Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Earthquake rattles area southeast of Deadhorse
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An estimated 4.5-magnitude earthquake rattled an area 28 miles southeast of Deadhorse on Tuesday afternoon.

Woman found dead with toddler
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A woman was found dead and her toddler uninjured in an apartment Monday. The woman's name has not been released.

Eielson personnel deployed in wake of terror attacks
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Eielson Air Force Base personnel are seeing their first large deployment since the Sept. 11 attacks, but Air Force officials are not giving any details about where they've been sent or what their duties are.

Flu season arrives early but probably has not peaked
KENAI (AP) -- The cold and flu season has arrived but public health officials say the worst is probably yet to come.

Federal land to be conveyed to lighthouse group
JUNEAU (AP) -- The federal government will convey 1,505 acres of land at Point Retreat to the Alaska Lighthouse Association under an appropriations bill approved by a U.S. House and Senate conference committee.

Winter weather doesn't deter determined runners
Juneau (AP) -- Wind: Steady, 20 to 30 mph. Temperature: In the 20s, depending on cloud cover. Precipitation: Rain, snow, sleet -- all possibilities. Perfect weather for a run.

Federal fisheries panel to set 2002 groundfish quotas
ANCHORAGE (AP) - Groundfish quotas for 2002 are likely to be up for the eastern Bering Sea and down for the Gulf of Alaska, based on stock assessments being considered this week by federal fisheries officials.

Alaska's active volcano watch list grows
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Standing on top of 14,163-foot Mount Wrangell, Guy Tytgat took in the view. The Wrangell-St. Elias Range stretched out all around him.

Deep freeze, lack of snow keeps plumbers, towing companies busy
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Dhana Krause doesn't expect to see much of her husband until it warms up. That's a fact of life when you own a pumping and thawing business in Fairbanks.

Borough mayor favors tax breaks for volunteers
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Volunteer firefighters and paramedics would receive a tax break on their property taxes under a plan being promoted by the borough mayor.

Munoz to run against Elton in state Senate
JUNEAU (AP) -- Cathy Munoz, a former Juneau Assembly member, plans to run as a Republican candidate for the state Senate, she said Monday.

Frozen pipes burst flooding girls dormitory
SITKA (AP) -- A sprinkler system burst at a girls dormitory of Mount Edgecumbe High School forcing the evacuation of 99 students, school officials said.

FCC lets rural residents hook into Internet through schools
JUNEAU (AP) -- Residents of many rural villages will be able to connect to the Internet through their local schools under a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission released Monday.

State ferry to run between Metlakatla in 2003
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A new state ferry is scheduled to make daily trips between Metlakatla and here in 2003, the Alaska Marine Highway System said.

Anchorage finally records subzero temperatures
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- High pressure up north and clear skies overhead finally sent temperatures in Anchorage below zero over the weekend -- the first time for that official mark in 683 days.

Southeast towns weathering economic distress differently
JUNEAU (AP) -- Much of the economic distress felt by Southeast communities from losses in the timber industry had little impact on Juneau, an analysis by the McDowell Group concluded.

Mat-Su politicians file suit to toss out recall petitions
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Matanuska-Susitna Borough mayor and an assemblywoman filed suit Monday asking that recall petitions against them be declared invalid.

Unocal offers reward in search for vandals
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Unocal Alaska is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those who vandalized a truck at the Beluga barge landing area on the western shore of Cook Inlet.

Knowles chief of staff leaving state government
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles' longtime chief of staff Jim Ayers is leaving state government to head a regional office for a new environmental group.

Banks defrauded by RV dealer collect $623,000
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Federal prosecutors returned a total of $623,482 Tuesday to three banks that were defrauded by former RV dealer Danial Twitchell of Anchorage.

Man pleads no contest to sexual assault charge
JUNEAU (AP) -- A man accused of raping and beating a woman while holding her captive in an abandoned downtown house in April pleaded no contest Monday to felony sexual assault.

Quilt shop owner is sentenced for labor violation
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks quilt shop owner has been given a suspended imposition of sentence after pleading no contest to charges she broke child-labor and minimum wage laws.

UAF gets grant to look at Native health issues
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The University of Alaska Fairbanks is getting $11 million over the next five years to look at how behavior, genetics and nutrition affects obesity, specifically in Alaska Natives. The research will also look at how obesity is related to diabetes and heart disease.

Anchorage twins' robot takes $50,000 prize in science competition
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Twin sisters who attend Anchorage's East High School have won $50,000 in scholarship money for inventing an ice-crawling robot, built from parts worth about $200.

Soldotna hospital considers expansion
KENAI (AP) -- An expansion plan for Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna could nearly double its square footage, put a satellite facility in Kenai and cost up to $70 million.

Southeast marine shuttle offers service in Puget Sound
HAINES (AP) -- A marine shuttle service that moves passengers between Haines, Skagway and Juneau during summer months is using its vessels this winter in Puget Sound.

Tests before TAPS construction showed bullet could pierce pipeline
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The people who built and approved the trans-Alaska oil pipeline knew before it was done that a bullet from a hunting rifle could punch a hole through the half-inch metal.

Shooting victim obtains protective order against husband
JUNEAU (AP) -- A woman wounded by an unknown assailant last month in a mall parking lot has obtained a protective order against her estranged husband, accusing him in court of shooting her.

Bush administration changes stance on Tulsequah mine
JUNEAU (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Interior has dropped many of its objections to the proposed reopening of a British Columbia mining operation near here.

Knowles chief of staff leaving state government
JUNEAU (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles will finish his last year in office without his top aide.

Salvation Army sued by families of sex abuse victims
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Families of eight children have filed a lawsuit against the Salvation Army, alleging the organization failed to protect their children from sexual abuse by a minister in the Salvation Army Church in Kenai.

Union's effort to block Major League Baseball contraction goes to arbitrator
IRVING, Texas -- An arbitrator began hearing testimony Tuesday in a grievance by the players' association to block baseball's plan to eliminate two teams before next season.

Boating Lawman of the year selected
Officer Bill Berkhahn of the Alaska Department of Parks and Outdoor Recreation has spent the last few years patrolling the Kenai River. His efforts to promote boating safety while enforcing boating regulations along with his work in schools teaching life jacket education, has earned him the honor of being selected Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the National Association of Boating Law Administration. His peers at the division of Parks and Recreation nominated Berkhahn for the distinguished honor.

Soldotna's new Mayor likes his job
Newly elected Soldotna City Mayor Dave Carey gave his first report to the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce last week, and underscored how much he was enjoying the job.

Quilt Kits Alaska
A new quilt shop is about to open right here on the Kenai Peninsula. Later this week Terry and Dennis DiBetta will announce the date for the grand opening of Quilt Kits Alaska located just 14 minutes north of Kenai on Douglas Lake. Watch for publication of details and directions.

Central Peninsula General Hospital looks to expand after months of planning with community
Jerome Seigfreid, Administrator for Central Peninsula General Hospital (CPGH), and Diana Zirul, Chairman of the CPGH Board, discussed expansion options presently being studied by the Hospital.

VOD's "Reaching out to America's Future" essays judged...
There were over 500 entries from six local schools received in this year's Voice of Democracy (VOD) scholarship essay program sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "This year we had a greater number of students participating than ever before, and last year we had more entries from our Kenai area, then the rest of the state combined," said Rachel Jurco of the VFW Women's Auxiliary.

Photo feature: Frosty the Patriotic Bearman
Too patriotic to hibernate, the Kenai Chamber of Commerce's flag waving mascot was adorned with rainbows of ice crystals last week as frigid temperatures returned to the Peninsula after a mild Thanksgiving weekend.

Concerns raised over staff cuts, funding
New enrollment projections predict seven fewer students at Nikiski Middle-Senior High School next year, meaning the school will lose half a teaching position, according to recently released staffing formulas.

Fighting rages; Afghan factions move forward on government talks
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Tribal fighters battled the Taliban at Kandahar airport Monday, and U.S. warplanes pounded the city and suspected terrorist hideouts along the Pakistan border. Afghan factions meeting in Germany adopted a framework for ruling the country.

U.S., Canada unveil border security plans
MONTREAL -- The United States and Canada signed far-reaching agreements Monday to increase border security and coordinate immigration policies to secure the world's largest trade relationship.

Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau fills top post
Ricky Gease has been hired as the new executive director of the Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau.

School board opposes districting
To district, or not to district, the school board -- that has become a thorny question for the Kenai Peninsula Borough. The question could end up on the 2002 ballot.

Soldotna brothers put plans on ice to help in Olympics
"Who would have thought a couple of kids from Soldotna would end up being involved in the Olympics?" asked Valerie Popper-Anderson, a 1987 graduate of Soldotna High School who now lives in Salt Lake City.

New lawsuit filed in Salvation Army molestation case
A new lawsuit reopens the case of a Kenai minister convicted earlier this year of child molestation.

Photo feature: Hanging on
Hoar frost formed during the recent cold spell clings to tree branches on the Kenai River flats last week. Forecasters are calling for temperatures near or below zero today and for them to slowly rise to the mid-20s by the weekend.

Hunt for bin Laden intensifies
JALALABAD, Afghanistan -- Anti-Taliban troops hunting Osama bin Laden said they clashed Tuesday with al-Qaida fighters near their hideouts in the towering mountains along the Pakistan border.

Sources: Wife, daughters of bin Laden's top strategist killed
CAIRO, Egypt -- The wife and three daughters of Osama bin Laden's top strategist were killed in an airstrike on Kandahar, the remaining Taliban stronghold, sources close to Islamic militants in Afghanistan said Tuesday.

Photo feature: New flag
Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10046 stand at attention as the flag is raised for the first time during a ceremony at the Economic Development District building in Kenai Tuesday morning.

Bush orders America back on high alert
WASHINGTON -- President Bush put America on high alert Monday for possible terrorist strikes during the holiday season after U.S. intelligence officials reported an increase in credible threats.

Police divided on federal tactics
Police departments nationwide are breaking ranks over Justice Department efforts to interview 5,000 Middle Eastern men, with officers far beyond Oregon concerned about racial profiling. Others are astounded that their colleagues wouldn't cooperate with federal agents.

Debbie Howard
Kenai resident Debbie Howard died Monday, Dec. 3, 2001, at her home. She was 44.

Politics should not be allowed to delay judicial nominations
Perhaps we were overly optimistic -- maybe even a bit naive -- in suggesting last week that state Superior Court Judge Ralph Beistline would have a quick and easy time en route to confirmation as a new member of the U.S. District Court in Alaska.

Many contribute to success of KPTMC's annual fund-raiserCraft fair means it's beginning to look more like Christmas

Redistricting changes little
Less than a year before elections put control of Congress to voters, the behind-the-scenes struggle to gain an advantage through redistricting has so far kept both Republicans and Democrats from making decisive gains.

Israel should be allowed to fight terrorism
Speaking of the murder of more than two dozen Israeli civilians last weekend by what one wire service called "Islamic militants," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld correctly and unequivocally said on NBC's "Meet the Press": "The only way to defend against terrorists is to go after the terrorists."

Making voting easier doesn't cure problem of apathetic citizenry
More than 60 percent of voters who responded to the informal survey tucked inside the mail-in ballots during the consolidation election back in August said they liked the new process.

U.S. wonders if Arafat losing his grip
WASHINGTON -- Yasser Arafat has come back from exile and from U.S. rebuke as a terrorist to gain American recognition and a Nobel Peace Prize.

Letters to the Editor
Many displaying their patriotism know nothing of flag etiquetteSubsistence issue should be discussed with facts, good will

Alaska's active volcano watch list grows
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Standing on top of 14,163-foot Mount Wrangell, Guy Tytgat took in the view. The Wrangell-St. Elias Range stretched out all around him.

Photo feature: Hanging on
Hoar frost formed during the recent cold spell clings to tree branches on the Kenai River flats last week.

Winter weather doesn't deter determined runners
Juneau (AP) -- Wind: Steady, 20 to 30 mph. Temperature: In the 20s, depending on cloud cover. Precipitation: Rain, snow, sleet -- all possibilities. Perfect weather for a run.

Philmont Ranch Trekking with Boy Scouts in New Mexico
PHILMONT SCOUT RANCH, N.M. (AP) -- Already at 11,600 feet and gasping as I trudged higher, with the thunder of an approaching storm echoing across the canyons, I began to wonder why I ever wanted to climb Mount Phillips in the first place.

Around the Peninsula
Soldotna chamber hosts BP speakerResource management meeting plannedCPR classes availablePhoto exhibition on display in KenaiAviation safety meeting to be heldNinilchik Fire Department meeting slatedCook Inlet RCAC board of directors to meet

Around the Peninsula
Publisher to speak at chamber lunchBlood bank open through weekBand to perform at senior centersPhotography show opens ThursdaySilent auction being heldTree-lighting ceremony plannedSale to raise money for fire stationKasilof Historical Society meeting slatedClass for Red Cross instructors offeredChristmas decorating contest being heldConflict resolution classes offeredHanukkah celebration plannedCPGH service board meeting slated

Mountain View third-graders send holiday joy to Russia by shoe box
Shoe boxes are small, but when filled with lovingly selected gifts, they bring joy a hundred times its size to orphans and other children in Siberia.

Peninsula home schoolers spend a day at the movies
Why do monsters always seem to come from the closet? More than 100 home-school students were able to answer that question after attending a home school showing of "Monsters, Inc." at the Orca Theater Nov. 16. The theater opened its doors, allowing home schoolers on the Kenai Peninsula an opportunity to gather.

AmeriCorps volunteers add to KPC atmosphere
Kenai Peninsula College has enjoyed the benefits of the AmeriCorps program since 1995.

District School News
What's going on at our area schools

Holiday traditions keep kids connected
As we sit around with friends, our extended family in Alaska, eating too much turkey on Thanksgiving Day, the importance of "ritual" becomes even clearer. Some years it seems like more hassle than it is worth: planning the day, preparing the meal, setting the table and cleaning up the mess. But you know what? We would miss it if we didn't do it.

Around the District
Voice of Democracy winners announcedKCHS club seeks used toysChallenger Center offers December workshopsSMS announces Students of the MonthSoHi announces Students of the MonthConference taps board membersFine arts camp in Fairbanks closesState board tackles major school issuesWeb site offers lessons in citizenship

School Menus
White or chocolate milk is served at each meal.

Honor Roll
The following students were named to the Kenai Middle School first-quarter honor roll.

The lunch break: A center for new beginnings, memories
All eyes in the class gratefully steal a glimpse at the accustomed clock above the chalk board. Three, two, one and -- finally -- the bell rings.

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Justices to clarify rights of older workers
WASHINGTON -- With layoffs expected at many firms hit by recession, the Supreme Court said Monday it will decide if older workers may sue over cutbacks that seem to hit them hardest.

Lunch Menus
What's on the menu for our local seniors

BCS: If Volunteers lose, Nebraska back in
Nebraska is perhaps on the verge of its greatest comeback ever thanks to the Bowl Championship Series standings.

Spurs deflate Wizards
SAN ANTONIO -- With Michael Jordan watching from the sidelines, Antonio Daniels scored 15 points and Tim Duncan and David Robinson added 13 each as the San Antonio Spurs routed the Washington Wizards 103-88 Tuesday night.

Wildcats upset Illini
PHOENIX -- Jason Gardner scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half, including six consecutive free throws over the final 54 seconds, and No. 7 Arizona beat fifth-ranked Illinois 87-82 Tuesday night.

Missouri dodges St. Louis
ST. LOUIS -- Wesley Stokes made a tough 18-footer at the buzzer and No. 2 Missouri survived an upset bid by Saint Louis, 69-67 Monday night.

Olympic flame kindled in U.S.
ATLANTA -- Muhammad Ali sent the Olympic torch on its two-month journey to the Winter Games in Salt Lake City after a welcoming ceremony Tuesday in the last U.S. city to hold the games.

Panthers look to Keenan
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida Panthers owner Alan Cohen reached across the table, grabbed Mike Keenan's right hand and held it up so everyone could see his Stanley Cup ring.

Sports Briefs
Midnight Sun volleyball club to hold tryoutsKPHA Ice Hawks achieve victoryInvestigation of Clippers center continuesJohnson to remain with Marlins

New York cools off Rockets
NEW YORK -- Allan Houston got the better of Glen Rice on the most important play of the game, spoiling Rice's return to Madison Square Garden for the first time since being traded as New York defeated Houston 89-86 on Monday night

Knee injury forces Jordan out of action
WASHINGTON (AP) -- More than eight years and two retirements later, Michael Jordan is finally going to miss another NBA game because of an injury.

Avalanche bury Ottawa
DENVER -- Joe Sakic had four assists and Adam Foote added three, and the Colorado Avalanche posted their fifth straight home victory with a 4-2 decision over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.

Favre keys Green Bay victory in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Facing a tie game with two minutes left Monday night, the Green Bay Packers weren't worried.

Bondra notches Nos. 400, 401 in Caps win
WASHINGTON -- Peter Bondra scored his 400th and 401st NHL goals as the Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers 5-2 Tuesday night.

Davie just never got message
Shaking down the thunder isn't just a line from the fight song. It's part of the job description at Notre Dame, something Bob Davie never did understand.

Sports Briefs
Yankees and Karsay close to dealApplewhite gets Holiday Bowl startMaryland headed to Orange Bowl, Illinois to Sugar

Twins hardened by competitive fire
When you have two older brothers, chances are you're going to grow up a competitive person.

Longhorns accept bid to Holiday Bowl
Chris Simms and Texas wanted to wind up in a bowl game in Southern California, and they did. Only the Longhorns will spend the holidays in San Diego instead of Pasadena.

Teen-ager graduates early from PGA Q-school
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The PGA Tour is about to get some peach fuzz. Ty Tryon, the 17-year-old golfer with a man-sized game, became the youngest player in history to earn a PGA Tour card Monday when he closed with a bogey-free 66 to easily finish in the top 35 at qualifying school.

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