Originally created 04/13/02

Across the southeast



Court rejects plan for Titanic artifacts

RICHMOND, Va. -A federal appeals court Friday refused to let an Atlanta salvage company sell artifacts recovered from the wreckage of the Titanic.

In a 3-0 ruling, a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision by a lower-court judge and said that R.M.S. Titanic Inc. does not have title to the objects taken from the bottom of the Atlantic.

The company used a submersible vehicle to recover about 6,000 items since the wreck was discovered in 1985, from shards of glass and debris to part of the ship's wheel, passengers' personal belongings and the bronze base of a statue from the grand staircase.

A ruling was upheld that held R.M.S. Titanic Inc. to a promise that it would make money only by displaying the artifacts at museums and traveling shows.

The Titanic sank April 14-15, 1912, on its maiden voyage.

Man claiming amnesia pleads guilty to fraud

PENSACOLA, Fla. -A 71-year-old businessman who said he could not remember cheating on his taxes pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy Friday, saying his memory had been "refreshed."

Seafood dealer and shipyard owner Frank Patti admitted not paying payroll taxes, not reporting $1 million in personal income and diverting business checks for his personal use.

He had earlier said he could not recall the events in detail because he lost his memory in a truck crash just before his trial began last May. After U.S. District Judge Lacey Collier sent him to a prison hospital for four months, doctors concluded the amnesia was a hoax.

Army unveils vehicle to do what tanks cannot

ANNISTON, Ala. -The Army unveiled an armored vehicle Friday designed to provide added firepower in a war zone more quickly than cumbersome tanks.

The vehicle, an eight-wheel infantry carrier called the Stryker, is meant to bridge the gap between big, slow tanks and vulnerable transporters such as the Humvee, Army officials said.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shikseki said the Stryker could have been used in missions such as the war in Afghanistan or the gulf war.

The Stryker's design uses wheels instead of the track common to tanks. Advances in technology allow the maneuverability of wheels without having to sacrifice the versatility of tracks while moving over different types of terrain, Gen. Paul Kern said.