Chad’s Morning Brief: Texas DPS Gunboats to Patrol the Rio Grande, Lubbock Councilman Victor Hernandez, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 1, 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. The Texas Navy (link)
Soon the Texas Department of Public Safety will deploy a fleet of gunboats on the Rio Grande. Now, this is more like it when it comes to protecting the border. According to CNN:
The 34-foot-long boats, each powered by three, 300-horsepower outboard engines, will have bulletproof plating and six machine guns apiece, not unlike the river patrol boats the U.S. Navy used during the Vietnam War.
"It sends a message: Don't mess with Texas," Jose Rodriguez, a regional commander of the Texas Department of Safety, told WFAA.
This is a great start and I hope Texas will be able to put more boats on the water in the future. Sure, some people will complain and say that this is excessive, but they are wrong. I'm in favor of putting the military on the border as well, but for now this is a step in the right direction. I just wonder who will complain first. Mexico or our own federal government.
2. Victor Hernandez Won't Accept No for an Answer (link)
At the last City Council meeting, the council heard from County Judge Tom Head about the feasibility of a joint City/County Health Department. Long story short, Head said that it wasn't feasible. Money isn't available and lack of benefits for the citizens were two of Head's reasons.
That's not good enough for Councilman Victor Hernandez though. On Wednesday, Hernandez fired back and signaled that he is ready to push the issue. According to KFYO News:
Councilman Hernandez has put a resolution on to the agenda for next week’s council meeting. If approved, it would allow representatives of the City of Lubbock Health Department to initiate discussions with representative from Lubbock County, UMC and Covenant for a joint city-county health department or to collaborate on an effort to –quote- ensure the continued existence of the City of Lubbock Health Department.
Maybe Hernandez was asleep when Judge Tom Head said it couldn't happen. What does Hernandez think he can do? Force the County to help pay? What a waste of time. Don't look for this issue to gain much, if any, traction with the other members of the City Council.
3. Bill Clinton Says to Embrace the Keystone XL Pipeline (link)
Bill Clinton vs. Obama? Yep.
Bill Clinton says it's time to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
Speaking at an Energy Department conference in Maryland on Wednesday, the former president said he was surprised the project has gotten as gummed up as it has, laying the blame on pipeline builder TransCanada.
"One of the most amazing things to me about this Keystone pipeline deal is that they ever filed that route in the first place since they could've gone around the Nebraska Sandhills and avoided most of the dangers, no matter how imagined, to the Ogallala [aquifer] with a different route, which I presume we'll get now, because the extra cost of running is infinitesimal compared to the revenue that will be generated over a long period of time," he said.
"So, I think we should embrace it and develop a stakeholder-driven system of high standards for doing the work," Clinton added.
Clinton went on to say that he did worry that increased domestic oil could cause the U.S. to lose interest in alternative forms of energy. I wonder how many Republican's are shocked that they agree with Bill Clinton. Of course I think just about all of us can agree that Bill Clinton was a much better President than Obama. Smarter too.
4. Romney Supports the Blunt Amendment (link)
Hey look, they media is trying to trip up Mitt Romney.
A reporter tried to trip up Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney today with a question that falsely described the Blunt Amendment that pro-life groups are pushing for in the Senate tomorrow to stop Obama’s HHS mandate.
Jim Heath, a reporter for ONN-TV in Ohio, sent a message on Twitter causing a ruckus claiming Romney did not support the mandate, saying, “ALERT: Mitt Romney tells ONN he would not vote for senate bill which would allow employers to deny coverage for birth control.”
The Washington Post went on to post the story, and then the question which caught the eyes of the media.
“Blunt-Rubio is being debated later this week that deals with allowing employers to ban providing female contraception,” the reporter said, relying on false Democratic and Planned Parenthood talking points derisively used to misrepresent the aims of the amendment to restore religious liberty.
After conservative reporters called Heath and the Washington Post on the carpet, Romney Spokesperson Andrea Saul released a statement to reporters confirming Blunt’s amendment has the strong support of the Republican presidential hopeful.
“Regarding the Blunt bill, the way the question was asked was confusing. Governor Romney supports the Blunt Bill because he believes in a conscience exemption in health care for religious institutions and people of faith,” she said in a statement.
Yes, Romney should have known what was going on, but I do buy his excuse of being confused.
5. Dumb story of the morning (link)
An autocorrected text message, accidentally sent to the wrong number, was the catalyst to a lockdown Wednesday at West Hall middle and high schools.
Just before noon, law enforcement and school officials issued the lockdown after a West Hall community member reported a threatening text message.
The text, saying "gunman be at west hall today," was received and reported to police around 11:30 a.m. But after police tracked the number, they learned the autocorrect feature on the new cellphone changed "gunna" to "gunman."
The message being sent to the wrong number added to the confusion.
As law enforcement learned of the text message, the schools were notified to go into lockdown as they investigated the origins of the message.
"The school system always relies on law enforcement for school safety and anytime they request a lockdown we go with that request," said Gordon Higgins, Hall County Schools spokesman. "We always take every precaution concerning a potential threat or danger."
Authorities say the person who received the message "did the right thing."
"It was a combination of odd circumstances," said Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks of the Hall County Sheriff's Department. "We want to emphasize that the recipient did the right thing in reporting the message."
Hall Superintendent Will Schofield said in a statement that locking down the campuses was "standard procedure" and he was pleased with the way the situation was handled.
"I am extremely proud of our school team members as they handled a challenging situation well," he said. "While this event caused a great deal of anxiety among students, staff and parents, be assured that we will always err on the side of caution when it comes to the safety of our boys and girls."
Neighbors come together to save four kids from a frozen pond.
Neighbors saved four children after they fell into a pond in north suburban Grayslake Thursday afternoon.
The children were playing near the pond when all four broke through the ice and went under. They are all OK and no one was transported to the hospital.
Izabella Stepien stood on the edge of the pond, trying to help the four kids who had fallen through the ice.
Stepien quickly got a rope and threw it out to the kids. One was able to get out but two of the children - 12-year-old Mary and 10-year-old Joey Wessely - remained stuck in the freezing water screaming for help.
"Every time I'd try to get on to the ice, I would be there two seconds and then I would just fall back in again," said Joey.
"You could hardly breathe it was so cold," said Mary. "It was like choking and dragging you under."
While they struggled trying to get out, neighbor Robert George saw what was happening and ran across the street to help. He tied one end of the rope around himself and went in the icy water after them.
"If my kids were ever in need, I hope somebody who jump in and go after them so that's what I just did," said George.
Great job to all the adults who rushed into action to save the kids.
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Other Top Stories:
Guests Appearing on LFN Today:
Glen Robertson, Lubbock Mayoral candidate, at 7:37am
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.