Updated: Wagnon turns self in to Travis County Sheriff, may be out on bond
Lisa Wagnon has reportedly turned herself in to Travis County Sheriff's Department earlier today (Oct. 25). However, an online search of the Travis County Jail population that is updated every 15 minutes (https://public.co.travis.tx.us/sips/default.aspx) shows that L. Wagnon is not in the Travis County jail at this time. She may have paid the $10,000 bond to be released.
Comptroller Offers Matching Scholarships, Tuition Grants to Students in State's Prepaid College Tuition Plan
(AUSTIN) — There is a new way to save for your child’s college tuition.
To encourage families to put aside money for the cost of higher education, the Texas Comptroller’s office is offering competitive matching scholarships and tuition grants to 150 students this year through the Texas Match the Promise Foundation®.
Exterior reconstruction slated for Scott & White Memorial Hospital bed tower
Temple facility façade will switch from copper to stone masonry
CENTRAL TEXAS – (November 2, 2012)Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple will begin reconstruction of the exterior of its main facility, the Center for Advanced Medicine (CAM), in early 2013. This planned exterior reconstruction of the CAM was necessitated by the discovery of wide-ranging and systemic defects. The construction work is a necessary step to ensure the long term viability of the building, while maintaining the highest quality standards for patients and employees, according to Robert W. Pryor, MD, MBA, president and CEO of Scott & White Healthcare.
Scott & White will begin the reconstruction of the CAM in February or Marchof 2013. The expected duration of the construction is 18 months. Hospital officials expressed confidence that the work would be done without disturbing patient care provided at the facility. Cost of the reconstruction project is expected to exceed $20 million.
“After extensive forensic analysis of the building, we have come to the conclusion that there are significant defects in the building envelope that make it imperative that we replace the entire exterior of the CAM,” said Dr. Pryor. “For that reason, among
other measures, we will be replacing the copper façade at the CAM with a new masonry exterior.”
Pryor said that the health and safety of patients and employees at the main facility required Scott & White to take the extraordinary measure of reconstructing significant portions of the exterior of the CAM.
“We are taking all measures necessary to correct the defective building exterior. Once it became evident the defects were both wide-ranging and systemic, Scott & White was able to take appropriate corrective actions to ensure that no patients or employees were endangered in any way,” said Dr. Pryor.
It is anticipated that construction will occur in enclosed 30-foot sections in multiple locations around the building, in order to maintain quality control and limit the impact on patients and building operations. Upon completion, the entire copper façade will be replaced. Scott & White has already begun constructing a mockup of the new exterior wall at a location across the street from the CAM.
Scott & White is pursuing legal action against all parties responsible for the defects in this building, which was completed in 2008, less than five years ago.
“We will not wait on that litigation to fix the problem,” said Dr. Pryor. “We are proceeding in a thorough and responsible fashion. Patient and employee safety comes first.”
Scott & White has been taking quarterly air samplings of the patient care areas in order to confirm the facility is maintaining the appropriate air quality within the building. These samplings have been taken on every floor of the CAM and at different locations on the floor. Approximately 85 rooms have been sampled each time.
“We began and continue to maintain an ongoing air monitoring program that resulted in hundreds of air samples being taken at hundreds of locations throughout the facility,” said Dr. Pryor. “We have not seen any significant variations in the samplings. But we will continue an extensive air sampling program until this reconstruction project is complete.”
Building codes require that hospital air systems maintain positive pressure to the outside. As a result, properly ventilated hospitals should be pushing air out of the building rather than letting outside air push into the building. Scott& White has taken multiple pressure readings throughout the building to confirm that the CAM is correctly pressurized (pushing air out). This is a critical element to any building maintaining the correct air quality and allows for the control of temperature and humidity within the building at the correct levels.
Earlier, Scott & White officials brought in building forensic experts to examine areas of the building where there were known leaks. Those areas, and others, were completely disassembled, and in those areas examined, numerous defects were discovered. After confirming multiple problems in all these different locations, Scott & White leadership decided that a reconstruction of the exterior of the CAM was appropriate.
“Those problems are being corrected and we will continue to pursue our goal of being the most trusted and valued name in American health care,” said Dr. Pryor.
About Scott & White Healthcare (sw.org)
Scott & White Healthcare is a non-profit collaborative health care system established in 1897 in Temple, Texas. Among the leading health systems encompassing one of the nation's largest multi-specialty group practices, Scott & White provides personalized, comprehensive health care enhanced by medical education and research. Scott & White Healthcare includes 12 hospital sites with two additional announced facilities, and 143 clinics at more than 65 clinic locations throughout Central Texas providing adult and pediatric care in 46 medical specialties. Integrated, high-quality care is delivered by a dedicated staff of more than 12,000 (including 1,000 physicians and scientists and more than 300 specialized health care providers.) Get the latest news from Scott & White Healthcare by visiting our online newsroom, News blog or on Twitter (@swhealthcare).
This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the named individual. If you are not the named individual you are strictly prohibited from disseminating, distributing, or copying this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. The sender expressly reserves all privileges and confidentiality which might otherwise be waived as a result of an erroneous or misdirected transmission. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses. The sender therefore does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this message, which arise as a result of e-mail transmission. If verification is required please request a hard-copy version. No employee or agent is authorized to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of Scott & White Healthcare or any affiliated entity with another party by email without express written confirmation by the CEO or the Vice President of Supply Chain Services. Scott & White Healthcare www.sw.org
CTC Continuing Education registering for November classes
Registration for Continuing Education classes in November at Central Texas College (CTC) is underway now. A variety of non-credit classes in exercise, business, home décor, cooking and other topics are being offered. Some of the available classes include:
USDA Provides Farm Bill Funding for Pest and Disease Management Programs
WASHINGTON, April 3, 2014 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today the allocation of $48.1 million, provided by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), to projects across the country that will help to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten America's agriculture economy and the environment.
Native and Adapted Plants Help Keep Rivers Flowing
By John Michaelson
AUSTIN, Texas - With drought conditions persisting through the state, more Texans are discovering a solution in their backyards - and putting native plants into landscaping can pay off in more ways than one.
AUSTIN, Texas - September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and according to mental health experts, taking the steps to possibly save someone's life does not require any special skills or training. Melissa Heinen, who coordinates suicide prevention services, said people who are contemplating ending their own lives often speak out - and when they do, friends, family and neighbors need to listen and take action.
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is now offering eligible drivers with unpaid Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) surcharges significant reductions in fees owed as part of a new Incentive Program. In addition, drivers can now apply for the already existing Indigency Program and the new Incentive Program through one application process, which ensures that customers who are denied indigency status will automatically be considered for the Incentive Program if they are eligible. Both programs were created by the Texas Legislature.
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today highlighted notable traffic and criminal laws that go into effect on Sept. 1, 2013.
“As a result of these new provisions, Texans now have additional protection while traveling our roadways, and individuals who disregard our laws will face tougher penalties for a variety of crimes,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS encourages all residents to educate themselves about the laws affecting their lives and to do their part in keeping Texas safe.”
Texas Unemployment Rate Declines for Fourth Consecutive Month
2012 concludes with nearly 11 million jobs in Texas
AUSTIN — Texas’ unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in December, down from 6.2 percent in November and from 7.4 percent a year ago. This marked the fourth straight month that the unemployment rate in Texas has declined. Texas employers added 4,100 total nonfarm jobs in December for a total of 260,800 jobs added over the year. In December 2012, Texas employers reported 10,904,000 total nonfarm jobs.
110,000 New Cancer Cases Recorded in Texas in 2012
Rates Falling in U.S., but Challenges Remain
By John Michaelson
Texas News Service
AUSTIN, Texas - There is good news in the battle against cancer in the United States, although the latest data show serious challenges remain on several fronts.
Greg Cameron, director of communications and market strategies for the High Plains Division of the American Cancer Society in Texas, says overall death rates continue to decline for all of the most common cancers, including lung, colon, prostate and breast.
Most Of Texas Still In Drought, But Storms Could Bring Hope, Says Texas A&M Prof
COLLEGE STATION– Most of Texas is still in a moderate-to-severe drought, but a storm forming 2,000 miles northwest of Hawaii may be the key to drought relief for the state, says a Texas A&M University professor who also serves as the state climatologist.
John Nielsen-Gammon, professor of atmospheric sciences, says that precipitation everywhere in the state has been running below normal since Oct. 1.
Texas Immigrants to Rally on Int'l Human Rights Day
By Peter Malof
Texas News Service
EL PASO, Texas -- Immigrant advocates in Texas are marking INternational Human Rights Day today (Dec. 10) by decrying what they call "systematic violations" of international law and the U.S. Constitution. At a 1 p.m. rally at the border fence in El Paso, protestors will demand sweepign reforms of the immigration system.
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today highlighted the success of the unparalleled Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program, which helps officers identify and recover missing or exploited children. In 2009, DPS launched the IPC program to teach troopers and officers how to identify, recognize, intervene and remove endangered children without obvious signs of abuse being present.
EPA Proposes Approval of Public Participation Rules in Texas’ Clean-Air Plan
(DALLAS – November 30, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to approve the Texas clean-air plan that covers public notification requirements for facilities applying for air permits. The proposed approval applies to existing facilities that plan to make major changes as well as new projects.
State Aid Levels a Mystery as Texans Apply for College
By Peter Malof
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - As they put the finishing touches on their college application essays, many young Texans are unable to estimate how much aid they may be eligible to receive during their quests for diplomas.
Study: Texas Wealth-and-Income Gap Continues to Grow
By Peter Malof
AUSTIN, Texas - A new study based on census figures shows the gap between the rich and poor continues to grow quickly. The most recent figures say Texas has the seventh-highest inequality of any state. Analysts say it's becoming a serious issue for the economy as a whole.
AUSTIN — Employers added 36,600 total nonfarm jobs in October in Texas for a total of 277,400 jobs added over the year. The state’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent in October from 6.8 percent in September. The unemployment rate in Texas remains well below the national rate of 7.9 percent.
Texas WDB launches website with reservoir information
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has launched a new website www.waterdatafortexas.org, which will provide the most comprehensive information available on Texas reservoir conditions. TWDB compiled extensive records from federal, state, and local partners to generate current and historical information on reservoir levels, storage, surface area, and elevation-area-capacity curves. In many cases, the website provides data for the entire history of the reservoir.
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), in partnership with 28 local workforce development areas, will host statewide veterans job fairs on November 15. Hiring Red, White & You! is a joint initiative supported by Gov. Rick Perry, Dr. “Red” Duke Jr., the Texas Veterans Commission and TWC to connect our returning veterans in Texas with Texas employers.
Big Turnout Leads to Big Predictions of Immigration Reform
By Peter Malof Texas News Service
EL PASO, Texas - As political analysts debate whether this week's election results will ease the gridlock in Washington, D.C., some are predicting a quick breakthrough on at least one major issue. Immigration reform has been blocked in recent years - primarily by a Republican base that wants to seal the border first. That stance alienated enough Latino voters to help propel Democrats to a national victory this week, according to Adriana Cadena, statewide coordinator of the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance. She says Hispanic voters will not be satisfied with anything less than comprehensive reforms.
3,000 non-abortion affiliated providers enrolled to provide women’s health services
GEORGETOWN – Gov. Rick Perry and Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner (HHSC) Kyle Janek, M.D. today announced that the state-funded Texas Women’s Health Program (WHP) is ready to begin providing preventative health screenings and services to thousands of low-income Texas women, while fully complying with Texas state law. They were joined by Texas lawmakers at Lone Star Circle of Care at Lake Aire Medical Center, a qualified provider participating in the Texas WHP.
“Earlier this year, the Obama Administration, which is one of Planned Parenthood’s biggest supporters, said they would pull funding from the Women’s Health Program and in response, I promised the women of Texas that they would continue to have access to this important health care, whether funded by the federal government or the state,” said Gov. Perry. “HHSC has been working to line up providers across the state for the new Texas WHP, a program that not only meets the needs of Texas women, it also respects life and honors the will of Texas voters, ensuring no taxpayer money goes to abortion providers and their affiliates.”
Travis’ “Victory or Death” letter to return to the Alamo for first time
Patterson now working to raise $100,000 for once-in-a-lifetime display
AUSTIN — The Texas State Library and Archives Commission voted today to allow the return of Col. Travis’ “Victory or Death” letter to the Alamo in March for the 177th Anniversary of its writing. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, custodian of the Shrine of Texas Liberty, made the request for the historic return.
This is the first time the letter has been at the Alamo since it was written there on February 24, 1836 at the beginning of the famous siege and battle. Col. William Barrett Travis wrote the letter in desperation as the Mexican tyrant Santa Anna’s troops laid siege. His letter — now the crown jewel of Texas history — drew the nation’s attention to the plight the Texians heroic last stand at the Alamo.
“I am honored to be entrusted with the display of this Texas treasure,” Patterson said. “Travis’ ’Victory or Death‘ letter is one of the great, defining documents of American history and will inspire countless Texans who take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see it for themselves.”
Patterson is now working to raise $100,000 in private donations to pay for transportation and security expenses to display the letter.
“The question all Texans will be asking next spring is: Have you seen The Letter?” said Patterson. “We welcome the world to the Alamo to share in this moment in history.”
For more information on the Alamo, please visit the Texas General Land Office website at glo.texas.gov or the Official Alamo website at thealamo.org.
Comptroller Issues Report on Education Debt in Texas
(AUSTIN) — Today Texas Comptroller Susan Combs released the third report in a series focused on transparency entitled Texas It’s Your Money. The report, “Your Money and Education Debt,” provides a snapshot of how much debt public and higher education institutions in Texas are carrying. The report also includes recommendations intended to provide greater transparency regarding education-related public debt in Texas and reduce debt across public and higher education.
17 Groups petition EPA for public reporting of chemical releases from fracking, other oil and gas operations
127,000 Tons of Undisclosed Hazardous Emissions: Oil and Gas Would Join Other Industries, Including Coal, That Already Report to the Toxics Release Inventory; Federal Disclosure for O&G Not Yet Required Despite Surge in Fracking Chemical Pollution.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- October 24, 2012: The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), along with 16 other local, regional, and national organizations petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today to require the oil and gas extraction industry—including companies engaged in fracking—to report to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The oil and gas extraction industry has long used and released large amounts of TRI-listed toxic chemicals, and this has dramatically increased in the last decade with the rapid spread of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”).
A Crowded Courtroom for Day One of TX School Funding Lawsuit
Texas News Service
AUSTIN, Texas - More than a dozen attorneys representing about 600 Texas school districts laid out their case on Monday that the state education funding system is inefficient, outmoded and favors wealthy districts over poor ones. They contend that over time, the system has eroded many students' chances of getting a good education. Five other cases have alleged as much since the 1980s.
AUSTIN –The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Santos Francisco Sanchez, 45, to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender list, and a $5,000 cash reward is now offered for information leading to his capture. The Texas Syndicate gang member has a violent criminal past and is wanted for Parole Violation and Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. All tips can be offered anonymously.
Lloyd Lester Gibson III, 67, a Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender, is now in custody after being arrested in Austin on Monday by the U.S. Marshals Service Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, which includes the Texas Department of Public Safety. Gibson was wanted for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Fort Worth and Parole Violation.
Reward Offered for Most Wanted Fugitive from El Paso
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Ricco Leo Torres, 32, to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive list, and a $10,000 cash reward is now offered for information leading to his capture.
Sexual Predator Fugitive Arrested in Dallas County
AUSTIN – Thomas Lee Elkins, 58, a Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender, is now in custody after being arrested in Coppell on Friday by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol and Coppell Police Department. A $5,000 reward will be paid on a tip that helped lead to his arrest. Elkins was wanted for felony Failure to Comply with Civil Commitment Requirements after discarding his electronic monitoring device and leaving a Houston halfway house October 5.
by Staff Sgt. Gregory Sanders, 504th BFSB Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas – Family and friends bid farewell to nearly 125 Soldiers assigned to 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, during a ceremony at West Fort Hood Gym Thursday morning, Sept. 19, marking the start of a scheduled nine month deployment to Afghanistan.
KILLEEN- U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), Congressman John R. Carter (R-TX31) and Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX 25) will hold a joint press conference the morning of Monday, September 2, to announce new legislation to be introduced in both Houses of Congress that would honor and support the victims of the Nov. 5, 2009 Fort Hood shooting.
Hasan judge rules on relitigated pretrial motions, sets next pretrial hearing date
Fort Hood, Texas -- In a nearly five-hour hearing, the trial judge in the case of the U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, ruled from the bench on several defense motions to reconsider previous rulings and set the next pretrial hearing date in the court-martial for Feb. 27.
504th Battle Field Surveillance Brigade soldiers to recieve Siver Stars
FORT HOOD, Texas -- The III Corps Commanding General will award two Soldiers Silver Stars for action in the Adi Ghar Mountains of Southern Afghanistan at 9:45 a.m. Nov. 2 on Ready Field West Fort Hood.
Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade will receive their Silver Stars during an awards ceremony. At this ceremony the general also will award two Bronze Stars with V devices and two Purple Hearts.
The Silver Star Medal is the United States' third highest award exclusively for combat valor, and ranks fifth in the precedence of military awards behind the Medal of Honor, the Crosses (DSC/NC/AFC), the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (awarded by DOD), and the Distinguished Service Medals of the various branches of service.
Division West, USO host Halloween Open House, Soldier Appreciation Extravaganza
A runner leaps to evade the “ghouls” trying to grab his flags during the 5K competitive run held as part of the Division West Halloween Open House at North Fort Hood, Texas, Oct. 27. Division West hosted the event to show appreciation to the division’s Soldiers and their Families and to the citizens of the unit’s partner community of Gatesville, Texas. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public Affairs)
By Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public Affairs
NORTH FORT HOOD, Texas – While some people prepare for Halloween night to serve up scary costumes and candy, others also use the eerie holiday theme to show their gratitude to Soldiers and Families.
First Army Division West did just that Saturday by hosting its first Halloween Open House, which was immediately followed by a USO-sponsored Soldier Appreciation Extravaganza.
A: The simple explanation is that the leading edge of a cold air mass is moving into an area previously occupied by a warmer air mass, says Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University. "The air mass behind the cold front is noticeably colder and it pushes out the warmer air," McRoberts explains. "As a cold front moves into an area, the heavier, colder air lifts the warmer, lighter air upward. If the warm air is humid enough, water vapor in it will condense and rain can occur. A greater contrast in temperatures between the two air masses will lead to stronger upward motion, which is why strong cold fronts often trigger thunderstorms."
Q: How fast can the temperature drop when a cold front arrives?
A: Sometimes amazingly fast, McRoberts adds. It is not uncommon for the temperature to drop 15 degrees or more in just one hour after a cold front arrives. "There are some incredible stories about temperature changes, with one in particular that stands out" he adds. "On Jan. 22, 1943, the town of Spearfish, SD was sitting on the edge of an arctic air mass and recorded a temperature of -4 degrees at 7:30 in the morning. Within two minutes, the thermometer shot up to 45 degrees because of strong ‘Chinook’ winds descending down a nearby mountain peak. By 9 a.m. the temperature was up to 54 degrees, but as the winds died down and the cold air mass settled in, the temperature fell to -4 degrees within 27 minutes, a 58-degree temperature drop that is still believed to be a record."