Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 11:17 am
Update, Saturday, 11:15 a.m.: Thinking about taking a carload or truckload of supplies to help out the people of West? Don't. The little town is overwhelmed with donations of goods and clothing. Folks sorting through all the donations tell KERA's BJ Austin they've run out of room. The Dallas Morning News reports that cash is the most important thing needed right now. There are plenty of other ways you can help, too. Here are a few:
Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 1:13 am
Update, 12:15 a.m.: "An unbelievable tragedy" -- that's how D.L. Wilson of the Department of Public Safety described Wednesday night's fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. Speaking to the media just after midnight, he added that he'd toured the blast zone, and it looked "just like Iraq, just like the Murrah building in Oklahoma City," which was bombed 18 years ago this week.
Wilson said more than 100 were injured, and he confirmed that people have died, though he gave no number.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 4:55 pm
Filmmaker Jamie Meltzer thought he’d just go check out a Dallas meeting for prison exonerees last February. He’d heard a group of freed inmates had started a detective agency, which sounded like pretty good film fodder. Meltzer showed up, met the guys and started shooting that day.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 12:39 pm
At the Capitol, House Judiciary Committee members will debate a bill that would increase the number of people who have a say over how a child is raised in Texas.
The bill sparking debate is HB 393, filed by State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston. Thompson’s bill would expand the number of people who can sue for visitation rights if they believe a child is being raised in a way that puts his or her well-being at risk.
Texas Matters: Taxes are a touchy subject no matter what side you are on, but they exist to raise revenue so closing loopholes is one way to make sure everyone pays a fair share. Also on the show: A look at Tesla Motors effort to open up the Texas market, Texas school districts letting teachers with a CHL carry a gun on campus, and the Texas history behind John Ford's classic film, "The Searchers."
Credit Jason Cato / Courtesy of Workers Defense Project
Marchers at the state capitol building in Austin, Texas, in February protest working conditions in the state's construction sector.
Credit Jack White / Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News
Two workers died when a crane collapsed under windy conditions at a University of Texas, Dallas, campus site in July 2012. OSHA cited the construction company with six serious safety violations and levied a $30,000 penalty.
Like almost everything in the Texas, the construction industry in the Lone Star State is big. One in every 13 workers here is employed in the state's $54 billion-per-year construction industry.
Homebuilding and commercial construction may be an economic driver for the state, but it's also an industry riddled with hazards. Years of illegal immigration have pushed wages down, and accidents and wage fraud are common. Of the nearly 1 million workers laboring in construction here, approximately half are undocumented.
UPDATE 5:59 The Senate Committee on Education heard SB 1575 this afternoon from educators and parents supporting the so-called voucher program that would give parents money to move their children from public to private schools.
The bill’s author Senator Donna Campbell of New Braunfels said that parents and students should have a choice in schooling and claim that failing public schools set back children across the state.
Have you ever watched a debate at the Texas Capitol? It’s not always the easiest thing to follow. With all the speakers and amendments and votes that it takes for just one bill to pass, it’s not hard to get lost.
Well what if you were one of the lawmakers, trying to navigate these legislative waters for the first time?