D/FW First Area To Escape Drought | KERA News

D/FW First Area To Escape Drought

Dallas-Fort Worth is the first major metropolitan area in Texas to apparently emerge from the state's historic drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor's weekly map posted Thursday classifies the DFW area as being not in drought for the first time since July. Texas has been in the grips of the most severe one-year drought in state history.

More than half the state remains in severe or exceptional stages of drought, and a drier-than-normal spring or hotter-than-usual summer could quickly tip wetter areas back into drought.

AP

Retail gasoline prices jump 13 cents across Texas

Retail gasoline prices have jumped 13 cents across Texas.

AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump statewide was $3.38 per gallon.

The association says nationwide gasoline prices increased 7 cents, to settle at an average $3.45.

Texarkana and Dallas have the most expensive gasoline statewide, at $3.40 a gallon. Amarillo has the least expensive in the latest survey, at $3.17 for per gallon.

AAA Texas spokeswoman Sarah Schimmer says Texans are paying about $2 more to fill up than they did last week or about $47 on average for a 14-gallon tank.

Analysts say expected refinery shutdowns in the U.S. and Europe may be playing a role in the climbing cost of gasoline along with escalating crude oil prices given ongoing tensions with Iran.

AP

Ex-Texas officer indicted over alleged sex assault

A former North Texas police sergeant has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman he arrested on a traffic violations warrant.

A Tarrant County grand jury Wednesday indicted ex-Dalworthington Gardens police Sgt. Bobby Beasley on a charge of sexual assault.

An attorney for Beasley says he's innocent.

The woman says Beasley, in December 2010, was wearing civilian clothing but his badge and gun were displayed. She allegedly was molested while in a vehicle with Beasley.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the woman, when reporting the incident last April, told police she feared no one would believe her because she's black and Beasley is white.

Beasley resigned when the allegations began public. If convicted, he could face 20 years in prison.

Details on the traffic case weren't immediately available.

AP

Judge considering delaying Ft Hood suspect's trial

A military judge is considering a four-month delay to the murder trial for the Army psychiatrist charged in the Fort Hood shooting rampage.

Maj. Nidal Hasan's attorneys on Thursday asked for a July trial. They say they still don't have all the evidence.

Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. He faces the death penalty or life without parole if convicted in the November 2009 shootings at the Texas Army post.

But prosecutors say one defense expert was hired nearly two years ago and doesn't need more time to prepare. The trial is set for March.

The 41-year-old Hasan remains jailed. He's paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by police the day of the rampage.

AP

Attorney in nurse case suspended

The former Winkler County official who retaliated against two whistle-blowing nurses after they complained to state regulators about a doctor has had his law license suspended.

The State Bar of Texas on Thursday released its order for Scott Tidwell, who was convicted in October of retaliation and misuse of official information for prosecuting the nurses and was sentenced to 10 years' probation.

Tidwell cannot practice while his appeal is pending.

Tidwell, the former county attorney, prosecuted Anne Mitchell and Vickilyn Galle, who complained anonymously in 2009 about Dr. Rolando Arafiles Jr. The nurses were later fired and indicted. Mitchell was acquitted and charges against Galle were dropped.

Tidwell did not immediately return calls to his two West Texas offices for comment.

AP

Ex-NFL WR Hurd trial date April 2 on drug charges

A federal judge in Dallas has scheduled former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd's trial on drug distribution charges for April 2.

The 26-year-old is accused of trying to buy large quantities of marijuana and cocaine to establish a drug-dealing network. Hurd was arrested Dec. 14 outside a Chicago steakhouse after allegedly buying a kilogram of cocaine.

Hurd has pleaded not guilty.

U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis, in an order Wednesday, set a pretrial conference for March 21. The trial could still be delayed.

Hurd has played for the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys. He was cut by the Bears following his arrest.

Attorneys for Hurd and co-defendant Toby Lujan did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

AP