Category: State News

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Phil Collins Alamo Artifacts to Arrive in Texas

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Singer Phil Collins’ vast collection of artifacts related to the 1836 Battle of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution that he’s donating to Texas is set to arrive in the state. The San Antonio Express-News reports that crates of the collectibles will be delivered to San Antonio by truck on Tuesday. Collins and Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, the state steward of the Alamo, are expected to oversee the transfer of the artifacts, which will be housed at a temporary location. Patterson is leading an effort to build a permanent home for the collection. Some of the artifacts being donated include a fringed leather pouch and a gun used by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie’s legendary knife. In a statement, Patterson says Texans are “deeply indebted to Phil Collins.”

1 Dead after Apartment Building Explosion

BORGER (AP) Authorities say at least one person was killed after an explosion at a Texas Panhandle apartment building. The Amarillo-Globe News reports the explosion happened around 9 a.m. Saturday in the town of Borger. Borger Police Lt. Brandon Strope says the small apartment building was destroyed. Strope said most of the residents were either not home, or were able to escape the structure after the explosion. A cause of the explosion has not been determined. Borger is located about 50 miles northeast of Amarillo.

Cancer Fighting Agency to Focus on Rare Cancers

AUSTIN (AP) Texas’ cancer-fighting agency says it will start investing a larger part of its $300 million yearly budget toward finding cures for rare and hard-to-treat cancers that are often overlooked by the private sector. The Austin American-Statesman reports the announcement comes after the Legislature mandated the agency’s oversight committee review funding priorities after the group’s top leaders were removed by lawmakers for mismanaging $56 million in grants. Wayne Roberts, the chief executive officer of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, says juvenile and adolescent cancers will be among the priorities. The proposal is posted on the agency’s website and it is asking the public to review its proposal. The $3 billion agency controls the nation’s second-largest pot of cancer funding behind only the federal National Institutes of Health.

Pastor Resigns after Prostitution Arrest

AMARILLO (AP) Officials say a pastor at a Texas Panhandle church has resigned after being arrested on a prostitution charge. The Potter County Sheriff’s Office says Cameron Tate Reeves was arrested on the misdemeanor charge at an Amarillo motel on Thursday. The Amarillo Globe-News reports the 34-year-old Reeves was a pastor for Hillside Christian Church’s campus in the town of Canyon, where he had served since 2009. Canyon is located about 20 miles south of Amarillo. Reeves was released from jail after posting a $1,000 bond. Jail records did not list an attorney for him. In a statement, Hillside Christian Church said Friday that Reeves had turned in his resignation and that the church was “saddened by this situation.”

Dallas DA’s Office Briefly Lost Porsche It Owns

DALLAS (AP) The use of forfeiture funds to recover and repair a temporarily lost Porsche owned by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office is raising questions by some about how this money is used by law enforcement. WFAA-TV in Dallas reports the district attorney’s office lost track of the Porsche for two months after it was towed when administrators from a parking garage thought it was abandoned. The car sat at a towing company’s lot until it was auctioned. When the new owner tried to get a title, it was discovered the DA’s office actually owned the vehicle. The DA’s office paid $3,600 in fees and other expenses to get the car back and fix it. District Attorney Craig Watkins says his office needs high-end vehicles for undercover work.

Fort Bliss Soldiers to Deploy for Ebola Mission

FORT BLISS (AP) About 75 soldiers from a West Texas Army post are being deployed this weekend to West Africa as part of a U.S. military mission in areas affected by the Ebola outbreak. The Fort Bliss soldiers will go on seven flights carrying heavy equipment such as generators, containers and helicopters. About 500 Fort Bliss soldiers are expected to eventually be deployed. Fort Bliss spokesman Lt. Col. Lee Peters says the advance party of soldiers is being deployed to guarantee that conditions, facilities and logistics are set up for the arrival of additional troops. The World Health Organization reports that more than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola in this outbreak and nearly half of these individuals have died.

Remains of French Ship to be Reassembled in Texas

AUSTIN (AP) Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of a French ship recovered more than 300 years after it was lost in a storm off the Texas coast. The February 1686 wreck of the 54-foot-long La Belle in Matagorda Bay played the key role in an ill-fated but historically significant expedition led by famed explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle. Historians point to La Salle’s colony near Victoria as the reason Spain decided to boost its presence in what became Texas. That move, and the colony’s failure, led to today’s Hispanic heritage in the state. Beginning Saturday, visitors to the Texas State Museum in Austin will be able to watch the ship being put back together in a unique setting that allows them to interact with archaeologists.

Hospital Hit by Ebola Scare to Alter Procedures

DALLAS (AP) The Dallas hospital where two nurses were infected with Ebola after treating a Liberian man says it’s instituted new procedures for treatment of infectious diseases. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital issued a statement Friday that says electronic medical records will highlight any risks associated with a patient’s travel. Officials say a new triage procedure will identify high-risk patients and move them from the emergency room to an isolation unit by staff outfitted in protective gear. The hospital also asserts that “face-to-face communication” between nurses and doctors will increase so they don’t rely solely on medical records. Friday’s statement came the same day Dallas officials announced Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke by phone with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The two discussed how Liberians in Dallas are working to support their Ebola-ravaged homeland.

Additional Charges Filed in Death of 2-year-old

AUSTIN (AP) Austin police say additional charges have been filed in the death of a 2-year-old boy whose body was found in a shallow grave last month. Authorities say they were waiting for confirmation by medical examiners that the body is that of Colton Turner before charging his mother, 20-year-old Meagan Work, with injury to a child and injury to a child by omission. Police also announced Friday that Work’s boyfriend, 29-year-old Michael Turner, has been charged with injury to a child by omission. The pair has been in custody since September on other charges. Police say a co-worker of Turner’s contacted authorities, claiming to have witnessed Work assaulting the child. Bail has been set at $750,000 on the latest felony charges. The offenses are punishable by up to life in prison.

Police: Man had 1,000 Secret Recordings of Women

IRVING (AP) North Texas police say their investigation of a man who secretly placed cameras in various public restrooms has uncovered nearly 1,000 videos of women. Irving police spokesman James McLellan said Friday the videos were taken from the computers, flash drives and other devices owned by 65-year-old Andrew Boden. Authorities announced in June that Boden had been arrested on a charge of improper photography or video recording. But the extent of the recordings weren’t publicly known until this week. McLellan says cameras were placed in bathrooms at fast-food restaurants, grocery stores and other locations. In one instance a camera was concealed in a fake wall outlet. Boden has bonded out of jail. McLellan says he was living in a hotel and a number for him could not be located for comment.

Houston Mayor: ‘2 moms’ Cause Daughter’s DL Woes

HOUSTON (AP) Houston Mayor Annise Parker says her daughter faced difficulty in getting a Texas driver’s license because she listed two mothers as her parents on her application. Parker is gay and married partner Kathy Hubbard in a California ceremony earlier this year. Together, they adopted daughters Daniela and Marquitta in 2003. Texas doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, however. The Houston Chronicle reports Parker tweeted Friday that the Texas Department of Public Safety denied Daniela a driving test Thursday because of inconsistencies on her personal identification documents. In some spots Daniela listed Parker as her mother and listed Hubbard as her mother on others. Only on a third trip Friday to the license office did she get her license. DPS spokesman Tom Vinger blamed the glitch on insufficient documentation to prove residency.

Perry’s 1st Court Appearance Now Set for Nov. 6

AUSTIN (AP) A judge has rescheduled for Nov. 6 in Austin Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s first court appearance to face abuse-of-power charges. The Republican originally was to appear at an Oct. 31 pretrial hearing, but Perry attorney Tony Buzbee said the hearing was postponed until Nov. 7. In an order signed Friday, though, state District Judge Bert Richardson set the hearing for the previous morning. A Travis County grand jury indicted Perry in August on charges that he abused his official powers and coerced a public servant. The charges arose from his public threat and eventual decision to veto state funding for public corruption prosecutors. That came after the Democratic district attorney overseeing the unit wouldn’t resign after a drunken-driving conviction. Perry’s attorneys have challenged the case on constitutional and technical grounds.

Dallas Nurse Receives Thanks, Hug from Obama

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) A nurse who became ill with Ebola has returned home virus-free to Texas. Nina Pham arrived just before midnight CDT Friday at a Fort Worth airport after being released from the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center near Washington. She was exposed to the deadly virus while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, who died Oct. 8 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Earlier Friday, Pham said she felt “fortunate and blessed” during a news conference at the Washington-area hospital. She later received a hug and thanks from President Barack Obama during a visit to the White House. Pham said she looked forward to being reunited with her dog Bentley. A second nurse from Dallas, Amber Vinson, remains at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

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