Sunday, December 9, 2001

Inquiry questions whether GCI can buy second cable
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Justice Department is investigating whether GCI's bid for a 2,000-mile fiber-optic cable would give it a monopoly on phone and data traffic between Alaska and the Lower 48.

Tanker truck fumes explode at Anchorage port
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Quick action by two workers kept a fire from spreading after fumes from a tanker truck exploded near the Port of Anchorage.

State seeks dismisal of rural public safety lawsuit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A state attorney has asked a Superior Court judge to dismiss a lawsuit by rural communities and Alaska Native groups that alleges state discrimination through inadequate police protection in villages.

Retired trooper and son die in accident on Parks Highway
WILLOW (AP) -- A retired trooper and his son died Saturday night in an accident north of Willow, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Admiralty Island bear attack victim: 'I was getting killed'
JUNEAU (AP) -- Kenneth Horton will spend months trying to heal wounds inflicted in five seconds by a brown bear on Admiralty Island.

Couple accused of cashing bad checks worth $30,000
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks couple opened an account at a local bank with only $47 but wrote about $30,000 in checks without depositing another cent, according to police.

Former governor joining Texas law firm
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Former Alaska Gov. Steve Cowper is moving to Texas to join a law firm where he will specialize in energy and environmental issues.

California traffic expert has some tips for Anchorage
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A transportation expert from San Francisco has come up with a few ideas to ease traffic in Anchorage.

Anchorage doctor's license suspended
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Following complaints on laser procedures performed, the Alaska State Medical Board has suspended an Anchorage doctor's medical license.

Biologist wants hunter's grizzly record wiped off the books
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A retired salmon biologist is taking aim at a hunter's big game record.

Tourism survey shows advance bookings down
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A survey of Alaska's tourism industry shows that advance bookings for next summer's visitor season are down by an average of 23 percent, far below the expected overall drop of 40 to 60 percent.

Kenai refineries boost security
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Four industrial refineries on the Kenai Spur Highway are implementing security measures following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Regents approve new economics chair
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A chair in economics financed by a $5 million gift from the late Anchorage banker Elmer Rasmussen has been formally approved by the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska.

FAA considers new air routes over Anchorage
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing more than a dozen new air routes over Anchorage to safeguard small planes from potentially deadly jet turbulence.

AIDEA backs $10.7 million loan for veneer plant
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A $10.7 million bank loan for Gateway Forest Products was approved Thursday by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority. That leaves the veneer mill operator, now under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, one step away from getting the infusion.

North Pole man indicted on child molestation charges
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 49-year-old North Pole man is accused of molesting four children and trying to solicit a fifth.

State expected to use more from savings account than previously thought
JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska will need to draw $906 million from its dwindling savings account to balance the state budget this year, the Revenue Department now estimates.

Fairbanks teen collapses and dies after soccer practice
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 13-year-old Fairbanks boy collapsed and died soon after finishing indoor soccer practice, Alaska State Troopers said Saturday.

Petitioners challenge retailers on standing by stores
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- People who gather signatures for various ballot initiatives made a symbolic stand in front of several big box stores here.

Hunting bin Laden
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Armed with photographs of wanted terrorists, U.S. Marines scoured the roads of southern Afghanistan on Saturday for Taliban and al-Qaida leaders who might have slipped out of Kandahar as the former ruling militia abandoned its last stronghold.

Community rallies to aid fire victims
A house is more than a roof overhead. And losing one means a loss greater than the mere physical possessions destroyed.

Charities team up to allow incarcerated parents to still play Santa
At the end of Wildwood Road, far removed from shoppers rushing home with their presents, sits the frost-covered buildings of Wildwood Correctional Center. Behind a chain link fence topped with razor-sharp coils of wire, some 250 Alaska inmates are serving their sentences. Clanking metal gates and locked doors keep them separated from Kenai Peninsula residents.

Fund-raiser planned for residents of ravaged Kasilof homestead
The community of Kasilof is banding together to assist four longtime residents who lost all their possessions in a Nov. 15 fire.

Millions in northern Afghanistan awaiting aid from Uzbekistan
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- With millions of people facing winter cold, disease and hunger in northern Afghanistan, humanitarian relief has been moving painfully slowly by river barge from neighboring Uzbekistan.

Orthodox church opens new center
The Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska has big plans for education, outreach and fellowship that are manifested in the new St. Yakov Center for Orthodox Christian Learning.

Heeth Manning Wellborn-Tyson
Kenai resident Heeth Manning Wellborn-Tyson died Thursday, Dec. 6, 2001, at his home. He was 16.

Christina Haeg
Christina Haeg died on Dec. 6, 2001, at her home in Kenai. Arrangements are pending with the Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

Oilers sign another Drew
The Peninsula Oilers have signed Stephen Drew, an infielder from Florida State University.

'Unfortunate' gifts provide valuable lessons for today's wise men Christmas presents past
Behold, the power of Christmas: What other holiday could popularize giving angels enemas with the business end of a Douglas fir and selling a beverage with as unappetizing a name as "nog"?

A miracle amid the devastation?
NEW YORK -- With the World Trade Center death toll shrinking to somewhere around 3,000, many hesitate to speak of a miracle or a success. But those are the words they are using when they remember that thousands of others got out alive before the towers collapsed.

Board of Fisheries should reconsider winter king decision
The Alaska Board of Fisheries should rescind its November decision that establishes a year-round five-fish limit on king salmon taken from Cook Inlet and Resurrection Bay.

Father, son share more than family name at Soldotna church
Son and father duos fill the world. U.S. President George W. and his father, George H.W. Fox Television's Bart Simpson and his father Homer. Actor Peter Fonda and his father Henry. Musician Arlo Guthrie and his father Woodie. Legendary race car driver Dale Earnhardt and his father, Ralph.

Life expectancy in U.S. reaches all-time high of 76.9 years
ATLANTA -- Life expectancy in the United States has climbed to an all-time high of nearly 77 years, while infant mortality has dropped to the lowest level on record, the government reported Wednesday.

Bend and stretch: Make the holidays meaningful
If you can spare a moment, this might be a good time to explore how you will spend the next few weeks leading up to and including the holidays. The following statements are quoted from a Montana Cooperative Extension publication designed to help people analyze how they invest their resources such as time, money and personal energy related to the holidays.

Matranga, Shields announce engagement
Shawna Lenee Matranga and Micah Eugene Shields have announced their plans to wed at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan 12, 2002, at Soldotna First Assembly of God Church. Pastor Jim Duncan will officiate.

One-parent families on rise around world, mirroring demographic shifts in U.S.
WASHINGTON -- It's not just an American phenomenon: Across the globe, single-parent homes are on the rise.

Around the Peninsula
Kenai Eagles plan Christmas dinnerChoir performs todayMeeting about Cook Inlet salmon fisheries slatedFuture health center subject of chamber meetingFur stretching and pelt care discussedRC&D meeting coming upReforestation activities to be reviewedBasketball league taking registrationsFur Rendezvous memorabilia availableAdvisory board members soughtSubsistence booklets ready for review

And I want ...
Elder Mary Patsy sits on Santa's lap and shares her Christmas list with him and Mrs. Claus during their brief visit to the Eskimo village of St. Mary Nov. 30 as part of the Alaska National Guard's Operation Santa.

Sprint format provides thrill a minute
Normally, when one goes looking for a change of pace, the intent is to slow down for a little while.

Nikiski wrestlers dominate Area 3
The Nikiski High School wrestling team will be well-represented at next week's state fall wrestling championships, advancing 18 athletes through the Area 3 Championship -- including eight individual champions crowned Saturday at Anchorage Christian Schools.

LSU whips Volunteers to mess up BCS
ATLANTA -- A backup quarterback denied Tennessee a spot in the Rose Bowl and really messed up the Bowl Championship Series.

Capitals crushed by Devils
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Sergei Brylin and Brian Rafalski scored second-period goals as the New Jersey Devils beat the Washington Capitals 3-1 Saturday to reach .500 for the first time since Nov. 17.

Kenny Lake skaters cruise past Bulldogs
The Nikiski High School hockey team dropped a Greatland Conference game 4-1 to the Kenny Lake Hawks Friday night at Jason Peterson Memorial Rink in Nikiski, but the Bulldogs did manage to improve their performance after going scoreless in four straight games.

Bulldogs senior tabbed for Arctic Winter Games
Nuuk, Greenland, seems to be about the last place anybody would go for exposure, unless it's exposure to extreme cold we're talking about.

Crouch nabs Heisman in whisker close voting
NEW YORK -- Eric Crouch must be really glad he didn't quit the team.

Sports Briefs
Minnesota-Mankato tops UAANikiski, Kenai split in hoops

North Dakota wears Division II crown
FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) -- Jed Perkerewicz scored on a 1-yard with 29 seconds to play as North Dakota outlasted Grand Valley State 17-14 on Saturday for its first NCAA Division II championship.

Stars drop 3-2 decision to Dimond
The Soldotna hockey team played Dimond, the top-ranked team in the state, close before losing 3-2 Friday in a nonconference game at Ben Boeke Arena in Anchorage.

Teacher schools pupil as Duke tops Michigan
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Jason Williams scored 14 of his career-high 35 points in the first 4:13, and top-ranked Duke beat Michigan 104-83 Saturday to spoil Tommy Amaker's reunion with his former boss.

Panther power rules Area 4 wrestling meet
There hasn't been a panther movement this powerful since Huey P. Newton and Eldridge Cleaver led their men in black through California in the 1960s.

After Van Gundy resigns, Knicks triumph
NEW YORK -- With Jeff Van Gundy undoubtedly watching from the edge of his easy chair, the New York Knicks began a new era without him by beating the Indiana Pacers 101-99 Saturday night.

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