DAILY DOSSIER: Cuccinelli Under Fire, Epstein Death Investigated, Dime Box ISD Shifts to Four-Day Week

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News > News > Austin Local News > DAILY DOSSIER: Cuccinelli Under Fire, Epstein Death Investigated, Dime Box ISD Shifts to Four-Day Week

DAILY DOSSIER: Cuccinelli Under Fire, Epstein Death Investigated, Dime Box ISD Shifts to Four-Day Week

The Acting Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services getting lambasted in the media. 

Ken Cuccinelli saying on CNN that the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants to the United States was referring to “people coming from Europe.”  He said such Europeans were escaping a class-based society.  Now, some reporters are attacking Cuccinelli for that, and during an appearance on Fox News At Night, he attacked right back.

"A lot of people on the left are trying to use this poem as if it's law somehow, and we've always, as that poem expresses, 'sought those who yearn to be free,' as it says in that poem.  But they still need to be able to support themselves," Cuccinelli says.

The controversy comes as the Trump administration is preparing to require immigrants prove they're self-sufficient, and won't need welfare programs to survive in the US. 

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A person familiar with the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein's apparent suicide in a federal jail says surveillance video reviewed after the death shows guards did not check on inmates every half hour as was noted in log entries. Epstein is believed to have killed himself early Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, where he was awaiting trial in a sex trafficking case.

Investigators will visit the facility today to determine whether officials were following protocol before his death, as well as to gain some clarification as to why Epstein was removed from suicide watch.

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An Austin City Council Committee hears the latest timeline for consideration and a vote on the new land use code rewrite.  The last time council tried to do this, the so called “Code Next” plan crashed and burned.  This time, the city has been working with interest groups to come up with what they hope is a more well-received plan. 

It’ll be released in October with council action before the end of the year, says the city’s Annick Beaudet.

"We anticipate Council to have a public hearing in November, and then followed by a first ordinance reading in December," she says.

The plan itself will be available to the public by October 4th with and open house and hearings after that date. 

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Austin City Council is being urged to reach a deal with Airbnb on short-term rentals so the city can start collecting more tax dollars.

The Tourism Commission is calling for a deal, saying thousands of short-term rentals are operating without sending tax money to Austin.  

The city wants Airbnb to provide data on the owners of the short-term rentals but Airbnb has been refusing.

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Dime Box is one of those charming "blink and you'll miss it" Texas towns.  The school district is Pre-K through 12 on one campus and this year, Superintendent Nicholas West is trying something different.

"You can set up your schedule where you meet your state requirements in a four-day week," West says.  "There are 25 of the flex Mondays, we're giving the teachers eight of them off.  So, if you kind of do the math, that works out to about a third of your staff will be gone each Monday."

Dime Box ISD is trying a "flex" four-day week, which means Mondays are optional but the school will still be open. In turn, school time on Tuesday through Friday is a little bit longer: 7:45 a.m. to 3:50 p.m.

West says Mondays won't be your typical school day. Students who need a little extra help with their grades may show up, or at least be encouraged to show up.

The district is starting a Monday bowling team and students will be able to take more field trips.
 

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