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One sticker, more confusion for state's vehicle registration launch

<p>Sam Rodriguez thought he would run into the Bexar County Tax Office Tuesday morning to get his vehicle registration. It didn’t go as quickly as he’d anticipated.</p> <p>“I stopped by to get this, but now I’ve got to go get my inspection sticker first,” he said.</p> <p>Marabdi Aviles also had to run an unexpected errand, so getting her registration wound up taking more than an hour.</p> <p>“They told me I needed to get an up-to-date inspection and come back and get it,” she said.</p> <p>The issue for both: Their registration and inspection stickers expired in March.</p> <p>The new Texas vehicle registration system that went into effect Monday caught both drivers off guard was .</p> <p>Basically, vehicle inspection stickers are becoming a thing of the past. Drivers still need an official inspection once a year and is required to register the vehicle.</p> <p>Inspectors will give consumers a paper report, showing their vehicle inspection, and the information will be put into the state’s computer database.</p> <p>It’s a program called Two Steps, One Sticker, designed to simplify the processes.</p> <p>“There’s been some confusion,” said Bexar County Tax Assessor Albert Uresti. “The main thing to remember is if your vehicle inspection report is current, you’ll be able to get your registration.”</p> <p>To help consumers figure out what to do in the case of two different expiration months on their current stickers, the state has a calculator tool on its website.</p> <p>It may take up to a year to get everyone’s inspection and registration schedules in synch.</p> <p>But, keep in mind, if your current stickers have the same month on them, you need to get your inspection done first.</p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 21:52:02 GMT

Justice report finds systematic discrimination against African Americans in Ferguson

<p>A Justice Department civil rights investigation has concluded that the Ferguson Police Department and the city's municipal court engaged in a "pattern and practice" of discrimination against African Americans, targeting them disproportionately for traffic stops, use of force, and jail sentences, according to a U.S. law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.</p> <p>The probe is the result of an investigation ordered by Attorney General Eric Holder after the police shooting that killed Michael Brown last summer.</p> <p>Among the findings, reviewed by CNN: from 2012 to 2014, 85% of people subject to vehicle stops by Ferguson police were African American; 90% of those who received citations were black; and 93% of people arrested were black. This while 67% of the Ferguson population is black.</p> <p>In 88% of the cases in which the Ferguson police reported using force, it was against African Americans. During the period 2012-2014 black drivers were twice as likely as white drivers to be searched during traffic stops, but 26% less likely to be found in possession of contraband.</p> <p>Blacks were disproportionately more likely to be cited for minor infractions: 95% of tickets for "manner of walking in roadway," essentially jaywalking, were against African Americans. Also, 94% of all "failure to comply" charges were filed against black people.</p> <p>The findings in the investigation are expected to be made public as soon as Wednesday, and the Justice Department is expected to pursue a court-supervised consent decree that requires the city of Ferguson to make changes to its police and courts.</p> <p>According to the findings, reviewed by CNN, African Americans were 68% less likely to have their cases dismissed by a Ferguson municipal judge, and were overwhelmingly more likely to be arrested during traffic stops solely for an outstanding warrant by the Ferguson courts.</p> <p>The investigators found evidence of racist jokes being sent around by Ferguson police and court officials. One November 2008 email read in part that President Barack Obama wouldn't likely be President for long because "what black man holds a steady job for four years."</p> <p>Another jokes that made the rounds on Ferguson government email in May 2011 said: "An African American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $3000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said: 'Crimestoppers.'"</p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 21:31:46 GMT

Firefighter Hospitalized in Altoona After Daisy Street Blaze

<p>A firefighter has been hospitalized in UPMC Altoona after being entrapped while crews battled a third-alarm structure fire Tuesday morning in the 700 block of Daisy Street in Clearfield Borough.</p> <p>The firefighter was one of three who were entrapped after the porch roof collapsed. The firefighters were extricated from the home, according to emergency management officials.</p> <p>One firefighter was taken to UPMC Altoona due to injuries, said Borough Operations Manager Leslie Stott. She was uncertain of the firefighter's condition and waiting for a report from her staff.</p> <p>WJAC-TV, a GantDaily news partner, has received reports from officials that the firefighter sustained serious injuries in the fire.</p> <p>Two other firefighters were treated locally at Clearfield Penn Highlands Hospital and have been released, said Stott. The names of the three, injured firefighters aren't being released, said Stott.</p> <p>On the Clearfield Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page, officials posted: "Please take a moment to say a prayer or send a positive thought out for all of those involved in the fire this morning, especially for our injured brothers."</p> <p>A 50-year veteran of the Clearfield Fire Department who lives near the scene told WJAC-TV that he was among the first to respond to the fire. Upon arrival flames were "shooting out of every opening" in the home and the porch roof collapsed, he said.</p> <p>According to officials, the adult residents and their pets escaped from the burning home to safety. Their children were not at home at the time of the fire, officials said.</p> <p>A Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal has initiated an investigation into the origin and cause of the fire, said Stott.</p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 21:29:04 GMT

What's in the Iran nuclear deal

<p>With a crucial deadline in the negotiations over Iran's disputed nuclear program less than a month away, negotiators are hard at work in this picturesque town trying to hammer out a framework agreement for a deal.</p> <p>It's a complicated process many years in the making that, as with many international negotiations, brings with it varying expectations from each side.</p> <p>Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Switzerland for the second time in recent weeks for a series of meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as the clock ticks down.</p> <p>While Kerry and other U.S. officials have long maintained that no deal is preferable to one that can be easily broken, Kerry laid out a broad vision of what an acceptable deal to him would look like.</p> <p>"Any deal that we would possibly agree to would make the international community, and especially Israel, safer than it is today. That's our standard," Kerry said Monday as his meetings with Zarif began.</p> <p>For its part, the United States is looking for the elimination of any ability on the part of Iran to make a nuclear weapon in the future.</p> <p>At the very least, the United States and its partners in these negotiations, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany, the so-called P5+1, want to extend the time needed for Iran to assemble a weapon, the so-called breakout time, to be extended to a year in order to provide enough of a gap to react to such a decision.</p> <p>In an interview with Reuters on Monday, President Barack Obama said Iran should commit to a verifiable freeze of at least 10 years in its nuclear activity as part of any final agreement.</p> <p>"If, in fact, Iran is willing to agree to double-digit years of keeping their program where it is right now and, in fact, rolling back elements of it that currently exist ... if we've got that, and we've got a way of verifying that, there's no other steps we can take that would give us such assurance that they don't have a nuclear weapon," Obama said.</p> <p>Iran would like complete relief from the international sanctions that are crippling its economy, particularly in the wake of falling global oil prices. For Iran, anything less is a non-starter.</p> <p>"Our negotiating partners, particularly the western countries and particularly the United States, must once and for all, come to the political understanding that sanctions and agreement don't go together," Zarif said Monday. "If they want an agreement, sanctions must go."</p> <p>Getting the balance right on any potential deal, particularly the sanctions question, will be tricky as the United States and its allies are pushing for an incremental lifting of sanctions in order to maintain leverage to ensure Iran is abiding by the agreement.</p> <p>While both sides say the gaps between the two sides are narrowing, the big remaining question is how you get to a deal that all sides can agree on.</p> <p>"There are gaps. There's certainly gaps and we're starting to move forward but it's a lot of work," Zarif told CNN on Tuesday. When asked how many times the sides plan to meet Tuesday, he replied, "As many times as necessary."</p> <p>They are keeping that promise -- having met late into the night Monday and starting early again in the morning -- in talks that have developed a steady rhythm: meet for an hour, head back to confer with staff, then meet again. This round of talks will continue into Wednesday.</p> <p>In order to increase that breakout time, the P5+1 negotiators say there needs to be a drastic reduction in the number of Iranian centrifuges, the devices used to enrich uranium to the higher level of purity needed for a nuclear bomb.</p> <p>Iran currently has approximately 20,000 centrifuges, but it has many times balked at reducing that number to the few thousand centrifuges that international negotiators are pushing for in any agreement.</p> <p>There is also the question of what you do with the growing stockpile of enriched uranium currently inside Iran.</p> <p>While the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency has not seen evidence that Iran has enriched its uranium stockpile to levels approaching 20% in recent months (nuclear weapons typically require enrichment to 90%), Iran views questions over its nuclear abilities as an affront to its sovereignty.</p> <p>In the past, negotiators have raised the prospect of shipping Iran's uranium supply to a third country -- Russia is often mentioned as a candidate -- in order to convert that fuel down to very low levels that would only be suitable for civilian power plants.</p> <p>And there is also the sticking point of increasing the level of monitoring at Iran's nuclear facilities so Iran doesn't not have the capability to cheat on any deal reached.</p> <p>The IAEA currently has the ability to monitor a variety of nuclear sites, but the government has refused access to a sensitive site that many feel has been used in the past to test various explosive devices that could be part of a potential military dimension to Iran's nuclear program.</p> <p>"We have asked questions and the questions are clear, so (Iran) can answer," IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said Monday.</p> <p>Added to all this complexity are the two separate deadlines the entire enterprise is up against.</p> <p>Negotiators are working toward a deadline at the end of March to reach a political framework that would spell out the elements that both sides agree would form the basis of a deal. That would then pave the way for a complete and final agreement with all the technical details addressed to be reached by the end of June.</p> <p>There is of course the possibility of reaching a framework agreement only to have it fall apart as the two sides work to finalize the details for the complete deal.</p> <p>Despite the repeated rhetoric from both sides that the gaps between the two have been diminishing for a number of weeks, the bridging of those final gaps are likely to prove to be the most difficult ones as the negotiating window closes.</p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 21:27:47 GMT

Dallas school safely evacuated over carbon monoxide levels

<p>A Dallas school with more than 800 students has been safely evacuated after high levels of carbon monoxide were linked to a furnace.</p> <p>Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says a leak Tuesday morning was traced to a furnace in the basement of Lakewood Elementary School.</p> <p>A Dallas Independent School District spokesman says a contractor doing some work had checked for carbon monoxide and found elevated levels.</p> <p>Utility crews were summoned to the school, as students and staff relocated to another campus.</p> <p>Lakewood Elementary School, according to its website, has more than 850 students.</p> <p> </p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 21:24:35 GMT

Dense fog causes travel problems in Texas, flights delayed

<p>Heavy fog has delayed dozens of flights in Texas.</p> <p>Tracker Flightaware.com reports nearly 60 flight delays Tuesday in and out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.</p> <p>The National Weather Service had issued a dense fog advisory until midday Tuesday for the Austin and San Marcos areas.</p> <p>The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop for the airport in Austin, due to the heavy fog.</p> <p>Airport spokesman Jim Halbrook says the ground stop, when flights are required to remain at their departure points, lasted less than two hours and was lifted by early Tuesday afternoon.</p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 21:22:15 GMT

Burning cross left outside Central Texas church

<p>Investigators are trying to determine who left a burning cross outside a Central Texas church.</p> <p><a href="http://bit.ly/18KB5to" target="_blank">KXAN-TV</a> reported Tuesday that the incident involves Smoking for Jesus Ministry in Burnet (BER'-net). That's about 45 miles northwest of Austin.</p> <p>The Burnet County Sheriff's Office says the charred wooden cross was found Sunday night propped up against the church's sign. Investigators have asked for the public's help in locating any suspects.</p> <p>The church, on its website, says "On Fire For The Lord" and that the ministry in December marked its 18th anniversary.</p> <p>Messages left with the sheriff's department and the church weren't immediately returned Tuesday.</p> <p> </p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 21:20:48 GMT

Judge denies UIW request to dismiss wrongful-death suit

<p>A judge in San Antonio has denied the University of the Incarnate Word's request to dismiss a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the university by the family of slain student Cameron Redus, the family's attorney Brent Perry told KSAT Tuesday morning.</p> <p>Redus was shot to death by a university police officer in December 2013. His family filed the lawsuit last spring.</p> <p>The university's lawyers claimed that the school is a governmental unit, and so the school and the officer are immune from prosecution.</p> <p>When the officer, Cpl. Chris Carter, shot Redus, he was acting as a police officer licensed by the state, the university claimed. That made him and the university, they allege, governmental units -- and so immune.</p> <p>Lawyers for the Redus family have disputed that. They argued that the university is a private institution and not a government unit and called the suit a delay tactic.</p> <p>"Since that tragic night, UIW has sought and utilized every delay tactic they could create to delay the inevitable. In Federal Court and now in State District Court, their delay tactics have proven fruitless. Cameron deserves his day in Court; and the community has a right to know the true facts in this case,” Perry said in a statement.</p> <p>The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office is currently reviewing the Redus shooting. District Attorney Nico LaHood said that he anticipated his office would present the Redus shooting to a Bexar County grand jury by the end of March.</p> <p>UIW Chancellor Dr. Denise Doyle issued this statement Monday:</p> <p>"The University is continuing to follow the legal process. This is not the first time the status of police departments of private universities has been raised either in Texas courts or nationally.  This is an important legal issue and we will carry it forward to the Court of Appeals. This is by no means a stalling tactic, as has been described by some. There is no advantage whatsoever for the University to stall this lawsuit. Rather we are taking very seriously the implications and consequences of this suit for the University."  </p> <p>This is a developing story. Stay with KSAT 12 and KSAT.com for the latest.<br> </p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 17:25:43 GMT

Surveillance pics lead to arrests in separate thefts

<p>Surveillance pictures have led to the arrests of Geremy Blanco, 21, and Rene Canales, 48 -- suspects in two separate theft cases.</p> <p>San Antonio police believe Blanco is one of two men who walked out of a Dollar General store in the 7100 block of Highway 90 in January without paying for laundry detergent.</p> <p>An arrest affidavit stated the men each grabbed four boxes of Tide Pods detergent and left the store. All together, the stolen merchandise was worth about $130.</p> <p>The affidavit stated that a few minutes after that crime, an asset protection team for Dollar General received a report of a similar theft at another store.</p> <p>Surveillance video from that second location showed the license plate number of the getaway care, the affidavit stated.</p> <p>Police said through their investigation of the car and its owner, they identified Blanco as a suspect.  </p> <p>In an unrelated case, San Antonio police used surveillance pictures to learn the identity of a man who had stolen more than $1,500 worth of jeans from a West Side clothing store. </p> <p>They said they received a tip to their Crime Stoppers line, identifying Rene Canales, 48, as the man in the photos, which had aired on local TV stations.</p> <p>Canales was already in custody on an unrelated warrant. </p> <p>Blanco was booked into jail on Monday. Both suspects face charges of theft.</p> <p><b><i>Mughot below of Geremy Blanco:</i></b></p> <p><img src="/content/dam/pns/ksat/news/2015/03/03/Mugshot-Geremy-Blanco.jpg"></p> <p> </p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:08:13 GMT

Suspicious fire rips through SW Side mobile homes

<p>Two vacant mobile homes burned at a mobile home park late Monday night on the Southwest Side.</p> <p>Flames broke out around 10:30 p.m. Monday at Vail's Mobile Home Park in the 2200 block of west Southcross Boulevard.</p> <p>Fire officials said one mobile home was engulfed in flames when crews arrived. That home is considered a total loss.</p> <p>A second mobile home across a street at the mobile park was also damaged by fire.<br> SAFD officials believe the fire is suspicious in nature and was intentionally set. The arson unit will investigate a cause.</p> <p>Officials say arson investigators also looked into a suspicious fire there in December that burned two other mobile homes.</p> <p>In May 2014, fire destroyed an office building at the mobile home park. That fire was also considered suspicious.</p> <p>The owner of Vail's Mobile Home Park said he believes someone set all the fires.<br> He said he was working to fix up the property, and had plans to spend money on newer, nicer trailers. First he said he wanted to put up a new fence to make it more difficult for a fire bug to strike again.</p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 14:54:08 GMT

Thousands flee as Chile volcano erupts

<p>One of South America's most active volcanos erupted early Tuesday in southern Chile, spewing heavy smoke into the air as lava surged down its slopes, prompting authorities to evacuate thousands of people.</p> <p>The Villarica volcano erupted around 3 a.m. local time, according to the National Emergency Office, which issued a red alert and ordered evacuations. Local media showed images of the volcano bursting at the top, glowing in the dark amid heavy smoke and rivers of lava.</p> <p>The 9,000 foot (2,847-meter) volcano in Chile's central valley, 400 miles (670 kilometers) south of Santiago, sits above the small city of Pucon. Tourists flock there for outdoor activities, including hiking around the volcano, which last had a major eruption in 1984.</p> <p>President Michelle Bachelet announced that she will travel to the volcano-hit area and asked residents to remain calm.</p> <p>Chilean authorities had issued an orange alert on Monday because of increased activity at the volcano. About 3,500 people have been evacuated so far, including tourists, said Interior and Security Minister Rodrigo Penailillo.</p> <p>Chile has more than 2,000 volcanoes in the Andes cordillera and about 90 of them remain active.</p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:30:32 GMT

Mechanic dies after accident at DFW Airport

<p>A mechanic for American Airlines was killed during an accident at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.</p> <p>The airline says in a statement the mechanic was involved in an accident Monday morning on a jet bridge, which connects an airport terminal to a plane. Other details of the accident were not immediately released.</p> <p>The airline says it extends "our deepest sympathies to our co-worker's family and friends, and our hearts go out to our entire team of DFW airport and maintenance colleagues. Our focus is on taking care of his family and friends during this difficult time."</p> <p>The mechanic's name was not immediately released. An airport spokesman says the accident remains under investigation.</p>

Published: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:50:31 GMT