Infrastructure Daily News 09.30.11

Transportation Sector

. September 28, Washington D.C. Hill – (National) TSA found 800 guns in luggage in 2011. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has discovered more than 800 guns in 2011 in bags passengers attempted to bring through airport security, the agency said September 28. The weekend of September 24 and 25, 10 guns were found, as well as throwing knives in a passenger’s bag at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and inert grenades carried by a passenger at Hartsfield- Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the agency said on its Web site blog. The most often reason given by passengers who are caught, a TSA blogger wrote, “I forgot what was in my bag.” Source: found-in-airport-luggage

. September 28, WXXA 23 Albany – (New York) TSA investigating loaded gun at airport. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) found a loaded gun and a replica gun in carry-on bags at Albany International Airport in Albany, New York September 26. Officials said the loaded gun was with a passenger headed to Detroit, Michigan. The replica was with a passenger headed to Charlotte, North Carolina. Police and TSA said security officers pulled a loaded hand gun from a 54-year-old woman’s purse. Police said she was headed back home to Montana, and claims she did not know the gun was with her. She is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor. Officials said the TSA is investigating if she flew to Albany with the gun. Police said the replica gun that was found belonged to a small child, noting that while they do not think there was any criminal intent, they took it away. Source: airport/dTyx56eso02BrgNtefBhdQ.cspx

. September 28, WPBF 25 Tequesta – (Florida) Derailed train causing Tri-Rail delays. Tri-Rail passengers dealt with delays September 28 because of a derailed freight train in Pompano Beach, Florida. A South Florida Regional Transportation Authority spokeswoman said a CSX train derailed late September 27, causing delays of up to 2 hours. She said the delays were expected to continue throughout the day September 28, and into the evening rush hour. She said some late afternoon and evening trains may be canceled as well. Source: For more stories, see items 4, 40, 44, and 61

Postal and Shipping Sector

. September 28, KSPR 33 Springfield – (Missouri) Springfield, MO woman indicted for stealing mail, bank fraud scheme. A Springfield, Missouri woman was indicted by a federal grand jury September 28 for a bank fraud scheme that involved stealing checks from the mail, and using stolen identities to pass them at local businesses. The 22-year-old woman of Springfield, was charged in a 20-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield. The indictment alleges that, between April 17 and August 6, 2011, the woman stole checks from business and residential mailboxes in the Springfield area. She allegedly altered the checks and forged the mail theft victims’ names then passed, or attempted to pass, the checks at local businesses to purchase electronic equipment such as computers and iPods. She allegedly used counterfeit identification cards in the names of the mail theft victims to pass the forged checks and defraud the banks on which the checks were drawn. She later returned the merchandise, the indictment says, for a cash “refund” of the purchase price. Source:

Emergency Services Sector

. September 29, Boulder Daily Camera – (Colorado) Colo. student develops Twitter app for disasters. A University of Colorado (CU) graduate student developed an Android application for Twitter to help people use a common language while tweeting during disasters, the Boulder Daily Camera reported September 29. Twitter has become popular during disasters because it offers a concise and efficient communication medium, he said. But, he said, a need to standardize the syntaxes used on Twitter has surfaced particularly for the emergency personnel, affected individuals, concerned loved ones, information officers, and journalists who use it to provide and monitor information and collaborate on rescue efforts. His application uses syntax developed in 2009 by a doctoral student of CU’s Project EPIC (Empowering the Public with Information in Crisis) research group. Nearly 3,000 tweets using the “Tweak the Tweet” syntax were posted in the weeks following Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. The graduate student’s app helps provide a solution to better streamline emergency tweets. When those messages are selected, corresponding tweets that could include a user’s status, needs or offers to help are queued for posting online. The app has been downloaded in 20 countries. Source: twitter-app-disasters

. September 28, WSOC 9 Charlotte – (North Carolina) Paramedics to be stationed inside N.C. airport terminal. The Charlotte City Council has decided to spend $500,000 annually to station paramedics inside the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., WSOC 9 Charlotte reported September 28. Charlotte Douglas police will keep their EMT certifications, and will remain at the scene of emergency calls, but will serve now on as backup. The decision was made to cut down on response times after data was compiled that showed medics respond to about 1,000 emergency calls a year at the airport, and roughly 600 of those end up with trips to the hospital. Source:

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