Weatherford Democrat

Births

February 3, 2010

Border fence plagued by glitches, long delays

WEATHERFORD — PHOENIX (AP) — An ambitious, $6.7 billion government project to secure nearly the entire Mexican border with a "virtual fence" of cameras, ground sensors and radar is in jeopardy after a string of technical glitches and delays.

Having spent $672 million so far with little to show for it, Washington has ordered a reassessment of the whole idea. The outlook became gloomier this week when President Barack Obama proposed cutting $189 million from the venture.

Ultimately, the project could be scaled back dramatically, with the government installing virtual fences along a few segments of the nation's 2,000-mile southern boundary but dropping plans for any further expansion, officials said.

"The worst that happens is that we have a system which gives us some value but we conclude that it's not worth buying any more of it," said Mark Borkowski, the government's director of the project at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The first permanent segment of virtual fence — a 23-mile stretch near Sasabe, Ariz. — was supposed to be turned over to the Border Patrol by the main contractor, Boeing Co., for testing in January, but the handover has been delayed by problems involving the video recording equipment.

The Bush administration launched the project in 2005 to help secure the border against illegal immigrants, drug smugglers and other intruders. It was conceived as another layer of protection, in addition to thousands of Border Patrol agents and 650 miles of real fences.

The system was supposed to let a small number of dispatchers watch the border on a computer monitor, zoom in with cameras to see people crossing, and decide whether to send Border Patrol agents to the scene. Although there are sensors, cameras and radar at many points along the border, they are not connected to cover large expanses.

Originally, the virtual fence was supposed to be completed by 2011; that date has slipped to 2014, largely because of technical problems.

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Births
  • 0209 soc birth pontremoli.jpg Birth of Quinlan Pontremoli

    Quinlan Holt Pontremoli was born Dec. 18, 2013, at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

     

    February 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1222 soc birth rion.jpg Birth of Rian Butler announced

    Steven and Courtney (Winfield) Butler are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Rian Hope Mae, on Nov. 5, 2013, at Weatherford Regional Medical Center.

    December 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • Couple welcomes birth of Coleton Neil Haley

    Derrick Haley and Lacy Willia,son are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Coleton Neil Haley, on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at Harris Southwest Hospital in Fort Worth.

    June 23, 2013

  • Piper Ryan Still

    July 19, 2010

  • Jillian Alexandra Prellwitz

    Gavin Taylor Prellwitz would like to announce the birth of his new baby sister, Jillian Alexandra at 10:29 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2010. Jillian weighed 6 pounds 7 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long.

    May 17, 2010

  • Grayson Cole Barbee

    Brandon Barbee and Taylor Logan, of Weatherford, are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Grayson Cole Barbee, on April 20, 2010, at Weatherford Regional Medical Center.

    May 3, 2010

  • Selah Lynndon Salmons

    Gabe and Kaci Salmons of Brock are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Selah Lynndon Salmons on Jan. 18, 2010, at Harris Methodist.

    March 26, 2010

  • Hunter Wayne Fant

    Robert Fant and Channah Sullivan of Weatherford are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Hunter Wayne Fant on Feb. 17, 2010, at Weatherford Regional Medical Center.

    February 28, 2010

  • 0221 birth lemond068.jpg Aubrie Marie Lemond and Beau Allen Lemond

    Kari Bandy and Forrest Lemond of Weatherford, Texas, are pleased to announce the birth of their twins, Aubrie Marie Lemond and Beau Allen Lemond on Oct. 9, 2009, at Harris Southwest, Fort Worth.

    February 21, 2010 1 Photo

  • Xander Rylan Ramirez

    Ernie and Angie Ramirez of Millsap are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Xander Rylan Ramirez, on Monday, Jan. 18, 2010, at 2:02 p.m. at Weatherford Regional Medical Center.

    February 21, 2010

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