The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 20, 2003, Image 12
Thursday, November 20, 2003
WE’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER
2003-04 Texas A&M University
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
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
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
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
Congress is expected this week
to complete a massive energy bill
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
to cut c
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
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
“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
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
“Given the gravity of lii
charges against Mr. Jackson,#!
believe it would be inappropii'
ate at this time to broadcast!
entertainment special,” the t
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
“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 |
“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.
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