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Trio of Public Safety Rallies Saturday
Pro-police rally amid anti-police-brutality rallies makes confrontation a possibility
News Story  September 17, 2015, by Chase Hoffberger


Top 10 Public-Safety Stories
News Story  January 2, 2009, by Jordan Smith and Richard Whittaker
"...1) The Fire This Time It was a bad year for the Texas Department of Public Safety. On June 8, the night the Governor's Mansion burned, the sole officer on duty and his semifunctional video-surveillance cameras didn't see, and thus didn't stop, the cargo-pants arsonist who did the damage..."

Top 10 Law Enforcement/Public Safety Stories
Year in review for cops and firefighters
News Story  January 7, 2005
"...10) Troopergate: On Dec. 15, the Texas Department of Public Safety was slapped by a Travis Co..."

Reclaiming Texas History, One Home Movie at a Time
The missionary zeal of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image
Screens Story  February 27, 2009, by Josh Rosenblatt
"...Down by the railroad tracks on Austin's Eastside, in a small brick building behind a coffee shop, you'll find the office of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image. The day I visited, the office was under siege by dozens of film canisters that had been delivered by the Texas Department of Public Safety that morning; the canisters held films from the Fifties and Sixties trumpeting the importance of bike safety, the ins and outs of hurricane preparedness, and the dangers of drunken driving..."

Of Family Heirlooms and Industrial Films
The Texas Archive of the Moving Image preserves the state's cinematic roads less traveled
Screens Story  May 27, 2011, by Josh Rosenblatt
"...TAMI is also screening movies from its digital video library to run before each of the Paramount's scheduled features. On Saturday and Sunday, before Spy Kids, "Mission Possible: Bike Safety," an educational film shot in Austin in the 1970s by the Texas Department of Public Safety, will screen..."

Scene of the Crime
Revisiting the yogurt shop murders: A cold case reconsideration of the 1991 crime points away from the prosecution's assumptions and conclusions
News Story  December 16, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...He was out that night riding with a local news crew working on a feature about homicide in Texas. The cameras were rolling as they pulled into the parking lot of the yogurt shop; the footage, played in court in 2001, showed a chaotic scene of public safety officials tramping in and out of what they would soon learn was the scene of a quadruple murder..."

The Tire Mound of Mystery
Thousands of city tires lie moldering southeast of town – and the city is claiming ignorance
News Story  December 4, 2009, by Jordan Smith
"...There are very good reasons for those rules. Abandoned tires attract rodents and snakes and provide an excellent breeding environment for mosquitoes, all of which pose very serious health and safety issues..."

Bill of the Week: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It
Companion bills aims to give more local control of wire taps
DAILY News  May 4, 2013, by Brandon Watson
"...Currently, the Texas Department of Public Safety is the only non-federal entity allowed to conduct such surveillance. Advocates for the bill say the expanded authority would allow local agencies to act more quickly in drug cartel investigations by avoiding hurdles with DPS..."

Double The Flow Rate of Niagara Falls
City releases new Onion Creek flooding stats
DAILY News  November 7, 2013, by Brandon Watson
"...Meanwhile the Flood Assistance Center is expanding the services offered to flood victims. Today, the Texas Department of Public Safety will be on hand to assist with identification replacement..."

Williams Receives Last-Minute Stay of Execution
Tyler native originally set to die Thursday evening
DAILY News  July 16, 2015, by Chase Hoffberger
"...The application, delivered to the CCA on Wednesday, came in response to a letter the Texas Attorney General received June 30 from the Texas Department of Public Safety informing that it was notified in May of “errors in the FBI-developed population database.” The letter, Williams’ attorneys Seth Kretzer and James Volberding note, “explained that these errors affected the DNA testing in Texas back to 1999.”..."

The Future of Austin’s Crime Lab
The backlog of DNA evidence is moving, but is it shrinking?
News Story  December 1, 2016, by Sarah Marloff
"...(SWIFS will continue clearing Austin's backlog after a local lab reopens. The local lab is expected to focus on newly acquired evidence.) The Department of Public Safety is in possession of evidence from an additional 112 pending cases, 104 of which contain SAFEs, while newly collected kits are currently being sent to the DPS, which has agreed to process 20 cases each month that APD officials and district prosecutors determine are in need of expedited testing...."

West, Ammonium Nitrate, And the Myopia of Terrorism
House hearing shows emphasis on public safety, not health and safety
DAILY News  May 5, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...The system worked exactly how it was supposed to: That was the takeaway from Wednesday's meeting of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety into late month's disaster in West, Texas. Nevertheless, the question was raised: With its emphasis on self-reporting and the threat of terrorism, Texas may be looking the wrong way...."

Judges: Move the Lab out of APD!
Court judiciary pens memo to Council, county commissioners
DAILY News  December 6, 2016, by Sarah Marloff
"...“We … believe that it is essential that the City of Austin and Travis County rely upon an independent lab for all forensic testing,” read the memo, delivered to Mayor Steve Adler, City Council, the Travis County Commissioners Court, and the Public Safety Commission. The judges said the recommendation came based on three considerations: national forensic best practices recommending that forensic investigations be independent of law enforcement; the damaged integrity of the APD DNA lab, compromised such that “future use is deemed unreliable”; and their determination that APD “has proven incapable of producing timely and reliable results.”..."

Color of Justice
A drug bust in tiny Tulia, Texas opens up old racial wounds and raises questions about the veracity of the undercover cop-for-hire who orchestrated it all.
News Story  July 28, 2000, by Nate Blakeslee
"...Coleman has since begun another undercover assignment for a drug task force in Southeast Texas. For his work in Tulia, the Department of Public Safety named him Outstanding Lawman of the Year...."

Lege Limits Use of Cannabis Oil for Epileptics
Compassionate misuse
News Story  November 17, 2016, by Nina Hernandez
"...Her 14-year-old daughter Catherine, who has suffered from epilepsy for more than a decade, would be able to legally use a low-THC cannabis oil called CBD (Cannabidiol) to reduce the number and intensity of her seizures. That feeling morphed into one of despair three weeks ago, when the Texas Department of Public Safety released its preliminary rules for the program, which advocates are calling restrictive and unreasonable...."

Hair Analysis: The Root of the Evidence Problem
Texas takes on first-in-the-nation statewide case review
DAILY News  January 13, 2014, by Jordan Smith
"...Twenty labs across the state do hair analysis, FSC general counsel Lynn Robitaille Garcia told the commissioners, including 12 Department of Public Safety labs and eight additional public labs (generally county or police department crime labs). The labs are currently in the process of going back and "identifying hair cases" to submit for possible review, she said..."

Hundreds of Children Removed From FLDS Compound
State officials descend on West Texas polygamist sect after allegations of abuse
News Story  April 11, 2008, by Jordan Smith
"...Dozens of law enforcement officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Schleicher Co. Sheriff's Office accompanied nearly three dozen Child Protective Services investigators onto the 1,691-acre private compound on April 3, in search of a 16-year-old girl who called a local family-violence shelter last Monday, March 31, to report that she had been "sexually and physically abused at the ranch," said Department of Family and Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar..."

SCOTUS Punts on Fisher vs. UT, Lifts Part of Voting Rights Act
Two major rulings from the Supreme Court
News Story  June 28, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Gov. Rick Perry resurrected his 10th Amendment pandering by calling it "a clear victory for federalism and the states." Attorney General Greg Abbott responded quickly, saying that "With today's decision, the State's voter ID law will take effect immediately." The Texas Department of Public Safety will now start issuing Election Identification Certifi­cates, a free ID that can be used solely to take part in elections..."

The Rest of the Races
Anti-Soifer site comes down, Hidalgo Co. turnout goes up, and Williamson Co. (as usual) veers right
News Story  March 5, 2004
"...His four opponents have cried foul, and Wilson didn't help matters by leading a purge of the sheriff's office immediately after being appointed. The contenders include another James Wilson, the former director of the Texas Department of Public Safety; former longtime Williamson Co..."

Texas Governor to Decriminalize Pot!
Perry claims progress … but the facts are not so plain
DAILY News  January 24, 2014, by Jordan Smith
"...According to yearly crime data compiled by the Department of Public Safety, arrests for drug possession have steadily increased during Perry's tenure. Arrests for pot possession have remained a large percentage of all drug-possession arrests, while racial disparities – with a disproportionate percentage of blacks facing arrest – persist...."

The Science of Injustice
Capital murder case highlights Texas courts' resistance to physical evidence
News Story  August 19, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...He had been seen with her at the school the day she disappeared, several hairs matching Trotter were found in Swear­ingen's pickup truck (although he did not dispute that they were friends), and, most damning, during their third search of Swear­in­gen's home, police said they were given a leg of panty hose that Swearingen's landlord had found while cleaning up Swearingen's rented trailer. A Department of Public Safety analyst later said it was a positive match to the leg found tied around Trotter's neck. Time of Death..."

Constable Says Politics Drove Recall of Warrants
Pre-election antics get off to a roaring start
News Story  August 19, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...Similarly, even facing the Obama bump of 2008, Vann lost by less than 2 percentage points. If Ballesteros runs again in 2012, he is expected to draw primary challengers who will run on old allegations dating back to his 1998 firing from the Texas Department of Public Safety..."

Who’s Testing APD’s Backlog of Evidence?
“Everything is on hold”
News Story  February 23, 2017, by Sarah Marloff
"...Austin Police have accumulated more than 4,000 untested DNA cases since the June shutdown of the department's forensics lab, and very little evidence has been tested in the interim. According to updates provided by APD Forensic Unit Commander Mike Eveleth to the Public Safety Com­mis­sion and Sex Crimes Unit Lt..."

85th Texas Legislature Preview
Can the GOP-run House and Senate get along well enough to get anything accomplished?
News Story  January 12, 2017, by the News Staff
"...Paul Betten­court, R-Houston, any raise over four cents would automatically trigger a vote. Both the Texas Municipal League and the Texas Association of Counties have issued warnings that SB 2 could cripple the state's ability to pay for essential services like roads and public safety, while providing little to no meaningful tax relief to residents..."

Will Texas Be Safe for Romeos and Juliets?
Senate committee recommends not implementing federal sex offender law
News Story  January 14, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...As of Jan. 6, there were 64,565 names on the state's sex offender registry, which is maintained by the Department of Public Safety..."

The Last Texas Ranger
They don't make 'Rangers' like Walker anymore.
News Story  October 26, 2001, by Lucius Lomax
"...Occasional help was still solicited and given. The Department of Public Safety juggled regulations to allow the show's producers right of first refusal for buying seized autos at state auction..."

Ozone of His Own
Texas environmentalists wonder when George W. Bush will face up to the consequences of killing the Tejas emissions-reduction program.
News Story  September 8, 2000, by Louis Dubose
"...Hazel Barbour monitors emissions data collected by the current testing program -- which is run by the Department of Public Safety -- from her office at the TNRCC. In a telephone interview, Barbour explained the workings of the defunct Tejas program..."

House of Cards
Critics say the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs awards low-income housing tax-credits to undeserving developers.
News Story  October 22, 1999, by Kevin Fullerton
"...This year, the state's biggest affordable housing program was supposed to operate strictly by the book, or so legislators were told. The days of shoveling public subsidies into questionable developments were over, out the door with the housing agency's former director, Larry Paul Manley, who resigned last year with FBI and Department of Public Safety agents on his trail..."

Prying Open the Case of the Missing Door
Mystery surrounds case of missing right-hand door of Mt. Carmel
News Story  August 18, 2000, by Robert Bryce
"...On June 26, a trooper with the Dept. of Public Safety, Sgt..."

The Life and Times of Gus Garcia
City Council Member Gus Garcia retires after more than 30 years of public service
News Story  June 2, 2000, by Daryl Slusher
"...After that crossing of the Rubicon, there was no longer any question where Garcia stood on the environment. He branched out further, becoming a strong advocate for sustainability, pedestrian safety, bicycles, energy conservation, and light rail..."

The Hottest Race in Texas
The David Fisher-Todd Staples Senate Contest in East Texas Will Decide the Fate of the State Senate -- and the U.S. House
News Story  October 27, 2000, by Michael King
"...Brian Olsen, executive director of the state Correctional Employees Council 7 (the officers union), based in Huntsville, emphasizes that a pay raise (which he insists could and should be enacted immediately) is not the only important issue. "We're also talking about hazardous duty pay, training of new officers, safety, and treatment by supervisors," Olsen said..."

Reed Appeals 'Conviction of an Innocent Man'
A federal appeal attacks the state's 'airtight" case against death-row inmate Rodney Reed.
News Story  February 28, 2003, by Jordan Smith
"..."The manner in which the [Texas Dept. of Public Safety] analysts collected the evidence in Mr..."

Battle of the Badges
Second annual amateur boxing tourney raises funds for kids
DAILY News  January 25, 2016, by Nina Hernandez
"...First responders are no strangers to putting their bodies on the line in the name of public safety...."

Shades of Gray
In Texas Prisons, It's Hard to Tell Who Your Enemies Are
News Story  April 28, 2000, by Nate Blakeslee
"...Single instructors teach up to 100 recruits at a time, making hands-on training prohibitive. Dangerously little time is spent on self-defense and other basic safety tactics, Godwin said...."

Need to Take a Serious Look at Alternative Forms of Transportation
Postmarks  July 15, 2008
"...Austin’s streets don’t have nearly enough bike routes, sidewalks, and crosswalks for its population. Ever notice how many people stand in the center of a street trying to cross with no crosswalk around? Even our former mayor killed a pedestrian who was trying to cross North Lamar. Until our society deals with overcoming this pressure toward using automobiles, no perceivable changes can be made to our safety..."

1997 Texas Legislature Press Bills
News Column  August 15, 1997
"...It also requires that a bond, not a down payment, be posted for copy orders of more than $100. HB1176: Lists information available to the public regarding convictions, deferred ajudication, and sex offender registration maintained by the Department of Public Safety..."

Want to Sell Cannabidiol in Texas?
You’re going to need more money
News Story  March 23, 2017, by Montinique Monroe
"...18, 2016). The Department of Public Safety, the agency overseeing the TCU's rollout and eventual regulation, has made it hard for aspiring suppliers to even apply for entry into the industry – reducing the minimum number of in-state licensees from 12 to three, and imposing a licensing fee of $488,520 for a two-year contract – up from $6,000, yet somehow, after a November 2016 proposal to jack the cost up to $1.3 million, still somewhat "compassionate" in comparison..."

Citizens Should Question Certain Areas of Law
Postmarks  June 26, 2009
"...There has been an obvious increase in expenditure for the promotion of such campaigns. The heavy advertising of regulatory programs like "Click It or Ticket" and "Texas Sure" conveniently coincide with the proposed Department of Public Safety checkpoints..."

The Name of the Game
Raising deer, oryx, antelope, and more on central texas ranches
Food Story  June 7, 2002, by MM Pack
"..."We've got more deer in Texas than the UK ever dreamed about," he had thought. "Maybe I should look into this." He started talking to chefs about markets for venison, and realized that Americans were uncomfortable with the origins, safety, and quality of game products..."

Bill of the Week
House wants to throw some money at border problems
News Column  April 2, 2015, by Amy Kamp


Downballot Details: A Bag of Run-offs
In the downballot races, the GOP has more to consider
News Story  July 20, 2012, by Michael King
"...Senate race ("No Way to Pick a Senator") and a half-dozen contested races for precinct chair, the only other contest on the Travis County ballot is in Precinct 2: the run-off between Michael Car­gill and Adan Ballasteros for constable of that precinct. As Richard Whittaker has reported ("Mud and Experience," May 5), each of these candidates carries significant baggage: Incum­bent Ballasteros has a clouded history from his earlier career with the Department of Public Safety, while challenger Cargill apparently does not meet the law enforcement qualifications for the job and is most prominently supported by handgun enthusiasts for his opposition to even minimal gun controls..."

Then There's This: Redemption, Texas
Theatre en Bloc Brings one gay rights activist's fight to the stage
News Column  September 14, 2012, by Amy Smith
"..."One of the key goals [of the bill] was to deter and lessen the number of hate crimes in our state," Hardy-Garcia says, pointing to Department of Public Safety statistics that reflect a steady decline in the number of hate crimes reported. However, the work to end hate-related violence in Texas didn't stop with the Byrd legislation..."

Eve of Destruction?
The City plans for a big New Year's Eve party downtown while East Sixth Street merchants complain of threat of competition
News Story  October 29, 1999, by Andy Langer
"...But of course, the unknown, uncharted, and highly volatile factor that most adds to an already anticipation- and frustration-filled event is the event's namesake, Y2K. As if the safety, accessibility, and winter storm concerns attached to inviting 200,000 people to a free event weren't troublesome enough, Y2K ushers in the dual fears of a global computer meltdown and domestic terrorism...."

Fairness, Consistency, Safety
Rosemary Lehmberg defends her record
News Story  January 20, 2012
"...But do you know what happens on domestic violence cases in the meantime?" And he didn't. He didn't know that we develop a safety plan for the victim, that we developed protective orders and got them in place...."

The Discipline of Numbers
The Austin ISD crime and disciplinary statistics give a partial but confusing picture.
News Story  May 16, 2003, by Jordan Smith
"...of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics bear Fuller out -- schools are by far the safest places for children. As Judy Rennick from the Texas School Safety Center at Southwest Texas State University points out, in Texas the most tragic incident involving student deaths actually occurred at a church -- in September 1999, at the Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, where seven people were shot and killed, four of them high school students..."

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled... Firefighting Gear?
Firehouse Subs has a unique plan to save the environment and your house
DAILY Food  February 1, 2013, by Kenny Pailes
"...Then, the restaurant's parent corporation combines 100% of the proceeds from those bucket sales and combines them with cash donations (collected from special canisters, featured prominently in every store). The result is the multi-million dollar Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which funds grants to fire departments around the nation...."

Public Notice: First, Do No Harm
Council dives in
News Column  February 5, 2015, by Nick Barbaro
"...Monday, March 23: Public Safety; Community Relations With City Staff, Services and Officials; Resiliency..."

Public Notice: Learning to Share?
A full week of Proposition 1
News Column  April 28, 2016, by Nick Barbaro
"...Just time for a quick recap of the week (as John Oliver would say), and we begin where last week left off, with City Council blasting Ridesharing Works for Austin's "deceptive campaign" regarding who will conduct background checks under the terms of the current ordinance. At an April 21 press conference, CM Delia Garza, joined by other members of the council, said "Uber and Lyft are running a deceptive campaign in a blatant attempt to confuse the voters and allow the corporations to write their own public safety rules..."

Battle of the Bathroom Bigots
Austin's "bathroom bill" aims to protect rather than demonize trans residents
News Story  May 26, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...With the escalating state-backed hostility toward trans people – much of it creepily focused on bathrooms – local advocates and allies are working to ensure transgender Austinites feel safe and welcome in facilities around town by promoting the city's own bathroom-related ordinance, which protects rather than demonizes trans people. The real threat, advocates say, is the right-wing legislators perpetuating misinformation and fear among the public. Hate, Not Safety..."

Texas Police Say 'No' to Immigration Enforcement
Localizing immigration enforcement is harmful
DAILY News  February 17, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...In his comments, Acevedo was blunt: "This is not a public safety dispute," he said. "This has to do with emotion, the economy and scapegoating, from my perspective," he continued..."

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