Texas Continues Case For Keeping District Map | KERA News

Texas Continues Case For Keeping District Map

Testimony continues at a court hearing in Washington on whether legislative maps drawn by the Texas Legislature violate the federal Voting Rights Act.

Doug Davis, a senior policy aide to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, will testify for the State of Texas. He's talking about how the legislature drew up his map.

A three-judge federal panel is holding a two-week hearing on whether Texas lawmakers violated federal law. Districts are redrawn every 10 years to reflect population changes recorded by the Census. But under the Voting Rights Act, Texas is one of nine states where the Justice Department must pre-clear new maps because of a history of discrimination.

The department, along with some Democrats and minority groups, are challenging the new maps.


US Rep. testifies on redistricting map 

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson says she's long been concerned that redistricting in Texas is done in a way that doesn't ensure both blacks and Latinos have representation in Congress.

The Dallas-area Democrat testified Wednesday, the second day of a two-week hearing on whether political maps drawn earlier this year by Texas lawmakers to reflect new census data violated the federal Voting Rights Act. A three-judge panel will decide whether to throw out Texas' political maps.

Bernice Johnson says she's long been worried that the way congressional maps are drawn in Texas could often inflame potential tensions between the two groups. She says if something's not done about it, it will become an even bigger issue in the future.


Minor earthquake reported in North Texas

A minor earthquake has been detected in North Texas.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.2 magnitude quake happened at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, centered 49 miles southwest of Dallas near Cleburne. No damage or injuries were immediately reported.

USGS says it's the third recorded earthquake this year in Texas. The agency says the first quake happened Jan. 3 at 11:04 a.m., centered 11 miles north of Amarillo. That earthquake had a 2.8 magnitude. The second was in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite at 12:11 a.m. Jan. 6 with a 2.1 magnitude.


Arrest In DART Station Murder

A 20 year old man from Dallas is facing a murder charge in a shooting early this morning at a downtown DART rail station.

Police say Joshua Mathis had been trading insults with the victim at the Pearl Street Station.  Mathis and two friends boarded a northbound Blue Line train.  Police say the victim 19 year old Dominique Wilson was shot twice as he tried to board the train. He collapsed on the platform.

DART says no one aboard the train was injured. 

BJ Austin, KERA News

Damaging citrus plant disease confirmed in Texas

State agriculture officials say a destructive citrus plant disease that has wiped out crops in Florida has been confirmed in Texas.

The Texas Department of Agriculture on Wednesday announced that a section of Hidalgo County has been placed under temporary quarantine. That came after the agency confirmed citrus greening on tree in a commercial grove in San Juan.

Texas is the nation's second-leading state in grapefruit production and ranks third in producing oranges.

Agriculture officials say citrus greening poses no threat to human health and only affects the tree, and not the fruit. The bacterial disease attacks a plant's vascular system and can cause a tree to die within a few years.

Agriculture officials say they're surveying the region to identify how far the disease may have spread.


Several hospitalized after Texas school bus wreck

Several students and an adult had to spend the night hospitalized following a Central Texas collision between a school bus and a delivery truck.

The Academy Independent School District says four students and the school bus driver were still hospitalized Wednesday, a day after the wreck near Temple. Superintendent Kevin Sprinkles says one student and the driver were in critical condition.

A spokeswoman with Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple had just three students and the bus driver listed as patients. Hospital officials Wednesday did not immediately clarify the difference in the patient numbers.

Investigators say the accident happened when the hardware truck clipped the Academy school bus, knocking the bus on its side. More than 30 people were hurt.


Woman With Gun Delays DFW Airport Take-Offs

Operations at DFW Airport are back to normal after police stopped 10 flights and swept all five terminals looking for a woman with a gun.

Airport officials say the 65 year old woman grabbed her purse before security agents could do a ‘secondary” screening.  She was located aboard an American Airlines plane after it had been called back to the gate for inspection.  There was a .38 caliber revolver in her purse.

DFW Airport officials say she will be charged with “Places Weapons Prohibited, a third degree felony in Texas. 

BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas Gets New Convention Center Director

After a nationwide search, Dallas has named a new Convention and Event Services director.  He is Ron King, who leaves his job as head of “Event Services” in San Diego.  He previously managed convention centers in San Juan Puerto Rico and Salt Lake City. 

City Manager Mary Suhm says King has the skills to help make Dallas a top tier convention city. 

BJ Austin, KERA News