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Chad’s Morning Brief: Lubbock City Council Talks Budget, Rick Santorum Suspends Campaign, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of April 11, 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.

Cole Shooter, KFYO.com

1. Budget Talks (link)

The Lubbock City Council is finally talking about the budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. What can we expect to see in the budget? KFYO’s Cole Shooter had this to say:

These challenges include an extra $700,000 to increase police staffing to reach 2 officers per 1,000 population in Lubbock. To reach that goal would involve hiring 7 more officers than what is currently budgeted for this year.

$1.8 million is needed to staff Fire Station #18 and the 3rd Battalion. Fuel cost increases for the City are expected to cause a rise of $650,000, as the current contract with set fuel prices expires in December of this year. The contract currently in effect locked in fuel prices at $2.32 for regular unleaded and $2.43 for diesel.

Fuel costs for Citibus are also expected to increase as well by a project $650,000. The City of Lubbock uses approximately 2.5 million gallons of fuel per year for all departments, including Citibus and the Lubbock Police Department.

A reduced attrition rate will cost an estimated $1.85 million, and a one percent raise for city employees would cost $740,130.

These stated items lead to an increase of more than $6,465,000, which is 5.26 percent of the roughly $124 million general fund.

The Mayor believes it will all work out while Councilman Victor Hernandez is ready to raise taxes. You can expect a debate going forward between wants vs. needs. Members of the council are already asking what people consider “core services”. Where do you think the City could cut?

2. Goodbye Rebates (link)

The Lubbock City Council gave unanimous support to the final approval for changes at LP&L. Customer refunds will no longer be required from the public owned utility. Instead, it will be up to the Electric Utility Board if refunds will be handed out. The council also gave more power to the Electric Utility Board:

The Council also approved the second reading of an ordinance which gives more power to the Lubbock Electric Utility Board. The office of the director of electrical utilities is now directly responsible to the Electric Utilities Board as well.

More information on these changes is available here.

Bad move by the Lubbock City Council on this one. There was no reason to change the wording on the rebate issue. LP&L spent a ton of money advertising against Excel Energy about the “home owned advantage” and the rebates in particular. Those days are gone. This was done purely for more money and control. In fact, some could say that this is a tax increase on the people of Lubbock. Money has been taken away from the citizens and it’s up to a bunch of un-elected people what to do with our money. LP&L is back to being the piggy bank for the City of Lubbock.

3. Santorum Suspends Campaign (link)

I said last week that it’s never good when a campaign takes a 5 day vacation. That held true for Rick Santorum yesterday as he officially suspended his dying campaign. Santorum saw the writing on the wall and the poll numbers in Pennsylvania as well. Rather than compete and lose in his home state, Santorum will fade away. In his 14-minute goodbye speech, Santorum never mentioned Mitt Romney which was interesting and to some, a slap in the face.

Santorum will play a role in the Romney candidacy. Probably a good speaking position at the GOP Convention and help paying down his debt. A cabinet position? Possibly, but instead I see Santorum as the new Huckabee.

4. Chris Christie is Right (link)

Chris Christie for VP? I doubt it, but he sure is sounding good.

Gov. Chris Christie said the country is becoming a “paternalistic entitlement society” this morning in a speech at a conservative conference headed by former President George W. Bush.

Addressing Bush and other national Republicans, Christie said he hasn’t seen a less optimistic period in the country in his lifetime.

“Government’s telling them stop dreaming, stop striving, we’ll take care of you,” he said at a theater at the New York Historical Society. “We’re turning into a paternalistic entitlement society. That will not just bankrupt us financially, it will bankrupt us morally.”

“We’ll have a bunch of people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check,” Christie said.

5. Dumb story of the morning (link)

Ozzie Guillen isn’t real bright.

The Miami Marlins have suspended manager Ozzie Guillen for five games for comments he made in which he expressed admiration for Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

“The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen,” the team said in a prepared statement announcing the move. “The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.”

I think Guillen will be fired within 2 weeks.

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

A 13-year-old hero.

A middle school student is being credited with saving a school bus full of kids after he drove the bus to safety after the driver passed out behind the wheel from an apparent heart attack.

13-year-old Jeremy Wuitschick told Q13 Fox he was riding the bus to school Monday morning when he noticed something was wrong with the driver.

“I was just thinking I don’t want to die,” Wuitschick said. “I turned to the right. Turned to the side of the road. Took the keys out of the ignition. We started slowing down, and I said, `Somebody call 911!”‘

Wuitschick and another student, Johnny Wood, did chest compressions on the driver. A school administrator also drove by minutes later, and stopped when he saw the bus on the side of the road. He also attempted CPR on the driver.

Police in the town of Milton, about 30 miles south of Seattle, quickly showed up and the 12 students were escorted off the bus.

Though the driver had to be carried off the bus by paramedics, authorities say he was breathing when he was taken to the hospital.

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

Other Top Stories:

Gingrich Bounces a Check

Santorum’s Exit Hurts Texas

College Graduation Rates for Latinos

Arlington Tornado Cleanup

Arlington Sperm Donor Doesn’t Owe Child Support

Nets Owner vs. Mark Cuban

The Chad Hasty Show LIVE Broadcast on Saturday!

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am 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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