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El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

Archive for February 4th, 2009

NPT Capitol: Craddick’s lost (e)paper trail

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

craddick

“Before Texas lawmakers voted their three-term speaker of the House out of his powerful job, state officials wiped his computers clean and deleted scores of electronic files, raising concerns that important public records may have been destroyed….”

“…First Amendment attorney Joe Larsen, a board member of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, said he was concerned important data may never be retrieved. Unless officials specifically culled through the files to ensure government records were retained, “then the odds that public information was destroyed are very high,” he said.”

Read the full article here

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 4, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Pickett’s HCR a “safety valve” not a “diss”

pickettState Rep Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, explained that the concurrent resolution he filed on Monday, which could see federal stimulus aid come to Texas regardless of the Governor’s co-operation, had no mal intent.

“(U.S. Rep) Clyburn had put in an amendment in the stimulus bill that declares if a state Governor didn’t ask for the (stimulus) money, (then) if the state Legislature adopts a concurrent resolution, then that would be sufficient … it’s just a safety valve in case Governor Perry may not want to ask for the money,” said Pickett.

sos09-header“I just think its good business practice if you here some grumblings to cover all the bases,” said Pickett who claims he is not as worried as others are about Perry refusing federal cash.

“We just wanted to have a vehicle to use should it become an issue..it’s a safety valve not a diss,” said Pickett.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 4, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT: “Urban legend” pleads guilty in drug kidnapping case

Fun with juxtaposition:

silverstrereyesU.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes in this NPT story: When a Spanish language radio reporter asked about what El Paso authorities can do about the number of kidnappings on both sides of the borders, Reyes snapped, “These claims of kidnappings have not been confirmed.

“We need to deal in facts and not in urban legends that have been promulgated here in our community.”

News release from FBI yesterday: Some of you might be interested in attending a 2pm scheduled plea of Ricardo Calleros-Godinez today. He was arrested by the FBI and ICE for kidnapping a person in early 2008. The victim of the kidnapping is serving a 15-year sentence on state charges. This will take place in Judge Garney’s court at the federal courthouse.

There has been much debate and speculation in some El Paso media outlets about the issue of kidnappings (or the lack thereof). This is one drug-related kidnapping that we know happened and was worked. Please note that the FBI is the only federal agency that has jurisdiction to work kidnappings and is the only federal source for accurate kidnapping information. We are certainly concerned if kidnappings are occurring and no one is reporting them to us. We encourage all citizens and entities to report such serious crime information to us.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm

NPT: Times’ publisher’s home for sale

Sign of the changing Times?

stafford_house29091

The house apparently just went on the market. It’s valued by the CAD at more than $600,000, with a pool and a view, but is being offered at waaaayy above that — almost $900,000 for the four-bedroom, 4,200 square-foot home. The bet here is that it means Times Publisher Ray Stafford is on the way out. Calls to his office were not returned as of this posting.

Interested in buying? Here’s the full listing.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Moody’s 1st bill

State Rep. Joe Moody, D- El Paso, filed his first bill today.

joe-moody The bill, HB 1008, would exempt veterans that are classified as 100% disabled by the federal      government from taxation of the total appraised value on their residential homestead, said Moody’s office.

“I wanted my first bill to be something that I believed strongly in and that will benefit an important group of Texas heroes,” Moody said in a press release. “This bill helps the men and women that have served our country and defended our freedom.”

An identical bill was filed on November 11th by Representative Aycock (HB 62 ) and filed by Shapleigh in the Senate on the same day. It is common practice for lawmakers to filed identical bills, especially on simple but broad measures.

Moody, 28, is the youngest member of the Texas House.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 4, 2009 at 10:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized