Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bell Ringing drive breaks through all records
The sound of those silver bells and the dedication of volunteers combined for a record breaking Rotary Salvation Army Kettle drive this season, according to Lt. Craig Fanning, of the local Salvation Army. “It was really an amazing effort and we are very appreciative of the three local Rotary Clubs and their friendly competition that raised just under $6,400 this year, that’s $2,000 more than has ever been raised before and represents more than 152 volunteer hours from these community minded Rotarians who stand at our Kettles in addition to all the other service work they do this time of year, it was very impressive,” said Fanning.

Soldotna Police Officers raise cash for Holiday turkeys
Regardless of religious or non-religious preferences this is the season of sharing, giving and helping all to have a warm and happy holiday season. The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank is a hub for helping those in need of food through out the year and especially during the holiday season. According to executive director of the Food Bank Linda Swarner they’ve been doing well with high school and local business canned food drives but have run short of turkeys, “As of Tuesday the 18th we were totally out of turkeys, so we were very happy to receive the check from the Soldotna Police Officers and we’ll be using their donation to buy turkeys for the freezer,” said Swarner.

Firefighters Procession honors service of the fallen
After a huge search and rescue and search and recovery effort, closure came last week as Firefighters from across Southcentral Alaska gathered to honor Central Emergency Services (CES) firefighter Cameron Carter. It was Carter’s request to have a Fire Department funeral according to Assistant CES chief Gordon Orth, “In the event of an emergency we have paper work on all our personnel where they express their wishes in the event of an emergency and Mr. Carter stated that he wanted a Fire Department funeral, which has over 200 years of tradition part of which is a procession to honor the individual and his service,” Orth told the Dispatch.

It was in the fall of 1972 and I found myself lined up beside a young Indian man by the name of Randy Mallory on our Small School Wisconsin State Championship Football Team. We raced through the Dairyland Conference that fall unbeaten and untied averaging over 40 Points a game and gave up only 14 points all year. Randy played offensive tackle and I played end. Little did I think at that time that Randy and I would become such good friends through the years.

Agrium careers changing gears
The Agrium Transition Center, located in the old Carrs Mall, officially opened its doors December 5th after the initial layoff of approximately 80 Agrium employees. A partnership with the Alaska Department of Labor helped to create this service solely for the displaced Agrium employees. The center offers them a place to receive help transitioning into new careers, relocation, job search, and training. “We’re working to help all the dislocated Agrium employees to find other opportunities,” explained Jeff Laube a former Agrium operator who has been hired to assist his former colleagues at the new Center, “I’m a familiar face here to guide them through the transition process and help them to utilized the services that are available here. There is a lot of paper work involved and we help move them through the system, we’ve had over 20 people finds jobs already and we’ve only been in business now for a little more than two weeks,” added Laube.

Open for biz
It's Christmas, and while other businesses may be closed, Mike Ellis and his family are raking in the dough, so to speak, by making and delivering pizzas 24 hours a day until Dec. 27.

She's sticking it out
Most people are probably familiar with Lauren Baldwin the hockey player, a dominating goalie willing to sprawl, flop and kick her way to success.

Woman killed in collision
A Kasilof woman was killed Monday when her vehicle collided with a tree at Mile 104 of the Sterling Highway.

Is money heading Soldotna's way?
To take advantage of about $150,000 in state grants, the Soldotna City Council tonight is expected to introduce and set for public hearing several ordinances accepting the grants and appropriating the money into the city budget. The grants are law-enforcement related.

Ice jams still a possibility
Ice jams still a possibilityCold temperatures and a build-up of slushy ice have Kenai Peninsula Borough emergency officials keeping a close eye on portions of the Kenai River, especially around the Big Eddy area.

Nadine Smith
Longtime Soldotna resident Nadine Smith died Sunday, Dec. 23, 2007, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. She was 86.

Larry David Gjovig
Larry David Gjovig of Soldotna died Monday, Dec. 17, 2007, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage from complications following a diagnosis of cancer. He was 65.

A last look at the favorites
Chocolate cake, quick bread, chicken salad and iced coffee these were among some of our favorite things in 2007. We also liked Harry Connick Jr.'s recipe for Jambalaya (perfect for celebrating Kwanzaa from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1), which was published in a June column that highlighted "Star Palate," a celebrity cookbook written to benefit breast and ovarian cancer research.

Aunt Leona's Walnut Bread
3 cups flour

Healthy Bites
Remember alcohol affects your appetite, so if you're drinking you may end up eating more than you planned.

Iced Mocha Frappuccino
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso

Good-for-Kwanzaa recipes
The seven days of Kwanzaa begins today and concludes New Year's Day. During each night, observers light the Mishumaa Saba: seven red, black and green candles, in a kinara (candleholder).

Chutney Chicken Salad
2 pounds boneless, skinless, trimmed chicken breasts

Around the Peninsula
Public health reopens today Basketball alumni game planned T-200 poster contest continues Race volunteers sought Art donations sought

Anniversary Bundt Pan Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
1 cup nonalkanized (natural

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