9-11 Anniversary

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A year after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., all of Wisconsin's 72 counties either have a plan to deal with a terrorist attack or are writing one.

Ed Gleason is the state's administrator of Emergency Management. He says since Sept. 11, all the counties have gained insight.

Expanding their plans to cope with things like biological, chemical, nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction makes the counties eligible for some of nine million dollars in federal grants.

The state also is expected to get $19 million to improve its public health system so it could better deal with a possible bioterrorist attack.

Here are some changes in everyday life in Wisconsin because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks:

  • Security at commercial airports is tighter, generally meaning longer waits and more thorough searches of passengers before planes are boarded.

  • At Central Wisconsin Airport near Mosinee, a 10-foot tall earthen berm is erected outside the terminal shortly after the attacks to comply with new security requirements. It becomes a visible reminder of the attacks. The wall was dismantled in July.

  • Security at sports stadiums, including Lambeau Field in Green Bay and Miller Park in Milwaukee, is tighter. Bags and purses are banned.

  • The Wisconsin Air and Army National Guard contributes 945 members to serve in the war on terrorism and provide homeland security by late March. The duties included airport security, fighter missions in the United States, air-refueling missions overseas and police escorts of detainees captured in Afghanistan and now kept at a U.S. base in Cuba. By mid-August, 501 Guard members are still serving.

  • State residents are spared paying higher taxes after the two-year state budget is thrown out of balance by an economic slump and the Sept. 11 attacks. Gov. Scott McCallum signs a bill in July that uses one-time settlement money from a tobacco lawsuit to fix a $1.1 billion deficit in the spending plan through June 30, 2003.

  • Travelers on Highway 41 near Appleton see a 20-foot-by-38-foot U.S. flag flying atop an 80-foot pole at a sports complex. It was dedicated on the six-month anniversary of the attacks. R.W. Harrington, a 63-year-old semiretired doctor from Appleton, said he dreamed of a flag project as a boy. Sept. 11 pushed him to make it a reality.

  • All 72 counties either have a terrorism preparedness plan or are writing one to cover attacks involving biological, chemical, nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction. The plans direct counties on securing utilities and water supplies and establishing an information center to control rumors following an attack.

  • Counties form regional consortiums with the goal of preparing doctors, hospitals, emergency crews and police to handle the effects of a bioterrorist act, such as the release of small pox or anthrax.

  • Agriculture experts advise farmers to keep their farm chemicals in a locked building as a step to protect the nation's farms and food supply against terrorist attacks. Farmers are warned to change their mindset of trusting almost everyone.

  • Librarians try to find a balance between library user privacy and complying with a new federal law giving FBI agents power to demand records of what people are reading.

  • Tourism remains steady. Last year, travelers in the state spent an estimated $11.4 billion on lodging, food, shopping, recreation and transportation _ up 3 percent from 2000 despite tourists' uneasiness after Sept. 11, the state Department of Tourism reported.

  • Seagrave Fire Apparatus of Clintonville is building 54 custom fire trucks for New York after receiving an emergency order estimated at about $25 million. Most were delivered by mid-August. They replace some of 95 pieces of equipment destroyed when the World Trade Center towers collapsed.