Saturday, December 25, 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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."

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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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