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Lake Jackson police fatally shoot woman who they say fired at officers

By Cory McCord – Digital News Editor , Ryan Korsgard – Reporter

LAKE JACKSON, Texas – A 33-year-old woman is dead after a shootout with police on Friday.

Police said officers from Lake Jackson, Clute and Freeport were working together to find and arrest two burglary suspects.

A man was taken into custody at a residence in Angleton, but the second suspect, the woman, was seen a short time later in the 1700 block of CR 428 in Angleton.

When officers attempted to apprehend her, she drove her vehicle at the officers, narrowly missing them as she left the parking lot, officers said.

During the officers’ pursuit of the woman, they said she displayed a handgun through the window of her vehicle several times.

After driving at a high rate of speed through several cities, the woman turned into a cul de sac off Raintree Street in Lake Jackson around 2:30 p.m., police said.

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Proposed border wall construction to begin near El Paso, Tucson, El Centro

By: Jerry Najera

EL PASO, Texas – It’s been talked about for months and now it’s a possibility we can see it in our own backyard.

President Trump’s proposed border wall is expected to start construction near El Paso, Tucson, Arizona and El Centro, California. That’s according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The Texas-Mexico border is nearly 2,000 miles long.

“I want to build the wall. We have to build the wall. We have to stop drugs from pouring in,” said Trump in a interview with ABC.

Trump has said he wants to secure the border, but his stance on a border wall have sparked protests.

“I think it’s unnecessary,” Joanne Torres said. Torres lives near the existing border wall.

“The taller the better,” said Tornillo resident and former border patrol agent, Richard Martinez.

Despite the criticism, officials are moving forward.

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security released new details on their website. They state:

“Customs and Border Protection is taking immediate action in response to the president’s executive order. We have identified locations near El Paso, Texas, Tucson, Arizona, and El Centro, California, where we will build a wall in areas where the fence or old brittle landing-mat fencing are no longer effective.”

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On CPS, Bathroom Bill, Dallas Lawmakers Don’t See Eye To Eye

Two North Texas lawmakers took a break from the legislative session to share a stage in Dallas Friday. Republican Senator Don Huffines and Democratic Representative Rafael Anchia debated a range of hot button issues being considered in Austin. Neither Huffines nor Anchia shied away from the controversial topics swirling under the Capitol dome.

The Bathroom Bill

Take the so-called bathroom bill: Huffines is a sponsor of the effort to bar governments and public schools from letting transgender people use the restrooms that match their gender identity. He told the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith that people in Texas support the idea.

“We don’t want men in women’s bathrooms and we don’t want boys in girls’ locker rooms and showers. It’s as simple as that. Look at your birth certificate. That’s what it said, that’s what you are,” he said.

Anchia fired back. Just because it’s popular, he said, doesn’t make it right.

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Flawed voting in Texas likely the result of confusion — not fraud, official says

By Sean Collins Walsh, Austin American-Statesman

AUSTIN — After confusion over whether several hundred Texans voted improperly in the November election, local election officials say that the ballots in question likely were cast by eligible voters who got caught up in the chaotic scramble to implement a court order loosening the state’s strict voter identification law.

The law, adopted in 2011 by the GOP-controlled Legislature and mired in a yearslong court battle, requires voters to show one of seven forms of government-issued photo ID. After federal courts found the law to be discriminatory, a judge in August ordered Texas officials to soften its requirements for the Nov. 8 election by allowing registered voters without one of the required photo IDs to cast ballots if they signed affidavits swearing that they had a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining ID and showed other documentation, such as a birth certificate, utility bill, bank statement or government pay stub.

Officials have said the new rules were implemented unevenly across the state, and The Associated Press reported that 500 people who signed the affidavits indicated on the forms that they had photo ID but were declining to show it. Reasons varied, with some withholding their IDs as a protest of the law, some saying they forgot their IDs and others refusing to show an ID without explanation.

The finding led Stephen Vickers, Tarrant County’s chief deputy elections administrator, to say he would forward those affidavits to prosecutors, and it was used as ammunition by Republicans who have argued, without evidence, that voter fraud is widespread. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted in response, “We’ll continue our fight to stop cheating at ballot box.”

But Vickers and other elections officials say the issue wasn’t voter fraud but mass confusion over the voter ID requirements.

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Texas A&M dean of medicine decries budget cuts

By STEVE KUHLMANN

Higher education institutions statewide are looking at the possibility of substantial funding cuts as lawmakers push to tighten their budget, leading many university officials to consider the potentially dramatic results those reductions could have.

After only one month on the job, Texas A&M Vice Chancellor for Health Services, Dean of the College of Medicine and Senior Vice President for the Health Science Center Carrie Byington said she already has been forced to make difficult decisions in the face of an uncertain economic climate — including cuts to the number of students who will be admitted to the next class of Texas A&M’s medical school.

“Sadly, as a new dean, one of my first decisions was to cut the class size,” said Byington, adding that the normally 200-student class could see up to a 25 percent reduction.

With the academic year for the medical school beginning in July, Byington said she won’t be able to wait on a budget process that has the potential to continue past May.

“Our prospective students are making one of the most important decisions that they’ll make in their lifetime, and they’re making it right now,” Byington said. “I’ve got to let people know whether there is space for them or not, and I have to be assured that I can educate them over a four-year period of time.”

According to a letter sent to the medical school’s alternate admissions list Wednesday, Byington said the “program-specific reductions” could range from $6 million to upward of $50 million.

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Judge denies request to delay lawsuit against Texas voter ID law

Associated Press

AUSTIN — A long-running lawsuit over Texas’ contentious voter ID law will move forward in federal court, even as the Republican-controlled Legislature considers how best to modify it.

A federal judge on Friday denied a request from the U.S. Justice Department and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to delay the case.

The Trump administration joined with Texas to ask that next week’s hearing be postponed until June when the Texas Legislature’s session finishes.

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Texas veterans lobby at Capitol for medical marijuana legislation

KVUE

USTIN – Texas veterans gathered at the Texas State Capitol Wednesday to lobby for medical marijuana legislation and to deliver a letter signed by 1,400 veterans to Gov. Greg Abbott.

The group held a news conference at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Vietnam Veterans Monument, the same location where Operation Trapped was launched in November of 2015. Operation Trapped was formed to build support for legislation allowing the use of medical marijuana as an alternative to prescription drugs in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, chronic pain and other service-related conditions.

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Joaquin Castro tells ‘Wall’ protesters they are making a difference

By Nicole Barrios – Austin Community Newspapers Staff

U.S. Reps. Beto O’Rourke, Celia Israel and Joaquin Castro addressed the “No Ban, No Wall” rally Saturday at the state Capitol.

Castro told the protesters that immigrants have always faced hate but there have always been those who stand up for them.

“Please know, you are making a difference,” Castro told those at the rally.

Earlier, protesters had chanted, “The people united will never be divided” in Spanish and English.

Israel said that Gov. Greg Abbott’s actions toward Travis County and Sheriff Sally Hernandez were “not my Texas.”

Calls for unity and calls for action against recent executive orders by President Donald Trump were the main theme of the rally.

A speaker from Refunity anugee Services of Texas says they’ve received 100 times more donations in the past few days because of the outpouring of support.

Rep. Celia Israel says she speaks as a Latina, a lesbian, a Longhorn & a left handed American. And is “an Ann Richards Democrat.”

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Bush daughter headlines Planned Parenthood fundraiser in North Texas

Abby Livingston, Texas Tribune , WFAA

(TEXAS TRIBUNE) — Barbara Pierce Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, will headline a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in North Texas on Wednesday.

She will be the keynote speaker at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas’ annual Fort Worth luncheon, helping to raise money for an organization that provides an array of reproductive and sexual health services, including abortions.

Bush’s public appearance before the group is striking, given that her father, President George W. Bush, was a staunch abortion opponent during his time as Texas governor and as president.

But it’s not entirely unexpected. Bush’s mother, former First Lady Laura Bush, has expressed support for the legality of abortion on a handful of occasions. The younger Bush, the CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps, called Planned Parenthood an “exceptional organization” in a June New York Times interview, and attended a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Paris in October.

The lead donor of the luncheon is Sid R. Bass, the prominent Fort Worth billionaire.

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Paxton files amicus brief in case involving Lutheran pastors’ dispute over compensation

Nicholas Gueguen

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed an amicus brief on behalf of six states in the case of Portico Benefit Services v. Bacon, a case Paxton’s office called “an important religious liberty case” in a release.

In the petition, which is filed on behalf of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Utah and Kentucky, Paxton asks that the U.S. Supreme Court grant the petition and explain how to apply the First Amendment to religious organizations’ financial pictures.

According to the Minnesota Court of Appeals opinion, which was filed July 25, Evangelical Lutheran pastors David Bacon and Timothy Hepner, as well as Ruth Dold and Sharon Hvam, brought a class-action lawsuit against the board of pensions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which is operating as Portico Benefit Services, citing the Uniform Prudent Investor Act. They allege that Portico mismanaged and incorrectly administered retirement plans. Bacon, Hepner, Dold and Hvam alleged breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, as well as fraud and concealment against Portico.

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