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The Commercial Dispatch eEdition 10-8-12

The Commercial Dispatch eEdition 10-8-12

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01/02/2013

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BY SARAH FOWLER 
 sfowler@cdispatch.com
Chances are, nobody knows downtownColumbus better than Floyd Acron. Acron, who will turn 78 next week, has workedin downtown Columbus for nearly 60 years. He got his first job at the Straight 8 Cafe on Main Street asadishwasher in 1954. After eight years there, helanded a job with Ernie Sisson’s Shoe Store on FifthStreet, a position he acquired thanks to a bit of chi-canery."I was waiting out back and Mr. Sisson — heused to smoke all the time — came up to me andasked what I wanted,’’ Acron recounts with a twin-kle in his eye. “I told him I wanted a job. Now there was a lady in the store who said a size 10 1/2 shoe was too small but a size 11 was too big. Mr.Sissonsaid, ‘If you sell this lady a pair of shoes, I'll give youajob.
CDISPATCH.COM
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STABLISHED
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OLUMBUS
, M
ISSISSIPPI
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ONDAY
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8, 2012
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FIVE QUESTIONSINSIDEWEATHER
1
What runs from the Stratosphere inthe north to McCarran Airport in thesouth?
2
Of what famous family are Pongoand Perdita the parents?
3
What dish is prepared by frying abreaded, buttered chicken breast?
4
Coincidentally, in what apartmentcomplex was Rose Mary Woods livingin the early 1970s?
5
Who had a 2,495-game-winningstreak ended by the New Jersey Redson January 5, 1971?
Answers, 8B
CALENDAR
 Today
I
Macon reception
:The publicis invited to a free reception atthe Macon Welcome Center from4-6 p.m., opening an exhibit of paintings by Wanda Hunter. Theshow remains on display throughNov. 4.
Wednesday
I
“Antigone”
:Theatre MSUopens its 2012-13 season withthis Greek tragedy at 7:30 p.m.in McComas Hall on the MSUcampus. Dr.Donna Clevingerdirects. Tickets are$10.Info:662-325-3320.
I
“Discover Your Roots”
:Exploreaspects of genealogy inthis free series at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library.Beginning and professionalgenealogists alike are invited topresentations at 2 p.m. on topicsincluding library resources, pub-lishing family histories and trac-ing African-American roots. Info:662-329-5304.
 Thursday
I
Bonfire Orchestra:
Mississippi University forWomen’s Office of Student Lifepresents live music by this eclec-tic band from 5-7 p.m. in thegazebo on campus. The event isfree and open to the public. Formoreinformation, contactStudent Life at 662-329-7350.
Garrett Vaughn 
First grade, Heritage 
LOCAL FOLKS
Brenda Barksdale
has worked atthe Shell Station in New Hope for19 years.
High
65
Low 
40
Chilly
Full forecast on page 2A
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DISPATCH CUSTOMER SERVICE 328-2424 | NEWSROOM 328-2471
Classifieds
7B
Comics
6B
Obits
7A
Opinions
6A
 Y CARMEN K. SISSON
 sisson@cdispatch.com
Slowly, but surely, the new olumbus-Lowndes Humaneociety is beginning to takehape. The 8,000-square-foot ndoor/outdoor kennel is slatedorcompletion by the end of theonth, with one side of dogenscompletely fenced andated and the second side stillacking fencing and windows.Director Karen Johnwicksaid the $1 million project isslightly behind schedule, andthey’re still trying to raise$400,000 to begin the secondphase, which will include officespace, cat rooms, classrooms for pet education seminars and a surgical suite for spaying, neu-tering and other medical care. The classrooms and surgicalsuite are critical in the fight against pet overpopulation, Johnwick said.Last month, the shelter tookin around 250 dogs and cats;nearly 70 percent were eutha-
Heritage seniors rally around Humane Society 
BY IAN JAMES AND FRANK BAJAK 
The Associated Press
CARACAS, Venezuela —President Hugo Chavezonre-election and a new endorsement of his socialist project Sunday,survivingisclosest race yet after a itter campaign in whichhe opposition accused himfunfairly using Venezuela’sil wealth and his near total control of statenstitutions to his advantage. Along wait for the results producedigh tensions, including a Twitter hashtagalled BitingNails that became the most opular in the country.Finally,fireworksexploded over downtown Caracas amid a cacophony of horn-honking by elatedChavez supporters waving flags and jump-ing for joy outside the presidential palace. With 90 percent of votes counted,havez had more than 54 percent of theote to 45 percent for challenger Henriqueapriles, an athletic 40-year-old former state governor who unified and energizedtheopposition while barnstorming acrosstheoil-exporting nation.ButCapriles’ promises to seriously address violent crime that has spun out of control, streamline a patronage-bloatedbureaucracy and end rampant corruptionproved inadequate against Chavez’s charis-ma,well-oiled political machine and a lega-cy of putting Venezuela’s poor first withgenerous social welfare programs.Chavez rallied thousands of supportersfrom a balcony of the presidential palace,holding up a sword that once belonged to
Chavez winsre-electionintightrace
MSU chapter preparesfor ‘Think Pink Week’
BY CARMEN K. SISSON
csisson@cdispatch.com
Rarely a day passes that they don’t think about breast cancer. At their age,the odds arein their favor. Fewer thanfive percent of women between the agesof 20 and 40 are diagnosed with the dis-ease. But a quick show of hands revealsanother statistic — nearly all of themhave been affected by breast cancer,whether through thediagnosis of a family mem-ber or talking with a sur- vivor and feeling the fight hit home.For the 200 membersof Mississippi StateUniversity’s Gamma Zeta chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha,breast cancer awareness is both nationalphilanthropy and personal mission. Andthough October is traditionally set asidefor awareness campaigns, for these young women, it is a year-round passion.Sunday afternoon, several of the women gathered on the back patio of theZeta house, covering the picnic table in a plethora of pink. Giant pink ribbons. Tiny pink ribbons. Pink banners. Pink calen-dar reminders. Pink cards to hang in women’sshowers, reminding them toperform self-exams and offering a handy,step-by-step guide.Even their T-shirts were emblazoned with the words, “Think Pink,” a regis-tered trademark of the national sorority 
For Zetas, every month is breastcancer awareness month
Chavez
Carmen K. Sisson/Dispatch Staff 
Anna Warren, a senior from Starkville, and Lindsay Linhares, a sophomore from Memphis who is the ZTApresident,sorttheir "Think Pink" materials Sunday at Mississippi State University's Zeta Tau Alpha house. The organization’snational philanthropy mission is raising breast cancer awareness. They are currently preparing for "Think Pink Week,"which will be held at the end of the month.
See
 ZETAS
 ,5ASee
 ACRON 
 ,8ASee
CHAVEZ
 ,8A
MONDAY PROFILE
Lee Adams/Dispatch Staff 
Floyd Acron has worked downtown for 58 yearsand is currently employed at Bride and Groom.
 Acrons connection to downtownapproaching 60 years
Courtesy photo
Members of Heritage Academy’s senior class have adopted theColumbus-Lowndes Humane Society for their service project thisyear. The students will hold a three-week letter-writing campaignin November to raise money for the completion of the HumaneSociety’s new facilities.
See
 HUMANE
 ,8A
Win $1,400
Play CASHWORDS, See page 7A
 
PHILADELPHIA
KemPosits LLC hasdedicated its plant onthe Choctaw reserva-tion where it will pro-duce bathtubs.
 TribalChief Phyliss Andersontells the Neshoba Democrat the company’s$2 million investment reinforces the tribe’sbusiness portfolio andcreates jobs. KemPositsPresident Charlie Quinnsaid the company’s prod-ucts include the Eco-Elite Series of walk-inbathtubs. He praised thecooperation of the TribalCouncil and local busi-ness in helping the com-pany with its plans toopen the facility. Thefirst product to be manu-factured will be a walk-inbathtub for elderly anddisabled individuals.
PICAYUNE
Picayune has 800new residents, andMayor Ed Pineroplans a meet andgreet on Tuesday towelcome them.
 WLOX-TV reports that the U.S. Department of  Justice approved thecity’sannexation planson Friday. The city limitsexpanded west, northand south, including theairport. Pinero says theannexation brings in 20businesses, about homes and 800 people. The official annexationdate is Oct. 10.
HATTIESBURG
 AHattiesburgmanclaims that state troop-ers and Forrest County sheriff’s deputies beat him after he demandedabreath test, thenaccused him of refusingthe test. DerrickSteverson has sued thecounty and theMississippi Department of Public Safety.Sheriff’sOffice attorney JamesDukes Jr. tells TheHattiesburg Americanthat Steverson fought  with officers on the way to the breathalyzer roomin May 2011. The law-suit was moved fromcounty court to federalcourtin September. It alleges that Steverson was arrested at a gasstation wherehe hitch-hiked for help after hiscar burst into flames andhe drove off of U.S. 49.It says a state trooper ticketed him with care-less driving and drivingunder the influence,then took him to jail.
HATTIESBURG
The University of SouthernMississippi’s athleticdepartment owes theuniversity more than$1.2 million fordeficits it ran in threeof the past four fiscal years.
 The Hattiesburg American reports that the department predictsashortfall of at least $1million for 2012-13. But interim Southern MissPresident Aubrey Lucassaid measures taken by the university and theathletic department  whittled about $800,000from the projected debt in 2011-12. He says stepsarein the works to endthe red ink. Thoseinclude scheduling roadgames for large, guaran-teed paychecks. StateCollege Board policy for-bids universities to fin-ish a fiscal year in thered. Lucas says auditshad forecast a $1.2 mil-lion deficit for the 2011-12 fiscal year,but USMpared that down to lessthan $400,000.
BAYST.LOUIS
Bay St. Louis officialshave delayed for atleast two weeks adecision on awarding acontract for a $21million marina andharbor project.
 TheSea Coast Echo reportsthat the bids for the har-bor project wereaccept-ed six weeks ago. Thelow bidder was Gill’sCrane and Dozer Service of Slidell, La., with a bid of $21.6 mil-lion, which was about $1million more than thecity was expecting.Mayor Les Fillingamesays the city allocatedabout $20.5 million for the project. He says theremainder would comefrom adjustments to theproject’s budget. Hesays one final modifica-tion needed to be done. The project consists of a 168-slip harbor/marina and rebuilding the Jimmy Rutherford Pier.Construction is expectedto take about 18 months.
OXFORD
An Abbeville, Miss.,woman has beenindicted on embezzle-ment charges forallegedly stealing more than $200,000.
 The Oxford Eaglereports that the indict-ment alleges ValerieHarmon took $20,267between March 10 andNovember in 2011 whileshe was an employee for  Action Collections, which was owned by thelaw firm where she worked as a notary. A second count on theindictment alleges that,fromJanuary of 2010through July of 2012,Harmon took $190,574from the law firm whereshe was employed.Harmon is free on$5,000 bond after anarraignment earlier this week in LafayetteCounty Circuit Court.She pleaded not guilty.
 AMORY
A74-year-old Amorywoman died in ahouse fire. MonroeCounty Coroner AlanGurley tells theNortheast MississippiDaily Journal Amory firefighters arrived at4:15 p.m.
Sunday tofind the home engulfedin flames. Gurley saysMartha Guyton wasfound inside of thehome. The cause of the fire isunder investigation.
VANCLEAVE
Jackson County sher-iff’s deputies havearrested 31-year-oldChristopher EdwardRichards
,of Vancleave,and charged him withone count of grand larce-ny in connection withthe theft of morethan1,000 pounds of steel.Deputies tell TheMississippi Press thesteel, taken from a homein Latimer on three sep-arate occasions, was val-ued at $1,940. Richardsmade an initial court appearance in JacksonCounty Court, and Judge Larry Wilson set bail at $1,000. If convict-ed, Richards faces up to$10,000 in fines and upto 10 years in prison. It  was unclear whether Richards has an attor-ney.
AROUND THE STATE
Monday 
Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff 
John Harrison, left, of Calhoun City , and Kent Driskoll, of Atlanta, show off their catch Saturday at theweigh-in after the last day of fishing for the Crappie Masters National Championship, which was held on theTennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
 A Thousand Words
SAY WHAT?
“We put that play in because a couple of teams tried to runthat play against them, and we saw that was open...”
MSU quarterback Tyler Russell, on his touchdown pass toAdrian Marcus against University of Kentucky. Story, 1B.
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The CommercialDispatch (USPS 142-320)Published daily except Monday. Entered at the post office at Columbus, Mississippi.Periodicals postage paid at Columbus, MSPOSTMASTER, Send address changes to:The Commercial Dispatch, P.O. Box 511, Columbus, MS 39703Published by Commercial Dispatch Publishing Company Inc.,516 Main St., Columbus, MS 39703
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Five-Day forecast for the Golden Triangle
Almanac DataNational WeatherLake LevelsRiver StagesSun and MoonSolunar table
Shown are noon positions of weather systems and precipitation. Temperature bands are highs for the day.
City Hi Lo W Hi Lo WCity Hi Lo W Hi Lo W
Weather(W):
s
-sunny,
pc
-partly cloudy,
c
-cloudy,
i
-ice,
sh
-showers,
t
-thunderstorms,
r
-rain,
sf 
-snow flurries,
sn
-snow
Yesterday 7 a.m. 24-hr.Lake Capacity yest. change
 The solunar period scheduleallows planning daysso you will be shing in good territory or hunting in good cover during those times.
TemperaturePrecipitationTombigbee
Yesterday Flood 7 a.m. 24-hr.River stage yest. change
Columbus Sunday 
High/low ..................................... 60°/49°Normal high/low ......................... 80°/54°Sunday............................................ 0.00"Monthto date ................................. 1.29"Normal month to date ...................... 0.89"Year to date .................................. 36.56"Normal year to date ....................... 42.61"
Tuesday Wednesday
Atlanta6948s7853sBoston5952r6546cChicago6638pc5438sDallas8164s7769pcHonolulu8571s8671sJacksonville7862pc8459pcMemphis7258s7351pc
73°49°
Tuesday
Sunny and pleasant
78°47°
Wednesday
Mostly sunny andpleasant
78°54°
Thursday
Partly sunny andcomfortable
81°57°
Friday
Mostly sunny andbeautifulAberdeen Dam188'162.92'-0.15'Stennis Dam166'136.71'-0.15'Bevill Dam136'136.37'-0.01'Amory20'11.52'+0.13'Bigbee14'4.08'-0.09'Columbus15'5.98'-0.62'Fulton20'7.37'-0.21'Tupelo21'0.60'-0.10'
FullOct. 29FirstOct. 21NewOct. 15LastOct. 8
Sunrise ..... 6:53 a.m.Sunset ...... 6:28 p.m.Moonrise .......... noneMoonset .... 1:59 p.m.
Forecasts and graphics provided by 
AccuWeather, Inc.
©2012
Major ..... 7:40 a.m.Minor ..... 1:28 a.m.Major ..... 8:04 p.m.Minor ..... 1:52 p.m.Major ..... 8:24 a.m.Minor ..... 2:12 a.m.Major ..... 8:48 p.m.Minor ..... 2:36 p.m.
TuesdayMondayTuesday Wednesday
Nashville7153s6939pcOrlando8972pc8867pcPhiladelphia6152r7048cPhoenix9469s9369sRaleigh6050c7646pcSalt Lake City7149pc7655sSeattle6646pc6646s
Tonight
Clear and chilly 
40°
DID YOU HEAR?
BYJOSH LEDERMAN
The Associated Press
 WASHINGTON — BillO’Reilly and Jon Stewart are tangling over theelection, birth controlandthe “War onChristmas” in a rambunc-tious mock presidentialdebate. Thetwocelebrity TV hosts shot off witty retorts, over-the-top dec-larations and a few choice words in the so-called “Rumble in their-Conditioneduditorium.”Stewart came with a mechanical pedestal heused to elevate himself intheair, making him taller than O’Reilly.Stewart says the U.S.as born an entitlement nation, just watch anOprah’s “favorite things”episode.O’Reilly says incomeredistribution is likeRobin Hood on steroids.He says Obama needs toshow support for Israelby going on a doubledate with PrimeMinister BenjaminNetanyahu.In an apparent show of bipartisanshipStewart plopped himself onO’Reilly’s lap.
O’Reilly, Stewart tangleinmock debate
AP Photo/Peter Kramer
In this Sept. 22, 2010 filephoto, Comedy Central'sJon Stewart, left, and BillO'Reilly tape an interviewin New York. Stewart andO'Reilly, a celebrity oddcouple with a history of public political feuds, tan-gled in a sold-out debatein Washington.
 
BY ERIC TUCKER 
The Associated Press
 WASHINGTON — TheD.C.transitsystem must allow a pro-Israel ad that equates Muslim radicalsithsavages, a federaludge ruled Friday.spokesman for the Metrosystem said it would com-plywith the judge’sdeci-sionandthattheadvertise-ments would go up over the weekend.“The result is absolutely correct,” said Daviderushalmi, a lawyer repre-senting the AmericanFreedom DefenseInitiative, the organizationbehind the advertisements.“There simply was no way under the First mendment jurisprudencethat we have today that thisadshould not have gone uphen contracted.” Theone-page rulingfrom U.S. District JudgeRosemary Collyer follows a similar courtorder in New ork that cleared the way for anti-jihad ads to go up inthat city’ssubway systemlast month. The ads read:“Inany war between thecivilized man and the sav-age, support the civilizedman. Suort Israel. Defea Jihad.”Debate over the adsflared two weeks agoagainst the backdrop of vio-lent reaction in the MiddleEast to the online video,“Innocence of Muslims,” which denigrated theprophet Muhammad.Metrohad delayed approv-ing the ads because of safe-ty concerns and the uproar over that video. The transit system’slawyers called the ad’s mes-sage “fighting words in thecontext of current events”and said the FBI was inves-tigating a promise of vio-lence if the ads ran in Washington. Still, the vio-lence that roiled the regionhas largely abated sincethen, and therehave beenfew reports of mischievousor hostile reactions to theads since they appeared inNew York. The New York ads went up in 10 stations acrossManhattan on Sept. 24.Since then, an Egyptian-born U.S. columnist wasarrested for spray-paintingthe ad, though two reli-gious groups say that,starting Monday, they’llhang ads urging tolerancealongside the anti-jihadones. The ads alsoappeared recently on city buses in San Francisco, where some have beendefaced or have had wordsremoved. The ads won’t be partic-ularly visible in the Metrosystem. One ad will appear in each of four Metro sta-tions for one month, saidMetro spokesman DanStessel.
HEASSOCIATED PRESS
 JACKSON The city of Jacksonreleased more than 2.8 billion gallons of minimally treated sewage — enough tofillfour NFL stadiums — into the PearlRiver system over the last four years, theEnvironmental Protection Agency says. Analysis of reports filed with the stateDepartment of Environmental Quality indicate that Jackson bypassed treat-ment at its Savannah Street Wastewater reatment Plant about one day in eight,according to The Clarion-Ledger.Such bypasses often occurred after a half-inch of rain or less, the newspaper reported. The sewer system is old and failing.Safeguards no longer function properly because of years of neglect.However, DEQ officials say healthrisks appear minimal. It has found bacte-ria levels too high for swimming or wad-ing in the Pearl River only four timessince 2009. Nine other water contact advisories — eight of them in the last two years — were issued for creeks.Before diverting excess sewage, thecity dilutes it with treated water, addschlorine to kill bacteria, then dechlori-nates the mixture so chemicals don’t gointo the river.Sewage dumps can kill off fish or cause a spread of bacteria, but DEQspokesman Robbie Wilbur said themetro area had only two mass fish killssince 2009. Nor has it found any increasein human digestive diseases that might be caused by raw sewage, he said.Sometime this month, The JacksonCity Council is expected to approve anagreement to spend hundreds of mil-lions of dollars on sewer systemupgrades and to pay the EPA a fine for  violating the Clean Water Act.Negotiations have been going on for two years. The consent decree would bethe first of its kind in Mississippi, but similar agreements have become com-mon around the country.
EPA to Jackson: Stop dumping sewage in Pearl River
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NOTICE FOR EARLY PUBLIC REVIEW OF APROPOSAL TO SUPPORT ACTIVITY IN THE100-YEAR FLOODPLAIN & WETLAND
To: All Interested Agencies, Groups, and IndividualsThis is to give notice that the Lowndes County Board of Su-pervisors is proposing to expend federal funds in a 100-yearFloodplain. The subject funds are from a Community Develop-ment Block Grant administered by the Mississippi DevelopmentAuthority.This notice is required by Section 2(a)(4) of Executive Order11988 for Floodplain Management and by Section 2(b) of Ex-ecutive Order 11990 for the Protection of Wetlands, and isimplemented by HUD Regulations found at 24 CFR 55.20(b)for the HUD action that is within and/or affects a floodplain orwetland.TheLowndes County Board of Supervisors is proposing to un-dertake the following activities in the area: Extension of ap-proximately 5,300 lf of water line to an unserved area of theEast Lowndes Water Association. The Mississippi EmergencyManagement Agency has stated that a portion of this projectmay possibly be in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).Thepurpose of this notice is to give an early opportunity forinterested agencies, persons or groups to comment on the pro-posed action. The Lowndes County Board will consider anyfeasible alternatives or adjustments to the anticipated projectwhich might minimize any potential adverse effects upon thefloodplain as a result of the project.This notice with a request for comment was mailed to the Re-gional Office of the Federal Emergency Management Agencyand the State Office of Environmental Protection.Additional information may be obtained by contacting: PatsyPatterson, Project Coordinator with the Golden Triangle Plan-ning and Development District at (662) 324-7860.Written comments must be received by the Lowndes CountyBoard of Supervisors, P. O. Box 1364, Columbus, MS 39703 onorbefore October 23, 2012
MONDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2012
3A
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Judge: D.C. subway must allow anti-jihad ads
BY LOLITA C. BALDOR 
The Associated Press
 WASHINGTON Thecontinued exchange of artillery fire between Syria and Turkey raises addition-al concerns that the conflict may escalate and spread toneighboring countries,Defense Secretary LeonPanetta said Saturday.Panetta said the U.S. isusing its diplomatic chan-nels to relay worries about the fighting in the hopesthat it will not broaden.His comments came onthe heels of warnings from Turkey’s prime minister that his country is not far from war with Syria. Turkish and Syria tradedartillery fire Saturday asrebels clashed withPresident Bashar Assad’sforces near the border,heightening the fears that the crisis could erupt into a regional conflict. TurkishPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday cautioned Damascus not totest Turkey’s “limits anddetermination” and said Ankara was not bluffing insaying it won’t tolerate suchacts.In other comments dur-ing a press conference withPeru’s Defense Minister,Pedro Cateriano, Panetta  warned that the internation-al community is ready toimpose more sanctionsagainst Iran if the country does not begin to addressconcerns about its nuclear program. The economic sanctionsare having a damagingeffect on Iran, as inflationand unemployment rise,and the value of the curren-cy drops, increasing prices.Iran, said Panetta, has toengage seriously with theinternational community toresolve issues with itsnuclear program and if it doesn’t, “make no mistake,the international communi-ty will continue to imposeadditional sanctions.”Panetta’s commentscame after meetingsSaturday with PeruvianPresident Ollanta Humala,and the country’s defenseministry — dubbed thePentagonito — to continuemeetings with Cateriano. After his meeting withHumala, Panetta said theU.S. is increasing efforts tobuild partnerships in theregion and said America  will do whatever it can toprovide assistance to Peruto meet the challenges oterrorism, illicit traffickingand humanitarian needs.Later, he and Cateriano,during a joint press confer-ence, said that they arenegotiating an update in thedefense cooperation agree-ment between their twocountries.Noting that the last agreement was sealed in1952, Panetta said the U.S.is committed to improvingits ability to conduct joint military exercises, trainingand education exchanges with Peru.Cateriano said updatingthe agreement will help hiscountry modernize its mili-tary.Panetta also said that theU.S. wants to work withPeru to confront the drugtrafficking, calling it “one othe most serious threats weface in the hemisphere.” Hesaid he listened to the con-cerns of the Peru officials,and will determine if thereis any additional help theU.S. can provide.Panetta is leaving Peruand will fly to Uruguay Saturday afternoon toattend a regional meeting odefense ministers from the Americas.
Panetta: Syria clashwith Turkey may escalate
BY MARCIA DUNN
 P Aerospace Writer 
CAPE CANAVERAL — A com-mercial cargo ship rocketed intoorbit Sunday in pursuit of theInternational Space Station, the first of a dozen supply runs under a mega-contract with NASA.It was the second launch of a Dragon capsule to the orbiting labby the California-based SpaceX company. The first was last spring. This time was no test flight, how-ever, and the spacecraft carried1,000 pounds of key science experi-ments and other precious gear onthis truly operational mission.here was also a personal touch:chocolate-vanilla swirl ice creamtucked in a freezer for the three sta-tion residents. The company’s unmannedFalcon rocket roared into the night sky right on time, putting SpaceX on track to reach the space stationednesday. The complex was soar-ing southwest of Tasmania whenthe Falcon took flight.Officials declared the launch a success, despite a problem with oneof the nine first-stage engines. Therocket put Dragon in its intendedorbit, said the billionaire founder and chief executive officer of SpaceX, Elon Musk.“It’s driving its way to station, sothat’s just awesome,” noted SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell.In more good news, a piece of space junk was no longer threaten-ing the station, and NASA couldfocus entirely on the delivery mis-sion.NASA is counting on privatebusiness to restock the space sta-tion, now that the shuttles haveretired to museums. The spaceagency has a $1.6 billion contract  with SpaceX for 12 resupply mis-sions.Especially exciting for NASA isthe fact that the Dragon will returntwice as much cargo as it took up,including a stockpile of astronauts’blood and urine samples. The sam-ples — nearly 500 of them — havebeen stashed in freezers since Atlantis made the last shuttle flight in July 2011. The Dragon will spend close tothree weeks at the space stationbefore being released and parachut-ing into the Pacific at the end of October. By then, the space stationshould be back up to a full crew of six.None of the Russian, Europeanor Japanese cargo ships can bringanything back; they’re destroyedduring re-entry. The Russian Soyuzcrew capsules have limited roomfor anything besides people.Space Exploration TechnologiesCorp., or SpaceX — owned by PayPal co-founder Musk — is work-ing to convert its unmannedDragon capsules into vessels that could carry astronauts to the spacestation in three years. Other U.S.companies also are vying to carry crews. Americans must rideRussian rockets to orbit in themeantime, for a steep price.Musk, who monitored thelaunch from SpaceX MissionControl in Hawthorne, Calif.,called the capsules Dragon after the magical Puff to get back at crit-ics who, a decade ago, consideredhis effort a fantasy. The nameFalcon comes from the MillenniumFalcon starship of “Star Wars”fame. An estimated 2,400 guests jammed the launching center tosee the Falcon, with its Dragon,come to life for SpaceX’s first offi-cial, operational supply mission. Across the country at SpaceX headquarters, about 1,000 employ-ees watched via TV and webcast.
SpaceX Dragon capsule launched to space station
AP Photo/Florida Today, Malcolm Denemark
A 71-second exposure as seen from Port Canaveral, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket suc-cessfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, bringing supplies destined for the ISS into orbit.

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