Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 17, 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. Watch Out! Tax-Free Weekend is Here (link)

It's that time of year again in Texas. Tax-Free Weekend! The weekend where the malls are hell and people are spending way too much money thinking that they are actually saving a lot.

Governor Rick Perry is encouraging Texans to hit stores this weekend.

Perry said, “I encourage Texans to hit the stores this weekend and take advantage of this holiday as we gear up for another great school year in Texas.”

The sales tax holiday begins Friday, August 17th at 12:01am and ends at midnight on Sunday August 19th.

Items exempted from state and local sales tax are shoes, clothing, school supplies and backpacks priced fewer than 100 dollars.

While shoes and clothing priced under $100 have been exempt from sales taxes during the holiday since its inception in 1999, Governor Perry signed HB 1801 in 2009 to add a variety of school supplies to the tax exemption list, ranging from pens and pencils to scissors and calculators.

Texas shoppers can save about $8 for every $100 they spend, and are expected to save a total $64.8 million in state and local sales tax during this year’s holiday weekend.

Texas shoppers have saved $626.9 million since the first tax-free holiday in 1999.

You won't be catching me at the mall this weekend that's for sure. I'd rather pay the tax than have to deal with the crowds of people who think they are really getting a great deal. Plus it seems to me that the people who go all out and get really excited about Tax-Free Weekend are the ones who probably can't afford to be spending hundreds of dollars on clothes in the first place.

Look, go and buy stuff if you want. Just don't get carried away thinking that you are saving a ton of money. Most likely the Labor Day sales will save you more.

2. Obama Unites People (link)

President Obama doesn't think anyone would suggest that he has tried to divide this country. Why? Because he says he hasn't. No, seriously.

And I don't think you or anybody who's been watching the campaign would say that in any way we have tried to divide the country. We've always tried to bring the country together," President Obama said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

There is a lot I could say about that, but I'll just summarize it right here. ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?

There. That wasn't too hard.

3. Biden Stays (link)

Did you seriously think that Joe Biden was going to be dropped from the ticket?

President Obama has no intention of getting rid of Vice President Biden as his running mate, the White House said Thursday.

Republicans are being “ridiculous” and are trying to “distract attention” with their focus on Vice President Biden and his controversial comments earlier this week, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

“They know that what they're saying about this is ridiculous," Carney said at a briefing with reporters, adding that it's an “obvious” attempt to take attention away from policy issues.

I never bought into the rumor that Hillary Clinton would replace Joe Biden. However, an Obama/Clinton ticket would have been hard to beat. Oh well! Looks like crazy Joe Biden is here to stay.

4. City of Lubbock to Restructure Water Rates/Fees (link)

Water rates and fees will be restructured for Lubbock beginning in 2013. According to KFYO News:

The Lubbock Water Advisory Commission approved a plan from Mayor Glen Robertson to lower base meter fees by 25% from 28 dollars per month to 21 dollars per month.

The volume usage rate will be raised by 50% for most households. District 3 Councilman Todd Klein was at the meeting and spoke with KFYO.

Klein said, “This continues the desire from myself and other council members to move away from a very large meter cost to more of a usage cost. I think this offers that opportunity that encourages conservation.”

What do you think about this?

Other Top Stories:

Marker Placed Where the Obama's Kissed

Secret Service Bought Cupcakes From Baker That Turned Down Biden

Eating Too Many Eggs Just as Bad as Smoking?

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, 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