WOMAN FATALLY SHOT
Houston man arrested in fatal shooting of wife
HOUSTON (AP) - A 45-year-old man has been arrested on a charge of murder after his wife was found dead of gunshot wounds at their Houston residence.
Houston police said Monday that Lance Hilton was taken into custody the day before and charged by the Fort Bend County district attorney's office.
Investigators say he shot his wife, 48-year-old Mariam Hilton, on Friday after returning home. A person at the home told authorities at least three shots were heard. The woman died at the scene.
After the shooting, Lance Hilton got into his vehicle and drove away. The vehicle was recovered the following day in southeast Houston.
It wasn't immediately clear where Hilton is being held, as there's no record of him being incarcerated at the Fort Bend County jail.
South Texan charged with killing toddler son
JOURDANTON, Texas (AP) - A South Texas woman has been charged in the stabbing death of her toddler son.
Atascosa (a-tuhs-KOH'-suh) County jail records show 26-year-old Tashawna Caldwell was being held Monday on a charge of capital murder of a child younger than 6 years old. Jail records don't list an attorney for Caldwell, whose bond was set at $1 million.
Investigators are trying to determine what prompted the attack early Sunday at a home near Poteet (poh-TEET'). Deputies responded to a disturbance call. Sheriff David Soward says the boy, Caiden Parker, was dead at the scene. The victim would have turned 2 years old on Wednesday.
A second woman and an older child, who suffered minor injuries, were at the home where Caldwell was arrested.
Poteet is 25 miles south of San Antonio.
Passenger awakes to find himself locked in plane
HOUSTON (AP) - A passenger who fell asleep while flying to Los Angeles says he awoke to discover himself alone and locked inside a dark, empty United Express plane in Houston.
Tom Wagner told KTRK-TV he was supposed to change planes Friday at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. But no staff noticed he was still sleeping in a window seat at the rear of the flight from Lafayette, La., before they closed up the jet.
Wagner called his girlfriend who asked the airline to rescue him.
ExpressJet, which operates United Express in partnership with United Airlines, apologized Saturday and said the incident is under investigation. It says crew conducted a post-flight walk-through.
Wagner received a $250 flight voucher, was put up in a hotel and was flown to Orange County, Calif., on Saturday.
AIRLINE MERGER UPDATE
New American Airlines emerges as deal closes
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - American Airlines has emerged from bankruptcy protection and merged with US Airways to create the world's largest carrier.
The deals were completed Monday.
American's old parent, AMR Corp., is gone, replaced by the new American Airlines Group Inc. - still based in Fort Worth.
CEO Doug Parker on Monday remotely rang the opening bell of the Nasdaq Stock Market, flanked on stage by executives and labor leaders of both airlines and in front of a crowd of cheering employees.
American filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in November 2011.
MERRY CHRISTMAS LAW-TEXAS
Texas touts law protecting Christmas in schools
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Merry Christmas, bah humbug? Not in Texas.
Same goes for you, Mr. Grinch.
Just in time for the holidays, a Texas lawmaker is making extra sure everyone remembers wishing someone "Merry Christmas" is now protected by law in public schools around the state.
Houston Republican Rep. Dwayne Bohac, his 8-year-old son and Santa Claus held a state Capitol press conference Monday.
They promoted Bohac's new, bipartisan law removing legal risks from exchanging holiday greetings in the classroom. It also protects holiday symbols such as a menorah or nativity scene.
Bohac said it will stop "ridiculous" past lawsuits against schools in the name of excessive political correctness.
The law also says schools are constitutionally barred from favoring one religious celebration over another. But, of course, it's named in honor of Christmas.
North Texas has 3.7 magnitude earthquake
MINERAL WELLS, Texas (AP) - North Texas has had another earthquake in the same general area where more than a dozen minor quakes were recorded in November.
The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.7 magnitude earthquake happened at 3:23 a.m. CST Monday and was centered about 11 miles north-northeast of Mineral Wells.
The Parker County Sheriff's Office did not immediate have any reports of damage or injuries.
Other recent minor earthquakes happened in the Reno and Azle (AY'-zil) areas, about 20 miles northeast of Fort Worth.
New zebra mussel rules in N. Texas start Tuesday
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - New rules begin this week to protect Texas waterways against invasive zebra mussels.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission last month voted to make permanent emergency requirements for boaters to clean, dry and drain all watercraft before and after entering lakes and streams. The rules take effect Tuesday in 17 North Texas counties.
The "clean, dry and drain" rules apply to all public waters in Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Fannin, Grayson, Hood, Jack, Kaufman, Montague (mahn-TAYG'), Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Stephens, Tarrant, Wise, and Young counties.
Zebra mussels were first confirmed in Texas in Lake Texoma in 2009. The pesky creatures that can clog pipes and damage boat motors have since spread to several North Texas lakes.