Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 7, 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. Romney Jumps on the Cruz Bandwagon (link)

Mitt Romney has rolled out a new ad and at the same time touted the support of Ted Cruz. According to the Texas Tribune:

The new web video, called "These Hands: Texas," accuses President Obama of not valuing the work of small-business owners and profiles Gilbert Cantu, who owns a San Antonio mobile locksmith service. The campaign also released a Spanish version of the ad.

The Romney campaign included a quote from Cruz in the news release for the video.

“From El Paso to Texarkana, entrepreneurs and small-business owners across Texas know that they built their success with their own two hands,” Cruz said. “They also know the damage that bad policy from Washington can do to the economy. From new regulations to higher taxes to Obamacare, the president has placed one obstacle after another in front of Texas job creators. Mitt Romney knows how to turn this economy around, and his plan for a stronger middle class is exactly what we need. Texans — like all Americans — can’t afford four more years of Barack Obama.”

Smart move by Romney. Ted Cruz is very popular right now in the Republican Party and even more-so with the Tea Party. If Romney can link his name to Ted Cruz, it might help him with the far right.

2. Social Media and the Open Meetings Act

Over the weekend Councilman Victor Hernandez "defriended" the Mayor and 3 other council members on advice from the city attorney. The reason? The possibility of breaking the Open Meetings Act which says nothing about social media, but if you think reasonably you could see how a quorum could occur. This apparently happened on the Facebook page of Victor Hernandez and though I'm sure no one tried to discuss a matter in private, the city attorney was right to end the practice.

The problem is a law that has been left behind by technology. The Open Meetings Act needs to be updated in order to deal with social media and future technology.  This includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, email, and group texting.

Yes, the problem was dealt with locally, but it must also be dealt with by the State.

3. Obama on Olympic Medals and Taxes (link)

President Obama and Sen. Marco Rubio agree on something. Don't tax Olympic medals.

President Obama supports Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) bill to exempt Olympic medal winners from income taxes, the White House announced Monday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that Obama would sign that bill if it reached his desk.

"The president believes that we should support efforts, like I think the bill you're referencing, to ensure that we are doing everything we can to honor and support our Olympic athletes who have volunteered to represent our nation at the Olympic Games," Carney said.

According to the U.S. Olympic Committee, it awards $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver medal and $10,000 for a bronze medal.

To me, this is a no brainier. What do you think?

4. Chalk Art (link)

A mother in Richmond, Virginia has been sentenced to community service after allowing her daughter to vandalize rocks. The type of vandalism? Chalk art.

A judge found enough evidence to convict a Richmond mom who is charged with vandalism, but he's delaying a final disposition until she performs community service hours.

29-year-old Susan Mortensen allowed her daughter to draw on rocks on Belle Isle with chalk.

Mortensen will now serve 50 hours of community service in order for the judge to dismiss her charge.

In court, NBC12 learned a little more about the confrontation between Mortensen and Officer Stacy Rogers, who saw her daughter writing on the rocks.

Outside the courthouse, people support Susan Mortensen with their own chalk on the sidewalk. However, in court, the officer who reprimanded her back in March says she responded with an attitude and curse words.

"I don't think I should comment on that," said Mortensen after the trial. I agree that the outcome is something I would agree with and I thought it would help as far as doing community service."

Mortensen has since then apologized. She's agreed to complete 50 hours of community service through the James River Park System.

Mortensen will have to paint about 200 boundary posts west and east of the Boulevard Bridge. Before she even starts, she'll have to scrape off the old paint and remove surrounding weeds. It's vital to finish the project before the weather gets too cold for the paint to stick.

The parks manager says he'd like to set a date before Thanksgiving. Mortensen's supporters say they're still upset she was charged for letting her daughter draw on the rocks. Police and park leaders say chalk is the same as graffiti.

"There's no way to compare two," Meg McLain with Virginia Cop Block. "When you spray paint something, it's pretty much there. But when you chalk something, it rains, it's gone. You'll never know."

"It is all the same thing," said James River Park Systems Park Manager, Ralph White. "A couple of weeks ago, I was covering over pornographic drawings done in chalk. It doesn't matter what the medium is. It's offensive."

Chalk drawings by a kid is now vandalism? This is why we can't have nice things.

Other Top Stories:

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