Associated Press | KERA News

Associated Press

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Toyota is moving its U.S. headquarters from California to Plano.

The Japanese automaker announced the move Monday.

Toyota says the new headquarters will bring together employees who are now scattered around the country. It will break ground on a new headquarters in North Texas this year.

Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

A half-century after the passage of sweeping civil rights legislation, President Barack Obama declared that he had "lived out the promise" envisioned by Lyndon B. Johnson, the president who championed the push for greater racial equality.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which Johnson signed into law, Obama lauded his Democratic predecessor's ability to grasp like few others the power of government to bring about change and swing open the doors of opportunity for millions of Americans.

Kate McGee / KUT

President Barack Obama returned to the grieving Army post Wednesday where he first took on the job as the nation's comforter five years ago, mourning at Fort Hood with families and uniformed comrades of those killed during last week's shooting spree. "We somehow bear what seems unbearable," he declared.

It was yet another sad observance for a president who has had to deliver words of consolation across the nation during his more than five years in office. At Fort Hood, the ceremony was made more poignant as a remembrance for soldiers who didn't die in wars abroad but in the safety of their own compound.

"They were members of a generation that has borne the burden of our security for more than a decade of war," Obama said.

Brinker International

Chili's has canceled a fundraiser for a group that states on its website that autism can be triggered by vaccinations, a position that has been widely discredited by the medical community.

Chili’s, which is part of Dallas-based Brinker International, had planned on donating a portion of its sales on Monday to the National Autism Association. On its website, the Massachusetts-based group says it believes that vaccinations can "trigger or exacerbate autism in some, if not many, children."

Kate McGee / KUT News

Update, 6:30 p.m. Thursday: Listen to KERA's interview with a survivor of the 2009 Fort Hood shootings, retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford.  

A soldier opened fire Wednesday on fellow service members at the Fort Hood military base, killing three people and wounding 16 before committing suicide.

The incident took place at the same Army post where more than a dozen people were killed in a 2009 attack.

The shooter, who served in Iraq in 2011, has been identified by NPR as Spc. Ivan Lopez, a 34-year-old military truck driver. The man had mental health issues and was being evaluated for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the senior officer on the base.

We're updating this post throughout the day. Check with NPR for the latest developments, too.

Ashley Park / KUT

A driver already charged with murder is facing 20 new charges of aggravated assault after he plowed into a crowd during the South by Southwest music festival in Austin.

Jail documents posted online Tuesday list the additional charges against 21-year-old Rashad Owens. An arrest report says Owens accelerated through a crowd, killing four people and leaving 17 injured.

Wikipedia

A state judge has ordered the Texas prison agency to disclose to attorneys for two inmates its supplier of a new batch of execution drugs.
 
The ruling Thursday in Austin comes one day after attorneys for two death row inmates filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice seeking the information. Texas prison officials say they will appeal the ruling.

U.S. Coast Guard/KUHF

Update, 1:50 p.m. Tuesday: The Coast Guard partially reopened one of the nation's busiest seaports to ship traffic Tuesday, three days after a collision between a barge and a ship spilled up to 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil into the waters south of Houston.

Authorities said ships were being allowed through the Houston Ship Channel after their assessment teams deemed it was clear enough for passage. More than 100 ships on both sides of the channel were awaiting the reopening.

Globalization of Higher Education

Their presidential plans may be uncertain but one thing is clear: Jeb Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton keep bumping into each other – this time, in North Texas.

Bush and Clinton were taking the podium today at a higher education conference in Irving organized by Bush, the former Florida governor who is the brother and son of Republican presidents. The former secretary of state, whose husband, Bill Clinton, served two terms in the White House, is the leading Democratic contender in 2016 if she runs for president again.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s campaign says he would not sign the Texas Lilly Ledbetter Act, a measure that would give women more time to successfully make pay discrimination claims in state court.

Democratic opponent Wendy Davis introduced that measure in the Texas Senate last session.  The legislature passed it, but Gov. Rick Perry vetoed it.

Davis has hammered Abbott on the issue for two weeks claiming he doesn’t have women’s best interests at heart.

Brandi Korte/ladybugbkt / Flickr

The forecast is calling for colorful displays of wildflowers in the parts of Texas that received ample fall and winter rains.

The University of Texas at Austin's Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center said Thursday that while cooler-than-usual weather might delay the wildflower season in some parts of Texas, many areas should have full blooms and the first stirrings of spring can already be seen.

Caddo Lake Institute

Deep beneath the surface of Texas' only naturally formed lake there used to swim a massive, open-mouthed dinosaur-era fish with a long snout and prized caviar. Now, decades after the paddlefish was almost completely wiped out, it's coming back to Caddo Lake in East Texas.

A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall, police said.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Police said 28 others affected by carbon monoxide were taken to area hospitals.

The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.

"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.

A 16-year-old North Texas girl who plummeted more than 3,000 feet to the ground in a skydiving accident in Oklahoma says she panicked then blacked out after her parachute malfunctioned and doesn't remember striking the ground.

Makenzie Wethington of Joshua spoke Thursday from a wheelchair during a news conference at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
 

Laura Buckman / The Texas Tribune

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis says she supports gay marriage. She also called on her opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott to stop defending the definition of marriage in the Texas constitution as only between one man and one woman. 

Louisiana State University

Parkland Health & Hospital System has named Dr. Fred Cerise as finalist to serve as chief executive officer of Dallas County's public hospital.

Cerise headed Louisiana State University’s charity hospital system, with 10 hospitals and related clinics, before Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration struck deals that turned over management of most facilities to outside companies.


Shutterstock

The Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a new high school curriculum that drops algebra II as a graduation requirement for most students.
 
The academic overhaul grew out of a law passed overwhelmingly by the state Legislature last year. It also cut the number of standardized tests high schoolers must pass from 15 to five.
 
The board's 14 to 1 vote formally beings implementation of the new curriculum, which takes effect in September.

Shutterstock

The Texas Board of Education has approved tighter rules dictating who can serve on volunteer panels that scrutinize textbooks, a move that could soften ideological fights over what students learn in public schools.

Among the changes approved Friday include a mandate that teachers or professors be given priority for serving on textbook panels for subjects in their areas of expertise.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Google is selling Motorola Mobility's smartphone business to Lenovo Group for $2.9 billion.

Motorola has produced the Moto X smartphone in Fort Worth -- the first smartphone made in the U.S. Lenovo says it will continue the Fort Worth operation. Lenovo officials tell KERA that "there are now no plans to change Motorola’s approach to manufacturing."

A spokesman for the city of Fort Worth told KERA he wasn’t aware of any changes for the Moto X production. The phones are made at an Alliance plant.

[More from KERA News: Motorola Chooses Fort Worth For New U.S.-Made Phone]

Wikimedia Commons

A passenger attacked the driver of a Dallas-bound Greyhound bus early Thursday morning, causing a crash on Interstate 10 in western Arizona that left 24 people injured, state police said.

The bus was heading east from Los Angeles when the crash occurred near Tonopah shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday.

Wikipedia

Update, 8:16 a.m. Thursday: A Mexican national has been executed in Texas for killing a Houston police officer, despite pleas and diplomatic pressure from the Mexican government and the U.S. State Department to halt the punishment.

Edgar Tamayo, 46, received a lethal injection Wednesday night for the January 1994 fatal shooting of Officer Guy Gaddis, 24.

Facebook

Attorneys for the husband of a pregnant North Texas woman being kept on life support say the fetus inside of her is "distinctly abnormal."

Erick Munoz's attorneys said in a statement Wednesday that the fetus that Marlise Munoz is carrying has several "abnormalities," including a deformation of the lower body parts that make it impossible to determine its gender.

DallasCowboys.com

A Dallas jury has convicted former Cowboys player Josh Brent of intoxication manslaughter in a wreck that killed a teammate.
 
The jury on Wednesday found Brent guilty in a December 2012 wreck in suburban Dallas that killed Cowboys practice squad player Jerry Brown, who was Brent's close friend and also his college teammate.

Facebook

A different judge will consider a North Texas man's request to remove his pregnant, brain-dead wife from life support at a hospital.

A hearing has been scheduled Friday before state District Judge R.H. Wallace in Fort Worth in the case of Marlise Munoz, the North Texas pregnant woman who's been on life support.

Facebook

The judge in the case of a hospital's refusal to remove a pregnant North Texas patient from life support has recused herself from hearing the suit filed by the woman’s family.

State District Judge Melody Wilkinson recused herself Thursday from the lawsuit over the status of Marlise Muñoz. Wilkinson has offered no explanation.

Meanwhile, attorneys representing the Muñoz family say that medical records released by John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth confirm that Marlise Muñoz is brain dead.

Shutterstock

The chairman of the Texas House Committee Energy on Energy Resources has set up a team of lawmakers to investigate earthquakes in oil and gas regions.
 
Chairman Jim Keffer on Thursday named three Republicans and one Democrat to the Subcommittee on Seismic Activity.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Researchers from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi have sent a drone more than a half mile into the air as part of test flights for the federal government.
 
An unmanned aerial vehicle known as an RS-16 took off Wednesday from a gas-propelled catapult at the Kenedy Foundation Ranch in South Texas. The drone headed up to nearly 3,000 feet over the Gulf Coast.

Texas Tribune/Flickr

Plans have been unveiled for a renovated park with a playground and memorial in the town of West, where a fertilizer plant explosion claimed 15 lives.

Organizers on Tuesday night outlined the proposal during a town hall meeting in West. The park was damaged in last April's fiery accident.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

A Texas agency is hiring a seismologist as part of an effort to tackle a sudden increase in earthquakes in areas with significant oil and gas drilling activities.

The Texas Railroad Commission, the agency that regulates drilling, says Tuesday it is hiring a seismologist after holding a contentious meeting with residents in Azle.

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