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Monday, October 11, 2004

Braves chop down Astros
HOUSTON As soon as Roger Clemens was gone, the Atlanta Braves pounced on the Houston Astros' bullpen and avoided another quick exit from the playoffs.

1996 NL MVP Ken Caminiti dead at 41
NEW YORK Ken Caminiti, the 1996 National League MVP who later admitted using steroids during his major league career, died Sunday. He was 41.

L.A. folds to Cards
LOS ANGELES Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals sure looked like the best team in baseball.

Yankees top Twins
MINNEAPOLIS -- For Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees, Minnesota proved to be little more than a speed bump, barely slowing them down on their race to meet the Red Sox.

Astros beat Braves
HOUSTON (AP) -- A couple of new Killer Bs have the Houston Astros one win away from ending 43 seasons of playoff failure.

Boston's Ortiz gains popularity
BOSTON -- David Ortiz has yet to steal a base for the Red Sox. He's unlikely to score from first on anything but a homer. For him to triple, something pretty awful has to happen to at least two outfielders.

Avoid falling behind, get working now
The following fall gardening tips come from "An Alaska Gardener's Fall Checklist," a publication put out by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. It is available at the Extension office on Kalifornsky Beach Road.

Fall's the time to prepare for spring
Leaves have fallen, flowers have died back and the grass no longer needs to be mowed seemingly every other day. Even so, this is no time for gardeners to give up their green thumbs for the year.

These animals need trimming, not training
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. -- The whimsical green elephant has stood in these gardens for nearly a century, getting a trim every few weeks to look his very best.

Kardinals finish Seward's season
The steady rain that began falling in the the second half of Saturday's small-schools state semifinal football game was about the only thing Seward High School fans were able to cheer as the Kenai Central Kardinals advanced to their third straight state championship game with a 48-0 win.

Soldotna subdues Eielson
The stars aligned Saturday for Soldotna High School's football team. In a game where everything clicked, the Stars beat the host Ben Eielson High School Ravens 34-20 and earned a berth opposite archrival Kenai for the state small-schools championship showdown.

NOW PLAYING: Friday Night Lights
Recently I saw an advertisement for the new football-opera, Friday Night Lights, that claimed the movie was one of the greatest sports films ever made! Right up there with Bull Durham and Remember the Titans. Wow. That rave seems a little much for a film that, for all intents and purposes, appeared from the preview to be little more than a slightly superior rehash of Varsity Blues. After having seen it, Im still not sure I would rank it among the best ever, but one things for certain: Friday Night Lights makes Varsity Blues look like the pee-wee league.

NOW PLAYING: The Forgotten
M. Night Shyamalan, who, as far as I know, has nothing to do with this week's feature, is turning into the Steven Spielberg and George Lucas of his generation. And I don't mean that in a positive way. By reinventing the "shocker ending," the man has basically changed the thriller forever, much his two forebearers changed the meaning of "blockbuster." Now movies that don't even have remotely shocking endings are jumping on the bandwagon, trying to get a little of that "Shyamalan" energy. Take The Forgotten. Advertisements for this mid-level dramatic thriller promise "the biggest shocker ending since The Sixth Sense!!" This is simply a flat-out lie, though I'm not sure the writers are aware.

Playing dirty will hurt senator's effectiveness
I have been sadly disappointed in Lisa Murkowski. After her early protests about negative campaigning she has come out slinging mud and distorting the truth. It seems that the one sure thing she has learned in her time in Washington is how to run a nasty campaign all the while protesting how fair and honest she is.

4-H appreciates support of business community
Recently 4-H put an ad in the paper to say thank you to our community for all the wonderful support given to the young people who grow through belonging to a youth-serving program that encourages "learning by doing." Without the help of our business community, 4-H could not thrive! So, again, we say thank you!

Richard Redford remembered with great love by his friends
Soldotna has lost a great man who should never be forgotten.

Special Kenai River fishing trip fills veteran with gratitude
With the third anniversary of the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, I had occasion to reflect on the important contributions of our nation's veterans.

Stewart knocks NASCAR over Earnhardt's penalty for cussing
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Tony Stewart took a verbal swipe at NASCAR on Saturday, insisting friend and competitor Dale Earnhardt Jr. should not have lost points for cursing during a live TV interview last weekend.

Nemechek gets unexpected win
KANSAS CITY, Kan. The biggest gripe about NASCAR's new 10-man Chase for the Nextel Cup championship was that the drivers not in the title battle would be ignored.

LIO Schedule
Today 4 p.m.

Intuition saves life after a fall
Had it not been for an instantaneous response by a Soldotna police officer, an 81-year-old woman might very well have died a week ago. Instead, she's on her road to recovery at Central Peninsula General Hospital.

Coming home: Miss Alaska winds up whirlwind trip
Miss Alaska, Christina Reasner, didn't trade in her crown last month in Atlantic City, N.J., for that of Miss America and that's OK with her. She's looking forward to returning to her home state and town, she said last week from Hawaii.

Drill tests Nikiski rescuers
At approximately 2:40 p.m. Friday afternoon, two men plunged off the side of Agrium's North Kenai dock and into the murky, frigid waters of Cook Inlet. Within seconds, an alarm on the dock sounded, and soon a call had been placed to 911.

On a mission
Graydon "Skip" Cowgill has a mission or at least plans for one.

Studies show state fish have low levels of contaminants
Alaska's world-famous seafood continues to live up to claims that it is hauled from some of the cleanest waters in the nation and is free from contamination levels anywhere near numbers that should raise public health concerns, according to test results from state and private fish monitoring programs.

Borough to make election results official at meeting
A resolution certifying the results of the Oct. 5 municipal election, which saw all three incumbents returned to duty on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, will be on Tuesday's assembly agenda, along with a host of other measures up for final passage or introduction.

CPGH Inc. adds funds for program
The Central Peninsula General Hospital Inc. board of directors agreed to put up $10,000 to help the Community Action Coalition obtain a $25,000 matching grant for the Communities That Care program.

Floyd J. Gonzales
Kachemak City resident Floyd J. Gonzales died Monday, Sept. 27, 2004, at South Peninsula General Hospital in Homer. He was 81.

President wasn't alone; whole world convinced Saddam had weapons What others say
They were wrong. Hindsight isn't always 20-20.

More days to fish or hike -- or think about it -- would be nice
Now that summer is over, I find myself spending a lot of time thinking back on how I could have done things differently. I should have done more hiking. I should have gone camping more. I should have taken a road trip to Denali.

Worth noting debate quotes
John Kerry: President Bush:

Voters carefully pick borough services they want to pay for
What messages can be derived from the results of Tuesday's municipal election?

Voices Of Alaska
One day, the North Slope oilfields will run dry and it will be time to remove the pipeline and terminal facilities built to transport crude oil south, and time to clean up the 800-mile corridor to Valdez.

Bush vs. Kerry: Round No. 2
WASHINGTON -- President Bush smirked and winked and chuckled to himself. He jumped from his stool, chopped at the air and interrupted the debate moderator. As he fought to keep his emotions in check in a testy, personal debate with Sen. John Kerry, the president asserted, ''That answer almost made me scowl.''

James Hotel echoes with legends, history
CIMARRON, N.M. -- The door to room No. 18 at the St. James Hotel is padlocked and never rented out.

Riding elephants on a journey back through the eras
CHIANG MAI, Thailand -- Hand-feeding a hungry elephant is an unnerving experience. At the first whiff of a banana, its leathery gray trunk snakes out, probes the air and sucks it from your hand with a squelch. It is like shoving fruit into a wet vacuum cleaner nozzle.

Around the Peninsula
PFLAG to meet Kenaitze Indians to host dinner 4-H to hold open house Fish and Game to meet Book fair planned Social Security reps to visit area

Community News
Library plans October events KHLT to host dinner, auction fund-raiser Wallyball, basketball teams forming Hospice training set Islands and Ocean center changes hours Soroptimist to sell discount cards Mentor program seeks volunteers

Maize maze craze: Something corny going on
CORINNA, Maine -- This time of year, farms around the country advertise hayrides, pumpkin- and apple-picking, and mazes made from corn grown as high as an elephant's eye.

Births
Gage Matthew Mason Kane David Dean Piper III

Community Schools
The following list of Soldotna Community Schools classes and activities beginning this week is printed as a reminded to preregistered participants. Anyone interested in a class or activity should call the Community Schools office at 262-6768 for Soldotna and (907) 235-6090 for Homer.

Test smoke alarms
Oct. 3 through 9 was Fire Prevention Week, and this year's focus has been on smoke alarms.

Around the Peninsula
Guitar lessons offeredFish and Game advisory to meetChildbirth film offeredComprehensive plan update meetings setHospice training setSocial Security reps to visit area

My best friend
Elkie, an 18-month-old miniature schnauzer, belongs to Maria and John Henry.

Doggy dorm
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Since coming to Stephens College, Abbey Road is making friends with her energetic personality, intense eyes and uninhibited kisses -- especially when the little dog is thrown a slobber-slick tennis ball.

Chemistry Lab: Dog searches for mercury
BRAINERD, Minn. -- Clancy's not a drug-detection dog, but he sure has a way with chemicals.

Lehman leads Michelin
LAS VEGAS -- Tom Lehman has a love-hate relationship with the long putter that sometimes makes its way into his bag. Lately, he's been finding a lot more to love about it than ever before.

Olympian helps out Bulldogs
The host Nikiski High School volleyball team improved to 12-0 with a wins over Southcentral Conference opponents Houston and Anchorage Christian Friday and Saturday, and visiting Olympian Jeff Nygaard has a pretty good idea why.

UAA tops Grant MacEwan
The University of Alaska Anchorage hockey team topped Grant MacEwan College in an exhibition before 2,200 fans at the Soldotna Sports Center Saturday night.

Culpepper, Carr put up big numbers as Vikings outgun Texans
HOUSTON The crowd was rocking, David Carr and Andre Johnson couldn't miss and the Houston Texans had just forced the game into overtime by rallying from a 21-point deficit.

Patriots take different path to win streak
Of the six NFL teams that have won 18 straight games (including playoffs), the New England Patriots have by far the lowest margin of victory.

U.S. soccer team tops El Salvador in World Cup qualifier
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- Thanks to Brian McBride and Eddie Johnson, the United States can advance to the finals round of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup with a victory over Panama next week.

Americans dominate World Short Course event
INDIANAPOLIS -- The United States piled up four more victories at the World Short Course Championships on Saturday night, although the American women lost a thrilling medley relay final to Australia's world record-setting team.

Oklahoma shuts out rival Longhorns
DALLAS -- Adrian Peterson ran for 225 yards and made many big plays when No. 2 Oklahoma needed it most, helping the Sooners grind out a 12-0 victory over No. 5 Texas and stretch their winning streak in the storied rivalry to five straight.

Colony girls, Kodiak boys take Mat-Su Invitational
Holding the Mat-Su Invitational swim meet in Soldotna had Stars head coach Sohail Marey seeing green Saturday.

Kenyan wins Chicago marathon
CHICAGO The marathon obviously agrees with Evans Rutto.

Sooners narrow AP poll gap on Southern Cal
The gap between No. 1 USC and No. 2 Oklahoma is smaller than it's been all season.

Newcomers win big in Vegas, Scotland
LAS VEGAS Andre Stolz played like a veteran instead of a struggling rookie when it counted most Sunday, shooting a 5-under 67 to win the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas by a shot over Tom Lehman and two others.

Justice delayed is justice denied for high profile athletes
Rafael Furcal obviously didn't learn much from his first drunk driving arrest because he got sauced and did it again. Jamal Lewis claims he learned a lot from his case and, besides, he makes $6 million a year and really doesn't need to make cocaine deals anymore.

Patriots streak to record-setting win
FOXBORO, Mass. The New England Patriots set an NFL record for consecutive wins, counting playoffs, with plenty of help from the winless Miami Dolphins.

Eagles are living up to hype created by Kearse, Owens
PHILADELPHIA -- Donovan McNabb is off to the best start of his career, Terrell Owens leads the NFL in touchdown catches and Jevon Kearse has been a dominant force on defense.

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