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Monday, December 22, 2003

Mabeus takes step toward big-league dream
Chris Mabeus, who was raised in Soldotna and played baseball for the Soldotna Little League, the American Legion Post 20 Twins and the Peninsula Oilers, has not realized his dream of playing in the major leagues yet.

Rodriguez still waits for deal
NEW YORK Alex Rodriguez's agent headed home to California on Saturday, blaming the Red Sox and Texas Rangers for the collapse of the deal that would have sent the shortstop to Boston.

Garcia re-signs with Mariners
NEW YORK Seattle pitcher Freddy Garcia agreed to a $6,875,000, one-year contract Saturday night, while teams dumped 58 players onto the free-agent market when they didn't offer them 2004 contracts.

NOW PLAYING: The Return of the King
And so it came to pass, as quickly as it had begun. The Lord of the Rings has come to a close. Well, maybe not quickly, and certainly not quietly. After three years and a potential billion dollars in box office receipts, The Return of the King wraps up one of the most successful and popular film series in history.

2003 an interesting year for Kenai kings, Board of Fish process
At least once a year I have to agree with Les Palmer, if only to keep the flow of information going and buttress some degree of personal credibility.

Photo feature: Lookout below!
Adreann Baker and her niece Brittany Jordan make a controlled landing as their sled comes down behind them Sunday afternoon while sledding on the hill at the end of Forest Drive in Kenai. Winter enthusiasts will be happy that the forecast calls for continuing snow.

Governor's solutions not popular
If comments offered this week by Kenai Peninsula state lawmakers are any indication, Gov. Frank Murkowski may have his work cut out trying to convince the Legislature to go along with some of the taxes and other provisions proposed in his fiscal year 2005 operating budget.

Kenai Marine earns top secret job
The first time Travis Howell's mother, Deloma, saw her son on television, he was being saluted by the President of the United States.

Co-workers aim to benefit shelter animals
A small group of animal lovers have gotten together to make life a little bit better for a few animals unfortunate enough to find themselves without a home this holiday season.

Superior court judge sworn in red Harley, cowboy boots and all
The normal seriousness of the Kenai court was replaced by laughter and joviality Friday afternoon as Charles T. Huguelet took a bit of teasing from colleagues and friends during his official installation as judge of the Superior Court.

Peninsula trappers giving pelts to scouts
Last month, Girls Scouts from Fairbanks made national news after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) cried foul over the troops trapping of beavers.

Borough, seniors make deal on land
A Cooper Landing seniors' group and the Kenai Peninsula Borough have reached agreement on a contract that will sell borough land near Quartz Creek where a senior housing complex will be developed.

Soldotna adds officers
The Soldotna City Council meeting Dec. 10 was probably the safest place in the city as several Soldotna police officers, including the chief, were in attendance for the swearing in of two new officers.

Moose road kills up over last year
Moose road kill totals on the Kenai Peninsula are up significantly over this time last year.

Ruth I. Bedwell
Soldotna resident Ruth I. Bedwell died Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, at her home. She was 49.

William James Cessnun Jr.
Soldotna resident William James Cessnun Jr. died Saturday, Dec. 20, 2003, surrounded by his family at his home in Soldotna after a long battle with lymphoma. He was 70.

Geraldine C.E. (Geri) Sparks
Former Kenai resident Geraldine C.E. (Geri) Sparks died Saturday, Dec. 20, 2003, at her home in Sheridan, Wyo. She was 59.

Matthew Castimore
Kenai resident Matthew Castimore died Saturday, Dec. 20, 2003, at his home in Kenai. He was 27.

Graduation tests need examination
Diploma denied. Hundreds of high school seniors could hear these words from Alaska's schools this spring. This is the first year the High School Qualifying Exam (HSQE) is scheduled to determine a student's eligibility to graduate.

Bush's Healthy Forests initiative will protect state
The Healthy Forests initiative signed by President George W. Bush earlier this month contained important protection against forest fires for Southcentral Alaska.

Leman urges Alaskans to find ways to help others during the holidays
Alaskans have historically been very generous.

Holiday gives us an opportunity to reflect on gifts, drawbacks of getting older
What happened? I swear it was just a month ago we were ringing in the new year.

U.S. should allow access to 'Plan B'
If ever there was a plan B nation, it would be America.

Questions need to be asked, answered for ferry plan to float
The idea of a transportation route to Anchorage across Turnagain Arm is not a new one.

Democrats reveal their holiday wishes
HAMPTON, N.H. (AP) Without revealing whether he'd been naughty or nice, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Lieberman climbed onto Santa's lap Sunday and revealed his holiday wish.

Santa's helpers answer letters
NORTH POLE Santa's Mailbag is bursting at the seams as wave after wave of letters to the jolly old elf roll in.

Photo feature: Big check
Tina Marie Herford, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula, center, accepts $10,000 from Lisa Parker, government and community relations adviser, and Don Zacharias, human resources manager, both of Agrium. The money, presented Dec. 3 at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce luncheon, is for Agrium's sponsorship of the club's annual golf tournament fund-raising event.

Around the Peninsula
Christmas trees available in refugeKennel club offering dog classesBasketball registration beginsFish and Game committee to meetFrontier board meeting slatedAssistance available for commercial fishersSki team plans fund-raiserAnnual reading carnival seeks vendorsVolunteers sought for air quality research

Community News
Account for fire victims set upChallenger Center plans holiday activities

Nome, Wrangell newspapers celebrate centennials
ANCHORAGE When it comes to beating deadlines and keeping a business going, two Alaska companies share indisputable bragging rights.

Club News
Elks table tennis results announced

Residents go all out to shine bright
Jay C. Smith couldn't find Christmas lights in the colors he wanted for sale, so he improvised. He bought 12 strings of all-white mini Christmas lights and 12 strings of all-red mini Christmas lights, then spent hours swapping lights to make 24 strings of alternating red-white mini Christmas lights.

Births
Colleen and Michael Dammeyer Mary Jean and Micheal Wayne Hamby Lauri and Michael Johnson

Peninsula People
Keller earns ROTC scholarshipPierce graduates boot campPierce graduates boot camp

Around the Peninsula
Blood Bank to remain open during holidaysPublic health sets holiday scheduleSeaLife center closed for ChristmasCabin Hoppers plan fun runCES is collection point for food bankHabitat for Humanity accepting applications

My best friend
Holly Lynn Heazlett of Nikiski thinks her horse, Elvis, is king.

Lucky duck returns to wild with new clan
LUBBOCK, Texas Who is the duck who can take an arrow through the neck?

Name game: Fun or frustrating?
Max, max, bo-bax, banana-ana, fo-fax, mi-my, mo-max ... Max.

CIA boys claim Cook Inlet Classic
Three straight wins and a tournament championship not a bad way to start a season. Still, the Cook Inlet Academy boys high school basketball team is looking for improvement.

Sports Briefs
Area skiers compete in Besh CupJudge in Bryant case delays action on key issuesWilliams visits Bulls, vows to play again

Patriots nip Jets behind nice defense
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. The New England Patriots can thank their defense for wrapping up their 11th straight win.

Nikiski boys, girls notch sweep of Soldotna
Nikiski's Krystal Gladden made one of two free throws with one second remaining to help the Nikiski girls to a 37-36 win Saturday in nonconference action at Soldotna High School.

UConn women just keep rolling
PHILADELPHIA Barbara Turner scored 19 points, and Diana Taurasi added 18 in top-ranked Connecticut's 87-34 victory Sunday over Saint Joseph's.

Peninsula Sports Briefs
Goracke, Garroutte win at WestNinilchik girls take Joe Floyd; Skyview boys top Grace ChristianHomer skaters drop two on the roadMicmacs fall to Mi/SWACO

Flyers snap slide by whipping Islanders
PHILADELPHIA Jim Vandermeer had his first two-goal game in the NHL, and Robert Esche made 18 saves in his return from injury to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Peninsula X-C skiers compete at Besh Cup
The second Besh Cup race of the season was held Sunday at the Beach Lake Ski Trails in Eagle River. Besh Cup races are used to choose Alaska's team for the United States Skiing Association Junior Olympic National Cross Country Ski Championships and for the Arctic Winter Games.

James makes himself right at home in Jordan's house
CHICAGO LeBron James did the No. 23 proud in his idol's house.

Kenai Central hockey ties Houston, loses to Chugiak
The Kenai Central hockey team dropped a nonconference contest Friday at Chugiak 7-0. Shane Wheeler scored two goals to lead the Mustangs.

Detroit drops to record depths
CHARLOTTE, N.C. The Detroit Lions set an NFL record with their 24th straight road loss, a 20-14 defeat Sunday by a Carolina team that rested five starters.

UConn beats Iona by 50
HARTFORD, Conn. Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor had just about everything covered for Connecticut.

McGrady casts spell over Toronto
TORONTO Tracy McGrady scored 29 points and Juwan Howard had 20 points and 12 rebounds to help the Orlando Magic to their third straight victory, 104-93 over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

Homer girls hold on against Seward
A furious Seward rally in the fourth quarter nearly brought the Seahawks back from a 17-point, third-quarter defecit, but Homer held on for a 53-47 victory. Seward got six points each from Breanna Bardarson and Emma Seigel to outscore the Mariners 18-7 in the final quarter, but it wasn't quite enough to overcome a balanced Mariner attack.

Coach fired after narcotics scandal
SEATTLE The University of Washington reportedly fired softball coach Teresa Wilson, the most significant fallout so far from a scandal involving a former team doctor who handed out narcotics to players.

Chicago ties up Devils
CHICAGO Ville Niemenen scored with 3:49 remaining in the third period to rally Chicago to a tie with New Jersey.

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