The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 20, 2003, Image 12

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

L Thursday, November 20, 2003 THE BATTAUS WE’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER 2003-04 Texas A&M University Campus Directory Listing of departments, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and other information about A&M, plus yellow pages. S TUDENTS: If you ordered a 2003-04 Campus Directory, stop Room 015 Reed McDonald Building (in the basement) to pick up your copy. Please bring your Student ID. If you did not order a Campus Directory as a fee option when you registered for Fall '03 classes, you may purchase a copy for $3 plus tax in room 015 Reed McDonald (by cash, check Aggie Bucks or credit card). D EPARTMENTS: If you ordered Campus Directories and requested delivery, deliver ies will be made within the next few days. If you did not order Campus Directories, you may charge and pick them up at 015 Reed McDonald. Cost is $3 per copy. Please bring a Student Media Work Order. Hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 rm. Monday-Friday Investigators pin origin of blackou on FirstEnergy Corporation failure By Josef Hebert THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — The nation’s worst blackout began with three power line failures in Ohio and should have been con tained by operators at FirstEnergy Corp., a three- month government investigation concluded Wednesday. The report by a U.S.- Canadian task force said the FirstEnergy operators did not respond properly, allowing the Aug. 14 outage to cascade, eventually cutting off electricity to 50 million people in eight states and Canada. The task force also cited out dated procedures and shortcom ings at a regional grid monitor ing center in Indiana that kept officials there from grasping the emerging danger and helping FirstEnergy deal with it. “This blackout was largely preventable,” Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said. The task force said it found “no computer viruses or any sort of illicit cyber activities” to blame. It also concluded that there was no deliberate damage or tampering with equipment associated with the outage. Among the faults found at FirstEnergy was a simple fail ure to keep trees around power lines trimmed. FirstEnergy, the nation’s fourth largest investor-owned utility company, had no immedi ate comment on the report. The company, based in Akron, Ohio, has maintained that its problems were but some of many in the Midwest power grid on the day of the blackout and that it should not be singled out. The task force report cites the failure of a FirstEnergy line near Cleveland, follow by problems with two of its other lines, as the “initial events” of the blackout. The loss of the three lines caused too much electricity to flow into nearby lines, causing an overload. Because those lines not prepared for the sudden increase in power, the system became unstable as the balance between available power and demand dete riorated, said the report. It said the company’s failure to adequately trim trees along the lines “was the common cause" for the lines tripping and said overall FirstEnergy “failed to ensure the security of its transmission system.” Abraham and Canadian Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal released the find ings in the 134-page report on the causes for the blackout that spread across eight states, from eastern Michigan to New York City and into Canada. It was the worst blackout in the nation’s history, costing at least $6 billion in economic and other losses. It prompted new calls for upgrading the nation’s high-voltage electric transmis sion systems and giving the gov ernment power to enforce relia bility standards. Congress is expected this week to complete a massive energy bill Let's Co Out To Eat FirstEnergy blamed for failures The U S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force k three causes that led to the blackout on Aug. 14 and conclude: FirstEnergy Corp. operators did not respond properly. Inadequate awareness — FirstEnergy didnol promptly restore grid balance when power lines failed: operators were not properly kained; operators did not have enough tools to monitor power lines when they failed Inadequate tree trimming — FirstEnergy failed to manage tree growth near transmission lines, which was the common cause of the outage on three of the company's lines. Inadequate support — The Midwest Independeni System Operator (MISO) and PJM Interconnect^' which oversee regional transmission systems, lacked procedures and timely information in order to help FirstEnergy. SOURCE: Department of Energy; U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force that includes, for the first time, federal reliability rules for compa nies to follow to safeguard the grid system. Currently the indus try regulates itself with no direct penalties for violations. The report raises questions about the monitoring of the power grid by the Midwest Independent System Operator, or MISO, a group responsible for overseeing power flow across the upper Midwest. The MISO operators, from a control center in Carmel, Ind., were using outdated infonnation and didn’t have the means to identify significant transmission problems developing in the sys tem, said the report. That pre vented MISO operators ta assisting FirstEnergy co operators, who themselves hampered by a faulty cotnpmo and other mechanical glitches. The task force cited tie human error and equipment fill- ures, noting that FirstEnergy ability to analyze its problems#: hampered for nearly an half by a computer failure. From the time the compm;: failed “to when they begat recognize their situatioi (FirstEnergy) operators did i understand how much of th system was being lost" or tl their interpretation of events iii not reflect the system’s truecn dition, the report said. Michael Jackson charget with child molestation Bu A shot do ing the 1991.1 Air For 33 days which t clubs, 1 nated o to cut c tary sec Wha seeking prisone hundrec won las the gov The Bu port the words. The when tl against Federal D.C. Tl pay dar tional i result o Whe responc U.S. D Robert: totaling lion in million How By Robert Jablon THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Authorities issued a warrant for Michael Jackson’s arrest on charges of molesting a child and asked the pop superstar Wednesday to turn himself in and surrender his passport. Jackson’s spokesman called the allegations “scurrilous and totally unfounded.” The 45-year-old King of Pop was accused of multiple counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14. A decade ago, Jackson was also accused of molestation but was never charged because the youngster refused to testify. “I am sad that there is another victim out there. I feel bad for the family. I feel bad for the victim. Beyond that, I feel it is a sad thing for all those involved,” District Attorney Thomas W. Sneddon Jr. said at a news conference. Jackson was believed to be in Las Vegas working at a record ing studio. “Get over here and get checked in,” the prosecutor said. Sneddon would not say when or where the alleged crimes took place or how old the youngster was. He said an affidavit outlin ing the details will be sealed for 45 days. But Brian Oxman, an attor ney who has represented the Jackson family over the years, told CBS that the case involves the alleged molestation of a 12- year-old boy at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, the storybook playground where the singer has been known to hold sleepover parties with children. Oxman is not representing Jackson. CBS immediately pulled a Jackson music special planned for next Wednesday on his greatest hits and the impact on pop culture of the former child star who got his start with his brothers as a member of lk singing-and-dancing Jackson: “Given the gravity of lii charges against Mr. Jackson,#! believe it would be inappropii' ate at this time to broadcast! entertainment special,” the t work said. On Tuesday, as many asl law enforcement officers spi 12 hours searching lli Neverland Ranch forcorrobotf ing evidence. The $12.3 millioi ranch has a mansion, its ow zoo and amusement park, Each of the sex charges ii punishable by three to years in prison. Sneddon woiil not say how many Jackson faces. Bail will be seiat $3 million, authorities said. Sheriff Jim Anderson authorities have been inco with Jackson’s lawyers am singer has been given thechaiw to surrender “within a S] period of time.” Anderson refused to say how long would be. “I believe he’s willing to coop erate with us,” the sheriff said, Jackson spokesman Sti Backerman issued a saying the singer “has made arrangements with WiS' : trict attorney to return to Sants Barbara to immediately confrot \ and prove these charges | unfounded.” “Michael would never harm! r child in any way. These scurriloit | and totally unfounded allegations I will be proven false in acoiitl'l room,” Backerman said. The announcement of tie [ arrest came at an often-jovii | news conference with Anderses: and Sneddon. The prose# I looked sheepish after gesturiit so forcefully he knocked oveti j news organization’s micro-1 phone. At another point, If! ridiculed a suggestion frost: Jackson that the allegations: were timed to coincide with tit |i release of his latest album. Ar o CEO o oil con was ar point o in Sibe Russiai charge* fraud, ( and tax Khodo positio giant fi billion so-cali The actions the arn month: Russia Decen before dential arrest; motiva was ge becaus cy witl story t arrest Kh* other t rich o\ up enc the inc mid-l' During state a extract Rhode chasec shares 19951 IF YOU ORDERED a 2004 Aggieland and will not be on campus next fall to pick it up, you can have it mailed. To have your yearbook for the '03-04 school year mailed, stop by room 015 Reed McDonald Building or telephone 845-2613 (credit cards only) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and pay a $7 and handling fee. Cash, Check, Aggie Bucks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted. Aggieland 2004 convei Rhode made drastic Workf ations envirc emplo Th Russi: mercy oil inc vate it comp; contre tem. 1 new p will si Altho