Thursday, August 14, 2003

Dillingham voters to decide smoking ban
DILLINGHAM Voters in Dillingham will be deciding whether to ban smoking in public places.

St. Michael voters go to polls for alcohol status
ANCHORAGE (AP) Voters in St. Michael went to the polls Wednesday to decide whether to overturn the ban on alcohol it adopted 17 years ago.

Police identify body found under footbridge
ANCHORAGE (AP) Police have identified the body of a man found in the water under a footbridge at an Anchorage trail.

Airline pilot convicted on fish and game charges
ANCHORAGE (AP) A jury in Dillingham has convicted an airline pilot on numerous misdemeanor fish and game charges.

Talkeetna man arrested on rape charge
TALKEETNA (AP) A Talkeetna man was arrested on sexual assault and burglary charges after a woman reported being raped early Monday morning at a Talkeetna lodge.

District attorney takes job with attorney general
FAIRBANKS (AP) Fairbanks District Attorney Teresa Foster has accepted a position as an assistant attorney general with the statewide Office of Special Prosecutions.

Audit under way in Anchorage archdiocese
ANCHORAGE (AP) An audit is under way in the Catholic Archdiocese of Anchorage to determine whether adequate policies and procedures are in place to protect children and deal with sexual abuse issues.

St. Michael voters keep alcohol prohibition
ANCHORAGE (AP) St. Michael voters have decided to continue the ban on alcohol that has been in place for 17 years.

Kotzebue man drowns at mining site
ANCHORAGE (AP) A 52-year-old Kotzebue man drowned at a mining site in Candle, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

Kuskokwim Native leader Mellick dies
ANCHORAGE (AP) Kuskokwim Native leader Nick Mellick Jr. has died at the age of 71.

Appeals court affirms soft money limits on political parties
ANCHORAGE (AP) Alaska can limit donations to political parties by individuals and corporations, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

GPS collar tracks relocated garbage bear
JUNEAU (AP) A black bear lurking in the Mendenhall Valley woods holds secrets that Neil Barten is anxious to unlock.

Fairbanks voters may choose between taxes
FAIRBANKS (AP) Voters in Fairbanks may be choosing between a sales tax and increased property taxes in the fall.

Dutch Harbor processor settles pollution case
ANCHORAGE (AP) A seafood processor operating in Dutch Harbor will pay half of a $105,000 fine to settle air pollution violations.

State to seek offshore test wells near ANWR
JUNEAU (AP) State officials hope to entice oil companies into drilling an offshore test well near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge next winter.

Alaskans get big federal payback
FAIRBANKS (AP) For every tax dollar the federal government collected from Alaska in fiscal 2002, it spent $1.91 in the state, according to an estimate by a tax watchdog group.

Veteran pleads guilty to wire fraud
ANCHORAGE (AP) An Anchorage man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud for charging the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for more than $450,000 in bus repairs that were never done.

Anchorage police seek home invasion robber
ANCHORAGE Anchorage police were searching Wednesday for a man who forced his way into a trailer home and robbed the residents, hitting a 54-year-old woman over the head with a gun.

Anchorage trail watch volunteers begin training
ANCHORAGE (AP) Volunteers have begun training on Anchorage's sprawling trail system as a way to promote safety.

Fairbanks sees lower gas prices than Anchorage
FAIRBANKS (AP) Fairbanks motorists have long complained about paying more for gasoline than drivers in Anchorage, but this week the tables were turned.

Environmental groups sue to block Katalla drilling
ANCHORAGE (AP) Environmental groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service to block oil drilling planned at the historic Katalla oil field near Cordova.

More inlet sockeye qualify for brand name
JUNEAU (AP) More than 100,000 pounds of Cook Inlet sockeye salmon have qualified for the Kenai Wild brand name in the second year of the program.

Businessman seeks retrial due to publicity of case
ANCHORAGE (AP) An Anchorage businessman wants a retrial, more than a year after he was convicted in federal court of bank and wire fraud.

Voters won't decide fate of big box stores
HOMER (AP) The Homer City Council has rejected two measures that would have asked residents to determine size limits for large retail stores. Council members decided the issues were too complicated to go before voters on Oct. 7 municipal ballot.

Fairbanks poll shows lawmakers' stance on special session
JUNEAU (AP) Nearly half of the Legislature favored a special session to override Gov. Frank Murkowski's veto of the senior citizen Longevity Bonus program, according to a survey by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Fairbanks voters have choices in elections
FAIRBANKS (AP) Voters will have choices in all the upcoming borough elections in Fairbanks.

Murkowski signs bill making timber primary forest use
FAIRBANKS (AP) Gov. Frank Murkowski has signed into law a bill that will change the primary use of all state forests from ''multi-use'' to ''timber.''

Troopers investigate drownings of two Kotzebue men
KOTZEBUE (AP) A Kotzebue man who attempted to swim to a nearby camp to get help after a fight broke out between his two uncles drowned, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

Conference held on Bush's faith-based initiative
ANCHORAGE (AP) Social service providers and religious groups attended a conference Tuesday to discuss President Bush's faith-based initiative and how it might work in Alaska.

Fairbanks school district changes drug policy
FAIRBANKS (AP) The Fairbanks North Star School Board has changed its drug and alcohol policy after a lawsuit was filed over it.

Restoration on track for rusty railcar
ANCHORAGE (AP) As the Alaska Railroad and mass-transit advocates plan for the future of passenger rail travel in the state, another group is aiming to preserve a piece of its past.

BLM starts work on firefighter housing
FAIRBANKS (AP) Construction is starting on a new $15 million, 70,000-square-foot building at Fort Wainwright that will provide seasonal housing for Alaska Fire Service firefighters.

Twins finish Legion season on high note
The American Legion Twins baseball program finished the season on a high note, winning the 2004 American Legion Preview Tournament last weekend in Anchorage.

Devil Rays recover to post win over Orioles
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. After Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella was ejected during a hat-kicking tirade in the ninth inning, the Devil Rays beat Baltimore 6-5 on Travis Lee's RBI double in the 10th Wednesday.

Rose wants more than a foot in the door at baseball's Hall of Fame
Dracula must be Pete Rose's press agent. How else to explain a cause that was laid to rest a half-dozen times since 1989 climbing out of the grave yet one more time at the start of this week?

A's take over wild card lead
OAKLAND, Calif. Barry Zito finally got a little good fortune, and the Oakland Athletics finally pushed ahead of Boston in the AL wild card race.

Alou powers Cubs to win over Astros at Wrigley
CHICAGO Moises Alou hit a three-run homer and Chicago's bullpen didn't allow a run over the final 4 2-3 innings as the Cubs beat the Houston Astros 6-4 Wednesday.

Cards start fast, swamp Pirates
PITTSBURGH Albert Pujols and Tino Martinez hit three-run homers before Pittsburgh retired a batter, and the St. Louis Cardinals rode the six-run first inning to a 10-6 victory over the Pirates on Tuesday night.

Wild-card race gets fishy
MIAMI The Florida Marlins have been behind all season.

Negotiators aren't credit counselors
Many consumers are experiencing the stress that comes with mounting credit card debt. With the unemployment rate still rising, more families are depending on credit just to make ends meet. The Better Business Bureau warns over-burdened consumers to beware of companies that promise to cut their bills in half by negotiating low payoff amounts from creditors.

Mat-Su Borough gauges interest in Hatcher Pass resort proposal
ANCHORAGE (AP) Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials say the time is finally right for a four-season Hatcher Pass resort, and they're taking their message nationwide.

Good news: July retail sales make strong rise
WASHINGTON America's shoppers threw caution to the wind and splurged in July on cars, appliances and clothes, catapulting sales at the nation's retailers by 1.4 percent, the biggest increase in four months.

New funds to keep branding program 'Wild'
The Cook Inlet Salmon Branding Project is set to tap federal and private-industry grant money that will allow the year-old Kenai Wild program to add more fishers and inspectors to the ranks of those committed to delivering a better seafood product to high-end niche markets, a move aimed at revitalizing the sagging inlet salmon industry.

Kards restock to defend championship
Last season, Kenai Central junior Dakota Craig made holes for Cory Janson. This season, Craig will be filling Janson's shoes.

Soldotna Varsity Roster
Soldotna Varsity

Skyview Varsity Roster
Skyview Varsity

New coach, same pride
Ned Clooten takes the reins of the Nikiski High School program this season after the Bulldogs went without a championship banner for the first time in five years last season.

Seward back in rebuilding mode
Cliff Draper, in his second year as head coach in Seward, will try and lead the Seahawks to their third-straight small-schools playoff berth.

Nikiski Junior Varsity
Nikiski Junior Varsity

Homer banks on strong running game
If new head coach Kelly Blake has his way, blankets and hot chocolate should not be necessary at Homer High School football games this fall.

Nikiski Varsity Roster
Nikiski Varsity

Skyview full of new faces
Fans of Skyview High School football may not recognize their team this year.

Soldotna Junior Varsity
Soldotna Junior Varsity

Soldotna shakes off loss in title game
For a lot of programs, losing 28 seniors after getting to the small-schools state championship and losing would be cause for serious self-doubt and questioning.

Kenai Central Junior Varsity
Kenai Junior Varsity

Kenai Central Varsity Roster
Kenai Varsity

Skyviw Junior Varsity
Skyview Junior Varsity

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

Anthropologist looks at Athabascan issues
Alaska's rural Native villagers live at the intersection of traditional culture and the conquering Euro-American society. For some, the collision is catastrophic, yet others find ways to build lives encompassing both views of the world.

Horrific rivalry hits big screen: 'Freddy vs. Jason'
No one really wins in ''Freddy vs. Jason,'' the showdown between horror icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees except maybe the manufacturers of their trademark red-and-green striped sweater and hockey mask, which prove indestructible.

Fox sues, Franken frowns
NEW YORK Al Franken, the humorist being sued by Fox News Channel for use of the phrase ''fair and balanced,'' said Tuesday he doesn't mind the legal action.

Live music venue strives to be open to everyone
Every band has big dreams they aspire to, whether it's concert tours, recording contracts, fame, fortune, Grammies, groupies or the cover of Rolling Stone. But before bands can put much thought into achieving the big dreams, there are some smaller ones that need to be dealt with first like having a place to play.

Newcomer McKeown wants to be an original
NEW YORK There are shades of Fiona Apple and Natalie Merchant in Erin McKeown's voice, a jazzy instrument that winds and sighs its way through her latest disc, ''Grand.''

Art Briefs
Nominations sought for arts and humanities awardsArt classes offeredMuseum seeks volunteersVendors wanted for safety rodeoArtists in Schools solicits interest

Shakespeare fans weather lightning, storms for the show
SAND HARBOR, Nev. The hail and lightening have stopped and the trail of smoke is slowing from a small wildfire burning on the mountainside just above Lake Tahoe.

American way means right to disagree
For some reason this subject of Mr. Webster just won't seem to go away. Enough already! This statement, that if you were against the war, you are against our troops: That is an absurdity!

Newsmaker: Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman, the second-year driver who leads the NASCAR Winston Cup Series with four victories, seems to be putting all the pieces together to make a run for the championship as soon as 2004.

Race Schedule
February 16 to November 16, 2003

Money Leaders
1. Jimmie Johnson $3,877,7302. Kurt Busch 3,640,1503. Michael Waltrip 3,363,485

Dale Jr., stepmom dispute contract
BROOKLYN, Mich. The standoff between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt, is more about a clash of wills than money.

Points Leaders
1. Matt Kenseth 3,2942. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3,0363. Jeff Gordon 2,898

This week's race: GFS Marketplace 400
Where and When

Drivers say circuit needs full-time rescue crews
BROOKLYN, Mich. If Jeff Gordon had been injured, even slightly, during his final lap crash last Sunday at Watkins Glen, N.Y., he could have bled to death before the got to the infield hospital.

Wildland fire extends boundaries near Skilak
A wildland fire that has been burning slowly for two months under the watchful eye of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge officials found a small ridge that took it down to Skilak Lake on Monday, pushing smoky air into Sterling, Soldotna and other central Kenai Peninsula communities.

HEA receives federal grant
Homer Electric Association realized a significant windfall Monday when the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the member-owned utility $1.9 million. The grant will pay for installation of the submarine cable that crosses Kachemak Bay linking the utility's energy network with south Kachemak communities.

Carter resigns from EDD
Kenai Peninsula Economic Develop-ment District Director James Carter announced his resignation Friday and will leave to take a position with a bank in Fairbanks.

Seeing red: Stem cell testing goes better than anticipated
Tuesday's blood and stem cell testing drive in Soldotna was a tremendous success, as area residents arrived at Christ Lutheran Church en masse to see if they could help save a life.

Officials mopping up fire near Skilak Lake
Fire crews continued work on the west flank of a fire near Skilak Lake on Wednesday, aided considerably by rainfall in the early morning hours.

Inlet fish go 'Wild' for 2nd season
Cook Inlet Salmon Branding Inc. escaped the sophomore jinx in superior fashion, increasing its reach and its production significantly over first-year numbers.

Fair offers family events
It's that time of the year again: The Kenai Peninsula State Fair is back this weekend and has many new things for the family to do, according to its organizers.

Election filings coming in slow
So far, at least, the Oct. 7 municipal election isn't drawing much attention.

4-H youth getting ready for annual livestock sale
The months of long, hard work put in by the kids in the 4-H Junior Market Livestock (JML) program is about to pay off literally.

Report provides plan for future of workforce training
Coming soon to an economy near you: The Kenai Peninsula World Class Workforce Development Coalition.

Rain lifts burn ban
The Alaska Division of Forestry announced Tuesday that the burn ban for the western Kenai Peninsula has been lifted.

Fishers: Too many got past nets
The last of the upper Cook Inlet commercial fishing fleet came into harbor over the weekend, marking the end of another commercial salmon season. Although the fishery significantly exceeded expectations for the season on several accounts, an abundance of fish still got past commercial gillnets, which is bad news for the Kenai Peninsula's present and future.

Judd Earl Carrier
Kenai resident Judd Earl Carrier died Monday, June 11, 2003, at his home. He was 71.

Gary Soren Christopherson
Former Alaska resident Gary Soren Christopherson died Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003, in Mankato, Minn. He was 59.

Democrats offer Bush little threat
I see little chance for a Democrat to defeat George W. Bush next year. Certainly not if one of the candidates doesn't soon break out of the pack of no-names and at least win the dubious honor of being the Democrats' 2004 nominee.

Oil reserve protects nation's economy
With the continuing fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, and new terrorist bombings in cities around the globe, it is clear that the crisis that began on Sept. 11, 2001, is still with us.

Roadless rule comment period ends Thursday
In 1999, the Clinton administration released a plan to review all roadless areas of more than 5,000 acres on federal lands for possible permanent protection. At that time Sen. Ted Stevens received a call from the White House assuring him that the Tongass would be excluded from the roadless areas review.

Longevity Bonus smart policy and a debt owed
Eighteen thousand Alaskans over the age of 71 receive the Longevity Bonus, a way Alaska honors and repays contributions seniors made building today's state, and one that traces its origins to 1915.

Ashcroft methods begin to wear thin, even with Republican suporters
Attorney General John Ashcroft's scowling, swaggering, dyspeptic antipathy for anyone who questions his methods and authority is transforming him and his office into mere caricature.

Constitution goes on trial in Padilla case
One of the most important legal cases in U.S. history is before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. At stake is nothing less than the rule of law and the freedoms Americans hold dear.

Around the Peninsula
Yupik grass baskets showcasedCARTS advisory meeting set for todayKenai chamber meeting todayPressure canner dial gauge testing slatedStevens, Seaton to speak at Homer chamberNominations for beautification awards acceptedVendors, competitors sought for Seafair rodeoDog classes slated at PenDOGSoroptimists plan benefit for cancer fundPrescription drugs information available

Around the Peninsula
Healthy Communities meeting slatedSenior housing meeting plannedImmunization clinics expanded in HomerWalk series continues at refugeGirl Scouts plan garage saleRCAC to hold series of public meetingsRegistration for basketball beginsMountain View to hold open houseFinal motocross races scheduled

Sports Briefs
Kenai's Carsner Jr. wins drag raceDavis still leads Silver Salmon DerbyMcGahee agrees to contract with BillsSource: Jaguars, Leftwich agree to termsPistons sign Richard HamiltonClarett academic information sent to NCAAMariners activate Sasaki

Birch Ridge Report: Autumn on the approach
Autumn is definitely lurking outside yellow leaves are swirling around driveways, flowers are wilting from exhaustion, some people are sheep hunting while others are mowing the lawn (Did I write that out loud?).

In golf, as in life, Daly keeps driving too hard
Sweat soaked his royal blue shirt and the back of his pants down to his knees as John Daly waited 20 minutes for the tee to clear Tuesday at Oak Hill.

Eagles could be down another running back
BETHLEHEM, Pa. The Philadelphia Eagles might be missing another running back.

The Next Level: Carreon to play at Southwestern Oregon
Carlos Carreon, a 2002 graduate of Kenai Central, will play soccer at Southwestern Oregon College in Coos Bay, Ore.

Kenai Golf Report: Chrysler Open a success
The Kenai Golf Course once again offered Kenai some awesome golf while hosting the fifth annual Kenai Chrysler Open. There were 30-plus pros that took on the Kenai Golf Course, many playing for their fifth time while others were new to the tournament. The weather was simply unbelievable and the excitement was felt for four days over the entire golf course.

X Games getting bigger each year
LOS ANGELES All of 250 people were there for Jamie Bestwick's first BMX competition in 1984, near his hometown of Nottingham, England.

Sprinter tests positive for ephedrine
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic The United States lost two gold medals at the Pan American Games on Tuesday after sprinter Mickey Grimes failed a doping test.

Brooks remembered as great innovator
MINNEAPOLIS Playing hockey for Herb Brooks usually brought a bounty of rewards, even though few of his protges realized that right away.

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