Families of Sept. Hijack Victims File Suit

Lasseter, a financial executive from Gainesville who turned 33 on Thursday, ran past two security guards and down an up-escalator into a restricted area at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport on Nov. 16. He told police he had left the airport's secure area to retrieve a forgotten camera bag and then rushed to get back to his son, whom he had left with an uncle at an airline gate.

Airport officials shut down operations for three hours, evacuating 10,000 people and disrupting air travel up and down the East Coast. Airlines say the disruption cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Lasseter also may face a $3,300 fine from the Federal Aviation Administration and AirTran Airways filed a lawsuit against him.

To some of the travelers whose trips were disrupted as a result of the security breach, the stiffer the punishment the better.

Atlanta homemaker Jolene Myers, 38, who missed her mother's funeral after officials shut down the airport, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she "can never forgive" Lasseter for his actions.

"They should throw the book at him," Alpharetta businessman Ron Landis, 51, said.

But Patricia Vincent, 41, a graphic designer from White Plains, N.Y., said Lasseter has suffered enough after being "the laughingstock of the entire nation."

— The Associated Press

Grocery Refuses Dad’s Coins for Baby Food, Fears Anthrax

P O R T S M O U T H, N.H., Jan. 11 — A father who scraped up $3.13 in change to buy baby food was foiled when a grocery store refused to accept the coins, citing a fear of anthrax.

Anthony Ouellette went to another store and used a coin-counting machine to tally his 150 rolled pennies and $1.63 in loose pennies, nickels and dimes.

"I didn't want to go through that again because it's kind of embarrassing," said Ouellette, 27, who works three jobs to pay bills for 5-month-old Abbygail and the rest of his family.

Ouellette took the change to the Market Basket on Monday to buy some milk, three jars of baby food and a newspaper, but the cash register clerk said she could not take rolled coins.

He offered to unroll the $1.50, but a supervisor refused the idea.

"I just couldn't believe it. Anybody takes change, I thought," Ouellette said. "I could understand if I came in there with $50 or $60 worth of change."

Manager Darin Artus said the company began rejecting rolled coins after anthrax scares at other supermarkets, where rolled coins concealed a powdery substance.

"I don't want to put a bunch of pennies in the drawer," he said Wednesday.

— The Associated Press

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