The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
Beware of odometer fraud!
That’s the message the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has for consumers after a Texas man was arrested for the crime earlier this month. He’s accused of rolling back the odometers on hundreds of vehicles.
The man was taken into custody after a three-year joint investigation.
Clint Thompson, Chief of Title Services at the state Department of Motor Vehicles says the department is hoping to alert consumers who might own or buy an affected vehicle.
“Well, certainly one case is too many and obviously with hundreds of cases that we’re looking at with this particular individual it is concerning,” Thompson says. ”The department is reviewing other vehicle records to try to identify as many vehicles out there as we can that way consumers can be alerted.”
Thompson notes that once a vehicle has been purchased, it’s too late for the consumer to do anything about odometer fraud. He encourages potential buyers to look up a car’s title history, obtain a vehicle inspection report and decide if the condition of the car matches the mileage.
An environmental group is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over what it calls “weak” air permits at Texas refineries.
The group claims Texas is issuing permits that allow illegal amounts of pollution.
Houston Public Media’s Travis Bubenik has more.
“The D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project claims the permits have “illegal loopholes” – and that the EPA should block them.
“Our goal here isn’t to shut down plants, or to establish new requirements, it’s just to get documents that clearly say what sources have to do, in a way that allows for enforcement of the requirements in the permits,” says Gabriel Clark-Leach, one of the group’s attorneys.
The group objects to air permits for Houston-area refineries and a power plant near Dallas. The lawsuits are an effort to force the EPA to respond to those objections.
Leach says his group would settle if that happens, but with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in charge, it might not.
“Our understanding is that Pruitt has directed EPA and DOJ not to settle these kinds of cases, so we may be forced to litigate.” Leach says.
The group is also criticizing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for being lax on enforcing pollution laws. TCEQ and the EPA both say they don’t comment on pending litigation.
North Texas authorities are on the lookout for a familiar comic book character, with a certain resemblance to Spider-Man.
But this spider-man isn’t a crime-fighting hero. This webslinger is a suspect in a series of burglaries targeting liquor and tobacco in Grayson County, near the Oklahoma border.
The Dallas Morning News reports that authorities aren’t sure if the same person is committing all of the crimes, but they’re looking at that possibility.