Sunday, September 22, 2002

Unemployment Rate Rises in August
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska's unemployment rate rose to 5.8 percent in August, up 0.8 percent from the figure a year ago, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported Friday.

Trial begins in 1994 murder of man and woman
KENAI (AP) -- The lawyer for a man charged with murdering a couple in 1994 told jurors that his client's confession to police was false.

State receives dismal review of child protection service
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A comprehensive federal review of Alaska's system of protecting children from abuse or neglect has found widespread deficiencies.

Mudslide knocks out hydropower to Juneau
JUNEAU (AP) -- A mudslide toppled two transmission towers Saturday 20 miles south of Juneau, knocking out power to the capital.

Oil exporters, importers battle over OPEC decision on crude prices
OSAKA, Japan (AP) -- OPEC's decision to the hold the line on crude output led the top U.S. energy official to push again for more oil from Alaska. Energy producers and consumers are meeting at a high-profile conference this weekend, officials said.

Frey re-elected AFL-CIO executive president
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Delegates to the state AFL-CIO convention in Fairbanks re-elected Mano Frey as executive president of the labor organization last week.

Anchorage murder sentenced to 61 years
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man convicted of murder at a summer party was sentenced Friday to 61 years in prison.

Juneau man enters plea to hunting charges
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Juneau man pleaded no contest Thursday to three charges connected to a brown bear hunt near the Endicott River in spring 2001.

Supreme Court reverses wrongful termination dismissal
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Alaska Supreme Court has reinstated a wrongful termination lawsuit of a man who claimed he was formed to quit his job at the Interior Regional Housing Authority.

NRA backs Murkowski
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The National Rifle Association announced Friday it had endorsed Republican Frank Murkowski for governor.

Ulmer touts education, fast ferries to Juneau Chamber
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska's schools would have received $13 million more this year if lawmakers had inflation-proofed the state's foundation formula, Democrat candidate for governor Fran Ulmer said Friday.

Investigator recommends dismissing issue ad complaints
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Alaska Public Office Commission investigator has recommended dismissing campaign finance complaints against the Murkowski for Governor campaign and a Virginia group that ran critical television ads targeting Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer and Gov. Tony Knowles.

More than 5,000 to be denied permanent fund dividends
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The number of residents ineligible for Alaska Permanent Fund dividends because of criminal records will jump by 35 percent this year, according to Department of Revenue estimates.

Stevens confident about bypass mail legal challenge
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- New mail-hauling rules should withstand legal challenges from two airlines, according to U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Southeast Alaska leaders back ferry changes
CRAIG (AP) -- The Southeast Conference has gone on record supporting a restructuring of the management of the Alaska Marine Highway System, but the group isn't backing any particular option.

Anchorage police reassign head of dispatch unit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The officer in charge of dispatchers at the Anchorage Police Department has been reassigned, six weeks after police could not find the Eagle River home of former Alaska State Trooper head Glenn Godfrey the night he was killed.

Stevens pans editorial on gas pipeline
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Wall Street Journal editorial has eroded congressional support for a proposed Alaska natural gas pipeline, said U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

Rockies top Diamondbacks
DENVER -- The Arizona Diamondbacks lost Brian Anderson to a broken foot and wasted a chance to clinch a playoff berth for the second straight day, blowing a five-run lead and losing to the Colorado Rockies 15-8 Saturday.

Yanks clinch fifth-straight East title
DETROIT -- Andy Pettitte pitched seven strong innings and Mariano Rivera returned from the disabled list as the New York Yankees clinched their fifth straight AL East title with a 3-2 win Saturday over the Detroit Tigers.

Don't forget, it's Healthy Aging Month
September is Healthy Aging Month. Recent research has demonstrated that activities that engage the mind of older adults can improve memory function -- one aspect of healthy aging.

Houston topples Seahawks
The Hawks dealt the Seahawks a 60-6 setback Saturday in a Great Land Conference game at Houston.

Soldotna routs East
The Soldotna High School football team rolled to a 43-6 victory over a junior varsity squad from East High School Saturday in Soldotna, but the win didn't turn out exactly as Soldotna coach Sarge Truesdell would have liked.

Houston topples Seahawks
The Hawks dealt the Seahawks a 60-6 setback Saturday in a Great Land Conference game at Houston.

Victim's ex-wife testifies in trial of murder suspect
The former wife of a 1994 murder victim and ex-girlfriend of his accused killer, Billy D. Smith, testified Friday that she was devastated when Smith told her of his involvement in the killing.

Longtime dispatcher to hang up headset
Twenty-nine years of experience walk out the door of the Alaska State Troopers Soldotna headquarters Friday, when 911 dispatcher Judy Nelson retires.

VinZant: Not much difference between parties
Soldotna's Ray VinZant Sr. will be the Republican Moderate candidate on this year's state ballot for governor.

DEC gives fuel cleanup update
Efforts to remove fuel from beneath Sterling are moving forward, though not everyone is convinced the state is doing enough to protect the Kenai River -- and Sterling residents -- from petroleum contamination.

Contract negotiations come to impasse
Contract negotiations for teachers and support staff in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District reached an impasse Friday. The process will now go before a federal mediator.

Philip Theodore Ames
Kenai resident Philip Theodore Ames died in his home Thursday, Sept. 19, 2002. He was 80.

National Dog Week reminds us to celebrate our 4-legged friends
It was 12 years ago that I got my first dog. I'm not talking about the kind I had when I was growing up that belonged to the whole family. I'm talking about being on my own and having to take full responsibility for an actual other living creature.

Proposition 4 would do more harm than good
One of the most talked about issues on the Oct. 1 ballot is Proposition No. 4, which would exempt the sale of all nonprepared food items from the borough's sales tax.

Letters to the Editor
Sales tax issue should serve as wake-up call to officialsProposition No. 4 exacerbates already unequal tax situationCredible air carrier of comparable size needed to compete with EraImpounding cars of drunken drivers would help make highways saferTeachers only want to be fairly compensated for talent, hard work

Autumn moon set
The harvest moon sets Saturday morning behind the Chigmit Mountains near Mount Redoubt. The harvest moon is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox. Because it rises close to sunset and sets close to sunrise, the harvest moon gives farmers extra light to work in their fields.

Goblins, Snow White, clowns, ghosts wanted
Did you ever dress up for Halloween? The Peninsula Clarion is seeking fun photographs of kids of all ages in costume for an upcoming edition.

Dog takes her tips from patrons
FAIRBANKS -- It's Monday night at the Midnite Mine and bar owner Bob Moloney is keeping a sharp eye on his patrons. So is his yellow Labrador, Sam.

Anderson, Every finally tie the knot
Amber Anderson and Travis Every, both of Kenai, were united in marriage Saturday, July 20, 2002, at the home of Cotton Moore on the Moose River in Sterling. Dustin Every officiated. The bride is the daughter of Margie and Steven Anderson of Kenai.

Around the Peninsula
Hockey booster club to meetChamber to host candidate forumWRCC board to meetSeniors plan benefit dinnerChurch to hold dinnerCommunity blood drives plannedCollege seeks representatives

Kentucky pair recognized as world's oldest couple
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- A couple who said ''I do'' 83 years ago have been officially recognized as the world's oldest living married couple.

Kenai family exemplifies hard work, community service
Sometimes boring is a good thing. Tim and Terri Wisniewski of Kenai describe themselves as being pretty dull. They aren't movie stars or secret agents, they don't race fast cars or go skydiving for entertainment, they don't speak with exotic accents (although Terri is from Minnesota), they aren't famous and they don't particularly want to be.

My Best Friend
Sasha, a cocker spaniel mix, and Scruffy, a cockatiel, visit between "Papa" Bill Thompson's feet. Mr. Thompson, who lived in Kenai, died in April. Sasha was his front-seat companion when he drove around town running errands.

Wedding leads to 'Pack'ed house
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The wedding wasn't exactly traditional. There were a few cheese-headed guests, an Elvis impersonator and the legendary Packalope -- half-deer, half-Packers fan.

U.S. stays alive in Davis Cup
PARIS (AP) -- Don't count out the U.S. Davis Cup team just yet.

Knowles repeats
Kenai Central senior Rachel Knowles scored 353.25 points Friday to take her second straight Kenai 11-Dive Meet. Knowles improved on her score of 300.55 for the victory, and easily had enough to top Heidi Biggs' 213.40 points.

Soldotna swimmers sweep Kenai, Colony
The Soldotna High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams followed up a big night at the SoHi Pentathlon with a sweep of the competition Saturday in a three-team, dual-scoring meet at Soldotna.

SoHi girls come up golden; Kenai boys make state
Five Kenai Peninsula high school cross country teams earned an invitation to state at Palmer High School next Saturday with the Soldotna girls leading the way.

Stars outlast Kenai netters
Sometimes, taking a step back for a deep breath can make all the difference in the world.

Beeson leads Cook Inlet Academy to Region II championship
Behind individual champion Brian Beeson, the Cook Inlet Academy boys team won the Region II, Class 1-2-3A Cross Country Championships Saturday at Susitna Valley. The race was held under sunny skies and the watchful presence of Denali.

Kiffmeyer, Sorrell defend SoHi Pentathlon titles
Last year, Jenna Syverson's illness and Sarah Brettrager's disqualification opened the door for Soldotna's Abby Kiffmeyer to claim her first SoHi Pentathlon crown.

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