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Roundup: Parkland Correction Plan Okayed

By BJ Austin, KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – The federal government has accepted Parkland Hospital's plan to correct violations of patient care standards found during a July inspection.

In a letter dated today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told the Dallas County hospital its plan of correction has been accepted, and that inspectors from the Texas Department of State Health Services would be visiting soon.

If Parkland does not pass that inspection, it could lose Medicare and Medicaid funding as early as September 2nd.

Constable Pursuit Policy In Question

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says he is not going to second guess the actions of a Deputy Constable who did not pursue a car driven by Naim Rasool Muhammad. He is charged with killing his three and five year old sons.

Constable officials say the deputy told the children's mother - who escaped the car - that chasing Muhammad was not possible because her Constable car was not equipped with lights and sirens.

County Judge Clay Jenkins:

Jenkins: I don't want to comment, and I don't think it's appropriate to use a tragedy like what happened with those children to talk about funding issues. They're TCLOSE certified officers. They certainly can respond to criminal conduct.

Muhammad confessed to drowning his sons after kidnapping them and their mother as they walked to school for the first day of kindergarten. Bail for Muhammad has been set at two million dollars.

North Texas highway closes as tanker catches fire

Part of a state highway in North Texas is closed after collision between a Jeep and a tanker truck carrying jet fuel.

Thick clouds of billowing smoke could be seen from the burning truck on State Highway 114 after the accident Tuesday afternoon in Roanoke, about 30 miles northwest of Dallas. The Jeep suffered damage to its front.

Lt. Douglas Parks of the Roanoke fire department says the passenger in the Jeep was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

He says after extinguishing a grassfire caused by burning truck, officials were letting the fuel burn off. The tanker was carrying 5,600 gallons of jet fuel.

He says once it's burned off, they'll do cleanup and re-open the highway. He says it could be later this evening before the highway is reopened in both directions.

Constables May Lose Jobs In Change-Up

A plan by Dallas County to revamp duties of some Sheriff's Deputies and Constables could mean nearly 60 constable layoffs in January.

County officials say the Sheriff could serve civil papers more efficiently and economically than deputy constables, who do it now.

Officials say the change-over could take up to a year.

Precinct Four Constable Roy Williams says the plan smacks of politics.

Williams: I think it's a back door approach for the eventual abolition of our office. That's what I honestly think that it's political and not about savings.

The County Judge says the change is not a reaction to a scandal involving deputy constables who SAID they served civil papers but didn't.

The plan includes an initial transfer of 19 deputy constables to the Sheriff's Department next month.

Final approval is pending.

Perry sets Nov. 8 for vote on constitution changes

Gov. Rick Perry has set Nov. 8 as the date for Texans to vote on proposed changes to the state Constitution.

The Legislature voted to put 10 propositions on the ballot this spring. Texas voters will now decide which of the propositions will become constitutional amendments.

Voters will decide whether or not spouses of deceased disabled veterans will be exempt from property taxes, and whether the governor can grant pardons to people who successfully complete alternative sentences for their crimes. Other questions include changing how the General Land Office administers the public school fund, and changing property taxes on land set aside for water conservation.

The rest of the proposals cover local government bond issues and administration.

Texas has one of the world's strictest and most frequently amended constitutions.

FW Kidnapped Girl Recovered

Fort Worth Police say a man is under arrest for the abduction of a four year old girl about noon Tuesday. The Fort Worth Star Telegram identifies him as Charles McDonald, an ex-boyfriend of the girl's mother.

Police say McDonald assaulted the mother before getting in her car and driving off with the girl inside. An Amber Alert was issued. The child was recovered about 4:30 and the Alert cancelled.