State News State News en-us Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sat, 20 Sep 2014 16:09:05 GMT Synapse CMS 10 144 25 Few Fireworks in First Texas Governor's Debate State News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 7:07:27 PM Associated Press Few Fireworks in First Texas Governor's Debate

EDINBURG, Texas (AP) - Democrat Wendy Davis went after Republican Greg Abbott over defending deep classroom spending cuts and his record on women in the first governor's debate in Texas in nearly a decade.

Abbott on Friday night delivered his best shot upon asking Davis whether she regretted voting for President Barack Obama. She wouldn't answer and instead digressed.

But the first of two scheduled debates between Abbott and Davis otherwise saw few fireworks. Abbott is the favorite to replace Gov. Rick Perry next year and was content to play it safe even when Davis attacked.

The debate in the Rio Grande Valley made border security a major topic. Both Davis and Abbott reiterated their support of deploying the Texas National Guard and state troopers to the border.

The election is Nov. 4.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Missing Travis County Deputy's Body Found State News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 5:16:24 PM Missing Travis County Deputy's Body Found

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Travis County sheriff says dive teams have recovered the body of a deputy whose patrol car was swept away by floodwaters as she checked roadways during heavy rains this week.

The body of Senior Deputy Jessica Hollis was found Friday afternoon in Lake Austin.

The 35-year-old deputy was a seven-year Travis County Sheriff's Office veteran. She was checking low-water crossings during storms early Thursday when she radioed to say her patrol car was being washed away in an Austin-area subdivision.

Her empty car was found a short time later but she couldn't be found.

Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton became emotional when announcing that her body had been found, saying he was determined to "bring her home."

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Federal Inmate Sentenced for Fatal Beating State News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 4:07:54 PM Federal Inmate Sentenced for Fatal Beating

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) - A Missouri man incarcerated at a federal prison in Southeast Texas has been sentenced to more than 12 years for fatally beating another inmate who he mistakenly believed was in prison for molesting children.

Jacob Smith of Forsyth, Missouri, was sentenced Thursday after earlier pleading guilty to assault with intent to commit murder.

Federal prosecutors say the 23-year-old Smith was incarcerated at the prison in Beaumont in October 2012 when he and another inmate entered the cell of Edward Lee Bowlin. They say the two men used their hands and feet to beat him. They left but Smith soon returned and continued to beat Bowlin, causing him to suffer head and brain trauma. Bowlin fell into a coma and died in November 2013.

Smith's original offense was not immediately clear.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Abbott and Davis Debate for 1st Time Friday State News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 2:56:16 PM Abbott and Davis Debate for 1st Time Friday

The candidates vying for Governor of Texas will debate Friday night in Edinburg. You can watch the event LIVE on the CW South Texas and on KAJA-Telemundo (en Espanol).

This is the first debate between Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis.

CW listings:

  • Time Warner Cable - 23
  • Grande Communications - 16



  • Time Warner Cable - 16
  • Grande Communications - 17
  • AT&T U-Verse - 17


Despite a 3-to-1 edge in campaign cash and polling leads over his Democratic opponent, Greg Abbott is courting Republican-snubbing Hispanic voters with efforts unmatched since former President George W. Bush was governor of Texas.

The Republican candidate and current attorney general has made 14 visits to the Rio Grande Valley, the symbolic backdrop for this delicate courtship.

He's recruited a Mexican actor for some of his TV commercials, spent generously on Spanish-language advertising and introduces his wife Cecilia as the soon-to-be first Latina first lady of Texas.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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Texas Homeowner Stabs Burglar Running from Police State News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 2:05:55 PM Texas Homeowner Stabs Burglar Running from Police

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX) - A Texas man is recovering after breaking into a home and being stabbed with a spear by the homeowner.

It started around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday when Wichita Falls police say they tried to pull over Thomas McGowan because the car he was driving had been reported stolen.

McGowan took off and led police on a chase.

Officers lost the car, and later found it after it crashed.

Then authorities got a call from Jimmy Morgan, Jr. saying someone had broken into his home and he had stabbed the intruder with a spear.

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Texas Executes Woman for Starvation of 9 Year Old Boy State News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 4:43:50 AM Texas Executes Woman for Starvation of 9 Year Old Boy

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - A Texas woman convicted of the starvation and torture death of her girlfriend's 9-year-old son a decade ago was executed Wednesday evening.

Lisa Coleman, 38, received a lethal injection about an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal to spare her. She was pronounced dead at 6:24 p.m. CDT, 12 minutes after Texas Department of Criminal officials began administering a lethal dose of pentobarbital.

Coleman became the ninth convicted killer and second woman to receive lethal injection in Texas this year. Nationally, she's the 15th woman executed since the Supreme Court in 1976 allowed the death penalty to resume. During that same time, nearly 1,400 men have been put to death.

Coleman smiled and nodded to several friends and an aunt who watched through a window, thanking them and expressing her love. She also said she loved the other women on Texas' death row and urged them to "keep their heads up."

"I'm all right," she said. "Tell them I finished strong. ... God is good."

She mouthed an audible kiss, laughed and nodded to her witnesses in the seconds before the lethal drug took effect.

"Love you all," she said just before closing her eyes and taking a couple of short breaths. Then there was no further movement.

Coleman was condemned for the death of Davontae Williams, whose emaciated body was found in July 2004 at the North Texas apartment Coleman shared with his mother, Marcella Williams.

Paramedics who found him dead said they were shocked to learn his age. He weighed 36 pounds, about half that of a normal 9-year-old. A pediatrician later would testify that he had more than 250 distinct injuries, including burns from cigarettes or cigars and scars from ligatures, and that a lack of food made him stop growing.

"There was not an inch on his body that not been bruised or scarred or injured," said Dixie Bersano, one of Coleman's trial prosecutors.

Coleman's trial attorneys said the boy's death at the apartment in Arlington was an accident. They said he may have had mental health issues that made him difficult to handle and Coleman and Williams didn't know how to deal with him in a positive manner.

After a Tarrant County jury in 2006 convicted and sent Coleman to death row, Williams took a plea bargain and accepted a life prison sentence. Now 33, she's not eligible for parole until 2044.

Coleman's lawyer, John Stickels, argued unsuccessfully to the high court that while the child's hands were tied with clothesline at various times, it was "mostly a misguided means of discipline" used by both women. An aggravated factor of kidnapping, which made the charge against Coleman a capital murder case, was incorrect, making the jury's conviction on that charge also incorrect, Stickels contended.

Jefferson Clendenin, an assistant Texas attorney general, told the justices in his argument against the appeal that Coleman's arguments "had no merit."

As of Jan. 1, 60 women were on death row in the U.S., representing about 2 percent of the total death row population, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington-based anti-capital punishment organization. Coleman's execution leaves seven women on death row in Texas.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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El Paso Streets Under Water State News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 4:31:23 AM El Paso Streets Under Water

EL PASO - The severe storm, known once as Hurricane Odile left its mark on parts of El Paso last night.

More than two inches of rain fell in parts of the city after storms moved in from the south around 8pm local time.

A portion of busy I-10 was closed for a short time as rescue crews pulled people from their flooded cars.

Nearly 50 rescues and other emergencies were reported.

Weather forecasters say El Paso can expect heavy rain for the next few days as the effects of former Hurricane Odile continue to pound the southwest.


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Gov. Perry Invites Mexico's President to Our Side of the Border State News Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:42:04 AM Gov. Perry Invites Mexico's President to Our Side of the Border

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - In a sharp criticism of Mexico's "failure" on immigration and crime policies, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has invited President Enrique Pena Nieto to visit his state and observe law enforcement efforts on the U.S. side of the border.

Pena Nieto recently criticized Perry's highly-publicized deployment of National Guard troops to the border as "unpleasant" and "reprehensible."

Perry, mulling running for president in 2016, fired back Wednesday with a letter to Pena Nieto saying Mexico isn't doing enough to control immigration along its southern border with Central America. He also said the country is failing to "control the criminal element in Mexico."

Texas maintains it needs National Guard troops to stop drug traffickers.

The number of Central American immigrants entering Texas spiked earlier this year, but has slowed more recently.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Semi-Truck Crashes, Burns Beyond Recognition State News Wed, 17 Sep 2014 4:59:19 AM Semi-Truck Crashes, Burns Beyond Recognition

LANCASTER - A semi-truck fire closed a section of highway Tuesday south of Dallas.

Aerial footage of the accident shows the tractor-trailer was completely destroyed by the fire.

The incident occurred on I-35 in Lancaster.

Traffic quickly backed up as officials closed both sides of the interstate.

Luckily, the truck's driver was able to escape without injuries.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.


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Father Used Blade on Infant Daughter State News Wed, 17 Sep 2014 4:55:18 AM Father Used Blade on Infant Daughter

KILLEEN, Texas (AP) - A Central Texas man has been charged with injuring a child after police say he cut his 10-month-old daughter with a box cutter.

Killeen Police say 28-year-old Roberto Quintana was arrested over the weekend. His wife tells police that Quintana put tape over her mouth and threatened her with the box cutter. She says he then used it on their infant's leg.

Police say the child was cut twice. It's unclear if she was hospitalized.

Quintana is being held at the Bell County Jail on $200,000 bond. Online jail records didn't indicate an attorney.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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40,000 Pound Oilfiled Equipment Dangles Off Highway State News Tue, 16 Sep 2014 5:03:04 AM 40,000 Pound Oilfiled Equipment Dangles Off Highway

DALLAS - A daring mission that captivated North Texas on Monday, as a man dangled over a highway, trying to secure heavy machinery, to keep it from plunging off an overpass.

A Dallas tollway is reopened after a 40,000 pound piece of equipment dangled over a ramp Monday.

Monday a semi carrying the huge boring rig overturned, causing massive traffic delays on the George Bush Turnpike and Dallas North Tollway.


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4th Marijuana Field Bust in 2 Months State News Tue, 16 Sep 2014 4:22:33 AM 4th Marijuana Field Bust in 2 Months

POLK COUNTY - It's becoming a regular thing, another pot field found in Polk County.

This one is the 4th in just an 8 week span.

The discovery was made this morning roughly 10 miles off of FM 942 north in the Leggett Community.

Leggett resident Robert Nichols didn't think he would be spending his day helping authorities in an investigation.

Nichols says on his way to work this morning something caught his eye.

Nichols said, "as I was passing by the creek over here. I saw two SUVs and a Sheriffs office vehicle."

He said he then called his wife and asked her to check it out. Moments later as he arrived to work his wife called him back and Nichols would soon come home.

Authorities found pot fields on the couple's land.

Numerous agencies, including the Polk County Sheriffs office, and Homeland Security were searching the land
with horses and bulldozers.

Nichols said, "I asked the officer if we were talking about a hundred plants and he rolled his eyes and said you wish."

The Polk County Sheriffs office says they found thousand of plants on the land. And this isn't the first time pot fields were found around here. In the last two months a total of 4 fields had been confiscated.

Nichols said, "man, how could I not know they this was going on right behind me."

He says that this has to be craziest thing he has seen in his neck of the woods.

The sheriffs department says that they will harvesting the fields tomorrow.


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Back to School, Even in Texas Immigration Prison State News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 5:19:14 PM Back to School, Even in Texas Immigration Prison

KARNES CITY, Texas (AP) - In one classroom monitored by security cameras, third- and fourth-graders read in Spanish from a short story about mice.

On an artificial turf soccer field in the courtyard, seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders play a raucous kickball game - ignoring the high walls and surrounding 15-foot gate.

For about 200 immigrant children who fled to the United States with their mothers - mostly from Central America - it is another school day, except that they are housed in a federal immigration jail and risk possible deportation.

Classes are eight hours a day at Karnes County Residential Center. The curriculum for pre-kindergarten to 12th grade is the same as bilingual schools across the state. Days begin with the reciting of pledges of allegiance in English to the Texas and American flags.

Amid a surge of families and unaccompanied minors pouring across the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities converted what had been the all-male Karnes facility about 50 miles southeast of San Antonio to one with capacity for 532 women and children. They then teamed up with a nearby charter school district to begin offering classes.

The Associated Press recently was allowed a tour, though U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement didn't permit speaking with students or teachers, or on-the-record interviews with school administrators.

The Karnes center allows detainees to move freely around the grounds, enjoying free Internet access, flat-screen TVs, and a hair salon. Instead of guards, lockup personnel are "resident advisers."

To prepare for families, the facility purchased three shelves of bilingual children's books for the library and painted cartoon murals, including an octopus with a platter in its tentacles in the all-you-can-eat cafeteria.

Still, some youngsters remain traumatized from the treacherous journey hundreds of miles north. School officials said learning under such circumstances is difficult - but they say school can help children socialize and acclimate.

"Whether they stay here in the United States or go back to their home countries, they're here now and they're learning," said Enrique Lucero, who directs ICE's enforcement and removal operations in the region.

Facilities in Leesport, Pennsylvania, and Artesia, New Mexico also house immigrant parents and children. The Leesport center offers schooling, while Artesia plans to begin classes in a few weeks.

One family in detention at Karnes is from Brazil and a few are from Mexico, but all others are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where immigrants are fleeing street gangs and drug smugglers or extreme poverty. Many have sought U.S. asylum.

Thousands of other children detained without their parents - comprising the bulk of the immigration influx - are processed differently. Many of those unaccompanied minors have already been released to live with relatives in the U.S. and have matriculated into ordinary public schools as their cases progress.

At Karnes, nine multipurpose rooms have been converted into classrooms, many adorned with patriotic posters of bald eagles and instructional pictures of different denominations of U.S. currency.

During AP's visit, 8- and 9-year-olds at round tables originally designed to play checkers read aloud from "El Mensaje del Raton," or the "Mouse's Secret."

Nearby, 11th- and 12th-graders worked collectively in Spanish on an algebra problem written on a white board. The answer they came up was 6X+13x2. "Are you sure?" their teacher asked with a grin. "Si!" came the reply. But the class had forgotten a key set of parenthesis. The correct answer was 6X+6x2.

"Some of them may have missed a lot of school because of having fled, because of dangers. It's just not an easy endeavor," said Michelle Brane, migrant rights director at the New York-based Women's Refugee Commission.

Brane pointed to an immigration facility outside Austin that once housed families but stopped in 2009 amid allegations of human rights abuses. There, students received just one hour of schooling per day.

"I have no doubt this will be better," Brane said of Karnes, which her organization is set to visit this week. "But just because it looks pretty decent on the surface, doesn't mean there won't be challenges."

Lucero said the children will remain at the Karnes facility until they are deported, or released on bond and allowed to live elsewhere in the U.S. with family or a sponsor pending upcoming immigration court dates.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Missing Toddler Found Dead State News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 11:16:51 PM Missing Toddler Found Dead

AUSTIN - The search for a 2-year-old Texas boy has turned tragic.

Colton Turner's body was found in Austin today.

The missing persons case has now turned into a homicide investigation.

Police are not revealing much, but did say the boy's body shows evidence of being disposed of.


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Vikings' Adrian Peterson Indicted on Child Abuse Charge State News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 5:48:08 PM Vikings' Adrian Peterson Indicted on Child Abuse Charge

The attorney for Adrian Peterson says the Minnesota Vikings star running back has been indicted by a Texas grand jury on a charge of child abuse.

Attorney Rusty Hardin says the charge in Montgomery County accused Peterson of using a branch, or switch, to spank his son. He says Peterson has cooperated with authorities and "used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son."

He says Peterson regrets the incident and never intended to harm the boy.

The allegations come during a week in which the NFL has been under heavy scrutiny for the way it handled a domestic abuse case involving former Ravens running back Ray Rice and his then-fiancee. Peterson has rushed for 10,190 yards and 86 touchdowns in eight seasons.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Texas Asks Court to Allow Closure of Most Abortion Clinics State News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 3:31:21 PM Associated Press Texas Asks Court to Allow Closure of Most Abortion Clinics

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal appeals court that has already upheld a Texas law restricting abortions heard arguments Friday about an even tougher part of the same law, which requires all abortion clinics to adopt costly standards mandated for walk-in surgical clinics.

Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the requirement found unconstitutional by a federal judge in Austin.

The state also wants the court to overturn another part of Judge Lee Yeakel's Aug. 29 order, which exempts clinics in McAllen and El Paso from the section requiring doctors who perform abortions to be able to admit their patients to a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.

Abortion clinics attorney Stephanie Toti said the order mandating that the clinics serve as surgical centers would make it difficult for many Texas women to obtain abortions.

Judges Jerry E. Smith, Stephen A. Higginson and Jennifer Walker Elrod heard Friday's arguments.

Elrod was among the three judges who upheld the admitting-privilege requirement in March. That decision overturned Yeakel's October ruling that it placed an unconstitutional burden on women seeking an abortion and didn't make the process safer.

In August, Yeakel ruled that requiring operating rooms, staffing, parking and other standards that are typically only required for surgery would make it unconstitutionally difficult for women to get abortions because it would close all but seven or eight clinics in a state "10 percent larger than France."

Of Texas' 433 licensed outpatient surgical clinics, 336 have waivers of state standards because they were in business before the standards went into effect, while abortion clinics cannot get such "grandfathered" waivers, Yeakel noted.

He also ruled that, taken together, the admitting-privileges and clinic standards requirements make it too difficult for women to get abortions, making the law unconstitutional.

Texas currently has about 20 abortion providers, down from more than 40 two years ago, according to groups that sued the state.

Whole Woman's Health Clinic in McAllen, near the Mexico border, closed after the 5th Circuit ruled in March but reopened last weekend.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Mexican President Condemns Texas' Guard Deployment State News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 3:30:05 PM Associated Press Mexican President Condemns Texas' Guard Deployment

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Texas' decision to deploy National Guard troops along its border with Mexico is "unpleasant" and "reprehensible," Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says.

Last month's deployment had previously drawn the ire of Mexico, which says the border should not be militarized and issues should be solved jointly.

In an interview with the newspaper El Universal published Friday, Pena Nieto said Texas' move could affect bilateral relations.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has criticized border security and suggested last month that Islamic terrorists could be entering the U.S. from Mexico. Mexico has dismissed that idea as "absurd."

Texas maintains it needs to deploy National Guard troops to stop drug traffickers. The number of Central American migrants entering Texas also spiked earlier this year, but the flow has since declined.

Gov. Perry's spokeswoman, Lucy Nashed, said the guard had been sent to the border "to disrupt criminal activity that threatens all American citizens."

"Rather than questioning Gov. Perry's decision to do what he knows is right for the citizens of his state and country, we wish the Mexican government would instead work more cooperatively with us to address this very serious problem," she said.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Sleep Medication May Increase The Risk For Alzheimer's State News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 6:42:43 AM Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahTV Sleep Medication May Increase The Risk For Alzheimer's

CORPUS CHRISTI - If you're one of those people who take medication to help you get to sleep at night, it turns out it could actually be hurting you.

A new study shows that some of those commonly prescribed sleep medications are actually increasing your risk for Alzheimer's disease by over 50%.That's a shocking number for many, but doctors say they've seen this coming.

"The study indicates to me something that a lot of doctors have known already," said pharmacist Ron Garza. "Long term use of any drug that causes addiction, whether it be benzodiazepine or painkillers, later on in life will catch up to you "

Researchers followed a group of elderly adults taking meds to treat insomnia and anxiety. Those who took the drugs for longer than three months were 51% more likely to develop the disease.

For those that still have trouble sleeping at night, make sure to eat well and get enough exercise during the day. However, if that doesn't help, there are natural alternatives to prescription meds.

"Melatonin is a hormone that your body actually naturally produces, on its own," said Rock's Nutrition manager Benjamin Bindsiel. "One of the biggest things that melatonin does for you is helps your body decipher the difference between daytime and nighttime."

Melatonin is non-addictive, but doctors still recommend using it on a temporary basis.


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4 Year Old Left on Hot School Bus For Hours State News Thu, 11 Sep 2014 4:45:36 AM 4 Year Old Left on Hot School Bus For Hours

ANDREWS - Four-year-old Zereniti got onto the bus to go to her Head Start program like any other day, but was left behind in the sweltering heat of the sun.

"When I went to pick her up, they said she didn't come to school today, so I started asking who picked her up, why don't you know where she's at," Monica Peña, Zereniti's mother said. "Of course I, like any other mom, started panicking."

Minutes later, the four-year-old was found inside a school bus. Her parents say she was left there from 11 in the morning until three in the afternoon.

"She was drenched like she just barely got out of the shower, that's how hot she was," Peña said. "Her hair was soaked, it was horrible, her whole body, clothes. It looked like somebody threw her in the shower and put her back out."

After spending hours in an emergency room, this smiling little girl is lucky to be alive.

"You hear on the news everyday people accidentally leave their kids in the car and three hours later they're dead," Peña said. "My child was in there for four hours, thank god that she was able to survive that."

Andrews ISD superintendent Bobby Azam said they are investigating how long she was left in the school bus.

"We are investigating internally, we also contacted police. Everything the school did was done well," Azam said on the phone. "Where was the ball dropped? The bus driver didn't check the bus."

Azam could not comment on personnel matters, saying only there will be a new driver on this route tomorrow.

"Something like this shouldn't have happened, they need to go ahead and re-educate bus drivers, teach them how to check for safety," Peña said. "Every child is precious, put themselves in my shoes, what would you have done?"


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Man Wraps His Truck Around A Pole, Lucky To Be Alive State News Thu, 11 Sep 2014 4:40:17 AM Man Wraps His Truck Around A Pole, Lucky To Be Alive

ABILENE - A 23-year old man was hospitalized after crashing into a sign in Abilene late last night.

The driver was believed have been traveling at a high rate of speed, when he lost control and wrapped his truck around the sign.

Residents from the apartment complex next door heard the accident and went outside to help.

The driver was alert and talking when the Abilene Police Department arrived on the scene.

He was transported to the hospital where he was treated and released.

Police are awaiting toxicology tests before determining whether the driver will be charged with a DWI.

They do believe speed and alcohol were contributing factors.


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