Wed January 23, 2013
The Lead: Houston Campus Shooting, CPRIT Investigation, Keystone XL Pipeline OK’d in NB
Good morning! Stat safe on the roads, as dense fog this morning made for many interesting commutes. The National Weather Service says the fog should burn off mid-morning leaving Austin with an afternoon high in the mid-70s.
Lead Story: More reactions to the shooting at a Lone Star College campus in Houston, which left three injured.
Attorney General Greg Abbott said the incident was an example of why schools need safety plans and emergency drills. Abbott adds that Lone Star College did have a critical incident plan in place.
And Texas school districts could ask voters to pay more for school security under legislation being advanced by three state lawmakers. Democratic State Senator John Whitmire says the “School District Security Act” would create a new funding source that would be reserved for school security needs.
“It may be technology, Sen. Whitmire says. “It may be cameras. It may be additional personnel. That’s the benefit of this proposal. It’s going to let local communities choose for themselves what works.”
The bill also has the support of Republican lawmakers Tommy Williams and Dan Huberty. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has already proposed a plan to offer government-funded weapons training for some school employees.
CPRIT’s Bill of Health: A spokesman for the chairman over the state's troubled $3 billion cancer-fighting effort says criminal prosecutors have cleared current state officials and board members in their investigation.
Austin lobbyist Bill Miller says that the Travis County district attorney's office informed officials with the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas that the agency is "free from suspicion." But a statement from Miller said nothing about former executives who resigned in recent months as problems mounted.
Keystone Pipeline Clears Hurdle: Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman approved a new route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that avoids that state's environmentally sensitive Sandhills region. The White House is expected to decide later this year whether to approve construction of the pipeline, which would connect the Alberta oil sands to Port Arthur and Houston.
Opponents of the pipeline are raising questions about just how much it would do to improve U.S. energy security.
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