The Ennis Daily News (Ennis, Tex.), Ed. 1 Thursday, January 10, 2013 Page: 2 of 8

State News
Page 2
Thursday, January 10,2013
Ennis Daily News
Briefly
Texas sher iff
fakes being hit
man, inmate
charged
CLEBURNE (AP) — A
North Texas sheriff faked
being a hit man to negoti-
ate with a jail inmate now
charged with trying to
have his estranged wife
and her male friend killed.
The Johnson County
Sheriffs Office says no-
body was hurt and 52-year-
old Tab Johnson was being
held Thursday on two
counts of solicitation of
capital murder.
Johnson originally was
arrested on charges of vi-
olating a protective order
and stalking his spouse,
who filed for divorce last
year. Johnson allegedly
asked other inmates about
carrying out some
killings.
Lt. Tim Jones said
Wednesday that Sheriff
Bob Alford portrayed a hit
man in conversations and
relayed instructions from
Johnson.
Tyler contractor
pleads guilty to
attempted arson
TYLER (AP) — Prose-
cutors say a building con-
tractor has pleaded
guilty to attempted arson
in an East Texas dispute
over competition for
methadone clinic pa-
tients.
A federal magistrate
in Tyler on Wednesday
accepted the plea from
54-year-old Daniel Ku-
bisty. No sentencing date
was immediately set for
Kubisty, who faces up to
20 years in prison.
The owner of a Tyler
methadone clinic last
month pleaded guilty to
attempted arson and
murder-for-hire solicita-
tion. Edwards Jacobs
faces up to 20 years in
prison on each count.
Investigators say Ja-
cobs in March paid Ku-
bisty $3,000 to burn a
competitor's clinic. Ku-
bisty was arrested and a
gasoline can was confis-
cated. Authorities say Ja-
cobs then tried to hire
someone to kill Kubisty
to block his testimony.
That person was cooper-
ating with investigators.
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West Texas
woman guilty in
nearly S5.9M
fraud
MIDLAND (AP) — A
West Texas woman has
pleaded guilty in a nearly
$5.9 million investment
scam using fake bank doc-
uments to inflate a per-
son's net worth on paper.
Prosecutors in Midland
say 41-year-old Darlene Au-
relia Bishop of Odessa on
Wednesday pleaded guilty
to conspiracy to commit
wire fraud. Bishop faces
up to 20 years in prison
when she's sentenced in
March. Prosecutors say
Bishop operated several
businesses with schemes
meant to enhance credit
by allowing people to rent
or lease someone else's
bank account. Investiga-
tors say the goal was to
falsely boost a person's ap-
parent net worth. The
scam operated from July
2008 through March 2009.
Bishop used investment
money to buy several large
vehicles and a $672,000
house. She must forfeit the
vehicles and money re-
ceived from the home sale.
Euthanized dog
puts emotional
value to Texas
court
AUSTIN (AP) — Does
man's best friend have sen-
timental value under
Texas law?
That's the question the
Texas Supreme Court will
tackle today in a case
being closely watched by
animal-rights advocates. It
involves a Fort Worth fam-
ily whose Labrador es-
caped from home in 2009
and was mistakenly euth-
anized at a local animal
shelter.
Jeremy and Kathryn
Medlen say they're entitled
to sentimental damages
even though the dog had
little market value.
Perry’s call for tax relief
still short on details
AUSTIN (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry
says the time has come for Texas to
look at tax relief again. But he's not
yet saying for whom or how.
Emboldened by a resurgent
Texas economy, Perry on Wednes-
day repeated his call for the Repub-
lican-controlled Legislature to
tackle tax relief this session but
didn't offer any further details than
when he rolled out the goal a day
earlier while ringing in a new ses-
sion.
The last one in 2011 began with a
$27 billion budget shortfall, which
left lawmakers scrambling to plug
budget holes and makes talk of eas-
ing taxes now a total turnaround.
Any framework for tax relief
likely won't emerge for several
weeks while the most inexperi-
enced Texas Legislature in more
than four decades — more than a
quarter of the 150-member House
are freshmen — settles into the
Capitol. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst
said homestead exemptions may
get a second look, while other tar-
gets could include extending sales
tax holidays and changes to the
state's franchise tax on businesses.
Perry, who remains mum on his
future following this session after a
failed run for president, seized on
tax relief to again hammer at
Washington following the fiscal
cliff deal in Congress that raised
taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
"What a stark contrast it can be
over the next 130-plus days that
Texas is sending the absolutely op-
posite message," Perry
said. "That we're going to
lower the cost, lower the
burden of doing business
in the state of Texas, or liv-
ing in the state of Texas.
That's part of the conversa-
tion that we want to have."
Welcoming that conver-
sation are Dewhurst, who
opposed tax-relief propos-
als in 2007 but says a rosier
economic forecast now makes the
timing better, and House Speaker
Joe Straus.
After being re-elected Tuesday
for a third term as speaker, how-
ever, Straus made clear to reporters
that his top priorities are not taxes
but education, infrastructure and
water.
"There's going to be a call for
some tax reform, maybe some tax
relief somewhere. There always is,"
Straus said. "But there's more of a
call this time, and more of an
agenda that I've been trying to
push, to make sure Texas can ac-
commodate the enormous and pro-
found growth that we've seen in
recent years that will go on un-
abated."
Even without a concrete plan on
the table, Democrats are already
blistering at calls to prioritize
taxes.
They had greeted this week's
strong state revenue forecast for
2014-15 with hopes of reversing
deep across-the-board cuts to the
current budget. That includes $5.4
Perry
billion slashed from public
schools, yet Perry made no
promises Wednesday that
any of that funding would
be restored.
Lawmakers potentially
have more than $101 billion
in available spending this
time, though the GOP-con-
trolled Legislature is un-
likely to spend all of it.
Nearly $9 billion of that is a
so-called surplus from the current
budget cycle, and more than half of
that is expected to settle a hefty
Medicaid tab carried over from two
years ago. The balance in the state
Rainy Day Fund is also expected to
balloon to nearly $12 million.
The healthy projections have am-
plified calls to return the money to
schools, infrastructure and con-
front a growing water crisis.
"I don't know how you add a tax
cut," said Democrat Rep. Raphael
Anchia of Dallas. "That kind of ac-
tivity seems to be counter to invest-
ing in the future of the state, which
is desperately needed."
Among the few proposals filed so
are by Republican Rep. Harvey
Hilderban, chairman of the tax-
writing Ways and Means Commit-
tee, that would permanently install
a tax exemption for small busi-
nesses that earn less than $1 mil-
lion a year. The franchise tax is the
state's second-biggest source of rev-
enue behind the sales tax but has
been maligned by the business com-
munity as unfair.
Google invests $200M in Texas wind farm
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)
— Google Inc. is investing
$200 million in a Texas
wind farm, the Internet
search leader's latest big
bet on the future alterna-
tive energy
The commitment to the
Spinning Spur Wind Proj-
ect announced Wednes-
day brings Google's total
investments in alterna-
tive energy to more than
$1 billion. The company
has backed 11 different
projects with a combined
capacity to produce 2 gi-
gawatts of electricity —
enough to power about
500,000 U.S. homes for a
year.
Google has been pour-
ing money into alternative
energy since 2010 because
it believes the investments
will prove profitable as the
demand for cleaner
sources of power rises
amid increasing concerns
about the pollution caused
by oil and coal.
The company, which is
based in Mountain View,
Calif, is consuming more
power as it builds more
data centers to run its In-
ternet search engine and
other online services used
by more than 1 billion
people throughout the
world.
The Texas wind farm is
located in Oldham
County about 35 miles
from Amarillo in the
state's panhandle section.
The wind farm, developed
by EDF Renewable En-
ergy, can produce up to
161 megawatts of electric-
ity
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Todaro, Nick. The Ennis Daily News (Ennis, Tex.), Ed. 1 Thursday, January 10, 2013, newspaper, January 10, 2013; Ennis, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth774695/m1/2/ocr/: accessed November 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Ennis Public Library.

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