Union documents show that as many as 500 positions nationwide at National Weather Service offices remain vacant, many of which are in the cities in the heart of tornado alley. The new staffing information was collected by weather service meteorologists concerned that staff shortages could lead to mistakes this summer. Until January, The NWS was under a 10-month-long hiring freeze triggered by budget cuts.
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A North Texas woman said she refused to ride on the same Six Flags roller coaster from which a woman fell to her death last week, NBC DFW reported. Lori Tate, a mother who described herself as a big woman, said she chose to get off the ride before she started because she felt uncomfortable with the lap restraint system. She said roller coaster staff repeatedly tried to secure the restraint, telling her to "suck in," until she chose to get off. The woman and her daughters visited the park one week before the victim, Rosa Ayala-Gaona, 52, of Dallas, fell approximately 75 feet to her death.
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Three congressmen introduced a bill Tuesday that would block the pay of soldiers who are accused of serious crimes, a result of an NBC DFW investigation. The station reported that accused Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan had been paid about $278,000 since the Nov. 2009 shooting that left 13 dead and 32 injured. Three congressman joined forces to introduce the Stop Pay for Violent Offenders Act, which would allow the military to suspend pay for Hasan and other members of the military accused of serious crimes. Federal civilian employees' pay can be suspended if arrested for a serious crime, but soldiers are treated differently. The Army said it must pay Hasan unless he's convicted.
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