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Bail bond family matriarch turns 100
Jimmie Lois "Jim" Watson Blackman reached the century mark on Mother's Day this year. Born in a small cotton farming community in Shelby County on May 12, 1913, Jim never strayed from her native Texas, and neither did her heart. She is "Texan through and through," according to her family. During last year's terrible wild fires one of her sons called and asked if she was all right. She answered that she was and then said: "The bible says the world will be destroyed twice: once by water and once by fire, isn't that right?" When her son answered in the affirmative, she inquired further: "Do you think this is the one by fire?" When her son said: "Mama, Texas is not the whole world," Jim promptly replied: "It is to some of us!"

The Dallas Mavericks, The Texas Rangers and The Dallas Cowboys have no more loyal fan than Jim. And of all the tributes paid to her at the very large celebration of her birthday in Longview, Texas on May 18, her hands-down favorite was the football with an inscription congratulating her on being 100 and signed by the Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo.

There were other impressive items of memorabilia, such as a personal letter from past President George W. Bush and his wife Laura, the Texas flag that flew over the Capitol on her 100th birthday sent with congratulations from Speaker Joe Strauss and a letter from Texas Governor Rick Perry. Arkansas Senator Steve Faris attended and presented her with a certificate signed by the Arkansas Governor naming her an "Arkansas Traveler."

Jim's strong work ethic and her sense of simply doing what is right whatever the circumstances, values she taught to her family, have no doubt been of some benefit to the bail bonding industry of Texas. Her daughter-in-law, Susan Watson, was for years the owner of East Texas Bail Bonds,. Her younger son, Johnny Watson, was employed for a number of years by International Fidelity Insurance Company (the country's oldest and largest commercial bail underwriter), while her oldest son, Jerry Watson, has been a bail attorney for forty five years.

Even to this day, Jim is an example of the virtues of hard honest work and helping others. A local television station just did a piece on her as she engaged in projects of sewing blankets and raising money for shoes for less financially fortunate children in her town.

One might search in vain for better words to describe Jim than those written to her by Texas Governor Rick Perry when he said: "Over the years, in times of war and peace, during difficult economic times and periods of plenty, you have experienced what many of us can only read about. You have made the Lone Star State proud."
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2013 PBUS mid-year meeting update
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Lawmakers in Wisconsin may try to resurrect bail bonding
Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
Two years after lawmakers unsuccessfully tried to enlarge the state budget by creating a privately run bail bonds system in Wisconsin, the controversial idea could be returning. Last time, the bipartisan group of opponents to this legislation included the state's judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, sheriffs and clerks of court — virtually the entire legal system.
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Commentary: Bail bond legislation will create debtors' prisons
Urban Milwaukee
Bruce Murphy says, "Across America, more than half a million inmates sit in jails simply because they are poor. They are not there because they are dangerous or a threat to society. Or even because a judge thinks they will run. Nor is it because they are guilty; they haven’t even been tried yet. They are here because they can’t make bail — sometimes as little as $50."
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Texas bail bondsman encourages relief efforts for tornado victims
Cowboy Bail Bonds President Buckley Chappell is encouraging Texans to give what they can to Oklahoma tornado relief efforts that are ramping up. As native Oklahoman who spent his childhood there, Chappell had his own brush with a twister as young man.
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A look at prison overcrowding in one California State Prison
Thousands of prisoners in California are being released early or sent back to county jails to deal with the state's prison overcrowding problem. Riverside County, Calif., is no exception, as they are now dealing with jail overcrowding as it takes in many of those inmates from the state.
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North Carolina police looking for man who cut of monitoring device
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., police department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a man they say cut off his electronic monitoring device. Dajuan Lamont Fleming, 21, is wanted by the Violent Criminal Apprehension Team on outstanding warrants for felony breaking and entering, felony larceny after breaking and entering, felony conspiracy and interfering with an electronic monitoring device.
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  Dog and Beth on CMT

The world’s most famous bounty hunters are back! Dog and Beth Chapman, joined by their son Leland, unite with bail bondsmen from around the country as they hunt for America’s most dangerous criminals. Catch an all new episode of Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, Sunday at 8/7c on CMT.

Monterey County to transfer some local jail inmates to Alameda County
Monterey Herald via The Oakland Tribune
Monterey County, Calif., supervisors have unanimously approved a contract with Alameda County, Calif., to house up to 80 local jail inmates in a facility, at a cost of up to $2.5 million. This action goes against a request from the American Civil Liberties Union that the county hold community meetings first.
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Report: Social media used more as a crime-fighting resource by police
The Daily Journal
A survey released last year of 600 police agencies nationwide shows 92 percent use social media. Most of them use it for criminal investigations, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police. And the biggest jump occurred in 2010 and 2011, when more than half of those surveyed said they began using social media. Earlier this year, for example, the Kankakee County, Ill., sheriff's police used a video of an alleged illegal stripper party to go after a local bar. They found the video on Facebook.
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South Carolina and California police using technology to help predict crime
The new Predpol system utilizes altered algorithms that are normally used to predict earthquake aftershocks. It analyzes the habits of criminals to figure out where they might strike next. Currently it does not work for every type of crime, says a Columbia, S.C., officer. For example, homicides are more difficult to predict. But officers Los Angeles, who are also testing Predpol, have seen a reduction in crime.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    It is important to understand the bail bonds process (The Bail Blog)
A roche fixture retires (PBUS)
Kalamazoo County Jail crowding near state of emergency (WWMT-TV)
Identity thieves busted after posting photos of their meal on social media (WTVR-TV)
Florida work-release centers about to get electronic monitoring for inmates (Tampa Bay Times)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


PBUS News Update
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Liz Murphy, Content Editor, Law Enforcement/Public Safety, 202.684.7166   
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