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KATRINA VICTIMS PERFORM POORLY ON STANDARDIZED TESTS
by Brian Bodine    Fri, May 19, 2006, 02:14 PM

Displaced students enrolled in Texas schools performed significantly worse on the TAKS test than Texas students. According to the News, the number of 11th grade pupils that passed the TAKS was less than half of the percentage of Texas students that passed the TAKS. The passing rates of 11th grade evacuee pupils were even less than half of the passing rates of those students in other grade levels. Click here for link

Additionally, in March the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that many of the third and fifth grade evacuee pupils, who took their grade’s version of the TAKS, scored worse than Texas students and many of them could be held back. According to the Star-Telegram, Texas officials are blaming New Orleans’ poor public school system for the test performance of the evacuee children. Click here for link

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APPROPRIATIONS BILL INCLUDES MILLIONS FOR NORTH TEXAS SCHOOLS
by Brian Bodine    Fri, May 19, 2006, 02:00 PM

An appropriations bill passed by the Texas House earlier this week includes some hefty amounts for some north Texas four year institutions. Many of the appropriations to Texas schools were for the expansion of existing campuses and for building of facilities related to the engineering and science fields. In total, $1.8 billion in college construction bonds was dished out.

Tarleton State University (Stephenville) – $11.1 million dollars for a University Dairy Center and $24.3 million dollars for a nursing building.

Texas A&M University at Texarkana - $75 million for a multipurpose library building and central plant

UT-Arlington – $70.4 million for an engineering Research Building

UT-Dallas – $12 million for a vivarium and experimental space

Additionally, $5.3 was appropriated to the University of Texas System for the purpose of reimbursing debt service paid on “long-term obligations related to the construction of a natural science and engineering research building” at UT-Dallas.

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TAINTED MUFFINS CONTAINED MARY JANE
by Brian Bodine    Fri, May 19, 2006, 12:05 PM

muffins 1.jpgThe muffins that made 18 employees sick at Lake Highlands High School contained marijuana, according to Dallas County health officials. The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram reports that a man in his late teens or early twenties delivered the muffins to the teachers lounge at the school. The man was caught on surveillance video and the FBI is currently looking for the man.

Physician’s reports indicate that the patients tested positive for cannabinoids and showed symptoms consistent with acute marijuana toxicity.

Click here for link 

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HOO-RAY. OR MAYBE NOT
by Trey Garrison    Fri, May 19, 2006, 11:50 AM

The good news: The Dallas-Fort Worth area will be getting more than $2.5 million in grant money to fight gang crime, according to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who was in town yesterday.

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Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
The bad news: Dallas is among the top six cities for gang crime in the country, up there with such lovely places as Cleveland, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Tampa, Fla.

During one of his stops Gonzales said about 80 percent of the meth distributed in the United States comes from Mexican-run organizations - once again showing they're willing to do the jobs Americans aren't doing.

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MAYOR CHECKING IN ON PROJECT EXODUS FOR HURRICANE EVACUEES
by Trey Garrison    Fri, May 19, 2006, 11:18 AM

Mayor Laura Miller is out and about this morning seeing first-hand how caseworkers are helping hurricane evacuees living in Dallas to get back on their feet.


Rocky Vaz, project coordinator of Project Exodus, will be taking Mayor Miller for a ride-along on visits to two different clients. Over the past few weeks, these caseworkers have been working on a one-on-one basis to determine both the immediate and long-term needs of evacuees currently in Dallas.

A triage of every individual, combined with intensive case management, is allowing them to create an action plan toward independence for the evacuees.

In late March, after funding hotel expenses for those evacuees not eligible for FEMA extensions, $500,000 from the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund was allocated to bring on additional case managers to help with the long-term needs of the evacuees in the Project Exodus program.

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STRAYHORN SAYS SHE WOULD REPEAL NEW TAX
by Scott Bennett    Fri, May 19, 2006, 10:39 AM

Texas Comptroller Carol Strayhorn is also an independent candidate for Governor of Texas.  Yesterday she said that her top priority as governor would be to repeal the new business tax that Gov. Perry had signed into law only a few hours before.  She didn't say what she would propose to provide the revenue that tax would raise.  Nor did she, as some had expected, announce she was going to certify  the revenue levels for the tax as required by law.

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PEW OFFERS OVERVIEW OF ALL RECENT IMMIGRATION POLLS
by Scott Bennett    Fri, May 19, 2006, 10:34 AM

The Pew Center for Hispanic Research has created a compendium of recent polls on the subject of immigration.  The complete report may be downloaded here.

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AA WANTS DFW PASSENGERS AT THE GATE EARLIER
by Special to DallasBlog.com    Fri, May 19, 2006, 10:27 AM

Typically American Airlines wants you at your flight gate 30-minutes before the flight takes off.  But in anticipation of summer planes loaded with inexperienced flyers AA will be asking passengers at DFW Airport to be at the gate at least 40-minutes earlier.  The airline believes this will help with getting luggage on flights.  The airline also notes that more passengers are using remote or Terminal D Parking that requires more commute time to their gate.

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NEBRASKA WANTS OUT OF WRIGHT
by Special to DallasBlog.com    Fri, May 19, 2006, 10:23 AM

nebraska.jpgThe Nebraska Congressional delegation has introduced a bill that would exempt that state from the Wright Amendment.  It also wants planes taking off from Love Field in Dallas to be able to write "through tickets" that would allow anyone stopping in Omaha to fly to another destination without have to recheck luggage.  Sources say that the Colorado delegation is planning to introduce similar legislation in the next few weeks.  Tennessee already has a similar bill pending.  However, Texas Congressman Joe Barton, chairman of the House Commerce Committee, says that no such special exemptions will be granted by Congress.

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JET BOOTED, MAVS BALL THEIR FISTS by The Fish
by Mike Fisher    Fri, May 19, 2006, 01:10 AM

Jason Terry balled his fist, and the NBA is pretending it has a hard-and-fast rule about such behavior. As the JET-less Mavs ready for Friday's critical Game 6 against the whiny Spurs, The Fish offers a brief and detailed history of the NBA's mishandling of this and other incidents. ... all in the 'School of Fish'':

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