- - Sunday, January 1, 2012


FBI: Suspect charged in explosives case

MIDLAND | Authorities have charged a member of the U.S. military who was arrested after trying to go through a security checkpoint at a Texas airport with explosives in military-grade wrapping, the FBI said Sunday.

Trey Scott Atwater, 30, was stopped at security at the Midland International Airport at about 9 a.m. Saturday. FBI spokesman Mike Martinez said Mr. Atwater is being held at the Midland County jail and has been charged with trying to bring explosives onto an airplane.

He will remain in custody at least until his arraignment Tuesday, given that the courts are closed Monday for the holiday, Mr. Martinez said.

Mr. Atwater and his wife and family had been visiting relatives in the area and were on their way back to his base in North Carolina, according to local media reports.

Public records searches list addresses for Mr. Atwater at Fort Bragg and indicate he continues to have relatives in Midland, though there was no answer at phone numbers given in both locations. He had a reservation on Flight 3283 operated by American Eagle, which had a scheduled departure of 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

It’s unclear whether Mr. Atwater was in military uniform at the time he was detained or how many explosives were in the bag.


2nd NASA probe en route to moon

PASADENA | A day after a NASA spacecraft safely entered orbit around the moon, its twin was poised to do the same.

The duo are on a mission to study what’s inside the moon by mapping its uneven gravity field.

On New Year’s Eve, a probe named Grail-A fired its engine and was captured into lunar orbit. NASA hoped for a similar flawless performance from Grail-B on New Year’s Day.

Once in orbit, the near-identical probes will spend two months tweaking their positions until they are circling 34 miles above the surface. They will begin collecting data in March.


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