Archive for Monday, August 19, 2002

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August 19, 2002

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New Mexico: Missiles not terror issue

Charges against the president of a counterterrorism consulting company that stockpiled 2,352 small infantry-fired missile warheads involve only possible licensing and registration violations, a federal official said Sunday.

"This is not a terrorism issue," Assistant U.S. Atty. Norm Cairns said.

David Hudak, president of High Energy Access Tools, was arrested Thursday and charged with possessing missiles not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, according to a federal complaint filed Friday in Roswell. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison or a $10,000 fine, officials said.

Investigators also found 4,000 pounds of explosives at HEAT, an anti-terrorism and police training company that was conducting classes for students from the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Cairns said the students were not suspected of wrongdoing.

Virginia: Police look at new leads in search for missing girl

Police investigating the disappearance of a 9-year-old girl whose parents were slain in their home said Sunday they were focusing on several new leads as officers continued a frustrating search.

Henry County Sheriff Frank Cassell said authorities were looking into "fairly promising leads" regarding Jennifer Renee Short, who police believe was abducted early Thursday after her parents were shot.

"There's very little physical evidence," Cassell said. "We have two dead bodies, a missing child and little else. We've had no sightings, we've had no vehicle descriptions. All we've got is what we're running down right now."

Jennifer's parents, Michael Short, 50, and Mary Hall Short, 36, were found shot to death in their home in Bassett, 35 miles south of Roanoke. Each had been shot once in the head, a preliminary autopsy showed. A complete autopsy was expected today.

New York City: Election service overhauled

Voter News Service, an elections consortium of six media organizations, is developing and testing a new system to count votes that will be running for November's midterm elections, VNS officials say.

The member organizations ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and The Associated Press reviewed the changes at a board meeting last week.

VNS began work on the new system after its information was used in making wrong calls on the presidential election in 2000.

VNS counts votes and conducts election place polling, using the material to help its members project winners. The consortium hired Battelle Memorial Institute, an Ohio-based company, to help build a new system after its members decided against scrapping VNS entirely.

Washington, D.C.: Acela service restored

Amtrak's high-speed Acela Express is returning to service sooner than planned, with nine trains set to run today, the railroad said.

The trains will make 30 departures from Washington, New York and Boston, compared with 47 on a normal day.

Amtrak initially said none of the high-speed trains would return to service until Tuesday at the earliest, but repair work on faulty shock-absorbing assemblies is progressing ahead of schedule. As a result, the railroad said Sunday, there will be 17 departures between Washington and New York, compared with 29 on a regular day, and 13 between New York and Boston, compared with 18 normally.

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