EL PASO (AP) — Three people have been sentenced for their roles in a scheme in which bribes were paid to steer construction projects at a West Texas military base to one company. James Tuskan was sentenced to 15 months in prison by a federal judge in El Paso on Friday. Christine Prince Hayes and Anthony Acri III each were sentenced earlier in the week to five years in prison.
HOUSTON (AP) – The Houston Independent School District Board of Education has voted to begin the process of renaming three schools named after men tied to the Confederacy. The board approved three resolutions Thursday. Albert Sidney Johnston and Sidney Lanier middle schools and Jefferson Davis High School will undergo the renaming process. Each campus will be required to form a school-naming committee comprised of staff, students, parents, and school stakeholders. That committee will have to submit recommendations to trustees by May. Henry Grady, Richard Dowling and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson middle schools, and Lee High School have already begun the renaming process.
ODESSA (AP) – A West Texas woman has been sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to abusing her 10-year-old stepson, who was found to be emaciated, malnourished and bruised after a concerned store clerk called authorities. The Ector County District Attorney’s Office said 37-year-old Tonya Carroll of Odessa was sentenced Monday. She pleaded guilty to first-degree injury to a child, third-degree injury to a child and a first-degree felony count of injury to a child by omission. In December 2013, a store clerk noticed the boy’s injuries and called 911. The child was taken to a hospital. Court documents show he was found to be extremely emaciated and malnourished, with bruises and scrapes on his body. Carroll’s husband, James Carroll, is also charged in the case and is awaiting trial.
HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review the case of a 35-year-old Southeast Texas set for execution later this month for the fatal shooting of a state game warden nine years ago during a poaching arrest. The high court had no comment Monday in its rejection of the appeal from convicted killer James Freeman. He’s scheduled for lethal injection Jan. 27 for the slaying of 34-year-old Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden Justin Hurst. Freeman led authorities in March 2007 on an hour-long chase in Wharton County after he used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot a bird sitting on a fence. Testimony showed that after spikes thrown on a road disabled Freeman’s truck, he got out and opened fire with a pistol and an assault rifle, killing Hurst.
DALLAS (AP) — Syrian refugees are scheduled to arrive in Texas soon, after the state eased up in its legal fight to stop them.
Twelve Syrians are to join relatives in Dallas and Houston on Monday. Another nine refugees are scheduled to arrive in Houston on Thursday.
Texas last week sued the federal government and the International Rescue Committee, the agency bringing a family of six refugees to Dallas. But on Friday, the state said it no longer wanted an immediate order stopping refugees but would continue its lawsuit.
The family of six is expected to join relatives already living in North Texas, which is already home to dozens of Syrian refugees.
Governors in about 30 states have said they oppose receiving Syrian refugees after the deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.