Daily Roundup
1:38 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

TAB Joins School Lawsuit Plaintiffs

The Texas Association of Business has joined one of 5 lawsuits against the state arguing that Texas education funding is inadequate.

But the TAB has joined a group of parents who say education dollars are inefficiently used. Other groups argue there isn’t enough money in the system, or the funds aren’t distributed fairly among school districts. The TAB, with former State Supreme Court Justice Craig Enoch, say the efficiency argument is unique among the 5 groups.

Enoch: Before we get to how much money it takes to educate a child, do we have a demonstration of how this dollar translates to the achievement of this child?

The TAB says Texas has spent ever more money on education over the past 30 years, but student achievement has not improved. The business organization wants a study to make sure education dollars produce results. The TAB joins plaintiffs that back charter schools.

Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Mayor Rawlings Expresses Support for Trinity Toll Road

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is backing plans for the Trinity River Toll Road. At a press conference Wednesday, the mayor said Dallas must be honest about how traffic congestion is hurting the city's ability to grow and attract development.

While he acknowledged concerns about the road ruining views from the proposed downtown park, the mayor said he wouldn't want to see the road from the park, either.

“I have been assured because of the walls built around the parkway in the central corridor of the Trinity floodway, you will not see this road from the downtown park,” Rawlings said.

Rawlings emphasized the toll road would not be a bypass for suburban commuters. It’s the residents of Dallas proper, he said, who are stuck in traffic and unhappy.

The mayor said building the toll road inside the river levees is safe and necessary.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas Zoo Gets Praise and Accreditation

The Dallas Zoo has received re-accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or the A-Z-A.

Fewer than 10% of the animal exhibitors licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture pass the rigorous on-site inspection required.

Kris Vehrs, with the A-Z-A says the Zoo has come a long way since the furor over the care and living conditions of Jenny the Elephant a few years ago.

Vehrs: The Giants of the Savanna has been completed and your city is now home to a national leader for elephant care.

Vehrs says Dallas is unique among zoos in that elephants share the Giants of the Savanna exhibit with other wildlife. She also says private management of the Zoo is working – making important improvements and increasing attendance.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas Man Drowned During FW Mud Run

The death of a participant in last month’s Original Mud Run in Fort Worth has been ruled a “drowning”.

30 year old Tony Weathers of Dallas was reported missing when he didn’t show up at the end of the event. Divers found his body the next day.

The Mud Run began near LaGrave Field and included a swim across the Trinity River.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Weather key in battle against West Texas wildfires

An official says one wildfire burning near a rugged West Texas resort is 60 percent contained and firefighters are concentrating on fighting another still threatening the residential community.

Texas Forest Service spokeswoman April Saginor says officials are keenly watching the weather after gusts Tuesday blew the wildfires to within half a mile of the Davis Mountain Resort. Saginor says similar conditions are forecast Wednesday, a "critical day."

Some firefighters have moved from the blaze at Livermore Ranch to battle the flames at Spring Mountain, which is closest to the homes. She says the fire at Livermore is 60 percent contained.

Saginor says about 60 resort residents have not yet complied with an evacuation order.

No damage or injuries have been reported in the fires, which have burned about 24,000 acres.

AP

Police say 2 dead in Dallas apartment shootings

Dallas police say a man and a woman have been fatally shot at an apartment and officers are looking for an intruder.

Police say two children were unharmed in the gunfire early Wednesday during an apparent home invasion.

Investigators believe the woman answered a knock at the door and was shot. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police say a man's body was found in the residence when officers answered calls about gunfire. Authorities are trying to determine the relationship between the slain adults and the children.

Further details were not immediately available.

AP

Perry says God forgives people for 'oops moments'

Gov. Rick Perry says God forgives people for their "oops moments," even if voters don't.

The former Republican presidential candidate famously muttered "oops" during a presidential debate when he couldn't name all three federal departments he would eliminate if elected.

Addressing a prayer breakfast Wednesday, Perry noted of his highly ridiculed campaign gaffe: "America may not forgive you, but God will."

The governor is a devout evangelical Christian. His speech heralded the upcoming National Day of Prayer, an annual event held on the first Thursday of May which invites people of all faiths to pray for the country.

Perry also issued a proclamation recognizing May 3 as the Texas Day of Prayer.

AP