Friday, December 24, 2004

Varitek stays with Red Sox, Eckstein to Cardinals
NEW YORK - Jason Varitek decided to stay with the Boston Red Sox on Thursday and David Eckstein agreed to a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, completing a game of musical chairs among shortstops.

Drew goes to Dodgers on busy day in baseball
NEW YORK - J.D. Drew is set to join the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are concentrating on offense after pulling out of the three-team, 10-player trade that would have sent Randy Johnson from Arizona to the New York Yankees.

$50,000 all it takes to resurrect favorite feline
SAN FRANCISCO - The first cloned-to-order pet sold in the United States is named Little Nicky, a 9-week-old kitten delivered to a Texas woman saddened by the loss of a cat she had owned for 17 years.

Company to offer less meth-friendly Sudafed
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - The maker of Sudafed is offering a new version of the cold and allergy medicine without an ingredient often used to produce the illegal and highly addictive drug methamphetamine in homemade labs.

Kerik plans to leave Giuliani Partners
NEW YORK - Former police commissioner and one-time Cabinet nominee Bernard Kerik said Wednesday he will leave Giuliani Partners, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's consulting firm.

Court ruling could reopen Microsoft settlement talks
SEATTLE - Dogged by distracting and reputation-tarnishing legal difficulties, Microsoft Corp. has spent the last few years working feverishly to settle its many court challenges.

Holidays quiet area chambers schedules
Chambers of commerce speakers for the upcoming week include:

Wall Street surge fueled by lower oil prices
NEW YORK - Wall Street extended its record-setting rally Wednesday as a sharp drop in oil prices and a surprise jump in the nation's gross domestic product encouraged more buying. The Dow Jones industrials and the Standard & Poor's 500 index both reached new 3 1/2-year highs.

Hunters' ethics run the gamut on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
As a Kenai National Wildlife Refuge officer, I see quite a variety of hunting ethics in the field. For some, it's doing the right thing when no one is around - packing out trash, picking up litter carelessly left behind and following the rules and regulations related to the hunt.

Spreading spirit through singing
Though it is the height of cold and flu season, there is one thing that's contagious this time of year, yet doesn't have to be avoided: holiday cheer, and the Kenai Performers Victorian Carolers spread it around as much as they can.

Barrow elder's life a fascinating portrait
Harry Brower Sr. lived with a remarkable family in a remarkable place at a remarkable time. So it is no wonder that "The Whales, They Give Themselves," based on interviews with the Barrow elder before his death in 1992, is intriguing.

What's Happening
Best BetsEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentUpcoming EventsFilmsDown the RoadAnchorage Events

'Friends' harassment suit takes on tradition
LOS ANGELES - Writer Janis Hirsch faced a painful ritual at one sitcom: She'd get a tap on the shoulder from one or another male colleague, turn around and find them exposing themselves.

Carver teaches traditional engraving
JUNEAU - In short, confident strokes of pencil on paper, master carver Steven Brown drew a killer whale design for Steve Griffin.

Art Briefs
Student, adult classes plannedArt wanted for KPC's Kachemak Bay campusWriters' Night accepting submissionsWriters conference slated

Community helped Kenai chamber decorate in style
The kindness that is received here at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce is never ending. Last weekend, the Young Marines spent the morning tipping out the old carpet and moving furniture so that our new carpet donated by Decor Industries could be laid; McDonald's bought everyone lunch. Then, R & K Industrial loaned us a truck and two strong guys (Tim Kirsch and Kurt Saltenberger).

Band concert ended on high note thanks to volunteers
On Tuesday, Dec. 21, the Kenai Central High School's Concert and Jazz Band celebrated their holiday band concert by including a dessert auction fund-raiser with wonderful music entertainment.

Many helped make club's 2004 basketball season a slam dunk
The Boys and Girls Club 2004 fifth- and sixth-grade basketball league just completed another great season! Thanks to the help and support of our wonderful community, more than 200 fifth- and sixth-graders from all over the area were given the opportunity to be a part of a team, learn and improve their basketball skills, make friends and most importantly, participate and have fun! The Boys and Girls Club strives to offer quality youth programs encouraging our young people to grow and develop into productive, responsible and caring citizens. Our sports programs are a wonderful way to teach valuable life skills such as teamwork, discipline, responsibility and respect.

Photo feature: Giving it the brush-off
Linda Coulter and Michelle Wheeler clean fresh snow from Coulter's car Wednesday morning in Kenai. Forecasters are calling for a little more sun by Saturday, but that means the temperatures will drop. The low tonight is expected to hit minus 10.

Council OKs Soldotna priorities
The Soldotna City Council passed its set of ranked priorities for state and federal funding Wednesday, after city manager Tom Boedeker cautioned that large state grants could be difficult to get this year because of tight state dollars.

Photo feature: Christmas greetings
After some initial hesitation, Nicole Cruze accepts a candy cane from Santa Claus during a visit to the Peninsula Center Mall last week. See Sunday's Peninsula Clarion for an exclusive interview with the jolly elf himself. For a look at the holiday

Structure fire changes look of 'Keep it Green' wreath
Just one week after Central Emergency Services erected its green wreath fire safety reminder, one of the sign's green light bulbs was replaced by a red one, indicating that a structure fire occurred.

Submarine cable considered for mine
Northern Dynasty Minerals has lined up Homer Electric Association as its main power producer for the Pebble Mine project being planned near Lake Iliamna.

Agrium report details impact
Anticipating a possible shutdown, Agrium Inc. contracted a consulting firm to prepare a study of the economic impact of closing down its North Kenai fertilizer plant in December 2003, company spokesperson Lisa Parker said Thursday. The report was completed in April 2004.

Agrium says it's closing
Agrium will close its North Kenai plant Nov. 1, leaving 230 people jobless, Lisa Parker, spokesperson for Agrium, said Wednesday.

Collision claims its 2nd victim
A second person has died from injuries received in a Wednesday morning head-on collision on the Sterling Highway in Sterling.

3 armed robbery suspects arrested
Kenai police and Alaska State Troopers teamed up to nab three Sterling men suspected of forcing their way into a Kenai home and robbing the residents at gunpoint Thursday morning.

Woman killed in head-on collision
A 29-year-old medical student was killed and two people were seriously injured Wednesday morning in a head-on collision that closed the Sterling Highway in Sterling for about four hours.

Debra Kernan
Nikiski resident Debra Kernan died Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2004, unexpectedly at her home. She was 45.

David Leach
Soldotna resident David Leach died Thursday, Dec. 23, 2004, at the Providence Medical Center in Anchorage from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. He was 20.

Enjoy phone-free skies while you can
Many stressed-out travelers look forward to the moment when an airline attendant asks them to please turn off their cell phones and wireless Internet devices.

Bush should move to reform immigration
During a year-end press conference, George W. Bush, again tackled the problem of foreign workers that arrive in his country every year. He recognized that the system needs to concentrate on catching criminals and drug traffickers. ...

Tax plan deserves fair hearing
Past polling has suggested that, when properly explained, the "Fair Tax" proposal, which would end the federal government's fixation on punishing those who work hard, is extremely popular. But tell that to the man who has championed it in recent years, U.S. Rep. John Linder, R-Ga.

Greetings from the kids
Another holiday tradition at the Peninsula Clarion is the publication of Christmas greetings from Kenai Peninsula children.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus
Editor's Note: For several years on Christmas Eve, the Peninsula Clarion has reprinted this famous editorial written by Francis P. Church. It first appeared in the New York Sun on Sept. 21, 1897.

Knowledge is power: Bear safety course saves student's life
I'd just spent most of the night packing to leave for the bush to resume my studies on bear behavior. Having hit the sack only around 3 a.m., I wasn't exactly pleased to be awakened just a few hours later by the ringing of my phone. Jerking awake and lifting the receiver, I was just about to say something rude when my caller said "Dr. Stringham, this is Warren. You just saved my life."

Outdoors program attracts variety of students
JUNEAU - Ariel Engelman was looking for a break from city life and professional theater work in Providence, R.I. Zack Huckstep, a former Marine, wants to become a state wildlife enforcement trooper.

Outdoor Briefs
Exit Glacier area open to snowmachine useAlaska national parks set record for visitors

Solitude, beauty rewards for winter camping
MEDFORD, Ore. - Pitch a tent in the snow and call it fun? Most people would say you're crazy. But for 77-year-old Ruby Edwards and others like her, camping in the snow is a high point of this time of year.

Around the Peninsula
Blood bank sets holiday hoursKPHC plans 1-day closureBeekeepers meeting plannedFish and Game to meetDiabetes support group to meet

Give of yourself - the greatest gift of them all
Recently surfing the Internet, I found this Christmas cheer from "Bah' Picks: Top Ten Christmas Gifts."

Christmas past and present have the same need
Let's just imagine what Christmas might have been like 50 years ago in 1954. A cup of coffee cost a nickel. The annual income of a typical family in the United States was under $10,000.

Christmas services slated
St. Francis by the Sea will hold Holy Communion and the Nativity in conjunction with the Family Church of God at 7 p.m. and Holy Communion at 11 p.m. Friday; and Christmas lessons and carols at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

Conditions change, skiing still plenty good
Mother Nature has kept Kenai Peninsula cross-country ski trails busy this weekend with new snow and changing temperatures.

Spurs shut down Garnett
SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Spurs found a good way to beat Minnesota: take Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell out of the Timberwolves' offense.

Wyoming hits jackpot in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS - Corey Bramlet drilled a 12-yard touchdown pass to John Wadkowski with 57 seconds left Thursday night to give Wyoming its first bowl victory in 38 years, a 24-21 win over UCLA.

No. 10 Pittsburgh holds off Richmond
PITTSBURGH - Carl Krauser scored a career-high 31 points and No. 10 Pittsburgh held off Richmond 69-60 on Thursday night in the first game between the schools in 66 years.

Iverson drains 40 in Philly win
INDIANAPOLIS - Allen Iverson scored 40 points, ending his streak of 50-point games at two, but Philadelphia rallied with a closing surge of 19-2 to beat Indiana 102-90 Wednesday night.

The BCS still lives!
We're at that point in college football's annual B-movie horror classic when the monster staggers back to its feet for the umpteenth time.

Pro Bowl: Eagles lead roster with nine; 25 newcomers make team
NEW YORK - Going 13-1 hasn't just assured the Eagles and Steelers of division titles. It's also made them the leaders in Pro Bowl players.

Skyview, Kenai alumni take hoops tourney
A feisty bunch of Skyview High School alumni banded together to win the men's title at the Kenai Holiday Hoops Classic alumni basketball tournament Thursday at Kenai.

Game of the century will be one-sided
The Shaq-Kobe split is a good example of why no-fault divorces caught on so quickly.

Judge OKs return of Indiana's O'Neal
NEW YORK - Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal can play against Detroit on Christmas after a federal judge upheld an arbitrator's decision to reduce the forward's suspension for fighting with fans during the Nov. 19 Pacers-Pistons brawl.

Illinois claims Braggin' Rights
ST. LOUIS - Luther Head scored 20 points and No. 1 Illinois overcame foul problems, poor shooting and a second-half surge by Missouri for a 70-64 victory on Wednesday night.

Packers and Vikings play for a title
The epitome of NFC mediocrity will be on display for the nation Friday afternoon: Green Bay at Minnesota, two decidedly average teams, playing for the championship of the NFC North.

Bowling Green wins GMAC
MOBILE, Ala. - Omar Jacobs went from Bowling Green's question mark to the Mid-American Conference's latest star quarterback.

How long should a football coach stay in one place?
Jim Mora (the elder) resigned from the Saints midway through the 1996 season after 10 1/2 years as by far the most successful coach in the team's 38-season history.

Falcons make Vick league's richest player
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Michael Vick has become the richest player in the NFL.

Biologist makes bears his business
FAIRABNKS - The plight of the few remaining Gobi bears isn't of much interest to your average Alaskan, but it is to Harry Reynolds.

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