Originally created 07/23/02

Across the southeast



Four people charged in theft of moon rocks

TAMPA, Fla. -Four people have been charged with stealing moon rocks and meteorites from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the FBI said Monday.

The investigation began when a 600-pound safe containing lunar samples from every Apollo mission was discovered missing July 15, space center spokesman Kyle Herring said.

Undercover FBI agents arrested the suspects Saturday in Orlando, FBI Agent Sara Oates said. Three were from Houston and one was from Utah.

"We had an undercover operation in which we knew somebody had access to these moon rocks and was attempting to sell them," Agent Oates said. "We successfully arrested four individuals and recovered these treasures."

Police say man shot three women, himself

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -A man fatally shot his mother, sister and girlfriend before turning the gun on himself, police said Monday.

The victims were shot multiple times, police spokesman Carlos Negron said. Their names were not released.

The motive was not immediately known, Mr. Negron said.

Police were called to the Hollywood Gardens condominium after the employer of two of the women became concerned when they did not arrive for work.

Police forced entry into the home and found the bodies, Mr. Negron said.

Naval museum buys drawings of ironclad

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -The museum conserving artifacts from the wreckage of the ironclad USS Monitor now has two rare architectural drawings of the Union ship's Confederate counterpart, the CSS Virginia.

The pencil drawings will help the Mariners' Museum tell more of the story of the ships' historic Civil War clash, which signaled the end of the era of wooden battleships. They also may help clarify the debate over who deserves credit for designing the Virginia.

The Mariners' Museum paid $300,000 to buy the drawings from descendants of Confederate shipbuilder John L. Porter, museum spokesman Justin Lyons said. Four other drawings were bought by a private collector whose name was not released.



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