Local News

Leading Off (4/21/17)

Day three of deliberations in the John Wiley Price case, Bernie Sanders visits Grand Prairie, and Earth Day Texas kicks off.

There’s Still No Verdict in the John Wiley Price Trial. The federal jury will move into Day 3 of deliberations this morning in the bribery and tax evasion case against the Dallas County commissioner. Also, prosecutors filed a brief Thursday disputing that seven of the 11 counts against Price involving “deprivation of honest services through mail fraud” should not be tossed out. Prior to closing arguments Monday, U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn noted she did not believe the prosecution proved that the defendants used the postal service as part of the alleged bribery scheme. Although charges were permitted to go to the jury, it’s likely Lynn will throw them out once the verdict is read.

Grand Prairie Felt the Bern Yesterday. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders returned to Texas as part of “Come Together and Fight Back,” a nationwide tour with other Democratic Party leaders geared toward red and purple states. The former presidential candidate hoped to rally support for the Democratic Party, often repeating his progressive spiel from the campaign trail.

Dallas County Schools is One Step Closer to Disbandment. The Senate Education Committee voted on Thursday to send a bill that would dissolve the bus system to the full Texas Senate for debate. The measure was brought by Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas). Within the past few months, the agency has seen reports of questionable business practices, financial problems, and complaints from local districts for not transporting children effectively.

Rawlings Tries to Rally Support For Pension Bill Changes. In a letter to Dallas’ taxpayers Thursday, the mayor took aim at a taxpayer bailout for the Police and Fire Pension Fund that was proposed by House Pensions Committee Chairman Dan Flynn (R-Van). Rawlings noted five deficiencies in Flynn’s suggested plan.

Simply put, Rawlings proposes the taxpayers be able to pay the fund based on the actual number of police and fire employees rather than a number the city intends to hire, and that citizens be given the majority on a newly-formed pension board.

Head to Fair Park for Earth Day Texas. The big green expo runs through Sunday and features guest speakers such as Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and noted climate change skeptic, and Rick Perry, Energy Secretary and former Texas governor. The three-day event now boasts its own film festival, EARTHxFILM. (Meet the man behind the festival before you go.)

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