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Chad’s Morning Brief: Citizens Should Remember Tonight’s Tax Rate Vote, United Supermarkets Sold to Albertson’s & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of September 10, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Cole Shooter, KFYO.com

1. City Council

Tonight the Lubbock City Council will meet and possibly pass on second reading the 2013-2014 budget. The budget includes a 2.8% tax increase that would raise about $1.5 million dollars to cover the cost of 15 new firefighters and bonds.

In the budget city employees, all city employees, are given a 3% pay raise. That totals $3 million dollars. If the council would have cut the raise in half, there would be no need to raise taxes. Instead they will give a blanket raise to 2,000 employees while you pay more in taxes. Oh and don’t forget LP&L employees who will receive a 3.9% raise.

In an earlier vote, the council approved the tax increase and budget by a 5-2 vote. Only Mayor Glen Robertson and Councilman Todd Klein opposed. Neither believe it’s a good idea to raise taxes right now.

Numerous citizens have spoken out against the tax increase and even the Lubbock AJ printed an editorial against it. That hasn’t slowed down this liberal City Council though. Tonight’s meeting starts at 6:15pm and even though I believe this council will ignore the will of the people, I still hope many of you will show up.

As I’ve said for a while now, this council can’t stand vocal opposition. Show up tonight and give them hell. Voice your thoughts and opinions and don’t forget who voted for this tax increase tonight. They may ignore you tonight, but soon you will be able to seek revenge at the polls. It’s time to take back this City Council. Take a stand tonight.

2. United-Albertson’s (link)

United Supermarkets announced yesterday that they were selling to Albertson’s.

United Supermarkets will sell to another supermarket chain that was once active in the Lubbock area.

United Supermarkets, now known as The United Family, will be sold to Albertson’s.

A press release from The United Family states that once the transaction is completed, United will operate as a separate business unit under Albertson’s LLC’s corporate structure.

Robert Taylor, United Supermarkets CEO, will reportedly continue to lead the company as president of the United subsidiary.

A source in The United Family corporate office says that United’s brands will stay intact, and they do not anticipate any changes in employment numbers.

The United brands that will stay intact include United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos, and United Express Fuels.

United Supermarkets will reportedly hold a press conference late Monday afternoon.

KAMC News has the entire press release on their site, which is available here.

We’ll bring you more on this story as it develops.

Officials at United will say nothing will change and that you shouldn’t worry about anything. I hope that’s true, but most of the time it isn’t. Eventually, you could see changes at your favorite United. Prices could increase and stores could either be sold or closed. While United may remain as the brand, they will still be owned by someone else. Albertson’s will be the decision maker, not United.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was in response to the possibility of HEB coming to Lubbock.

3. Gun Gesture Leads to Suspension (link)

The craziness begins…

A sixth-grader in Calvert County was suspended for forming his hand into a gun on his bus ride to school, an incident that adds to a string of recent high-profile cases involving punishments for children who gesture with imaginary weapons.

Carin Read, mother of the 11-year-old student at Mill Creek Middle School in Lusby, filed an appeal of the suspension late last week, after a principal denied her request to remove the alleged infraction from her son’s school records.

The boy had already served a day-long in-school suspension, and Read argued that he should not have a permanent record over the matter. His disciplinary referral alleged that he pretended to shoot another student on the bus.

“There was no threat,” Read said, describing her son as an honor student who has never been in trouble at school. “He’s been punished enough.”

A Calvert schools spokeswoman, Gail Bennett, said she could not comment on the case because student discipline matters are protected by confidentiality laws. The Washington Post generally does not identify minors accused of disciplinary infractions.

The case is one in a growing number involving students suspended from school for pointing their fingers like guns, talking about guns and carrying toy guns. In Anne Arundel County, a 7-year-old boy was suspended after chewing his Pop-Tart-like breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun. In both Montgomery and Prince William counties, young boys were suspended for pretending to shoot with their fingers.

While such cases in the past year have come amid heightened sensitivities after December’s mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, the issue has hit a tipping point in the southern Maryland schools of Calvert County.

As last school year ended, a kindergartner was suspended for 10 days for bringing his cowboy-style cap gun on a school bus. The punishment was cut to three days and ultimately cleared from the boy’s record, but it touched off concern about outsized consequences for childish mistakes.

In August, school board members Joseph R. Chenelly and Kelly D. McConkey requested a review of the Calvert weapons policy. Chenelly said the policy was not billed as a zero-tolerance policy but appeared to be in practice.

Chenelly wants to revise the policy to bring such factors as intent and mental capacity into decision-making about school consequences. He also has urged that parents receive notification as soon as possible — perhaps within 15 minutes — when such allegations are made.

He said a dozen families have told him about suspensions since late May that fell under the weapons policy but that parents said did not involve actual threats.

In one case, a middle-schooler reading a hunting and fishing magazine during a free period was suspended because the back-page advertisement showed a fishing knife, he said. In another case, he said, a middle-schooler was suspended for saying he wished he had a gun to protect everyone after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Calvert school system’s staff presented a proposal Thursday to revise Calvert’s policy on look-alike weapons to be more flexible. The public has 30 days to weigh in. The school board takes it up Oct. 10.

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These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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