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PERRY-DEFENSE FUNDS

Perry campaign funds to cover future legal costs

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry says any future legal bills he incurs fighting two felony indictments will be paid for with campaign funds, not taxpayer dollars.

Perry has spent $80,000 in public funds on the case so far, and has retained a high-powered team of attorneys moving forward.

But spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said Thursday that further legal bills would come out of campaign coffers. She says she didn't know if there are plans to reimburse the state for Perry's past legal expenses.

The governor isn't seeking re-election, but may run again for president in 2016. As of June 30, he had $4 million-plus in campaign funds.

Perry was indicted last week by a grand jury in Austin on coercion and official oppression. He calls the case a political ploy.

EBOLA-BRANTLY FUND

Brantly's Texas residency program creates fund

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Former colleagues of the Texas-trained doctor who contracted Ebola say they're raising funds to help him and his family replace the household items they were forced to leave behind in West Africa.

Dr. Kent Brantly, who worked as a medical missionary in Liberia, was discharged from an Atlanta hospital Thursday after being successfully treated for the virus.

J.R. Labbe, spokeswoman for John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, says Brantly's release is a "day of great joy."

Brantly did his family medicine residency at John Peter Smith.

Brantly moved to Liberia with his wife and two children in October 2013 for a two-year post-residency fellowship with the Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse.

Donations to the Brantly fund can be made through the hospital's website.

MINIBIKE THIEF

Copper thief on minibike busted in Texas oil patch

ODESSA, Texas (AP) - An Odessa man on a minibike has been arrested after he was spotted stripping copper wire at a lease in the West Texas oil patch.

Ector County sheriff's deputies say 30-year-old Colby Figert was caught Tuesday after a police chase and is charged with evading in a vehicle - the minibike.

He's also facing a charge of possession of a controlled substance after deputies discovered he was carrying methamphetamine. Figert is jailed on $15,000 bond.

A worker on the lease saw Figert trying to steal the copper wire and called deputies. The manager of the lease, Jimmy Davis, tells The Odessa American he received a report of the incident from a security employee who said Figert was unable to "outrun the long arm of the law" on the minibike.

POT BUST

500 pounds of marijuana found in pickup truck

SAN DIEGO, Texas (AP) - Duval County authorities say they've found nearly 500 pounds of marijuana in a pickup truck they were trying to pull over for a traffic stop.

Sheriff's investigator Ronald Smithwick tells the Corpus Christi Caller-Times eight men sprinted from the truck Wednesday when it crashed into a fence following a short chase. They remain on the loose.

Smithwick says the men left behind eight makeshift backpacks of compressed marijuana. He says smugglers typically throw the backpacks over their shoulders and walk through the brush to avoid police checkpoints.

Officials say more than a ton of marijuana has been found similarly in the South Texas county this year. Last year, they recovered three tons of pot in backpacks.

YA TITTLE-FIELD HOUSE

East Texas city honors native Y.A. Tittle

MARSHALL, Texas (AP) - The Marshall school board has voted unanimously to name its high school football field house in honor of hometown sports legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle.

Tittle is 87 and lives in Atherton, California.

He was born and raised in the East Texas city, played at Marshall High School in the 1940s, then went to Louisiana State University. He played 10 years for San Francisco in the NFL, then led the New York Giants to three division titles before retiring in 1964. Tittle threw for more than 33,000 yards and 242 touchdowns and entered the Hall of Fame in 1971.

The Marshall News Messenger reports school officials say Tittle has health issues, that officials have talked with his family and that they're OK with the designation.

USS SARATOGA-SCRAP

USS Saratoga carrier heads off to be scrapped

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Saratoga has left its port in Rhode Island for its final journey to Texas, where it will be scrapped.

The ship departed Naval Station Newport on Thursday morning and was making its way down Narragansett Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. It is heading to the Esco Marine ship recycling plant in Brownsville, Texas. The Saratoga was supposed to leave Wednesday, but the voyage was postponed because of bad weather.

Esco Marine is being paid a penny by the Navy to dispose of the Saratoga. It plans to make money by selling what it recovers from the ship.

The Saratoga was launched in 1955 and decommissioned in 1994. The vessel fell into disrepair, and an effort to preserve the ship as a museum failed.

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