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KRLD 1080 - Texas
Habitat For Humanity Building House In Sundance Square
FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - A house is being built in the middle of Sundance Square in Fort Worth — but it will not stay there.
The house is being built by volunteers for Trinity Habitat for Humanity.
CEO Gage Yager says the house will eventually go onto a lot in Hillside Morningside.
“We'll build it here through the end of the week and move it out on Monday,” says Yager.
This is the tenth year in a row that Habitat for Hunanity is building a house in downtown Fort Worth.
The latest one is a three-bedroom, two-bath, one-car garage house; about 1100 square feet.
It’s being built for Jeanessa Leadley, who says the house means the world to her.
“It's been too long years,” says Leadley. “I can look over now at Sundance square and say, ‘This is my home here.’”
Leadley has two sons, ages 10 and 8.
The house will be a godsend for them too.
“They're actually going to get to have their own room, which means a lot right now,” says Leadley. “We're in one bedroom at my dad's house, and there's three of us in that one room.
“For them to have their own room and understand that their mom has worked hard to get to where we're at, it's going to make a big difference,” Leadley says.
Habitat is not merely giving Leadley the house — it is selling her the house at market value but will not charge her interest on the mortgage.
Leadley is also helping build the house.
“They invest sweat equity, as we call it,” says Yager. “250 hours building the home and going to some training classes.
“Giveaway typically doesn't work well from long-term sustainability perspective,” Yager continues, “but partnership and investment and work — tried and true, and it works.”
While volunteers are building the exterior of the house, licensed contractors will do the work inside the house, including electrical and plumbing.
Bill Decriminalizing Posession Of 2 Oz Or Less Of Marijuana Closer To Gov. Abbott's Desk
AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - State Representative Joe Moody’s bill was passed favorably out of the House Criminal Jurisprudence committee by a vote of 5-to-2. “It doesn’t make marijuana legal. It doesn’t allow medical use. It’s a fourth approach which keeps marijuana illegal but enforces those laws with a civil penalty instead of a criminal one.”
Moody says the legislation makes fiscal sense for Texas. “There are roughly 70,000 per year for marijuana possession in Texas, about 97% of which are for small amounts. As a percentage of total arrests and therefore total budget that creates a price tag of nearly $734 million every single year.”
This is the second time the in the past two legislative sessions the bill has made it out of committee.
Back in 2017 a State House committee passed Moody’s bill favorably but was too late to get scheduled for a full vote in the House. This time the bill has bipartisan support and has the support of Governor Abbott.
The bill is now headed to a State House Calendars committee to be scheduled for a full House vote.
Lawsuit Filed Against Harris County Tank Farm Following Fire
HOUSTON (1080 KRLD) - The Intercontinental Terminals Company complex caught fire Sunday, March 17th.
This lawsuit is on behalf of a family of seven who live in nearby Denver Harbor and were exposed to the chemicals that wafted out of the tank farm following the blaze.
The lawsuit says all were sickened. The family consists of a grandparent, a husband and wife and their four children.
Houston Attorney Benny Agosto Jr says a dark cloud of smoke hung over their home for three days. "The husband of the family was hospitalized overnight. The mom, the elderly mom was also hospitalized, both of them for respiratory problems.
Agosto says the suit asks to preserve the evidence and the ability to inspect the property. They're also suing ITC's spokeswoman Alice Richardson for what he claims is minimizing the effect of the chemical release.
He says she "indicated it was nothing to worry about, they were dealing with the fire but never giving a warning to evacuate or be prepared for the toxic carbon emissions."
Agosto says this lawsuit is the first of many his firm will file.
This suit asks for damages in excess of $2 million.
Oklahoma Officials To Announce Settlement In Opioid Case
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter says he will announce a "breaking development" in the state's lawsuit against the nation's leading manufacturers of opioid pain medications.
Hunter said in a statement that he will hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Tulsa, but gave no further details.
The move comes after the Oklahoma Supreme Court Monday denied a request from drugmakers to postpone the start of what is expected to be the first state trial in lawsuits accusing the companies of fueling an opioid epidemic.
Oklahoma sued 13 opioid manufacturers in 2017, alleging they fraudulently engaged in marketing campaigns that led to thousands of overdose addictions and deaths.
State officials have said that since 2009, more Oklahoma residents have died from opioid-related deaths than in vehicle crashes.
Child Dies From Flu In Denton County
DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Health officials say a child has died from the flu in Denton County. It's the county's first pediatric flu-related death of the 2018-2019 season. That brings the state-wide total of child flu-related deaths to eight this season. One of those previous cases was in Garland.
Dallas County has reported a total of 14 flu-related deaths this season. The most recent was a 71-year-old patient who died last week. The CDC has classified flu activity in Texas as "regional," which is less severe than the "widespread" designation in Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico. The latest influenza surveillance report from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows a drop in the number of flu cases state-wide from their peak in early February.
Health officials in Denton County are still urging people to get the flu vaccine. They're also recommending that people who experience flu-like symptoms visit a doctor. Those systems include fever, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and headaches.
Hail, Severe Thunderstorms Roll Across North Texas Sunday Evening
DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Severe weather alerts were in effect throughout north Texas Sunday afternoon.
Many parts of the Metroplex saw hail, setting off tornado sirens although there were no reports of tornadoes.
Severe thunderstorm warnings are expected to be in effect until at least 11 p.m. Sunday.
California Grower Recalls Avocados Over Possible Listeria
ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California company is voluntarily recalling whole avocados over possible listeria contamination.
Henry Avocado, a grower and distributor based near San Diego, said Saturday that the recall covers conventional and organic avocados grown and packed in California. The company says they were sold in bulk across California, Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina and New Hampshire.
There have been no reports of any illnesses associated with the avocados.
The company says it issued the voluntary recall after a routine inspection of its packing plant revealed samples that tested positive for listeria.
The company says avocados imported from Mexico and distributed by Henry are not being recalled and are safe.
Listeria is a bacteria that can cause fever and diarrhea, and more dangerous complications in pregnant women.
Flight Attendant Released from Immigration Center
DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - A Texas based flight attendant who was held in an immigration facility since the February 12 has been released.
Selene Roman was brought to the US from Peru as a three year old, and was granted legal status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The 28-year-old, who had attended Texas A&M, flew with Mesa Airlines.
She asked her employer not to place her on a flight to Monterrey, Mexico as DACA recipients are not supposed to leave and re-enter the United States. A supervisor wrote that she would be ok, and Roman, who had been on the job only a month and was on probationary status did not want to lose her job.
Upon her return from Mexico, Roman was detained at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston for 24 hours and then taken to the Montgomery processing center in Conroe.
Her husband, David Watkins, says the ordeal has been exhausting. "I could only visit her once a week for an hour through two inches of glass. I'm not even allowed to touch her. She wasn't doing well at all. She was experiencing high anxiety and severe depression."
Her attorney says they learned this week government sought to revoke her DACA status and which would lead to her deportation to Peru.
Roman is scheduled to appear before an immigration judge next month.
El Paso County Sheriff Deputy Is In Critical Condition After Being Shot
EL PASO (1080 KRLD) - El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Peter Herrera is in critical condition after being shot during an early morning traffic stop.
Investigators say he approached a vehicle in San Elizario and someone started shooting. The people in the vehicle took off on foot. Deputies arrrested two suspects a few blocks away where they also found a gun that may have been used in the shooting.
Deputy Herrera underwent surgery. At the last report, he was in critical but stable condition.
The names of the suspects have not been released.
Hot Texas Prisons Prompt Lawmakers To Consider Air Conditioning, Depending On Cost
AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - Sweltering conditions in Texas Prisons in the summer has lawmakers considering adding air conditioning.
State Representative Terry Canales’s bill (House Bill 936) would require prisons to be no cooler than 65 degrees and no hotter than 85.
Canales told House Corrections Committee members "The odor itself is criminal. It’s disgusting, It’s terrible, it’s not fair, it’s inhumane. The way we’re treating these people, the state is acting criminally.”
One problem may be the cost. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) estimates the price-tag for retro-fitting the State’s 75 prisons that currently don’t have AC in the housing areas at $1.2-billion.
The executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Bryan Collier says the numbers are accurate. “That estimate is what we truly believe it would cost, if potentially not more.”
Canales challenged the $1.2-billion fiscal note on his bill. “This is an exorbitant, disingenuous number that’s used to scare away people such as yourselves from saying this can’t happen, we can’t do this…where the heck are we going to get it.” Canales called out the TDCJ for overestimating AC retrofit projects in the past.
Back in 2017 the TDCJ came up with a $20-million estimate to add AC to the Wallace Pack Unit. “The last recent air condition unit that was installed was about $4-million. So when you juxtapose that to this it doesn’t work.”
The committee is also considering amendments to the Canales bill to help cut costs like using prison labor and installing solar panels.