FATAL SHOOTING-MONTGOMERY COUNTY
2 found dead at Southeast Texas RV park
CONROE, Texas (AP) - Authorities north of Houston say two people are dead in an apparent murder-suicide.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that deputies responded to a park for recreational vehicles near Conroe (KAHN'-roh) late Wednesday night. A man called 911 to say he was contacted by his father-in-law who said he had shot his wife and intended to shoot himself.
Deputies found the bodies of 69-year-old Donald Jacobson and 65-year-old Lucille Jacobson in their RV. Donald Jacobson had a gunshot wound to his head and his wife suffered multiple wounds to her torso.
Authorities say it's not clear what precipitated the shooting. They say the couple had been staying at the park for a few weeks.
BEATING DEATH-PLEA DEAL
Woman sentenced for role in teen's beating death
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - An Austin woman has pleaded guilty to murder in the beating death of a 16-year-old boy that was the result of a feud between families over money.
Thirty-seven-year-old Christina Reynero accepted a plea deal Wednesday and was sentenced to five years in prison. An arrest warrant indicates Reynero participated in the November 2012 beating of Jorge Medina Jr., who died days after being struck by metal poles and sticks.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that Reynero's son, 18-year-old Juan Jose Reynero, accepted a plea deal last month and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Another man has been sentenced to a dozen years. Charges are pending against another of Christina Reynero's sons.
The warrant shows Medina continued to be stomped and beaten after he'd fallen unconscious.
FORT DRUM-SOLDIER DIES
NY-based Texas soldier dies from combat wounds
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) - Military officials say a soldier from Texas based at Fort Drum in northern New York has died from injuries suffered in an attack in Afghanistan last weekend.
The 10th Mountain Division says 27-year-old Spc. Kerry Danyluk of Cuero, Texas died Tuesday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Officials say he was wounded Saturday when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire in Afghanistan's Logar province.
Danyluk was an infantryman assigned to the division's 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Danyluk joined the Army in October 2010. He trained at Fort Benning in Georgia and was based at the Army post until arriving at Fort Drum in March 2013. He started his second Afghanistan deployment last November.
Danyluk is survived by his mother and father.
Texas officials say gang membership exceeds 100K
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - State public safety officials say they believe more than 100,000 people are members of gangs that are a threat to public safety in Texas.
The estimate was released Thursday as part of an annual report issued by the state Department of Public Safety. Authorities say the gangs posing the greatest threat to public safety are Tango Blast, Texas Syndicate, Texas Mexican Mafia and Barrio Azteca.
Tango Blast and affiliated groups are believed to have membership in excess of 8,200. Texas Syndicate may have more than 4,400 members.
DPS says many Texas gangs continue to work with Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs, weapons, people and cash across the border. The associations have changed over the last year as power struggles evolve among some cartels.
AUSTIN HOUSING-FEDERAL VOUCHERS
Austin officials: Expand use of housing vouchers
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - City leaders in Austin will consider adopting a measure that prevents housing complexes from turning away applicants who rely on federal vouchers to pay the rent.
The City Council on Thursday will hear details of the plan to require hundreds of additional Austin rental properties to consider low-income tenants. The Austin American-Statesman reports that many apartment complexes won't accept vouchers.
The intention of the measure is to provide more housing options for low-income residents.
The Austin Housing Authority administers 5,800 federal housing vouchers for those who earn less than 50 percent of Austin's median income.
Vouchers allow tenants to avoid public housing projects in favor of privately owned options.
Laws passed over the past five decades prevent discrimination against potential tenants, but those laws don't include income levels.
New program eases wait times at South Texas border
MISSION, Texas (AP) - South Texas border officials are relying on a new program to reduce the amount of time travelers must wait before entering the U.S.
It's not unusual to wait as long as four hours to pass through security checkpoints at the Hidalgo-Reynosa, Anzalduas and other border crossings. Motorists waited that long Wednesday but The Monitor newspaper reports local authorities submitted an emergency request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for extra personnel.
Such a request is now possible with the launch last August of an initiative allowing public and private partnerships to pay for additional personnel when needed.
A recent request for more staffing over five days will cost approximately $25,000. Local governments along with groups like the McAllen Chamber of Commerce cover the cost.
Retail gasoline prices up 6 cents across Texas
IRVING, Texas (AP) - Retail gasoline prices continue to creep upward as they've risen 6 cents this week across Texas.
AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump has reached $3.49 per gallon. Gasoline prices nationally rose by a nickel this week to hit an average of $3.66.
Drivers in Dallas-Fort Worth are paying the most statewide for gasoline, at $3.57 per gallon. AAA Texas says motorists in El Paso are paying the least at $3.32.
Refiners by May 1 must switch to producing a summer-blend gasoline. AAA Texas warns the switch, in addition to other factors, increase the chance of disruptions to production. This in turn could push retail prices further upward.
Pickens teaming up with family-run Wyoming firm
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - T. Boone Pickens is teaming up with a family-run Wyoming business hoping to become the largest maker of natural gas engines for drilling rigs.
The Texas millionaire's energy hedge fund, BP Capital, is partnering with Casper-based Moser Energy Systems to create a new company - Mesa Natural Gas Solutions. The Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1h6KGqz ) reports that Moser will continue making the engines and Pickens' fund will promote them.
Pickens joined Moser executives in announcing the joint venture Wednesday at its new building in Evansville.
He says 95 percent of drilling rigs are powered by diesel engines but Moser's engines are a cheaper and cleaner domestic alternative.
Moser's engines convert raw natural gas from oil drilling sites into fuel for the engines, eliminating the need to haul diesel to the sites.
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