Reporting J.D. Miles
Texas Leaders Consider Freeing More PrisonersAUSTIN (AP) - Texas lawmakers are discussing whether releasing nonviolent convicts is a money-saving way to help deal with a projected $15 billion state budget shortfall. Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire of Houston says the state does not have the resources to continue business as usual in Texas. Whitmire said Tuesday that "everything is on the table for discussion this year." The Austin American-Statesman reports lawmakers are considering whether nonviolent foreign citizens who are up for parole and old, ill convicts might be considered for early released. Police, prosecutors and crime victims groups are urging caution in paroling any more convicts. House Corrections Committee chairman Jerry Madden of Richardson says whatever lawmakers decide, it should not compromise public safety. A 2009 legislative study urged that additional medical paroles be considered. (© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The City of Dallas is putting together a new game plan to attack mosquitoes this year after hundreds of people across North Texas contracted West Nile Virus last year.
Part of the plan includes training at an old armory building, where city employees learn how to handle mosquito traps.
Last year, only four people were trained to handle the traps. This year, Elesa Williams, who works in the Dallas Code Enforcement department, is one of dozens preparing for that job.
“It’s not something I signed up for,” said Williams, who typically spends her day inspecting bars and restaurants.
The training is critical, according to City Environment Specialist Michael Sanders. “Last year maybe caught us off guard,” says Sanders. “I think this is going to have a huge impact.”
During the training, city employees are taught to protect themselves from the risk of being exposed to disease carrying mosquitoes.
The training class was videotaped by the city for as many as 100 more code enforcement officers to watch as the city prepares for this year’s war against West Nile.
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