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Thursday, December 5, 2002

Cold building research center gets funds
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The federal government will provide $175,000 for design of a center that will do research on home construction in cold climates.

Murkowski names acting commissioners
JUNEAU (AP) -- Three commissioners will remain at their jobs at least temporarily under the Murkowski administration, the governor's office said.

State to recount ballots cast in Anchorge state House race
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Nonpartisan state House hopeful Pat Abney has requested a recount of ballots in her 37-vote defeat to Republican Mike Hawker in the Nov. 5 general election.

Railroad opens new depot at Alaska airport
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The new Alaska Railroad depot at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is complete and ready for business, starting next spring.

Judge refuses to reduce bail for Soldotna man
KENAI (AP) -- A Kenai Superior Court judge has again refused to reduce the bail of a man charged with the attempted murder and sexual assault of a Soldotna woman.

Permanent Fund market losses reach peak
JUNEAU (AP) -- The permanent fund posted a 7.3 percent quarterly loss in September, the largest three-month decline in its 26-year history, said a report by the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.

Governor tours oil and gas division
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- On his first full day in office Gov. Frank Murkowski met with officials in the state Division of Oil and Gas, an agency that oversees the state's most important revenue stream.

Fairbanks mayor shakes up police department
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Mayor Steve Thompson has appointed a new head of city police operations in an effort to improve the effectiveness of the department.

Charge reduced against Houston man in flight disruption
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Federal prosecutors have reduced the charge against a Texas man who claimed to be a terrorist on a flight to Tokyo and allegedly threatened the flight crew last month. The flight was diverted to Anchorage.

State contracts for new ferry that will serve Metlakatla
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state has contracted to build another vessel for the Alaska Marine Highway System to run between Metlakatla and Ketchikan.

Fairbanks school board member unhappy with new policy
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Not every one is happy with the new policy concerning students and military recruiters.

Vandals damage Palmer fairgrounds
PALMER (AP) -- Police are searching for vandals who broke into the state fairgrounds near Palmer last week and caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Murkowski names acting commissioners
JUNEAU (AP) -- Three commissioners will remain at their jobs at least temporarily under the Murkowski administration, the governor's office said.

Man charged with robbing credit union
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man has been charged with bank robbery for stealing $800 from a credit union in south Anchorage.

Juneau man charged with assault
JUNEAU (AP) -- A man with more than 40 criminal convictions in Alaska since 1987 pleaded innocent Tuesday to beating and attempting to sexually assault a woman who had given him a place to stay.

Labor agency rejects unfair labor practices charge
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A hearing officer for the Alaska Labor Relations Agency has rejected a charge of unfair labor practices filed last summer by unions against the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

Fairbanks businesses snared in gambling raids
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Police served 14 search warrants and seized gambling paraphernalia, records, documents and more than $22,000 in a series of raids Tuesday.

Alaska Native Wireless seeks to cancel license deal
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Three Alaska Native corporations that bought rights to wireless frequencies in major U.S. cities have formally asked the government to cancel the deals.

Police seek public's help in identifying woman killed
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Police are asking for help identifying a pedestrian who was struck by a car and killed last week as she tried to cross a street in East Anchorage.

Mystrom to run for mayor of Anchorage again
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A former mayor of Anchorage will seek the job again.

Permanent fund board blasts Deutsche Bank
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. has blasted a major New York financial services company for concealing what the fund's board says was a serious conflict of interest.

President declares disaster in parts of Alaska
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush has declared parts of Alaska a major disaster as the result of storms and flooding.

Flying boxcar correction
KODIAK (AP) -- In a Nov. 27, 2002, story about a vintage Fairchild C-119 ''Flying Boxcar'' cargo aircraft recently repaired and reflown, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the airplane was featured in the 1965 James Stewart film, ''The Flight of the Phoenix.''

Scientists: Fishing not main cause of sea lion decline
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Scientists asked by Congress to find out why the Steller sea lion population has plummeted in Alaska have concluded commercial fishing probably is not the main culprit.

Postal Service provides instructions for North Pole postmark
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The United States Postal Service says customers wanting a North Pole postmark on their holiday cards and letters are facing a Dec. 15 deadline.

Nikiski teen saves sister from near drowning
KENAI (AP) -- When a friend told Jean Mapes that the family's dog had fallen into Thetis Lake about 50 yards from her home, she sent her son to pull the animal out of the shallow water.

Beetle-killed forests slated for timber sales
KENAI (AP) -- Hundreds of acres of forest killed by the spruce bark beetle near Ninilchik and Homer will be up for bid in mid-March.

New geoduck testing aimed an more live sales
JUNEAU (AP) -- Southeast Alaska's commercial divers should find more opportunities to put lucrative, live geoduck clams on the market this winter under a new health-testing plan.

Crash landing closes Kenai's main runway
KENAI (AP) -- The Kenai Municipal Airport's main runway was closed for nearly an hour Tuesday afternoon when a twin-engine Cessna crashed upon landing.

Palmer men missing on snowmachine outing
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two snowmachiners missing since Sunday near Eureka Lodge were found safe Wednesday.

Athletics ship AL's top closer to White Sox
CHICAGO -- Billy Koch's reward for being the AL's top closer is a moving van.

Keep those holiday blues at bay by getting involved
"What!" I screamed into the phone. "What do you mean I don't have enough travel points to travel to Fiji? I've saved up all my air miles from itty bitty airlines, and stocked up mileage from my grocery purchases for a year, and still I don't have enough to travel four feet past Sterling?"

'Small town' artist finds comedy in life
Only weeks after moving back to Homer with her husband, Lorraine Williams was in a terrible mood.

Art Briefs
Local history book availableCash raffle drawing held FridayChristmas bazaar to be heldPoetry contests open to peninsulaWHIZ Kids program availableFilm contest open for entry

Fans mark 60th anniversary of Hendrix's birth
SEATTLE (AP) -- Sixty years after his birth, arguably the most influential musician ever to emerge from Seattle is -- at least officially -- almost invisible here.

NOW PLAYING: 8 Mile
Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? It's as an appropriate question to ask today as it was three or four years ago when Marshall Mathers (M & M, get it?), angry, white, and young unleashed his dark, yet strangely appealing alter ego on unsuspecting youth and put Eminem on the music map forever.

Unpredictable season helped Home Depot car to title
NEW YORK -- The 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season started with Tony Stewart's engine belching white smoke and dying on the third lap of the Daytona 500. It ended with Stewart celebrating a championship amid the smoke and explosions of fireworks.

In the spotlight: Joe Gibbs
A short bio on your favorite NASCAR personalities

Stewart discovers right line of work
NEW YORK -- Tony Stewart once sealed parking lots to pay his bills. He also used to punch a time clock at a machine shop and drove a tow truck.

Road plan under review
It's been 10 years since the Kenai Peninsula Borough performed a wholesale review of its transportation infrastructure, but borough planners are set to study the future of peninsula roads, bridges, airports, trails and more with the help of a hefty state grant.

Photo feature: In the swing of winter
Dwight Kramer laughs as Bob Drewes watches his golf ball fly through the cloudy sky above the Kenai Golf Course Tuesday afternoon. Skiers usually occupy the grounds this time of year but a small group of dedicated golfers are using the snow-free greens instead.

School district honors 3 for community service
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education has been sailing a rough course the last several weeks, with most school board meetings consumed by parents, teachers and students discussing ongoing contract negotiations.

Borough tax changes 'administrative'
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will vote to amend 16 provisions of the borough sales tax code at Tuesday's assembly meeting. Borough Finance Dir

KPC, UA contract talks halt
The University of Alaska and the union representing full-time faculty members at Kenai Peninsula College have declared impasse in contract negotiations and will meet with a federal mediator starting the first week in January.

Kenai Wild salmon find growing market Outside
Although Cook Inlet's commercial salmon fleet is currently hibernating for the winter, that doesn't mean those who promote the fishery have cooled their enthusiasm for Kenai's prized fish.

Troopers explain delay after accident
Poor weather conditions, the severity of the crash and limited Alaska State Trooper staffing combined to create a delay of nearly eight hours as motorists waited for the Seward Highway to reopen last month.

Unfair practice claim denied
An unfair labor practices complaint filed against the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District by area teacher and support staff unions is without probable cause, the Alaska Labor Relations Agency ruled last week.

Minor crash closes main Kenai runway
The Kenai Municipal Airport's main runway was closed for nearly an hour Tuesday afternoon when a twin-engine Cessna crashed upon landing.

Nikiski brother saves sister from drowning
Four-year-old Olivia Mapes was playing in her yard on Wapiti Road in Nikiski with her bunnies Saturday afternoon -- just before she almost died.

Marvel Ardel Jeffries
Soldotna resident Marvel Ardel Jeffries died Monday, Dec. 2, 2002, at her home surrounded by family. She was 57.

U.S. battles image problem World loves American technology, culture, but rejects U.S. ideas, customs
WASHINGTON -- Global unhappiness with the United States may have gone up in recent years, but there is still a worldwide love affair with things American, a new survey found.

Kissinger in no-win situation
The choice of Henry Kissinger to chair the independent commission created by Congress to investigate the circumstances leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has already drawn criticism from some who view Kissinger as less than credible as a truth seeker. But my own concern over the Kissinger selection centers more over a sense of reverence and respect for one of the brightest minds of our time.

Letters to the Editor
Are Americans being scared out of their inalienable rights?

Applause
Teen center hosts two dancesKids create crafts to share

Applause
Tustumena school says thanks Donation benefits blood bank

Newest forecast paints brighter budget picture
The last revenue forecast of the Knowles-Ulmer administration issued last week portends a brighter picture for the state's financi

More needs to be done to stop AIDS
In sub-Saharan Africa, the toll that AIDS has taken on people who are 20 to 45 years old has created a demographic shift that's more consistent with what happens in a war.

Around the Peninsula
Youth facility advisory board meeting plannedMeeting set for Fish and Game committeeChurch to package cookiesCIRCAC board to meet in AnchorageHospice offers carols for donationHomer coffee shop to host chamber mixerCity's Christmas tree lighting to offer festivitiesBiologist to discuss bearsHistorical society board meeting setABATE to help community childrenHistorical society meets next monthForest offers Christmas trees

Photo feature: Trimming the tree
Charlene Moore gives Ben Wyant and her daughter Amber Kenderdine instructions on how to care for the Christmas tree Moore and Kenderdine harvested from a nearby forest Wednesday afternoon in Kenai.

Around the Peninsula
Author to speak at library Historical society plans for speaker PFLAG to hold meeting Hospice offers carols for donation Christmas blood drive planned Folk dancers to host contra dance Refuge offers Christmas trees Hospital to sponsor sitter classes

Arkansas court: State failing its children
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has failed its 450,000 public school children by not devoting enough money to schools and distributing the money unfairly, the state Supreme Court said Thursday.

School Menu
Menu for area schools

Around the district
Title VII committee to meet this week Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Mountain View Elementary Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Soldotna Elementary Connections Reads Primary Skyview High Soldotna High Cook Inlet Academy Wings Christian Academy

Students promote love of reading
Everyone knows reading is important, but in an age of DVDs, computers and other electronic wonders, it's not always easy to convince young children to invest their time in books.

Law requires transfers from failing schools
WASHINGTON (AP) -- School districts cannot use overcrowded classes in better-performing schools as an excuse to keep students from transferring from failing schools, according to new federal regulations.

College to host 2003 Economic Outlook Forum
KPC will host the Kenai Peninsula Borough Economic Development District's 2003 Outlook Forum from 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The annual forum provides a venue that brings together key business leaders, business owners, agencies, educators, politicians and vendors from around the state and the peninsula to examine issues that will most impact the economic climate of the area. KPC feels this important event helps identify what role the college has in providing training for a constantly changing economic environment.

Universities grapple with speech, copyright issues online
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- With each mouse click, Mathias Crawford moves deeper into a virtually limitless library of free movies, TV shows and DVDs.

New law: High schools must help with Pentagon recruiting
BOSTON -- A little-noticed provision in a new federal education law is requiring high schools to hand over to military recruiters some key information about its juniors and seniors: name, address and phone number.

Upside future for kids 'at promise'
Some kids seem surely to be in harm's way -- tough neighborhoods, fractured families, inadequate family income. Yet, in school, these same kids seem to be doing just fine academically. With the odds against them, what's happening to make this difference?

Judge OKs school drug testing
TULIA, Texas -- Drug testing of all students involved in extracurricular activities could be returning to Tulia after a legal challenge was tossed out of federal court this month.

Grant helps Penn State nuclear engineering program grow
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Jack Brenizer remembers the lean days in the nuclear industry, when one-third of university nuclear engineering programs were eliminated and more than half of the nation's on-campus research reactors closed their doors.

First defection doesn't shake Augusta's stance
Augusta National Golf Club showed no signs Tuesday of bowing to pressure to allow women to join, even after a former television executive became the first member to defect from the club over the issue.

SoHi senior set to play basketball for NAIA Lions next year
Rachel Besse, a 6-foot-1 senior at Soldotna High School, announced this week that she plans on attending Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, Calif., to play basketball.

The few games left on the schedule will decide a bunch of bowl matchups
The bowl hopes of many teams are riding on just a few games to be played Saturday, the final day of the regular season.

Lions return to bowl
Penn State returned to the postseason after a two-year absence, accepting an invitation Tuesday to play in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

No. 3 Alabama rips UNC-Greensboro
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Erwin Dudley had 18 points, Kenny Walker added 17 and Mo Williams had 13 points and seven assists as No. 3 Alabama beat North Carolina-Greensboro 89-61 on Tuesday night.

Jayhawks end skid vs. Central Missouri
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Keith Langford had 23 points to lead four Kansas players with at least 20 and the 14th-ranked Jayhawks rebounded from a two-game losing streak with a 97-70 victory over Central Missouri State on Wednesday night.

Jones, Ruiz face risks in heavyweight title fight
NEW YORK (AP) -- Elusive in and out of the ring, light heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. dodged WBA heavyweight champ John Ruiz for two hours Tuesday before showing up at the news conference for their title fight.

Islanders slip past Canucks
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Chris Osgood handled Vancouver again, and Alexei Yashin scored with just 1:32 left to snap the Canucks' franchise-best winning streak at 10 games and give the New York Islanders a 2-1 victory Tuesday night.

Malone nets 29 as Lakers lose for fourth time in last six games
SALT LAKE CITY -- Karl Malone had 29 points and 15 rebounds as the Utah Jazz won for the eighth time in nine games, defeating the struggling Los Angeles Lakers 93-85 Wednesday night.

Sports Briefs
Midnight Sun Volleyball Club to meet Dec. 12Dodgers send Karros, Grudzielanek to CubsSharks replace Sutter with WilsonVentura agrees to $5 million deal with Yankees

Thibault snaps Ottawa streak
CHICAGO -- Jocelyn Thibault stopped 28 shots for his fourth shutout and Eric Daze scored as the Chicago Blackhawks stopped the Ottawa Senators' 10-game unbeaten streak with a 1-0 victory Wednesday night.

Mother of Packers star killed in car accident
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The mother of Green Bay Packers defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila was killed in a car accident the same day the football player became a father.

Bucks can't stand Jordan's 25 points
WASHINGTON -- Michael Jordan scored 25 points in his second game as a starter, and the man he replac

Scientists: Fishing not main cause of sea lion decline
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Scientists asked by Congress to find out why the Steller sea lion population has plummeted in Alaska have concluded commercial fishing probably is not the main culprit.

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