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The 2000 summer JA show provided a forum for news as well as business. Some highlights:
* The Jewelry Industry Security Coalition, headed by the Jewelers Security Alliance, has been lobbying Congress to provide funds for 10 new FBI agents devoted solely to fighting jewelry theft gangs. JSA president John J. Kennedy announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to add $2.2 million to the FBI budget. A final bill combining House and Senate versions will be hammered out in conference committee before a final vote. "We're very confident of passage," says Kennedy, who also reported a "tremendous upsurge" in FBI activity against jewelry crime since the coalition launched its drive over 18 months ago, including the arrest in June of a major jewelry fence in Los Angeles.
* Chicago-based designer Ellie Thompson was the recipient of this year's Mort Abelson New Talent award. The annual award, in its eighth year, is …