School to resume in tornado-damaged Cleburne
CLEBURNE, Texas (AP) - School is expected to resume Monday in a North Texas community where a tornado damaged homes and cut power.
Campuses in the Cleburne school district, about 25 miles south of Fort Worth, were closed Thursday and Friday after a tornado Wednesday night caused electrical outages and dangerous road conditions.
Dallas-based Oncor (ON'-kor) said Friday afternoon that about 600 customers in Cleburne were still without power, down from about 4,000 in the area at the height of the outage.
The National Weather Service has rated the tornado that hit Cleburne as an EF-3. Winds were estimated at 135 to 165 miles per hour. No deaths or serious injuries were reported in Cleburne.
Cleburne is 25 miles southeast of Granbury, where a tornado Wednesday night killed six people.
TEXAS TORNADOES-YOUNG COUNTY
2 tornadoes hit Young County, no injuries
GRAHAM, Texas (AP) - Authorities say two tornadoes have struck near a small community in rural North Texas, destroying a house but causing no injuries.
National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Cavanaugh says the tornadoes struck near the small community of Eliasville in southwestern Young County on Friday evening.
Young County Sheriff Bryan Walls says the three people in the destroyed home were not hurt.
He says that trees have been uprooted and some barns destroyed in the storm.
The tornadoes Friday come after North Texas was hit with an outbreak of 16 tornados on Wednesday night, including one that struck the town of Granbury, killing six.
Man in custody in death of son, grandson
FAIRVIEW, Texas (AP) - Police say an 83-year-old man has been taken into custody after his son and grandson were found shot to death in the North Texas home all three shared.
Fairview Police Chief Granver Tolliver says police were called to the home Friday by another family member who had tried to check on the men.
Police responding could see a man slumped in a chair through a window. Upon entering, they found that that man was dead and discovered a second body upstairs.
Tolliver says the first man was about 58 years old. His son was 23. Both had been dead for several days.
No names have been released yet.
Fairview is a town of about 5,000 located about 30 miles northwest of Dallas.
Child dies after being left in car
DALLAS (AP) - Dallas police say a 1-year-old child left in a locked vehicle in an elementary school parking lot has died.
Police say a witness who saw the child in the car at Frank Guzick Elementary School on Friday afternoon broke out a window, removed the child and started CPR. The child was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Police say the child's parent, a teacher at the elementary school, is being interviewed at police headquarters. Police say it's an ongoing investigation.
The National Weather Service says temperatures in Dallas reached into the high 80s in Dallas on Friday.
PASTOR GUILTY-ANIMAL CRUELTY
Bastrop pastor found guilty of animal cruelty
BASTROP, Texas (AP) - A Bastrop pastor has been found guilty of animal cruelty in the death of a cat he trapped in his neighborhood last year.
Rick Bartlett's conviction Friday of a Class A misdemeanor means he faces up to a year in jail. Sentencing is set for June 24th. At the time of his arrest, the 56-year-old was a chaplain for the Bastrop police department and pastor at Bastrop Christian Church.
After trapping the cat last year, Bartlett took it to the police department to have it taken to the animal shelter. An arrest affidavit says that after an animal control officer pointed out the cat had tags, Bartlett said he'd return the cat to its owners.
The cat named Moody was found injured under a bridge hours later.
House OKs state audit of Perry enterprise fund
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry's deal-closing Texas Enterprise Fund would receive a state audit under a bill close to clearing the state Legislature.
The House on Friday used a simple voice vote to approve the measure that would require closer financial scrutiny of the decade-old program.
The fund has awarded more than $485 million to private companies looking to expand or relocate in Texas. But critics have targeted it, and Perry's similar Emerging Technology Fund, over accountability and impact.
The bill mandates an audit report no later than January 2015. It passed the Senate last month, but the House made some modifications.
The measure must pass a final, procedural House vote. It then heads to conference committee to reconcile the latest version with what the Senate previously approved.
TEACHER RESIDENCY PROGRAM
Lawmakers advance teacher residency program
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas lawmakers are advancing a plan to create a residency training program for school teachers.
In a 28-2 vote on Friday, the Senate approved a program similar to medical residencies for doctors. The bill goes to the House, which has passed a similar version.
Arlington Republican Representative Diane Patrick has said her proposal would help prepare teachers to work in poor urban schools. It's modeled on programs in Boston, Memphis and Chicago.
The program would be run through a public university in partnership with a nearby school district. Residents would work with university faculty members and serve as apprentice teachers. They would get stipends and job placement assistance. They would earn master's degrees and certification.
A budget analysis projects the program would cost the state about $1.3 million annually.
House OKs major changes to state cancer institute
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House has approved a dramatic overhaul of the state's troubled $3 billion cancer-fighting agency, including replacing its entire, 11-member board.
The lower chamber used a simple voice vote Friday to give preliminary approval to 1 of the most-watched bills in the Texas Legislature. It mandates sweeping changes to the embattled Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
The bill has already cleared the Senate, but the House modified it to include that CPRIT's board has to go, among other changes.
The once-celebrated agency has since become the target of rebuke and remains under criminal investigation following several lucrative grants that were improperly awarded.
After a final, procedural House vote, the proposal will go to conference committee to reconcile the versions passed by the House and Senate.
Budget deals keeps steroid testing program
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas will keep testing public high school athletes for another two years under the state budget deal agreed to on Friday.
The 5-year-old program began as 1 of the largest testing programs in the country, but has been gradually scaled down as testing of tens of thousands of athletes has resulted in only a handful of cheaters being caught.
Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, who has championed the program, said lawmakers will spend $1 million over the next two years on testing. The program is run by the University Interscholastic League.
The program initially tested athletes in all sports. It has been scaled down to focus only on a few sports, including football, baseball and track.
Texas Senate OKs 'Merry Christmas' bill
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - It's Christmas in May in the Texas Legislature.
The Texas Senate on Friday approved a bipartisan bill that aims to remove legal risks of saying "Merry Christmas" in Texas public schools. Traditional holiday symbols, such as a menorah or nativity scene, would also win a nod of state support so long as more than one religion and a secular symbol are also reflected.
Republican State Senator Robert Nichols of Jacksonville says teachers have been reluctant to say "Merry Christmas" under fear of facing what he calls "frivolous" lawsuits.
"Merry Christmas to you all," Nichols said when the bill passed.
The bill now goes to Governor Rick Perry for his consideration.
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