Much to be learned
Thanks Wally Olson, for your excellent comment (Empire, Dec. 12) on Alaska's economy! Yes, our economy is more than timber, fishing, mining and oil. How unimaginative it would be to think otherwise. Theater, arts, books and other forms of creativity are more than diversions or entertainment, they are viable forms of strengthening economy.

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

University plan to cover Ketchikan mural sparks reaction from public
KETCHIKAN - Some Ketchikan residents are unhappy with plans by the University of Alaska Southeast to demolish a 24-year-old mural painted by Native students on one of its buildings. Construction on the Robertson/Hamilton building is scheduled to start Jan. 6. UAS Ketchikan campus director Karen Polley told the Ketchikan Daily News that the university building has not been remodeled since the late 1970s, about the same time the mural was painted.

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

Sealaska OKs first dividends in years
Sealaska Corp., the Juneau-based regional corporation for Southeast Natives, announced it will pay a dividend of $1.82 per share to about 11,500 of its 16,000 shareholders today. More than 2,000 Sealaska shareholders live in Juneau.

Due to a reporter's error, the Best Bets column in Thursday's This Week section of the Empire misstated the day for the Alaska Youth Choir concert at Northern Light United Church.


Court upholds rule that bans building new roads in roadless areas of Tongass
A federal appeals court on Thursday lifted an injunction that suspended the Clinton administration's "roadless rule," which banned logging and road construction on a third of national forest lands. The rule was to take effect in May 2001, but was stopped by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge of Idaho in response to a lawsuit filed by the state of Idaho, the Kootenai Indian tribe of Idaho and logging interests.

Photo: Broadcasting winner
Although originally entered in the student category, Callie Conerton's interview with Gov. Tony Knowles and his wife at last year's Holiday Open House took top honors as Best TV News Feature during the recent Alaska Broadcasters Association's annual competition.

Thank you
...for the help with Kids Voting; ...for the donations; ...for your help; ...for the effort; ...for your generosity.

Touching Lives
Though Pastor Jimmie Woods of the Glacier Valley Baptist Church will be a member of the Juneau community for at most two years, the role he plays in the church community is substantial. Woods retired from the active pastorate in Arizona and spends his retirement acting as an interim pastor for the Southern Baptist Convention. He and his wife, Gladys, spent the summer of 2001 filling in at Sand Point, on the Alaska Peninsula, and Whittier, on the Kenai Peninsula. They served in Samoa and American Samoa in 2000, and arrived in Juneau six weeks ago. He replaces Greg Clark, who left Juneau for North Carolina in September.

Lighting of Hannukah menorah tells humans a light shines for us
Jews around the world have just finished celebrating the 8 days of Chanukah that begins each year on the 25th of the Hebrew month of Kislev. Hannukah commemorates two events: the military victory of the Maccabees in 165 BCE and the miracle of a small cruse of oil, which burned in the temple for 8 days.

Neighbors Briefs
Charter school now taking applications; 4-H teens accepting food donations; Advent Evensong set; Lutheran church play scheduled; Group sets toy drive;

Elizabeth Arvold Haas
Juneau resident Elizabeth Arvold Haas, 20, died Dec. 10, 2002, in Juneau.

Gary Paul Smith
Hoonah resident Gary Paul Smith died Dec. 8, 2002, in Hoonah.

George Walter Obert Jr.
Juneau resident George Walter Obert Jr. died Dec. 11, 2002.

Rena A. Johnson
Douglas resident Rena Elizabeth Johnson, 83, died Dec. 12, 2002, at the Juneau Pioneers' Home.

My Turn: Don't create second-class neighborhoods
I feel compelled to further explain the situation between the Duran Construction processing operation located on Alaway and the property owners of the Eagles Edge subdivision, as well as the homeowners of Creek Side Park.

Roughhouse boxing tonight
An injury prevented tonight's main event pugilists from fighting during last April's Southeast Showdown, but the two youth boxing coaches will get their chance to do battle tonight.

Hoonah advances at state
The Hoonah Braves advanced to today's semifinals at the Class 1A-2A-3A (West) state volleyball tournament, claiming a four-game victory over Dillingham in Thursday's opening round at Anchorage's Bartlett High School.

Rhea leads DZ-A girls to victory over Ketchikan
Dzantik'i Heeni A's Talisa Rhea scored 18 points for the second straight game as her team edged past Ketchikan A, 29-27, on Thursday in the Fast Break/Rebounders middle school basketball tournament.

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

Tourney time
Lindsey Pettijohn of the Juneau Christian School Girls B team has the ball stripped by Skagway's Kristen Moore on Thursday during their Fast Break/Rebounders tournament game at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School. The Panthers' Ali Doland, far right, goes for the loose ball as teammate Erica Harris watches from down the court.

Williams still looking for buyer of Alaska assets
FAIRBANKS - Williams Cos. has found a buyer for its Memphis refinery, but its North Pole and Alaska properties are still unclaimed.

State Briefs
Skater's Cabin reservations available; Haines man killed in Thorne Bay fire; Alert dispatcher saves six lives; Man charged with kidnapping ex-girlfriend;

Teacher accused of assaulting child
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police and Anchorage School District officials are investigating an allegation that an award-winning fourth-grade teacher assaulted a child during a field trip last week, school officials said Thursday. "We are taking this very seriously," Superintendent Carol Comeau said. The department expected to complete its investigation this week, Comeau said.

Wards Cove shuts down fish plants
One of Alaska's oldest and largest fish processing companies, Wards Cove Packing Co., announced Thursday it is halting its Alaska salmon operations after 75 years. The Seattle-based company's decision sparked fears that some fishermen would be without markets for their catch and hundreds of seasonal jobs would be lost here.

B.C. mine wins OK
The government of British Columbia said today it has approved the proposed Tulsequah Chief Mine 40 miles northeast of Juneau and 60 miles south of Atlin in northwestern B.C.

Norwalk-like virus strikes Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN - Ketchikan is experiencing an outbreak of a Norwalk or Norwalk-like virus, and state health officials are investigating possible cases in Juneau, officials said. Dr. Joe McLaughlin of the state Division of Public Health's Section of Epidemiology called on the public to report possible cases to the state. "The bottom line is how we can prevent more cases," he said.

Feds give state $455,000 to fight terrorism
ANCHORAGE - Alaska will receive nearly a half-million dollars to better prepare state and local governments to fight terrorism, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday. The grant of $454,844 comes from a fiscal year 2002 supplemental appropriation as part of President Bush's call to have states take greater responsibility for their own security by better preparing state and local responders.

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