Fourteen Arrested in Anthrax Hoaxes

The Sept. 11 terror attacks had a profound impact on the United States, and the effects are still rippling across American society in large and small ways. Here is a periodic wrap-up of some of them.

Postal Inspectors Make Fourteen Arrests in Anthrax-Related Hoaxes

W A S H I N G T O N, Oct. 27 —

Postal inspectors have arrested 14 people in anthrax-related hoaxes and say they are actively pursuing other cases.

Inspectors are dealing with "an unbelievable amount of hoaxes and threats and suspicious letters" in the wake of the mailed cases in Florida, New York, Washington and New Jersey.

"The anthrax threats are not really something new for us," Postal Inspector Dan Mihalko said Saturday, citing a rash of 178 cases in 1999 and 2000 targeting abortion clinics.

There had been about 60 cases of anthrax, hoof and mouth and similar threats this year before Sept. 11, Mihalko said. In the last two weeks, he said, inspectors have investigated 6,305 incidents.

In many cases inspectors or local police are called because someone is suspicious of a letter, he said. It usually turns out to be nothing, but people are being encouraged to contact authorities if they find something suspicious. Post cards have been sent to every home describing what people should be wary of.

Turning to the hoaxes, Mihalko said there have been 14 arrests so far with prosecution authorized in nine other cases and two more pending.

"The message that we're trying to get out is this, if you're going to screw around with us, particularly at this time, we're going to do everything we can to get you prosecuted," he said.

Mihalko said the arrests have been scattered around the country and involved people in various age groups.

"It's not just juvenile type stuff," he added, "it's run a range of ages and backgrounds. Some people are using this as an opportunity to try to scare somebody or try to resolve past differences."

—The Associated Press

Funeral Held for Second Postal Worker Killed by Anthrax

W A S H I N G T O N, Oct. 27 —

Family, friends and colleagues gathered today to mourn the loss of Joseph P. Curseen, Jr., one of two postal workers who died earlier this week of inhalation anthrax.

The other, Thomas Morris Jr., was buried yesterday. Both worked at the now closed Brentwood mail facility in Washington. Two other workers from there are in hospitals with the disease, as is a State Department employee.

"All of us are struggling to make sense of this confusing and difficult time," Washington Mayor Anthony Williams said.

Fellow postal worker Joann Ratliff Allen said Curseen worked as a postman for 15 years and never missed a day. "He loved his job, and he loved the lord," Allen said.

The archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, presided over the funeral Mass.

"His death was a terrible waste of life and goodness," said McCarrick. "We can't let evil take charge. We have to keep going," he added.

—The Associated Press

Trade Center Fire Could Burn Another Month

N E W Y O R K, Oct. 26 —

Forty-five days after the World Trade Center was destroyed, the fires still burn.

The blazes that started after two jetliners struck the twin towers continue to smolder under the heap of debris, with thousand-degree heat in some spots.

"Until it runs out of fuel or until you can get to it to put water on it, it will continue to burn," said Arthur Cote, senior vice president and chief engineer with the National Fire Protection Association.

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