RSSState/National

Texas Educators Criticize Discrepancies Between New A-F, Past Ratings

January 13, 2017

Kevin Houchin saw the praise roll in for McGregor Independent School District when the Central Texas district’s high school received top marks from the state in 2016 for high academic achievement and preparing students for college.

So the superintendent was surprised to see an F grade on the district’s report card this month.…

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Texas attorney general’s criminal fraud trial set for May

January 13, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is set to stand trial on criminal securities fraud charges in May.

The trial date finally set by state District Judge George Gallagher comes 18 months after Texas’ top prosecutor was indicted on felony charges of defrauding wealthy investors.

Paxton has pleaded not guilty and faces 5 to 99 years in prison if convicted.…

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Woman pleads guilty in $7.8 million Medicaid fraud scheme

January 13, 2017

HOUSTON (AP) — The administrator of five Houston-area home health agencies has pleaded guilty for her role in a $7.8 million Medicaid fraud scheme.

Federal prosecutors say Idia Oriakhi and others obtained patients for her family’s home health agencies by paying kickbacks to patient recruiters and physicians for referring and certifying Medicaid patients for in-home attendant and community-based services that were medically unnecessary.…

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2 shot, hurt on Texas ranch in confusion during hunting trip

January 13, 2017

CANDELARIA AP) — Authorities say two men who were shot at a remote West Texas ranch near the Mexico border last week were injured when they and another member of their hunting group opened fire during a “state of confusion.”

Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez said Thursday they’re trying to determine who shot who on the night of Jan.…

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Railroad Commission of Texas Streamlines Oil, Gas Well Reporting

January 12, 2017

Process Makes Well Log Information More Accessible to Public

AUSTIN – As part of the Railroad Commission of Texas’ commitment to increasing efficiency and transparency through the modernization of its Information Technology systems, oil and gas producers can now file well log data electronically. Because the Commission now has the technology to accept well log information electronically, operators will no longer be required to print this information and submit paper logs.…

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With funding tight, legislators weigh options on school finance

January 12, 2017

With the 2017 session underway, Texas lawmakers will have to decide just how — and whether — they’re going to approach a major fixer-upper: the school finance system.

School district officials have repeatedly asserted that funding is arbitrary and inequitable across public school districts, and it does not allow many schools to meet the state’s academic standards.…

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Texas lawmakers focus on friendship on legislative session’s first day

January 11, 2017

The next six months in the Texas Capitol are expected to be tense, with money tight and the political conversation already dominated by social issues like who can use which bathroom.

But as lawmakers kicked off the 85th Legislative Session on Tuesday, they did it with a sense of optimism. Those fights will come in later days.…

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Police: Texas man caught with cocaine hidden under belly fat

January 11, 2017
AUSTIN (AP) — Authorities say a Texas man tried to destroy cocaine hidden under his belly fat while being taken to jail after failing a field sobriety test early on New Year’s Eve.

An Austin police officer pulled over Florentino Herrera early on the morning of Dec. 31 after he says he saw the 48-year-old run a stop sign and cross a solid white traffic line.…

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Convicted killer of 2 in Fort Worth set to die Wednesday

January 11, 2017

HUNTSVILLE (AP) — Lawyers for Texas death row inmate Christopher Wilkins looked to the U.S. Supreme Court to keep him from becoming the first prisoner executed in the nation this year.

Wilkins, 48, was set for lethal injection Wednesday evening for a double slaying in Fort Worth in 2005 that stemmed from a $20 drug deal in which he thought he was buying a rock of crack cocaine that really was a piece of gravel.…

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Trump blasts intel agencies over report on Russia ties

January 11, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Hours before his first news conference as president-elect, Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted U.S. intelligence agencies, blaming them for leaking unsubstantiated reports on his relationship with Russia and demanding, “Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

A U.S. official told The Associated Press on Tuesday that intelligence officials had informed Trump about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about him.…

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