A box of cocain shipped on Federal Express ran afoul of an ion mobility spectrometer – like an electronic “dog sniffer” without the bark and the tail. In the Alaska Court of Appeals case – Sam McGee versus the State of Alaska – McGee argues that Fairbanks police did not have reasonable suspicion to remove the package from the normal flow of commerce and test it with the spectrometer. Forgive our puns, but we could not resist comparing this Sam McGee to the Robert Service character in “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” Rosemarie Alexander and attorney Julie Willoughby discuss the case, which they call “The Ionization of Sam McGee.” (Thanks to attorney Tom Wagner for his help with our poem.)Related Link: McGee v. State
- A lot of science involves happy accidents. A retired scientist from Oregon stepped off the ferry in Sitka late last month, and on a hunch decided to look around the woods for an old friend.
- The Mat-Su Borough Assembly approved Tuesday the transfer of over a half-million dollars from existing funds to pay for repairs to the Port Mackenzie barge dock, although some expressed reservations about the port’s continuing costs.
- The Senate's long-awaited "Better Care Reconciliation Act" was written largely in secret, with even many Senate Republicans unaware of what was in it.
- The potential government shutdown would come at the busiest -- and worst -- time for the state office that processes teacher certifications. And unresolved state education funding is compounding the teacher hiring crunch.