Infrastructure Daily News 12.28.11

Transportation Sector

. December 27, Chicago Tribune – (Illinois) Man killed when UP Northwest train hits car in Palatine. A man was killed when he apparently drove around lowered crossing gates in Palatine, Illinois, December 27 and was struck by an express train, shutting down the Union Pacific Northwest Line, authorities said. The accident occurred about 7:30 a.m. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident occurred as one train was stopped at the Palatine station and a second, express train sped through, a witness said. Authorities confirmed that the car was struck by a Metra express train. Metra did not know how long the delays would be and urged commuters to find alternate transportation. Some inbound trains were on the move because authorities opened one of the three available tracks, a Metra spokesman said. As of 9:20 a.m. train number 622 remained stopped. Source:,0,5987451.story

. December 27, New York Daily News – (New York) Cops: Westchester man takes Greyhound bus for Christmas joyride to visit upstate pal. A Westchester, New York man stole a Greyhound bus in Syracuse and drove it to visit to a friend in Watertown before getting caught, police said. The man boarded the bus December 25 because he was cold and the vehicle was running and warm while being fueled at the Syracuse transportation center, authorities said. He then drove off and headed north to a friend’s home in Watertown, 70 miles away. Police said he had a commercial driver’s license and knew how to operate a bus. Greyhound disabled the wayward coach electronically two hours later in Watertown and notified Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies. They arrested the man and charged him with stealing the bus. Source:

. December 23, Associated Press – (Arkansas) Woman with handgun arrested at Little Rock airport. An Arkansas woman was arrested after police said she took a loaded gun through a security checkpoint at the airport in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that the 60-year-old woman was arrested December 22 and charged with carrying a weapon. Authorities said the woman had a loaded .38-caliber handgun in a carry-on bag as she was moving through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint. Security officials discovered the gun as the bag went through an X-ray machine. The Democrat-Gazette said at least 10 people have been arrested at the airport this year for attempting to carry handguns on planes. Source: For more stories, see items 6, 7, 21, and 40

Postal and Shipping Sector

. December 25, Reno Gazette Journal – (Nevada) Fire burns Verdi Post Office. A fire, apparently caused by vandals, roared through the U.S. Post Office in Verdi, Nevada, December 25, heavily damaging the building and closing down postal operations at the site. A 911 call at around 5 a.m. brought law enforcement to the scene. An alarm in the building was set off, but postal and fire officials did not know if the alarm was triggered by smoke or by bullets. One of the buildings neighbors reported hearing four gunshots behind the post office at about 4:30 a.m. and calling 911. None of the mail in the building sustained fire damage, the inspector said, although there is some water damage from the firefighters’ efforts. Verdi mail will most likely be moved December 27 to the Peavine Station in northwest Reno for customer pick up, according to the manager of postal operations in Reno. Source: Return to top [ ]

Emergency Services Sector

. December 27, CNN – (Florida) 3 dead in Florida medical helicopter crash. A surgeon, a medical technician, and a pilot were killed December 27 when a medical helicopter crashed in Florida, the Mayo Clinic said. The helicopter crashed about 12 miles northeast of Palatka, Florida, according to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokeswoman. The clinic said the helicopter was carrying two employees to theUniversity of Florida in Gainesville to harvest organs when the crash occurred. The helicopter was owned by SK Jets, according to the FAA. The company has not commented on the crash. Source:

. December 24, San Antonio Express-News – (Texas) SAPD headquarters reopens after gas leak. The San Antonio, Texas police headquarters reopened to employees December 24 after a nearby gas leak prompted a daylong evacuation. Crews working on street repairs near the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) headquarters accidentally struck a 4-inch natural gas line underground December 23, sending the substance into the building, according to a CPS Energy spokeswoman. The gas filled the building’s basement and eventually traveled above ground, prompting an evacuation that lasted more than 24 hours. The CPS Energy spokeswoman said employees were allowed to return to the building though trace amounts of gas still lingered in the building’s basement. A spokeswoman with the San Antonio Fire Department said employees were allowed to return to the building briefly December 2before they were evacuated a second time. The police chief said dispatchers and detectives were sent to work at other locations, including the Police Department’s central substation. Civilian employees were sent home and asked to answer their cellphones in case of an emergency. He said no employees were injured and response times were unaffected by the incident. Source:

. December 23, WXXA 23 Albany – (Oklahoma; National) 13 Fire hydrants stolen frovolunteer fire department. Volunteer firefighters at Stonebluff Volunteer Fire Department in Wagoner County, Oklahoma, noticed fire hydrants missing the week of December 12. The department’s surveillance video captured three men stealing the hydrants. The Wagoner sheriff said they received a tip on Facebook that they are following up on. The volunteer firefighters also say they have seen the hydrants for salon craigslist. Each of the hydrants is reportedly worth $3,000. Source:

. December 23, Dayton Daily News – (Ohio) SWAT member leaves stolen gear unattended. The Montgomery County, Ohio sheriff said December 23 his office is conducting an internal investigation into the theft of nearly $10,000 worth of SWAT weapons and tactical gear from a deputy’s private vehicle while it was parked in a tavern parking lot the day before. Missing from the deputy’s Jeep was H&K MP5 weapon and a 9 mm Glock handgun. Also taken were two loaded magazines for the Glock, five 30-round loaded magazines for the MP5, a sheriff’s radio, rappelling equipment, a tactical vest, a gas mask, and other gear. The deputy told Vandalia 3 me officers some of the gear was in a duffle bag on the passenger seat and the remainder in a steel tool box in the back. Source:

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