AP-TX—Texas News Digest, TX

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DALLAS - Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent wasn’t drunk, as police contend, when he wrecked his Mercedes in a crash that killed a teammate, Brent’s lawyer told jurors Monday at the start of his trial. Brent was “guilty of being stupid behind the wheel of a car,” not driving drunk on the night of the December 2012 crash that killed his close friend and teammate, Jerry Brown, defense attorney George Milner said. By Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 660 words, photos.


HOUSTON - Researchers believe they have found an unlikely way to decrease the radioactivity of some hydraulic fracturing wastewater: Mix it with the hazardous drainage from mining operations. The wastewater is created when some of the chemical-laced water used to fracture thick underground rocks flows back out of the wellbore. The water is tainted with chemicals, toxins and in some parts of the country - such as Pennsylvania - naturally occurring radioactive materials, such as radium. Research has shown that even wastewater that had been treated with conventional means was changing the chemistry of rivers when discharged into waterways. By Ramit Plushnick-Masti. SENT: 850 words.



LA VILLA, Texas - A dispute over the water bill between a one-stoplight South Texas town and its school district has shuttered the schools and left students and parents scrambling. The city of La Villa shut off water and sewer service to the La Villa Independent School District in December, shortly after students started their holiday break. The city had raised a water surcharge, but the district refused to pay the increase. By Christopher Sherman. SENT: 840 words, photos.


KATY, Texas - School district officials say a zip gun was found and a student was taken into custody at a Houston-area high school that was evacuated and searched by a bomb squad. The Katy school district said on its website that Seven Lakes High School was evacuated Monday after a “perceived threat” was identified. The Harris County sheriff’s office bomb squad was dispatched after a “potential explosive device” was found. SENT: 200 words, photos.


DALLAS - The pilots of a Southwest Airlines flight that mistakenly landed at the wrong Missouri airport were grounded Monday, less than a day after they touched down at a small airfield that gave them only half as much room as normal to stop the jet. Southwest Flight 4013 was traveling Sunday evening from Chicago’s Midway Airport to Branson Airport but instead landed at tiny Taney County Airport seven miles away. By Jim Salter and David Koenig. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.


HOUSTON - While a judge on Monday continued to forbid a Houston man who’s been accused of misrepresenting his race to voters from taking the oath of office during a lawsuit that claims he didn’t live in his district, the elected official says that’s not going to stop him from doing his job. A restraining order preventing Dave Wilson from being sworn into office as a Houston Community College trustee was extended after a court hearing Monday. But Wilson and his lawyer say he’s already filed paperwork swearing himself in so the order is moot. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 500 words.


HOUSTON - People convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Harris County could be required to pay for their blood tests as lab officials seek to recoup costs and hire more toxicologists. County budget executive director Bill Jackson plans to explore blood test payment options, such as having prosecutors recommend and judges require restitution, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday. SENT: 370 words.


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