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May 2, 2003

Glenn Mahone/Doc Mirelson
Headquarters, Washington
Phone: 202/358-1600

Dave Drachlis/Kelly Humphries
Lufkin Command Center, Texas
Phone: 936/699-1019

Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center, Houston
Phone: 281/483-5111

Kim Pease
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Phone 936/699-1094

Gay Ippolito
U.S. Forest Service
Phone: 936/630-3128


Federal Agencies Discuss Conclusion of Joint Recovery Operations in May 5 Briefing

The conclusion of Columbia recovery activities in the primary East Texas search area will be discussed in a news briefing immediately following a closeout presentation for Texas and local government officials on Monday, May 5, at the Disaster Field Office in Lufkin, Texas.

Local government officials will receive a final update on the status of recovery efforts from NASA and Federal Emergency Management Agency leaders beginning at 1 p.m. CDT. The private closeout briefing will be followed immediately by a news conference in the fourth-floor media center of the DFO at 415 S. First Street, Lufkin.

The May 5 news conference is expected to be the final media opportunity to occur at the Disaster Field Office, which served as the central coordination center for the majority of the Columbia recovery search efforts in East Texas. The briefing is expected to begin about 2 p.m. CDT.

Participants for Monday's briefing include:

· David Whittle, Chairman, Columbia Mishap Investigation Team · John Casper, NASA Astronaut · Scott Wells, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer · Mark Stanford, Texas Forest Service · John Martin, Environmental Protection Agency · Jack Colley, State Coordinator, Texas Division of Emergency Management

State and local officials participating in the private closeout briefing will be invited to remain and be available for interviews after the formal news conference as their schedules permit.

Media wishing to participate in the press briefing by telephone must notify the Johnson Space Center newsroom no later than noon central time, Monday, May 5.

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