Category: State News

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Marge Boatright, Longtime UPI Regional Executive, Dies at 86

BURNET (AP) — Marge Boatright, whose 29-year career at United Press International took her to the top of the news service’s Dallas-based Southwest Division, has died at a Texas Hill Country hospital. She was 86. A family spokesman says the Horseshoe Bay resident died Wednesday after weeks of declining health. Boatright joined UPI’s Southwest Division in 1961, working in a range of marketing positions. In 1983 she became the division’s vice president and general manager, then regional sales vice president in charge of UPI’s sales executives west of the Mississippi. She was the first woman to rise so high at UPI. She left UPI in 1990 and became president of Wieck, a Dallas-based software development and content management startup. A memorial service is set for Tuesday at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas.

US Airways Express Jet with Engine Issue Diverts to Houston

HOUSTON (AP) — A US Airways Express regional jet bound from North Carolina to Austin has made a safe emergency landing in Houston with reported engine trouble. American Airlines Group Inc. spokesman Matt Miller said Saturday that mechanics are checking the plane that diverted to George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Nobody was hurt Friday night when the pilot of the Bombardier CRJ-900, with 79 passengers and four crewmembers, landed in Houston. Miller says an oil indicator light came on in the cockpit related to an engine. He didn’t immediately have further details. Miller says passengers were being accommodated on other flights, while some travelers opted to drive from Houston to Austin. The US Airways Express flight was operated by Mesa Airlines. American and US Airways merged in December 2013.

3 Houston-area Firefighters Hurt Battling Apartments Blaze

HOUSTON (AP) — Three firefighters have been slightly hurt battling a Houston-area apartment complex blaze that destroyed 19 units. Investigators are trying to determine whether the fire late Friday afternoon was sparked by someone cooking food. Two Cypress Creek firefighters were injured when a stairway collapsed. Officials say another firefighter hurt his arm trying to rescue the other two firefighters during the blaze in northwest Harris County. Authorities say all three firefighters were transported to a hospital to be checked out.

Pro Rodeo Cowboy Gill, Passenger Hurt in Texas Plane Crash

York GillSTEPHENVILLE (AP) — A professional rodeo cowboy and his fiancee have been seriously hurt when their single-engine plane crashed after takeoff from North Texas on a flight to the Houston area. The Department of Public Safety says the crash happened Friday after the Piper Saratoga II left Stephenville Clark Regional Airport, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Sr. Cpl. Dub Gillum identified the pair as York Gill, 32, and Christy Stransky, 30, both of Stephenville. Gill is a team roper and member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. DPS says the plane was bound for Wharton when Gill reported engine trouble. The plane crashed into a ditch and fence, and then flipped. The trooper says Gill and Stransky were transported to a hospital with injuries that are serious but not life-threatening.

North Texan Arrested in Investigation of 10 Bank Robberies

Dana CampbellFORT WORTH (AP) — Prosecutors say a woman suspected of as many as 10 North Texas bank robberies had notes in her vehicle saying “This is a robbery.” Dana Campbell of Arlington appeared Friday in federal court in Fort Worth. She’s held pending a detention hearing next week. Campbell was arrested Monday following an Arlington traffic stop. Police determined she faced several misdemeanor traffic warrants when they noticed a black hooded jacket in her vehicle. Prosecutors say police located notes saying “This is a robbery” and “This is a robbery. I don’t want to hurt anyone.” Officers also confiscated a ledger with dates and addresses of banks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. All had been robbed since November by a person wearing a hoodie.

Dallas County DA Reveals Needing Help Kicking Medication

Susan HawkDALLAS (AP) — Dallas County’s new district attorney is revealing that she “got help” to quit taking medication for back pain. Susan Hawk’s statement Friday to The Dallas Morning News responded to questions of if she was treated at an Arizona drug rehabilitation center in late 2013. Hawk says she has “a serious back condition” for which medication was prescribed. She didn’t identify the medication but said she chose to quit taking it 1½ years ago, “got help to quit taking it, and haven’t taken any since.” Departures of two top assistants have drawn scrutiny of Hawk’s first three months as district attorney. Both complained that the office atmosphere under Hawk’s administration was distrustful and paranoid.

Faith Leaders Demand that Government Ends Family Detention

immigrant children flooding TexasDILLEY (AP) — Faith leaders from around the country have signed a letter to President Barack Obama asking that the government stop detaining immigrant women and children at family detention facilities. More than 80 religious figures signed the letter which calls the practice of detaining immigrants, mostly women and children from Central America, inhumane and harmful. Several bishops also toured the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley on Friday, speaking with some of the 390 women and children housed there. The facility is expected to eventually hold 2,400 people. U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement responded to the visit with a statement that calls the centers an important response to the surge in illegal immigration last summer and an effective and humane way to keep families together.

Texas Unemployment Rate Declines for 6th Straight Month

Texas Workforce CommissionAUSTIN (AP) — The Texas unemployment rate slipped to 4.3% during February for the sixth month in a row of declines. The Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday that the latest statewide jobless rate compares to 4.4% unemployment in January. The nationwide unemployment rate last month was 5.5%. TWC officials say Texas had a net gain of 7,100 nonagricultural jobs in February, with 357,300 positions added over the year. The Midland area had the lowest unemployment rate statewide in February at 2.8%. Commission authorities say the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area recorded the highest jobless rate at 7.7%. Commissioner Ronny Congleton says the Texas workforce is strong and employers know they’ll find skilled workers to match their hiring needs.

Texas Regents Name Fenves Lone Finalist for President

Gregory FenvesAUSTIN (AP) — University of Texas Provost Gregory Fenves has been named the sole finalist for school president after a months-long search for a leader. Fenves would succeed Bill Powers, who was pressured to resign after years of clashes with some board members and former Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa. Powers leaves office June 1. University of Texas System regents had appeared to settle on Oxford Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton, but he dropped out earlier this month to take the job as president of New York University. A split board voted 5-3 to name the 58-year-old Fenves as the sole finalist. He is the university’s chief academic officer and ranked No. 2 behind Powers. He also oversaw the university admissions office. The board must wait 21 days before formally hiring him.

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