Daily Roundup
6:36 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Dallas Main Post Office To Stay Open

The U.S. Postal Service has changed its mind about closing the Main Post Office at I-30 and Sylvan in Dallas.

The Postal Service had said it would move Dallas mail distribution and processing to Fort Worth.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says the consequences of that cost-cutting move were unacceptable.

Jenkins: "That would have resulted in ultimately the loss of over a thousand jobs. And of equal importance, it would have resulted in slow downs in our mail and hardships on everyone who uses the Post Office."

Jenkins credits the reversal to elected officials, business executives and labor representatives lobbying against closure.

Jenkins says the jobs and next-day mail delivery are safe, for now, but the Postal Service will continue to look for ways to cut costs.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Fireworks Celebration Cause Concerned Tweets

Fireworks Wednesday night at the Dallas Country Club lit up the sky and the Twittersphere.

Many tweets wondered what was going on. Others wondered why very loud fireworks were going off after 10pm. The display was part of a black-tie celebration of a large, new clubhouse.

Sgt. Lance Cope with Highland Park Public Safety says the dispatch center did get a number of calls from people.

He says the Highland Park Town Council approved a resolution in January allowing the fireworks display. Because of that, the Country Club did not have to get the usual special event permit.

“Fireworks” are not listed specifically as a violation of the town’s noise ordinance.

Sec. 8.01.004 Unnecessary noise

(a) The making, causing, or permitting to be made of any unnecessary noise within the corporate limits of the Town, and in any section thereof, in such a manner as to disturb the peace and comfort of the people in that vicinity, by the honking of a horn, ringing of a bell, sounding of a gong, blowing of a whistle, operation of a radio receiving set, or racing of a gasoline engine, or by any means of any instrument, machinery, or device, or in connection with the operation or repair of an automobile, motorcycle, or other vehicle, is hereby declared to be a nuisance and to be unlawful.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not be construed as to prevent the giving of any kind of sound as a warning of danger, if the giving of same is necessary or required by law.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Today: Deadline To Register To Vote In May Elections

Today is the last day to register to vote in the city and school district elections Saturday, May 12th.

You can register in person at your county’s Election Administrator’s office. Voter registration applications can also be obtained at many libraries, government offices or high schools. An application sent by mail must have today’s postmark on it.

Registration Info:
http://www.votetexas.gov

Applications also require a driver’s license number or personal ID. The last four digits of your social security number are also acceptable.

Early voting starts April 30th.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Plano School Board Selects Superintendent

Plano School Board members have named the lone finalist for Superintendent. And he’s a familiar name.

Richard Matkin, the Interim Superintendent and former chief financial officer was unanimously selected to replace Dr. Doug Otto, who retired in January after 17 years.

Board President Tammy Richards says Matkin offered a majority of the qualities identified in a series of focus groups, and is the perfect fit to lead the Plano District.

He will officially get the job after the required 21 day waiting period.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas-based 'Reddy Ice' Filing For Bankruptcy

Reddy Ice Holdings Inc. says it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Dallas-based packaged ice company on Thursday also said it wants to pursue a possible buyout of Canadian competitor Arctic Glacier, which is also operating under bankruptcy protection, and its subsidiaries.

Reddy Ice said that its business has been hurt by softer economic conditions, increased commodity costs and heavy debt levels.

The company said its plan to file for bankruptcy and restructure has the support of its lenders and major creditors and that its operations will continue uninterrupted.

Reddy Ice says it will ask for approval from a bankruptcy judge in District of Texas to exit from Chapter 11 in 45 days or less.

AP

Gas Prices Dip Slightly

Here’s a switch. Gasoline prices are down across Texas.

The weekly AAA Texas survey shows the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is a penny less than last week … at $3.83.

Amarillo has the cheapest gas at $3.63. Houston is the most expensive.

Analysts say weak U.S. jobs data and a possible compromise with Iran over its nuclear program put downward pressure on oil prices. And that translates to the slight drop in the price at the pump.

Average gas prices in Dallas-Fort Worth are down about a nickel from a week ago.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Strong earthquake strikes off the coast of Mexico

A strong earthquake has struck off the coast of Mexico, but there were no immediate reports of damages inland.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a preliminary reading of 6.9 magnitude. It says the temblor was centered 82 miles (133 kilometers) northeast of Guerrero Negro, and hit some 6.4 miles (10.3 kilometers) below the surface.

It follows a 6.4 magnitude quake which struck a sparsely populated area in the mountains of western Mexico on Wednesday, and caused tall buildings to sway more than 200 miles (322 kilometers) away in Mexico City.

AP

Ex-East Texas teller gets prison for embezzlement

A former bank teller in East Texas has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for embezzling more than $102,000.

A federal judge in Tyler on Wednesday sentenced 40-year-old Lori Smith Pickens of Grand Saline. Pickens has also been ordered to repay the funds.

Pickens in November pleaded guilty to embezzlement in a case prosecutors say involved cash wrongly taken from numerous accounts.

Pickens worked at the Grand Saline branch of Austin Bank from May 2008 until July 2010. She was indicted last September.

Grand Saline is 65 miles east of Dallas.

AP

West Texas student discovers asteroid

While awaiting confirmation that she has, indeed, discovered a new asteroid, a West Texas college student is working on what name to hang on the cosmic rock.

Cisco College student Jessica Williams tells the Abilene Reporter-News she wants to name the asteroid the Black Pearl. That's after the ship Johnny Depp's pirate character captains in Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series.

The 19-year-old Williams is one of the students who have possibly discovered asteroids through a program created by Hardin-Simmons University math professor Patrick Miller.

AP