Daily Roundup
11:41 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Federal Judge Stops Texas Law On Women's Health

A federal judge in Austin has stopped Texas from banning Planned Parenthood from participating in the Women's Health Program.

Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that there is sufficient evidence that the state law is unconstitutional. He imposed an injunction against enforcing it until he can hear full arguments.

The law passed last year by the Republican-controlled Legislature forbids state agencies from providing funds to an organization affiliated with abortion providers. Eight Planned Parenthood clinics that do not provide abortions sued the state.

The clinics say the law unconstitutionally restricts their freedom of speech and association.

Texas officials have said that if the state is forced to include Planned Parenthood, they will likely shut down the program that serves basic health care and contraception to 130,000 poor women.

AP

Energy Transfer Partners to buy Sunoco for $5.3B

Natural gas company Energy Transfer Partners says it will buy Sunoco in a cash-unit deal valued at $5.3 billion.

That would expand the footprint of the Dallas company in the Northeast, and it will also handle more crude and other heavy hydrocarbons.

The offer includes $25 in cash share and a portion of an Energy Transfer Partners unit totaling $50.13 per share for each Sunoco Inc. share. Sunoco shareholders can also opt for $50 in cash or slightly more than one ETP unit.

Energy Transfer Partners LP says the deal price represents a 29 percent premium to the 20-day average closing price of the Philadelphia company's shares as of Friday. The company's stock closed at $40.91, and the $50.13 per share price represents a 23 percent premium to that.

AP

Santorum to appear at Texas Republican convention

Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum will be a featured speaker at the Texas Republican Party convention in June.

The former Pennsylvania senator was very popular among leaders in the Texas party, and some tried to change the primary rules to give him a better chance at winning the nomination. He will now speak at the Republican Party of Texas Gala, the premier event during the convention.

Santorum is the first major national party leader to confirm he will attend the convention from June 8-10.

Party Chairman Steve Munisteri says he hopes to confirm additional party leaders in the weeks ahead.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee after Santorum suspended his campaign.

AP

La. pipeline spills 80,000 gallons of oil

ExxonMobil Corp. says it is cleaning up about 80,000 gallons of oil that spilled from a pipeline in a rural Pointe Coupee Parish, northwest of Baton Rouge.

The company says the pipeline was shut down Saturday night after a loss of pressure. The spilled oil was discovered on Sunday.

No injuries have been reported. The company doesn't yet know what caused the pipeline to break.

ExxonMobil said vacuum trucks are cleaning up the site and air is being monitored for quality.

The oil came from a 22-inch pipeline that originates in St. James Parish southeast of Baton Rouge and carries crude oil to northern Louisiana.

ExxonMobil said federal regulators have been informed and the cleanup is being coordinated with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

AP

Gunman sought after slaying near Texas pool hall

Police say gunfire outside a North Texas pool hall has left one man dead, two wounded and officers looking for the shooter.

Arlington police say the shootings happened Sunday after a fight that started inside the club and then moved to the parking lot.

Witnesses told police that a man in a pickup reached out the passenger window and opened fire, striking the victims.

Investigators say 22-year-old Zadric Walker of Fort Worth died at a hospital.

Authorities say the other two men suffered injuries that are not believed to be life threatening. Further details on their injuries were not immediately available.

Police are trying to determine what started the argument.

AP

Poker's 'Amarillo Slim' dies in Texas at age 83

A professional poker player and author who gained international fame as "Amarillo Slim" has died in Texas.

Thomas Austin "Amarillo Slim" Preston Jr. died Sunday in hospice care in Amarillo. Bunky Preston said Monday that his father had colon cancer. He was 83.

The self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Gambler" was born in Johnson, Ark. His family later moved to Texas and settled in Amarillo.

Bunky Preston says his father picked up the Amarillo Slim nickname while playing pool. He was in the military and entertained U.S. troops by doing pool exhibitions.

Preston won the 1972 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1992.

A graveside service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Llano Cemetery in Amarillo.

AP