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Roads Dangerous Despite Temporary Warm-Up

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AUSTIN (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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – Sunday’s temporary warm-up could only do so much to diminish ice still covering area roads. TxDOT and city crews are working to clear highways, but many bridges and overpasses are still covered with huge clumps of ice.

“And in the areas where traffic has stacked up, at times, we’re leaving our vehicles and shoveling sand and salt by hand to get those vehicles, those stuck 18 wheelers moving.,” said Val Lopez with TxDOT Fort Worth District.

The ice is melting and refreezing; turning into more of a bumpy mess.

There’s even a new name for the rocky, frozen formations making overpasses treacherous — cobblestone ice.

Crews traveled in caravans Sunday to scrape away the collected ice and drivers were urged to avoid affected freeways. But some drivers said the freeways were in better shape than many side roads.

“I would stay on the freeways, personally, they seem like they were in a lot better shape than a lot of the side streets.… I agree with that, totally,” said Tonya Freeborn, who is visiting from Colorado.

Many neighborhood streets are still solid sheets of ice. With all the attention put on the condition of freeways, it’s one more thing to consider before venturing out.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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