Current weather

  • Scattered clouds
  • 54°
    Scattered clouds

Friday, September 28, 2001

Two generals in charge of deciding whether to shoot down threatening jetliners
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two Air Force generals have been authorized to order the military to shoot down any civilian airliner that appears to be threatening U.S. cities, Pentagon officials said Thursday.

Craig man sentenced for disturbing Native grave
JUNEAU (AP) -- A self-described amateur archaeologist who pleaded guilty to disturbing a 1,400-year-old Alaska Native gravesite was sentenced to three months in prison by a federal judge on Wednesday.

Salvation Army breaks out red kettles
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Salvation Army is breaking out the red Christmas kettles early this year.

Butt deposit goes nowhere
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A proposal to charge cigarette buyers a butt deposit went up in smoke when the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly considered the measure this week. Only sponsor David Veazey voted for the measure.

Is nation prepared for germ attack?
Stashed in secure government warehouses around the country are 400 tons of antibiotics and other medical supplies ready for what seemed until two weeks ago to be an unimaginable catastrophe -- a terrorist germ attack.

Bear does $7,400 in damage to parked truck
FAIRBANKS(AP) -- An insurance agent in Cincinnati had a hard time believing a bear had caused $7,400 in damages to Jim Geier's truck.

Solar flare sidelines rocket launch
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A strong solar flare has sidelined the first orbital-bound rocket from the Kodiak Launch Complex.

Report faults cruise ship officers for response to fire
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- When a crewman's hot water kettle set fire to a cabin on board the Holland America Line cruise ship Nieuw Amsterdam 16 months ago in Glacier Bay, officer and crew members rushed to take action.

Impact of onboard gunfire uncertain, aviation experts say
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A bang and then a whistle. A bullet fired to thwart a would-be hijacker misses its intended target and pierces the cabin of a jetliner cruising at 40,000 feet.

Mayor wants nearly $11 million to prepare for terrorist attack
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Mayor George Wuerch wants nearly $11 million in federal money to help prepare the city for a massive terrorist attack.

9th Circuit denies Greenpeace challenge to Northstar oil development
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a challenge to the development of the Northstar oil field in the Beaufort Sea.

Man pleads no contest to kidnapping, raping Native women
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man charged with kidnapping and assaulting five Native women after offering them rides has pleaded no contest in a deal reached with prosecutors.

Cut birch trees angers Coastal Trail lovers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Birch trees in front of ex-governor Bill Sheffield's home next to the Coastal Trail were cut to provide a better view of Mount Susitna across Knik Arm, resulting in hard feelings and at least one complaint to the police.

Suspect in stabbing of children to plead no contest
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Jason Pritchard, the man charged with four counts of attempted murder for allegedly stabbing children at an elementary school in May, has agreed to plead no contest, prosecutors say.

Anchorage security firms experiencing a surge in business
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The terrorist attacks in New York and the Pentagon this month are generating a surge in business for Anchorage security firms.

Jewish community in Juneau fears vandals on holy day
JUNEAU (AP) -- Some of Juneau's Jewish community were fearful this Yom Kippur about a resurgence of anti-Semitic graffiti that hit Juneau just before another Jewish holiday.

Oil companies say North Slope gas pipeline too pricey
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Oil companies looking into the feasibility of building a natural gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope to the Lower 48 say the project is too pricey.

Escopeta Oil and Gas announces Cook Inlet gas reserves
HOUSTON (AP) -- Escopeta Oil and Gas of Houston, Texas estimates it has 12 trillion cubic feet of natural gas near the East Forelands area of Cook Inlet.

Fairbanks man pleads no contest to murder charge
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man has pleaded no contest to a first-degree murder charge in the stabbing death of a woman.

Threatened eiders get $550,000 federal conservation grant
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska will receive federal funds to manage habitat for two threatened bird species on the North Slope.

Big marijuana bust in Big Lake
BIG LAKE (AP) -- Drug enforcement officers made a big marijuana bust in Big Lake, Alaska State Troopers said.

Alaska National Guard could be activated for airport security
JUNEAU (AP) -- More than 200 members of the Alaska National Guard could be called to active duty to provide security at the state's airports, state officials said Thursday.

Elmendorf Air Force Base opens privately financed housing
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Where spruce trees grew six months ago, 120 new homes have sprouted up on Elmendorf Air Force Base, the first privately financed housing on base and an attempt to improve living quarters for airmen and their families.

Unalaska OKs $100,000 donation to terrorist attack victims
UNALASKA (AP) -- The Unalaska City Council approved a $100,000 donation for the victims of the terrorist attacks.

Tribal group developing regional trash plant
KAKE (AP) -- Kake Tribal Corp. hopes to build a regional solid-waste incinerator on its land on Kupreanof Island northwest of Petersburg, corporation officials said.

Livey to replace Perdue as health and social services commissioner
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles picked a deputy commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services to head the agency when outgoing Commissioner Karen Perdue leaves in October.

Fuel spills in plane mishap on North Slope airstrip
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Northern Air Cargo plane skidded off the Alpine oil field airstrip, catching fire when some fuel tanks on board ruptured, the Alaska Department of Conservation said Wednesday.

Livey to replace Perdue as health and social services commissioner
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles picked a deputy commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services to head the agency when outgoing Commissioner Karen Perdue leaves in October.

Murkowski threatening to hold up Senate business for energy bill
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, is threatening to stall Senate business unless Democratic leaders agree to proceed with an energy bill.

Henderson takes back seat to Bonds
SAN DIEGO -- Don't forget about Rickey! While Barry Bonds chases Mark McGwire's home-run record, and Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn collect retirement gifts, Rickey Henderson has been quietly -- yes, Rickey can do things quietly -- pursuing a record that's as simple as it is important.

Mariners complete sweep of Angels
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Bret Boone ran his RBI total to 135 with a two-run single as the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 7-5 Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

Phillies stay one game behind Atlanta
PHILADELPHIA -- Randy Wolf pitched a one-hitter, giving up Raul Gonzalez's first major league hit in the opening inning, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-0 Wednesday night.

State's jobless rate steady
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska's August unemployment rate remained steady at 5 percent from the previous month, the state labor department said.

Salmon sale to aid N.Y. firefighters
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Cordova fishermen are teaming with the Anchorage Fire Department for an Alaska-style fund-raiser to benefit New York City firefighters: a salmon sale.

Senators say ANWR drilling chances better after attack
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Alaska's senators are not bringing up the subject, but when asked, they say that prospects for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge improved after hijacked jets crashed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Shock from attacks send joblessness skyrocketing
WASHINGTON (AP) -- New claims for unemployment benefits rocketed to a nine-year high last week as the terror attacks started showing up in national economic statistics.

Cruise ships promote onshore shops -- for a price
SKAGWAY -- When cruise ship passenger Evonne Yfantis attended an on-board lecture listing ''recommended'' shops in Skagway, she had no idea the shops had paid for the exposure.

Osterman: 'Necessities of human life' should be free of taxes
Mark Osterman of Kasilof came to Alaska in June 2000. He is seeking election as the District 7 representative on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Crawford: Incumbent committed to continued improvements
Retired teacher and Kenai resident Lorraine "Sammy" Crawford was appointed to fill a school board vacancy in 1998, then elected to retain the seat. She is now running for a second term.

School board races offer options
Voters can make a real difference this year in the future of area schools.

Powell: Existing industries should get borough's attention first
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly District 3 incumbent Mark Powell said he supports the people's right to vote on the proposal to build a private prison near Kenai.

Fischer: Experience equips him to solve constituents' problems
Paul Fischer has been in Alaska 32 years. He has served on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly from 1976 until 1982, in the Alaska Senate from 1982 until 1992, and held the assembly's District 7 seat since 1999.

Reynolds: System critic wants to return focus to kids, parents
Linda Reynolds has lived on the Kenai Peninsula since 1974 and first threw her hat into the political ring last year, when she ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for a legislative seat.

Proposition 3 seeks OK for capital upgrades
A decision to upgrade the Borough Building is in the hands of voters Tuesday.

Election won't fill some service area seats
Wanted: 31 Kenai Peninsula Borough hard-working and dedicated residents to fill 31 openings on nine borough service area boards.

Soldotna council hopefuls debate
The two candidates running in the only contested race in Tuesday's Soldotna City Council election faced off before the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon this week.

DeMilta: Candidate pushes for more parent power in schools
Michele DeMilta said the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District lets problems slide, and she wants to get on the school board to fix them.

Skipwith: Prison example of 'poorly planned expenditures'
Dan Skipwith of Kasilof is a 25-year Alaska resident. He ran for borough mayor in 1999, and is currently a candidate for the District 7 seat on the Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly.

Fate of private prison in voters' hands
At 8 p.m. Tuesday, the polls will close around the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and the borough government either will be seeing red or green. Red, as in a red light, means the proposed private prison deal is off. Green, as in green light, means the borough can pursue the project.

Tauriainen: More land should be made available to individuals
Mike Tauriainen, a 40-year Alaska resident and former Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board member, is a candidate for Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly District 4.

Candidates discuss views at forum
The public heard Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly candidates answer questions from the League of Women voters on Sept. 20. After candidates introduced themselves, responded to four questions and gave a summation, the public questioned the individuals running for seats in District 3 (Nikiski), District 4 (Soldotna) and District 7 (Tustumena).

Gilman: Board would benefit from her classroom perspective
School Board Seat 'C' candidate Margaret Gilman has invested a lot of time into the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

Germano: Board president's priority is increased state funding
Deborah Germano was first elected to the school board in 1995. The Homer parent, restaurant owner and telephone technician is now the board president.

Fletcher: Candidate advocates new approaches to education
Homer parent Barrett Fletcher said he did not want to run for school board, but felt duty-bound to do so because the Kenai Peninsula district needs leadership in a new direction.

Dyson: Retired school custodian would offer fresh perspective
Gene Dyson retired from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District three years ago, but he remains involved with education issues.

Incumbents challenged for borough assembly seats
One-third of the nine-member borough assembly is up for grabs in Tuesday's election. The openings are in Districts 3, 4 and 7, and each is for a three-year term.

Wassilie: Incumbent gives eastern peninsula voice on board
Sandra Wassilie said she is the first representative from the eastern peninsula to run for a Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board seat in eight years.

Sprague: Responsible development among borough's duties
Pete Sprague is the incumbent running for the District 4 spot on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. He is a 26-year Alaska resident and has served on the assembly since October 1998. He also served on the Soldotna City Council from October 1997 until January 1999.

Holle: Board needs better communication with district parents
Debra Holle manages the Kenai Peninsula office of the American Red Cross, but she's ready to take on the challenge of restructuring the Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board.

Superman: Borough should not be involved with private prison
The proposal for a private prison near Kenai is the defining issue in the campaign for the seat representing Nikiski and Tyonek on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, said challenger Gary Superman.

Fishing outing sparks memory
Five of us sat in the boat at 3 a.m. with hands stuffed into pockets for warmth on a clear night showing a million stars.

The tying nun
SALT LAKE CITY -- Sister Carol Ann Corley, the Tying Nun, is a fly-fishing whiz looking to teach children a great lifelong habit.

Fonda to lead parade
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Peter Fonda will lead the Hollywood Christmas Parade of Stars.

Art Briefs
Mozart concert read-through todaySoldotna area singers will begin rehearsing Oct. 18.'Nutcracker' auditions plannedGoblins, ghosts, Wonder Women wantedArt proposals sought

Animal hospital gallery lets owner, artists shine
An animal hospital may seem like an unlikely place for an art gallery, but believe it or not, the walls and loft of the Soldotna Animal Hospital are exactly that.

Plays sought for Prince William Sound theatre conference
The Prince William Sound Community College Last Frontier Theatre Conference, featuring Edward Albee and the Edward Albee Last Frontier Playwright Award, is preparing for the 10th annual Last Frontier Theater Conference June 15-24.

Home run: 'Hardball' combines humor, drama, life lessons
''Hardball'' is a two-hankie sports soap opera, but don't hold that against it. With surprising melodrama, the film packs some powerful emotional swings that will hearten the toughest of jeering crowds.

Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center
Area arts group changes namePeninsulawide arts meeting Oct. 20'Earth Fire and Fibre' opens in Kenai'First Thursdays' to be launched in October2002 Summer art exhibitionContacts needed for new arts directoryCenter receives museum grant

What's Happening
Best Bets Events and ExhibitsEntertainmentDown the RoadUpcoming EventsAnchorage EventsFilms

Grid season down to the wire
Put away those slide rules and calculators -- those aren't going to help in determining which high school football teams from the Northern Lights Conference will be making appearances in the small schools playoffs pending the outcome of this weekend's regular season finales.

McGarry has his eye on the ball
It always stood to reason that the favorite sport of Skyview senior Mark McGarry would be basketball.

Money leaders
1. Jeff Gordon $5,627,028 2. Dale Jarrett 3,738,438 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3,544,970

Protection One 400
Where and When

NASCAR's allure goes to Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Sherryl Dennison-Creek more has spent the past three years trying to tell her three children about the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Now she has the chance to show them.

Nascar Schedule
Feb. 18 through Nov. 23

Dale Jr. rescues racing when it needs it most
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. helped stock car racing get back on its feet in July with an emotional victory at Daytona International Speedway the same track where his father died five months earlier.

Points standings
1. Jeff Gordon 3,928 2. Ricky Rudd 3,716 3. Tony Stewart 3,516

Livey to replace Perdue as head of Health and Social Services
JUNEAU -- Gov. Tony Knowles picked a deputy commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services to head the agency when outgoing Commissioner Karen Perdue leaves in October.

Bush tones down war rhetoric; thousands of layoffs announced
WASHINGTON -- Delta Air Lines announced thousands of layoffs Wednesday in a jarring prelude to a new administration bid to restore confidence in air travel following the terrorist attacks. Pakistan reported broad agreement with the U.S. military on a plan to strike Osama bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan.

Pro-prison forces well-heeled
Pro-private prison forces have combined to raise $147,213 in the race to pass Proposition 1 in Tuesday's election. That's nearly three-times as much as the $50,409 raised by those against the plan.

Forces mobilized
WASHINGTON -- Governors pledged Thursday to mobilize National Guard troops against terrorism at airports, where jobs are drying up because of travelers' jitters. The Pentagon said it has authority to attack hijacked airliners as a last resort.

Military reservists leave jobs, say goodbye to families
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A week ago, Terri Hall and her husband were planning their island honeymoon. Now the newlyweds are preparing for a separation; neither knows for how long.

Soldotna to paint hydrants, honor emergency personnel
The loss of more than 300 firefighters and police officers after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., has raised national recognition of the sacrifices these public servants make in the community.

Homecoming bonfire plans rekindled
Kenai Central High School students were dismayed last weekend when plans for their annual homecoming bonfire went down in flames.

Photo feature: Harvest
Martha Stevens helps her 2-year-old daughter Kendra pick berries Wednesday during a field trip with the Kenaitze Cuya Qyui' Anen Head Start Preschool. The youngsters visited the tribe's offices off Beaver Loop for the berry-gathering experience.

Donna C. Freer
Kenai resident Donna C. Freer died Thursday, Sept. 20, 2001, at the Providence Alaska Medical Center. She was 43.

Soldotna City Council: Stein should keep seat
Of the three open seats on the Soldotna City Council, there is only a race in one: Jane Stein and Fred Sturman are running for the opportunity to serve in Seat D for a three-year term. For the other open seats, Sharon Moock and Audrey Porter are running unopposed.

Letters to the Editor
Mayor Williams' experience, connections will better serve citizens of KenaiSchool board needs people with vision to serve varied needs of all district's kidsIf problem is alcohol-related offenses, maybe there's better answer than prisonPrivate prison offers chance to break cycle of alcohol-induced recidivismWho stands to benefit most from private prison plan?

Soldotna Prop. 1: Events center plan deserves 'Yes' vote
When Soldotna voters go to the polls Tuesday, not only will they be asked about a private prison proposal, reapportionment and expansion and improvement of the Borough Building, but they also will be asked to approve the sale of up to $3.5 million in bonds for an events and conference center.

Letters to the Editor
Voting on Tuesday sends strong message about America's strengthHelp wanted ad doesn't indicate kind of wages Cornell promisesPrivate prisons only accountable to shareholders, not communityPrivate, public prisons operate on opposite philosophiesBorough residents should vote 'No' on propositions 1 and 3Prison will lower quality of life on Kenai PeninsulaThere's something in private prison proposal for everyone to dislikeAttacks on President Bush in 'Doonesbury' disgusting

Ban on battery-powered ducks draws hunters' ire
SEATTLE (AP) -- A new species of duck, only recently spotted in the wilds of Washington state, has been forced into extinction.

Small town getting more than its share of black bear problems
MONARCH, Mont. (AP) -- One tried to crash an outdoor wedding dinner. Another turned into a real-life Goldilocks, taking a nap on the just-right bed on someone's screened-in front porch.

Freakish bug outbreak exploits weaknesses of unnatural forests
TAMPICO, Wash. (AP) -- This is a story about a bug, a bird and a tree.

The tying nun
SALT LAKE CITY -- Sister Carol Ann Corley, the Tying Nun, is a fly-fishing whiz looking to teach children a great lifelong habit.

Annual run of kokanee is just a trickle so far
STRAWBERRY RESERVOIR, Utah (AP) -- The kokanee are late. Or they're not coming at all. At this point no one is sure what to expect.

Nature's pallete
Tobi Tobison of Cologne, Germany, ambles along the Harding Icefield Trail last week amongst alpine tundra colored by autumn. Below, the tip of Exit Glacier empties into a Resurrection River valley similarly awash in color. The Harding Icefield Trail begins at the ranger station at Exit Glacier, which is located at the end of Exit Glacier Road in Seward. Those who plan to gain an overlook of Harding Icefield by venturing all the way to the top of the three-mile trail should be prepared to buffet frigid winds.

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge celebrates 60th birthday
Saturday we will be hosting a birthday party. Sixty years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an Executive Order establishing the Kenai National Moose Range. President Roosevelt signed the order on Dec. 16, just nine days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. This has always been a source of amazement and some pride to me, because he must have thought that providing protection of the natural resources in Alaska warranted taking action, even though the nation was about to begin a prolonged period of war.

Unconventional hunter attracts bucks by rattling antlers
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. (AP) -- Marc Jackson defies most of the common wisdom about deer hunting.

Around the Peninsula
Refuge invites community to birthday partyGood luck send-off planned for LittleFirst meeting of development council todayDragsters to celebrateFour schools serve spaghetti for disaster reliefCornell to pitch prison to seniorsCrisis intervention training slatedFish and Game committee to meet WednesdayFrontier Community Services meeting WednesdaySoroptimists to meet Thursday

Around the Peninsula
Counselors' board meeting plannedKenai schools host benefitParenting class offeredIndustries sponsor blood driveGas station to host breast cancer benefitTown meeting looks at fiscal policyCanine Good Citizen class offered

Yom Kippur observance focusing on terrorism
The solemn tone of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, was made even more somber Thursday as worshippers remembered victims of the terrorists attacks.

Photo feature: Reflection
Todd Pollock's body reflects on a window as his mind reflects upon his class work in the library at Kenai Peninsula College earlier this week. He was studying for a test in his process technology class.

Cincinnati, San Diego shooting for 3-0
The San Diego Chargers were supposed to be improved. The Cincinnati Bengals were supposed to be the same old Bungles. So it's not surprising that when the Chargers, 1-15 last year, host the Bengals on Sunday, San Diego will be favored by 6 1/2 points -- up from 4 1/2.

Shooting Stars
When Mark Devenney coached his first cross country season at Soldotna High School in 1993, Anchorage schools were treated more with awe than they were as competitors.

Redskins cut QB George
ASHBURN, Va. -- Marty Schottenheimer thought he could be the coach to make it work with Jeff George. Two weeks into the season, he gave up.

Sports Briefs
Jazz sign Stockton to a two-year contractNASCAR changes rules after seat belt case

NFL bans ephedrine and other stimulants found in popular supplements
NEW YORK -- The NFL has banned the stimulant ephedrine after being told by experts that the substance often found in strength-building food supplements can cause seizures, strokes and even death.

South Carolina looking for first win over 'Bama
South Carolina is favored, but Alabama has history on its side.

Wizards tickets a hot commodity
WASHINGTON -- Suddenly, everyone wants to see the Washington Wizards.

Second half pushes MetroStars past Galaxy
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rodrigo Faria scored twice in a four-goal second-half outburst that gave New York-New Jersey a 4-1 playoff victory over short-handed Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

Sports Briefs
Aces bring training camp to SoldotnaIron Dog represented at Winter Rec ShowKenai netters take down MarinersSeward spikers defeat GraceMarlins' Fernandez retires due to shoulder troublePosada suspension cut to five games

No. 1 'Canes pound Pitt
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Clinton Portis scored on three short runs set up by Ken Dorsey's precision passing and No. 1 Miami, showing no rust from a nearly three-week layoff, came out with its accustomed first-quarter flurry to beat Pittsburgh 43-21 Thursday night.

Unbeaten Bengals? At unbeaten Chargers?
It seems like decades since the Cincinnati Bengals played a game as meaningful as Sunday's in San Diego. Actually, it was the 1989 Super Bowl, when Boomer Esiason and Stanford Jennings took Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and John Taylor to the last 32 seconds.

Nikiski, Seward, CIA teams set to shake up pack in 1-2-3A meet
Last year, the Nikiski cross country team sent two runners to the state meet. This year, the Bulldogs are sending two teams.

Pregnant whale killed by cruise ship
JUNEAU (AP) -- The U.S. Park Service has confirmed that a cruise ship was responsible for killing a pregnant humpback whale this summer near Glacier Bay National Park.

Drought, fires cause rise in bear complaints
BRIDGEPORT, Wash. -- ''There's an old saying,'' Rick Desautel said as he threw dozens of old ham sandwiches into a live bear trap. ''If a leaf drops in the forest, an eagle can see it falling, a coyote can hear it falling, and a bear can smell it falling.''

CONTACT US

  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

MORRIS ALASKA NEWS