Secret Service Agent Barred From Flight

N E W Y O R K, Dec. 27 — Law enforcement agents will be patrolling Times Square on New Year's Eve armed with radiation detectors in an effort to protect revelers from possible nuclear terrorism, according to a report in today's New York Post. The device, which is slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes, is capable of alerting the user to radioactivity nearby, the newspaper said. More than one million people are expected to watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve. Inspector Christopher Rising, an NYPD police spokesman, declined to say how many members of the force would be provided with the "personal radiation detectors," which are on loan from the U.S. Customs Service. "Our responsibility is to keep everyone safe. New York City post-Sept. 11, as well as the rest of the country, posts new challenges, and the NYPD is continuing to do everything it can to keep New York City the safest large city in America," Rising said. The black gadget, which weighs 6 ounces and is carried in a belt holster, costs $1,400, the Post reported. If it detects radiation, the device vibrates, sounds a tone and displays flashing yellow lights. Rising said the plan to use the device in Times Square is strictly "precautionary" and not based on a specific threat. "Customs has been using them for a while to test shipments. They're not designed to give a pinpoint reading — they're designed to tell you where you're safe to be," he explained.

—The Associated Press

Former Senator to Oversee Red Cross Fund

N E W Y O R K, Dec. 27 — Former Sen. George Mitchell is going to oversee the American Red Cross fund that was set up to help victims of the terrorist attacks.

The fund has collected $667 million.

By the end of the year, the charity expects to distribute nearly half of the money. Mitchell will help develop and carry out a plan to give out the rest of it.

The Red Cross ran into criticism when it said part of the Liberty Fund would be used for projects not directly connected to the attacks.

Last month, the charity reversed itself — and said all of the money would go to people harmed by the terrorism.

—The Associated Press

Widow Gets Husband's Ring From Wreckage

P O R T O L A V A L L E Y, Calif., Dec. 26 — After her husband died on the last of the doomed Sept. 11 flights, Dorothy Garcia told FBI agents the only thing she wanted was his wedding ring recovered from the wreckage.

They told her they weren't likely to find it at the Pennsylvania crash site of United Airlines Flight 93. But last week, two agents brought her his wallet and the ring, which she knew by its inscription: "All my love, 8-2-69."

"It was a miracle," she said.

Andrew Garcia, 62, was returning from a business trip when the plane was hijacked en route from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco. Several passengers said in phone calls before the crash that they planned to fight back against the hijackers.

"We're trying to just remember that my husband as well as every single passenger on that flight was a hero, and thanking them for their patriotism," Dorothy Garcia said.

The couple met in the 1960s when they both worked for United Airlines, and they ran a start-up company at the time of Andrew Garcia's death.

Dorothy Garcia knew the first Christmas without him would be difficult. Little things troubled her, like deciding who would sit at the head of the dinner table where he once sat.

She now wears her husband's wedding ring on her middle finger on her right hand. It seems right, she said.

"Because he was the center of my life."

—The Associated Press

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