Top Morning Stories March 17, 2011
House Panel OKs Guns on Campus Bill
A Texas House committee has approved legislation that would allow people with permits to carry concealed weapons to carry guns on college campuses. The House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee passed the bill 5-3 Wednesday. The guns on campus legislation now goes to the full House. The Associated Press reports the vote was split along party lines, with Republicans backing the measure.
Supporters consider it a key gun-rights, self-defense measure to prevent violent campus crime such as the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007. Opponents, including some university and law enforcement officials, worry that students and faculty would live in fear of classmates and colleagues, not knowing who might pull a gun over a poor grade, broken romance or drunken argument.
Texas Companies Recovering from Japan Disaster
Texas companies with operations in Japan were impacted by last week's massive earthquake and tsunami, including Dell, Freescale Semiconductor and Texas Instruments. YNN reports Dell's offices are back up in Japan after being shut down for a short period and Freescale is still assessing damages to its plant in Sendai. Texas Instruments released this statement:
After a preliminary assessment, Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today [Monday] said its manufacturing site in Miho, Japan, about 40 miles northeast of Tokyo, suffered substantial damage during last Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake. The company estimates it will reinstate production in stages, beginning with several lines in May and returning the factory to full production in mid-July, which translates to full shipment capability in September. This schedule could be delayed if the region's power grid is unstable or if further complications prevent the re-start of equipment.
City Checking Permits during SXSW Music
You can catch live music just about anywhere in Austin during SXSW this week. The City of Austin wants to make sure event organizers are following all the rules. Starting today, the Public Assembly Code Enforcement team (PACE) will be checking out vendors, merchants, event holders and property owners to make sure they're following local safety codes. They'll also be checking to see if people have all the required permits. If those can't be shown for a particular event, the city says it may have to shut it down.