Police: Drivers Urged To Stay Off Tarrant County Freeways
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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
A task force is bringing in heavy equipment to break up the most stubborn icy spots beginning at 6 a.m. Sunday. The task force is a combination of heavy duty road maintainers, sand trucks, salt trucks and other resources. DPS will help the Texas Department of Transportation move their equipment to the most-needed areas.
The goal of DPS is to reduce all big rig traffic beginning Saturday until 6 a.m. on Monday. If the trucks are moving they will be allowed to continue. If they are stopped on the roadway or on the shoulder they will then be asked to move to a safe area to park until the roadway is better able to be navigated.
The Texas Department of Public Safety, Fort Worth police and other local agencies are currently monitoring all vehicular traffic from the Joint Emergency Operations Center in Fort Worth.
All major freeways in Tarrant County will be evaluated by the task force for the removal of Cobblestone Ice. There will be temporarily highway closures at specific locations affected by the Cobblestone Ice. The highway will be reopened after it is safe for drivers.
The task force needs all room possible to safely and effectively clear all the overpasses and bridges, which is why police encourage drivers to stay off the treacherous freeways.
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