March 20, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Smithsonian keeping meteorite

From Wire Reports
 

WASHINGTON – A small meteorite that crashed through the roof of a Virginia medical office last year is becoming part of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington.

The Smithsonian paid $10,000 for the meteorite to Marc Gallini and Frank Ciampi, the Lorton, Va., doctors who found it. They have in turn given the $10,000 check to the Doctors Without Borders charity.

Museum spokesman Randall Kremer said Saturday the meteorite is part of the museum’s research collection. The Smithsonian holds the world’s largest collection of natural history specimens and artifacts.

Meteorites are lucrative, and after the tennis-ball-size rock fell from the sky and landed in an examination room in the office in January 2010, the landlords at the doctors’ building made a legal claim to it. But that claim was later dropped.

Vet gives Purple Heart coin to Giffords

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. – An Arizona veteran who received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq has given part of his award to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The Arizona congresswoman is recovering after being shot in the head outside a Tucson supermarket in January.

Al Lee says Gifford was wounded in the line of duty, just like he was in 2003 when he served as an Army National Guard sergeant.

The 53-year-old Lee presented the special coin to one of Giffords’ staff members, Pam Simon, who was among the 13 people wounded in the Jan. 8 rampage. The coin is engraved on the back with Lee’s rank and name, his unit of service and the date of his wounds from an improvised explosive device near Fallujah.

Giffords’ press secretary planned to present it to her this weekend in her hospital room in Houston.

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