Local News

Leading Off (3/17/21)

The last Public Utilities Commissioner resigns, Plano ISD mum on response to racist attack, and migrant teens arrive at the Convention Center

Last Public Utilities Commissioner Resigns Amidst Storm Scandal. The last of Gov. Greg Abbott’s three appointees to the PUC resigned a week after Texas Monthly disclosed a recording of the commissioner assuring investors he would use “the weight of the commission” to resist an independent market monitor’s finding that the state should return billions to struggling utilities that were forced to buy wholesale electricity at sky high prices during the storm.  Commissioner Arthur D’Andrea, a longtime Abbott aide, was speaking with Bank of America Securities, which made hundreds of millions of dollars due to volatile price fluctuations during the winter storm. House Speaker Dade Phelan also came out against repricing the $16 billion after the Senate passed a bill Monday that would mandate the now member-less PUC to reverse the charges.

Convention Center Begins Taking In Migrant Teens Today. Unaccompanied migrant teens that were taken into U.S. Custody at the southern border will arrive today at the Dallas Convention Center, which will function as an emergency intake site. Officials say they will work to eventually place the teens in the care of relatives or a sponsor, though some may be moved to long-term federal custody. Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to criticize the Biden administration’s approach to the crisis at a news conference at the convention center today.

No Word From Plano ISD on Disciplinary Action Following Racist Bullying. The school district announced that it has concluded an internal investigation into accusations of racist bullying of a student during a sleepover in February and plans to institute a “comprehensive plan to address diversity, equity and inclusion,” thought it did not say if any action will be taken against the assailants. The victim’s mother released video that shows her Black son’s White classmates beating the boy and forcing him to drink their urine.

Dallas County Reports 11 New COVID Deaths. And 311 new coronavirus cases, including two new cases of the mutated UK variant of the disease. There were 130 new COVID deaths across Texas — a reminder that, even as bars anticipate big crowds after a year of lockdown, it is still important to mask up and social distance.

Man Charged In Double Murder at South Dallas Warehouse. Gustavo Adolfo Gonzalez, 28, was arrested by U.S. Marshalls Tuesday for shooting two men in a South Dallas warehouse on Valentine’s Day. Police did not offer any details about the circumstances of the shooting. A 20-year-old Arlington man was shot and killed Tuesday by assailants attempting to force their way into the man’s home after a dispute. And police are now offering a $100,000 reward for information connected to a murder of a security guard at a West Oak Cliff shopping center last September.

Strong Storms Roll Through Overnight. I can’t confirm, but it sure sounded like hail smacking against my windows very early this morning. Some areas experienced 65-75 mph winds, and 40,000 Oncor customers lost power.

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