IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD-NATIONAL GUARD
Calls for troops at border echo previous requests
McALLEN, Texas (AP) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry was speaking to voters in Iowa as much as Texas when he deployed as many as 1,000 armed National Guard troops to the Mexican border in South Texas.
The one-time and possible future presidential candidate is in the waning months of his final term as governor and appears to be considering another run for the Republican nomination.
Under the federal law, National Guard troops can enforce state laws but will be able to do little more than call immigration authorities if they encounter immigrants who successfully cross into the United States. Texas says the deployment will cost the state $12 million each month.
In early 2009, while he was running for re-election, Perry asked the Obama administration to deploy 1,000 troops along the border.
Jury reaches no verdict in Ventura defamation case
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - There's still no verdict as jurors try to decide whether a decorated military sniper libeled former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura in his best-selling memoir.
Jurors deliberated from about 9 a.m. until about 4 p.m. Wednesday before leaving the federal courthouse in St. Paul. They received the case around noon Tuesday.
The jury has posed two questions to the judge. The subjects and answers haven't been disclosed.
Ventura testified Chris Kyle invented a story in his memoir "American Sniper" about punching him in a California bar in 2006 after Ventura supposedly insulted SEALs.
Ventura's attorney asked jurors for millions of dollars in damages.
But an attorney for Kyle's estate says Ventura failed to prove Kyle made up the story or that Ventura suffered financially because of the book.
Texas woman sentenced to life in stepson's death
DALLAS (AP) - A North Texas jury has sentenced a woman to life in prison for the 2011 starvation death of her 10-year-old stepson.
Thirty-three-year-old Elizabeth Ramsey must serve 30 years in prison before she becomes eligible for parole. The Dallas County jury imposed the sentence Wednesday, a day after finding Ramsey guilty of intentional serious injury to a child in the death of Johnathan Ramsey.
Ramsey's husband, Aaron Ramsey, the father of the child, already is serving a life sentence in the death.
Prosecutors say the two locked the boy in his room, slowly starved him on a diet of bread and water, and dumped his emaciated body in a rural area south of Dallas in 2011. The body was found the next year in a creek.
HOT CAR DEATH-TEXAS
Man charged in hot-car death of granddaughter
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (AP) - North Texas police say they've charged a man in the death of his granddaughter for leaving the child in a hot vehicle for eight hours after forgetting to take her to day care.
North Richland Hills police said in a release Wednesday that 59-year-old James Hollingsworth is charged with injury to a child/recklessly by omission. He turned himself in Wednesday, posted bond and has been released.
Police say Hollingsworth gave his daughter a ride to work April 22 and then was supposed to take 20-month-old Aurora Hollingsworth to day care. He instead returned home, leaving the child in the vehicle.
When he later picked up his 11-year-old grandson from school, the boy told him something was wrong with Aurora.
Hollingsworth then called 911.
A phone listing for Hollingsworth was not available.
Man, 27, arrested after body found in law office
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Police have made an arrest in the death of a man whose body was found at a West Texas law office by officers checking a report of an after-hours disturbance.
In a statement, Lubbock police say 27-year-old Jestin Wayne Hooker was arrested on a murder charge after he was detained for questioning.
Jail records show Hooker, who was described in the release as a roommate of the victim, doesn't yet have an attorney.
Killed was 61-year-old Steve Wallace, whose body was found before dawn Wednesday in living quarters behind a downtown law office. No cause of death has been determined.
Police Sgt. Jason Lewis says arriving officers found the body inside the building, but further details weren't available.
Texas needs extra year for new teacher evaluations
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas will need an extra year to unveil a new teacher evaluation system that's required as the state seeks relief from some curriculum standards mandated by No Child Left Behind.
State Education Commissioner Michael Williams wrote the U.S. Education Department on Wednesday saying a pilot evaluation program would be delayed 12 months.
Last year, Texas sought a federal waiver from the 2001 No Child Left Behind law - even though then-President George W. Bush modeled it after academic standards he'd overseen as Texas governor.
That waiver required implementing a new teacher evaluation system. Texas hasn't updated its evaluation regimen in 17 years, though, and now says it will need more time.
The Association of Texas Professional Educators applauded the move, saying new teacher evaluations shouldn't be implemented hastily.
FDA warns of compounded drug recall by Texas firm
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration is warning doctors not to use compounded drugs from a Texas specialty pharmacy due to risks of contamination.
The agency says FDA inspectors recently uncovered unsanitary conditions at Unique Pharmaceuticals' plant in Temple, Texas. The inspections revealed production problems in several lots of drugs that were supposed to be sterile.
The company is now recalling all non-expired sterile products distributed across the U.S., including a fluid used to clear mucus from the airways of patients with respiratory conditions.
The FDA said in a statement it is not aware of any illnesses linked to the products.
Unique Pharmaceuticals is a compounding pharmacy, which means it produces customized medications to fill specifications made by doctors.
Compounding pharmacy operations have been repeatedly linked to contamination problems for decades.
Audit: NASA doesn't have the money for big rockets
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal auditors say NASA doesn't have enough money to start launching its new, $12 billion rocket program by the end of 2017 as planned.
The congressional Government Accountability Office on Wednesday issued a report saying NASA's new Space Launch System is at high risk of missing its planned December 2017 initial test flight. The post-space shuttle program would build the biggest rockets ever to send astronauts to asteroids and Mars.
The report said NASA's own officials told the GAO that there is a 90 percent chance they can't meet the launch date with current funding.
Report author Cristina Chaplain said it's not that NASA has busted its budget for the program because of technical problems. It's just that NASA didn't get enough money to carry out the massive undertaking.
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