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Jan 12, 2014

Myth-busting librarians debunk rumors about Texas’ Wild West laws

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Legend has it that the
long arm of Texas law once extended to hotel balconies where the
men with star badges would take into custody anyone who violated
a state statute forbidding people to hunt buffalo from such a

The legend ends at the Legislative Reference Library of
Texas, where a small team of well-referenced librarians has gone
through the records and sorted out fact from fiction when it
comes to the laws of the Lone Star State.

Jan 12, 2014

Permit to hunt endangered rhino sells for $350,000 despite protests

By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – A permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia sold for $350,000 at an auction in Dallas on Saturday with proceeds going to protect the endangered animals despite protests from animal rights groups that saw the sale as immoral conservation.

The license allows for the killing of a single, post-breeding bull, with Namibian wildlife officials on hand for the hunt to make sure an appropriate animal is selected.

Jan 8, 2014

Texas club auctions rhino hunt permit in bid to protect species

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The Dallas Safari Club will auction a permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia, possibly fetching up to $1 million with proceeds going to protect the endangered animals in a move seen by some animal rights groups as ethically dubious conservation.

The license being auctioned on Saturday is supposed to allow for the killing of a single, post-breeding bull, with Namibian wildlife officials on hand for the hunt to make sure an appropriate animal is selected.

Dec 28, 2013

Four killed, three wounded in Louisiana crime spree

By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – A Louisiana man is suspected of killing his wife, ex-mother-in-law and a former employer before turning a shotgun on himself and committing suicide at four locations outside of New Orleans, police said on Friday.

The suspect Ben Edward Freeman, 38, was also believed to have shot three other people in the crime spree that took place on Thursday night in Lafourche Parish, about 45 miles southwest of New Orleans.

Dec 22, 2013

Texas jailhouse cobbler’s short walk on freedom road

HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Dec 22 (Reuters) – Lawmen would come from
across Texas just to walk a few miles in the boots made by
inmate Arnold Darby.

Darby, 64, soft-spoken, bespectacled and tattooed, was once
one of the most prodigious bootmakers in the Texas prison
system, turning out more than a thousand pairs of custom-made
footwear for police, FBI agents and the governor’s office,
prison officials said.

Dec 18, 2013

Texas prosecutor seeks to put ‘affluenza’ teen behind bars

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A Texas prosecutor is trying to place behind bars a teenager who killed four people while driving drunk but received a sentence of probation based partially on defense arguments that the youth was a victim of his family’s enormous wealth.

Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon said on Wednesday he will try to have the 16-year-old placed in juvenile detention for two lesser counts of intoxication assault that were not among the charges at his trial.

Dec 17, 2013

Two men sentenced to life for racial killings in Oklahoma

By Jon Herskovitz and Karen Brooks

(Reuters) – Two Oklahoma men were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Monday, for the race-based killing of three black people whom they shot indiscriminately from a car in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 6, 2012, prosecutors said.

Five black people, including a woman, were shot in the chest that day, and three died, in the incident which drew national attention and raised questions about racial tensions in the state decades after the United States implemented major civil rights reforms, prosecutors said in a statement.

Dec 13, 2013

Oldest U.S. World War Two veterans meet for first time at age 107

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – When 107-year-old World War Two veteran Elmer Hill looked across the table at Richard Overton, he could hardly believe there was a living veteran older than him – even if only by a few months.

Hill met fellow centenarian Overton, thought to be the oldest living U.S. World War Two veteran, for the first time on Friday over lunch at an Austin senior citizens center, where they swapped war stories and longevity tips.

Dec 7, 2013

U.S. teacher killed Libya remembered as force for change

By Curtis Skinner and Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – Ronnie Smith, the American teacher shot dead by gunmen in Libya, was remembered on Friday by his students and friends as an inspirational figure making a difference in the troubled North African country.

Smith was gunned down on Thursday as he was exercising in the Libyan city of Benghazi where he worked as a chemistry teacher for the last year and a half, security sources and school officials said. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack.

Dec 4, 2013

Texas executes inmate who killed guard in escape attempt

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas executed by lethal injection on Tuesday a man convicted of slamming a pickup truck into a mounted correctional officer in a prison escape attempt in 2007, knocking her off the horse and killing her.

Jerry Martin, 43, was pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m. U.S. Central Time (0027 GMT on Wednesday) at a state prison in Huntsville, Texas, according to a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.