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AM Update: Perry's Security Costs Soar, Car Crashes Down, F1 Neighbors' Noise Complaints

Ben Philpott, KUT News

Perry’s Security Costs Soar

The Texas Department of Public Safety(DPS) has been releasing travel-related security costs incurred by Gov. Rick Perry during his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. However, the totals haven’t included overtime pay. The Texas Tribune requested the overtime amounts:

“In the six months in which Perry was an active presidential candidate, DPS spent $1.1 million on overtime pay for the Executive Protection Bureau – more than the total overtime pay for the security detail in all of 2010, records show. ”

In December, during Perry’s tour of Iowa, DPS spending costs came close to $300,000.

Perry insists that his role as governor affords him such security detail and has dismissed those who insist he should reimburse the state. The Tribune quotes Lucy Nashed, a Perry spokesperson, saying that “DPS has a policy of providing security for governors and their families everywhere they travel.” 

We won’t know the full costs from DPS for some time as bills are still being calculated.

Car Crashes Down in Austin

From KXAN, the Austin Police Department(APD) has released numbers which show that automobile crashes have decreased by 11 percent citywide.

APD has been implementing a new enforcement strategy which outlines writing fewer non-hazardous citations and more citations focused on hazardous violations, said KXAN. Preliminary data obtained by the station shows that APD officers wrote 224,661 tickets in 2010 and 165,757 in 2011. The department believes the new strategy is the reason we are seeing fewer accidents.

The most dangerous intersection in Austin was at Slaughter Lane near Interstate 35 which saw 21 crashes during October 2010 to October 2011. The second most dangerous was intersection of Congress and Cesar Chavez, which saw 20 crashes, said KXAN.

Neighbors of the F1 Track Complain of Noise

According the Austin American-Statesman, neighbors of the new Formula 1 track Circuit of the Americas are complaining about the late-night construction noise.

Cathy Olive, president of the Elroy Neighborhood Association, has raised the issue saying that the noise and bright lights from the construction area have been keeping residents up at night, said the Statesman. The residents believe the F1 organizers are trying to make up for lost time, due to many delays in construction over the last year, and also have traffic concerns.

An F1 track official contacted Olive and discussed the option of providing the residents with a traffic pass which would allow them to navigate through the traffic, said the Statesman.

The first race is scheduled for November.

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