Infrastructure Daily News 09.22.11

Transportation Sector

. September 21, Associated Press – (New Mexico; International) Cops: Mexican national entered US on NM school bus. A Mexican national is facing multiple immigration violations after authorities said he hitched a ride from the U.S. port of entry on a New Mexico public school bus. The Deming Headlight reports the U.S. Border Patrol-El Paso Sector spokesman confirmed September 20 that the 18-year-old used a Deming Public Schools bus from the Columbus Port of Entry to Deming to illegally enter the country. He could not give specifics on the case, citing the ongoing investigation, but did say the Mexican national faces multiple immigration violations, including illegal entry and fraudulent use of a document. Authorities were tipped off when the Deming Police Department was contacted. Source: NM-school-bus-2181304.php

. September 20, Washington Post – (Maryland; Virginia) Man admits in court to supplying bad concrete for Wilson Bridge. Substandard concrete was used in drainage inlets installed during construction on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that connects Maryland and Virginia, a man who supplied the flawed material admitted in pleading guilty to federal charges September 19. Frederick Precast Concrete also sold concrete used in improvements to Interstate 70 and other projects in Maryland. “This particular concrete had no bearing whatsoever on the structural integrity of the Wilson Bridge or I-70,” the director of the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) said. “Everything they supplied was inspected and either replaced or deemed safe.” Frederick’s director of quality control pleaded guilty to three counts of making false statements, officials said September

. The bad concrete was discovered when cracks appeared in a precast piece delivered in 2007 to the I-70 job site, documents said. Inspection revealed the material contained two layers of steel rebar rather than the three layers specified, and that the steel was of a weaker gauge than required. That led investigators to other projects, including the Wilson Bridge, for which contractors bought materials from Frederick Precast. They found several instances where the wrong number or gauge of steel rebar was used, documents said. The convict could face 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the three counts. He is scheduled to be sentenced December 19. Source: bad-concrete-for-wilson-bridge/2011/09/20/gIQA2m8UjK_story.html

. September 20, Atlanta Journal-Constitution – (Georgia) Yet another traveler allegedly had gun at Atlanta airport. Yet another traveler found himself under arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, after he forgot he had a handgun in his carry-on luggage, WSB 2 Atlanta reports. He was arrested September 19 after agents monitoring an X-ray machine at a security checkpoint spotted a loaded .22- caliber Beretta in a carry-on bag. The traveler’s attorney said his client went to a shooting range, then forgot he put the weapon in his bag before leaving for the airport. The latest incident follows four men arrested for bringing guns to airport security checkpoints within a 29-hour period September 15-16. In every instance, the travelers were detained at least overnight in Clayton County Jail as they awaited bond hearings. Besides criminal charges, offenders could face civil penalties for carrying a firearm at an airport ranging from $3,000 to $7,500 for a loaded weapon, and $1,500 to $3,000 for an unloaded weapon. A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesman said the TSA averages two gun confiscations a day across the country. Local airport officials told WSB 2 Atlanta they have found 50 guns since January 2011. Source: For more stories, see items 2, 9, 34, 44,

Postal and Shipping Sector Nothing to report

Emergency Services Sector

. September 21, Buffalo News – (New York) More resources urged for ECMC emergency psych unit. Psychiatric nurses at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, New York and the hospital’s administration September 20 appealed to state officials for more resources that would help them relieve overcrowding at the center’s emergency psychiatric unit. Overcrowding, they said, was a contributing factor in an incident the week of September 12 in which psychiatric nurse suffered a broken jaw after being punched by a mentally ill patient in crisis. During a news conference September 20, a New York State Nurses Association union representative for nurses at the hospital, said there were no open beds in the psychiatry unit when the nurse was injured. “It wasn’t a lack of adequate staffing, it was the overcrowding. We had 16 patients waiting to be admitted, and another 15 to 20 patients coming through the system for evaluation,” he said. The overcrowding in the psychiatric unit, he said, is symptomatic of a mental health crisis in the broader community that is manifested by insufficient housing for non-acute patients, as well as insufficient treatment programs, support groups and advocacy for the mentally ill. All of it is exacerbated by insufficient funding, he stated. Source:

. September 20, Associated Press – (Missouri) NWS: Some Joplin residents ignored tornado warning. The federal agency that oversees the National Weather Service (NWS) said warning sirens and notifications went out well ahead of the devastating Joplin, Missouri tornado, but said residents did not respond quickly enough to the sirens warning of the impending twister. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said September 20 in a report about communications before and during the May 22 tornado that killed 162 people in Joplin that the NWS was well-prepared and “performed in an exemplary manner.” The report also said efforts from the weather service, emergency management and the public “saved many lives.” But the report said “the vast majority of Joplin residents” did not respond to the first siren because of an apparent widespread disregard for tornado sirens. Source: warning-130213908.html

. September 19, Associated Press – (Indiana) State fair’s plan lacks crucial details. An emergency response plan drafted 10 months before the Indiana State Fair’s deadly stage collapse that killed 7 people and injured more than 40, details how staff should handle evacuations, but it does not spell out the precise scenarios that would trigger an evacuation, newly released documents indicate. The 71-page emergency plan released September 14 by fair officials describes more than a dozen situations, including severe weather, shootings and fires, that would prompt fair officials to activate their emergency protocols. But the exact conditions that would require the need for an evacuation are not clearly defined in the document, which leaves the final decision on evacuations up to fair officials. The stage collapsed on top of fans at an outdoor concert at the fair grounds in Indianapolis when a sudden wind gust ahead of an approaching storm blew it down. Source: lacks-crucial-details?odyssey=mod|newswell”>http://www.palitem. com/article/20110920/NEWS01/109200307/State-fair-s-plan-lacks-crucialdetails? odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p <http://www.palitem. com/article/20110920/NEWS01/109200307/State-fair-s-plan-lacks-crucialdetails? odyssey=mod|newswell

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