Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
Edited By Mike Clark-Madison, Fri., Nov. 5, 2004
A Four more years of, uh, hell? Kerry carries Travis Co. while losing Texas.
The 2004 Election at a Glance
A Lloyd Doggett and Chet Edwards win re-election, but other targeted Texas Democrats lose their congressional seats. Tom DeLay is still Tom DeLay, but Tom Daschle is not Tom Daschle. Both houses of U.S. Congress are now a deeper red.
A The Dems actually pick up one seat in the Texas House though many close races are headed to recount. GOP casualties include our own Jack Stick and Houston toad Talmadge Heflin. Todd Baxter barely survives maybe.
A Travis Co. remains a vivid blue. Two of three Keel brothers unexpectedly get stomped. Dem and GOP incumbent 3rd Court judges both narrowly survive. The train wins in a walk. See pp.20-28 for the election rundown.
In Other News
APD rookie Officer Amy Donovan, 37, was killed on Oct. 30 after she was hit and pinned against a telephone pole by a department patrol car while pursuing a suspicious person on foot in East Austin. Donovan was trying to question 25-year-old Nicholas Jarmon in the 1300 block of Poquito shortly before 11pm Saturday when he fled the scene. Donovan pursued Jarmon on foot while her partner, Officer Adrian Valdovino (also a rookie), remained in the patrol car, trying to block Jarmon's escape. Instead, Valdovino put the car into reverse and hit Donovan, pinning her against a telephone pole. Donovan is the 19th APD officer, and first sworn female officer, to die in the line of duty; she was among 78 cadets to graduate from the academy in June, the same class that lost a cadet in April when Trina Kay Andretti was killed in a car wreck while driving home from the APD academy. Jarmon was arrested on Nov. 1 and charged with a parole violation. Jordan Smith
A coalition of groups calling itself the Protect Our Kids Campaign made a last-ditch effort on Monday to convince the State Board of Education not to approve any of four health textbooks up for adoption on Thursday. Coalition members, which include Planned Parenthood, the Texas Freedom Network, and some 175 clergy members, delivered about 5,000 postcards from Texans charging that the four textbooks up for adoption misinform high school students about STD prevention no trivial matter in the state with one of the highest teen birth rates and HIV infection rates in the nation. None of the books even mention condoms or other contraceptives, apparently because the publishers interpret the state's charge that schools provide an "abstinence-based" education to mean "abstinence-only." Since two rounds of public hearings over the summer resulted in no change to the proposed rubber-free books, chances are good that the abstinence-only jihadis on the board will carry the day. Rachel Proctor May
A student was found dead in his car on the Texas State University-San Marcos campus Tuesday with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Investigators found a .38-caliber revolver by his side and are awaiting the results of an autopsy. The student, Douglas Russell Thompson, was a first-semester freshman from Lumberton (near Port Arthur). TSU's Mark Hendricks said that police executed a search of Thompson's dorm room but found nothing that aided in the investigation. The shooting took place late Monday night or early Tuesday, near Jackson Residence Hall. Daniel Mottola
Austin Energy cut the ribbon on its new state-of-the-art 300-megawatt gas-fueled Sand Hill Energy Center, a power plant that the utility says represents the most efficient and cleanest technology available today. The plant, just east of the airport on Fallwell Lane, boasts 30% more efficiency than a traditional plant, recycling heat exhaust to produce steam that runs a turbine generator. Some energy watchers have questioned why AE built a whole new fossil-fuel plant while promoting its clean-energy initiatives, but AE says the plant's emissions are lower than state and federal regulations require. The addition of the plant to the city's power grid paves the way for the closure of units 1 and 2 of the aging Holly Power Plant this December; the other two Holly units are set for shutdown in December 2007. D.M.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board adopted a set of "accountability measures" for Texas colleges and universities, responding to a January directive from Gov. Rick Perry. All institutions of higher learning must now submit data showing how they measure up in areas such as student-teacher ratio and percentage of tenure-track faculty; however, there are no penalties for institutions that do not measure up. R.P.M.
After six months of study, researchers with the Police Executive Research Forum last week presented city leaders with 59 recommendations for improving APD's recruiting, training, and community relations. In the 132-page report, PERF recommends that APD increase both use-of-force and communication skills training, coordinate recruiting and training functions to reduce academy attrition, expand community outreach and its relationship with the Office of the Police Monitor, and make plans to build a new academy facility. J.S.
Bread for the World and the Texas Bible Chair Foundation will sponsor a Hunger Workshop on Saturday, Nov. 6, 10am-4pm, at University Christian Church, 2007 University Ave. For more info, call 454-7679 or e-mail email@example.com. Lee Nichols
You may have seen the somewhat famous photo by Austin photographer Alan Pogue of Asraa, the Iraqi girl who had her arm blown off by a coalition bomb. On Saturday, Nov. 6, 6-10pm, Pogue's Texas Center for Documentary Photography and Veterans for Peace will host Asraa and her father, Abdul Ameir, in a benefit to help fund her medical treatment and the prosthetic arm she recently received in Houston. There will also be a silent auction of Pogue's photos, and a $25 donation is requested. The Old School, 1604 E. 11th. For more info, 478-8387 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. L.N.