PRIMA RiskWatch
Jan. 20, 2011

Welcome to the newest members of PRIMA!
A warm welcome to the newest PRIMA members: City of Lakewood, Colo.; City of West Bend, Wis.; City of Winter Park, Fla.; Killeen Independent School District, Texas; St. Charles Parish School Board, La.; and Virginia Beach Public Schools, Va.More

FBI: Bomb found on MLK march route
A backpack discovered along the route of the Martin Luther King Jr. march in Spokane, Wash., contained a bomb "capable of inflicting multiple casualties," the FBI said, describing the case as "domestic terrorism." The FBI said a suspicious backpack was found about 9:25 a.m. PST on Monday on a bench in downtown Spokane. In an interview on msnbc cable's "The Rachel Maddow Show," Spokesman-Review reporter Thomas Clouse said confidential sources told him that the device was equipped with a remote control detonator and contained shrapnel.More

2 wounded at Los Angeles school when gun in backpack fires
The Associated Press via Yahoo! News
A gun in a 10th-grader's backpack discharged Tuesday when he dropped the bag, wounding two students at a high school, including one who remained in critical condition, police said. A 15-year-old girl with a head wound underwent hours of surgery at Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said Dr. Gail V. Anderson Jr. A 15-year-old boy was in serious condition with neck and shoulder wounds.More

Philadelphia gas explosion kills 1, injures 5
AOL News
A natural gas explosion in Philadelphia that sent a fireball 50 feet high and shook a neighborhood killed a utility worker and injured five people, three critically. Jim Campoli was evacuated from his apartment amid reports of a gas leak. An hour later, the gas main blew, shaking houses and sending a fireball high into the sky, said Campoli, who was watching from the street.More

Battle begins over San Jose, Calif., pension costs
San Jose Mercury News
As growing pension costs devour San Jose, Calif.'s budget and drive chronic deficits that have outraged voters, many unionized city employees are coming to accept that reduced retirement benefits for new hires is unavoidable. But what those benefits might be remains an open question. The San Jose City Council will consider some general ideas Jan. 25 by framing what the city manager should seek in a lower "second tier" retirement plan for future city workers.More

Glendale, Calif., will pay man who was wrongly detained
in murder probe

Los Angeles Times
Glendale, Calif., will pay $1.7 million to a man who was wrongly detained for eight months as part of a murder investigation, city officials said. The settlement with Edmond Ovasapyan, which was finalized Friday, ends a long-standing lawsuit against the city and includes a $1.31-million judgment awarded by a jury and most of the legal fees he incurred.More

Senator wants to tighten liability for high-speed police chases
Lincoln Journal Star
A Nebraska lawmaker wants to change a law that holds cities liable for injuries to people hurt by a fleeing suspect after officers deem a high-speed chase too dangerous and end the pursuit. Lincoln Sen. Tony Fulton introduced a bill (LB447) that would address a 2006 ruling by the Nebraska Supreme Court that cities can be held responsible in such cases. The high court ruled in a case in which the city of Omaha was ordered to pay $1.5 million to two men seriously injured after a police chase.More

Maryland officials take cautionary approach
in wake of security breaches

Crofton Patch
While public officials in some parts of the country sought stepped-up security in the wake of the shootings at a political event in Arizona, Maryland lawmakers and officeholders said they were being prudent, practical and careful not to overreact. Most officials in Maryland say they are taking the same approach they always have regarding safety and security.More