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Texas GOP speaker drops re-election bid after secret tape

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas GOP House Speaker Dennis Bonnen says he will not run for re-election, making the announcement less than a week after the release of a secretly recorded conversation in which Bonnen sought help ousting members of his own party in 2020 and called a female lawmaker "vile."

Bonnen says in a statement Tuesday "it is clear that I can no longer seek re-election" as either a state representative or house speaker.

The Texas Republican Caucus had condemned Bonnen's remarks.

The recorded conversation is at the center of an ongoing state police investigation into whether Bonnen improperly offered House media credentials in exchange for campaign help. It's also thrown Republicans into disarray at a time when their state dominance is slipping.


The Latest: Bushes home spared by Dallas tornado

DALLAS (AP) - The tornado that caused widespread damage in north Dallas passed closed to the home of former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush but caused no damage.

Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said in a statement that "the Bushes are safe and praying for their neighbors around DFW who weren't as fortunate."

The Bushes stuck to their obligations despite the storm.

Former first lady Laura Bush hosted young leaders from Myanmar on Monday at a Bush Institute event in South Texas. The institute based at Southern Methodist University in Dallas has sponsored a leadership training program for four years with a focus on Myanmar, a Southeast Asian country struggling with extreme inequities and ethnic cleansing.


Funeral rescheduled for woman fatally shot by police at home

DALLAS (AP) - The funeral has been rescheduled for a woman shot and killed in her home by a Fort Worth police officer.

The service for Atatiana Jefferson is planned for 11 a.m. Thursday at Concord Church in Dallas. That's after a settlement was reached Monday between members of Jefferson's family.

Jefferson's father had obtained a restraining order Friday to prevent a funeral scheduled for Saturday afternoon, forcing its postponement. But at a hearing Monday in Dallas, Jefferson's mother and three siblings intervened, asking Probate Court Judge Brenda Hull Thompson to dismiss the father's complaint.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that after Thompson issued a gag order, all sides negotiated for seven hours before reaching an agreement.

The officer who shot Jefferson through a back window has resigned and been charged with murder.


Grand jury declines to indict monsignor in consent case

HOUSTON (AP) - A Texas grand jury has declined to indict the onetime deputy to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo on charges he sexually assaulted a married woman in a case that raised questions about consent in the #MeToo era.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office had presented the case against Monsignor Frank Rossi on Monday, more than a year after Laura Pontikes filed a criminal complaint with Houston police.

Dane Schiller, spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney's Office, said the grand jury determined no criminal charges were warranted but that prosecutors could bring the case to a new grand jury if new evidence is discovered.

Rossi was for years the vicar-general to DiNardo, the Catholic archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the U.S. bishops conference who has been leading the U.S. hierarchy's response to the sexual abuse scandal.


Transgender woman's attacker convicted of assault

DALLAS (AP) - A man charged with felony aggravated assault in the beating of a Dallas transgender woman has been convicted of misdemeanor assault.

The Dallas Morning News reports Dallas County jurors deliberated about four hours Monday before convicting Edward Dominic Thomas of the lesser charge in Muhlaysia Booker's beating. Thomas was sentenced to 300 days in jail, including time served since his April arrest , on the condition that he doesn't appeal the sentence. That leaves a little more than four months left for him to serve.

Police say Thomas admitted beating Booker on April 12 outside a Dallas apartment complex, that Thomas was one of the assailants captured on video and that he was offered $200 to beat Booker.

Booker was found shot to death in May on a Dallas street. Kendrell Lavar Lyles awaits trial on a murder charge.


Castro says he needs $800,000 in 10 days or campaign is over

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro says he needs to raise $800,000 in the next 10 days or he'll drop out of the presidential race.

Castro made the announcement Monday in a fundraising email, saying his campaign is in "dire need" of resources. Castro says without the money he won't be able to make the November debate and his campaign "will have to shut down."

Castro's plea is similar to one made by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker last month. Booker netted $2.1 million in 10 days, after a number of his opponents and other elected officials rallied around him and encouraged people to give.

Castro has been polling at the bottom of the pack and during the third quarter raised just $3.5 million. Castro ended the quarter with less than $700,000 cash on hand.


Girl dies after massive aluminum piece falls from flatbed

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A 5-year-old Texas girl is dead after a 34,000-pound piece of aluminum fell from a flatbed trailer on a Mississippi River bridge at St. Louis.

The accident happened about 5:30 a.m. Monday on the Poplar Street Bridge. Illinois State Police have not identified the child, who was from Texarkana, Texas.

The girl was riding in the sleeper berth of a Peterbilt truck that was hauling the massive piece of aluminum on a flatbed trailer. The truck struck the concrete center median and the aluminum piece became unstrapped. It struck the rear of the truck, causing it to overturn.

The girl was ejected. She died at a hospital.

The truck driver, 44-year-old Janette Kirby of Texarkana, and two male passengers ages 15 and 17 were treated for minor injuries.


Anchorage to decide if marijuana shop can open near church

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Anchorage Assembly is expected to decide whether a retail marijuana store can open despite its location next to a shelter that also serves as a church.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday that AlaskaSense LLC plans to open a marijuana store beside the Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center.

Officials say the soup kitchen and women's shelter leases space to a Texas ministry called Hope Church.

The city's planning department has classified the entire operation as a religious assembly with special protections.

AlaskaSense's owner and attorney say the business has spent $400,000 in rent and renovations based on previous assurances from the city that it met zoning regulations.

The shelter previously opposed the shop but recently sent a letter to AlaskaSense explaining its board voted to drop its opposition.



Georgia county's experience shows perils of ransomware

JEFFERSON, Ga. (AP) - Around the country, ransomware attacks have crippled critical computer systems that law enforcement rely on to stay safe or alert them to emergencies.

Staff members at the jail in one Georgia county were unable to open cell doors automatically after a ransomware incursion in March. And dispatchers at the county's 911 center lost the computers that tell them who is available to respond to emergencies and where they are located.

Jackson County officials say they are not aware of any delays that threatened public safety or lives.

But details of that attack show how ransomware can make law enforcement officers more vulnerable and potentially hinder emergency responses.

Ransomware renders files inaccessible unless a computer user pays thieves to release them.


4 more parents pleading guilty in college admissions scandal

BOSTON (AP) - Four more parents are pleading guilty in the college admissions bribery scandal, and a Texas man accused of helping to orchestrate the scheme has also agreed to a deal.

Parent Douglas Hodge entered his guilty plea in Boston's federal court Monday after previously pleading not guilty in April.

Also scheduled to reverse their pleas are parents Michelle Janavs, Manuel Henriquez and Elizabeth Henriquez. Each faces charges of fraud and money laundering.

Martin Fox, the president of a private tennis club in Houston, also agreed to plead guilty in a deal that prosecutors announced Monday. He is charged with a single count of racketeering.

The four parents join 15 others who have pleaded guilty in the case, while 15 other parents are fighting the charges.

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