- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 30, 2005

‘Missing’ disk never existed

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A report concludes two computer disks that supposedly disappeared — prompting a near-shutdown at one of the nation’s leading nuclear-weapons laboratories — never existed.

“We got walloped,” a spokesman for the University of California, which manages Los Alamos National Laboratory, said Friday.

The Energy Department report concluded bar codes were recorded for the disks, but the disks themselves were never created. A separate FBI investigation supported that finding, according to the report.

As punishment for the problems, the Energy Department slashed by two-thirds the management fee it paid to UC for running Los Alamos.

Freezing rain spreads across Southeast

ATLANTA — Freezing rain and sleet coated parts of the Southeast with a layer of ice yesterday , canceling hundreds of flights, knocking out power to thousands of customers and shutting down sections of every interstate highway in the metro Atlanta area.

Three weather-related traffic deaths were reported, two in Georgia and one in South Carolina, police said.

At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, only one of the four runways was open for much of the day and “very few flights are coming or going,” said airport spokeswoman Felicia Browder.

“I don’t have an official number of cancellations, but I can say with confidence a significant number have been canceled,” Miss Browder said.

Execution delayed until tomorrow

SOMERS, Conn. — Serial killer Michael Ross has tried for 10 years to speed his own death.

Yesterday , little more than an hour before his scheduled execution, Ross’ own attorney caused another delay, saying he needed time to examine his own potential conflict of interest.

Now, lawyer T.R. Paulding’s relationship with his client — and the ethics involved in helping him die — are under close scrutiny. Ross hired Mr. Paulding last year to help him expedite his own execution, which would be the first in New England in 45 years.

Mr. Paulding did not elaborate on the possible conflict of interest, but noted that his client did not ask for the delay. The execution was rescheduled for 9 p.m. tomorrow.

Two wounded in shooting on bus

TRENTON, N.J. — A 22-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl were wounded in a shooting aboard a New Jersey Transit bus.

The shooter fled on foot, according to police.

Jason H. Pecco was shot five times and was hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said. The girl, whose identity was withheld, was treated for a graze wound to her arm and released.

The shooting occurred about 5:10 p.m. Friday on the bus carrying about 15 people, said Penny Bassett Hackett, an N.J. Transit spokeswoman. The bus was stopped at the time, but the driver immediately drove to the hospital blocks away.

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