News Roundup: Central Texas County Ends Agreement With Reality Show ‘Live PD’

Our daily look at headline from around the state.

By Alexandra HartAugust 21, 2019 1:47 pm

Williamson County commissioners voted yesterday to terminate its contract with the reality TV producers behind “Live PD.”

Earlier this year, the county decided to continue discussions with Big Fish Entertainment, the producers of “Live PD.”

The documentary-style show follows law enforcement on patrol, and has featured Williamson County sheriff’s deputies since November of last year. But that partnership hasn’t been without controversy. In April, a Georgetown lawyer alleged that a department commander told deputies he hoped one of them would have sex with a “Live PD” female producer. The show has also been called exploitative by critics.

Just last week, Williamson County Sherriff Robert Chody lauded the department’s involvement with “Live PD,” tweeting it was quote “the best community outreach I have ever witnessed.”

Ride-hailing company Uber has announced it will open a regional hub in Dallas.

KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports that Dallas was stung after it failed to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to the city. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson called this Uber announcement a very big deal.

“I literally think it’s the biggest economic development deal in the country since the Amazon deal,” Mayor Johnson said. “These jobs are coming to the city of Dallas. And that’s a big deal for our tax base. It’s a big deal for our sales revenue.  This country may be headed to a recession is what some people say, and so wins like this may be harder and harder to come by.”

Just last week, the Dallas City Council unanimously approved a package of more than $9 million to lure Uber to the city. Dallas County offered its own tax abatements, and the state’s providing $24 million of its own incentives.

Johnson says those incentives landed Uber.

“That was the deal,” the mayor said. “They are very happy for Dallas for a lot of reasons. But these are competitive deals cities are competing and I think we stepped up to the plate and competed and made net winners out of both. We didn’t give up the store to get this deal done.”

San Francisco-based Uber operates around the world providing not only rides to individuals, but also delivery of food and other items.

Uber plans to put the corporate hub in Deep Ellum, where staff will fill a variety of corporate jobs. The company says annual average salaries will exceed $100,000.

Four Texas community colleges are receiving grants from the U.S. Department of Labor to boost information technology apprenticeship programs.

Austin Community College, San Jacinto College in Houston, Alamo Community College in San Antonio and Dallas Community College shared the funds awarded to Texas schools: $12 million, as part of a $183 million grant awarded by the Labor Department to 23 institutions nationwide.

The aim of the program is to train at least 5,000 workers for higher paying, higher skilled jobs.

Texas had 960,000 IT employees in 2017, the latest year for which data is available. It ranks second in the nation only to California.