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Aug 13, 2015

Texas tortoise theft leads to arrest of suspected sex offender

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Police investigating a Texas man for holding a tortoise for ransom ended up arresting him on a charge of sexually assaulting a child, officials said on Thursday.

When police went to the home of Joseph Urbino, 34, in the search for tortoise, they learned in a background check that he had outstanding warrants in a child sexual assault case and arrested him.

Aug 12, 2015

Texas to execute man convicted of killing veteran police officer

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas plans on Wednesday to execute Daniel Lopez, 27, who was convicted of killing a veteran police officer in 2009 and has waived his rights to appeal his death sentence.

The execution by lethal injection is set for 6 p.m. local time at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville. If the execution goes ahead, it would be the 528th in Texas, the most of any state since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Aug 10, 2015

University of Texas considers moving Confederate statues on campus

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A panel at the University of Texas recommended moving to museums or leaving in place, with notes of explanation, statues of Confederate leaders on campus that have been the subject to recent protests, the school said on Monday.

The statues, placed decades ago on the campus of the left-leaning university in Austin, a liberal city in conservative Texas, gained new attention in June amid the debate in South Carolina about taking down the Confederate battle flag on the state’s capitol grounds.

Aug 7, 2015

Texas grants surviving spouse status in same-sex death certificate

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Texas has issued surviving
spouse status to a man whose husband died earlier this year, a
move that came after a federal judge ordered the state to do so,
officials said on Friday.

Texas, where Republican leaders have tried to push back
against gay marriage, had balked at recognizing John
Stone-Hoskins as the surviving spouse on the death certificate
of James Stone-Hoskins, according to court documents.

Aug 5, 2015

U.S. judge orders Texas to recognize spouse on same-sex death certificate

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Wednesday ordered
Texas officials to recognize on a state death certificate the
surviving spouse in a same-sex marriage whose husband died
earlier this year.

The case comes as states such as Texas, which had barred
same-sex marriage, grapple with changes brought by the landmark
U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that made gay marriage legal
in the United States.

Aug 5, 2015

Judge orders Texas to recognize spouse on same-sex death certificate

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Wednesday ordered Texas officials to recognize on a state death certificate the surviving spouse in a same-sex marriage whose husband died earlier this year.

The case comes as states such as Texas, which had barred same-sex marriage, grapple with changes brought by the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that made gay marriage legal in the United States.

Aug 5, 2015

U.S. appeals court strikes down ‘discriminatory’ Texas voter ID law

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court struck down a
Texas law on Wednesday requiring voters to show authorized
identification before casting ballots, saying the measure
violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act through its “discriminatory
effects.”

The decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth
Circuit pertained to one of a series of laws enacted in
Republican-governed states requiring potential voters to show
identification that Democrats saw as intended to disenfranchise
minorities who typically support their party.

Aug 5, 2015

Appeals court strikes down ‘discriminatory’ Texas voter ID law

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court struck down a Texas law on Wednesday requiring voters to show authorized identification before casting ballots, saying the measure violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act through its “discriminatory effects.”

The decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit pertained to one of a series of laws enacted in Republican-governed states requiring potential voters to show identification.

Aug 4, 2015

Family of woman found dead in Texas jail files wrongful death suit

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The family of Sandra Bland filed a
wrongful death lawsuit on Tuesday against a Texas trooper, a
sheriff’s office and her jailers, accusing them of being
responsible for the woman’s apparent suicide in a county jail.

The suit, which was filed in a federal court in Texas, said
that officials violated her constitutional rights. The family
was seeking damages but no monetary amount was listed in the
court papers.

Aug 3, 2015

Texas Attorney General Paxton booked on fraud charges

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Texas Attorney General Ken
Paxton, a Tea Party Republican, surrendered to authorities on
Monday and was booked on three felony charges involving
suspected securities fraud.

Paxton, the state’s top law officer, appeared for processing
and posed for a mug shot in Collin County, near Dallas. He was
released on bond of $35,000, according to the Collin County
Sheriff’s office.