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  • KXAN News
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Past articles by David:

Police dishonorable discharges could be eliminated, what’s the alternative?

Pete Arredondo, Uvalde CISD’s former police chief, was fired after coming under scrutiny for his part in leading the law enforcement response during the 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School… → Read More

Recommendations could revamp TCOLE and police oversight in Texas, if passed

Lawmakers have formalized recommendations that could significantly change the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s police oversight role – that is, if the suggestions pass into law. → Read More

Map: Austin traffic incidents skyrocket, see where they’re happening

With freezing rain icing roads across Central Texas, traffic incidents to skyrocketed across the Austin metro area Tuesday and Wednesday morning. See where they are happening here. → Read More

Salary bump coming for Texas state hospital and SSLC workers

The Health and Human Services Commission is raising salaries and starting wages at state mental hospitals and state supported living centers to shore up chronic understaffing, turnover and bed shortages, the agency announced Tuesday. → Read More

Legislature could eliminate police dishonorable discharges, create officer database

Lawmakers with the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission voted to approve new recommendations Wednesday to reform the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which oversees peace officer licensing. The recommendations include eliminating dishonorable discharges, higher standards for creating new departments, offering a searchable database of officers online and more. → Read More

Does Texas have too many police departments? The state has 2,700

TCOLE has been under Sunset Commission audit for years. It has been reviewed and rereviewed – resulting in reports showing evidence TCOLE is largely “toothless” and recommendations to increase its power to police Texas’ police. → Read More

Lawmakers eye fixes to Texas crime victim fund after KXAN investigation

Following a KXAN investigation into dysfunction in the state’s Crime Victims’ Compensation fund, state lawmakers say they are examining legislative fixes, including more money for the division overseeing the program. → Read More

State mental hospital backlog grows, new record exceeds 2,500 waiting in jail

In Texas, people charged with a crime who are too mentally ill to participate in their own defense are typically found incompetent to stand trial and ordered by a court to a state hospital for restoration. Since Texas’ state-operated mental hospitals are full, those individuals are put on a list and left waiting in lockup. → Read More

APD officers slam city, department management in workforce survey

Austin police officers blasted their department and city leadership in a workplace survey that showed APD employees have some of the lowest opinions of the city’s direction and management of any department. → Read More

Medical debt lawsuits hit hundreds of Central Texas patients, prompt lawmaker questions

This project aims to show you what can happen financially when you face medical debt, how you can avoid it and why what we discovered could soon have Texas leaders taking a closer look at the state’s debt collection system. → Read More

‘Lady in the Lake’ murder case may hinge on DNA evidence

Developments in the Holly Marie Simmons murder case await the completion of DNA testing that could be finished before the end of the year, said Llano County District Attorney Sonny McAfee on Thursday following a pretrial hearing. → Read More

Stinky problem highlights city’s property damage immunity

Once the city realized its error, utility workers promptly repaired the pipe. Laclede, however, still had a $1,200 dent in his bank account. In the weeks that followed, Laclede struggled to get repaid. He said the encounter left him feeling like the city didn’t care about his situation and its process for handling claims is unfair and lacks recourse, he said. → Read More

Gov. Abbott pushes for expanded use of iWatchTexas reporting tool

Gov. Greg Abbott called on state law enforcement and education leaders Wednesday to push for expanded use of the Suspicious Activity Reporting Network and the iWatchTexas tool, a one-stop-shop for reporting suspicious activity across the state. → Read More

Austin Water Utility leaks plummet, largest drop in nearly a decade

Austin’s water system leaked 854 million fewer gallons of treated water in 2021 than the year before, marking the city’s largest reduction in year-over-year water losses in almost a decade, according to a system audit. → Read More

Uvalde shooter had 1,600 rounds, few laws in Texas limit bullet purchases

The ease in which 18-year-old Salvador Ramos purchased two semiautomatic rifles and more than 1,600 bullets before killing 19 children and two adults in an Uvalde elementary school Tuesday has highlighted the unfettered access civilians have to ammunition in Texas. → Read More

Texas tool helps catch school threats

State politicians and law enforcement officials have been working for years to improve preparedness for mass violence and identify threats before an attack. A key parts of that effort is the state’s suspicious activity reporting network that allows anyone to submit a tip about a potentially dangerous person. → Read More

‘Horrifying’ wait times for state hospital beds, official says

Under normal circumstances, a person charged with a crime and found mentally incompetent to stand trial would be quickly sent to a state hospital for mental competency restoration. Once stabilized,… → Read More

Former UT facilities director stole $1.2 million, sentenced to probation

Former University of Texas at Austin law school facilities director Jason Shoumaker pleaded guilty Thursday to theft of property, a second-degree felony, after stealing over $1 million from the school. He was sentenced to probation for a decade and ordered to pay restitution, among other conditions. → Read More

Plea deal moved in University of Texas theft and fraud case

Jason Shoumaker, a former University of Texas at Austin law school facilities director accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the university and indicted on three felony counts, is expected to reach a plea deal Thursday. → Read More

Obsolete and deficient bridges checker Central Texas. Do you drive over one?

Central Texas is home to more than 4,300 bridges inspected by the state, and 780 of them have been classified as functionally obsolete or structurally deficient, according to data from the Texas Department of Transportation. → Read More