West Texas News from San Angelo
in Officer Tracy Gonzalez, SAPD's Tech-Savvy Social Media Strategist
She alongside with our current Chief , Tim Vasquez , had done such a tremendous job of responding to the changing times by using new technology as a deterrent as a means to the apprehension of criminals in San Angelo. I glad to see we are at the forefront of the Social Media with more to come. Today's postings are the equivalent to yesterday's Most Wanted Posters in the post offices. It's time we recognize the we can use the Social Media as the '12 man' in criminal detection.
in STAAR Testing Requirements to Make Education in Texas More Rigorous, Relevant
The very last line says, "We know where the target is now." I wish Mr. McDaniel had asked her exactly what that target is? I'm not sure that the article itself indicates a "target". There are far far too many outside distractions for our teachers as it is now.......
in San Angelo Man Busted Making Fake Money
Man just trying to make a living.(: Our government already prints reckless money, and they don't need any competition.
in Semi Truck Overturned on Loop 306 and Pulliam Leaks Sticky Substance
High demand for CDL truck drivers in Texas right now. CDL testing requirements should be more stringent. Too many people with CDLs out there driving these behemoths that don't have a clue. Just lucky no fatalities this time.
in Ford F-250 Pickup Rear-Ends Scion on Sherwood Way in San Angelo. DWI Alleged
Enough problems driving in San Angelo without alcohol. That is what services like taxies or limos are for. We cost, but DWI's are much more expensive and dangerous. Sure, we like to make
money, but the attorneys, fines, jail time, is much more expensive.
Cheyenne was on the scene and said the aroma was pretty awful.
in Sandy Hook, Roswell...San Angelo? How Safe are Local Schools?
Insomniac, no, "packin' heat" is not AP Style. It's in the Creative License Handbook I keep stashed somewhere between important dates and remembering to get quarters for laundry.
You raise some valid points, most of which I considered when writing this piece. When the Roswell shooting took place earlier this month, I immediately called a contact in Connecticut to ask his opinion as a journalist and Manager of a website that extensively covered the political ramifications of the Sandy Hook shooting. His advice was very similar to what you've suggested, particularly on the mental health issue.
Having considered the vast amount of information needed to cover those aspects, I decided it would be more logical to start locally and simply first. As you can see, this article alone is quite lengthy, and I appreciate anyone who had the patience to read it all. As far as the other topics go, I do find they are interesting and definitely worth coverage and and have put some thought into writing follow-ups as time allows.
The Lazy Whine: "For 30 years we have written essays and have done really well. The state added a new piece to the writing component and it includes short-answer essay. Not only do students have to respond to open-ended questions citing text evidence, they also must make inferences connecting multiple pieces of literary work.”"
AKA: Encouraging intellectual investigation requiring students to actually refer to multiply sources of information and opinion instead of rambling on in the abstract. A good policy.
Sure would be nice if the San Angelo Independent School System's TV channel was used to help teachers educate students.
Standardized testing has put students in all parts of the USA on an equal footing because all school districts are required to provide a high level of education to all students in all geographic locations.
That's good to know. Must have been fragrant.
TXDOT was working on the cleanup while the city and county determined the lines of jurisdiction
There's an implication that the various LE groups engaged in a measuring contest of some kind for an hour before anyone worked on cleanup. I hope I'm misreading that.
This is a timely and tough subject to tackle. I commend you on the story. After a cringe-worthy start, it was some good reporting. (Is "packin' heat" in the AP stylebook?) In the national conversation we were supposed have about gun violence in the wake of Aurora and Sandy Hook, there are a couple of things that are clear. One, the country is still very divided on the issue and how to attack it. Very few understand or even care why people like Jared Lee Loughner or Adam Lanza were ever allowed to act out their homicidal thoughts. Next, unfortunately this has become another gun control vs. gun rights argument.
The reason I suggest a series is, you can't tackle this in one sitting. It leaves the reader with the impression that another school shooting, this time closer to home, is right around the corner. The truth is, homicides of youth at school has trended down since the early 90's, same as all violent crime, including firearm crimes. The media coverage of high profile events like Columbine and Sandy Hook leave parents with the impression that homicides at school are a common occurrence. Because of the way media covers these events, fear of crime and the amount of crime are not correlated with each other. The statistics and studies are out there and available from the DOJ/FBI, CDC, etc...
While one death is too many, children are much more likely to perish in an accident on the way to school than they are at the hands of a gunman on campus, but that doesn't grab headlines. This story may generate some conversation about how people feel about teachers/administrators carrying concealed firearms, and if that was your goal, so be it. America always overreacts to tragedy -- we're no different out here on the plains of West Texas. But it would be interesting for someone to try to tell the story of mass shootings from different angles. The growing evidence that an overwhelming number of mass shooters are mentally ill, untreated or under-treated, and/or on psychiatric drugs. The obvious connection between the under-funded, disorganized, and fragmented mental health community, and violent crime. The mental health system should have prevented Aaron Alexis from carrying out the Navy Yard shootings. He was dealing with severe mental problems, and should not have been free to roam the streets, much less work as a government contractor with a security clearance. James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado man who dressed as the Joker, and killed 11 people attending a Batman movie in 2012 was under psychiatric care, but had broken off counseling weeks before the shooting. Jared Loughner in Tuscon, and Seung Hui Cho at Va Tech, both had a history of mental health issues. And finally, Adam Lanza had behavioral problems throughout childhood, and was said by family members to have a personality disorder. He was reportedly diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder as a child and family friends claimed that he had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. His toxicology reports remain sealed, but It is rumored that Lanza was taking Fanapt. Big Pharma got it through the FDA on the third try. The first two versions had very bad side effects, including aggression at normal doses.
Lots to chew on. If you want to leave this as a one-off story about Christoval ISD personnel "packin' heat", that's up to you. Y'all claim to cover "local" news exclusively, and that's your option. But if you're going to repeatedly use the Sandy Hook tragedy as a point of reference, you might want to consider telling the story of how often these things really happen, and why experts think they happen at all. I realize talking about the deterioration of our mental health system over the last 40 years, or the way media has covered mass shootings, isn't as easy as covering the issue of guns in America, but it's all related. Thanks for the forum and for your work.
Have you ever wondered are we taking the test taking a step to far? Children in elementary start testing that counts in the 3rd grade and this is a bench mark on how they are dong from the third grade to graduation (if they make it). Granted a college education sometimes is not needed and if the cost on that type of education don't settle down, no one will be able to afford it. Getting back to the Testing concept, have you ever wondered when the teacher has time to teach to prepare a student, when the teacher MUST spend more time on getting ready for the STAAR each day, like they have had to do on other similar bench mark test. This nation has become obsessed with test.
Excellent piece, Ms. Schmid. Well written and informative.
in Abilene, San Angelo and Midland Mayors Address West Texas Water Partnership
I travel between Midland, San Angelo and Abilene and I have to say, the 3 cities now resemble what is quickly becoming the arm-pit of Texas. The cities are filthy, crime ridden, they have poor streets and roads and they are just ugly (San Angelo is trying). While more and better water sources are important, that's nothing NEW to West Texas, try some curb appeal too!
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