No Texas changes in execution procedure
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Texas prison officials say they plan no changes in lethal injection procedures in the wake of problems with an execution in Arizona.
Unlike Arizona, which used a two-drug protocol of midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone for an execution Wednesday that took two hours, Texas uses a single dose of the sedative pentobarbital.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark says the agency has used the single drug since 2012 for 33 executions without complication.
At least 10 Texas inmates have execution dates scheduled in the coming months.
US data show states getting most immigrant kids
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - New federal data show Texas, New York, Florida and California are receiving the most unaccompanied children caught at the U.S. border.
The data published Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families show those four states account for 46 percent of the more than 30,000 children who have been released to sponsors this year through July 7.
The U.S. has been grappling with a surge in the number of unaccompanied children who have been fleeing violence in Central America and crossing into the U.S. because they believe they will be allowed to stay.
Children are placed in government shelters and then released to sponsors while they go through deportation proceedings. In many cases, the sponsors are the children's parents, other relatives, or a family friend.
Day 3 of deliberations ends in Ventura lawsuit
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A third day of jury deliberations in a defamation lawsuit brought by former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has ended without a verdict.
Jurors broke for the day after about 7½ hours of deliberations Thursday and are due to reconvene at 9 a.m. Friday. Altogether, the jury has deliberated for about 19 hours since midday Tuesday.
Ventura says the late author Chris Kyle made up a story in his best-seller "American Sniper" about decking him in a California bar in 2006 after Ventura supposedly insulted Navy SEALs. Ventura testified it never happened.
To rule in Ventura's favor, the jury must find by "clear and convincing evidence" that Kyle knew or believed his story was false, or that Kyle had serious doubts about whether it was true.
Kyle was killed in Texas last year.
Texas prosecutor seeks to clear convicted rapist
DALLAS (AP) - A Dallas man who says he pleaded guilty to a 1990 rape because his attorney advised him to avoid trial may soon be exonerated.
The Dallas County district attorney said Thursday that DNA testing shows Michael Phillips is innocent and identifies another man as the culprit in the rape of a 16-year-old girl at a motel.
The 57-year-old Phillips served 12 years in prison after entering a plea deal and hasn't actively sought exoneration since his release.
District Attorney Craig Watkins says Phillips was tested as part of a review of untested rape samples.
Phillips, who is black, says his attorney warned him to not risk a jury trial for the rape of a white teenager.
Watkins says he'll seek exoneration at a hearing Friday in Dallas.
Knoblauch charged with assaulting ex-wife
HOUSTON (AP) - Former baseball star Chuck Knoblauch has been charged with misdemeanor assault after authorities in Houston say he hit and pushed his ex-wife.
Knoblauch has been released on $10,000 bond. His first court date is set for July 30. The four-time All-Star previously served a year of probation after being convicted of hitting his previous wife in 2010.
Knoblauch played for the Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals during a 12-year career.
He was set to be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame in August. The Twins issued a statement Thursday saying that "in light of recent news reports surrounding Chuck Knoblauch, as well as direct communication" with Knoblauch, they have decided to cancel the Aug. 23 ceremony.
TROUBLED HOSPITAL CHAIN
Dallas-area doctor convicted of health care fraud
TYLER, Texas (AP) - A North Texas physician who ran a now-closed hospital near Dallas has been convicted of conspiracy and health care fraud over Medicare and Medicaid claims.
The federal jury in Tyler found Dr. Tariq Mahmood guilty Thursday of making fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid totaling more than $1 million.
The Cedar Hill physician faces up to 10 years in prison for the conspiracy conviction and two years for each fraud count. A sentencing date has not been set.
He owned the Renaissance Terrell (TEHR'-ruhl) Hospital, which closed in February 2013 after a federal agency halted funding. Mahmood also operated Cozby Germany Hospital in Grand Saline (gran suh-LEEN'), Central Texas Hospital in Cameron, Community General Hospital in Dilley, Lake Whitney Medical Center in Whitney and Shelby Regional Medical Center in Center.
WICHITA FALLS-BEES ATTACK
Honey bees sting Texas man about 1,000 times
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (AP) - A North Texas street department worker has been stung about 1,000 times by aggressive bees that also attacked two co-workers who tried to help him.
Wichita Falls officials blamed Thursday's attack on Africanized honey bees.
Spokesman Barry Levy (LEE'-vee) says a swarm attacked a worker mowing grass along culverts near the Weeks Park Tennis Center. He says the man was in good condition at a local hospital.
Levy says two co-workers also were stung when they came to the man's aid. One worker fled into a nearby tennis center, bringing the swarm with him.
One of the co-workers also was hospitalized in good condition, the other was treated and discharged.
The center, a nearby trail and part of a golf course remain closed until personnel confirm the bees are gone.
Formerly conjoined twins celebrate first birthday
DALLAS (AP) - Formerly conjoined twin boys celebrated their first birthday with those who helped care for them at the Dallas hospital where they were separated.
Emmett and Owen Ezell (ee-ZEHL') returned to Medical City Children's Hospital for their celebration Thursday. The boys, who turned 1 last week, were separated at the hospital last August, about a month after their birth. The twins, who shared a liver and intestines when born, left the hospital for inpatient rehabilitation in April and finally were able to go home in June.
The boys now breathe on their own but still rely on feeding tubes.
Their mother, Jenni Ezell, says Owen is about to start crawling, and she thinks Emmett will soon be doing likewise.
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