Daily Roundup
12:38 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

US Attorney General Requests Delay In Voter ID Case

The U.S. attorney general's office has requested a delay in the trial over Texas's Voter ID Law, saying the state's legal maneuvering is taking up too much time.

In court documents, federal lawyers complained that lawyers representing Texas are filing repeated motions to keep Texas lawmakers from having to testify and turn over documents. Last week Texas lost one of those requests and now legislators must testify about the law, which requires voters to present a government-issued identification card to cast their ballot.

Republicans say the law is necessary to prevent fraud, but Democrats say it will prevent the poor and the elderly from voting.

The U.S. attorney general's office had agreed to a July 9 trial date, but after Texas fought subpoenas they say they now need more time.

AP

Arches in place for Fort Worth pedestrian bridge

Huge cranes have been used to lift arch beams into place across the Trinity River for a new pedestrian bridge in Fort Worth.

Backers say the $3 million bridge should be completed by August.

The arches were put into place Monday as part of the 364-foot bridge. The span is expected to provide a link between Trinity Park and downtown Fort Worth.

The span is named for late community activist Phyllis Tilley.

AP

Man pleads guilty to murder in deadly purse theft

A sentencing trial begins Tuesday for a man who pleaded guilty to murder in a deadly drive-by purse snatching in a Dallas store parking lot.

Rogelio Belmonte of Denton entered his plea Monday before the start of jury selection in his trial in state district court in Dallas. He could receive up to 99 years or life in prison.

The incident happened in March 2011 outside a Walmart in North Dallas.

Belmonte's 76-year-old victim, Sabra Leavy, died three days after she was dragged about 40 yards and then run over by a truck as her purse was being stolen. Police later located the vehicle, which was parked, and arrested Belmonte when he returned to the truck.

AP

Deion Sanders' estranged wife accused of assault

Police have arrested Deion Sanders' estranged wife on an assault charge that the Hall of Fame cornerback claims was for breaking into his room and attacking him in front of their children.

Pilar Sanders was arrested Monday and booked into Collin County Jail on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

Jail records didn't give details about the alleged attack and Prosper police declined to discuss it Tuesday. But Deion Sanders tweeted Monday that his children "just witnessed their mother and a friend jump me in my room."

Deion Sanders filed for divorce in December. His wife's divorce attorney didn't immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

The former Dallas Cowboy is an NFL Network analyst. The couple starred in a 2008 Oxygen network series, "Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love."

AP

Big Plans For Valley View Mall

There’s new life for Valley View Center. The 40 year old mall at Preston and LBJ has been in decline for several years.

Dallas-based Beck Ventures has purchased a large portion of the property and plans to transform it into a $2 billion mixed-use project called “Dallas Midtown.”

The plan includes a hotel, hi-rise office buildings, multi-family and luxury residential towers. Developers say it will be a “bustling urban village.”

Part of the mall will come down piece by piece in the coming months. Anchor stores Sears and JC Penney reportedly plan to stay.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Returning Troops Have High Accident Rates

USAA, the San Antonio-based company that insures veterans and their families, says returning troops have more car accidents than they did prior to deployment.

A study called “Returning Warriors” showed that troops back from deployment had 13% more at-fault accidents within the first six months than they did in the six months prior to leaving for overseas duty.

George Drew is the Vice President of Underwriting for USAA.

Drew: They connect it to the training that our military get in combat situations where you change directions and lanes unexpectedly, you speed as fast as the lead vehicle in a convoy, hypervigilance of roadside elements. I mean this is just the way our military is trained.

Crash rates for younger troops were three times higher than older veterans. Multiple deployments led to higher crash rates.  The Army and Marines had higher crash rates than Navy or Air Force.

USAA says it’s working with the military to educate troops about “carryover” driving behaviors that may be crucial in combat, but dangerous on the roads at home.

Drew says USAA won’t charge higher rates because of increased accidents. The study’s release, he says, is just about safety and awareness.

BJ Austin, KERA News