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franklin county times

Sollie, Mott: Address anthrax hoaxes in special session

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Oct. 29, 2001
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie has joined Mississippi's attorney general in asking legislators to address a barrage of anthrax calls and possible terrorist threats in an upcoming special session.
Attorney General Mike Moore said last week there are no felony laws dealing with anthrax hoaxes and other acts of terrorism. He wants Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to place updating terrorist laws on Thursday's special session agenda, and he wants jail time for people convicted of terrorist pranks.
Musgrove called the special session to address congressional redistricting, and told Moore that adding to the agenda might jeopardize the redistricting work. Musgrove said he might call another special session to deal directly with laws governing terrorist hoaxes.
Sollie, in a letter to Musgrove on Friday, requested special consideration.
E-911 Director John Mott said his dispatchers receive several calls a day about suspicious mail and bomb threats.
Mott said he agrees with Moore and Sollie that legislators need to deal with laws governing hoax calls during the next special session.
Mott said a new 10-code call was created to handle anthrax and suspicious package calls.
Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell said a suspicious letter received last week has been collected by U.S. postal inspectors. He has not heard anything since about the letter, which was postmarked in Washington.
Meridian police arrested a man Saturday for calling in a bomb threat to Rush Foundation Hospital. The arrest was the first of its kind since bomb threat calls increased after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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