SpaceX gets 10-year tax exemption for Texas site
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Cameron County commissioners have agreed to waive 10 years of county taxes as part of an agreement bringing the world's first commercial site for orbital rocket launches to the southernmost tip of Texas.
The county's governing board on Thursday also approved a draft of an economic agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corp., also known as SpaceX.
County Judge Carlos Cascos tells The Brownsville Herald that details of the agreement are being withheld until SpaceX signs it. He expects that to happen next week.
SpaceX announced earlier this month it had selected Cameron County for its launch site. It's an $85 million investment that's expected to bring 300 new jobs to the Brownsville area.
Woman indicted for manslaughter for deadly wreck
KOUNTZE, Texas (AP) - A Southeast Texas grand jury has indicted a 40-year-old Kirbyville woman on manslaughter charges for a traffic wreck earlier this year that killed two sisters and an unborn baby.
Crystal Lummus Boyett also was indicted Thursday by a Hardin County grand jury on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the February deaths of sisters Connely Renne Burns and Courtney Ray Sterling. Burns was seven months pregnant.
Hardin County District Attorney tells The Beaumont Enterprise police found the prescription drug Xanax in Boyett's car after she collided with the victims' SUV but there's no evidence she was intoxicated. Police say Boyett was speeding and may have reached 120 mph on U.S. 96 between Buna and Lumberton.
She's been free on $1.5 million bond.
Man, 30, gets life term for beating girlfriend
SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) - A 30-year-old man in Central Texas has been sentenced to life in prison for beating his girlfriend with a belt and rocks and using a box cutter to carve into her face and slit her throat.
A Hays County jury deliberated Thursday only 20 minutes before convicting Zane Lynn Barton of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon. Evidence showed the attack occurred last year in San Marcos.
Prosecutors say he cut X's into the woman's face and hands and that she convinced him to let her get medical help by promising to blame the attack on a stranger. She subsequently told police Barton was her assailant.
The Austin American-Statesman reports a physician testified her wounds missed being fatal by just a millimeter or two.
Plea deal ends Fort Worth trial in 1983 murder
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - A murder trial in a 31-year-old Fort Worth slaying case has ended with a plea deal.
A trial for 50-year-old Benjamin Bewley was entering a third day Thursday when attorneys said they'd reached an agreement where Bewley would plead guilty to the 1983 slaying of pawnshop owner Melvin Lavine during a robbery at his home. State District Judge Louis Sturns then sentenced Bewley to 15 years in prison.
Bewley's lawyer tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he'll become eligible for parole in five years.
DNA evidence found on a piece of broken glass door from Lavine's home tied Bewley to the slaying scene. At the time of his arrest last year, he was in a jail in Taylor County on a drunken driving charge.
Man, 52, sentenced for sex acts with teens
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A 52-year-old man has been given concurrent 30- and 60-year sentences after pleading guilty in a San Antonio court to first-degree felony charges of child sex abuse.
Guillermo Lugo doesn't become eligible for parole until he's 82.
The San Antonio Express-News reports the 13- and 15-year-old victims in the case told authorities that Lugo over a two-period offered them money to accompany him to motels to perform sex acts on him that he recorded.
Some of his videos were on a thumb drive he left in a computer lab at the University of Texas at San Antonio where he was taking classes. A student who found the drive discovered the videos and notified police.
Lugo also had called police to ask about his missing thumb drive.
Manziel fined $12,000 by for middle finger flip
CLEVELAND (AP) - A person familiar with the penalty says Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has been fined $12,000 by the NFL for flipping his middle finger at Washington's sideline.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Friday because the ruling has not been made public.
Manziel said he was reacting to taunting by the Redskins during Monday night's nationally televised game. The action didn't help his chances to win Cleveland's starting job, which went to veteran Brian Hoyer. Manziel says he has to be "smarter" on the field.
Browns coach Mike Pettine was "extremely disappointed" by Manziel's conduct and said the 21-year-old's on-field behavior factored into the team's decision in naming a starter.
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