Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of June 8, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.

1. Lubbock City Council

On Friday's LFN we will have Mayor Glen Robertson in studio to discuss the latest from City Hall. Here is a brief rundown of what happened at yesterday's City Council meeting.

Council Approved Memorial for Tim Cole- The council voted 5-1 to approve the Tim Cole Memorial with Victor Hernandez voting against. Hernandez had a problem with an amendment that Councilman Paul Beane asked to be included. The amendment made the green space at 19th and University a Park. Since it will be a park, no one will be allowed to camp there. Beane claimed this would improve the area and keep it's integrity since a memorial will be on site. Hernandez basically acted as though some great injustice had happened.

Council Approved Ellerbrook Settlement- Another 5-1 vote with Paul Beane voting against. The council approved a $575,000 settlement to Martha Ellerbrook in her discrimination case against the City. According to KFYO News:

Ellerbrook was not chosen for a promotion amidst another lawsuit between her husband Terry Ellerbrook and the City in February of 2007.

The $575,000 includes Ellerbrook’s attorney fees. So far, the City has spent $751,000 on the settlement and outside counsel fees in this case.

The attorney representing the City estimated that if the City were to allow the case to go back to court, they would likely be required to pay up to $750,000 to Ellerbrook.

A jury originally awarded Ellerbrook almost $250,000, but U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings ruled in the City’s favor in their appeal. A U.S. District Court of Appeals overturned Judge Cummings’ ruling, and instructed the District Court to enter a new judgment for Ellerbrook to cover her attorney’s fees and all costs of the latest appeal.

Personally, I think she deserves nothing.

2. Perry Shouted Down (link)

The Tea Party faithful aren't too happy with Governor Perry's endorsement of David Dewhurst. On Thursday, they let the Governor know about it.

"We need more strong, conservative Texans in Washington, including my friend and colleague David Dewhurst," Perry said in the middle of his speech. What followed is a matter of dispute, but neither was a good omen for Dewhurst or his political patron.

Thousands of Cruz supporters responded with boos or a long chants of "Cruuuuzz,"
lasting for over 10 seconds as Perry tried to continue with his remarks. But as soon as the chants stopped, they loved Perry again, particularly as he closed his remarks with a long section about serving God.

Asked about the response after his speech while fleeing a flock of reporters, Perry replied, "I thought they said Dew."

The crowd greeted Perry warmly at first, but it was pretty clear that many aren't happy that Governor Perry is backing David Dewhurst.

3. Texting While Driving Isn’t Good (link)

Will Texans on Food Stamps use them at Farmers' Markets? I doubt it, but a new pilot program will soon find out.

A state pilot program launched this week in Tarrant County should increase access to fresh, local produce for clients of the Texas Women, Infants and Children program, state officials say.

Clients can now use their debitlike benefit cards at Fort Worth-area farmers markets using technology designed by a Southlake company.

If the system is well-received, it could expand to other counties, officials said.

The program will offer clients another venue to get healthy food and teach them about nutrition, said John Hannemann, state electronic benefit transfer manager.

"We are a nutritional education program," he said. "We want them to have good interactions with the people who actually grow the produce, meet the farmers and know where their food is coming from."


4. Bill Clinton Apologizes (link)

Former President Bill Clinton is now apologizing for going off-script and saying that Obama should extend the Bush era tax cuts. Though, it wasn't a big apology.

Appearing on TV on Thursday, Clinton said he “regrets…this stirring up” and is “very sorry” for veering off message on the Bush tax cuts, and the former president denied he is undermining President Barack Obama, insisting he is fully committed to Obama’s reelection.

“I’m very sorry for what happened. I thought something had to be done on the fiscal cliff before the election,” Clinton told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, referring to comments he made this week suggesting the Bush tax cuts should be extended - something Obama vehemently opposes. “I support [Obama’s] position [on the Bush tax cuts], and I think on the merits, upper-income people will have to contribute to long-term debt reduction.”

In other words, Clinton really does back the tax cuts if we are about to go over the cliff, but he isn't supposed to say that.

Clinton also denied he is undermining Obama - as some Republicans have claimed - and said he supports the president’s reelection.

“I have spoken up for him whenever I could. I have told people repeatedly I think he has done a good job, a really good job under very trying circumstances and better than some people give him credit for… I am strongly committed to his reelection,” Clinton said. “In 2008, when he ran for president and defeated Hillary in the primaries, I did 40 events for him… in 2012 I have done his major fundraisers.”

The former president also explained his recent eyebrow-raising praise of Mitt Romney’s business career as “sterling,” saying, “My instinct, you know me, I don’t think I should have to say bad things about Gov. Romney personally to disagree with him politically.”

“The fact that I was complimentary of his success as a businessman doesn’t mean that I think he should be elected and President Obama shouldn’t,” he added.

I don't think the Obama campaign will want Clinton out there much more anytime soon.

5. Dumb Story of the Morning (link)

Kid wipes his hands on the American flag, gets caught, so parents are saying he is only in trouble because he is black. Stupid parents, stupid kid.

A 13-year-old boy in the gifted program at Plaza Middle School in Virginia Beach served an in-school suspension Wednesday after teachers said he used the American flag in the school’s auditorium to wipe his hands after leaving the bathroom.However, Moses Hinton’s parents told NewsChannel 3 the incident did not happen, and they believe their boy was harshly punished because he is the only African-American seventh grade student in the school’s gifted program, even though the school’s principal is black.

“[This has been] very traumatic,” said Victoria Hinton, Moses’ mother.  “It has had an emotional impact on my son’s education.”

According to Virginia Beach Public Schools Spokesperson Eileen Cox, a teacher observed Moses wipe his hands on the flag after leaving the bathroom on May 21, 2012.  When confronted about it, Cox said Moses told the teacher there were no napkins left in the bathroom.

According to the boy’s mother, “His response was ‘mommy I was coming up the stairs and I lost my balance and I touched the flag,’” Hinton said.

The school moved forward with the suspension, claiming Moses defaced school property.  Hinton’s parents hired Virginia Beach attorney Wayne Scriven to intervene.

“Why react so harshly?” said Scriven, who told NewsChannel 3 he believes the suspension was racially motivated.  “You have a bright, gifted, young black male; it seems to be an attempt to pour ice water on his motivation.”

The flag did not fall or receive any damage.  Those facts, said Hinton family friend and New York school board member Wayne Hobbs, should have kept this case out of the headlines.

“Defacing would be putting paint on it, burning it, putting in the garbage,” said Hobbs.  “Not drying your hands if it’s wet.”

VBPS officials said they did make an error by classifying the incident as defacing the American flag;  however, they do support their story that Moses wiped his hands on the flag, and they stand by their decision to give him a one day in-school suspension for the incident.

“I definitely don’t feel like it deserved a suspension,” said Hinton, who told NewsChannel 3 that Moses has had other run-ins with school staff that they consider unfair over the last two years.

“So I feel it’s of the attitude, we’re gonna get you one way or the other,” she said.

Hinton’s attorney said they are not seeking monetary compensation for the incident, but they are calling for more sensitivity training for Virginia Beach teachers.  They also want Moses’ record cleared.

Again, these parents are idiots. Stop playing the race card! It's not helping your kid.

6. Good Brews Good News of the Day (link)

Workers "rescue" little girl's stuffed bunny.

Casey and Michelle Carey-Brown’s 3-year-old daughter Roozle said her beloved stuffed animal bunny, Nummy, was nervous about riding the T.

While on their journey Wednesday, the four all rode one stop on the Orange Line from Stony Brook to Green Street. While getting off the train, Nummy’s worst fears were realized when the bunny fell out of Roozle’s stroller and onto the tracks between the platform and train.

Roozle immediately screamed for her friend.

“My friend! Nummy! She fell on the tracks and now a train is going to run her over! She will be squished by the train! On the tracks! I NEED MY FRIEND!!!” said Roozle.

Casey rushed to find an MBTA worker for help while her wife Michelle waited with an anxious Roozle.

The worker then radioed ahead to the conductor of the next train.

“I guess the little kid’s stuffed animal that’s very dear to them fell into the pit there on the southbound,” said the worker.

“OK… do you want me to stop and get that in the pit?” said the conductor. “Wait a minute, I think I see it right here.”

After stopping the train in the middle of rush hour, the conductor got out, picked up the bunny, and tossed it onto the platform.

Casey then ran back to her wife and daughter with Nummy in hand.

Roozle shouted “thank you!” to nearby MBTA workers for saving her bunny.

Everyday, Good Brews Coffee & Tea Lounge brings you the Good News of the Day!

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