Bad Weather Hits North Texas | KERA News

Bad Weather Hits North Texas

Some nasty weather is rolling across north Texas, bringing potentially damaging hail and high winds. Meteorologist Jesse Moore, with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, says it’s not over.

Moore: We could see reports of 2, 2-and-half inch hail as well as wind gusts of 60 mph. So far the biggest I’ve seen has been 2-inch hail up just about 2 miles north of Frisco, and some strong winds, 60 mph winds, reported as well.

Moore says overnight rain is also on the way from Southwest Oklahoma. He says by the time the storms are done, up to 3 inches of needed rain will have fallen across North Texas.

At DFW airport, the weather has forced a change in standard operations, according to Communications Manager Leslie Ensign.

Ensign: No flights are coming in or out of the airport. They’ll all be waiting for a break in the weather in order to do that.

Ensign says at least 60 flights have been diverted so far as officials wait for the stormy weather to clear. She says terminal managers are prepared for long waits, and they could soon be handing out pillows, blankets and cots to aid passengers if flights are delayed too long.

Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Damage To Railroad Bridge Causes Problems Near Speedway

Damage to a railroad bridge has closed State Highway 114 near Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth until Thursday night, maybe longer.

A semi’s oversized load was too tall to make it under the FM 156 bridge. The impact shifted the track and railroad bed from the bridge columns.

Highway 114 will remain shut down until crews fix the bridge.

TxDOT says fans coming to the races this weekend should call the Speedway for alternate routes.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Girlfriend Faces Charges Connected To Shooting Of Arlington Officer

The girlfriend of a man shot and killed by police at an Arlington apartment complex Tuesday night is now under arrest for aggravated kidnapping.

Police say it now appears a second woman in the apartment was being held there against her will. She has not been identified.

Fort Worth and Arlington police were attempting to arrest 23 year old Alexzander Coan when gunfire erupted. Arlington SWAT officer Bryan Graham was shot above the right eyebrow. Coan was killed. Officer Graham remains hospitalized. Police say he’s in good spirits and expected to recover.

BJ Austin, KERA News

American Airlines Employees Named In International Drug Warrants

Some current and former American Airlines employees are under arrest in connection with an international drug smuggling investigation.

33 people were arrested yesterday at the airport on Puerto Rico; two at Miami International; and one at DFW Airport.

Authorities say the DFW employee was Israel Morales-Laureano, who goes by the nickname “El Bro”.

This week’s arrests are part of an investigation that began three years ago and targeted nine American Airlines employees.

Investigators say the Puerto Rico-led operation is suspected of smuggling millions in drugs aboard commercial flights.

BJ Austin, KERA News

May Another $2B Month For Texas Sales Tax Revenue

The Texas Comptroller reports that the state collected more than $2 billion in May, marking 26 months of sales tax growth.

The total released Wednesday is a 7 percent increase over last year. The state distributed $514 million to local governments.

Sales taxes are the state's largest source of income. Comptroller Susan Combs said the oil and gas industry continue to be a major contributor to sales tax growth, but that restaurants are also doing well as the economy continues to recover.

The state's tax revenues are higher than forecast, but still not enough to cover an expected $4 billion budget deficit next year. Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday asked state agencies to be prepared for 10 percent cuts when the Legislature meets again next year.


Report: Initial STAAR standards called too lenient

Texas high school students can pass most of the state's new end-of-course exams this year by answering fewer than half the questions correctly.

The Houston Chronicle reports Wednesday that that has prompted complaints from a top business group and the head of the Houston School District. Both say the initial standards aren't tough enough.

The standards are being phased in, starting lower this year and increasing through 2016 to give students time to adjust to the more-difficult new STAAR exams.

But freshmen can now pass the algebra I and biology exams by getting 20 of 54 questions, or 37 percent, correct.

The passing standards are key to students' success on the exams. State law now requires students to pass 15 of the tests throughout high school to graduate.


Officer wounded, suspect dead after shooting

A robbery suspect is dead and a police officer is hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the head after an attempt to serve a warrant erupted in gunfire in suburban Fort Worth.

The incident happened Tuesday night at an apartment complex in southern Arlington. Arlington police spokeswoman Tiara Richard says Fort Worth police were serving four aggravated robbery warrants on 23-year-old Alexzander Rye Coan when the suspect barricaded himself into a back room with two women.

Richard says Officer Bryan Graham was shot as special tactics officer were getting into position. He was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where he was listed in stable condition.

Coan died of gunshot wounds shortly after arriving at a hospital.


Post offices, Ellis Island join endangered list

Preservationists have added some U.S. post offices and Texas courthouses to the list of the country's most endangered historic places.

Wednesday's announcement means post offices will join the list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places as a group for the first time.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is citing the bureaucratic process for disposing of thousands of aging post offices.

Another large group of sites being added to the endangered list includes the courthouses of Texas, with support from former first lady Laura Bush of Dallas.

The state's courthouses were first listed in 1998, but at least 70 of them still need critical repairs. Most are still in use.