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Police: Man dead after hanging at Texas jail

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Fort Worth police say a man found hanging in a city jail cell has died.

Police Sgt. William Hix tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram 23-year-old Gregory Hooper of Cleburne died Sunday at an area hospital.

City police arrested Hooper on Aug. 18 over allegations he choked his girlfriend and interfered with an emergency call.

Hix says Hooper used the drawstring from his athletic shorts to hang himself later that morning. He says jail personnel found Hooper during normal rounds.

Medical personnel resuscitated Hooper and took him to John Peter Smith Hospital in serious condition.


Police: Houston man killed trying to strike cars

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston police say a man swinging a crutch at passing cars on the interstate was fatally struck by a car.

The Houston Chronicle reports the 53-year-old was hit Monday along Interstate 45. Police aren't releasing his identity until relatives are notified.

Police say the man was using the crutch to try to hit moving vehicles when one struck him. He died at the scene.

They say the driver didn't stop but contacted police. The driver was released without charges.

Police say the investigation is ongoing.


Body of missing kayaker believed found

HOUSTON (AP) - Authorities believe the body of a kayaker who went missing over Labor Day weekend has been found.

Harris County spokesman Mark Herman said 42-year-old Brian Conner disappeared Saturday during a kayaking trip with his wife. A body was found early Monday in Cypress Creek near Houston but has not yet been positively identified by medical examiners.

Texas Equusearch volunteers used SONAR equipment to locate the body.

Equusearch founder Tim Miller described the 49-mile creek as "unforgiving and treacherous."

The Houston Chronicle reports ( ) that during the trip Conner's wife turned to find that her husband was not behind her. She found his kayak overturned and her husband clinging to a branch. She was not able to assist him to shore.

Volunteers began searching for Conner late Saturday.


6 Cuban men land in Texas after boat engine breaks

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (AP) - Authorities say six Cuban men have landed on South Padre Island after drifting across the Gulf of Mexico because their boat engine failed.

Cameron County Parks Chief Horacio Zamora says the men aged 28-65 years old arrived Monday from Nueva Gerona, Cuba. He says they set off for Mexico 21 days ago on a 14-foot wooden boat.

The men say the boat's engine malfunctioned two days into the trip and they tried to sail with a small shower curtain. They say storms in the Gulf of Mexico blew them off course.

A beachgoer found the mean and alerted authorities.

Zamora says one man required medical assistance and the group had nothing to eat or drink in days. The men were released to the U.S. Border Patrol. Their conditions are unclear.


Some Texas students pay more for online courses

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Some online higher education courses are costing Texans more money than brick-and-mortar classes.

The Dallas Morning News reports state leaders have hailed online education as one fix for ballooning college prices, but that tuition for those classes can be more than 20 percent higher.

The newspaper analyzed 18 universities and found that only the University of North Texas and the University of Texas had lower costs for online classes. Many of the online courses include extra fees or additional costs per credit hour.

University officials say higher tuition rates for online courses are the result of expensive infrastructure and the costs for designing the courses.


Houston fire union president resigns over threats

HOUSTON (AP) - The president of Houston's fire department union has resigned in the middle of contract negotiations with the city after he says fellow firefighters threatened his family.

Bryan Sky-Eagle resigned Monday. He says firefighters made threats on Facebook and in email against him and his wife, children, home and truck.

Sky-Eagle was elected as president of the union in 2013 and has been a Houston firefighter for 15 years. He was 11 months into his three-year term.

The union chapter says it supports Sky-Eagle's decision and its 3,800 members increasingly lacked confidence in him. About 93 percent of its voters rejected in June a proposed contract he negotiated with Mayor Annise Parker.

He says local authorities are investigating the threats.


After more than a century, beloved church to close

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A church known for its inclusiveness is set to close this month.

The San Antonio Express-News reports says Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church will hold its last service after 117 years this weekend. Over the years its congregation has dwindled as have the funds for covering the church's operational costs. In its heyday, 250 people attended Sunday service.

Church lay leader Sally Lewis says it's a "sad thing" that the church will close but that the congregation has become too small for the space.

Longtime Beacon Hill congregant Betty Smith likens the church's closure to a death.

The neighborhood association, artists and recovery groups have regularly used the space.

When a group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics was banned from a nearby parish, Beacon Hill opened its doors.


University of Texas campaign tops $3 billion

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The University of Texas says it has topped its $3 billion goal in an eight-year fundraising campaign.

The Campaign for Texas ended Aug. 31. School officials say it raised $856 million in the final year, bringing the total to $3.1 billion in gifts, pledges and donations.

Gifts ranged from loose change collected by a kindergarten class to large scale donations of $1 million or more. Of those, almost 90 percent supported academic efforts and the rest supported athletic projects.

The donations also helped fund 830 new student scholarship and support endowments.


Stolen heirloom watch returned to Houston man

HOUSTON (AP) - A Houston man has been reunited with his grandfather's watch after it was stolen three years ago.

KPRC-TV reports Monday that the watch was found by Harris County sheriff's detectives. The Longines watch has been in Jowell Lydon's family for 53 years.

It had been missing since someone broke into Lydon's home and stole his computer, television and jewelry in 2011.

Harris County authorities phoned Lydon's father in California on Friday after finding the grandfather's name engraved on the back of the heirloom. They say the timepiece was found last month in the trunk of a vehicle containing five burglary suspects.

Authorities say they don't believe the arrested burglary suspects broke into Lydon's home.

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