North Texas
2:08 pm
Tue July 27, 2010

Texas Ranks 48th In Teen Birth Rate & Midday Roundup

Dallas, TX – The news about Texas in the latest Kids Count report isn't good. Results out today show more than 54-thousand babies born to girls between 15 and 19-years old in 2007. That's the third highest rate of teenage births in the country.

The study from the Annie E-Casey Foundation also ranked Texas 34th for children's well-being overall. The state ranks near the bottom in the number of children living in poverty.

With legislators facing a projected 18-billion dollar shortfall next year, advocates for children and the poor worry cuts to state services could exacerbate problems for the poor.

Closing arguments to begin in starvation trial

Closing arguments are expected in the trial of a man accused of keeping three emaciated children locked in the bathroom of a Dallas hotel for as long as nine months.

Alfred Santiago's trial was expected to conclude Tuesday, a day after the defendant told a Dallas jury the youngsters refused to eat the meals he prepared for him. The children - then 11, 10 and 5 - were gaunt and filthy when found by police in July 2009 in the bathroom.

Santiago also told jurors Monday that he never physically or sexually assaulted the children.

The 38-year-old faces charges of injury to a child and continuous sexual abuse. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

The trial of the children's mother is expected to begin Wednesday on a charge of injury to a child.

Rep. Ron Paul speaks at Md. Republican fundraiser

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas says he thinks Republicans will capture a majority of seats this fall in the House of Representatives.

Paul told The Frederick News-Post the country has sacrificed too much liberty. Although he projects Republicans taking most House seats, he says it's unlikely the party will gain control of the Senate.

The former presidential candidate was in town for a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., on Monday.

In the newspaper interview, Paul says the tea party movement has played a major role in elections and can't be "laughed off." He says he supports activists' call for less government.

Paul also says it's harder to watch his son, Rand, vie for a Kentucky Senate seat than having to go through a campaign himself.