AUSTIN (AP) – The Texas unemployment rate in February rose slightly to reach 4.9%. That compares with a January statewide jobless rate of 4.8%. Nationwide unemployment last month was 4.7%. Texas Workforce Commission officials said Friday that the Amarillo area had the lowest February jobless rate in Texas at 3.6%. A commission statement says the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area recorded the state’s highest unemployment last month at 8.8%.
AUSTIN (AP) – A soon-to-be-released survey of University of Texas undergraduates reports that 15% of women reported being raped on the flagship Austin campus. University spokesman J.B. Bird revealed the figure Thursday, during a Texas Senate committee hearing. That figure hasn’t been put into full context, but will be part of a major report on campus sexual assaults that the university now says it plans to release Friday.
HOUSTON (AP) – A Houston middle school staff member is facing charges after he was accused of impregnating a 13-year-old student. Mauricio Orlando Mendoza was an information technology worker at the school until the accusations surfaced in December. Prosecutors allege that he and the girl had sex on school grounds on multiple occasions. After the girl’s parents found out about the alleged misconduct, the teen learned she was pregnant. The 37-year-old married father was arrested Wednesday and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was released on $50,000 bond.
DENISON (AP) – Police say an 18-year-old woman who burst into a church in northeast Texas and claimed she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted by three black males in ski masks has admitted she lied. Denison Police Chief Jay Burch says on Facebook that Breana Harmon Talbott was undressed and bleeding on March 8 when she claimed she had been sexually assaulted in woods behind the church in Denison, 75 miles northeast of Dallas. Authorities say the crime scene was staged and Talbott’s injuries were self-inflicted.
MIAMI (AP) – Stiff winds quickly spread a wildfire in the Texas Panhandle across 94 square miles before rain helped firefighters contain the flames. The Texas A&M Forest Service says the wildfire spread Thursday across Ochiltree and Roberts counties in the northeast corner of the Panhandle near the Oklahoma border. Firefighters were able to save at least three homes. There were no apparent injuries.
HOUSTON (AP) – The director of special education for Houston public schools has resigned amid reports that the school district systematically denied services to thousands of students with disabilities. Assistant Superintendent Sowmya Kumar resigned Thursday after seven years with the district.
FORT WORTH (AP) — Prosecutors say a North Texas man must serve 10 years in federal prison for a cattle-buying scam that cost a Nebraska company more than $5 million. Tony Eugene Lyon of Fort Worth was sentenced Friday in Fort Worth. The 52-year-old Lyon in November pleaded guilty to wire fraud. Prosecutors say Lyon in 2015 scammed Midwestern Cattle Marketing of Sidney, Nebraska. The firm, which bought and sold cattle for third-party clients, went out of business after the $5.1 million loss.
DALLAS – A Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive is now in custody after being captured Wednesday in Dallas. Jahmar Nykel Young, 37, a Bloods gang member and convicted sex offender, was wanted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, parole violation, failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements, and larceny. The arrest was the result of a tip, and a reward up to $7,500 will be paid.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is praising a plan by cable company Charter Communications to invest $25 billion and hire 20,000 American workers over the next four years. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Charter Communications CEO Thomas Rutledge joined Trump at the White House Friday for the announcement.