean water and broadly based citizen support for protecting this resource.

Figuring delayed war costs
Next Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, a war many have since referred to as the "Forgotten War," possibly because it was sandwiched in history between the much heralded World War II and the highly controversial Vietnam War.

Bush's slavery speech touches two continents What others say
On the westernmost point of African soil, where hundreds of thousands of terror-filled Africans began a voyage in chains and a life of suffering,

Bush's court nominees deserve fair hearing What others say
With the completion of this year's U.S. Supreme Court session with a flurry of momentous decisions, we will know shortly if one or more justices will retire.

It's time for Alaska to focus on positive
The Legislature has been criticized in the media for not doing its job this year. The House Minority Leader has, in articles published across the state, called the session a "fiasco." I strongly disagree.

Nation's debt, giving practices: One too high, other too low
The numbers are mind-numbing.

Hiler, Vester become engaged
Jessica Dawn Hiler and Derek James Vester plan to be married Saturday, Aug. 2, 2003, at 4 p.m. at Soldotna Bible Chapel.

Staying afloat
Bill and Darlene Moran, owners of Dot's Fish Camp, pose with a new Kids Don't Float board on their property.

Watson, Clare announce wedding plans
Kelsie Dawn Watson of Kasilof and Benjamin Mark Clare of Harbor Springs, Mich., plan to marry Sunday, Sept. 14, 2003, at Soldotna Church of the Nazarene.

Summer landscaping awards
Bobbie and Arnold Oskolkoff's home on Birch Avenue was selected as Kenai's Garden of the Week.

Cheryl and John Tuttle of Soldotna announce the birth of their son, Nathaniel Tuttle, at 10:53 a.m., Tuesday, July 15, 2003, at Woman's Way Midwifery. He weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces and measured 21 3/4 inches.

New deck turns the tables on Iraq 'most-wanted' cards
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) A high school teacher, fed up with the Bush administration's playing cards featuring Saddam Hussein, ''Chemical Ali'' and other most-wanted Iraqis, is now selling her own deck, ''Operation Hidden Agenda.''

Scroggs, Fallon plan August nuptials
Sasha Ann Scroggs and Zane Fallon III of Kenai have announced their plans to marry in Kenai in August. Fallon's grandfather, Edwin Goggia, will perform the ceremony.

Good deed costs plenty
HONOLULU (AP) A good deed is a costing a Marine plenty.

Around the Peninsula
Soldotna seniors schedule bazaar, barbecue SoHi pool begins final session KCHS to hold cheerleader tryouts Moose Lodge plans picnic Annual Run for Women set Residents needed to apply for CPHC board Soldotna church plans Bible school Help available for home day-care providers

Katzenberger, Ostnes plan wedding
Jennifer Sue Katzen-berger and Nels Jason Ostnes will be married Friday, Aug. 29, 2003, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Fairbanks.

Peninsula People
Soldotna man joins Marines Seward woman begins duty with Air Force Soldotna womans husband sent overseas Soldotna man completes basic training Kenai man enters Air Force Academy Kenai students earn degrees in Arizona Soldotna student earns associates degree Kasilof student attends medical forum Soldotna woman plans volunteer trip to Africa

Aldridge, Davis announce engagement
Michelle Aldridge of Bishop, Calif., and Britton Davis plan to be wed at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, 2003, in Nikiski.

Around the Peninsula
Nutritional classes available4-H members to speak at chamberOutdoor club plans meetingBlood drive plannedMotocross racing schedule setGPS, geocaching class planned in HomerSkyview swim lessons still availableCongressional mobile office tour planned

Evans, Magee married in Vegas
Doreen Evans and Jimmy Magee of San Francisco were married April 10, 2003, in Las Vegas.

Original G.I. Joe a no-sale at auction
SAN DIEGO (AP) G.I. Joe has had his share of conquests, launching a revolution in the toy industry and entering the hearts of countless children.

New movie sparks clownfish craze
AUGUSTA, Ga. Clownfish could be the next trendy pet thanks to the popularity of Disney's new movie "Finding Nemo."

Labs make wonderful, though energetic, pets
Labrador retrievers, whether yellow, black or chocolate, are without question a popular dog breed. In 2003, with 154,616 total registrations in the American Kennel Club, labs were again the most registered breed a title they have held continuously since 1991.

My best friend
Lowell Choat of Kenai relaxes with dogs Denali and Hoover while cat Jatt surveys the scene.

Lots of roping, riding, wrangling planned during Progress Days
Like the lyrics of a Garth Brooks song, Kenai Peninsula residents can look forward to the bulls and the blood, the dust and the mud, and the roar of a Sunday crowd this July 26 and 27.

River runs through community; city's life revolves around river
The Kenai River may run through the city of Soldotna, but it's really the river that makes the city run.

Soldotna seniors host bazaar, bake sale, displays
Young and old alike will get the chance to browse a wide variety of crafts, gifts and tasty treats during the Progress Days event this year, thanks to the annual Arts and Crafts Bazaar, Quilt Show, Antique Display and Bake Sale, presented by the Soldotna Senior Citizens Center.

Progress Days Welcome
Progress Days 2003 is a well-earned celebration in Soldotna for all residents and visitors. Progress in many areas has been ach

City, watershed forum host community picnic
For the eighth consecutive year, the city of Soldotna will gather for a community barbecue at Soldotna Creek Park. However, for the first time ever, the city will actually be using its own park.

Progress Days highlights city's commerce
In the months of June, July and August, Soldotna becomes a buzzing hive of commercial activity, with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and services to choose from.

Big guys on little bikes fan favorite at car show
The Soldotna Racing Lions again this year will sponsor its ever-popular car show and people's choice awards during the annual Progress Days celebration.

Progress Days: At A Glance
July 25-27

Organizer hopes event will draw 100 dachshunds
For the 10th year, Progress Days parade-goers will have the opportunity to view "Weenies on Parade."

Ed, Lila Krohn to rule over festival as king and queen
Ed and Lila Ann Krohn may preside over their business at Kenai Auto and their home on the Kenai River, but the titles "king" and "queen" never occurred to them.

Parade line-up set for 9 a.m. July 26; parade starts at 11
The 43rd annual Progress Days Parade will start at 11 a.m. July 26. The parade line-up will be at 9 a.m. on Aspen Street.

Chief Gifford adds another achievement to her long list
After a nearly 30-year career in law enforcement, Soldotna Police Chief Shirley Gifford has pretty much seen and done it all.

History Highlights
Progress Days is a perfect time to reflect on the past, enjoy the present and look forward to the future. Here are some of the landmark events for Soldotna:

Progress Days Schedule
Friday, July 25 Saturday, July 26 Sunday, July 27

Pippen returning to Bulls
CHICAGO (AP) Scottie Pippen returned to the Chicago Bulls, re-signing with the team he helped lead to six NBA championships.

Ullrich closes in on Armstrong in Pyrenees
AX-3 DOMAINES, France His legs weary and his lead shrinking, Lance Armstrong has never been in a Tour de France like this.

Bryant case challenges view of him and heroes
From the moment he joined the NBA as a baby-faced teen, flirtatious women hit on Kobe Bryant in hotel lobbies and shopping malls.

Armstrong keeps Tour lead but two rivals are near
LOUDENVIELLE-LE LOURON, France Lance Armstrong kept his slender lead in the Tour de France on Sunday, still unhappy with his riding as two key rivals shadow him in the Pyrenees.

Bjorn leads after crazy day on links
SANDWICH, England The shot was pure magic, and so was the moment.

Young gun takes lead at Pen Am
16-year-old Soldotna golfer Josh Lansing fired a 74 to take a seven-stroke lead into the final day of the Peninsula Amateur golf championship Saturday at Birch Ridge Golf Course in Soldotna.

Fedorov signs with Ducks
LOS ANGELES Sergei Fedorov figured it was time for a change. So he's heading to California.

Unpredictable course gets unpredicted champ
SANDWICH, England A wacky week at the British Open held one final surprise, and it was the biggest of them all: Ben Curtis holding the claret jug.

Armstrong faces challenges in Tour's final week
CAP'DECOUVERTE, France Lance Armstrong lives to be challenged, and at this year's Tour de France, he is up against the biggest challenges he has faced in the past five.

Lansing slide helps Hollingsworth garner win
Mike Hollingsworth had it going Sunday. Josh Lansing didn't.

A rule is a rule unless ...
A rule is a rule is a rule. Unless, as Jesper Parnevik so succinctly put it, ''It's the dumbest rule ever.''

U.S. team shuts out Cuba in Gold Cup quarterfinals
FOXBORO, Mass. After his fourth goal of the game, Landon Donovan stopped celebrating and started apologizing.

Whaley set to play with the boys
AVON, Conn. Suzy Whaley is running late. The 36-year-old teaching pro pulls into her club parking lot 15 minutes before her tee time in a charity tournament and still has a couple of interviews to do.

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