Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 4:15 pm
Only a railroad separated West’s intermediate school from the fertilizer plant that exploded last week. The blast destroyed that school -- and left three out of four West ISD campuses unusable. But many West students are going to finish the school year, just not in West.
Texas Matters: A former environmental inspector talks about regulations and their role in industrial safety following the deadly explosion in West, Texas. Also on this show, an update on the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is hitting some speedbumps along the way.
Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 6:14 pm
Update: 1:21 p.m..: Sen. John Cornyn said at a press conference that 60 people are still unaccounted for in the town of West.
"There are a number of confirmed dead but a number who are unaccounted for," he said.
Some headlines circulating now are skipping context, KERA's BJ Austin tells us. Cornyn's announcement came with the cautionary point that many could be staying with friends and family, and they aren't presumed dead. Authorities still haven't scoured all the hospital lists for names, according to Cornyn.
Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 6:05 pm
Former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams was charged Thursday with capital murder in the shooting deaths of the County’s DA, his wife, and the assistant DA. Williams was under suspicion early on.
Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 11:07 am
Update (Saturday): As of 3 p.m. today, some residents of West, the site of a major explosion at a fertilizer plant Wednesday, will be allowed back into their homes in part of the severely damaged neighborhood in the north section of town.
Residents 18 and over living in the area from Walnut street southward will be allowed to enter until 7 p.m. From 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., the city will have a curfew, and residents will need to either stay in their homes or leave the neighborhood. North of that area, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Vanek said at a press conference this afternoon that the city will work "as quickly as possible"to allow people back to their homes. More information for residents is available at the City of West's website.
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."