- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CALIFORNIA

Police: Cache of explosives found in man’s home

SAN JOSE | A bomb squad detonated a cache of explosives found in a California home after authorities say a San Jose man, accused by a neighbor of shooting off guns in his backyard, was arrested on a suspicion of making criminal threats.

The discovery of the homemade bombs, along with several firearms and ammunition, at the home of Mark Sedlock, 63, led authorities to evacuate an entire neighborhood block Tuesday afternoon.

Police said four improvised explosive devices were found after Mr. Sedlock’s arrest, and they were detonated after investigators and bomb squad technicians determined the safest way to dispose of them was to set it off on the property.

Another search later Tuesday turned up a second set of four explosives, which also were detonated.

Pacific Gas & Electric shut off Mr. Sedlock’s utilities after the initial police search. No injuries were reported.

NEW JERSEY

Fort, technology vanguard closing after 94 years

EATONTOWN | A military era that began in 1917 and led to advances in FM radio and radar will come to an end Thursday.

That’s when New Jersey’s Fort Monmouth will close, its thousands of jobs transferred to Fort Meade in Maryland.

The fort is one of several that fell victim to congressional budget cutting. It had specialized in communications technology, from homing pigeons in World War I to a system that translated spoken English words into Arabic dialects during the Afghanistan war. Workers there also once bounced a signal off the moon in an effort to prove the feasibility of extraterrestrial radio communication.

The American flag will be lowered at the fort for the final time Thursday afternoon.

NEW YORK

9/11 families press court for access to list of kin

NEW YORK | Sept. 11 victims’ relatives who say a museum is no place to put unidentified victims’ remains went to court Wednesday to press for access to a city-maintained list of the next of kin for all the nearly 2,800 people killed at the World Trade Center, information the relatives say they need to gauge opinion on the issue.

In a hearing that was technically about public-records law but overlaid with an emotionally charged debate about the future of 9,000 pieces of unidentified remains, relatives’ attorneys said they needed the list to poll families. But a city attorney said releasing it would invade the privacy of people whose identities became the government’s business only through tragedy.

A judge didn’t immediately rule or say when she would.

The case is a byproduct of a bitter disagreement between some victims’ relatives and city officials, the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum and, indeed, some other victims’ relatives about the unidentified remains of more than 1,100 victims.

The 17 relatives who are suing oppose a plan to put the unidentified remains 70 feet underground in the subterranean museum, behind a wall inscribed with a quote from Virgil. The remains wouldn’t be visible to the public, and a private room next to the repository would be set aside for families.

NORTH CAROLINA

School board votes to allow facial piercings

SMITHFIELD | A school system that had been involved in a dispute with a student about her nose piercing has now changed its dress code to allow such jewelry.

The Johnston County school board voted unanimously Tuesday to allow students to have nose rings and facial jewelry as long as their school principal doesn’t see it as a disruption.

The school system was sued last year by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Ariana Iacono. The student said she wore a small nose stud as a reflection of her religious beliefs. The school suspended her, saying such jewelry violated the dress code.

In June, the school dropped its objections to Ariana’s piercing.

Superintendent Ed Croom said Tuesday’s vote is not related to the lawsuit.

WEST VIRGINIA

Mansion not sold on site of John Brown’s hanging

CHARLES TOWN | Attempts to sell a mansion on the site of abolitionist John Brown’s execution have failed.

A notice posted on the auction site says the owners failed to get their minimum asking price, which wasn’t published. Bidding for the Historic Perkins House in Charles Town had been expected to begin at $950,000 last weekend.

An agent didn’t comment Wednesday. It’s unclear if they’ll try again.

The 7,000-square-foot, five-bedroom Queen Anne Victorian was built in 1891, about 30 years after Brown was hanged for treason The execution site is in the yard, marked by a white obelisk.

Brown attacked a federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859, planning to seize weapons and start a revolution to end slavery, but the uprising was quashed within 48 hours.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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