Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Bag of honey, electronic gear shuts Tallahassee airport

The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A food writer's bag containing recording equipment, honey, an oyster shell and seasoning rub was blamed for a three-hour shutdown and evacuation of Tallahassee's airport Monday, authorities said.

The configuration of the electronic gear and organic material looked suspicious when Transportation Security Administration officers scanned the carry-on luggage, said Tallahassee police officer David McCranie.

"Something indicated this was not your typical bag, and they pressed the alarm," McCranie said.

Todd Coleman, food editor for New York-based Saveur magazine, was detained but later released after the bag was removed from the terminal and a robot opened it to disclose the contents.

"I was afraid they were going to blow my bag up," Coleman said. "It would have blown my story up."

Coleman said he was in Tallahassee to visit his parents, who live in the area, and to write about the food of nearby Apalachicola, Florida's oyster capital. The Apalachicola area also is famous for tupelo honey, which Coleman had in his bag.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company


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