NPR logo Santa And Mrs. Claus Didn't Plead Guilty To Meth Charges

Santa And Mrs. Claus Didn't Plead Guilty To Meth Charges

I was on the website of Fairbanks, Alaska's Daily News-Miner looking for another story when I ran across this headline:

North Pole couple heading to prison for methamphetamine production

Well, what would immediately come to mind if you saw that headline? It certainly made me want to read the story. Could it be the jolly old elf and his missus were trying to keep themselves occupied until their busy season kicked in later in the year?

As it turns out, North Pole in this instance is a town outside Fairbanks. And the couple weren't the Clauses but Zachary A. Hockersmith, 27, and Kathleen N. Woods, 39, who, the News-Miner tells us, pleaded guilty Wednesday to running a meth lab out of their house.

The story I was actually looking for was about another addictive substance that I was tipped off to by the Associated Press. It was an example of how smoking can kill and not always in the way you expect:

FAIRBANKS — A Fairbanks woman found dead in her yard Wednesday morning likely died of exposure.

Alaska State Troopers found Sherri Bouton, 51, unresponsive in the yard of her Cessna Way home just after 8:15 a.m.

Bouton had apparently gone outside to smoke a cigarette and fell in the snow, trooper Sgt. Chad Goeden said. Foul play has been ruled out in her death, but an autopsy will be performed by the state medical examiner.