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May 17, 2015

Central U.S. hit by floods after tornadoes

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Thunderstorms and floods battered several central U.S. states on Sunday after a tornado series hit large parts of the area a day earlier, cutting power lines and damaging structures.

Parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kansas were either under a flash flood watch or flash flood warning on Sunday morning as thunderstorms battered several central states, the National Weather Service said.

May 15, 2015

Texas ice cream maker Blue Bell hit by Listeria outbreak to lay off workers

AUSTIN, Texas, May 15 (Reuters) – Texas ice cream maker Blue
Bell Creameries said on Friday it plans to lay off 37 percent of
its employees as it tries to restart operations after a Listeria
outbreak that led to a recall of its products and a hit to its
reputation.

“We have an obligation to do what is necessary to bring Blue
Bell back and ensure its viability in the future. This is a sad
day for all of us at Blue Bell, and for me personally,” Chief
Executive Officer and President Paul Kruse said.

May 15, 2015

Texas bill to hinder gay marriage dies in statehouse

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Republican-backed legislation to
put new blockades on same-sex marriage in Texas died in the
statehouse on Friday after failing to win approval by a midnight
deadline amid stalling tactics by the Democratic minority.

The bill, called the “Preservation of Sovereignty and
Marriage Act,” would block clerk’s offices in the state’s 254
counties from using tax money to issue licenses for same-sex
weddings in the most-populous Republican-controlled U.S. state.

May 15, 2015

Oklahoma woman charged with removing body parts from rival’s corpse

By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – An Oklahoma woman accused of slashing the face and cutting body parts off the corpse of a romantic rival will appear in a Tulsa court on Friday for a hearing on increasing her bail, law enforcement officials said.

The Tulsa District Attorney this week also added a charge against Shaynna Sims for the “unlawful removal of body part from deceased” for cutting off the toe, and breasts from the body of the other woman, which was awaiting cremation at a funeral home.

May 15, 2015

Texas bill to add barriers to gay marriage dies in House

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Republican-backed legislation to put new blockades on same-sex marriage in Texas died in the statehouse on Friday after failing to win approval by a midnight deadline amid stalling tactics by the Democratic minority.

The bill, called the “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act,” would block clerk’s offices in the state’s 254 counties from using tax money to issue licenses for same-sex weddings.

May 13, 2015

Texas executes man convicted of murdering three in Houston

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas on Tuesday executed a man convicted of murdering his girlfriend, her mother and grandfather in their Houston home in 2002 as he took revenge on the family for trying to cut off his relationship with the daughter.

Derrick Charles, 32, was pronounced dead at 6:36 p.m. CDT after receiving a lethal injection at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville, a prisons official said.

May 12, 2015

Texas set to execute man convicted of murdering three in Houston

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas is set on Tuesday to execute Derrick Charles, 32, who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, her mother and her grandfather in their Houston home in 2002.

Charles is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection at 6 p.m. CDT local time at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville for strangling the three.

May 11, 2015

At least four dead, 50 injured after Arkansas, Texas tornadoes

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – At least four people were killed and 50 injured in Texas and Arkansas after a series of tornadoes hit the Great Plains states overnight, flattening buildings and snapping power lines, officials said on Monday.

Two people were killed in Van, about 70 miles southeast of Dallas, by a tornado that hit late on Sunday. Eight adults were still unaccounted for on Monday, Van Zandt County Fire Marshal Chuck Allen told a news conference.

May 11, 2015

No additional suspects in attack at Prophet Mohammad event: police

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – There were no suspects in last week’s failed attack at a civic center outside Dallas other than the two men who were fatally shot while trying to storm an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad, police said on Monday.

Roommates Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi of Phoenix were killed by a Garland police officer and four Garland Police SWAT team members when they opened fire with assault rifles outside the cartoon event held in the Dallas suburb. An unarmed security guard suffered a minor wound.

May 7, 2015

Texas ice cream maker had Listeria problems in 2013: FDA

AUSTIN, Texas, May 7 (Reuters) – Texas-based Blue Bell
Creameries had a Listeria problem at its Oklahoma plant as early
as 2013 and did not do enough to make sure its factory was
sanitized, according to documents from the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration.

The documents released on Thursday and based on inspections
in March and April of this year said there were presumptive
positive tests as early as March 2013 for Listeria on surfaces
at the company’s Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, plant in places such as
a floor in front of freezers.