OPERATION SANTA CLAUS CARRIED OUT IN ALASKA
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — It was a military-level operation that went off without a hitch. But this year’s Operation Santa Claus was done without the fanfare usually reserved for the event. An Alaska National Guard helicopter landed on an airstrip in Stevens Village, a community of about 30. When the chopper touched down, residents came on snowmobiles to greet Guard members unloading boxes of wrapped gifts. The drop-off for the mostly Alaska Native areas lacked the usual hoopla because of the pandemic — but none of the urgency. The command leader of the Alaska National Guard says while “COVID is rough,” — it was “an honor” to continue the 65-year-old tradition.
TREASURE HUNTER REMAINS IN JAIL OVER MISSING COINS
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former deep-sea treasure hunter is about to mark his fifth year in jail. Research scientist Tommy Thompson is being held in contempt of court in Ohio because he refuses to cooperate in a case stemming from the whereabouts of 500 gold coins. The saga began when Thompson found the wreck of the S.S. Central America. The vessel is known as the Ship of Gold because it was carrying thousands of pounds of the precious metal when it sank in an 1857 hurricane. Thompson was paid $12.7 million to find the ship — but stiffed his investors. He also won’t cooperate with authorities trying to find the gold coins he recovered, hence the lengthy stay behind bars on contempt citations.