Tyler,TX - Construction of the first phase of the Smith County jail expansion is now underway. A groundbreaking ceremony Thursday signaled the first leg of the 35 million dollar project approved by voters last year.

The expansion includes re-location of the kitchen and laundry facilities and will include a video visitation station that will improve security and safety at the low risk facility. Construction of the downtown section will start later this year.


Washington (AP ) - A burst of Hiring in December pushed the U.S. unemployment rate to it’s lowest level in nearly three years, giving the economy a boost at the end of 2011.

Employers added 200 thousand jobs last month and the jobless rate rell to 8 and half percent the lowest since February 2009. The rate has dropped now four months straight.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry has renewed a proclamation declaring Texas a disaster due to the drought.

. The proclamation allows municipalities to apply for state assistance in dealing with the drought's impacts, including fighting and recovering from wildfires.

Perry's proclamation says all counties in the state are plagued by extreme drought conditions and are in danger of more wildfires.


WASHINGTON (AP) — IRS figures suggest people making less than $200,000 a year don't have to worry much about tax audits. Not so for annual incomes more than $1 million. IRS statistics show 12 percent of millionaire earners were audited last year. That's up from 8 percent. The rate for $200,000 and under remains around 1 percent.