Monday, November 19, 2001

Appeals court decision could mean more rural trials
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A decision by the Alaska Court of Appeals could result in more criminal trials being held in small towns around the Alaska Bush instead of Fairbanks or Bethel, the only places in the sprawling Fourth Judicial District that have sitting Superior Court judges. The same reasoning would apply to other regions of the state.

NextWave agrees to sell wireless licenses
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government settled its long airwaves battle with NextWave

BP's GTL plant nears completion
KENAI (AP) -- The gas-to-liquids demonstration plant British Petroleum is building in Nikiski is expected to start producing in February or March, according to Steve Fortune, engineering manager for the $86 million project.

Nov. 12, 2001 The Anchorage Daily News urges better state oversight of a valuable state asset
Add BP's own study to the pile of complaints and reports about safety, maintenance and cost cutting at the Prudhoe Bay oil field. What's most striking is that BP's work -- based on interviews with 300 workers -- largely substantiates questions raised by whistle-blowers who argue that operations aren't safe enough at North America's largest oil field. There's a pattern here that looks chillingly close to the inattention and neglect that preceded the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989.

Scientists drawing maps to outline tsunami danger zone
HOMER (AP) -- Scientists will draw new maps this winter outlining the tsunami danger zones of Homer and other Kachemak Bay communities.

Nov. 16, 2001 The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner also thinks $5 billion was just fine
To put an exact price tag on the long-term economic and environmental effect of the devastating 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill would be a difficult -- if not impossible -- task.

St. George welcomes Santa
ST. GEORGE (AP) -- Santa Claus flew 670 miles in a droning C-130 Friday to deliver toys and Christmas dinners to this dot of land in the Bering Sea. It's part of a long tradition in Alaska.

Nov. 15, 2001 Alaska Newspapers Inc. on the Exxon Valdez punitive damage decision
Exxon agrees with the decision by a federal appeals court that a $5 billion punitive damage award for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill is too much.

Boeing asks judge to limit data for families of Alaska Air crash victims
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Boeing has asked a federal judge to limit the amount of information it is required to provide relatives of those killed in the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 until formal settlement talks are finished.

Nov. 17, 2001 The Anchorage Daily News questions mix of mental illness and conceal carry law
In the fall of 1998, a clerk in an Anchorage store noticed a man who was completely soaked, with water dripping off him. The clerk asked if he needed help. Timothy Wagner replied that he needed to soak out the chemicals that had been injected into him, or else the chemicals were going to kill him. He also said a computer chip had been implanted in his head. What he didn't say was that he was carrying a concealed weapon in his briefcase.

Lobbyist indicted on federal fraud charges
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Lobbyist Geoffrey Bullock, whose clients include the city of Ketchikan, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts of wire fraud.

Troopers suspend search for missing Mountain Village man
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers said Monday they've suspended the search for a missing Mountain Village man who is believed to have driven his four-wheeler into the Yukon River.

Judge rules city, state does not have to extend benefits to gay partners
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Superior Court judge ruled that the city of Anchorage and the state of Alaska do not have to extend benefits to gay or lesbian partners of employees and retirees.

Higher rent closes Eagle River natural history museum
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A rent hike is forcing a natural history museum in Eagle River to close its doors.

BP moves part of Alaska exploration duties to Houston
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. will no longer manage its more speculative Alaska oil exploration from Anchorage, moving the responsibility for those drilling decisions to Houston.

Nov. 8, 2001 The Petersburg Pilot laments passing of ebullient, beloved former teacher
The community bid farewell to Harold Bergmann last week. He died Oct. 31 at age 84.

Proposal to cut airport trees meets opposition
JUNEAU (AP) -- Airport managers in Juneau want to cut down a 60-acre patch of forest to reduce the danger of birds smashing into airplanes. But some bird experts say eliminating the trees could actually force more birds across the runway area and increase the potential problems.

Habitat changes brings moose population decrease in Kenai Peninsula
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Moose numbers are down in the Kenai Peninsula and will probably stay that way for years, according to state wildlife biologists.

Cargo jet loses wheel on takeoff
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A wheel popped off an Air France 747 cargo plane just before the aircraft lifted off from Fairbanks International Airport Friday, but the plane was able to return and land safely. No one was injured in the landing or by the errant 600-pound wheel, which ended up on a frozen lake off the end of the runway.

Whitewater fined in worker's death
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Whitewater Engineering Corp. has been fined $150,000 by a state court judge and ordered to pay approximately $17,000 in costs to the family of a heavy equipment operator.

State Supreme Court sends abortion issue back to judge
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Alaska Supreme Court, in a very narrow ruling, has rejected a Superior Court judge's summary judgment in an abortion case.

Galena man holds police at bay before surrendering
GALENA (AP) -- An armed Galena man held authorities at bay for nearly 12 hours before surrendering, Alaska State Troopers and Galena police said.

Cattle roundup planned on island near Kodiak
KODIAK (AP) -- Despite protests from area ranchers, federal wildlife managers are forging ahead with plans to remove all cattle from a tiny island 175 miles southwest of Kodiak where the livestock have roamed for decades. Introduced foxes may also be eliminated in order to return Chirikof Island, part of the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge, to its native species.

Barrow residents see sun for last time this year
BARROW (AP) -- The sun set on Barrow Sunday for the last time this year.

ACS gets permission to boost Anchorage phone rates
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Many local phone customers will pay 24 percent more for basic phone service and other optional features starting next Saturday under a rate increase tentatively approved by state regulators this week.

All quiet at Dalton Highway checkpoint
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Mile 40 Dalton Highway checkpoint is often swept by strong winds which obscure the lights that identify the recently opened checkpoint just south of the Yukon River bridge.

Fish research center clears funding hurdle
JUNEAU (AP) -- Congress has approved the final chunk of money for a new federal fisheries research center planned near Juneau. A new funding bill includes $21.1 million for the $50 million center.

Twin Cities protest Twins' contraction
MINNEAPOLIS -- Wearing her favorite Kent Hrbek-signed baseball earrings, Shirley Fisher spent Sunday standing in the rain outside the Metrodome with thousands of other Twins fans to say that Minnesota needs baseball.

Judge blocks baseball from axing Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A Minnesota judge blocked major league baseball from folding the Twins, ordering the team to play its 2002 home schedule in the Metrodome.

Phillips, Conoco merging in $35 billion deal
TULSA, Okla. -- Phillips Petroleum Co. said Sunday it will buy Conoco Inc. for about $15.4 billion, creating the nation's third-largest oil and gas company.

Gordon wins fourth Winston Cup crown
HAMPTON, Ga. -- Jeff Gordon's fourth Winston Cup championship has put him in elite company.

Warner takes part in 'Women and the Badge' series
Soldotna will have a new star in 2002. Not one of the high school athletic variety, but a bona fide television personality.

Signs must go, says DOT
The message from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities was clear: business signs must go; everything else, they'll talk.

Officials skeptical of claim bin Laden out of Afghanistan
WASHINGTON -- A Taliban diplomat's claim that Osama bin Laden had left Afghanistan could be a ploy to thwart American-led efforts to find the terrorist suspect, U.S. officials said Saturday.

Bed-and-breakfast gets OK from council; lawsuit possible
A controversial bed-and-breakfast operation in an exclusive high-rent subdivision on the Kenai River received the approval of the Soldotna City Council.

First lady blasts Taliban's harsh treatment of women
CRAWFORD, Texas -- Laura Bush took the lead for the administration Saturday in the latest public effort to discredit the Taliban, decrying the ruling militia's ''brutal oppression'' of women in Afghanistan.

Bush plans to sign aviation security measure
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's signature on major aviation security legislation passed by Congress may reassure holiday travelers that the government is taking substantial steps to protect them from would-be assailants. Immediate signs of change, however, will be minimal.

Terrorists among us identified
WASHINGTON -- The largest criminal investigation in American history has exposed the rough outlines of at least a half-dozen centers of terrorist support on U.S. soil operating underground before the Sept. 11 suicide attacks, officials say.

Government can remove impediments, says top fed
Calling him "Alaska's head fed," Sen. John Torgerson, R-Kasilof, welcomed Jeffrey Staser, federal co-chair for the Denali Commission, to the Kenai Peninsula Economic Outlook Forum. Staser was the keynote speaker Friday.

Letter renews fears of yet more anthrax
WASHINGTON -- Authorities closed two Senate office buildings Saturday and awaited test results from a letter suspected of containing anthrax that was sent to a senator.

Forum looks ahead
Neither ice nor blowing snow could dampen the enthusiasm at the Kenai Peninsula 2001 Economic Outlook Forum.

Photo feature: Ongoing work
Cleanup of an oil spill in Cooper Landing is expected to continue throughout the winter and into spring. Crews from R and K Industrial, out of Kenai, are on the site removing fuel from a pond across the Sterling Highway from the Kenai River.

Murkowski: Don't 'rest on laurels'
U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski was right at home Saturday at Kenai Peninsula College, in spite of the fact that he has been forced to vacate two Washington, D.C., offices due to the threat of anthrax contamination. Murkowski, who recently announced his candidacy for governor, was the keynote speaker during the second half of the two-day Kenai Peninsula 2001 Economic Outlook Forum.

'Future' puts technology savvy to use
Those who couldn't attend the 2001 Kenai Peninsula Economic Forum Friday and Saturday at Kenai Peninsula College are still able to listen to the speakers and view the presentations via the World Wide Web at

Former Afghan leader returns
KABUL, Afghanistan -- In a convoy of vehicles with his picture plastered on the windshields, the Afghan president ousted five years ago by the Taliban returned Saturday to the capital to reclaim his post. His return raised worries over the effort to build a broad-based, post-Taliban government.

Taliban offers deal; U.S. keeps bombing
BANGI, Afghanistan -- The Taliban offered on Sunday to surrender their last northern stronghold if Arab and other foreign fighters loyal to Osama bin Laden in the city are spared, an anti-Taliban commander said. The northern alliance, meanwhile, agreed to a conference on neutral ground to plan a multiethnic government.

Tracking Taliban's last stand
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Huge plumes of smoke billowed into the air above the hilly battle lines, and commanders' radios crackled with urgent messages. It was another day on the northern front outside Mazar-e-Sharif, a Taliban-held city on the windy steppes of northern Afghanistan.

Remote schools struggle with test scores
This fall, when the Kenai Peninsula School District analyzed student test scores by school, some fell short. It was obvious some students were lagging.

Jonathan Zundel
Nikiski area resident Jonathan Zundel died Nov. 13, 2001 in Groton, Conn. He was 18.

Annie Swanson Hatch
Alaska Native Annie Swanson Hatch died Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2001, at Wesley Rehabilitation and Care Center in Seward. She was 102.

Borough land sale exemplifies essence of 'American dream'
Too often, it's when things go wrong they get noticed. Let something go right, and it barely gets a nod.

Libya: U.S. friend or foe? Gadhafi seeks to change image from terrorist backer to elder statesman
TRIPOLI, Libya -- In the heart of Tripoli, off a boulevard lined with buildings from Libya's colonial past, is the building that until recently sheltered an organization led by one of the world's most notorious terrorists -- Abu Nidal.

War changes Rumsfeld's image
WASHINGTON -- For a man whose epithets are not much saltier than ''by golly,'' Donald H. Rumsfeld can tick people off, and the list of the offended grew during his first months as defense secretary.

Building post-Taliban regime in Afghanistan
The U.S. has stepped up the military tempo in Afghanistan and the advances by its proxy fighters, the Northern Alliance, have been striking. Now is the time to accelerate efforts to agree on the makeup of a post-Taliban regime.

How far should inclusion go?
If you are easily offended, please stop reading now. For those of you who may be reading this who have thin skin, faint hearts or fragile egos, go on to another page. This shouldn't bother you, but one can never be too certain. So, just skip this column altogether.

Around the Peninsula
Craft fair slatedGolden anniversary couples to be honoredLive drive-through Nativity plannedAvalanche warning workshop offered'Fibber McGee and Molly' show plannedLogo design contest announcedChristmas bazaar to be heldWRCC seeking volunteersComputer class being offered'Big brothers' neededFirewood area open

My Best Friend
Molly, a 3-year-old miniature Pinscher, belongs to Jim and Betty West of Kenai. Her favorite activity is watching for squirrels on the deck. Sometimes she even recruits the Wests' grandson Ryan Heilala to assist her.

Smashing pumpkin helps save dog's life
SPARTA, N.J. (AP) -- Neighbors tossed a pumpkin, then rocks, through the front window of a burning house so a dog trapped inside could escape.

Get stuffed safely this Thanksgiving
To stuff or not to stuff the turkey, that is often the question. Let's take a look at the safe way to get stuffed this Thanksgiving.

Fewer moms return to work a year after having a child
WASHINGTON -- The questions weigh on the minds of many mothers soon after giving birth: When should I go back to work? If I do, can I keep part-time hours, or work more from home?

4-H girl talks turkey at the Ninilchik State Fair
When we first got our turkeys at the end of March, they looked exactly like baby chickens do. But boy did they turn out different.

Around the Peninsula
Independent Blind meets tonightGobbles the turkey to be weighed TuesdayPhillips to speak at Kenai chamberCommunity Thanksgiving service plannedImmunization clinic canceled ThursdayKenai Peninsula SPCA seeks assistanceCanine Good Citizen test planned

Holidays especially meaningful for those who overcome obstacles
Second family brings challenges, contentmentNurse finds inspiration in service.

Ask a Trooper
Question: Who's the new guy?

Peninsula People
Table tennis winners announcedKenai grad advances in Army

Tyonek school awarded Challenger scholarshipHomer Community Schools announcements

Frost, Stuart wed in July
Jodi Frost and Lucas Stuart, both of Happy Valley, were married Saturday, July 7, 2001, at 3 p.m. at the Soldotna Church of God. The Rev. Alan Humphries officiated.

Smith, Hollers plan December wedding
Kristina Trylene Smith and Levi Don Hollers will be married Friday, Dec. 21, 2001, in an evening ceremony in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Community News
CARTS director elected president

Soldotna takes region rumble
The Soldotna wrestling team scored 141 points to win the Region III rumble Saturday in Homer.

Pitino returns to college
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Rick Pitino's debut as Louisville's coach was noisy and colorful.

Colorado avalanches over Devils' scoring
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Patrick Roy recorded his career-best third consecutive shutout, and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the slumping New Jersey Devils 2-0 on Sunday in a rematch of last season's Stanley Cup finals.

Three Eagles suspended
PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles leading rusher Correll Buckhalter and teammates Terrence Carroll and Darrel Crutchfield were suspended for Sunday's game after Carroll was arrested on marijuana charges, a source familiar with the players said Saturday.

Stars provide own streaky display
Stargazers looking to enjoy the shooting Stars of Saturday night's Leonids got a preview Friday as the Soldotna High School hockey team defeated Lathrop 6-0 in the Peninsula Ice Challenge hockey tournament at the Soldotna Sports Center.

LPGA Championship caught up in Webb
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Karrie Webb played the final 12 holes without a bogey, making back-to-back birdies late in the round that gave her a 1-over 73 and allowed her to regain control Saturday in the LPGA Tour Championship.

No. 1 Connecticut triumphs over No. 3 Vanderbilt in Women's NIT finals
STORRS, Conn. -- Swin Cash had 19 points and 10 rebounds as No. 1 Connecticut beat No. 3 Vanderbilt 69-50 Sunday to win the preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament.

Hawks survive Celtics' barrage
ATLANTA -- Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 29 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat Boston 112-103 Saturday night, despite an NBA-record 10 3-pointers by the Celtics in the third quarter.

Iowa State downs Golden Eagles
MILWAUKEE -- Lindsay Wilson scored 21 points, and Angie Welle added 15 to lead No. 8 Iowa State to a 68-50 victory over Marquette on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

Webb, Sorenstam take top honors at LPGA Tour Championships
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Karrie Webb and Annika Sorenstam were the big winners Sunday in the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship.

Florida State's run in ACC comes to an end
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Maryland and The Fridge slammed the door on Florida State's nine-year run as Atlantic Coast Conference champions Saturday night.

L.A. clips the Knicks
LOS ANGELES -- Elton Brand scored 20 points and had eight rebounds, and reserve Quentin Richardson added 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the New York Knicks 99-86 Sunday.

Bulldogs tie Homer
A tie game ending with no score could have been attributed to shoddy offensive play, but this was not the case when Homer's hockey team faced off against Nikiski Saturday at the Soldotna Sports Center. With 52 combined shots on goal, fierce defense held the score at 0-0.

Virginia soars over East Tennessee
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Adam Hall scored 19 points and No. 11 Virginia pulled away to beat East Tennessee State 85-62 Sunday.

Knight certainly not restrained in return to college basketball
LUBBOCK, Texas -- In the first three minutes of his first game at Texas Tech, Bob Knight smacked his players on the behind, chewed out his point guard and questioned calls by officials.

Miami is near perfect
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami coach Larry Coker thought his top-ranked Hurricanes played a near-perfect game against then-No. 14 Syracuse. After reviewing the tape Sunday, he realized he was right.

Huskies enjoy calm before Miami's storm
SEATTLE -- Washington usually has more than a month to savor a win over Washington State in the Apple Cup.

Maryland coasts past American
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Lonny Baxter scored 25 points and Juan Dixon had 22 as No. 2 Maryland opened its 47th and final season at Cole Field House with an 83-53 rout of American University on Saturday.

Garcia rallies 'Niners to cardiac comeback
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)-- Jeff Garcia threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens and made a 2-point conversion with 1 second left in regulation. Then the quarterback helped set up Jose Cortez's 26-yard field goal Sunday that lifted San Francisco to a 25-22 win over the Carolina Panthers.

Flyers conquer slipping Devils
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Simon Gagne scored the go-ahead goal 41 seconds into the third period as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the slumping New Jersey Devils 3-1 Saturday.

Sports Briefs
UAF skaters fall to Ferris St.St. Cloud State tops UAAHewitt wins tour finale to enhance his No. 1 spot

Lewis makes Rahman noodle
LAS VEGAS -- Lennox Lewis kept his anger bottled up until it exploded with a tremendous right-hand punch that made him heavyweight champion again.

SoHi claims Challenge championship
The Soldotna High School hockey team defeated Kenai Central on the strength of hat tricks from two players to claim the championship of the Peninsula Ice Challenge hockey tournament Saturday at the Soldotna Sports Center.

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