Southwest passenger claims airline forced her to leave pet fish at airport

A California woman is claiming a Southwest Airlines agent forced her to leave her pet fish at the airport last Wednesday.

Lanice Powless, a University of Colorado student, was flying to California from Denver International Airport when she said a Southwest Airlines employee informed her that she would not be allowed to bring her pink beta fish, Cassie, onboard with her.

Powless had gotten the fish her freshman year of college to combat loneliness she was feeling being away at school. The two formed a fast friendship, Powless said to 10News.

“I put my finger in there, he come up and nibble my finger. He was a cool fish,” she said. “I even got him a heater, because it gets so cold in Colorado.”

Powless said she had brought Cassie onto flights before and was not hassled about it.

“I have traveled with it. I had it in my container too.”

According to the TSA website, live fish are allowed on board as carry on bags.

“Live fish in water and a clear transparent container are allowed after inspection by the TSA officer,” the website reads.

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However, Southwest Airlines’ policy allows only small cats and dogs that fit under the seat to fly.

Desperate, Powless said she asked a gate agent if she could leave her fish at the counter so a friend could come pick him up in a half an hour. However, the agent allegedly denied her, leaving Powless to start asking random passengers on other airlines if they wanted to care for the beta.

Luckily, Powless claims she managed to find someone traveling on an airline that allowed fish who was willing to take Cassie, but airport staff were dubious.

“They were not allowing us to converse at all because they were thinking we were going to do some secret exchange throughout the airport,” Powless said. “Even after I was no longer in possession of the fish, they still continued to have security around us, and follow us through the airport and escorted onto our plane, as if we brought something bad onto the airport,” she added.

Powless noted that she is getting made fun of for her fishy friend, but sees it as no different than being attached to a cat or dog.

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“Everyone’s laughing at me. Yes, it’s a fish. I know. But dang, it was my pet. And just because it wasn’t a cat or dog, it wasn’t as important?” Powless said.

Southwest Airlines confirmed the incident to Fox News, and claimed they offered to alter Powless’ trip so she could make accomodations for her fish, which she allegedly denied.

“Our Team offered to re-book the Customer for a later flight to allow them to make arrangements for their pet but the Customer refused that option. The Customer eventually traveled on their originally scheduled flight,” the airline spokesperson said.

Newt Gingrich: First Step Act vote shows Trump, Democrats and Republicans can work together

Senate passage of the First Step Act criminal justice reform bill on Tuesday was an important milestone to show the American people that the Trump White House, Republicans and Democrats can work together for the good of the country.

The bill sailed to passage with an overwhelmingly bipartisan 87-12 vote in the Senate. This could never have happened without the constant, steady leadership of Jared Kushner and his team in the White House; Republicans in the House and Senate; and the army of groups advocating for criminal justice reform. These groups included Right on Crime, FreedomWorks, the American Conservative Union, #cut50 and many others.

To be sure, this bill does not solve all of the problems in our federal prison system – there is still plenty of work to do – but it will bring about some important improvements that can lead to even more reforms, lower prison costs and safer communities.

First, this bill will create a system by which federal inmates will be assessed for their risks and needs – both when they get to prison and throughout their sentences. These assessments will focus on determining the risk level that each inmate will recidivate – or commit more crimes upon his or her release.

The assessments will also ascertain behavioral, health, educational and other needs of inmates to address other potential problems. This could drastically reduce the national recidivism rate by helping more prisoners to actually rehabilitate while they are incarcerated.

Under the bill, the Second Chance Act will also be reauthorized. This law provides grants for programs for drug treatment, vocational treatment, mentoring and other re-entry and recidivism reduction initiatives.

Further, these changes will help the federal Bureau of Prisons learn what programing works best for inmates on a system-wide basis. Inmates who qualify will be incentivized to complete these programs through a number of opportunities, most notably through earned-time credits.

These credits will allow low- and minimum-risk inmates (who have not committed a disqualifying crime) to finish the remainder of their sentences in halfway houses, home confinement or supervised release.

The Bureau of Prisons and the Government Accountability Office will regularly track this system to ensure it is operating as the law intended.

Another aspect of this bill will fix well-intended but damaging decisions of the past. The so-called “three strikes” law will be changed so it applies only to serious drug felons and serious violent felons – rather than anyone charged with trafficking drugs.

The mandatory minimum sentence enhancement for a “second strike” will be lowered from 20 years to 15 years, and the “third strike” will be reduced from a mandatory minimum of a life sentence to 25 years. Importantly, the bill will make the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 retroactive for those trapped by disproportionately high sentences related to crack cocaine.

These much-needed reforms have been debated and considered for more than a decade. They are now very close to becoming reality.

When the First Step Act clears the House as expected and President Trump signs it into law – as he has pledged to do – it will be a very important day for his administration and all Americans.

Google Maps user spots ‘UFO’ floating above Florida swamp – just outside the Bermuda Triangle

An eagle-eyed Google Maps user has reported a mysterious “UFO sighting” in the skies above a Florida swamp.

The strange object is partly blurred, and was spied in an area just outside of the notorious Bermuda Triangle.

Even when zoomed in, it’s hard to define exactly what the object is.

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It’s clearly multicolored and slightly ovular, but a stitching issue with Google Maps means you can’t see the entire shape.

It’s also impossible to judge the distance of the strange object, although it appears to be floating some way above a treeline.

The object was spotted in the Big Cypress National Preserve, which is located in southern Florida.

This area is just outside the Bermuda Triangle, an area of the North Atlantic Ocean shrouded in mystery.

The Bermuda Triangle has long been associated with mysterious aircraft and ship disappearances, paranormal activity, and even aliens.

Most claims about the Bermuda Triangle have been deemed spurious, but many still believe that the area is supernatural.

That may be why one Reddit user described the Google Maps find as a “UFO sighting”.

However, another user is probably closer to the mark, suggesting it’s simply a “butterfly” caught on camera.

A fast-moving butterfly caught in a single shot on Google Street View could easily be the explanation for this mystery.

This theory is strengthened by the fact that moving one step away on Street View completely removes the object – which is exactly what would happen if the object was a butterfly flying past.

Of course, a UFO might also avoid sticking around for too long, so we may never know.

This isn’t the first time something strange has been spotted on Google Maps.

We rounded up 10 of the most mysterious Google Maps secrets here.

And read about the curious case of Russia’s censored Jeannette Island on Google Maps, too.

There’s also a Google Maps phantom island that disappeared in 2012 that’s worth investigating.