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Tue September 11, 2012
New West Nile Deaths In Dallas And Tarrant
Tarrant Public Health officials say a Fort Worth resident in his late 70’s with underlying medical conditions is the sixth Tarrant County death.
In Dallas County, officials confirm the 15th death from the mosquito-transmitted illness.
Officials say he lived in Grand Prairie, was in his 60’s with underlying medical problems.
BJ Austin, KERA News
Big Donation For Dallas Crime Fighting
7-Eleven is announcing a major donation to “Safer Dallas Better Dallas” today.
The money is the first in the group’s effort to raise $3 million. The funds will be used for bait cars, cameras and other technology to fight crime in 27 identified hot spots in the city. Police say those areas are a small portion of Dallas, but responsible for 36 percent of the crime.
The first neighborhoods to get the crime-fighting upgrade are the Ross-Bennett area and Five Points in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood.
BJ Austin, KERA News
Garland Police Revise Details of Fatal Police Shooting
Garland Police say the story of an August 31st chase and fatal police shooting has changed.
Officers say the high speed chase began in downtown Garland and ended in a Mesquite neighborhood. The officer said the suspect rammed his squad car, so he fired multiple rounds.
Police now say it appears the officer may have rammed the suspect’s vehicle. The new report also says the officer fired as many as 41 rounds at the vehicle, killing 25 year old Michael Allen of Wylie.
The officer is now on restricted duty, stripped of authorization to take any action as a police officer.
Results of a criminal investigation will be turned over to the District Attorney.
BJ Austin, KERA News
North Texans Mark 9/11 Anniversary
In Dallas, the group Muslims of North Texas organized Unity Day. The gathering of multi-faith, multi-ethnic communities focused on peace and tolerance among all Americans.
At Zumwalt Middle School in South Dallas, 9/11 was a day of action. Hundreds of volunteers grabbed paint brushes and tools to give the aging school a much needed lift.
On the TCU campus in Fort Worth, 2,977 American flags were placed on the campus commons to honor those killed in the terrorist attacks 11 years ago today.
In Arlington, Mayor Robert Cluck joined firefighters for a remembrance ceremony.
Flags at government buildings and businesses across North Texas were flown at half staff to mark the day.
BJ Austin, KERA News
American, Southwest say reservation systems failed briefly before being restored
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines say customers encountered problems booking flights today because of a glitch in their reservations systems. Both airlines say the problem was fixed quickly.
They blamed it on Sabre Holding Corp., which provides reservations-systems technology to airlines.
Sabre confirmed that its customers experienced difficulties "for a short period today." But a spokeswoman says "access has been restored and the system is back on line."
American Airlines says the outage lasted about 45 minutes and was fixed shortly after noon, Eastern time. A spokesman says the outage affected all airlines and travel agencies that use Sabre, which was once part of American but later spun off into a separate company.
Southwest also tweeted that the problem had been fixed. United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and US Airways said they use other technology providers and were not affected by the Sabre outage.
Fort Worth Herd retires last original steer
The last original member of the Fort Worth Herd - the longhorns that stroll twice a day through the city's stockyards - has retired.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that 18-year-old Sancho, a steer with a 90-inch horn span, retired a week ago from the popular tourist attraction.
Sancho retired to the ranch of former Fort Worth City Councilman Jim Lane, who headed up the formation of the herd in 1999 to honor the city's heritage.
In the meantime, the herd is welcoming two new 5-year-olds, Joel and James. They arrived last week.
Herd trail boss Kristin Jaworski says Sancho had been dropping to the rear of the herd on the cattle drives. She says they decided to retire him while he's still got several years left.
374 districts now subject to Texas' 'Robin Hood'
Texas has added 23 school districts for the first time to its list of those considered property-wealthy. It now has a record 374 districts that are required to give some of what they raise in local tax revenue to the state for distribution to poorer schools.
The funding scheme is part of Texas' "Robin Hood" school finance system. It began in 1993 with 35 districts considered wealthy enough to be subject to sharing.
The number now has increased more than 10-fold and represents more than a third of the state's 1,000-plus school districts.
Some districts have increased property-tax rates or seen their tax bases grow due to population booms.
But a key reason the list of property-wealth districts keeps growing has been higher property wealth in some parts of Texas.
US marshals capture man who fled Texas rape trial
A federal official says a man who fled his trial before being convicted in the repeated group sexual assault of an 11-year-old Texas girl has been captured by authorities.
U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Alfredo Perez says Eric McGowen was arrested Tuesday after he was found in an apartment in northeast Houston.
Perez says members of the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force arrested McGowen without incident.
Authorities had been searching for McGowen since he fled his trial Aug. 29, the same day the victim tearfully testified about the attacks in her hometown of Cleveland, about 45 miles northeast of Houston.
The trial went on without him. He was convicted the next day of aggravated sexual assault of a child and sentenced to 99 years in prison.