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Fraud Fears Grow As State Inspection Assistance Money Dries Up

Martin Cathrae

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Worry revs up as vehicle inspection fraud oversight weakens, Mumford fans get bad news on concert day, Dallas theologian gives the Bible a Texas accent and more.

Vehicle inspections are supposed to catch cars that aren’t running clean and help fight air pollution. Unfortunately for some below board garages, inspections are just a way to turn a profit. Vehicle inspection fraud is a problem in Texas; just last year two stations in Dallas were nailed for regularly giving “pass” stickers to cars that would have failed. But experts say the task forces charged with stamping out fraud, and helping low income people fix their cars the right way, are running out of money.

A portion of what we all pay for an inspection sticker goes toward enforcement and assistance programs, but according to StateImpact Texas, since 2011 the funding has been significantly cut. Garages that perform fraudulent inspections usually charge about double what’s legally allowed, and groups like the Sierra Club worry that if assistance and enforcement funding isn’t restored, illegal inspections will balloon.

  • Mumford Emergency Tests Fans: Thousands of fans who clamored for Mumford and Sons tickets are going to have to take a deep breath and pray for patience. Tonight’s sold out concert at the Gexa Energy Pavillion has been cancelled due to a medical emergency. A post on the band’s website explains that bass player Ted Dwane was taken to the hospital yesterday. Following emergency treatment, “scans revealed a blood clot on the surface of his brain that requires an operation.” Shows later this week in the Woodlands and New Orleans have also been cancelled. The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the concert will be rescheduled and all tickets honored.

  • Southwest Plane Gets The All Clear: Officials say there were no explosives found onboard the Austin bound flight that had to be diverted yesterday after a bomb threat. The Southwest Airlines flight took off in L.A. but had to make an unscheduled landing in Phoenix after someone called in a “telephonic bomb threat.” There were 143 passengers onboard. F-16s were scrambled out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson to monitor the flight as a precaution as it flew into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, according to NORAD officials. [AP via NPR]

  • Summer Hunger: Low income kids don’t stop being hungry just because the school year has wrapped up, so by law most schools must provide a feeding program during the summer. But a new report says while Texas summer lunch programs are expanding, they’re still not reaching enough kids. According to the Food Research and Action Center, summer nutrition programs in Texas only reach about 11 percent of low-income children receiving school lunches. The group’s goal is to bump that percentage to 40. If you want to read the full report, click here. [KUT]

  • Have I Not Commanded Ya’ll?: The Bible has been translated into more than 500 languages and dialects, but a Dallas man saw a gaping hole. John Dyer, Dallas Theological Seminary Communications and Educational Technology Director, wants the Good Book to have some Texas twang; some southern to its scripture. He’s created a web app that replaces the second person plural “you” with our favorite collective plural, “ya’ll.” Here’s what Jeremiah 29:11 looks like after Dyer translates it: “For I know what I have planned for y’all,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper y’all, not to harm y’all. I have plans to give y’all a future filled with hope.” [Dallas Observer]