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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.

Nov 5, 2014

Yet another George Bush wins an election in Texas

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – George P. Bush, the nephew of former U.S. President George W. Bush and grandson of President George H.W. Bush, declared victory on Tuesday in the race for Texas land commissioner, becoming the latest Bush to make a name for himself in the Lone Star State.

Bush, 38 and an attorney, also becomes the first person in his political dynasty family to win in his first major election.

Nov 5, 2014

Minnesota Vikings’ Peterson reaches plea deal to avoid jail

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson reached a plea deal on Tuesday to charges of abusing his 4-year-old son that would see the former NFL most valuable player avoid any jail time.

Peterson, 29, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge. He must pay a fine of $4,000 and perform community service, under the deal reached in a court outside of Houston.

Nov 4, 2014

Minnesota Vikings’ Peterson reaches plea deal to avoid jail: media reports

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has reached a plea deal to charges of abusing his 4-year-old son that would see him avoid any jail time, media reports said on Tuesday.

Peterson is scheduled to appear in a Texas court on Tuesday to face a child abuse charge for striking his son with a thin tree branch as a form of punishment, leaving the child bruised.