Retail boom in Fairbanks changes landscape
ANCHORAGE - Wal-Mart's decision to build a 150,000-square-foot store on 26.5 acres in north Fairbanks has generated a storm of business activity in the neighborhood, a local landowner said. Jerry Sadler, owner of Airport Equipment Rental Inc., said about a year and a half ago he bought 17.5 acres from the Bentley Family Trust, a major landowner in the area.

Feds rule out criminal charges in Alaska Airlines crash probe
SEATTLE - Alaska Airlines will not face criminal charges over the crash of Flight 261 in 2000, federal investigators have decided. The decision was revealed Monday in a quarterly filing by corporate parent Alaska Air Group Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission and was confirmed by a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco.

A little help, please
The City and Borough of Juneau is once again helping (or hurting) the downtown merchants by establishing new temporary loading zones. To me, just another reason not to go downtown. Parking was already bad enough!

Truth about transferring ownership of a vehicle
I am responding to Bud Womack's letter about the fees charged for junker cars. As a former employee of the Department of Motor Vehicles, I can tell you it isn't feasible to place fault with the registered owner.

Content resonates
It was heartening to read the front-page article in Monday's Empire on the success of the Tlingit-emphasis classrooms at Harborview School. It resonates well with the other reason I was going to write you.

Now it's smokers
Every time the Legislature discusses a statewide tax, many people write saying they'll support a tax that they won't have to pay (Just tax the rich, just tax the tourists, just tax the out-of-state workers!).

Avon calling
How very sad that Connie Tonsgard ("Pond is annoying," Empire, Aug. 5) thinks the only remedy to bugs at the football field is to fill in an innocent little pond.

Tax the fat, ugly
Our scarcely represented Juneau Assembly has initiated process for rolling out yet another tax on sinners. Let's double tobacco penalties.

Underage drinking
We applaud the Juneau Police Department for all of the effort they have put into reducing underage drinking this spring and summer. Anyone who reads the police blotter will have noticed that beginning right before the JDHS prom, police have been actively breaking up underage drinking parties and issuing minor consuming violations.

This Day in History
In 1898, Hawaii was formally annexed to the United States.

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Visiting capitals with a cause
When Garrett Burgess emerged from the Juneau Airport on Monday afternoon, the 10-year-old boy immediately noticed one difference between the Alaska capital and his home state of Massachusetts. "It's nice and cool here," Burgess said, while his father, Benton Burgess, pushed his wheelchair through the parking lot. The Burgesses left their home in Chelmsford, Mass., on July 27 with the goal of visiting 49 U.S. capital cities and Washington, D.C., in their small plane, a Piper Saratoga. Benton, a pilot since 1988, flew the plane.

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Kate Troll looks at environment versus the economy in new book
The idea for Douglas author Kate Troll's book took seed in 1979, when a logger in Haines asked her, "What good is an eagle if you can't eat it?" The query took her aback. "It was a question that my education never prepared me for," said Troll, who holds a master's degree in natural resource management from Yale University.

This Day in History
In 1965, Albert Rothfus of the Alaska National Guard saved three-year-old Emily Guthrie from drowning in Ketchikan Creek. He was later awarded the first Alaska Medal of heroism.

Police and Fire
Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers reported:

Photo: Federal and Territorial Building, 1940
This postcard shows the Federal and Territorial Building in 1940, before it became the property of the State of Alaska under provisions of the Alaska Statehood Act (approved on July 7, 1958). The Alaska State Capitol Building was completed on Feb. 2, 1931, and formally dedicated on Feb. 14, 1931.

Assembly introduces tax hike for tobacco
The Juneau Assembly introduced a proposed ordinance Monday that would allow the city to double the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. The proposal would implement a flat excise tax of 30 cents a pack on cigarettes. The ordinance also would double the excise tax on other tobacco products from 6 percent to 12 percent. The city estimates the existing 6 percent tax will raise about $300,000 in 2004. The 12 percent tax would bring in an additional $250,000 to $290,000, according to the city.

Photo: Cruising to the event
Five U.S. Coast Guard cutters cruise south of Juneau on Sunday to take part in the annual Coast Guard buoy tender roundup. Coast Guard buoy tenders and their crews from various Alaska ports are participating in the weeklong event that started Monday.

Police and Fire
Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers reported:

A berry good season
H ugh Watts, 8, plunged through the head-high bushes beside the road to Eaglecrest Ski Area on Saturday and emerged with yet another blueberry. For Hugh, berry-picking is practiced with exuberance and maybe a bit of competitiveness. "Waaa, that's big!" he cried out as he scraped one prize off a branch with the tines of a red, metal berry-picker.

Commission endorses harbor improvements
The city planning commission moved Amalga Harbor a step closer Tuesday night to becoming what the city and borough harbor director said will be the best place to launch boats in northern Juneau. "At low tides, it goes dry," explained harbor director John Stone, a few hours before the planning commission endorsed improvements that would include seven feet of dredging. Stone said he hopes tides won't be an issue at Amalga Harbor when the salmon start running next year.

Registration for kindergarten, child care program begins Friday
Because of incorrect information provided by the Juneau School District, an article in Monday's Empire on school registration was wrong in a number of details pertaining to Juneau-Douglas High School. The following information is the corrected version.

Padgett, Waldron to marry
Laisné Padgett and Brad Waldron of Juneau will be married in a private ceremony at 2 p.m. on August 16 at Aldersheim Lodge. A reception will follow at 6 p.m. at Centennial Hall.

August is national immunization awareness month
The National Partnership for Immunization (NPI) sponsors National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) to raise awareness of the importance of immunizations to avoid infectious disease and its devastating consequences.

Neighbors Briefs
Council offers workshop; 'Hump' pilots reunion; ABDC renews contract; Free lecture demo; Emma Marks' 90th; KidCare Photo ID; AWARE training; Marines train Reese; Fishing industry safety; Senior nutrition; Historic mine tour; Scout troop wins award

Pets of the week
Nine-month-old Jake is handsome, full of energy; Princess has trim, toned body

Photo: Sitka setting
The Indian River Falls are found at the end of a 5.5-mile trail near Sitka. The trail is a fairly level walk for most of the way, skirting muskeg and meandering along the banks of the Indian River.

Norma Nicholas
Juneau resident Norma Nicholas, 80, died Aug. 5, 2003, at her home.

Richard E. Gildersleeve
Former Douglas resident Richard "Dick" E. Gildersleeve, 68, died July 31, 2003, in Waldport, Ore., surrounded by family.

Grace Weinberg
The obituary of Grace Weinberg that appeared in Sunday's Empire omitted her place of burial. She was buried alongside her husband, Harry, at Beth El Cemetery in Phoenix.

My Turn: Worth the admission bite
In a letter to the editor last week, a high school football fan complained of no-see-ums (i.e. biting flies) at the Adair Kennedy Field and correctly implicated an iron-stained, "stagnant" pond behind the bleachers as the source of those flies. I'd like to describe the importance of this pond and provide some information about why it definitely should not be filled, as the writer suggested.

My Turn: Reconciliation - not alienation
It was hard for me as a Christian to read Linda Orr's opinion piece in the Aug. 3 Empire and not feel sadness, first for the hurt she has suffered, and second that one could go through life holding on to such bitterness. She expressed not only anger at Christians, but also doubts as to the Bible's integrity. It made me wonder how many others are similarly alienated from the church.

Szymanski wins 100m backstroke at Western Zones meet
Genny Szymanski of the Haines Dolphins Swim Team won the girls age 13-14 100-meter backstroke event on Saturday, the final day of the five-day Western Zones Championship Long-Course Swim Meet at the Mona Plummer Aquatics Complex on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe, Ariz.

Photo: Super softball squad returns home
The 2003 Western Region runner-up Juneau Senior Division (age 15-16) Little League softball squad gathers for a team photo at the Juneau airport just past midnight on Aug. 8 after arriving home from the tournament in Butte, Mont.

Empire Cup Standings
The Empire Cup standings through races of Aug. 8 (the Toilsome Twosome Traverse). The Empire Cup is a season point series cosponsored by the Southeast Road Runners Club and the Juneau Empire.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

A special pairing
In the recently revived story of Seabiscuit, a Depression-era horse, owner, trainer and jockey - each with a tale of woe - find themselves brought together on a magical journey into the annals of horseracing. Juneau teenager Tracy Ralston and an Arabian mare named Khasmir Blue may not have the excess baggage of those figures from the past, but theirs is nonetheless a fortuitous pairing with a shot at advancing to a national stage.

Hooper Bay police clash with village officials over whether to carry guns
HOOPER BAY - When Hooper Bay's seven police officers go on patrol, they tend to deal with small-town peacekeeping duties, not the violent crime of their big-city cousins. And that's fortunate, for Hooper Bay is the only known municipality in the United States whose police officers are forbidden from carrying firearms. The desire of officers to carry arms and the refusal of village leaders to permit them has caused a rift. Town leaders say they fear firearms - even in the hands of cops - will make the village more dangerous. Police say town leaders are being unreasonable.

Metlakatla bottled-water plant launched
KETCHIKAN - The Metlakatla Indian Community has started a water-bottling plant that managers hope eventually will employ two shifts of eight to 10 people.

Alaska Briefs
Teams rescue hiker; Angoon woman indicted on murder charges; Alaska's Amber Alert system almost ready; More roe stripping OK'd in Prince William Sound

Murkowski signs controversial bill making timber primary forest use
FAIRBANKS - Gov. Frank Murkowski has signed into law a bill that will change the primary use of all state forests from "multi-use" to "timber." The bill, sponsored by Sen. Robin Taylor, a Wrangell Republican, also makes other changes to state timber management. "This bill is a step in the right direction toward promoting resource development and creation of jobs and new revenues for the state," Murkowski said in a press release. He signed the measure Friday in Ketchikan.

First undersea volcano discovered in Aleutians
ANCHORAGE - Scientists have discovered and mapped the first confirmed undersea volcano in the Aleutian Islands. The volcano rises more than 1,900 feet from the floor of Amchitka Pass and may be the next Aleutian island. The black lava rock reaches within 380 feet of the surface and supports a profusion of coral, invertebrates, fish and other life, say scientists working on the project.

Appeals court affirms state's money limits on political parties
ANCHORAGE - Alaska can limit donations to political parties by individuals and corporations, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. Judges overturned a 2001 decision that rejected limits on "soft money" donated to parties by both individuals and corporations, as long as it was used for "party building" and not to help specific candidates.

Ferries get new scrutiny from government as possible terror targets
NEW YORK - Jacqueline Irizarry never imagined that the massive ferry she rides every weekday from Staten Island to lower Manhattan would entice terrorists. Then a few weeks ago she saw eight cops roaming the boat with rifles and police dogs and reconsidered. "Terrorists want to kill thousands of people," Irizarry, 19, said riding the breeze-filled ferry home to Staten Island on Thursday, "so this is the place to do it."

Computer infection snarls world networks
An Internet-borne infection incapacitated tens of thousands of computers on Tuesday, snarling company networks and frustrating home users as it spread across the globe. Security officials said the virus-like worm, dubbed "LovSan," was part of a coordinated electronic attack that exploited one of the most serious flaws yet discovered in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating systems.

Timber supply key to veneer plant reopening
A shuttered veneer plant in Ketchikan could reopen soon if the U.S. Forest Service, Sealaska Corp. and the state can provide enough wood to keep the operation running. Representatives of the three parties, the state development agency and Oregon-based Timber Products Co. met in Juneau last week to discuss the possibility of reopening the plant, which closed in February 2001, one month after it opened.

Alaska Briefs
Seattle hiker fell victim to Juneau heat; Sex offender found with abducted child; Poll shows lawmakers' stance on special session; Dillingham voters to decide smoking ban

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