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HASTINGS The Adams County Courthouse in Hastings will be more secure when it opens for the new year. Officials restricted access to the courthouse’s south entrance, and visitors who enter the building when it reopens Jan. 4 will have to walk through an X-ray machine and metal detector monitored by two security guards, according to the Hastings Tribune. One guard will be armed and the other won’t. Adams County Supervisor Scott Thomsen said officials studied the issue for more than two years before making the security upgrades. They follow enhanced security implemented recently at the Hastings city government building.
“Our main intent is to keep contraband out of the courthouse, of course,” Thomsen said. “So, obviously, no weapons, no knives. Hopefully, the screening process will go smoothly. We don’t want to inconvenience people.”
The county paid about $40,000 for the X-ray machine and $5,000 for the metal detector. The annual cost of the security guards will be about $100,000. Supervisors also awarded $18,627 for eight cameras on the building’s first floor and a server used to operate the system as well as $10,095 for security doors. The moves followed requests for additional security by local attorneys and judges.
Despite the tighter security, Thomsen said people shouldn’t expect delays as are common at airports.
“I think you give people a few weeks and it will just be old hat,” he said.
While the city was basking in the Christmas spirit, burglars looted cash and gold worth lakhs of rupees at gunpoint, from the house of a Deputy General Manager of a public sector power company. Virendra Kumar Mishra, DGM, National Steel Power Corporation Limited (NSPCL) a joint venture power utility, was celebrating a quiet birthday alone in his house. His wife, Nirmala Mishra, was at the outhouse of the bungalow to attend to a sick domestic attendant. At around 8:45 pm, the three gangsters of the five-man group entered the house at Joydeb Road in the Durgapur Steel Plant Township. They asked for Mishra’s ATM card in Hindi at gunpoint.
Narrating the incident, Mishra said, After my wife left for the outhouse, I was sitting in the drawing room and was surfing on my cell phone. The door was open and suddenly I saw the persons sneaking into the house brandishing firearms. Before I could should for help, they snatched my cell phone and tied up my hands. Placing a tape on my mouth they dumped me in the storeroom after snatching the ATM card from my purse. The gangsters continued looting the house for nearly 15 minutes. They made off with Rs 11,000 in cash and gold worth Rs 2 lakh. Two cell phones and a camera were also stolen. Mishra returned at around 9:15 p.m. and heard a groaning noise from inside the room. By the time she managed to rescue Mishra, the gangsters had fled. The DIG, Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) and the police arrived in minutes.
The gangsters also looted cash in two phases using the ATM card, from an ATM machine about 2 kms away from the DGM s bungalow. The security guard at the ATM machine, upon questioning, informed the police that the gangsters left on two motorbikes after the operation. Upon furthur investigation, the police were informed that the robbers had withdrawn Rs 24,000 in two phases using Mishra s ATM card from the ATM machine in Prantika crossing at 9:27 pm.
The ADCP (East), Amitabha Maity, said, We have started a hunt for the gangsters and we have got certain clues. The police plan to seize the CCTV footage of the ATM counter.
***FILE*** Governor Susana Martinez
SANTA FE (KRQE) Due to the winter storm already starting to slam New Mexico that could deliver more than a foot of snow in some parts, Governor Susana Martinez put the New Mexico National Guard on standby Saturday afternoon.
The governor says she is also ordering the state Department of Transportation and Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to work closely while the storm works its way through New Mexico.
While I ve asked state agencies to be prepared to respond, I also urge New Mexicans to take measures to stay safe, said Governor Martinez in a news release. Be prepared, stay informed, and avoid driving unless it s absolutely necessary.
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