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September 25, 2018 - 12:00 am


Lawyer: Firing of officer who killed neighbor is premature

DALLAS (AP) — The attorney for a white Dallas police officer who fatally shot her black neighbor inside his own apartment says the officer's firing was premature and unfair.

Robert Rogers, who represents the fired officer, Amber Guyger, said Monday night that Police Chief U. Renee Hall "bowed to pressure from anti-police groups and took action before all of the facts had been gathered and due process was afforded."

The Police Department says Hall dismissed Guyger during a hearing Monday. Guyger is charged with manslaughter in the Sept. 6 shooting that left 26-year-old Botham Jean dead, and the department says she was fired because of her arrest.

Court records show that Guyger said she thought she had encountered a burglar inside her own home and later saw she was in the wrong unit.


Texas prisons often deny dentures to inmates with no teeth

HOUSTON (AP) — Inmates without teeth in Texas are routinely denied dentures because state prison policy says chewing isn't a medical necessity and that they can eat blended food.

The Houston Chronicle reports that medical providers approved 71 dentures to a state prison population of more than 149,000 in 2016. It's a sharp decline from 15 years ago, when more than 1,000 dental prosthetics were approved.

Many inmates are elderly, have a history of drug use or came from impoverished backgrounds with sub-par dental care.

State policy says inmates can't get dentures unless they're underweight or suffering from other medical complications.

Death row inmate Paul Devoe soaks crackers in coffee to eat them with his three remaining teeth. Devoe and other inmates have complained about bleeding gums, sore mouths, choking and being unable to eat.


3D gun advocate accused of sex with minor freed on bond

HOUSTON (AP) — The owner of a Texas company that sells plans to make untraceable 3-D printed guns is free on bond after being accused by authorities of having sex with an underage girl.

Jail records show 30-year-old Cody Wilson was freed Sunday evening from the Harris County Jail in Houston after posting a $150,000 bond.

Wilson was brought back to the U.S. after being arrested in Taiwan following accusations he paid a 16-year-old girl $500 to have sex with her in Austin. He was arrested Friday in Taiwan.

Wilson's attorney, Samy Khalil, said in a statement Sunday night that the focus is on preparing Wilson's defense.

Future court hearings will be in Austin.

Wilson owns Austin-based Defense Distributed, which was selling designs to make 3D-printable guns .


Texas man accused of sexually touching woman asleep on plane

(Information from: The Tennessean,

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Texas man is accused of inappropriately touching a woman asleep on a Southwest flight to Nashville, Tennessee.

The Tennessean reports 30-year-old Alfredo Vela IV is charged with sexual battery. An arrest affidavit says the woman didn't know Vela and briefly spoke to him before falling asleep on the flight Sunday evening. It says she awoke to Vela rubbing her back. The woman also told police Vela touched her chest and inner thigh and tried to put his hand up her shirt.

Vela was arrested shortly after they arrived in Nashville. Police say Vela admitted to scratching the woman's back, but declined to continue talking with officers after his arrest.

He's since posted bail. It's unclear if he has a lawyer who can comment.



Keystone XL developer plans to start construction in 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The developer of the Keystone XL oil pipeline says it plans to start construction next year, after the U.S. State Department concluded major environmental damage from a leak is unlikely and could quickly be mitigated.

TransCanada spokesman Matthew John said Monday that the company remains committed to moving ahead with the project following years of reviews from federal and state regulators.

But the report issued Friday from the Trump administration's State Department drew sharp criticism from environmental groups. They say they'll continue to fight the project they view as an environmental threat.

The report says the pipeline would have a "negligible to moderate" environmental impact under its normal operations, and continuous monitoring and the company's response plan would mitigate the effects of any spill.


51 ill after eating at Fayetteville brewery and beer garden

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Health officials have said they are investigating a currently unidentified outbreak after 51 people reported falling ill after a visit to a Fayetteville restaurant.

Arkansas Department of Health spokeswoman Meg Mirivel said in a release Monday symptoms included diarrhea, vomiting and fever, but there have been no hospitalizations among those who ate at JJ's Beer Garden and Brewery.

Officials said the illness has generally begun 24 to 36 hours after visiting the restaurant. The department is collecting samples and awaiting laboratory results to determine the pathogen.

State epidemiologist Dirk Haselow noted that many people traveled to Fayetteville Sept. 15 for the North Texas-Razorbacks football game. The department is asking anyone who visited the restaurant since Sept. 13 and experienced symptoms to report the illness.

JJ's manager Jordan Jones says they are working with the health department to determine what's happening, but no employees have been sickened.


Texas school closed after social media threat discovered

COLUMBUS, Texas (AP) — A Texas school district is closed after a threat was made against the district on social media.

The Columbus Independent School District says in a post on its website that the school will be closed Monday after the threat was discovered shortly before midnight Sunday.

The nature of the threat was not disclosed. The post said students saw the post and notified their parents and school officials.

The school says local law enforcement is investigating and school officials are cooperating.

Columbus is about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Houston.


2 killed, 2 injured in 3-vehicle Williams County crash

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says two people died in a three-vehicle crash in Williams County.

The patrol says a westbound Dodge Ram pickup truck crossed the center line on Highway 2 and hit a GMC Sierra pickup about 2 a.m. Sunday near Williston. An approaching semi then struck the Dodge Ram.

The Dodge Ram's driver, 24-year-old Gilberto Gomez Jr., of Donna, Texas, and a passenger in GMC, 45-year-old Rosa Aguayo, of San Bernardino, California, were killed. The driver of the GMC and the driver of the semi were injured and taken to the hospital.


Troopers find Fort Wainwright soldier's body in car

(Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner,

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say they found the body of a Fort Wainwright soldier who had been missing for nearly a week.

The Fairbanks Daily News Miner reports Alaska State Troopers were at Harding Lake on Saturday investigating a report of an apparently abandoned vehicle.

A statement by the Alaska State Troopers says the vehicle belonged to Mason Heimer. His body was found in the vehicle.

Troopers say no foul play is suspected.

Heimer's next of kin has been notified. His body has been sent to the Alaska State Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy.

Heimer's father, Doug, travelled from Texas to help local law enforcement agencies look for his 22-year-old son.

He says Heimer lived on Fort Wainwright, where he was a construction engineer and had been stationed for eight months.


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