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In brief: Trapped whales head to deep water

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. –Thirty-five pilot whales that had been trapped near the Everglades headed into deeper water Thursday, giving rescuers hope that they would return to their open ocean habitat and avoid beaching.

A Coast Guard helicopter located the whales several miles out to sea after they were found to have vanished from a remote shoreline on the Gulf side of Everglades National Park.

The shortfin pilot whales entered water 18 feet deep about 6 miles off Plover Key and appeared to be heading farther out to sea, she said. They typically live in water at least 1,000 feet deep.

The 35 whales are the known survivors of a pod that ended up trapped in a labyrinth of sandbars, channels and shallows near Highland Beach in Everglades National Park.

Airports fight TSA over new duty

Airports across the country have sued to block a new Transportation Security Administration directive that requires them, starting Jan. 1, to begin guarding exit security doors, as passengers leave flights and head for baggage claims.

The agency, created in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, said the change will save $88.1 million a year. The TSA wants its workers to focus on screening passengers and baggage and said exit-lane monitoring is an airport function.

The airport industry argues the TSA directive violates the Transportation Security Act that created the agency.

On Wednesday, the American Association of Airport Executives and Airports Council International-North America petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit asking the TSA to delay implementation until the court ruled on the merits of the legal challenge.

Late Wednesday, the TSA rejected the request. The trade groups filed a motion Thursday, asking the court to grant a stay. A ruling is not expected for at least 10 days, a trade association spokeswoman said.

Pot in cheeseburger leads to drug charge

ATLANTA – A Wendy’s employee who dropped a partially smoked blunt in a customer’s cheeseburger has been fired and charged with marijuana possession.

Police in the city of Lovejoy, Ga., about 25 miles south of downtown Atlanta, said a customer drove home with her food on Nov. 1, took a bite out of the burger and noticed a strange smell wafting from it.

The woman pulled the bun off and saw a partially smoked blunt inside, police said. A blunt is marijuana rolled into a hollowed-out cigar.

The woman called the restaurant’s manager and met there with police soon afterward.

Authorities said 32-year-old Amy Elizabeth Seiber admitted that the marijuana belonged to her.

Seiber apologized, saying she had misplaced the marijuana.


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