The incoming leader of Dallas schools has announced an overhaul that means dozens of staffers must reapply for a chance to keep their jobs.
Mike Miles takes over as superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District on July 1, but is a paid adviser until then.
Officials say 68 DISD employees are affected in the restructuring, including about two dozen top-level administrators. Officials say 36 positions will be available. Details on the jobs are being posted Wednesday, with interviews to start Monday.
Eleven vacant jobs are being eliminated.
DISD has more than 157,000 students and a staff topping 20,000.
Miles is wrapping up as superintendent of the Harrison School District No. 2, which includes some suburbs of Colorado Springs, Colo.
Another Big Budget Shortfall For Dallas
Dallas City Council members are looking at a $43 million budget shortfall for next year.
At a budget briefing this morning, city officials forecast less revenue and more expenses in the 2013 budget.
City Manager Mary Suhm says the city can’t cut any more, and must restore some reductions.
Suhm: Street striping is one of those. You can go without street striping for a couple or three years, but after that if you haven’t got any stripes on your streets, that’s not safe. So we’re putting money back in to do that. Library materials is another example.
Dallas property taxes are expected to be flat, but sales taxes could be up about 3%.
The Fort Worth budget shortfall for next year is $23 million. That’s about half the earlier projection. Budget Officer Horatio Porter credits an improving economy.
BJ Austin, KERA News
Reward In N TX White-Powder Letters Case
The Dallas FBI and the U.S. Postal Service are offering a $150,000 reward in the case of 20 letters with white powder in them mailed this month to North Texas locations. Local hazardous materials teams were deployed to day care centers, elementary schools and an aerospace-related business. The powder turned out to be harmless.
Each recent letter was postmarked in North Texas. Investigators say it’s likely to be the same person who’s mailed nearly 400 white powder letters to schools, churches, government offices and US Embassies since 2008.
The sender references al Qaeda and the Nazi SS. And in a recent letter, he used the term Scooby Doo. The FBI hopes the reward will bring them the tip they need.
BJ Austin, KERA News
Dallas Remembers Fallen Officers
Dallas honored fallen police officers today, in observance of National Police Week. City leaders, officers, family and friends gathered at the downtown police memorial to remember.
80 Dallas officers have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1881. Their names were read and saluted by a cadre of officers.
Mayor Mike Rawlings placed a wreath at the memorial.
Cities and police organizations across North Texas are also holding memorial services this week.
BJ Austin, KERA News
Dewhurst: conservative PACs spreading 'untruths'
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says the Club for Growth and other conservative organizations pouring money into the U.S. Senate race in Texas are spreading lies about him to manipulate the election results.
Dewhurst cast his early voting ballot with Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday, ahead of the May 29 primary. He is in a four-way race for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
The Club for Growth and other groups have backed Dewhurst rival and tea party favorite, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz.
Dewhurst said that outside political action committees have now spent about "$6 million dollars saying untrue things about me."
He called them special interest groups from Washington and said they are, "trying to handpick their U.S. Senator."
Training missile drops in Killeen, nobody hurt
About 100 homes in a Central Texas neighborhood had to be evacuated when a 6-foot inactive training missile accidentally fell from a military helicopter.
Killeen police spokeswoman Carroll Smith said Wednesday that nobody was hurt and the missile fell harmlessly into a field. She says Fort Hood has taken over the investigation.
Smith says a witness saw something fall from a military helicopter around 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Ordinance technicians from Fort Hood examined the missile and determined it was not active. The equipment left a hole, several feet deep, in the ground.
Smith says evacuees were allowed back into their homes within an hour of the incident.
A spokesman for the post did not immediately return a message Wednesday from The Associated Press.
Texas officials investigate death of 11-foot gator
The body of an 11-foot alligator has been found in North Texas and state game officials will help investigate the death.
Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesman Tom Harvey says the carcass was discovered last week in the Trinity River between Lake Worth and Eagle Mountain Lake. The area is near the Fort Worth Nature Center.
The animal appears to have suffered some type of tail damage.
Harvey on Tuesday declined to discuss possible circumstances of the reptile's death. The estimated age of the gator was not released.
Texas allows alligator hunting from April through June on private property.
Appleton Papers merging with Dallas firm
Appleton Papers executives say a merger with a Texas acquisition firm will strengthen the Wisconsin company's balance sheet and provide capital for growth.
Hicks Acquisitions II, of Dallas, and Appleton Papers will combine in a $675 million deal to create Appvion. The new name combines the words "applied" and "innovation."
The employee-owned Appleton Papers employs about 1,800 people. Appleton's president, Mark Richards, says the transaction is a milestone in the company's transformation from a paper producer to one focused on paper coating applications and specialty chemicals.
Members of Appleton Papers' management team will continue in their current positions under the new ownership structure. The deal is expected to close by July.