State roundup for June 23
Missile defense test a success
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. military intercepted a target over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday in a test of the nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System.
A long-range interceptor blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast, minutes after an intermediate-range ballistic missile was launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, the Missile Defense Agency said in a statement.
Sailors aboard the USS Hopper destroyer detected and tracked the missile, and the interceptor struck the target warhead. Officials said it appears all components of the test performed as designed.
“This is a very important step in our continuing efforts to improve and increase the reliability of our homeland ballistic missile defense system,” said Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring, Missile Defense Agency director.
Program officials will spend the next several months assessing the data obtained during the test.
It was the 65th successful intercept since 2001 for the Ballistic Missile Defense System. A crew of U.S. Army soldiers from the 100th Missile Defense Brigade based in Colorado’s Schriever Air Force Base remotely launched the interceptor.
Kwajalein is a small atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands where the U.S. maintains a ballistic missile defense site.
Sentencing in $200K fraud
HONOLULU (AP) — A Honolulu man is expected to be sentenced for defrauding the state out of more than $200,000 by collecting disability payments for his dead mother.
Steven Splater is scheduled to be sentenced today in federal court. He pleaded guilty in March to mail fraud. An indictment alleged he collected Edith Splater’s disability benefits even though she died in 2000.
The indictment says he filed documents with the state Department of Labor in 2003 saying he had power of attorney for his mother, who he claimed was still alive. The court documents say he continued to receive her benefits, which he deposited into an account with her name that he accessed.
He has said he collected the checks because his mother wanted him to do so.
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