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Thursday, September 4, 2003

Seals and whirlpools: The majesty of Southeast's Stephens Passage
STEPHENS PASSAGE (AP) The scenery was ethereal. The clouds steel gray, blue and white had slung themselves low over the tops of the mountains, settled comfortably but immovably, as though hiding a grand celestial secret. The water, a deep blue on this stretch of Stephens Passage, was dotted with icebergs that bounced in the Adventure Bound's wake.

Contract awarded for Kodiak Launch Complex
KODIAK (AP) The Alaska Aerospace Development Corp. has been awarded a contract of up to $8 million to handle two or three Missile Defense Agency launches in the next year from the Kodiak Launch Complex.

Feds approve state's plan to fix child protection services
JUNEAU (AP) Alaska's two-year plan to improve its child protection services was approved by regulators with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state officials said Tuesday.

Anchorage man faces sentence for tampering charge
ANCHORAGE (AP) A man acquitted of a notorious Anchorage murder has agreed to accept a 6 1/2 year prison term for his conviction on a tampering with evidence charge.

Feds approve state's plan to fix child protection services
JUNEAU (AP) Alaska's two-year plan to improve its child protection services was approved by regulators with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state officials said Tuesday.

Date set for permanent fund dividend announcement
JUNEAU (AP) The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. will announce the amount of the 2003 fund dividends Sept. 24 at its annual meeting.

Two injured after driving into wire
BETHEL (AP) Two residents of Napaskiak were injured on a four-wheeler after they drove into a wire that had been strung across a boardwalk.

Law enforcement split over home pot enforcement
ANCHORAGE (AP) Alaska law enforcement agencies are split in their reaction to a state Court of Appeals decision last week that adult Alaskans have the right to possess a modest amount of marijuana in their homes for personal use.

Anchorage trail plan unveiled
ANCHORAGE (AP) Municipal officials unveiled details of a new trail patrol program that they hope will field more than 1,000 volunteer patrollers by spring.

ANWR decision figures to come late in energy bill discussion
WASHINGTON (AP) The chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee wants a national energy bill to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

One man hurt in gas line fire
ANCHORAGE (AP) A natural gas main ruptured and a fire ignited Tuesday in the city's Midtown area, injuring one road construction worker, a deputy fire chief said.

Anchorage man faces sentence for tampering charge
ANCHORAGE (AP) A man acquitted of a notorious Anchorage murder has agreed to accept a 6 1/2 year prisoner term for his conviction on a tampering with evidence charge.

Former commissioner, racketeer dies in Portland
ANCHORAGE (AP) Lewis M. ''Lew'' Dischner, who served as Alaska's first state commissioner of labor and was convicted of racketeering after leaving office, died Tuesday in Portland, Ore. He was 85.

Stevens defends Boeing lease-purchase deal
WASHINGTON (AP) Sen. Ted Stevens, the author of a plan to have the Air Force lease 100 Boeing 767s to use as aerial tankers, defended the $17 billion arrangement against accusations that it is a sweetheart deal for Boeing.

One person arrested, one sought in attempted drowning
KOBUK (AP) A woman was in jail Wednesday and a man was being sought in an attempted drowning of a 31-year-old man whose face was held down in a puddle, Alaska State Troopers said.

Military awards contracts to Alaska refineries
FAIRBANKS (AP) Owners of two North Pole oil refineries have won roughly $90 million in contracts to provide jet fuel to Alaska's military, according to the Department of Defense.

Many view, few pay after Anchorage posts deadbeat list
ANCHORAGE (AP) More than 37,000 hits were logged over the holiday weekend on the city's delinquent debt Web site after its launch was announced Friday, the mayor's office said.

Fairbanks assembly considers fate of presiding officer
FAIRBANKS (AP) Some Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly members are calling for the resignation of Rick Solie as the governing body's top official after Solie's arrest early Saturday on a charge of driving under the influence.

Man hurt in gas line fire
ANCHORAGE (AP) A man injured in a natural gas main explosion and fire has been released from the hospital.

Three dead in airplane crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) Three people have died in a plane crash about 50 miles southwest of Glennallen.

Flooding hits Interior roads again
FAIRBANKS (AP) Heavy weekend rain again lifted the Chena River over its banks and onto a highway east of Fairbanks.

Oil exploration license offered in Bristol Bay
ANCHORAGE (AP) The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas has received two expressions of interest in its oil exploration license offering in the Bristol Bay region.

University sees enrollment increase
FAIRBANKS (AP) A record 600 students showed up for orientation activities at the University of Alaska Fairbanks last weekend.

Two districts interested in state correspondence school
JUNEAU (AP) Two school districts Juneau and Yukon-Koyukuk have expressed an interest in taking over Alyeska Central School, the state's 64-year-old correspondence school.

Barrow Native corporation buys oil consulting firm
ANCHORAGE (AP) A Barrow Native corporation has bought a controlling interest in Emerald Consulting Group, an Anchorage-based firm that provides services to the oil industry.

Mother makes canned whale care package for soldier son
ANCHORAGE (AP) Stuck in the dusty Iraqi desert, soldier Jared Wallace wrote to his mother about the suffocating 110-degree heat and asked for a care package.

Alaska could lose 100 AmeriCorps jobs without more federal funding
ANCHORAGE (AP) More than 100 full-time AmeriCorps-funded jobs in Alaska could be lost next year without a $100 million infusion from Congress, supporters of the program said.

North Slope: No place for cowboys behind the wheel
PRUDHOE BAY (AP) The North Slope oil patch is a Far North high lonesome, with its broad tundra plains, dusty roads and work camps scattered like frontier towns along the horizon.

Wickersham Wall is adventurous judge's legacy
FAIRBANKS (AP) In the first copy of the first newspaper to be published in Fairbanks, there was a short notice of another original undertaking.

State trooper involved in collision
ANCHORAGE (AP) An Alaska State Trooper who was trying to catch a speeding driver was involved in a collision earlier this week near Mile 60 of the Seward Highway.

Boston remains hot by winning Sox battle
CHICAGO Trot Nixon and Gabe Kapler hit solo home runs, and John Burkett finally got his 10th win Tuesday night as the Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox 2-1.

Cubs, Cardinals split day-night double dip
CHICAGO Matt Morris outpitched Kerry Wood and Jim Edmonds hit his second homer of day as the Cardinals beat Cubs to split their day-night doubleheader Tuesday night.

XTO eyes Cook Inlet for coal-bed methane
XTO Energy Inc. hopes to tap a new source of natural gas from its two operating platforms in Cook Inlet coal-bed gas from thick coal seams that underlie much of the inlet.

Forget Big Brother; worry about corporate America
SEATTLE George Orwell had it wrong.

Business Briefs
4-H champion pig, lamb to be soldHEA's Eckert named to energy policy task forceEstate planning seminar to be offered

NorthStar planning to drill second gas well in 2004
NorthStar Energy Group Inc. plans to drill another well in early 2004 in its North Fork gas field in the southern Kenai Peninsula.

Court halts new FCC ownership regulations
PHILADELPHIA An appeals court Wednesday blocked the implementation of new federal rules that would allow a single company to own newspapers and broadcast outlets in the same city.

California girl finds home in bluegrass
SAN FRANCISCO Gillian Welch thrives on stripping music down to its barest necessities.

Photo history highlights arctic aviation
The high Arctic combines haunting beauty with a brutal climate that devours men and machines. Like the intrepid seamen who preceded them, aviators have braved almost unimaginable hardships to explore its secrets. But unlike sailors, aviators can travel farther, faster and bring back incredible birds eye vistas to armchair travelers.

People get soup, chance to help community during artful dinner
The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank's seventh annual Soup Supper and Auction on Friday will have a wider variety of items for patrons to bid on than ever before and an increased need for the money generated by those purchases.

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

Art Briefs
Community chorus looking for membersSymphony holding auditionsSong of the Year deadline nearsGuitar class offeredMuseum seeks artworkClay show open for entryArtists in Schools solicits interest

Luncheon brings back memories
We would like to thank Rachel and her staff at the Kenai Senior Center and all the volunteers who helped make our Old-timers Luncheon a success. We know this was a lot of extra work, and we appreciate it.

Reader thanks King family for sharing story of smoking
Thank you for publishing the article on the King family Aug. 24. I would like to thank Edward and Lorraine King for sharing what they are going through. I lost my husband of 32 years to lung cancer almost 12 years ago. He was only 59 and did not get to see his beautiful granddaughter graduate and get accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy. He never saw his fantastic baby grandson, and I lost the best friend I had ever had.

Literacy project turns into lessons about global community, generosity
"When children have the opportunity to read, especially in English, they have the greatest tool for self-advancement. We have no idea whether any of these children will grow up to be a great scientist who will cure AIDS or a great leader of the nation. But we do know that without books, it will be impossible.

Hospice appreciates support
The volunteers, staff and board of directors of Hospice of the Central Peninsula wish to express our appreciation to the Kenai Peninsula Board of Realtors for its continued support and commitment to our organization. We thank all those who worked so hard and those who participated in the Realtors' annual Spring Fling for Hospice. Special thanks to Dorothy Cunningham for her efforts to organize this special event.

Race Schedule
February 16 to November 16, 2003

Money Leaders
1. Jimmie Johnson $4,164,9552. Kurt Busch 4,066,5403. Kevin Harvick 3,746,376

Retirement thoughts on minds of veterans
RICHMOND, Va. At 46, Terry Labonte answered as many questions last week about retirement as he did about winning the Southern 500 to break a four-year long losing streak.

This week's race: Rock and Roll 400
Where and When

Points Leaders
1. Matt Kenseth 3,7182. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3,3293. Kevin Harvick 3,303

Nemechek won't return to race team
RICHMOND, Va. The reward Joe Nemechek has received for all three of his NASCAR Winston Cup Series victories is a pink slip.

Newsmaker: Brendan Gaughan
Brendan Gaughan leads the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with four wins, but he's eight points out of first place in the drivers' standings. The Las Vegas native talked about why the truck series title is so close and the Winston Cup Series race is such a blowout, as well as his future plans.

Gravel pit application sent back
A Board of Adjustment has sent an Anchor Point gravel pit application back to the Kenai Peninsula Borough

Challenger Center adds to surroundings with sign, fountain
Although the Challenger Learn-ing Center of Alaska's financial ground is somewhat shaky of late, the grounds surrounding the building have noticeably improved.

SBS landmark down temporarily; DOT needs land to make improvements
Motorists who rely on the quotes on Soldotna Spenard Builders Supply's sign for inspiration, enlightenment, a chuckle or a way to pass the time as the Kalifornsky Beach Road-Sterling Highway intersection traffic lights slowly change from red to green may be shocked the next time they pass through the area: The sign is gone.

Murkowski picks Kenai, Kodiak judges
An Anchorage assistant attorney general was appointed to the Kenai Superior Court bench Tuesday by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Agrium avoids more staff cuts
In spite of a second natural gas supply cutback from the Unocal Corp., the Agrium Kenai Nitrogen Operation has been able to avoid further staff reductions.

Project GRAD kicks off in Kenai
Project GRAD USA has officially arrived on the Kenai Peninsula.

Salmon project request falls short
The Cook Inlet Salmon Branding Project will get $192,000 of the $635,000 the borough received in federal dollars aimed at revitalizing Alaska's fisheries, thanks to an ordinance passed Tuesday night by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Paraplegic climber summits Mount Fuji
ATOP MOUNT FUJI, Japan A former Soldotna resident who lost the use of his legs in a car accident as a teenager reached the peak of Mount Fuji on Wednesday, the first successful climb of its kind.

Jessie Marie Mettille
Soldotna resident Jessie Marie Mettille died Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2003, surrounded by her family at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 84.

Pamela Kay Sawle-Self
Ninilchik resident Pamela Kay Sawle-Self died Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2003, at her home in Ninilchik of cancer. She was 48.

EPA report downplaying Sept. 11 health hazards deserves full response
In a national epidemic, there's the CDC. If there's a devastating flood or fire, FEMA takes over. But after New York City's air was contaminated Sept. 11, 2001

University of Georgia's treatment of Vince Dooley sad commentary on America
My love for watching football would seem to have little to do with a column dedicated to analyzing public opinion on weightier topics. But the start of the gridiron season reminds me that there's something afoot in the world of college athletics that should be of interest to anyone who's reached age 70, whether they like sports or not.

Patience should remain at core of U.S. efforts in reconstructing Iraq
Three items of news ... have collided and will likely cause some to wonder about the wisdom of having the United States continue its effort in Iraq.

Destruction of chemical weapons deadly business
When the issue is deadly toxins, there's no room for error. That's why American taxpayers are spending billions of dollars to destroy chemical weapons in Anniston and why officials there insisted that millions of dollars be spent on emergency response gear.

Around the Peninsula
Soroptimists to meetBlood drive plannedBasketball league deadline nearsGirl Scouts plan garage sale fund-raiserPools offer new fall schedules

Celebration, blood drive set for Sept. 11
The mayors of Soldotna and Kenai will hold the Mayors Salute to Community Service and Twin Cities Blood Drive.

Around the Peninsula
Driving safety class offeredHealth group to meetHelp available for day care providersGrandparents day breakfast plannedHospital service area board to meetDiscount cards benefit cancer fundHead Start registration under way

Study: Student ACT scores hold steady
The high school class of 2003 earned an average composite score of 20.8 on the ACT college entrance exam, matching last year's total, but the test-maker warned that more than half of this year's students may not be ready for college-level coursework in either math or science.

As parents wise up, kids find online time curtailed
Stephen Pearson saw his children's grades slip. His older daughter was falling asleep in school, after staying up until the wee hours chatting with friends online.

Juneau gravel pit becomes park, outdoor lab for students
JUNEAU No construction was done on the Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School building this summer. But when students return to the school, they'll find a new laboratory to help them study wetland ecosystems.

Around the District
School board meets MondayKPC plans meeting, seeks council representatives

District School News
News from schools around the district

Kickin' off a new year at KPC
The summer break is over today as students at Kenai Peninsula College head back to classes in Soldotna, Homer and Seward.

School progress reports offer small glimpse of bigger picture
More than a decade ago, Alaska launched a massive effort called the Alaska Quality Initiative. Part of that initiative was defining what all students should know and be able to do as a result of their educational experience. Businesses, parents, students and educators came together, setting the Alaska content and performance standards. The next step was the development of tests and assessments to measure student performance against these standards.

First day of classes perfect time for a barbecue
Kenai Peninsula College invites everyone to join in the fun at the annual community "Welcome Back" barbecue from 4 to 7 p.m. today. This year, the barbecue will be held behind the college's Goodrich and McLane buildings overlooking the Kenai River. Whatever the weather, count on grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, along with an array of salads and desserts.

New rules, same approach for netters
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Roddick reaches Open quarterfinals in day's only full match
NEW YORK When Andy Roddick and Xavier Malisse walked out Wednesday night for their rain-delayed U.S. Open match, they wiped the soles of their shoes on a white towel placed near the entrance to the court.

D.C. ready for some football
LANDOVER, Md. Britney. JetSkins. Prime time in the nation's capital.

'Clearly, we're the overdogs right about now'
Ignorance of the rules is no defense, but it's the only one U.S. sprinter Kelli White has.

Sports Briefs
Twenty-six finish Homer Half MarathonSeward netters top SoldotnaLions running back Stewart to miss seasonBryant's attorneys ask for accuser's records

Kenai Golf Report: Weather being nice to golfers
The weather in unbelievable and the Kenai Golf Course is in wonderful shape. We're certainly hoping this coming weekend the weather continues during the Kenai/Birch Ridge Association tournament.

Birch Ridge Report: 'Fore!' Or rather, 'Duck!'
I'm going duck hunting. Oh, don't get your feathers ruffled; I will be nowhere near a golf course, so no need to worry about anything straying your way.

Clarett could miss entire season
COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger said Tuesday night that he doubted sophomore tailback Maurice Clarett would return to the defending national champions this season.

Jets-'Skins: A grudge match between teams that rarely play
The New York Jets and Washington Redskins have met only seven times. Yet their season-opener Thursday night has all the makings of a grudge match.

Has Duval hit rock bottom?
David Duval no longer works on weekends, the result of a slump identified as much by his posture as the numbers on his scorecard.

Agassi pounds Dent out of Open
NEW YORK A long, rainy day turned into a short one for Andre Agassi.

Photo feature: Laidback dinner for 1
A sea otter dines on a crab in the Homer small boat harbor last week. A gull swam close behind picking up leftovers.

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