DPD And TSA Offer Help To DART | KERA News

DPD And TSA Offer Help To DART

After yesterday’s fatal shooting at DART’s Arapaho Station, the transit agency may get additional security help from local and federal officers.

Mark Ball is with DART.

Ball: The city of Dallas Police Department and the TSA contacted us last night saying if there’s anything we can do to help, let us know. We have not determined what that may be. We have not even determined if that’s something we’re going to do with them. But we’ve told them how much we appreciated it and it’s something we’re going to be considering in the very near future.

The Arapaho Station shooting was the fourth fatal incident at a DART station in three months.

A bystander, 42 year old Eric Thomas Johnson, and the gunman were killed.

A DART Police officer and a second bystander were wounded, but will recover.

Richardson Police say the gunfire erupted on the train platform when a DART officer confronted the suspect about a dispute with a bus driver at the stop across the street.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Texas Sales Tax Revenue Up Nearly 10 Percent

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs says state sales tax revenue for January was up almost 10 percent over last year.

Combs reports 22 consecutive months of increased revenue.

Wednesday's sales tax report showed revenue for January at $2 billion, and Combs says tax revenues continue to grow in all major categories. The January increase was led by the oil and natural gas sectors. Restaurants and services sectors also showed increases.

The state will distribute about $709 million to local governments.

The figures are based on monthly sales made in December as well as sales by business that file quarterly and annual tax reports.

AP

Senate map takes spotlight in redistricting case

A single state Senate district is taking the spotlight in the ongoing Texas redistricting clash that has reached even the U.S. Supreme Court.

A new federal trial begins Wednesday over a lawsuit filed by state Sen. Wendy Davis. The Fort Worth Democrat is fighting to keep her district after the Republican-controlled Legislature drew a new political map that all but assures her defeat to a GOP candidate.

Davis claims her district was redrawn to intentionally dilute the voting power of minorities. Her case is a spinoff of the larger redistricting lawsuit that has put the date of the Texas primaries in limbo.

Texas is scheduled to hold its primary elections April 3. But with still no voting maps in place, the primaries will almost certainly be rescheduled.

AP

Court: MySpace used properly in murder conviction

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled an accused killer's MySpace page properly was used as evidence by prosecutors to convince a jury to convict the Dallas-area street gang member of murder.

Ronnie Tienda Jr. appealed his conviction and 35-year prison term for the slaying of 23-year-old David Valadez in a 2007 shootout on a Dallas freeway.

In the appeal, Tienda argued the judge at his 2008 trial in Dallas County was wrong to allow MySpace entries into evidence because it was questionable whether Tienda created entries on his pages on the social networking site that referred to details of the killing.

The appeals court said Wednesday the content of Tienda's postings, which included photos, comments and music, was sufficient to show he created and maintained it.

AP

Texas officials estimate higher property values

The Texas comptroller's office has estimated higher statewide property values in a sign of a stronger economy.

The agency says statewide property values rose 1.3 percent last year, to reach $1.69 trillion. That compares to property values of $1.67 trillion in 2010.

The Austin American-Statesman reported Tuesday that Texas in 2010 suffered the first decline in statewide property values in 17 years.

State budget writers had anticipated another 1 percent decrease in 2011. School funding is based on local property taxes and state dollars.

Consultant Joe Wisnoski with Moak Casey & Associates says the difference could save Texas as much as $400 million by reducing its obligation to school districts.

AP

Lucian Freud exhibition opens with royal visit

There is a vast amount of flesh - clear and smooth or wrinkled and mottled - on display in the latest show at Britain's National Portrait Gallery, a retrospective of work by Lucian Freud.

Freud was the most renowned portrait painter of the 20th century, and he found that clothes often got in the way.

The gallery is showing more than 100 paintings completed over 70 years, many of them nude studies of the artist's friends and family. Freud worked with the gallery on the exhibition for several years before his death in July at age 88.

The Duchess of Cambridge, wife of Prince William, will attend a preview Wednesday.

It is open to the public from Thursday until May 27, then moves to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, July 1 to Oct. 29.

AP

Funeral Wednesday for slain US missionaries

Funeral services for an American missionary couple slain in Mexico have been set for their home church near Dallas.

The funeral for John and Wanda Casias is scheduled for Wednesday morning at Liberty Baptist Church in Lewisville.

The Casiases were found dead Jan. 31 at their home in a village outside Monterrey, about 95 miles south of the Texas border and in an area plagued by violence.

Mourners already paid respects to the couple at the church in Mexico established in the early 1980s by the 76-year-old Casias and his 67-year-old wife. Both, originally from Amarillo, were strangled with an electrical cord, and she also had been beaten.

No arrests have been announced and Mexican authorities have said the case remains under investigation.

AP