Infrastructure Daily News 05.11.11

Transportation Sector

. May 10, Associated Press – (National) Amtrak, 15 states get Florida’s $2B in highspeed rail money. Amtrak and rail projects in 15 states will get the $2 billion that Florida spurned when its governor canceled plans for high-speed train service, the U.S. Department of Transportation said May 9. The largest share of the money — nearly $800 million — will be used to upgrade train speeds from 135 mph to 160 mph on segments of the heavily traveled Northeast corridor, the department said. Another $404 million will go to expand high-speed rail service in the Midwest, including newly constructed segments of 110-mph track between Detroit and Chicago that are expected to save passengers 30 minutes in travel time. Nearly $340 million will go toward stateof- the-art locomotives and rail cars for California and the Midwest. California will also get another $300 million toward trains that will travel up to 220 mph between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Source: n.htm

. May 9, Reuters – (Illinois) Man charged for allegedly trying to open plane door. An Illinois man who allegedly tried to open an emergency exit door of a plane in mid-flight was charged by federal prosecutors May 9 with interfering with a flight crew and crimes involving aircraft, authorities said May 9. The 34-year-old man of Burbank, Illinois could face 10 years in jail for each of the two counts. According to prosecutors, the suspect boarded Continental Airline flight 546 in Houston, Texas May 8, heading for Chicago, Illinois. After the flight took off he rushed up the aisle toward the front of the aircraft where a flight attendant tried to stop him. He pinned the flight attendant against the wall and repeatedly tried to open the emergency door, the complaint added. The suspect was reportedly subdued by passengers and crew members, and the plane was diverted to St. Louis, Missouri, where it landed at Lambert International Airport at 1:28 p.m. Source:

. May 9, Associated Press – (New York) NY crackdown ensnares 46 bus drivers. Nearly four dozen drivers of tour buses, New York City buses, taxis, and other commercial vehicles were charged with felonies for holding commercial licenses even though they had other licenses suspended under different names, New York’s governor announced May 9. The latest and broadest crackdown on commercial drivers comes after a tour bus crash in March that killed 15 people returning to New York City from a Connecticut casino. The licensed drivers include four working for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), one of whom is a mechanic who also drives buses in MTA facilities. Their driver’s licenses are suspended pending court action. “Many of the individuals arrested today obtained multiple driver licenses in order to collect benefits, and even worse, to conceal violent criminal histories,” said the New York City police commissioner. He told the Associated Press the arrests were the result of partnerships with authorities from the New York City Police Department and U.S. Customs, along with prosecutors in suburban Westchester, Rockland, and Nassau counties, and in the New York City boroughs of Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. The state department of transportation has made 1,960 surprise roadside inspections since March 17. State police issued 197 tickets and 173 bus drivers and 143 buses were sidelined.The department of motor vehicle facial recognition technology, first used last year, has so far identified more than 3,000 people with multiple licenses. More than 600 were arrested on felony charges. Source: XiPFvQ?docId=d39882209d7a4a88b8b9db0009799c36

. May 9, Associated Press – (California) Suspicious package prompts Long Beach train station shutdown, nursing home evacuation. A suspicious package at a train station in Long Beach, California caused an hour-long shutdown of commuter rail service and evacuation of a nearby nursing home. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman said someone noticed a shoeboxsized package on top of a ticket vending machine at the Wardlow Blue Line station shortly before 9 a.m. May 9. The spokesman said the station was closed and trains halted. Passengers were bused around the closure. He said the package was found not to be dangerous and the station reopened. Source: train-station-shutdown-nursing-homeevacuation/ 2011/05/09/AF1n16ZG_story.html

. May 7, Fox 31 Denver – (Colorado) 4 arrested at DIA for attempting to breach security. Three men and one woman were arrested May 7 in Denver, Colorado after a security incident at Denver International Airport (DIA), authorities said. At around 10:15 a.m. two men tried to get through security without boarding passes or identification, while a woman in the group carried both forms, a Denver police spokesman said. A fourth man appeared to be filming the incident. According to police, no threats were made and none of the people involved had weapons. All four were being held for interfering with a transportation facility. A spokesperson for the FBI said they were aware of the incident, but it is currently being handled by Denver police. Source: 20110507,0,1397902.story For more stories, see items 1, 4, 21, 53, and 55

Postal and Shipping Sector

. May 9, Asheville Citizen-Times – (North Carolina) Semi-truck wrecks near Wolf Laurel Over 100 gallons of diesel fuel is discharged. Hazmat crews were dispatched to Wolf Laurel, North Carolina after the driver of a Fed-Ex truck flipped on I-26 and spilled over 100 gallons of diesel fuel along the roadway. According to a North Carolina Highway State Trooper, the driver was traveling westbound on Interstate 26 in a double tractor trailer Fed-Ex truck, when he lost control of his vehicle just after 6 a.m. May 3 and flipped the truck over a guardrail. “It is possible that he fell asleep, but the cause (of the accident) is still under investigation,” the trooper said. The emergency management director said the truck, which was carrying mixed hazardous materials, including various corrosives, also spilled over 100 gallons of diesel fuel on to the roadside, when the gas tank dislodged from the truck at the time of the incident. The North Carolina Hazardous Materials Regional Response Team responded to the accident just after 8 a.m. and determined that there was no immediate danger on the scene. Source: wrecks-near-Wolf-Laurel-Over-100-gallons-diesel-fuel-discharged

Emergency Services Sector

. May 10, USA Today – (National) FCC and cellphone carriers team for nationwide emergency alerts. Consumers will get emergency alerts for hurricanes, tornadoes, and other disasters on their cell phones as part of a new alert network slated to be announced May 10 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Personal Localized Alerting Network, or PLAN, will allow emergency officials to send geographically targeted text messages to cell phones in areas where there is imminent danger. Today, at the World Trade Center site in New York City, the FCC Chairman and New York mayor will announce New York will have the free PLAN service operational by year’s end. Officials also expect to have Washington, D.C., on board by then. Four cellular providers — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon — have collaborated to voluntarily initiate the service prior to an April 2012 deadline for PLAN to be launched nationwide. Officials hope to include the entire metropolitan areas of the two cities. The emergency alerts will be initiated by local, state or government agencies. Once the Federal Emergency Management Agency and PLAN have ensured an alert is valid, it will be forwarded to wireless providers, which will relay the message to consumers. Source: carriers-team-nationwide-emergency-alerts+

. May 10, Associated Press – (Maine) Maine to get money for tsunami evacuation signs. The state of Maine is getting federal help to install signs to help people flee the coast in the event of a tsunami or other emergency. The Maine Department of Transportation is installing more than 100 signs with the help of a $30,000 tsunami preparedness grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Few people expect the coast of Maine to be hit by a major tsunami, but the warnings can also be used in the event of a hurricane or a violent nor’easter. A spokeswoman for Maine Emergency Management said planners have identified evacuation routes so if a storm were headed for the coast there would be a plan. The Bangor Daily News said local emergency planners feel the signs will be of most benefit for visitors. Source: signs-1373236.php

. May 9, Associated Press – (Kentucky) Ky. to close minimum security prison, convert to state police training academy. Kentucky is shutting down a minimum security prison in Frankfort to convert the complex into a state police training center. State officials said May 9 that all 205 inmates are expected to be out of the Frankfort Career Development Center by July 1. The governor announced the change at an afternoon news conference. The shutdown of the prison marks the first time state officials could recall a correctional facility closing in Kentucky. The justice cabinet secretary said in an interview that a drop in the state’s prison population and recidivism rate makes the closing possible. The department of corrections commissioner said the state will see about a $575,000 savings in the new fiscal year. Inmates will be moved to other state prisons, county jails, and halfway houses. Source:– Kentucky-Prison-Closing/

. May 9, Lakeland Ledger – (Florida) Man guilty of posing as FBI agent in Broward County. A Broward County, Florida man has pleaded guilty to impersonating an FBI agent using a fake badge and phony credentials. The man admitted May 9 in federal court that he pretended to be an FBI agent when sheriff’s deputies came to his apartment in January to investigate a claim he had damaged the unit. The FBI has no record of the 48-year-old ever working there. Court records show he also had a 9 millimeter Glock handgun and more than two dozen other phony law enforcement badges. Those included fake badges for the U.S. Marshals, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, and Federal Air Marshals. He could get up to 3 years behind bars, but prosecutors have agreed not to seek prison time. Sentencing is set for July 15. Source: Guilty-of-Posing-as-FBI-Agent-in-Broward-County&tc=ar For another story, see item 62

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