Monday AM September 24th, 2007

Redesigned $5 bill to circulate in 2008...Activist going to court over Texas Department of Transportation's promotional campaign for toll roads and Trans-Texas corridor...Paper airline tickets becoming a thing of the past...

new $5 billA redesigned $5 bill has been unveiled by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Officials hope the changes will make it harder for counterfeiters to pass fake bills. The bureau's James Brent says purple and gray are being added to a redesign that's similar to the new $10, $20 and $50 bills that began in 2003.

"The first thing you'll notice with the five is the addition of background color—specifically, a light purple has been added to the center of the note, and that purple fades to gray as you move to either side of the note. You'll also notice the familiar watermark to the right of the portrait. That watermark, at this point, bears the numeral five instead of the portrait or the faint portrait of Lincoln as in the previous design five. There's also a second watermark added to the left of the portrait, which contains a column of five smaller fives. There's also the security thread which has been moved from the left of the portrait to the right of the portrait." older $5 billEd: "The oval around Lincoln's face is probably the biggest change that we'll notice, though." "That has been removed also, you're correct. And I will call attention to the back of the note and the large numeral five that's been added to the bottom right-hand corner of the note to help those with low vision or vision impairment, help identify the $5 note."

Circulation is planned for the spring, allowing operators of vending machines time to make changes necessary so their devices will accept the new $5 bill.

pre-1999 $5 bill"Normally it takes us from 18 to 24 months from the time of the start of the design or the thought of the design to actually unveil a newly designed note. We work very closely with the vending industry and other stakeholders to make sure that they have well ahead of time what features and what designs are going to be added to the note. And they actually receive notes before the unveiling so they can make adjustments to their equipment and be prepared for the actual release of any newly-designed currency note." Ed: "Okay now, the euro is a coin now, the pound is a coin. What's in store for the dollar? Will there'll be a redesigned dollar, or will it eventually be a coin?" "There's no plan at this point to redesign the one dollar note or the two dollar note. We still continue at the Bureau of engraving and Printing to produce the one dollar note in great volume and that will continue with the original design of that note."

Printing of the new bill begins this week at the bureau's Fort Worth facility. The next bill to get a makeover is the $100 bill.


An activist is going to court over her opposition to the Texas Department of Transportation's promotional campaign for toll roads and the Trans-Texas corridor. Terri Hall of the San Antonio Toll Party and Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom wants a state court to block the department from spending money on the "Keep Texas Moving'' campaign. She says it violates a prohibition on state officials using their authority for political purposes. The state contends that it's legal for the transportation department to promote toll roads and that it's responding to calls for public education about its projects. It says Hall's claim should be denied and her petition dismissed. Governor Rick Perry and the Transportation Department have championed toll roads and the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor as solutions to dire transportation needs that have outpaced gas tax revenues. A hearing is scheduled for Monday.


Next summer, paper airline tickets will take another step toward obscurity. While they aren't going away, they'll be tough to find. Next June, the industry association that handles ticketing for most major airlines will stop issuing paper tickets. Some small regional or foreign airlines will continue issuing paper tickets, but they'll be rare. Even without the International Air Transport Association's directive, most airline tickets are already electronic. The group says paper tickets have fallen to less than 14 percent of the 400 million tickets it processes each year. Paper tickets cost airlines $10 to $17, on average, compared with $1 or less for electronic tickets. A fully electronic ticketing system will save the industry an estimated $3 billion a year.


Millions of numbers will begin dropping off the national do not call list next year. The registry began in June 2003 and under the rules, phone numbers are protected only for five years. That means the early subscribers will have to renew next summer or start getting those annoying phone solicitations again. The Federal Trade Commission, which oversees the list, says it's incredibly quick and easy for people to re-register their numbers. They can do it online or by phone. But Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Doyle says people shouldn't have to keep a calendar to try to remember when to re-up to avoid telemarketers. An FTC official says the agency built in the five-year expiration date to account for changes, such as when people move and switch their phone numbers. But Congressman Doyle points out that the list is purged each month of numbers that have been disconnected.


The Houston Independent School District is holding a school nurse job fair this afternoon at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center on West 18th. Successful applicants must have a Bachelor's Degree and be a Registered Nurse.


Local Spanish-language television station KAZH-TV Channel 57 has begun carrying programs from TuVisi?n, which means "Your Vision." It's one of five Pappas Telecasting stations transforming to the network from Azteca America, which was dropped last March.


Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...