Texas officials struggle with mounting number of debris sites

(Nacogdoches, Texas-AP) -- Officials in eastern Texas are

struggling to locate and secure the hundreds of pieces of shuttle

debris that are being found.

Nacogdoches (nahk-uh-DOH'-chiz) County Sheriff Thomas Kerss says

the area "cannot muster enough manpower" to possibly guard each

of at least 800 sites reported so far.

Kerss says officials are working to identify any site that might

offer important data, pose a health hazard or hold astronaut

remains.

He says those sites will be guarded by volunteer firemen, law

officials, National Guardsmen or other officials -- until federal

authorities arrive to pick up the debris.

The sheriff says wreckage ranges from "pebble-sized" up to

seven-to-eight feet in size. He says some remains have been found.

2-1-2003 11:03 AM CST