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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2013 A1
Cooper baseball team not satisfied with reaching state tourney. D1
wednesday, june 5, 2013
91st year, no. 207 © 2013
Hernandez recall vote likely lubbock/Results of validated petition to go to council June 13; councilman says he won’t resign BY ADAM D. YOUNG A-J Media
Petition organizers’ efforts to recall Councilman Victor Hernandez likely will go to the voters in November. During a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 4, Lubbock City Secretary Becky Garza announced the District 1 recall pe-
Tornado siren issue may go to task force
Originally appeared on lubbockonline.com
tition against Hernandez is valid, containing more than the necessary 448 signatures to trigger a recall election. Petition organizers said they weren’t surprised by the results. “We assured ourHernandez selves that we submitted a bona fide petition,” said Frank Gutierrez, chairman of the recently founded Campaign to Vacate Victor political action committee.
Garza said Hernandez has the option to resign within five days, otherwise her office will present the findings to the City Council during its June 13 meeting. The council then will accept the results and call for an election during the next regularly schedule election. Hernandez said he will not resign. After Garza’s news conference, both Hernandez and Mayor Glen Robertson said they were hopeful the looming recall election would not distract from council business as leaders begin the process of SEE RECALL, page A8
Adam D. Young A-j media
During a news conference Tuesday, Lubbock City Secretary Becky Garza announced the District 1 recall petition against Councilman Victor Hernandez is valid.
How hot? 106!
Beyond The Caprock Latest Okla. tornado widest on record OKLAHOMA CITY — The deadly tornado that struck near Oklahoma City late last week had a recordbreaking width of 2.6 miles and was the second topof-the-scale EF5 twister to hit the area in less than two weeks, the National Weather Service reported Tuesday. The weather service initially rated the Friday tornado that hit El Reno as an EF3. But the agency upgraded the ranking after surveying damage from the twister, which along with subsequent flooding killed 18 people. The weather service determined the storm packed winds reaching 295 mph. The update means the Oklahoma City area has seen two of the extremely rare EF5 tornadoes in only 11 days. The other hit Moore, a city about 25 miles away from El Reno, on May 20, killing 24 people. ASSOCIATED PRESS For more state, nation and world news, see pages A2-16, B3-4 and E1, 3-4.
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lubbock/Council to consider forming group to study emergency alerts
(That will make you smarter) Wolfforth police obtain dump trucks, mobile command unit for free. Page B1 Food Made Fresh: It’s easy as pie to turn strawberries and cherries into jam. Page E1
Originally appeared on lubbockonline.com
BY ADAM D. YOUNG A-J Media
In Tomorrow’s A-J
Lubbock’s City Council will consider forming a task force among city, county and school leaders and emergency officials to examine tornado sirens as part of a study to improve emergency notifications in Lubbock. The task force, proposed by Mayor Glen Robertson and Robertson Mayor Pro Tem Karen Gibson, would provide the council with options as community concern and interest in tornado sirens builds following recent deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma and the DallasFort Worth area, Robertson said. “There is growing interest and pressure to install tornado sirens in Lubbock, and we feel as though there is not enough good information available now to make an informed decision,” Robertson said in a statement on his Facebook page. Set for consideration at the council’s June 13 meeting, the resolution will call for a task force consisting of Robertson, County Judge Tom Head, Emergency Management Coordinator Jay Parchman, a Texas Tech representative, a Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District representative, a Lubbock ISD representative, a Frenship ISD representative, a National Weather Service employee as well as several more weather and SEE SIRENS, page A8
The Gap store in the South Plains Mall is set to close. SECTION A
Words Of Inspiration Stephen Spillman A-j media
United States Postal Service worker Britt Fausler delivers mail Tuesday on 58th Street in temperatures that reached 106 degrees. Lubbock’s record for the date was 101.
lubbock/City breaks 2 record highs for June 4
On The Outside Weather
Originally appeared on lubbockonline.com
A storm chance
BY ADAM D. YOUNG A-J Media
With a warm morning and blazing afternoon, Lubbock saw two recordbreaking temperatures Tuesday, June 4. A high-pressure front and shifting dry line turned up the heat, with Lubbock’s daytime high reaching 106 degrees at 3:52 p.m. at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport compared to a previous record for the date of 101 tied in 2008, according to National Weather Service archives. Lubbock’s low Tuesday morning of 74 degrees was the warmest low for June SEE HEAT, page A7
Want More? AMARILLO SEES record storm damage. PAGE A9 NEW WEATHER data center in Amarillo. PAGE A9
As our friendship continues to grow and grow, God’s precious blessings flow and flow. Who knew I’d find such a treasure in you? We’ll face the struggles, the hardships and challenges together my dear friends, from now until the very end. So please thank God for his divine love. It’s in your heart, sent from heaven above. Joan Shoultz, Lubbock
A kayaker negotiates around rocks as he floats the Guadalupe River on Tuesday, June 4, near New Braunfels. Tubers and rafters were taking advantage of recent rains that provided plenty of water flow to enjoy the river. Two Texas agencies say Texans should not consider the drought over and urged them to continue conserving water.
Despite soaking rains in some areas, water conservation urged by Enrique Rangel A-J Austin Bureau
AUSTIN — Like parts of West Texas, the central and southern regions of the state have been soaked in recent days. San Antonio alone received nearly 10 inches of rain May 25, nearly equaling the amount that had fallen so far in 2013. Another major thunderstorm hit the city and most of South-Central Texas a week later. With those and other recent rains, it
would be easy for many Texans to think the devastating two-year drought is over or almost over. Not so, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reminded the public Tuesday, June 4. Texans should continue conserving water as they have been doing in recent years, the agencies said as they unveiled a statewide public service SEE WATER, page A7
High: 94 Low: 62 Tomorrow: A chance of thunderstorms, high of 77.
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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2013 LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL
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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2013 A8
recall: Effort ‘about good government’ FROM page A1 setting next year’s budget. “I’m like most people, I juggle 15 balls at one time — that’s just life,” Hernandez said. “I see this issue being another one of those balls I’m throwing up in the air.” Robertson, a District 1 resident, said he will refrain from taking a stance on the recall election, calling it a process that’s up to the voters of the district. “Our job right now on the council is to let that process go forward and do our job,” Robertson said. Former Lubbock County Commissioner Ysidro Gutierrez submitted his petition Friday, May 24, containing 586 signatures in his recently formed political action committee’s ongoing effort to oust the North Lubbock councilman from office, he said last month. He said he started the petition because he’s disappointed by Hernandez’s handling of complaints involving City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld, specifically the councilman’s decisions in recent weeks not to recuse himself from voting on the issue. “But this is more than just about Councilman Hernandez,” he said. “People are angry with the whole council. This is about good government.” The city charter says only 448 valid signatures are needed on the recall petition — 30 percent of the 1,491 votes cast in the district in the last general
election, Garza said. Of the 448, at least one-tenth of those signing the petition must certify they voted for Hernandez during his last election in May 2010. Garza said 10 of the signatures were disqualified because those who signed weren’t registered, signed twice or weren’t residents of the district. One person requested their name be removed. Garza said her office verified the signatures were valid by using the Texas secretary of state’s voter registration database and working with the Lubbock County OfY. Gutierrez fice of Elections. Ysidro Gutierrez and other petition organizers were given 33 days ending Tuesday, May 28, to collect the signatures from registered voters in District 1 and launched the monthlong campaign seeking signatures door to door over four weekends in April and May. Garza said the recall ballot will not address replacing Hernandez if he is recalled. If he is recalled, the city would hold a special election within 120 days to replace Hernandez. Hernandez said he would run for his seat, even if recalled. Neither Frank nor Ysidro Gutierrez said they would run for the seat but
suspect others are interested, though they would not speculate. “Mr. Hernandez is not the only qualified candidate in the district,” Frank Gutierrez said. Hernandez issued a statement after the results were announced. “Throughout the process of Mr. Gutierrez, et al, gathering signatures, I received numerous phone calls from some of the voters being approached,” he said. “The callers stated that they were told by those collecting their signature that the petition being circulated was in fact, to support me as their council member. Other callers reported that they were told the petition being circulated was an effort to reduce the LP&L electric rate. As a result of this misinformation, some members of the community signed the recall petition.” Hernandez urged residents in his district to “remain calm as we push forward to the November election.” “Furthermore, I would ask that District 1 voters support me by voting against the recall effort,” he said. “In a nutshell, this initiative has become a referendum on a public official’s right to make inquiries of senior staff members in order to perform his duties and thus cast his votes, fully informed.” email@example.com 766-8725 Follow Adam on Twitter @AYoungReporter
sirens: Mayor wants look at ‘whole picture’ FROM page A1 emergency preparedness experts, Robertson said. “This task force will would be charged with creating a comprehensive plan to address to needs of Lubbock and our immediate surrounding area in response to tornadic events,” he said in his statement. “We would like for all parties involved to be on the same page and try to work together. Hopefully, we will find some synergies and create a system that is a much safer and economical solution than if we all act independently. We are not opposed to sirens, but we do want to make sure that we are making the best possible decisions
when dealing with public safety as well as taxpayers’ monies.” Robertson’s announcement came a day after the city issued a request for proposal seeking details including pricing, equipment features and maintenance in installing and maintaining an emergency communications system. “The city desires to have the most coverage per siren that is possible while covering all the schools, major parks and outdoor gathering areas within the city limits,” the request said. “The siren shall be capable of delivering clear and powerful voice communication as well as standard siren tones.”
The request added: “The proposer shall provide a 25-year pricing of all possible items that are to be provided by the proposer or expected to be purchased by the city because of system expansion that will require yearly budgeting by the city over the 25year life expectancy of the system.” The request, issued by the city’s purchasing department, has a deadline of June 27 and aims to provide city officials and possibly the task force with more information. Robertson said the request should produce useful information and realworld numbers for task force members to consider
as they prepare their recommendations for city leaders. “We need to take a good look at the whole picture,” Robertson said. Councilman Victor Hernandez said he also believes leaders and the community need more information before committing to a major undertaking. “We’ve had several deadly incidents within a six-hour drive of our area bringing attention to this threat,” Hernandez said. “I know people are concerned.” firstname.lastname@example.org 766-8725 Follow Adam on Twitter @AYoungReporter
John Lawton poses by his Cessna 172 airplane May 30 in Wadsworth, Ohio.
90-year-old pilot completes 90 U.S.Canada crossings by CAROLYN THOMPSON Associated Press
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — A 90-year-old pilot completed his birthday quest to fly 90 passes across the U.S.-Canadian border in his Cessna 172 Tuesday, even tallying a few extras a day after high winds got in the way of his plans. “I’ll be back in 10 years for my 100th,” John Lawton of Seville, Ohio, said a few hours after parking his 1964 airplane at a Niagara Falls airport. Lawton, with his daughter, Brenda Alberico, by his side keeping count, performed a series of figure eights over the Niagara River border, north of Buffalo, detouring for a few laps around nearby Niagara Falls, which straddles the U.S. and Canada. “There were no surprises really,” Lawton said matterof-factly. He said the idea came to him about three years ago. “I just had this idea, it might be a stunt, to fly 90 turns across the international border when I’m 90 years old,” he said on the tarmac
of Niagara Falls Aviation, his red, white and blue Cessna behind him. His birthday was Monday but his flight plans were cut short by high winds. He and Alberico got 28 passes in, making wider S-turns, before landing. With better conditions Tuesday, Lawton did tight figure eight patterns, completing 68 crossings, including four at Niagara Falls, in under an hour and a half. “I like to fly,” shrugged Lawton, who has been a pilot 56 years. Lawton lived in western New York while employed by Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, which later became Calspan Corp., from 1951 to 1978. After the flight Tuesday, he got a tour of Calspan, located across from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport where he began his flight. The airport’s air traffic controllers were aware of the plans and gave their OK. Alberico traveled from Frisco, Colo., to be at her father’s side. “I was tracking the turns and recording them on his GPS,” Alberico said.