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Louisville Prepares for 10th Anniversary of September 11

This Sunday will be the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93.

Louisville is one of ten U.S. cities receiving a piece of the World Trade Center for permanent display. The beam is expected to be dedicated on Sunday’s Waterfront Park event at 2 pm.

In preparation, Fred Moore is calling for volunteers to help contribute to the September 11th honorary dedication. Moore is the director of the National Flags for Veterans’ Graves program, which is non-profit organization that asks volunteers to help honor veterans who have sacrificed their lives for the country. For the last five years. flags have been placed near veterans’ graves across the U.S, said Moore.

“Louisville has become a very patriotic city. And every single time for five years we have had all of the volunteers we’ve needed to perform our tasks and do the job the way we thought it ought to be done,” he said.

Last year flags were placed on the graves of veterans in 28 states, he said. This Sunday, volunteers will help create a large visual display downtown.

“We’ve asked for several hundred volunteers to come down to the great lawn at the waterfront to help us spell out USA with 25,000 great flags,” said Moore.

Louisville’s main branch library has also opened an exhibit displaying photographs taken from people in New York City on September 11. The exhibit will be on display until the end of the month.

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Indiana Improves 911 Wireless Caller Communication Between Counties

All 92 Indiana counties will soon be able to transfer voice and data information from 911 wireless calls across county lines.

Between 70 to 80 percent of 911 calls in Indiana come from wireless devices, said Barry Ritter, executive director of Indiana’s Wireless 911 Advisory Board. Previously, some counties would not be able to pass key information along to the appropriate jurisdiction once a county line was crossed, he said. The new agreement with AT&T changes that.

“As someone is traveling from one jurisdiction and goes into another, it gives the 911 operator the opportunity to transfer that call to the appropriate jurisdiction,” he said.

This will allow the appropriate jurisdictions to have access to location information as well as communicate directly with that caller. Dispatchers can then request the closest appropriate services.

AT&T was the last wireless company to enter into agreement, connecting its service with 40 county 911 systems. Around 50 counties with other service providers have already been connected. This will benefit areas like Clark County, as callers move between counties, said Ritter.

“It really becomes important down in your area where you have I-65 running and the county needs to have the ability to transfer a call into the Louisville Metro area because the 911 caller is headed south on 65,” Ritter said.

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Yarmuth Reacts to Gitmo Military Trial for 9/11 Mastermind

President Barack Obama’s administration has backpedaled on prosecuting terror suspects in U.S. courts with the announcement that September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, (KY-D), tells WFPL News that he supports the  Department of Justice’s decision despite having no misgivings about putting terror suspects on trial in U.S. courts.

“As long as high security standards were met, I would not have a problem with Khalid Sheikh Mohammad being tried in a civilian court of law,” says Yarmuth. “However, for such a critically important case, I trust the professional prosecutors to make the decision as to where they can best bring this terrorist to justice.”

Civil liberties advocates have criticized Mr. Obama’s reversal on this issue, calling it a “flip flop” that “is completely wrong” and contrary to the U.S. Constitution.

During a press conference, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that Congress had tied the administration’s hands and that he was left without a choice but to put Mohammed and four co-conspirators on trial before a military tribunal.

Mohammed confessed to his role in the attacks in 2008.

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LFD To Pay Tribute To 9/11 Emergency Workers

Louisville fire stations Saturday will pay tribute to the emergency workers who died in the September 11th terror attacks.

Firefighters at all 21 stations will receive a tribute message on their radios, then lower their flags to half staff for the rest of the day.

The fire department has done this every year since 2002. Sergeant Salvador Melendez says many Louisville firefighters have personal connections to attack on the twin towers.

“Not that they have come from the FDNY, but we do have firefighters who are from New York that work for our department and some of them have come since 9/11 happened. After 9/11 happened, we had firefighters that went over and helped with the relief effort,” he says.

The ceremony will last about 5 minutes. It begins at 10:28, which is when the second tower fell on September 11th, 2001. Melendez says suburban fire districts may also have their own tributes planned.

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MetroCall Moves to MetroSafe Backup Call Center

MetroCall, Louisville’s 24-hour customer service line at 3-1-1, is in the process of moving its headquarters to the backup facility for MetroSafe, or 9-1-1

The MetroCall organization has recently been moved under the umbrella of Emergency Management and MetroSafe, says MetroSafe/EMA Director Doug Hamilton.

“Obviously, we’ve had three disasters in the last twelve months,” says Hamilton. “All of those disasters generate questions, concerns, comments and need to push information and we have always turned to MetroCall to do that for us. And they have done it quite well.”

He says MetroCall will now operate out of MetroSafe’s backup facility, and workers will be trained to run the 9-1-1 services in case of an emergency at the MetroSafe main location.

“Obviously, that period of time, 15-20 minutes it takes you to relocate is very critical,” says Hamilton, “because whatever issue may be affecting us could be affecting the community too.”

Hamilton says the action helps MetroSafe keep its backup equipment and facility in good condition in case of an emergency move. MetroCall won’t be working over the weekend, while systems are transferred to the new location.

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9/11 Memorials Set in Louisville

A number of ceremonies throughout Louisville will honor those who lost their lives seven years ago in the terrorist attacks of September 11th.

One of those remembrances will be held at Christ Church Cathedral on Second Street. It will consist of silent reflection from 8:46 a.m. to 10:28 a.m., the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center and the time the second tower fell. Interfaith Paths to Peace Director Terry Taylor says over the years a number of people have participated in the vigil.

“They love to have the opportunity not only to honor those who died, but especially to mark the commitment in their own lives to working for non-violence, not just halfway around the world, but right here in Louisville and right in their own families,” says Taylor.

Louisville Metro Government will mark the anniversary with a one-minute bell tolling at City Hall starting at 8:30 in the morning.