Author Jim Gatewood on The Legend of Benny Binion

Allen Public Library Presents : Jim Gatewood, author of Benny Binion: The Legend of Benny Binion, Dallas Gambler and Mob Boss, provides a colorful description of this soldier of fortune at the turn of the century in Texas.

Binion’s fearless determination to control his fate, first boot-legging then gambling, left an indelible imprint on Dallas history and the world of gambling. He was capable of activating his charm or his ferocious rage as implements of choice, just as he could either a pencil or the sawed- off shotgun in the trunk of his car as a lethal weapon to destroy an adversary. His legend takes place in a time splattered with conspiracy, treachery, and blood.

Texas Speaker of House meets with McKinney dignitaries

Joe Straus 

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J.C. Penney Facing Possibility Of Empty Shelves « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

J.C. Penney, which is struggling with big losses and steep sales declines, could face another challenge: empty shelves, according to reports. … The Plano-based JCP reported big losses and sales declines for four straight quarters since it started a strategy to get rid of most of its sales in favor of everyday low prices last year. Penney, which started to roll out shops last fall, has been counting on a reinvented home area to attract shoppers. It had planned to use the Martha Stewart brand as the anchor.

Chris Hill: Road work on U.S. 75, passport day

From County Commissioner Chris Hill


TxDOT: US Highway 75 Overnight Closures Next Week
As part of the ongoing TxDOT project to widen U.S. 75 from the Sam Rayburn Tollway to White Avenue in McKinney, the following closures are necessary:

Monday night, March 4, 2013
U.S. 75 SOUTHBOUND MAIN LANES
Closed from 9 pm until 6 am

The two main lanes of U.S. 75 southbound will be closed overnight for asphalt repair work. Beginning at 9 pm, all southbound main lane traffic will be directed to exit to the southbound frontage road just north of U.S. 380. Motorists will not have the opportunity to re-enter the southbound main lanes until just south of Eldorado Parkway. This will not affect northbound traffic. The date for this work is tentative depending upon the weather and other unforeseen circumstances.

As a reminder, this TxDOT construction project to widen U.S. 75 to four main lanes in each direction and three frontage road lanes in each direction will provide much needed extra capacity to the roadway. The project is anticipated to be complete in 2015.

Passport Day in Collin County


The Collin County District Clerk’s Office is hosting a special passport event at the McKinney office on Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., to provide passport information to U.S. citizens and to accept passport applications.

District Clerk Andrea S. Thompson said the Saturday passport fair is a great time to renew or get a new passport for any planned summer travel.

“Applying now can really help avoid any last-minute rush or worry over getting your passports for this summer,” she said. “And the Saturday hours mean parents don’t have to take the kids out of school to apply.”

U.S. citizens must present a valid passport book when entering or re-entering the United States by air. U.S. citizens entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land borders and sea ports of entry must present a passport book, passport card, or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government.

Information on the cost and how to apply for a U.S. passport is available at travel.state.gov. U.S. citizens may also obtain passport information by phone by calling the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778.

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Sen. Paxton: Importance of Transparency in Local Government

Providing transparency regarding use of public tax dollars and debt entered into by local and state governing entities is essential to ensure accountability of government in a democratic society.

One of my ongoing goals throughout my time in the Legislature has been to help provide taxpayers more information about their local and state government and about how their money is spent. In order to enable citizens to make informed decisions about their government, we must make sure there is adequate information available about where and how government spends money.

Monitoring how your tax dollars are being spent is currently difficult to do. The average Texan lives in at least two taxing districts (the county and the local school district). It is almost more common however, that a person lives in as many as five taxing districts. For example, a person may be simultaneously subject to taxation in a county, a school district, a municipal utility district, an emergency service district, and a hospital district. 
I have filed several bills that address the issue of transparency and provide citizens with more accessible information about their government and taxing districts.
One bill that addresses this issue is Senate Bill 843.

This bill recognizes the need for more transparency and creates a streamlined process to access financial information about local governments. SB 843 requires the Comptroller to aggregate tax information, financial reports, debt information, and contact information for all local governing bodies with taxing authority and to develop a searchable database for individuals to find that information. Currently, there is no state agency that aggregates this financial information.

SB 843 was drafted in conjunction with the Comptroller’s office and will create a one-stop-shop for local government financial information.

Last year, Comptroller Susan Combs published the report Your Money and the Taxing Facts and produced an internet site that has interactive maps of all 254 counties, listing the number of taxing districts in each county and the per capita tax burden for the average taxpayer. This website is http://texastransparency.org/yourmoney/localtax/levies.php

I filed this bill because many individuals are interested in being able to easily search for their local government financial information. Improving access to this information will enable citizens to more easily keep track of how their tax dollars are spent and will promote additional local government transparency.

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State Rep. Sanford’ s Austin update

Good Afternoon District 70:
As we progress through the 83rd Legislative Session I want to keep you updated on the actions of my office and the Texas Legislature. Thus far this session our office has completed extensive work on the state budget, education, CSCOPE, and ways for Texas to defend our 2nd Amendment rights.
Along with my legislative duties, I have become an active member of the Capitol Commission’sweekly bible study. It has become my priority and highlight to each week in Austin. This organization has helped to keep me grounded and principled down at the Capitol.

Our first piece of legislation is House Bill 783 which places a cap on the size of the state budget. HB783 will not allow the budget to exceed our state’s population growth plus inflation. We filed this bill moments after Governor Perry’s State of the State Address, because during his speech he implored that this type of legislation is needed in Texas.  Our pro-business climate has guided us through the economic down turn the Nation has faced, and I will do everything in my power to maintain that climate.
Throughout this month I have had extensive conversations with constituents and community leaders of District 70 about education and CSCOPE.  In response to our growing concerns with CSCOPE I have Co-Authored House Bill 760 which puts curriculum under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Education, so it can be correctly scrutinized and overseen. The next item I have been combating is S.T.A.R.R. testing. My goal is to substantially reduce testing and return true teaching and learning hours to the classroom.
Finally, on Tuesday Sen. Paxton and I filed House Concurrent Resolution 63 which asserts Texas’ sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and demands that the federal government immediately cease and desist from the actions that infringe on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. This legislation will make it abundantly clear to President Obama and the rest of the federal government, Texas will not give up our right to protect our families, homes, and businesses.
Throughout this session I encourage you to use my office as a resource, and please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance to you at 512-463-0356. Also if you are on social media I encourage all of you to follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scottsanford.us, on Twitter at @Scott_SanfordTX, or on Instagram at Scott_SanfordTX.
For God and Texas,
Scott Sanford
State Representative – House District 70

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