Ed Sterling

AUSTIN - Texas veterans of World War II are now honored with a new monument located near the east entrance of the Texas Supreme Court Building in the northwest quadrant of the Capitol grounds. Thousands of people attended the Aug. 15 dedication, the 62nd anniversary of the victory over Japan and the official end of the war.

More than 830,000 Texans served in the armed forces in the war, and 22,000 were killed.

Donations from corporations, associations, foundations and individuals paid for the 17-foot-tall, 22-ton monument.

TxDOT delivers report on bridges.Is a bridge you’ve been using for years sturdy enough to deserve your confidence? Are you sure?

The Interstate 35-West bridge collapse in Minnesota on Aug. 1 made people wonder.

Soon after the event, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst asked the Texas Department of Transportation to produce a report on the status of Texas bridges.

TxDOT responded with a 92-page report released Aug. 16, saying 4 percent of the state’s 50,000 bridges are listed as structurally deficient. However, the first line of the report says “All bridges open to traffic on Texas public roads in the State of Texas are safe.”

The report, readily available at www.txdot.gov, includes a list of structurally deficient bridges.

A few points made by TxDOT:

“Structurally deficient” is a term the Federal Highway

Administration uses to classify and prioritize bridges for federal funding.

Structurally deficient bridges receive priority for limited rehabilitation on replacement funds from the federal government. Bridges that are unsafe or present an imminent public danger are closed to traffic. Of the state’s bridges classified as structurally deficient, 445 are on the state highway system and 1,579 are off-system structures. Some 282 bridges classified as structurally deficient are currently under contract to be fixed or replaced. Another 1,303 structurally deficient bridges are under development as part of the state transportation plan. The remaining 439 structurally deficient bridges are not scheduled for rehabilitation or replacement, and no funding has been identified for them, TxDOT said. Progress report on schools is in

The Texas Education Agency reports 86 percent of school districts and 79 percent of schools met the state’s 2007 standards for “Adequate Yearly Progress.”

The state standards tie into the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Public schools and districts tested students in kindergarten through 12th grade. At least 60 percent of the students had to pass the reading/language test and at least 50 percent had to pass the math exam.

Attendance and graduation figures also figured into the calculations.

Schools that do not meet the state’s Adequate Yearly Progress standards two years in a row are placed in an improvement program.

Officials discuss vetoed funding The Senate Higher Education Subcommittee met Aug. 14 to address Gov. Rick Perry’s veto of $154 million in community college funding.

Subcommittee chair Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and Lt. Gov.

Dewhurst spoke positively about prospects that funding would be restored.

Details on how to restore the funding are still to be negotiated, Zaffirini said.

Organ registry site goes onlineThe Department of State Health Services announced the online availability of the Glenda Dawson Donate Life - Texas Donor Registry.

People may register as organ, tissue and eye donors via www.DonateLifeTexas.org. The site also provides information about organ donation.

The donor program pays tribute to the late State Rep. Glenda Dawson of Pearland, a donor recipient who raised public awareness about the organ donor registry in Texas.

Dawson was elected to House District 29 in 2003 and was re-elected in 2005. She died in 2006.