COMMENTS: Blotter Notes

There were scant other news developments in this holiday week. The Food & Drug Administration admitted that its investigation into this spring's outbreak of tomato salmonella has drawn a blank. NBC's Robert Bazell and ABC's Lisa Stark (embargoed link) both noted that the entire tomato industry is suffering because of the FDA's failure to find a culprit. Bazell called it a "$450m hit" and Stark reported on speculation that the true source may be accompanying cilantro or onions not the tomatoes themselves…Los Angeles became the latest jurisdiction to prohibit motorists from conducting cellular telephone conversations from behind the wheel. CBS' Bill Whitaker covered the rush by chatty drivers to buy hands-free headsets…DC-based Bob Orr covered a local crime story in the Washington area on CBS. Richard Finley, a police officer in Prince George's County in the Maryland suburbs, was killed in a hit-and-run accident. A 19-year-old named Ronnie White was arrested and held in solitary confinement in the county jail pending charges. No one had access to his cell except guards and supervisors. White was found strangled to death on Sunday morning. Orr noted that there were "no surveillance cameras watching White's cellblock."


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