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This Hour: Latest Texas news, sports, business and entertainment

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Texas regents pick McRaven as chancellor finalist

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - University of Texas System regents have picked a top U.S. military special operations leader as the finalist for the job of chancellor to oversee 15 campuses.

Regents picked Navy Adm. William McRaven, head of U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday. McRaven has been credited with spearheading the operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden in a raid in 2011.

It will be 21 days before McRaven can be formally hired. He would replace Francisco Cigarroa, the first Hispanic person to serve as Texas system chancellor. Cigarroa is stepping down after five years.

McRaven inherits a job that must strike a balance between regents and state lawmakers who have clashed over recent attempts to force out the popular president of the flagship Austin campus.


East Texas marijuana fields valued at $175 million

GOODRICH, Texas (AP) - East Texas authorities say they have cleared more than two dozen marijuana fields that contained about 100,000 plants worth an estimated $175 million.

Chief Deputy Byron Lyons from the Polk County Sheriff's Office tells KHOU-TV in Houston that the fields were part of a sophisticated growing operation that used water from a creek to hydrate the marijuana plants.

A campground was also found on the site.

A deer hunter stumbled across the fields Saturday near the town of Goodrich, which is about 70 miles northeast of Houston.

Authorities say one man found in the woods has been arrested. The suspect's name has not been released.

Inmates from the county jail helped authorities pull up the plants and clear away the fields.


Baylor student, recent graduate killed in crash

MARLIN, Texas (AP) - Two people - a Baylor University student and a recent graduate - were killed when the pickup truck in which they were riding slammed into a tree beside a Central Texas highway.

Two other Baylor students were injured.

The crash happened about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on Texas 7 about three miles east of Marlin near the town of Kosse (KAH'-see). Trooper D.L. Wilson of the Texas Department of Public Safety says the truck drifted off the road when the driver lost control of the vehicle.

A Baylor University statement identified the dead as driver John Patrick Stewart of Dallas, a junior instrumental studies major, and front-seat passenger Laura Onwudinanti of Grand Prairie, a recent music education graduate.

The Baylor statement says the four were headed to Louisiana State University.


Woman appeals ruling on Texas affirmative action

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Attorneys for a woman are renewing her appeal of a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the use of race in University of Texas undergraduate admissions.

Abigail Fisher's attorneys filed their appeal Tuesday with the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking that it overturn the three-judge 5th Circuit Court panel's ruling. That 2-1 ruling July 15th held that barring the university's "limited use of race" would hurt diversity on the Austin campus.

Fisher, who is white, sued the university in 2008 after she was denied admission. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court last year, but justices voted 7-1 to tell the lower appeals court to re-examine Fisher's arguments.

The university said at the time that the justices' decision would not affect its admissions policies.


Texas father get 10 years for child's death

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A Texas man whose infant boy died while left alone has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The San Antonio Express-News reports Nicholas Anthony Clifton was sentenced Tuesday after pleading no contest to the second-degree felony charge of child abandonment.

Clifton previously faced up to 20 years in prison for 4-month-old Jeremiah Omar Young's death in April 2012.

Court files state Clifton told police he left his son and 2-year-old daughter alone for two hours so he could go to a job interview. He says he returned to find the boy had turned blue and was clutching a blanket.

An autopsy didn't determine the child's cause of death. The report notes no signs of trauma.


AT&T selects San Antonio for faster internet

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - AT&T has announced it will bring faster internet service to the San Antonio area.

Mayor Ivy Taylor said Tuesday the service will help grow the economy around the city.

The company says its GigaPower network has a 1 gigabit per second speed. That's about 100 times faster than what U.S. consumers typically get. Such speeds are common in parts of Asia and Northern Europe but aren't as prevalent in the U.S.

The company currently offers such speeds in Austin and previously committed to bring GigaPower to Dallas and Fort Worth. It announced in April it would expand GigaPower to 25 select metropolitan areas.

Google Fiber signed an agreement in March to provide a similar service in San Antonio.


BP employees email Houston officials over lawsuit

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston and Harris County officials say they are receiving letters from BP employees who want them to drop a lawsuit over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The Houston Chronicle reports Tuesday that local government officials describe it as a strange and unprecedented mass email campaign.

The county attorney's office earlier this month filed a lawsuit against BP, Transocean, Halliburton Energy Services and others. The lawsuit states the county lost $23 million in tax revenue because of the spill. The city and state have filed similar lawsuits.

One government employee reported receiving more than 1,200 emails. Officials report the emails appear to be form letters. They say the emails say BP is a good corporate neighbor and brings millions of dollars in taxes to local governments.


State designation could help save Astrodome

HOUSTON (AP) - The Texas Historical Commission is poised to decide whether to designate the famed Houston Astrodome a "state antiquities landmark," a status that would make demolishing the iconic structure harder.

A vote on the antiquities landmark designation was expected during the commission's Wednesday meeting in the West Texas city of Alpine.

The Astrodome is in no immediate danger of being torn down, despite voter rejection last year of a $217 million bond issue to turn it into a multipurpose special events center. Nevertheless, its future remains uncertain.

The designation would mean any proposal to alter or demolish the Astrodome would need commission approval. While the designation doesn't bar demolition, preservation groups say it would provide an extra layer of protection.

The Astrodome has been closed to all events since 2009.

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