BC-TX--Texas News Digest, TX

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Associated Press

Posted on April 16, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Texas news at 1 p.m. CDT.

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DRUG RAID-HORSE TRACK-TRIAL

AUSTIN, Texas — A multimillion-dollar horse breeding operation run from an Oklahoma ranch was actually a front by a notorious Mexican cartel to launder millions of dollars in drug money, prosecutors alleged Tuesday at the beginning of a trial for five defendants charged in the scheme. Jose Trevino Morales, the younger brother of the suspected leader of the Zetas cartel, is charged with money laundering conspiracy. His trial along with four co-defendants began Tuesday in Austin, Texas. By Juan A. Lozano.

AP Photos.

XGR--SCHOOL CURRICULUM

AUSTIN, Texas — A powerful state senator is angrily disputing national assertions Texas is poised to water-down school curriculum and standardized testing requirements for its students. Sen. Dan Patrick told Tuesday's public hearing on a proposed education overhaul that "nothing could be further from the truth." By Will Weissert.

XGR--ABORTION

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas senators on Tuesday hear testimony on a bill to require doctors who perform or induce abortions using medication to have admitting privileges at a hospital. By Chris Tomlinson.

RADIOACTIVE WASTE

LUBBOCK — People living nearest to a radioactive waste dump site in West Texas would be barred from challenging license amendments sought by the company operating the facility under a Senate bill that could be voted on as early as Wednesday. The bill also encourages compact members Texas and Vermont to send their low-level waste elsewhere and seeks to prohibit public hearings or comment on some amendments to the company's license. By Betsy Blaney.

AP File Photo.

TEXAS SPACEPORT

McALLEN, Texas — A draft environmental study of a proposal to build a rocket launch site in South Texas says it could affect several endangered species, but any "significant impacts" to wildlife could be avoided if steps are taken. The draft environmental impact statement released Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration indicates that if California-based SpaceX implements a list of measures then there would be "no significant impacts on wildlife." Those measures include avoiding launches when wildlife are most active, and providing pre- and post-launch surveys for endangered birds. By Christopher Sherman.

TEXAS EXECUTION

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — The U.S. Supreme Court considered an appeal to halt the execution Tuesday evening of a North Texas man convicted in the fatal shooting of a teenager during a carjacking outside a nightclub 12 years ago. Attorneys for Ronnie Threadgill, 40, argued his case deserved review because he had deficient legal help during his 2002 capital murder trial when he was sentenced to die for the killing of 17-year-old Dexter McDonald. The appeal argues that he would not have received a death sentence if he had better legal representation, and asks that his case be returned to a lower court. By Michael Graczyk.

AP Photo.

Eds: Execution scheduled for after 6 p.m. CT.

HEALTH OVERHAUL-ADDICTION-TEXAS

AUSTIN, Texas — The Affordable Care Act will make more than 330,000 Texans eligible for addiction treatment next year, but the state's treatment centers are already at 92 percent of capacity, according to federal statistics. About 86,000 Texans are getting help for addiction, but if the state expands Medicaid to include more of the working poor — something that Gov. Rick Perry adamantly opposes — an additional 250,000 addicts could seek treatment offered under the health program, according to estimate from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. By The Associated Press.

AIR FORCE SEX SCANDAL

BILOXI, Miss. — The U.S. Air Force has moved the military trial of an instructor allegedly involved in a sex scandal at a South Texas base to Mississippi. Col. Polly Kenny, spokeswoman for the Air Force on the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland case, tells the Sun Herald that the trial is being held this week at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., because the airman, Tech. Sgt. Bobby D. Bass, was assigned to Keesler when charges were brought against him in 2012.

BOOKS-SELF-PUBLISHED STAR

DALLAS — After a feverish month of inspiration, Colleen Hoover had finally fulfilled her dream of writing a book. With family and friends asking to read the emotional tale of first love, the married mother of three young boys living in rural East Texas and working 11-hour days as a social worker decided to digitally self-publish on Amazon, where they could download it for free for a week. By July, she was on The New York Times best-seller list for e-books. By fall, she had sold the movie rights. By Jamie Stengle.

AP Photos

Also:

— STUDENTS-DEADLY WRECK — An East Texas high school student has been killed and four others hurt in a minivan accident when all nine teens in the vehicle skipped school.

— UTEP ANNIVERSARY — Faculty, staff and alumni of the University of Texas at El Paso are marking the 100th anniversary of the law that created the college.

— BP-TEXAS REFINERY — More than 470 people are suing BP for $1 billion, saying they became sick due to a 15-day gas leak at its refinery in Texas City.

— CAMPUS SHOOTING — Police say a lockdown at a Central Texas high school has ended after a student shot himself with a handgun on campus.

— DOG SURGERY-FACELIFT — An excessively wrinkled dog has had surgery to help him see and hear better as caregivers in South Texas seek a home for the animal.

— CHILD PORN-SENTENCING — Prosecutors say a South Texas man has been sentenced to the maximum term of 30 years in prison for producing child pornography.

— LOVE FIELD-TERMINAL — Passengers have more room to roam at Dallas Love Field. The first 11 gates at the airport's new terminal opened to the public Tuesday. The 12th gate is scheduled to be operating in July.

— BOSTON MARATHON-UT-BELLS — The University of Texas Tower bells will be played to honor victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Junior music major Austin Ferguson says he'll perform Tuesday afternoon.

— ARGUMENT-SLAIN SOLDIERS — A man who claimed self-defense has been sentenced to 99 years in prison for the fatal shooting of two West Texas soldiers in an argument over a woman.

— BUS CRASH-TEXAS-LAWSUIT — A 74-year-old passenger who broke several ribs in a deadly bus crash near Dallas has sued the company operating the vehicle.

— FAKE CANCER DRUG — A silver Aston Martin sports car seized from a Montana man during a federal investigation of the illegal importation of cancer medications has been sold at auction for $110,000. Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Rod Ostermiller tells The Billings Gazette a Texas man submitted the high bid for the 2011 Aston Martin Vantage during an April 10 auction.

BUSINESS:

AMERICAN AIRLINES-BANKRUPTCY

DALLAS — US Airways began studying a potential merger with American Airlines several months before American filed for bankruptcy protection in late 2011, according to papers filed Monday by the two companies. The documents give a blow-by-blow account of how the merger was negotiated, including the thorny issues of how to share ownership of the merged company and who would run it. By David Koenig.

DELL ACQUISITION-ICAHN

A special committee of the Dell Inc. board says Carl Icahn has agreed to cap his stake in the personal computer maker while the panel considers competing takeover bids from the billionaire investor, a group led by CEO Michael Dell and buyout specialist Blackstone Group. The Round Rock, Texas, company said Tuesday that its board approved the agreement with Icahn under which he and entities tied to him pledge not to buy up more than 10 percent of the company's shares. By The Associated Press.

SUSSER-OUTLOOK

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Convenience store chain Susser Holdings Corp. anticipates that merchandise sales at stores open at least a year climbed about 4.2 percent in the first quarter. Susser said Tuesday that it opened four new Stripes convenience stores during the quarter and closed one store that is being rebuilt. The Corpus Christi, Texas company had 562 Stripes stores at March's end.

SPORTS REFER:

BBO--RANGERS-CUBS

CHICAGO — Derek Holland gets the start as the Texas Rangers open a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are coming off an ugly loss to San Francisco in which Edwin Jackson and Michael Bowden tied a major league record by combining to throw five wild pitches in an inning.

AP Photos.

Eds: Game starts at 7:05 p.m. CT.

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