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Nov 21, 2014

Texas school board to vote on textbooks criticized for religious bent

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – The Texas State Board of Education, whose decisions can have national ramifications, on Friday plans to vote on whether to approve textbooks criticized for exaggerating the influence biblical figures had in forming the U.S. system of government.

The Republican-controlled 15-member body will be voting whether to approve the use of more than 100 textbooks for all ages of students in the second-most populous U.S. state, with about 5 million children in the public school system.

Nov 20, 2014

Three charged with suspected $1.5 mln oil theft from Texas fields

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Three people have been
indicted for stealing shale oil over three years worth an
estimated $1.5 million by driving it off in trucks that were
supposed to be disposing waste water, according to court
documents obtained on Thursday.

Texas residents Victor Manuel Guerra, 37, Juan Martin
Bernal, 49, and Carlos Samuel Pena, 25, have been charged with
theft from an interstate shipment, wire fraud and money
laundering, according to an indictment unsealed this week.

Nov 19, 2014

Six Flags, German firm reach settlement in Texas roller coaster death

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Amusement park operator
Six Flags and a German roller coaster maker have reached
a settlement with the family of woman who was killed last year
when she plunged to her death from a roller coaster at a park in
Texas, they said in a statement.

Six Flags and Gerstlauer Amusement Rides of Germany reached
the deal with the family of Rosy Esparza. Her family had been
seeking more than $1 million in damages but terms of the
settlement were not disclosed, a lawyer for the Esparza family
said on Wednesday.

Nov 19, 2014

Powerful Texas school board hears testimony on contentious textbooks

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – The Texas Board of Education, a group whose decisions can set the tone for school districts nationwide, heard testimony on Tuesday on a new set of school history and social studies textbooks that critics say advance Christian ideology.

The Republican-controlled 15-member body will be voting this week on whether to approve more than 100 books for use by students from elementary to high schools in the second-most populous U.S. state. Once textbooks are approved by Texas, they often are marketed nationally.

Nov 18, 2014

Texas aims to extend border protection surge with Mexico through August

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – Texas plans to spend nearly $90 million to extend through August 2015 a show of force along its border with Mexico that includes the deployment of up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops, officials said on Tuesday.

Governor Rick Perry, a Republican who is making the move due to what Texas sees as a lack of federal action, has requested $86.1 million in spending from Dec. 1 through August for the deployment, which has been criticized by Democrats in the state as wasteful and the Mexican government has called irresponsible.

Nov 17, 2014

Skull-fetching retriever helps solve Texas escaped prisoner case

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – The case of a convicted sexual predator who was one of the most wanted men in America after escaping from a federal detention facility in Texas has been solved with the help of a 15-year-old Labrador retriever who discovered the man’s skull.

The dog, named Carly, found the skull in September and brought it to the Austin home of her owners. DNA testing indicates it belongs to Kevin Patrick Stoeser, who had been convicted of sexually abusing children, Hector Gomez, a supervisory deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service, said on Monday.

Nov 10, 2014

Texas Governor Perry gets support in felony case from bipartisan lawyers

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – A bipartisan and high-profile group of lawyers on Monday filed a brief seeking to have abuse of power felony charges against Texas Governor Rick Perry thrown out, arguing the indictment against him is constitutionally flawed.

Perry, seen as a possible Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential race, has said he was within his rights as governor in vetoing funds for a county prosecutor, a veto that resulted in the two felony charges being laid against him.

Nov 6, 2014

Texas Gov. Perry makes first court appearance in abuse of power case

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – Texas Governor Rick Perry made his first court appearance on Thursday to face felony charges for abuse of power, a case that has cast a shadow over his possible run as Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election.

The pretrial hearing is expected to address procedural matters concerning his indictment. Perry’s office has said he will speak after the hearing at a criminal court in Austin.

Nov 5, 2014

After election defeat, Democrats aim for long-term gains in Texas

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – Wendy Davis may have lost the battle for Texas governor by a wide margin on Tuesday, but Democrats are forging ahead in the belief that demographic trends will eventually help than conquer the Republican stronghold and alter the U.S. political map.

Democrats, who have not won a statewide election in 20 years, saw their top candidates suffer lopsided defeats. Republican Greg Abbott won the governor’s race by about 20 percentage points over Davis, a state senator who grabbed national attention last year when she filibustered a proposal to limit abortion rights.

Nov 5, 2014

Republican Greg Abbott wins Texas governor’s race

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – Republican Greg Abbott has won the Texas governor’s race, Reuters/Ipsos projected on Tuesday, defeating Democrat Wendy Davis, a state senator who drew national attention last year when she filibustered a proposal to limit abortion rights.

Texas Republicans were also poised to sweep all statewide offices, extending years of futility for Democrats, who last won the Texas governor’s race in 1990 with Ann Richards.