A college hockey referee from Colorado, with all the acuity of a mental pygmy, cracked what he thought was a joke at the Alaska Airlines counter here. Observing that the baggage agent put his luggage tag on his friend's suitcase, he said,
"But my friend's bag has a bomb in it," the agent remembers him saying, according to a charging document. He recounted it to authorities slightly differently, more to the effect of "what if my friend's bag has a bomb in it?"Okay, so maybe he's the one person in America who hasn't seen the "don't joke about bombs" signs that have been in airports for some 40 years. But his actions resulted in a three-hour shutdown of the south (main) terminal at Stevens Airport, with some thousand passengers being bussed to the north terminal, and flights delayed or cancelled.
Either way, his comment was "perhaps an effort to be funny or flirtacious," Assistant District Attorney Adam Alexander said Sunday before Friesema made a court appearance.
Friesema, 44, may have been joking but no one in the airline business is amused by off-hand comments about bombs.
It seems Ron White is correct: you can't fix stupid. But the offender now faces jail time and a fine. I only hope he did a better job as a referee.
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After a decade in Anchorage, we've learned never to be too confident in announcing that winter has begun. It wouldn't be the first time that we had snow - sometimes, several inches of it - followed by a weeks-long warm spell.
But it appears that winter is just about here. It was raining when I left home, and during that 15-minute drive to work, it became a slushy rain/snow mix. AccuHunch Weather guesses we'll get another inch or so by tonight. This is the third snowfall of the season. Those who have been predicting an early winter feel justified, although this isn't really that early. Back in '47 (before you were born; remember, kids?) Anchorage received its earliest snowfall on Sept. 20.
Okay, so folks here have long memories. Either way, it could be sign of another long winter season.