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Roundup: ERCOT Issues Conservation Alert

ERCOT Control room
ERCOT Control room

By BJ Austin, KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – Texas was under a Stage Two Electricity conservation alert Wednesday because of very heavy demand for electricity.

ERCOT, which manages the statewide electric grid, says people should try to conserve electricity during the heat wave and peak demand for power to run air conditioners.

ONCOR's Megan Wright says every little bit helps.

Wright: Put off doing chores that use electric appliances until after 7pm when the peak demand is lower. Turn off all the lights. Do everything you can to turn off and conserve electricity.

Wright says the best thing to do is raise the thermostat to reduce the air conditioning demand. She suggests setting it a 78 when you're home - 85 when you're not.

Fast Track Fix For Dallas Wave

There's a change in plans to fix the Dallas Wave. That's the whitewater kayaking feature on the Trinity River south of downtown.

Immediately after the wave's grand opening in May, city officials put it off limits because the whitewater "bypass" proved to be another sort of dangerous rapid - too hazardous for canoes.

Wednesday, the City Council was to vote on a 76 thousand dollar "study" of the problem. But Council member Angela Hunt says that's off the table. She says several more immediate fixes are being discussed.

Hunt: I think it'll be less than 100 thousand dollars. And I'm hopeful that we can split the cost some way with some of the contractors, designers and folks that were involved in this project to begin with. So, I'm hopeful we can to that and get this resolved.

Delivery of the Dallas Wave was about a year and a half late, and almost four times over budget. Council member Hunt says it's time citizens see something happening on the river. The Dallas Wave is the first recreational feature of the 13-year old Trinity River Corridor project.

Dallas Movers Create Flurry Of BBB Complaints

The Dallas Better Business Bureau says it is being flooded with complaints about a local moving company.

Jeannette Kopko, with the BBB, says since June, twenty two complaints have been filed by customers of Proud American Moving, based in Dallas.

The complaints range from charges that exceeded the original quote by thousands of dollars; lost or damaged furniture, and always getting an answering machine - no returned calls.

Kopko says Proud American Moving now has a Better Business Bureau rating of "F".

KERA was able to speak to someone at Proud American Moving promptly. Company officials said they were not interested in responding to the Better Business Bureau rating.

Kopko says the BBB has tips to avoid moving disasters on its website.

Police: Suspect killed by officer didn't fire gun

Fort Worth police say a bank robbery suspect fatally shot by an officer didn't fire his gun after all.

Police initially said the suspect fired first at officers who were chasing him as he ran in a field Tuesday near Lake Arlington.

But on Wednesday police Sgt. Pedro Criado said forensics tests showed that the man didn't fire any shots from his weapon.

Criado says the man pointed his gun at police, and an officer fearing for his life responded by firing shots.

The man was suspected of holding up a bank earlier Tuesday. Police haven't released his name.

Authorities haven't said whether they found a possible second suspect who got out of the man's car during the police pursuit.

Attorney general recovers $24M in Medicaid case

The Texas attorney general's says it has recovered $24 million from a pharmaceutical company that misreported the price of prescription drugs for Medicaid patients.

In a statement released Wednesday, Attorney General Greg Abbott said an agreement had been reached with Par Pharmaceutical Inc. of New Jersey. In 2008, Abbott's office filed fraud charges against the company for reporting inflated drug prices.

Under Medicaid rules, pharmaceutical companies must report the drug prices they charge pharmacies. The state then uses that price to calculate how much to reimburse pharmacies for the drugs given to patients on Medicaid. Medicaid is the health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

The agreement reached Wednesday requires Par Pharmaceutical to repay Texas $24 million without going to trial. The company did not immediately provide comment.

More Charges In Garland Embezzlement Case

Three more people are facing federal charges in a conspiracy to steal from the city of Garland.

A grand jury today indicted Kenneth Wayne Brown of Denison and Duane and Sharon Stailey of Leonard for their roles in the scheme. Prosecutors say participants netted more than two-and-a- half million dollars from the city by making false claims for damages and repairs to personal property.

A former Garland risk management adjustor is serving nearly six years in prison after pleading guilty in the scheme. She is also ordered to pay two million dollars in restitution to the city of Garland.