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Dallas County Commissioners Race Heats Up

Elected officials and political hopefuls have another week to decide if they'll run in the March primaries.

Longtime Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price is facing opposition in the March Democratic primary. His former assistant, Betty Culbreath has filed to run against him.

SMU political scientist Dr. Cal Jillson says Price has a loyal constituency, even under the cloud of an FBI corruption investigation.

Jillson: I think that what Betty Culbreath is doing is betting on the FBI investigation. If it goes against him she wins. If it doesn't seem to be moving against Commissioner Price in a dramatic way then she probably does not win.

Price has denied any wrongdoing.

Culbreath, on her blog, says she was a big supporter of Price in the early years. But she says he's become "the most feared County Bully of all times." She says she prayed about running against him, and feels it's the thing to do.

Jillson expects a lively race. The deadline to file for the March primaries is December 15th.

Flu Season "Greetings"

Flu season is here, just not in full swing. The illness usually peaks in January and February. Spikes in cases are often seen in schools after Christmas break and trips to visit relatives. To help keep flu numbers low, the Dallas County Health Department is offering FREE flu shots now - until the vaccine supply is exhausted.

Dr. Raymond Strikas, with the Centers for Disease Control, says everyone, six months and older, should get a flu shot now. He says don't think you're immune if you had the flu last year.

Strikas: You probably only had one type of influenza and there are at least three types that commonly circulate. There are three types represented in the vaccine. So, you're not protected against the other two.

Dr. Strikas says there is a new strain of "swine flu" out there this year. Ten cases have been reported in Pennsylvania, Maine, Indiana and most recently Iowa. All have recovered. Dr. Strikas says it is NOT the fast spreading swine flu variation that H1N1 was two years ago.

First snow plows set for Dallas-Fort Worth

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is getting snow plows less than a year after an icy week that nearly paralyzed the region in the days before its first Super Bowl.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Pettit says the area will get 29 snow plows - 14 in Dallas and 15 for Fort Worth. He expects the plows, which will be hooked up to dump trucks, to be operational by the first of the year.

Pettit tells Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT that in the past, officials waited for plows to arrive from colder parts of the state, like Amarillo and Lubbock.

The National Weather Service says Dallas' average yearly snowfall is 1.2 inches. More than three times that total, 3.7 inches, fell in the week before February's Super Bowl.

Dallas Deck Park Gets First Trees

The first trees are in the ground at the Woodall Rodgers Deck Park. 25 River Birch trees were planted today. They're the first of more than 300 trees planned for the five acre park over the Woodall Rodgers freeway in downtown Dallas.

The trees are planted in trenches designed to support their weight and ensure maximum growth. All species of trees planned for the park were selected for durability and compatibility with the city climate.

The park is scheduled to open in the fall of next year.

Arrest in Hit and Run School Bus Accident

Weatherford police have arrested a 31 year old River Oaks man for a hit and run school bus accident. Police say the bus, with seven students aboard, was rear-ended by an F-350 pickup. The impact pushed the bus into the car ahead. The pickup driver took off.

Police say Charles Morgan was arrested a short time later and charged with driving with an invalid license and failing to stop and render aid. One student was taken tot the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Morgan is in the Parker County Jail.

Arrests at the Mexican border continue to drop

The Border Patrol says arrests of illegal immigrants along the U.S. border with Mexico are at the lowest level since the Nixon administration.

Agents made 327,577 arrests along the Mexican border in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. It's the sixth straight year that arrests at the border have dropped. Meanwhile, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials deported a record 396,906 people in the last year. That's the first time in decades that formal removals from the U.S. outpaced arrests at the border.

The drop in the number of arrests suggests that fewer people are attempting to cross the border to live or work in the United States. The development could change the debate on illegal immigration from securing the border to handling the people who are already here.


Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.