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Panel Tells Lawyer to Pay Back Millions to Clients

Posted: 07/20/2007 - HOUSTON (AP) - A Houston trial lawyer has been ordered to pay at least $35.7 million to more than 3,000 former clients. An arbitration panel says John O'Quinn improperly deducted expenses from settlements he won for them in cases alleging defective breast implants.

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Cigarette Lighters May Be Allowed Back on Planes

Posted: 07/20/2007 - NEW YORK (AP) - The government is reportedly lifting the two-year-old ban against cigarette lighters on passenger planes. Congress enacted the ban after a terror suspect on a Paris-to-Miami flight used matches to try to light explosives hidden in his shoes.

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Letters Sway Reversal of Parole Decision for Murder Convict

Posted: 07/20/2007 - HOUSTON (AP) - For the second time in five years, a family has stopped the convicted murderer of their son from being released on parole. Thousands of letters swayed the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to reverse a decision to grant parole to Timothy Acklen.

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Social Security Numbers Exposed on State Web Site

Posted: 07/20/2007 - AUSTIN (AP) - A California businessman dug up Troy Aikman's Social Security number on the Texas Secretary of State's Web site. Steven Peisner says the point is to focus attention on the vulnerability of personal information on the site.

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Ice Cream Giant Celebrates 100 Years

Updated: 07/20/2007 - The "little" creamery in Brenham is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Officials are celebrating in style by marking the anniversary with a birthday bash that Blue Bell fans will never forget.

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Business Elite Go Behind Bars For Good Cause

Updated: 07/20/2007 - More than 100 of the Twin Cities' business elite were put behind bars for a good cause Thursday morning. The jailbirds were locked up for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Telethon Executive Lock-up to help raise money for the MDA and Jerry's Kids.

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Drivers Beware: Portable School Building in Transit Friday

Posted: 07/19/2007 - Drivers in Bryan may notice a large structure in transit Friday. Movers will transport a portable school building from Navarro Elementary School to Ben Milam Elementary. The portable school buildings are 16-feet tall, 30-feet wide, and 60-feet long.

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HISD Keeping Baseball Stats Private from Parent

Posted: 07/19/2007 - HOUSTON — The Houston Independent School District has denied a parent's request for the statistics of high school baseball players, citing a federal privacy law. In April, Scott Rothenberg made a formal request for the statistics, such as hits and home runs, of players on the Bellaire High School baseball team. He received a letter Tuesday from the district's lawyer telling him the information is private under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

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Audit Urges More Texas Toll Roads

Posted: 07/19/2007 - AUSTIN — The state's best chance for keeping up with demand for new and improved roads is to build more toll roads with higher fees, according to an external audit of the Texas Department of Transportation. Among other recommendations, the audit by Dye Management Group and Deloitte Consulting suggests the state replace the existing gasoline tax with a fee based on miles traveled per vehicle.

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Federal Security Agents Transported Ammo without Authorization

Posted: 07/19/2007 - OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Federal agents in charge of safely transporting nuclear materials took 3,400 rounds of ammunition from a training exercise in Texas back to Tennessee on board a government plane without declaring it. The agents from the Office of Secure Transportation moved the rounds aboard a plane owned by the National Nuclear Security Administration in December 2005, according to a report from the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General reviewed by The Knoxville News Sentinel.

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Second Person Dies After Cleburne House Explosion

Posted: 07/19/2007 - CLEBURNE, Texas (AP) - A coroner in Dallas says a second woman has died as a result of injuries suffered in a Cleburne house explosion. Authorities later discovered natural gas had seeped into the home, but went undetected prior to the May 29th explosion.

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Seven Children Removed from Lubbock Home

Posted: 07/19/2007 - LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - A judge in Lubbock has ordered seven children removed from their rat-infested home that was found strewn with dirty diapers. Authorities say the 26-year-old mother's miscarriage led to the discovery of the dead fetus in the home (in the refrigerator).

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Prairie View A&M University Increases Designated Tuition

Posted: 07/19/2007 - PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas--Prairie View A&M University officials announced today that it will increase its designated tuition by $15.00 per semester credit hour beginning this fall for most university students. University officials say the slightly higher tuition, combined with state appropriations and internally generated funds, will help cover increased costs .

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Man Tells Officers Wife's Body is in Vehicle

Posted: 07/19/2007 - ROBSTOWN, Texas (AP) - A South Texas man went to a small-town police department and said he strangled his wife. Then, according to officers, he told them they could find her body in the back of his Dodge Durango parked outside.

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Witness Says Teen and Associates Paid by Cartel for Killing

Posted: 07/19/2007 - LAREDO, Texas (AP) - A prosecution witness testified that a teen on trial for murder was part of a Mexican Gulf Cartel-organized "cell" that killed in the U.S. The trial in Laredo involves 17-year-old Rosalio "Bart" Reta, who is an American. Convicted drug trafficker David Martinez Cerezo says Reta was among three men in an organized cell paid $15,000 to kill a Laredo man in 2006.

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Rockwall DA Indicted on Felony Forgery Charges

Posted: 07/19/2007 - DALLAS (AP) - The Rockwall County district attorney accused of diverting taxpayer money into his personal account has been indicted on more charges. A two-count indictment accuses DA Galen Ray Sumrow of forging the signature of an assistant district attorney on two checks from an office account in order to buy electronics.

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Wilson Sworn In as Texas Secretary of State

Posted: 07/19/2007 - AUSTIN (AP) - The 106th Texas secretary of state has been sworn in to his new position. Phil Wilson, since 2002, has served as an aide to Governor Rick Perry.

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Study Shows Some Vets Could be Shortchanged

Posted: 07/19/2007 - WASHINGTON (AP) - The government could be shortchanging some injured veterans in their disability pay. An internal study launched by the Department of Veterans Affairs concludes the handling of cases is uneven, depending on where vets live.

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Breakfast Lions Club Gears Up for Rodeo

Updated: 07/18/2007 - If it's the third week in July, it must mean rodeo time in Bryan-College Station. The Bryan Breakfast Lions Club will host their 36th annual PRCA Rodeo, starting Thursday, July 19, through Saturday, July 21, at the Brazos County Rodeo Arena on Tabor Road in Bryan.

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Waco Women Set on Fire During Argument

Posted: 07/18/2007 - An arrest warrant charging Aggravated Assault was issued Wednesday for Reuben Lopez, 23, whom Waco police are seeking after three women were doused with gasoline and set on fire during a domestic disturbance.

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Houston Residents Become Lasting Part of Texas A&M

Updated: 07/18/2007 - Two Houston residents will soon be immortalized by a new Texas A&M University landmark. In a groundbreaking ceremony held Wednesday morning, the Texas A&M Foundation began the development of a new fountain.

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