Associated Press | KERA News

Associated Press

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.

Shutterstock

Update, 12:51 p.m. Monday: The operator of the electric transmission grid for most of Texas is encouraging folks to conserve energy during this cold snap.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas had warned Monday morning that rolling blackouts may be necessary unless consumers reduced their use of electricity. An email warning issued by ERCOT said "risk of power outages exist throughout Texas."

But ERCOT later said the system is recovering and blackouts are no longer being considered.

The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Boeing hailed Friday's vote, which proponents said solidifies the aerospace giant's presence in the Seattle area.

"Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world," Inslee declared.

Shutterstock

Many Texans will ring in 2014 with bubbly, beer, and other booze, and the state will almost surely continue an ignominious streak: At least one person has died on Texas roads every day for more than 13 years.
 
The last day without a traffic death in Texas was Nov. 7, 2000. It's believed to be the longest streak in the history of the state, where such records date back to 1940.

Shutterstock

Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi has been named a test site to develop drones for commercial use.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday that Texas is one of six states that will be development sites for the unmanned aircraft.

The university's president, Flavius Killebrew, says the school is "proud to be a part of this historic moment in aviation history."

Shutterstock

Texas cities are ramping up efforts to get people enrolled in President Barack Obama's health care exchange as they face a deadline for insurance coverage to begin Jan. 1.

People who want their plans to begin Jan. 1 have to enroll by Monday. Open enrollment continues through March 31.

Texas has the highest rate of uninsured in the country.

President Barack Obama suggests he may be ready to rein in some of the bulk collection of Americans' phone records to allay the public's privacy concerns.

Courtesy

A former paramedic in West, the tiny town devastated by a fertilizer plant explosion, was sentenced to 21 months after pleading guilty in an unrelated pipe bomb case.
 
Bryce Reed was sentenced Wednesday in Waco.

Federal authorities arrested Reed a few weeks after the deadly April 17 blast in West and accused him of trying to hide components of a pipe bomb. Authorities have not linked Reed to the blast, which killed 15 people.

Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died Saturday in a car crash that killed one other person north of Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 40.

Walker died Saturday afternoon, Ame Van Iden told the Associated Press.

A statement on the actor's Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend's car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

"We ... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news," the statement said.

North Texas has had another earthquake in an area that's now recorded five quakes in the past week.
 
The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.3 magnitude earthquake happened at 1:43 a.m. Monday and was centered about 4 miles west of Azle.

Pete Souza/The White House via Twitter

Honoring the legacy of John F. Kennedy, President Barack Obama laid a wreath at the assassinated president's gravesite as a nation remembers that terrible day in Dallas a half-century ago Friday.

Obama also recognized a group of distinguished Americans - including Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey - with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award created by Kennedy.

Shutterstock

A sharply divided Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Texas to continue enforcing abortion restrictions that opponents say have led more than a third of the state's clinics to stop providing abortions.

The justices voted 5-4 to leave in effect a provision requiring doctors who perform abortions in clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Healthcare.gov

Less than 3,000 Texans managed to enroll for health insurance last month on the problem-plagued federal online exchange that's a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that 2,991 people in Texas had selected a plan from the insurance marketplace.

wallyg / Flickr

The issues of same-sex marriage and divorce are set to go before the Texas Supreme Court.
 
The court is scheduled to hear arguments today on whether Texas can grant divorces to same-sex couples who married elsewhere.
 
Both cases involve same-sex couples who married legally in Massachusetts. Texas approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage in 2005.

Shutterstock

Planned Parenthood is asking the Supreme Court to place Texas' new abortion restrictions on hold.
 
The group says in a filing with the high court Monday that more than a third of the clinics in Texas have been forced to stop providing abortions since a court order allowed the new restrictions to take effect Friday.

Shutterstock

The state's highest criminal court has struck down a Texas law that bans sexually explicit Internet communications between an adult and minor.
 
The Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously determined that the 2005 law violates free speech protections. The Austin American-Statesman reports the law was intended to target "grooming," in which predators befriend children online before making explicit comments.

Shutterstock

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been named the next president of the Boy Scouts of America.
 
The Irving-based organization announced Gates' appointment to the volunteer position Wednesday. His two-year term begins next May, once he's formally approved by the voting members of the Boy Scouts' National Council.
 

BJ Alias/Nostalgia-domas / Flickr

Gov. Rick Perry will travel to the small North Texas town of Farmersville to present a state honor to World War II hero Audie Murphy.

Perry will be in the Collin County town on Tuesday afternoon to bestow the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor posthumously on Murphy.

Murphy was one of the most decorated soldiers in U.S. history, and his portrait hangs in the Texas House of Representatives chamber.

Pages