Monday, December 31, 2001

Alaska Native upstages tae-bo star for kick record
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Hollywood fitness guru stood poised to claim a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. A television crew was on hand to record the attempt at the highest martial arts kick in history. A patsy from Alaska nobody had ever heard of was hired to make it all look like a competition.

Judge sides with businesses suing petition signature gatherers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage judge has sided with retailers that sued a local activist to keep signature gatherers from petitioning on their properties.

Man charged in fatal Anchorage car crash
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 23-year-old man has been charged with four felony counts, including manslaughter, for a traffic crash in Anchorage that killed a 51-year-old man.

Dec. 20, 2001 The Nome Nugget finds enlightenment in being a little lighthearted
They say one doesn't have to be crazy to live here, but it sure helps. It's so much fun to live in a town that can laugh at itself and not let world politics dash our spirits.

Attacks, development plans, paintball shootings mark Alaska in 2001
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The year 2001 will be remembered in America for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and in Alaska for the ripples they caused -- soldiers at airports, heightened alerts at military bases, an outpouring of red, white and blue on lapels, pickup trucks and holiday displays.

Dec. 28, 2001 The Voice of the Times finds more evidence of news bias in reporting
The big-time media folks like to deny they show bias in their news reporting, despite undeniable evidence to the contrary.

Leeches make a medical comeback, help Alaska boy
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Most patients count on drugs to get them well. But what if the cure depended instead on a living, bloodsucking animal that many people look at with disgust?

Dec. 27, 2001 The Anchorage Daily News calls for better protection in the Bush
Last Thursday's fire in the village of Sleetmute destroyed what bigger communities would call their downtown. Imagine Anchorage losing a major hospital, city hall, a recreation center and the water utility headquarters, and you have some sense of the scale of the loss.

Anchorage gets $50,000 federal grant to protect birds, habitat
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Good news for bird lovers in Anchorage: The city is getting a $50,000 federal grant to protect birds and their habitat.

Dec. 27, 2001 Alaska Newspapers Inc. criticizes Knowles administration for oil industry appeasement
Gov. Tony Knowles' $4.8 million initiative to please the oil industry and environmentalists dances a fine line between compromise and deceit.

Alaska bars gear up for post-attack New Year's Eve celebrations
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- American flags. Fried chicken and apple pie. A rock version of the national anthem.

Dec. 28, 2001 The Peninsula Clarion says Congressional pay raise comes at bad time
It didn't make the front page, but it shouldn't go unnoticed.

Musher gives up Iditarod dream -- for now -- to serve country
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Like so many others in the military, Blake Matray has had to put his life on hold to support the war in Afghanistan.

Gift returns include unwanted dogs, cats
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Anchorage Animal Shelter is bracing for an influx of unwanted pets.

Police say courts should have passed on rape admission
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Police at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are disturbed that the court system didn't tell them about a university basketball player's rape admission shortly before he is accused of kidnapping the same woman.

Fairbanks man opens water business
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A local businessman has opened a bulk water distribution depot to fill the gap left by Golden Heart Utilities, which turned off its First Avenue spigot.

Anchorage man accused of turning rifle on two officers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 21-year-old man was arrested after he pointed a rifle at two Anchorage police officers before surrendering the weapon, police said.

Man dies in Fairbanks vehicle accident
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man was killed in a single-vehicle rollover accident on the Steese Highway Sunday night, Alaska State Troopers said.

Ketchikan airport evacuated following bomb threat
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Authorities are investigating an anonymous bomb threat that shut down the Ketchikan International Airport for more than an hour Friday.

Woman chooses traditional face tattoo
UNALASKA (AP) -- In a world where ancient traditions and cultures are disappearing, 20-year-old Laresa Syverson is proud of her Aleut-Unangan heritage.

There's no retirement home for aging wildlife in Alaska
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- In his almost 30 years as a wildlife biologist in Alaska, Pat Valkenburg has never seen a caribou die of old age.

Vandals cause damage at Anchorage high school
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Vandals broke into a construction site at Dimond High School and caused damage that one police officer estimated at ''several tens of thousands of dollars.''

Study: Many Alaskans don't get alcohol treatment until they land in prison
JUNEAU (AP) -- Many criminals need treatment for alcohol or drug abuse but don't get it before they land in prison, a new study suggests. The administration says the study bolsters its request to boost spending on treatment of alcohol and drug abuse by $5.5 million.

Another group takes crack at Kenai fishing plan
KENAI (AP) -- A coalition of residents with roots on the Kenai Peninsula says it has come up with a blueprint for solving divisive fishing disputes. Of course, not everyone is buying into the plan.

Utility wants cost of additive added to bills
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Golden Valley Electric Association wants its customers to pay for an additive that helps reduce sulfur dioxide emissions when coal is burned at its Healy power plant.

State warns drivers about stiffer DWI law
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The law on drunk driving is stiffer this year for the New Year holiday, and the state has been running newspaper and television ads across Alaska reminding people about the lower level of blood-alcohol that could mean an expensive DWI conviction, or worse

Appeals court says police must limit hand searches
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Police can't order a suspect to open his hand during an investigative stop unless officers fear the hand might hold something dangerous to them, the Alaska Court of Appeals says.

Remote hatchery for sale: $2 million or so
KOTZEBUE (AP) -- Web surfers cruising eBay, the giant online auction site, now can bid serious money on a fish hatchery on the Noatak River.

It's Christmas all year in North Pole
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Others might be packing away holiday lights, candles, stars and Santas around this time.

Leeches make a medical comeback, help Alaska boy
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Most patients count on drugs to get them well. But what if the cure depended instead on a living, bloodsucking animal that many people look at with disgust?

Now Playing: Ali
Michael Mann's Mohammad Ali biopic begins in several places at once. We see the champ-to-be training in low rent Rocky-style. We see him also as a small child and view his first experiences with prejudice. As well, we are shown bits and pieces of Sonny Liston, the then heavyweight champion of the world, defending his title. And all this is intercut with sounds and shots of Sam Cooke singing to crowds of screaming fans. Thus, the film's beginning is an excellent belweather for the rest of the movie: visually striking, well acted, and, ultimately, unfocused.

Bin Laden hunt continues
WASHINGTON -- American-led forces pursued Osama bin Laden and clues to his whereabouts Saturday in a campaign President Bush said involved new tactics to ''rout a new kind of enemy.''

Soldotna woman threads together quilt idea
This is the time of year when the importance of family and friends takes center stage, and one Soldotna woman is trying to do something for those who lost their loved ones Sept. 11.

No holiday rest for emergency personnel
The festivities of the holiday season will wind down following New Year's Day, and life on the Kenai Peninsula will return to business as usual.

Airport restaurant gets new tenant
The management changeover in the airport restaurant is complete: Wings Family Diner is now open for business.

2001, We're not sorry to see you go ...
Somber national and international events touched even the Kenai Peninsula, casting a pall over the last quarter of 2001. The terrorist attacks on the United States caused disruptions of air travel, losses for tourism businesses, mobilization of family members in the military, anthrax scares and heightened security concerns on the peninsula. But plenty happened closer to home, too.

Government agrees on function of peacekeepers
KABUL, Afghanistan -- The new Afghan government has reached an agreement with international peacekeepers on how they will function in the coming months, the country's interim foreign minister said Sunday.

2001 'best of times' for oil and gas industry
ANCHORAGE -- 2001 was an uncommonly good year for Alaska's oil and gas industry. Prices remained strong for the millions of barrels of crude oil the industry produced and shipped mostly to the West Coast and for the millions of cubic feet of natural gas produced and consumed within the state.

Carla Jean Cutting
Former Soldotna resident Carla Jean Cutting died Friday, Dec. 14, 2001, in Nowata, Okla. She was 49.

Marjorie Phyllis Harris
Soldotna resident Marjorie Phyllis Harris died Saturday, Dec. 29, 2001, at Heritage Place in Soldotna of natural causes. She was 82.

Out with the old year, in with 2002
Maybe the best thing that can be said about 2001 is that in a few short hours it will be over.

World paints different America
Abdel Malek does not hate America. He just doesn't like it as much anymore.

Attacks turn other news into trivia
President Bush was in Florida, promoting plans to boost reading skills. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared ''war on bureaucracy'' at the Pentagon. Health groups were busy on the eve of ''National 9-1-1 Day'' -- meant to raise awareness about heart attacks. That was Sept. 10.

Seeking normal, U.S. carries on
There is no pill to undo evil, no magic word to resurrect the good old days when jetliners didn't turn into bombs and anthrax didn't come in the mail. Since Sept. 11, America has struggled to find a new normal, one that could wrap itself around the sharp edges of terror and war.

New Year's resolution made 10 years ago still making a difference Change sticks day at a time
Say what you want about unkept New Year's resolutions. This year I'm celebrating one I made 10 years ago. There isn't a Dec. 31, or even many days since then, that I haven't made it all over again.

Putting people first should be top priority for all in new year
A new year. A fresh start. A renewed hope for the future.

Ask a Trooper
Question: Snowmachines constantly drive through my neighborhood and sometimes along the highway. This is illegal, isn't it? Is it enforced?

Victorian-era resort focuses on relaxing
CARSON, Wash. -- Carson Hot Springs Resort, which dates back to 1901, hasn't done much to keep up with the world around it. It long ago fell out of step with more elaborate spas. The springs' own brochure boasts that staying at the hotel and cabins is like traveling back in time.

So, would you consider this a 'moooving' violation?
EASTON, Pa. (AP) -- Three cows that wandered off a farm have been hoofing around suburban Easton for about three months, defying efforts to bring them home.

Around the Peninsula
Chamber meetings canceledKPC to hold registrationFamily storytelling program plannedSkate ski clinic to be heldEmergency siren scheduled to soundNonprofit funding availableHistorical society plans business meetingHealth center receives accreditation

Peninsula People
Area students graduate from collegeStudents from peninsula make honor rollSoHi grad pledges with fraternityStudent earns distinction on cheer squad

Wildwood Officers Honored
Correctional officers Roy Smith and Aaron Meyer have been named employees of the Year for 2001 for the Wildwood Correctional Complex. Nominations for the annual honor are submitted by the staff of Wildwood and selected by an employee selection committee. Selections are made based on peer support, demonstrated professionalism, performance, service to the state and Wildwood and support and assistance provided to their fellow employees.

Overcoming mental challenges can be hardest part of exercise
WASHINGTON -- For most new exercisers, it's easier to quit than to get fit. Keeping the will to stick with a program can be the hardest exercise.

Club News
Elks table tennis tournament winners announced

Around the Peninsula
Financial workshop offeredBear viewing permits open for applicationBlood bank in need of donations

Community News
CIRCAC honors "Volunteers of the Year"Boys and Girls Club receives education grant

Pamela and John CastenholzSarah Lea and Derrek John Howell

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Lunch Menus
What's on the menu for our area seniors

USC can't come close
STANFORD, Calif. -- Nicole Powell scored 26 points and had 10 rebounds as No. 6 Stanford beat Southern California 78-66 on Sunday in a battle of Pac-10 unbeatens.

Bucs steal play from Ravens' book in win
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers virtually assured themselves a playoff berth with a victory that shows how dangerous they could be in the postseason.

Butler nips Hoosiers at buzzer
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana's 39-game winning streak in the Hoosier Classic is history.

Area athletes stay focused on big picture
There have been times I've wondered if we have our priorities straight -- if we know there's more important things in life than touchdowns, goals and home runs. After all, we dedicate a section in every paper to sports while schools coverage appears once a week.

Ringing in the New Year by bringing out the old at Holiday Hoops tourney
Everything old was new again Saturday at the Holiday Hoops Alumni Basketball Classic at Kenai Central High School gymnasium. The rivalries between Kenai and Soldotna High were revived during the men's alumni game and the "Old Timers" game and the struggle for supremacy flared up again between the alumnae of the North Road and the recently graduated Kardinals women.

2001: A sports odyssey
Whoever imagined 2001 would be an odyssey must have known something about sports. What a journey it turned out to be.

Late field goal lifts Hawkeyes
SAN ANTONIO -- Nate Kaeding kicked a 47-yard field goal with 44 seconds left to give Iowa a 19-16 victory over Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday

Jordan shows he still has air
WASHINGTON -- After a few weeks of describing his comeback as part of a plan to turn the Washington Wizards into a winning franchise, Michael Jordan reminded everyone that it's also about Michael Jordan.

Sports Briefs
Kemppel four-time U.S. cross-country OlympianGailey hired as Georgia Tech coach

In 2001, the thrill of victory was tempered by the agony of reality
As we pause to look back at sports on the Kenai Peninsula in 2001, it's best to also pause and reflect how the significance of sports has been brought into greater focus in 2001.

Ninilchik alumni shoot the lights out
Ninilchik School was a beacon of light in an otherwise dim day of storm recovery Dec. 23.

Top-ranked UConn Huskies Cash in on No. 23 Old Dominion, 84-70
NORFOLK, Va. -- Swin Cash scored 19 of her career-high 29 points in the first half, and Sue Bird had 22 points and a handful of great plays to lift No. 1 Connecticut past No. 23 Old Dominion 84-70 Saturday.

High Heat doesn't stall Pistons
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Jerry Stackhouse scored 24 points as the Detroit Pistons snapped a seven-game losing streak and handed Miami its sixth straight loss, 86-80 Sunday night.

Jordan rebounds from off night to score 51 in win over Hornets
WASHINGTON -- Michael Jordan scored 51 points and set franchise records with 24 first-quarter points and 34 points in a half Saturday night as the Wizards snapped a two-game losing streak with a 107-90 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

Two playoff spots still open
The Seattle Seahawks are getting what they need to stay in the NFL playoff race.

Gators beat Belmont, Stanford wins at home
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Brett Nelson had 19 points and Udonis Haslem added 18 as No. 3 Florida used three big runs to tie a school record with its 10th straight win, 107-55 over Belmont on Sunday.

Predators fight tooth and nail, Blues scoring rush prevails
ST. LOUIS -- Pavol Demitra and Scott Young each scored two goals to lead St. Louis over Nashville.

Eagles soar over Giants, clinch NFC East title
PHILADELPHIA -- David Akers kicked a 35-yard field goal with 7 seconds left, and the Philadelphia Eagles clinched their first NFC East title since 1988 with a 24-21 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday.

There's no retirement home for aging wildlife in Alaska
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- In his almost 30 years as a wildlife biologist in Alaska, Pat Valkenburg has never seen a caribou die of old age.

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