Infrastructure_news

Transportation Sector

. January 10, Washington Post; Associated Press – (District of Columbia) Capitol South reopened after scare. On January 10, the Capitol South metro rail station in Washington, D.C. was closed for a short time due to a suspicious package outside the station. Trains were passing through the station without picking up or dropping off passengers. Capitol Police were tightly controlling where people could walk outside the station, which is about 2 blocks from the Capitol building. Riders trying to leave the station were initially redirected to the Federal Center Southwest and Eastern Market stations. Other passengers were later allowed to leave by taking an elevator and exiting about a block from the entrance where the package was found. One person was interviewed by Capitol Police, and the Capitol Police Hazardous Devices Unit was on scene investigating, a spokesperson said. There were several street closures in the surrounding area. The station was reopened around 10 a.m. The suspicious package was cleared and there is no threat, an FBI Washington Field Office spokeswoman said. Source: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/drgridlock/ 2011/01/suspicious_package_closes_capi.html

. January 10, KATV 7 Little Rock – (Arkansas) Snow storm turns Interstate into parking lot. On January 10, Arkansas State police continued to work with recovery crews including the Arkansas National Guard to move approximately 12 jackknifed commercial carrier trucks from Interstate 30. The trucks are from west of Benton to the Highway 70 interchange where some of the worst driving conditions in the state currently exist. Interstate 30 has become a parking lot as many motorists have been stranded since January 9. The Arkansas National Guard has supplied 25 soldiers and 10 vehicles to help stranded motorists. The guard has been doing welfare checks on the motorists providing water and other supplies for those who needed it, including parents with small babies that needed water for formula. The longest delays are occurring in the eastbound lanes of traffic, however there are isolated delays westbound closer to Benton. Travel conditions worsened overnight in central Arkansas, particularly along interstate highways. Source: http://www.katv.com/Global/story.asp?S=13814123

. January 9, Associated Press – (National) Southern storm emergency declarations: Flights canceled, roads icy. A blast of winter weather rolled across the South January 9, coating bridges and roads with snow, sleet, and freezing rain and causing thousands of flight cancellations. The governors of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee declared emergencies for their states. By late January 9, snow and ice had covered the ground in Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama, with 2 to 3 inches reported west and northwest of Atlanta. Georgia was expecting up to 6 inches of snow in the northern mountains from the powerful storm that also dumped snow and ice in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas. Forecasters said the front could also bring sleet and freezing rain lasting into January 11 in Georgia. The Alabama governor said workers had readied snow and salt trucks to help clear icy roads, and he asked all residents to stay home January 9-10 unless it is imperative that they have to travel. Mississippi officials warned motorists that ice was accumulating on roads and bridges in many counties, creating hazardous driving conditions. The National Weather Service posted winter storm warnings from east Texas to the Carolinas. Thousands of flights were canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. A Dallas-Fort Worth (Texas) International Airport spokesman said 200 flights, or about a quarter of the schedule, were canceled in anticipation of the weather. Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/09/southern-storm-emergency- _n_806534.html

. January 9, Associated Press – (Florida) Scribbled bomb threat forces plane evacuation. Authorities said a plane about to take off from a South Florida airport was returned to the gate after a passenger found a bomb threat scribbled in a magazine. Passengers got off, and the plane was searched as a precaution. According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the note said there was a bomb aboard the Spirit Airlines flight that was preparing to take off January 8 from Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport. The sheriff’s office said a bomb squad was sweeping the plane as a precaution after authorities received the call around 10 p.m. An airport spokesman said that as of about 90 minutes later, no bomb had been discovered. But he was not sure if the search was complete. The Atlanta, Georgia-bound plane was taxiing when the note was discovered. Source: http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20110109/BREAKINGNEWS/110109007/1006/N EWS01/Scribbled+bomb+threat+forces+plane+evacuation

. January 9, Waterbury Republican-American – (Connecticut) Unusual storm, wrecked trucks doomed I-84. The ordeal that left many motorists stuck on Interstate 84 from Middlebury to Danbury, Connecticut, for hours January 7 began when a tractor-trailer jackknifed in New York state at the New York and Connecticut state line. Westbound traffic immediately started to back up about 4:30 p.m., and at that time, an atypical snowstorm called a “Norlun Trough” pounded the western part of the state, said the communications director of the state department of emergency management and homeland security. Norlun is an unpredictable storm that has the potential to deliver very localized and extremely heavy bands of snow, no more than 10 miles wide. The peak of the storm’s damage unloaded on the stretch between Exits 15 and 6, with 15.5 inches dumped in the area of Exit 14 in Southbury, he said. Snowfall totals in other areas were between 10 and 12 inches. As traffic backed up from the crash in New York, another tractor-trailer jackknifed in Connecticut along that stretch. Then a succession of tractor-trailers jackknifed, blocking lanes of travel, he said. Source: http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2011/01/09/news/local/532025.txt

. January 8, WPLG 10 Miami – (Florida) MIA back open after brief evacuation. Part of Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida was evacuated January 8 because of a suspicious package. A section of Concourse F was evacuated after a police dog alerted officers to a suspicious package. The bomb squad was called to the scene. They have not yet said what they found, but they cleared the scene and allowed passengers back into the terminal. No major flight delays were caused by the incident. Source: http://www.justnews.com/news/26410871/detail.html For more stories, see items 1, 8, and 47

Postal and Shipping Sector

. January 9, Associated Press – (District of Columbia) Post union miffed by ‘sloppy’ evacuation. Postal workers who returned to work in Washington D.C. January 8 said a package that ignited at a government mail facility conjured painful memories of the anthrax attacks that killed two of their colleagues in 2001. The fiery package found January 7, which was addressed to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, followed two packages that ignited January 7 in Maryland state government mailrooms. It halted government mail until bomb-sniffing dogs could sweep the District of Columbia facility. Mail processing resumed January 8 after a meeting with workers, the local postmaster and the workers’ union. The postal workers union president said the package worried many employees. “We want them to feel safe and secure and be able to trust management to respond properly if this were to happen again,” the union official said. When the popping and smoking package was discovered, postal service managers failed to follow proper safety procedures, the union official said. The evacuation process was “very sloppy,” she said, because workers in the back of the building had no idea they were supposed to evacuate. Managers should have made an announcement on the public address system, she said. A mail processing clerk at the D.C. facility said co-workers told her management had trouble deciding whether to evacuate the building and wanted to wait for postal inspectors or police to decide. A worker ended up flagging down a police car, and workers said police evacuated the building. Source: http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20110109/NEWS03/301099901/1066/NEWS03

. January 8, Christian Science Monitor – (District of Columbia; Maryland) Janet Napolitano was apparent target of D.C. package, widening investigation. Authorities investigating two incendiary packages in Maryland have more evidence to examine after a third package ignited January 9 in Washington D.C. The mailing in Washington was similar in design and shape to the packages in Maryland, according to the Baltimore Sun. The District of Columbia package was addressed to the Homeland Security Secretary, said a department official who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The other packages were intended for The Maryland governor and the state’s transportation secretary. Although all three parcels aroused alarm because of their fiery characteristics, they did not appear to contain explosive material. The devices in the Maryland packages each contained a small battery and an electric match, CNN said, citing law-enforcement officials. Each of the mailings will now be examined more closely at the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia. Already, investigators were sorting through phone calls, e-mails, and letters to try to identify suspects, the Sun said. One focus was disgruntled people who have made threats against state government, according to the Associated Press. Still, much remained to be determined. The Metropolitan Police Department in the District of Columbia, the Department of Homeland Security, the Postal Inspection Service, and other federal agencies are also involved in the investigation, the New York Times said. Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0108/Janet-Napolitano-was-apparenttarget- of-D.C.-package-widening-investigation

. January 8, Minneapolis Star-Tribune – (Minnesota; Wisconsin) 13 letters with white substance sent to Twin Cities businesses. The FBI is investigating 13 threatening letters containing white powder and sent to Twin Cities stores in Minnesota. The letters went to eight Home Depots around the metro Minneapolis and St. Paul area, and five Renewal By Andersen businesses, the FBI said in a statement released late January 7. The substance in 12 letters, analyzed by the Minnesota Department of Health, has been identified as sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, and is not dangerous, according to the FBI. The last letter would not be analyzed until early the week of January 10. The first letter was received December 31 and the most recent on January 6, according to the FBI. The return addresses are identical on all the letters, with “exactly the same letter that appears to have been photocopied,” the statement said. The Home Depots that got the letters are in Inver Grove Heights, Eagan, Maplewood, Apple Valley, Forest Lake, Hastings, Woodbury, and Hudson, Wisconsin. The Renewal By Andersen locations that got the letters are in Edina, Burnsville, Roseville, Bayport, and Cottage Grove. Source: http://www.startribune.com/local/113104004.html?elr=KArks:DCiU1OiP:DiiUiD3aPc: _Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiU

. January 7, Torrance Daily Breeze – (California) White powder at Comerica Bank processing center turns out to be salt. A white powder spilled from an envelope at a Comerica Bank check processing center in Redondo Beach, California, January 7, prompting a hazardous materials investigation and a federal probe into who mailed the letter. The powder turned out to be a tablespoon or two of salt and posed no threat to the 100 employees in the building on Manhattan Beach Boulevard near Vail Avenue, firefighters said. But its discovery prompted a major response from county, Redondo Beach fire and sheriff’s department hazardous materials units, along with agents from the county health department, the FBI, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The salt spilled shortly before 1 p.m. as a worker used an automatic letter opener, said a Redondo Beach Fire Department hazardous materials specialist. Source: http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_17038665

Government Facilities Sector

. January 9, Associated Press – (Arizona) U.S. prosecutors charge gunman accused of assassination attempt on Arizona Rep. Giffords, killing 6. Federal prosecutors brought charges January 9 against the gunman accused of carrying out an assassination attempt on a U.S. Representative from Arizona, and killing six people at a political event in Tucson, Arizona. The suspect is accused of killing six people, including a federal judge, an aide to the Representative, and a 9-year-old girl outside a Safeway grocery store, located next to a Walgreen’s. Fourteen others were wounded, including the three-term Democrat lawmaker. Authorities said he targeted the Representative at a public gathering around 10 a.m. January 8 outside a busy Tucson supermarket. Investigators said they carried out a search warrant at the 22-year-old suspect’s home and seized an envelope from a safe with messages such as “I planned ahead,” ‘‘My assassination,” and the last name of the U.S. Representative who was shot next to what appears to be the man’s signature. He allegedly purchased the Glock pistol used in the attack in November at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson. Court documents also show the suspect had contact with the Representative in the past. Other evidence included a letter addressed to him from the Representative’s congressional stationery in which she thanked him for attending a “Congress on your Corner” event at a mall in Tucson in 2007. The first assistant federal public defender in Arizona said the suspect does not yet have a lawyer, but that her office is working to get a lawyer appointed for the suspect. Source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/us_prosecutors_charge_gunman_a.html

. January 9, Long Island Newsday – (Arizona; National) Officials warn of Arizona copycat attacks. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives were told in a bipartisan conference call with their leaders January 9 that authorities are monitoring for potential “copycat” attacks on lawmakers after the rampage January 8 in Tuscon, Arizona. Following the deadly shooting that killed six and critically wounded a U.S. Representative and injured several others, the House Speaker and House Minority Leader urged lawmakers to take precautions. “I have also asked that the Sergeant-at- Arms, U.S. Capitol Police, and FBI to conduct an in-depth security overview for members on Wednesday,” the House Speaker told members on the call, along with a “bipartisan security briefing for district directors” of congressional offices. Republican leaders called off all votes January 9 scheduled for the upcoming week, allowing lawmakers to stay in their districts rather than return to Washington, D.C. Homeland Security agencies, including immigration enforcement, customs and border patrol, and the Transportation Security Administration assisted the FBI in Arizona. Source: http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/officials-warn-of-arizona-copycatattacks- 1.2598054

. January 9, Associated Press – (Arizona) Package at Giffords’ office was nonexplosive. A loud noise rattled more than 100 people attending a candlelight vigil January 8 outside the headquarters of a U.S. Representative in Tuscon, Arizona, where authorities investigated a suspicious package that turned out to be non-explosive. A police department spokesman said an officer checking the Representative’s office in Tucson had found a “strange” item that resembled a coffee can and had writing on it. A bomb squad worked for a couple hours, using X-ray equipment, to try to figure out what the package was before the loud noise was heard. The noise was caused by authorities’ efforts to destroy the package and render it safe. The spokesman said there was no threat to public safety. Earlier that day, the Representative was holding a forum for constituents outside a grocery store when a gunman shot many people, killing six and wounding several others, including the Democratic Congresswoman. Source: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/01/09/package_at_giffords_office_w as_non_explosive/?rss_id=Boston.com+/+Boston+Globe+–+National+News

. January 9, Palm Springs Desert Sun – (California) Putrid odors panic Saul Martinez Elementary School. A mysterious odor has repeatedly sickened people at a Mecca, California elementary school during the past month, though air-monitoring officials have not determined what is causing it. “They say, ‘We don’t know what it is, but you’re OK,’” said a second-grade teacher at Saul Martinez Elementary School where paramedics have responded three times in 4 weeks for assistance. “It’s scary. We have 1,100 kids that we serve,” she said. Residents in this agricultural community have been dealing with intermittent odors for years, but the frequency and intensity of the fumes has increased in the past months, residents and school staff said. Emergency personnel treated more than 20 people at the school December 15 and January 6, including one person who fainted and two others who were taken to the hospital. Paramedics also went to the school December 11 during a school program in response to a strong smell of natural gas that left an unspecified number of people feeling ill. Source: http://www.mydesert.com/article/20110109/NEWS04/101090340/Putridodors- panic-school

. January 7, Associated Press – (International) Man gets prison for illegal work as Yemeni agent. A Bakersfield, California man has been sentenced to 5 years in prison after admitting to working illegally as an agent for the government of Yemen. The suspect was sentenced January 7 by a federal judge after he pleaded guilty in October to exporting military equipment, possession of stolen U.S. property, and conspiracy to act as an illegal agent for a foreign country. Besides serving time in prison, the 60-yearold suspect was also ordered to serve an additional 3 years of supervised release. Federal prosecutors said the man worked for Yemen between 1997 and 2006, shipping off bulletproof vests, chemical protective suits, and other equipment to the country. They say he also bought and shipped night-vision goggles, laptop computers, and satellite phones sold to him by an undercover FBI agent posing as a U.S. Army soldier. Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/ content/article/2011/01/07/AR2011010706863.html

. January 7, Reuters – (International) U.S. relocates some people named in WikiLeaks cables. The United States has warned several hundred people worldwide it believes may be imperiled by WikiLeaks’ release of classified U.S. diplomatic cables and has so far helped a handful of them relocate to safer locations, the State Department said January 7. A State Department spokesman said those at risk could include civil society activists, journalists, or government officials whose discussions with U.S. officials as recounted by WikiLeaks could anger foreign governments or other political forces. “We are focused on people who have been identified in documents and assess whether there is a greater risk to them of violence, imprisonment or other serious harm, particularly in repressive societies around the world,” the spokesman said. The Secretary of State has led the effort to mollify foreign governments, some of which have been deeply embarrassed by the publication of candid U.S. diplomatic assessments, and has accused WikiLeaks of acting without regard for the safety of those named in the cables. Source: http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE7065H220110107

. January 7, WCSC 5 Charleston – (South Carolina) Building evacuated at Joint Base Charleston. The main Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic building at Joint Base Charleston Weapons Station in Charleston, South Carolina was evacuated January 7 because of a suspicious package. Employees returned to building No. 3147 about 45 minutes after the evacuation. A security team from Joint Base Charleston responded and found the package to be a false alarm, according to a spokesperson from SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic. Source: http://www.live5news.com/Global/story.asp?S=13803008 For more stories, see items 5 and 24

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