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Mon March 5, 2012
Uplift Education Bond Package Moves Forward
The City of Dallas Budget, Finance and Audit Committee has moved Uplift Education’s bond schedule forward.
Two weeks ago, Dallas City council members okayed the creation of a non-profit education corporation. That allows Uplift Education to issue low -interest bonds so the Charter School operation can build schools.
Council woman Carolyn Davis raised questions Monday. She opposes the charter school bond plan, which comes up for public discussion Thursday, March 15th.
Davis: How does the city know about this if the city wants to come?
City staff: It’s been advertised.
Davis: As council member I can pass it around in my community?
City Staff: Sure.
That public meeting is set at Uplift Education’s Peak Preparatory, on Bryan. The charter school wants to issue $90 million worth of bonds, and spend about $15 million of that in Dallas. The council is set to approve the plan in late March.
Bill Zeeble, KERA News
Southwest Flight Canceled After Box Cutter Found
A Southwest Airlines flight from Houston to Dallas has been canceled after a passenger spotted a box cutter in the plane's overhead bin.
Southwest spokeswoman Olga Romero says a passenger on the scheduled 6:15 a.m. Monday flight from Houston's Hobby Airport found the box cutter and turned it over to the crew.
The plane's captain alerted airport security. All 97 passengers were taken off the plane and re-screened.
The plane was searched, but no other hazards were found.
Romero says the passengers have since been rebooked and arrived in Dallas.
A Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman says the airline decided to cancel the flight and operations at Hobby Airport are normal.
Texas Nurse Faces Death Penalty For Patient Deaths
A 38-year-old East Texas nurse is facing a possible death sentence as she goes on trial for injecting patients with bleach - killing five and injuring five others - as they were undergoing dialysis treatment.
Kimberly Saenz was fired in April 2008 from her job at a DaVita Dialysis clinic in Lufkin, about 125 miles northeast of Houston, after two patients told officials they saw her inject two other patients with bleach.
By then, state health inspectors already were looking into why paramedics that month had to make so many trips to the clinic to help people with cardiac and breathing problems.
Saenz has pleaded not guilty. Her lawyer says she's a scapegoat for problems at the clinic.
Her trial is expected to take a month.
2 students win Texas AP Broadcasters scholarships
Two students have been chosen to share $15,000 in Texas Associated Press Broadcasters scholarships.
The TAPB board on Monday announced the winners are Brenna Arthur of Frisco and Andrew Nepsund of San Antonio.
The board on Saturday voted to give $5,000 to Arthur, who is a freshman attending the University of North Texas in Denton. Nepsund, who's a junior at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, will receive a $10,000 scholarship.
The scholarships will be presented during the TAPB awards banquet on Saturday night, March 31, at the Headliners Club in Austin.
Last year TAPB gave out $7,500 in scholarships. Additional funds were available this year because all TAPB radio and television entries, for the first time, were submitted and judged online. Judges previously were flown to Dallas.
Bushes headline Dallas first ladies conference
At a Dallas conference exploring the power and mystique of first ladies, Laura Bush and her mother-in-law, Barbara, talked about life in the White House.
About 300 people attended the conference Monday hosted by the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Former President George W. Bush introduced his wife and mother, telling the crowd, "Obviously, I don't mind being surrounded by strong women. I was raised by one, I married one, and I believe we're raising two."
During the conversation moderated by presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Barbara Bush also touched on the current presidential campaign, calling it the worst she'd seen.
She said, "People think compromise is a dirty word."
The conference is being held at Southern Methodist University, where the presidential center is under construction.
Gun sales boom in Texas
Gun sales are booming across Texas, and some buyers say their growing belief that President Barack Obama's re-election is inevitable is fueling their race to bear more arms.
Fort Worth gun shop owner DeWayne Irwin tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the rush is similar to one seen shortly after the president's 2008 election.
Book author Alan Korwin tells the Star-Telegram that some are worried that Obama's re-election would embolden a major gun control push. Korwin has written nine books on gun laws and operates a gun laws website.
Korwin says people worry that if Obama wins "he will go after firearms in a way we have never seen before."
North Texas jail escapee sentenced after guilty plea
A parolee who pleaded guilty to multiple charges less than two weeks after his escape from a North Texas jail has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Jimmy Lee Brock was awaiting trial on charges related to the alleged killing of his girlfriend's cat in November when he walked away from a Fannin County Jail work detail on Feb. 21. He was captured several days later when he returned to Bonham to visit his girlfriend at work.
Brock served 17 years for robbery before getting paroled in 2010. He said he escaped because he thought previous convictions were being held against him in the cat-killing case.
Brock pleaded guilty Thursday and was sentenced to 25 years on the escape charge and 20 years on animal cruelty and burglary charges.
Texas House Democrat Lozano becoming a Republican
Democratic state Rep. J. M. Lozano will switch parties and become a Republican, further padding the GOP super-majority in the Texas House.
A spokesman said Monday that Lozano plans to announce his decision Thursday in Austin and in his Gulf Coast home district, which includes Kingsville.
The move gives the Republicans 102 seats of the House's 150, but that will only matter if a special session is called.
Lozano filed for re-election as a Democrat on Nov. 30 - just three days after the filing period opened. A second filing period has begun, however, after a legal battle over the Texas redistricting maps delayed the state's primary.
Lozano spokesman Craig Murphy said Lozano was persuaded to switch following conversations with George P. Bush, nephew of former President George W. Bush.
Stanford trial jury told to continue deliberations
A federal judge has told jurors to continue deliberating the fate of jailed Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford after they indicated they were unable to reach verdicts on at least some of the 14 charges against the financier.
Stanford is accused of bilking investors out of $7 billion in a massive Ponzi scheme.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner on Monday gave jurors in Houston an order meant to prod juries toward a unanimous verdict. A short time later, the jury ended work for the day. Deliberations were to resume Tuesday.
The jury has been deliberating since Wednesday.
Defense attorneys said Stanford made money for investors who bought certificates of deposit from his Caribbean bank.
Prosecutors countered that Stanford spent their money on failed businesses and a lavish lifestyle.