Top Democrat Drops Out Of US Senate Race | KERA News

Top Democrat Drops Out Of US Senate Race

Dec 16, 2011

The sole major Democratic candidate to replace Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has dropped out of the race.

Retired Lt. Gen. Ric Sanchez made the announcement via email late Friday afternoon.

While the Republican field to replace Hutchison is extremely crowded, Sanchez was the only major candidate from the Democratic party. He said pressing personal challenges, including the destruction of his home by fire, forced him to get out of the race.

Hutchison announced earlier this year that she was retiring.

Big Drop in North Texas Unemployment

Unemployment in Texas takes a dip. November jobless figures released Friday show a statewide drop from 8.4. to 8.1 percent.

In North Texas, unemployment dropped significantly from 8% to 7.4 in the Fort Worth-Arlington market: from 8.1% unemployment to 7.5 in Dallas-Plano-Irving.

Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken says more than 22 thousand private sector jobs were added in Texas last month.

Pauken, today, also named the Workforce Commission 2011 Employer of the Year: Northgate Constructors. It is the road construction partnership that's building the DFW Connector near the "big" airport.

Pauken: Taking people off the unemployment roles, getting them back to work. And in fact, I think the figures from Northgate, you've got 33% of the new hires are former unemployment insurance claimants. And that's really a win-win situation. I want to congratulate you for doing that.

More than 500 people work for Northgate Constructors. At the project's peak, the company expects to employ 750.

FW City-Employee Imposters Target Elderly

Fort Worth Police are warning about people posing as City of Fort Worth employees and targeting elderly residents.

Officials say the suspects drive a white vehicle. One knocks on the front door and asks the resident to accompany him to the back yard of the home. While that's happening, one or more suspects enter the home and burglarize it.

Police say this has happened at least twice.

All Fort Worth employees must wear name badges. And all Fort Worth vehicles have the "longhorn" logo.

Homeowners are urged to ask for I-D, or to speak with the person's supervisor. Police say always call 9-1-1 if you feel threatened.

Garland Duo Under Arrest For Cell Phone Heist

Garland Police have two suspected "cell phone" thieves under arrest.

They are charged with stealing 25 thousand dollars worth of cell phones from an AT&T store on North Jupiter in October. And police say the duo may be responsible for similar robberies over the past several months. Garland detectives are talking to other North Texas police departments about the suspects now in custody: 35 year old Tory Jackson and 34 year old Quentin Williams.

Habitual Drunk Driver Gets Long Prison Sentence

A North Texas man is going to prison for 55 years after his EIGHTH conviction for drunk driving.

54 year old Michael Smith was pulled over by Arlington police in January for driving erratically. Police say a beer can fell out of his car during questioning. His blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

Jurors heard testimony about Smith's seven DWI convictions in Dallas County. The longest prison sentence in that string of convictions was three years.

Smith faces at least 25 years in prison as a habitual offender.

Dallas Fugitive Cop Surrenders

The sole major Democratic candidate in the race to replace Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has dropped out.

Retired Lt. General Ric Sanchez made that announcement this afternoon.

Sanchez says he has pressing personal challenges he must meet, including the recent fire that destroyed his home.

Police in Texas town offer gift cards to drivers

Some law-abiding motorists in one North Texas town have been getting a pleasant holiday surprise from police -- gift cards in time for the holidays.

Prosper Assistant Police Chief Gary McHone said officers have been on the lookout this week for drivers found to be heeding traffic rules, especially in school zones.

McHone says officers who witnessed good drivers would approach them on foot and offer $10 gift cards. He said police took care not to make the gesture seem like a traffic stop.

McHone said the $600 spent on the program came from a community contribution fund.

Prosper is a fast-growing town of about 10,000 residents 30 miles north of Dallas.