COPPELL (AP) – Retail gasoline prices in Texas and nationwide have declined this week. AAA Texas on Thursday reported the statewide average price at the pump slipped a penny to settle at $2.15 per gallon. Gasoline prices across the U.S. declined 3 cents to reach an average $2.33 per gallon. The association survey found San Antonio has the cheapest gasoline this week in Texas at an average $2.08 per gallon. Drivers in El Paso face the highest gasoline prices at an average $2.21 per gallon. Association experts say the slight decrease in gasoline prices can be attributed adequate supply and less demand in January, with colder weather and fewer road trips following the holidays.
DALLAS (AP) – A fresh proposal by Dallas officials to fix the city’s troubled police and fire pension fund would establish a new retirement system and allow the current, ailing one to continue its trek toward insolvency. Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Reich told the city council Wednesday that establishing a new system is an option, but the goal remains fixing the one experts say will become insolvent in 10 years. The Legislature must review any remedy. Under the proposal, younger employees could transfer to the new system and get traditional benefits in addition to a 401K with a 5 percent city match. Police and firefighters who transfer would take lower guaranteed benefits. Taxpayers would continue to contribute to the current system, but beneficiaries would have no guarantee of future payments once the fund runs out of money.
BROWNSVILLE (AP) – A U.S. Border Patrol agent and his brother are standing trial in Texas in the killing of a man who prosecutors say threatened to uncover their trafficking of weapons and drugs. The agent, 31-year-old Joel Luna, and his brother, 26-year-old Eduardo Luna, have pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges. A third brother testified Wednesday that he saw Eduardo Luna fatally shoot an associate in early 2015. The man’s headless body was found floating off the Texas coast in March that year. Prosecutors contend Joel Luna used his position to help a Mexican cartel move illegal weapons and ammunition south of the border and drugs to the north. The agent’s lawyer has denied he had any involvement in the illicit activity.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – An Oregon man admitted to groping a 13-year-old girl on a flight from Dallas to Portland. Chad Camp pleaded guilty Thursday to assault and making an indecent sexual proposal to a minor. U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman scheduled sentencing for May 3. FBI agents arrested Camp after his June flight landed at Portland International Airport. Authorities said an American Airlines flight attendant was delivering snacks early in the flight when she noticed Camp’s hand in the victim’s crotch area. Camp was returning to Oregon after completing a residential treatment for alcohol dependency in Florida. A witness told police Camp had at least four mixed drinks during a layover in Dallas. In court Thursday, Camp said he touched the girl inappropriately and spoke to her with language that would be considered indecent. He said what he did was wrong in all respects.
AUSTIN (AP) – Researchers say the number of abortions performed throughout Texas dropped after a 2013 law forced the closure of clinics in all but the largest cities, and the decline was steeper the farther a woman lived from a remaining clinic. A study published Thursday in the Journal of American Medical Association found that abortions fell 50 percent in 2014 among Texas women living near the U.S.-Mexico border and in dozens of rural counties. That’s where the distance to the nearest abortion clinic increased by more than 100 miles after closer providers shuttered. Abortions in Texas overall decreased 15 percent after new regulations took effect. Abortions nationwide are on the decline. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the state’s tougher abortion restrictions last year, but none of the more than 20 clinics that closed because of it have reopened.
AUSTIN (AP) – A federal judge has temporarily blocked Texas from ousting Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid program over secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015. The decision Thursday by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks adds Texas to the list of Republican-controlled states that have been thwarted in efforts to cut off Medicaid dollars to the nation’s largest abortion provider. Sparks postponed Planned Parenthood’s ouster until Feb. 21. It is expected he will issue a ruling before then.… Read More
HOUSTON (AP) – A spokesman said Thursday that doctors were evaluating former President George H.W. Bush before removing a breathing tube.
Spokesman Jim McGrath said Bush remained in intensive care at Houston Methodist Hospital while being treated for pneumonia after what McGrath says was a “good night’s rest.” McGrath also says that former first lady Barbara Bush feels “1,000 percent better” after antibiotics and some rest. She’s being treated for bronchitis. She checked into the same hospital as her husband Wednesday after recent weeks of fatigue and coughing. McGrath says doctors are hopeful the nation’s 41st president can be discharged from intensive care in a few days.