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Police: San Antonio man charged in puppy's death

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - San Antonio authorities say a man who bludgeoned a Shar-Pei puppy to death has turned himself in.

The San Antonio Express-News reports 51-year-old Gary Kennedy is charged with animal cruelty after reporting to police on Thursday.

Authorities say Kennedy used a metal rod to kill the 8-month-old puppy named Boscoe on July 3. They say security footage shows Kennedy dragging the dog's body away from the scene in a garbage bag.

He is being held in Bexar County jail on $50,000 bond. Online jail records didn't indicate an attorney.


Sheriff: Texas minister charged in assault

BASTROP, Texas (AP) - Texas authorities have charged a Bastrop youth minister who they say had sex with a 16-year-old girl.

The Bastrop County Sheriff's Office says 25-year-old Isahiah Arellano was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual assault this week. Authorities say Arellano was a youth minister with the Faith Impact Fellowship in Bastrop County. They say a family member caught him having sex with the teen at a friend's house in April.

Arellano tells authorities he only had sex with the teen once. She tells them it happened three times.

Authorities are working with the church pastor. No other cases have been reported.

The teen's relatives tell KXAN-TV that they stopped attending the church. The pastor says Arellano was fired.

It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.


Wanted Texas sex offender arrested in Mexico

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A 49-year-old man wanted in Hill County for failing to register as a sex offender, burglary and a parole violation has been arrested in Mexico after eluding capture for almost 10 years.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a news release Thursday that Dallas Wayne Waddell had been on the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender list since it was implemented in July 2010.

Waddell was arrested Aug. 21 in the city of Guadalupe Victoria, Durango, Mexico. He was sent back to Texas the next day.

A $3,000 reward will be paid to the person who tipped off authorities to Waddell's location.

A DPS spokesman says Waddell was being transferred Thursday from the Harris County jail in Houston to the Hill County jail in Hillsboro.


Houston police chief seeks body camera funding

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston police chief wants $8 million to equip his 3,500 officers with body cameras.

The Houston Chronicle reports Chief Charles McClelland said Thursday he wants to phase in the cameras over three years to record encounters between law enforcement officers and residents. He says it will improve accountability and transparency.

The cameras are roughly the size of a pager and can be clipped to the front of a uniform shirt. The officers would have to manually turn them on.

Mayor Annise Parker says the cameras could be useful and she is attempting to find funding for them.

Houston Police Officers' Union officials have expressed concerns that an officer could accidently or intentionally fail to activate a camera.


In Texas, big school finance questions remain

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Pumping an extra $3.4 billion into Texas public schools didn't convince a judge that the state is adequately funding classrooms.

But how much more money it will take - and how those funds should be divvied up - isn't likely to get sorted anytime soon.

State District Judge John Dietz reaffirmed on Thursday a previous ruling that Texas' school finance system is unconstitutional.

He said it fails to provide adequate funding or distribute it fairly between rich and poor areas. Dietz blocked some parts of the system, but suspended that order until next July.

That lets the Legislature, which reconvenes in January, make changes.

Appeals, though, mean the case still has a long way to go. And it likely won't be concluded until after lawmakers have completed the 2015 session.


2016 GOP hopefuls vie for attention at Texas event

DALLAS (AP) - A parade of potential 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls will be on display at an influential conservative group's annual summit.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence are appearing Friday at a gathering of Americans for Prosperity in Dallas.

On Saturday, the crowd at the Koch brothers-backed event will hear from tea party-backed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

For months Cruz has starred at many conservative grassroots gatherings around the country, but he'll be competing for attention this weekend.

Perry's favorability outside Texas has climbed since his indictment on two felony counts of abuse of power. Paul, meanwhile, has hired staff in Iowa, which opens presidential voting.

And Pence may get a bump because some of his ex-staffers now work for Koch Industries.

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