Leading Off (10/14/13)

Dallas Courts Running Out of Money. Welcome to week two of the government shutdown, wherein Dallas’ federal courts struggle to operate. Many trials are continuing, but juror pay could be delayed. It looks like the biggest issue will be securing courthouses and courtrooms once the money dries up, which officials predict will happen by Friday without a deal.

Merit Pay Out; Absurd Percentage of Teachers Moonlighting. This was controversial to start, but let’s not reopen that fight. There’s no need.¬†Texas teachers won’t see bonus checks after high test scores anymore. Due to budget cuts, the program has quietly disappeared. What piqued my interest here, however, is the 44 percent of teachers who work a second job to make ends meet. Most journalists have probably done this at some point (I certainly have), but teachers? Do you really want your child’s teacher heading into class on four hours of sleep because she or he was tending bar the night before to pay rent? It’s certainly not a problem endemic to Texas, but it royally irritates me nonetheless.

Irving Sees 12-Vehicle Pile Up. And the best use of a vine goes to… Keaton Fox. In all seriousness, only two people were hurt in the early Monday morning crash, which is pretty miraculous. Now if we could get driving in the rain down, we’d be good.

$100,000 Worth of Meth Found in Plano Car. Forgive me if this bit of breaking news passed your computer screen Friday, but I just started watching¬†Breaking Bad this weekend (I know, I’m very late to the party), so I’m intrigued. Dallas’ Casey Luker, 31, was driving through Plano on 75, when cops deemed his vehicle suspicious. The search yielded 1.9 pounds of crystal meth and $7,500 in cash. Suspicious indeed.