Saturday, November 23, 2002

Attorney general closes gasoline investigation
JUNEAU (AP) -- Attorney General Bruce Botelho closed a three-year investigation of Alaska's petroleum industry finding ''insufficient evidence'' of price fixing.

Road network could link villages
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Governor-elect Frank Murkowski campaigned on a theme of building roads to rural Alaska, but he may see his campaign pledge become real sooner than he thought.

Juneau man accused of soliciting sex from teenager
JUNEAU (AP) -- A Juneau man is accused of attempting to lure a minor into illicit sex acts by promising trips and driving lessons.

Independent drillers like North Slope prospects
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Exploring for oil on North Slope traditionally has been the work of giant oil companies. But independents are now getting into the game as the big firms pull back.

Bill allows non-Natives to aid whalers
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Native hunters from Alaska's coastal villages could ask non-Native boat operators to help haul whales to shore in emergencies, under legislation that passed in the final hours of the U.S. Senate session and now goes to the president.

Anchorage bus driver walks out
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage bus driver apparently reached the end of his rope before he reached the end of his route this week. School officials say the driver, whom they didn't identify, stopped his bus a couple stops before the end of the route Wednesday afternoon, got out, and walked away.

Arizona seasonal worker reported missing
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers are looking to the public for help locating a missing seasonal worker.

Two arrested on armed robbery charges
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A man and woman were arrested Wednesday on charges they robbed a Fairbanks man of $1,300 at gunpoint in his home early Tuesday.

Kodiak museum seeks to concerve Alutiiq language
KODIAK (AP) -- The Alutiiq Museum is working to revive a critical piece of Alutiiq heritage by developing a dictionary and establishing a center for the disappearing language.

Northway elder struck by dart
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Roy Sam was standing between his truck and a gas pump Thursday at a Fairbanks service station when the Northway elder felt something prick his calf.

Plane diverted after threat
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Boeing 747 en route from Minneapolis to Tokyo was diverted to Anchorage Thursday and searched by bomb-sniffing dogs after an unruly passenger claimed to be a terrorist, according to the FBI.

Prosecutors drop sign-burning case
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Prosecutors have dropped charges against a man who stood on a sidewalk last month and burned a Murkowski-for-governor campaign sign.

Land swap would aid Southeast Native corporations
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two Alaska Native corporations would be the big winners from a controversial land exchange that cleared the U.S. Senate this week.

6-year-old boy dies when dresser falls
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 6-year-old boy died when a dresser tipped over on him Thursday while his mother was checking on laundry at a local women's shelter, according to police.

Salcha flooding recedes
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The flooding in Salcha caused by an ice jam in the Tanana River has receded.

Yale awards grant to help save Alaska Native language
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- The Endangered Language Fund at Yale University has awarded a grant to a Russian researcher who is trying to help preserve a Native language spoken in Alaska and Siberia.

Republicans: Murkowski good for resource development
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The new speaker of the House and the new Senate president said Thursday that having Frank Murkowski as Alaska's next governor is a good thing for resource development.

Abuse accusations against priest referred to police
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Juneau Catholic diocese is asking police to investigate sexual abuse allegations against a priest by a former Juneau resident who said he was molested as a boy between 1979 and 1982.

Defense says pipeline shooting investigation flawed
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The investigation of the shooting of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline was flawed and designed to implicate Daniel Lewis, an attorney for Lewis said Wednesday on the third day of trial.

Consumer watchdog group chides state for investigation
JUNEAU (AP) -- An attorney general's investigation into high gas prices that came up empty this week is another example of the state's failure to protect Alaskans from predatory businesses, the head of a consumer watchdog group said on Friday.

Agencies to open disaster aid centers
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Residents of the Slana and Tetlin areas with questions about recovering from the Nov. 3 earthquake will have a chance to receive one-on-one assistance starting Saturday.

WebMD in the pink at nexus of health providers, patients and payers
ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Marty Wygod's years in the health care business put him in an excellent position to treat the ills of WebMD Corp.

Over-investing in company stock in 401(k) plans could cost you
NEW YORK (AP) -- Don't you get it? Over-investing your retirement savings in your company's stock may cost you big, maybe for the rest of your life.

STUFFED LIKE A TURKEY: When it comes to Thanksgiving, we're stuffing our homes as tightly as our turkeys.

Beach condos, townhouses, cabins -- boomers keep market for second, third homes booming
NEW YORK (AP) -- After losing $700,000 on Wall Street, Steven Style has stopped buying stocks. But he's still investing -- in real estate.

Jonrowe gets Taco Bell as sponsor
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Denali Foods Inc., the owner of the state's Taco Bell franchises, has entered into a multiyear sponsorship agreement with Iditarod musher Dee Dee Jonrowe.

Lack of snow has mushers spinning their four-wheelers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Scant snowfall across the state has forced frustrated mushers to leave their sleds in the garage and turn to training on four-wheelers.

Biotech goal: sweet-smelling blue roses
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Roses are red, and a variety of other colors. But they've never been blue -- an omission legions of rose breeders have sought for centuries to remedy.

Insurers begin charging more for some hospitals and doctors
NEW YORK (AP) -- Some insurance companies are trying yet another tactic to drive down health care costs, using tiered medical coverage to steer patients from high-priced hospitals and doctors to less expensive ones.

City, borough officials want financial plan
Concern that state lawmakers may again consider a statewide sales tax, municipal governments will keep a close eye on the 23rd Legislature and the administration of Gov.-elect Frank Murkowski, municipal officials from the Kenai Peninsula said this week.

Mediation produces optimism
Mediation efforts may have failed to yield a new contract for Kenai Peninsula teachers and support staff workers, but that doesn't mean the negotiation process is over.

Photo feature: Sand for season of ice
Bill Cookson carries sand Thursday afternoon from a pile the city of Kenai stocks for public use. The sand is located at the end of Willow Street near the animal shelter.

District attorney orders horses back to owners
The Kenai District Attorney's office decided Thursday to not reverse its decision ordering the return of two horses by Alaska Equine Rescue to their rightful owners.

Skating for a good cause
Members of the Denali Ice Club, from left, Jacob Shearer, 12, Katie Shearer, 10, Amanda Ritchie, 7, and Megan Walrath, 7, rehearse at the Soldotna Sports Center for their upcoming "Will Skate For Food" fund raising event Saturday from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Toastmasters, um, helps people hone, ah, speaking skills
Public speaking can cause some stomachs to flutter, but with the help of Soldotna Toastmasters, the butterflies may learn to fly in sync.

Kathy L. Anderson
Longtime Kenai resident Kathy L. Anderson died Thursday, Nov. 21, 2002, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna after a long illness. She was 53.

Oilers Corner
University of Houston catcher Brett Logan has signed for the 2003 season.

Homeland security bill padded with measures that don't belong there
President Bush on Tuesday received the legislative victory he asked voters for in the last election when the Senate passed the homeland security bill.

Letters to the Editor
Ward should not try to sidestep will of people by challenging vote Sports, other activities should be cut before increasing class sizes While natural gas supply dwindles, borough, state officials fiddle Environmentalists should not be branded as enemies of Alaskans

Knowledge, awareness can help backcountry travelers avoid tragedy
"Man has evolved while great continental ice sheets have waxed and waned through time, and he still has many lessons to learn in the art of living with ice."

Refuge ski trails get summer makeover
All of you cross-country skiers are probably getting a little frustrated with the current lack of meaningful snow. If you are anything like some of my skiing friends the skis, boots, and poles have been inspected and cleaned at least twice, and you hang on every syllable of the weather forecasts. Perhaps you even bought some of those skis with rollers -- so you can get that stride perfected in the school parking lot before the snow arrived.

Dandelions threaten other flowers at Exit Glacier
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- While some ecologists in Alaska worry about toothy invaders such as northern pike gobbling up native salmon and trout, others focus on the dangers posed by little yellow dandelions.

Seattle man has high hopes for new sled
MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) -- David Levy loves the sensation of zipping down a snow-covered slope, the cold wind in his face, his body twisting and turning along the way.

Around the Peninsula
Advisory council to hold meetings Performers to hold auditions Community school sponsors fair Caregivers offer support program Ice club plans fund-raiser Teen center to hold dance Senior center to hold blood drive

Malaysia criticizes Russian president's comment on Islam
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia accused Russia's President Vladimir Putin of insulting Muslims in answering a journalist's question about the war in Chechnya.

Indiana ''Amish road'' will make travel safer for believers' buggies
GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) -- An ''Amish road'' designed so horse-drawn buggies can avoid dangerous traffic on U.S. 33 is nearly ready for use after two years of planning.

Catholic bishops will consider calling historic council at future meetings
WASHINGTON (AP) -- America's Roman Catholic bishops will hold meetings over the next two years to decide whether to convene an extraordinary council, the first since 1884, on the state of the U.S. church.

Jewish committee joins Muslims, others in issuing Thanksgiving Day readings
NEW YORK (AP) -- The American Jewish Committee said it wants to promote the nation's uniqueness and help unite its people through ''A Thanksgiving Reader,'' which is being distributed free in print form and via the Internet.

In Muslim world, militants shaking balance between secular and spiritual at weekly prayers
QOM, Iran (AP) -- First they prayed, holding their palms to the heavens as an act of devotion to God. Then they chanted, clenching their fists in anger against perceived enemies of Islam.

Vatican establishes diplomatic ties with Muslim Qatar
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican said Monday it has established diplomatic relations with the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar, where foreign guest workers outnumber the mostly Muslim native population.

Alabama county blocks in-school Bible distribution
ATHENS, Ala. (AP) -- Local school officials have banned the distribution of Gideons Bibles in public schools after a parent threatened to file suit.

Valparaiso University caught in Missouri Synod Sept. 11 dispute
VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) -- The president and pastor at Valparaiso University could be defrocked by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod over an interfaith event that marked the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Federal judge orders Ten Commandments monument out of Alabama Supreme Court building
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A federal judge ruled Monday that a Ten Commandments monument installed in Alabama's judicial building by the state's chief justice must be removed because it violates the separation of church and state.

Baha'i faith rallies for women's rights
The support of Baha'i members in Alaska has added to an overwhelming outcry from more than 170 countries and 100 non-governmental organizations urging an end to worldwide abuses of women and children, as expressed in the 1979 Treaty for the Rights of Women, created at the United Nations' Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Philadelphia Catholics conclude first synod involving laity; results withheld
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- More than 240 Roman Catholics concluded discussions at the Philadelphia Archdiocese's first synod since 1934 and the first to involve lay participants.

Religion Briefs
li> Native outreach fellowship to meet Friendship closet open Wednesdays Precept Ministries training institute planned

Church settles Pennsylvania test case on religious zoning
LIMA, Pa. (AP) -- A small Baptist congregation near Philadelphia settled one of the first challenges of a 2000 federal act that exempts religious groups from most local zoning rules, unless a community can prove they are necessary for public safety.

Ex-priest who was abuse victim has unique role as Catholic church tries to reform
CHICAGO (AP) -- Michael Bland said he was molested by a Roman Catholic priest as a child, but his love for the church remained and he later became a clergyman.

It's lumpy, but it's snow
It's skiing. It's not good skiing, but it's skiing.

Soldotna boys, Skyview girls looking to defend Region III championships
For peninsula ski teams, it's not time to panic, but it's definitely time to pull out some good snow dances.

Sorenstam, Pak, Mallon tied for lead
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Annika Sorenstam was right where everyone expected her to be Thursday -- on top of her game and at the top of the leaderboard in the season-ending ADT Champion-ship.

Panthers top Warriors, Wasilla tames Bulldogs
The visiting Wasilla High School wrestling team split a three-way dual meet with the Skyview Panthers and the Nikiski Bulldogs Thursday at Skyview.

Khavanov's OT goal pushes Blues past Kings
ST. LOUIS -- Alexander Khavanov got his second game-winning goal of the season when he scored at 1:02 of overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 victory Thursday night over the Los Angeles Kings.

Miami cages Panthers
punt and got the ball at the Miami 30. Rutherford scrambled for 15, then 10 yards to set up a first-and-goal at the 4.

Lawyers, sports don't mix
There are things that should make grown-ups ashamed, and sucking every last bit of sportsmanship out of kids' games must be near the top of the list.

Sapp set to yap
The Green Bay Packers could have clinched the NFC North with a win last week. They didn't, and this week they go to Tampa in a game that could help determine whether Green Bay gets to spend the playoffs at Lambeau Field.

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