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Jun 17, 2015

Tropical Depression Bill batters Texas with torrential rain

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Bill was downgraded to a tropical depression on Wednesday as it moved across Texas, bringing heavy rains that flooded streets and snarled transportation in the state where severe weather killed about 30 people last month.

There were no reports of major damage or deaths from Bill, the second named tropical storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, which came ashore near the sportfishing town of Matagorda on Tuesday and then took a path into central Texas.

Jun 15, 2015

Heavy rain on tap for Texas this week may trigger new flooding

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Storms are expected to pound Texas with heavy rain this week and could start a new round of flooding in the state, which is still recovering from floods in late May that killed about 30 people and caused widespread damage, according to U.S. weather officials.

Flash flood watches are in effect for central Texas and in the Houston area, regions where flooding last month turned streets into rivers, submerged thousands and vehicles and led to swollen rivers that ripped scores of houses off their foundations.

Jun 14, 2015

Waco gang fight killings cloud biker party in Texas capital

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A party for 50,000 bikers held under heavy police presence in the Texas capital of Austin ended without major incident on Sunday, an event drawing extra scrutiny after a fight among rival motorcycle gangs in Waco last month left 9 people dead.

The Republic of Texas Rally, which began on Thursday and was celebrating its 20 anniversary, was the first major gathering of bikers in the state since the deadly fight in Waco, about 100 miles to the north, where gangs attacked each other with guns, knives, chains and clubs.

Jun 10, 2015

Texas officer in video let ‘emotions get the better of him’: lawyer

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The Dallas-area policeman seen in a viral video throwing a bikini-clad black teenager to the ground was emotionally fraught at the time after responding to two suicide calls, and was not targeting minorities, his attorney said on Wednesday.

McKinney Police Corporal Eric Casebolt, who is white, resigned on Tuesday after being seen in a video responding to a disturbance at a pool party on Friday where he appeared to target black youths, an incident that has added to concerns about racial bias in U.S. policing.

Jun 10, 2015

Abortion rights groups file motion to halt key provisions in Texas law

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Several women’s health providers filed a motion on Wednesday seeking to halt a U.S. appeals court decision a day earlier allowing Texas to impose restrictions on abortions, and said they plan to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the main provisions of the 2013 Texas abortion law including one called an “ambulatory surgical center” requirement that mandates clinics have certain hospital-grade facilities, a regulatory hurdle critics said was designed to shut down abortion providers.

Jun 9, 2015

Texas policeman resigns after video shows him toppling teen

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A Dallas-area policeman seen in a viral video tossing a bathing suit-clad teenage girl to the ground has resigned from the McKinney Police force, the city’s police chief said on Tuesday, calling the officer’s actions indefensible

McKinney Police Corporal Eric Casebolt, who is white, had been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of how he appeared to target black youths at the disturbance on Friday in the city about 30 miles (50 km) north of Dallas, an incident that has raised fresh questions about racial bias in U.S. policing.

Jun 9, 2015

U.S. appeals court upholds restrictive Texas abortion law

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday upheld the main provisions of a restrictive Texas abortion law including one that requires clinics to have certain hospital-grade facilities, a regulatory hurdle critics said was designed to shutter abortion providers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit allowed for the 2013 law to be applied across the state, although it exempted a clinic in the southern city of McAllen, saying its distance from other clinics would cause an undue burden on women in that area.

Jun 8, 2015

Texas prosecutor drops charges for man once sentenced to death

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Houston-area prosecutors on Monday dropped charges against Alfred Brown, a man whose murder conviction and death sentence were overturned last year after a court determined evidence that was beneficial to his case has been wrongfully withheld.

Brown, 33, has been behind bars for 10 years after being convicted with two co-defendants of killing Houston police officer Charles Clark and store clerk Alfredia Jones in a 2003 robbery at a check cashing business.

Jun 8, 2015

Calls mount to fire Texas officer who threw youth to ground

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A rally is planned for Monday in the Dallas-area city of McKinney calling for the firing of the police officer seen in a viral video throwing a bathing suit-clad teenage girl to the ground and pointing his pistol at other youths at a pool party.

The officer, McKinney Police Corporal Eric Casebolt, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of how he responded to a disturbance at a pool party on Friday in the city about 30 miles north of Dallas, an incident that has raised fresh questions about racial bias in U.S. policing.

Jun 5, 2015

Bikers jailed for deadly Texas fight seek faster bail hearings

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Lawyers for 144 people jailed after a deadly fight between motorcycle gangs last month in Waco, Texas, have filed a petition seeking prompt bail hearings, saying state authorities are unlawfully dragging their heels in processing the group.

The petition filed on Thursday in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals also seeks more judges to help speed up hearings set to start on June 16 for the group that has been jailed since May 17 on initial bond of $1 million each, a sum too high for most to pay.