Fort Worth Crime Lab To Resume DNA Testing | KERA News

Fort Worth Crime Lab To Resume DNA Testing

The Fort Worth police crime lab will resume DNA testing a decade after questions were raised about whether its tests were valid.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the two forensic scientists in the lab will start working DNA cases Monday. Three other scientists will be trained in the coming months.

The lab stopped DNA tests in October 2002 after prosecutors did not seek the death penalty in a capital murder case due to concerns raised about one of the lab's scientists. They later conducted an investigation of the lab that found widespread problems.

Now, the department spends about $250,000 a year on third-party testing. Grants cover other tests at the University of North Texas.

Crime lab director Tom Stimpson says an in-house lab will be quicker and cheaper.

AP

District 33 Campaign Gets Busier

It’s another busy campaign weekend for Marc Veasey and Domingo Garcia. Both candidates are in the July 31st Democratic runoff for the brand new Congressional District 33 seat.

On Thursday, Fort Worth State Representative Marc Veasey walked door to door in West Dallas seeking votes.

Veasey: "How you doing, Mr. Williams? I sure would a appreciate your support in the upcoming runoff. Please remember to get out and vote again."

In Domingo Garcia’s Oak Cliff Campaign Headquarters, volunteers called voters, reminding them in English and Spanish, to vote again.

Both Garcia and Veasey say they’ll do all they can to increase the election day turnout. Early voting starts July 23rd. The Republican candidate is Chuck Bradley.

Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Small quake occurs south of Fort Worth

Authorities have reported a small earthquake south of Fort Worth.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 2.7 earthquake occurred just before 8:30 a.m. Friday. The quake occurred about 10 miles south of Burleson.

A magnitude-2.7 earthquake is among the smallest generally felt by people.

Dozens of small earthquakes have occurred in that region in recent weeks.

AP

Bush wraps up weeklong Africa trip

Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, are headed home after a weeklong trip to Africa with stops in Zambia and Botswana.

They left for Dallas on Friday, Bush's 66th birthday. They were in Africa promoting Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, a partnership between the George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, UNAIDS and Susan G. Komen for the Cure that supports efforts to fight cervical and breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa.

Earlier in the week, they helped to renovate a women's cancer screening center in Zambia.

The George W. Bush Presidential Center says the Bushes also met Peace Corps members in Botswana, and visiting a home for ill, orphaned and vulnerable children where toddlers sang "Happy Birthday" to the former president.

AP

'VIP Loans' report clears Dallas Rep. Sessions

A U.S. House report that analyzes how the former Countrywide Financial Corp. made hundreds of discount loans to buy influence says Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions refused the company's help.

The report says the Republican congressman told Countrywide's VIP unit not to give him a discount on a mortgage for a 2007 home purchase.

The report named six current and former members of Congress who were already known to receive discount loans. Other previously mentioned names included former top executive branch officials and three chief executives of Fannie Mae.

Some of the discounts were ordered personally by former Countrywide chief executive Angelo Mozilo.

Countrywide's subprime loans helped start the nation's foreclosure crisis.

A spokeswoman for Sessions tells The Dallas Morning News he refused a discount "out of an abundance of caution."

AP

2 men arrested in Dallas gay marriage protest

Two men have been arrested after they were denied a marriage license by the Dallas County clerk and launched a protest. Mark Jiminez and Beau Chandler say they were protesting Texas' ban on gay marriage, passed in 2005. The two men went to the clerk's office Wednesday afternoon to file for a marriage license they knew they wouldn't receive.

When they were denied, Jiminez and Chandler sat down and handcuffed their arms together.

They were eventually led out by Dallas sheriff's deputies.

Dallas television station WFAA reports that Chandler signed paperwork Thursday to change his legal last name to Jiminez, even though they weren't married.

Six states have legalized gay marriage. Voters in 31 states have rejected it.

AP

Fort Worth school misspells its own name

At one Fort Worth school, correcting a misspelled name hasn't been easy.

Officials nine years ago renamed Sunrise Elementary School to add the name of the school's first teacher and first principal, Mary Collins McMillan.

But they added an extra 'i.' The school became Sunrise-McMillian instead of Sunrise-McMillan.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that officials were told of the mistake by McMillan's niece, Gloria Harper Lett. For weeks, they've changed all the incorrect references to "McMillian" they could find.

Lett returned Thursday with a portrait of her aunt for the school's front hallway. Principal Marion Mouton assures the newspaper that the school got the spelling on the portrait right.

AP