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Wed February 23, 2011
Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert Announces Resignation & Midday Roundup
By KERA News & Wire Services
Dallas, TX – Mayor Tom Leppert of Dallas says Friday will be his last day on the job. The mayor says he believes he can better serve the city, the region, and the state in a new capacity. He declined to confirm a run for the U.S. Senate.
Leppert says he'll say more in the coming days.
Mayor pro tem Dwaine Caraway will move into the mayor's office until the may elections and Hune swearing in of a new mayor.
Texas House Committee To Consider Sonogram Bill
A state House committee is set to debate legislation that would require doctors to perform sonograms on women considering abortion.
The hearing Wednesday was for a bill filed by Republican Rep. Sid Miller that says a woman must be given a sonogram at least 24 hours before an abortion. The doctor must explain the features of the fetus and let the woman hear the fetal heartbeat.
Proponents of the legislation say women need information before an abortion. Opponents say the government shouldn't be involved in a doctor-patient relationship.
A similar bill authored by Republican Sen. Dan Patrick passed the Senate last week.
Both bills provide an exception for a woman whose life is in danger. Patrick's bill exempts victims of rape and incest, or when a fetus has fatal abnormalities.
Texas Education Agency lays off workers
Layoffs have begun at the Texas Education Agency as legislators face a projected $15 billion shortfall in the next two-year budget.
TEA officials have declined to say how many of the agency's more than 1,000 workers were given pink slips. Some employees were seen Tuesday removing their personal belongings from the TEA's main office complex in Austin.
Education Commissioner Robert Scott says, based on anticipated budget reductions, the TEA has taken steps to reduce the size of the agency. Scott says the TEA will continue with its mission to serve school districts and students.
TEA spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe says exact numbers on how many TEA workers lost their jobs will be released later.
Mayor vows to keep gas drilling fight despite move
A tiny North Texas town at the center of the state's natural gas drilling controversy it losing its highest-profile crusader.
Dish Mayor Calvin Tillman is selling his house over concerns about his children's escalating health problems.
But Tillman plans to keep fighting - although not as a politician - to make sure energy companies follow air quality regulations.
Dish is a 200-resident town northwest of Dallas. It's situated atop the Barnett Shale, a massive underground rock formation packed with natural gas that has more than 12,000 wells.
In recent years, Dish residents have complained about noise, foul odors and health problems - but acknowledge that no proof links the drilling activity to the health issues.
Energy companies say they're operating in a safe, environmentally friendly manner.
Texan sue bus company over Colorado crash
A lawsuit has been filed over a 2010 chartered bus rollover in Colorado that left some travelers from North Texas hurt.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Fort Worth is on behalf of nine Denton residents injured in the Dec. 18 accident near Gunnison, Colo., during icy conditions. The victims were part of a group from Trinity United Methodist Church in Denton on a ski trip.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Fort Worth-based Gotta Go Express Trailways Inc. and the bus driver, 48-year-old Fred Kornegay of Grand Prairie.
Bus company officials did not immediately comment. Kornegay declined comment Tuesday.