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RESPONSE TO TERROR | IN BRIEF / ALASKA

Mail From Santa Claus May Be Anthrax Victim

November 02, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

Mail from Santa Claus may be among the casualties of the nation's anthrax scare.

Security measures imposed by the U.S. Postal Service in response to anthrax-contaminated mail could mean the end of a popular Christmas letter effort in Alaska's interior that has thrilled children for nearly five decades.

As many as 60,000 letters a year pass through the tiny post office in North Pole, a town of 1,570 people southeast of Fairbanks. Some are addressed simply "Santa, North Pole." Each letter with a return address usually gets a personal reply and a North Pole postal cancellation mark.

This year, however, piles of mail might lie unopened, as postal workers grapple with how to handle the volume while dealing with the anthrax threat.

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