Texas Gov. Perry formally enters not guilty plea
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry has formally pleaded not guilty to criminal charges that he abused his office when he vetoed state funding for public corruption prosecutors.
The potential 2016 presidential candidate entered his plea in a Travis County court filing. Perry also waived an arraignment that had been set for Friday.
Perry has been defiant since a grand jury in Austin indicted him last week on charges of trying to leverage his power to force the ouster of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. She had recently been arrested for drunken driving.
Perry vetoed $7.5 million for the state's ethics watchdog unit in Lehmberg's office after she refused to resign.
Dozens of supporters greeted Perry on Tuesday when he arrived at court for fingerprinting and his mug shot.
BUSH-ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE
George W. Bush takes ice bucket challenge
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) - Former President George W. Bush took the ice bucket challenge then nominated former President Bill Clinton to do it next.
The challenge has caught on with notable figures participating in the campaign to raise money for the fight against ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
In a video posted Wednesday on Bush's Facebook page, he says: "To you all who challenged me, I do not think it's presidential for me to be splashed with ice water, so I'm simply going to write you a check."
The video, taken in Kennebunkport, Maine, then shows a smiling Laura Bush dousing him. She says: "That check is from me - I didn't want to ruin my hairstyle."
Also in Maine this week, author Stephen King took the challenge, and then challenged John Grisham.
FAST AND FURIOUS
Judge: Justice Dept must provide list of documents
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with a list of documents that are at the center of a long-running battle over a failed law enforcement program called Operation Fast and Furious.
In a court proceeding Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set an Oct. 1 deadline for producing the list to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The Justice Department says the documents should remain confidential and President Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege in an effort to protect them from public disclosure.
The House panel says the documents might explain why the department took nearly a year to admit that federal agents had engaged in a controversial law enforcement tactic known as gun-walking.
Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Vastly different characterizations emerge of a white suburban St. Louis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.
Ferguson protesters call Darren Wilson a murderer, while the Texas native's supporters say he's wrongly maligned for doing his job.
Wilson has vanished from public view since shortly after Michael Brown's August 9th death, and his family isn't talking.
The Brown family's attorneys have labeled Wilson a killer, though no charges have been filed.
But a former high school classmate, Jake Shepard, says Wilson isn't racially motivated, doesn't harbor hate and was always respectable, well-mannered and "genuine."
Wilson's parents were married four years before divorcing in Texas in 1989. He divorced last November. His mother, a convicted forger, died in 2002. The Ferguson police force gave Wilson a commendation in February.
KIDS KILLED-DRIVER SHOT
Deputy: Gunfire after driver shot not in report
ANGLETON, Texas (AP) - An ex-deputy says he failed to note in a report that more gunfire took place well after a drunk driver was fatally shot following an accident that killed two boys in Texas.
David Barajas (bah-RAH'-hahs), the boys' father, is on trial in the driver's 2012 shooting death. Barajas' attorney says the omitted detail about the gunfire supports his claim of innocence.
Barajas is accused of fatally shooting Jose Banda minutes after Banda plowed into a vehicle that Barajas and his two sons had been pushing along a rural road. Twelve-year-old David Junior and 11-year-old Caleb Barajas were killed.
Lloyd Anderson, an ex-deputy with the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office, testified Wednesday that he probably did inform an investigator about the gunfire but that he left it out of his report.
Texas regulators approve expansion of nuke site
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Regulators have approved allowing depleted uranium to be buried at a West Texas nuclear waste dump site.
The state's three environmental commissioners unanimously approved the amendment to the license held by Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists. The site is in Andrews County.
Company spokesman Chuck McDonald says the amendment also lets the company triple the facility's capacity of low-level radioactive waste it gets from dozens of states and reduces by $50 million the money it's required to have available to fund potential liability.
McDonald says the depleted uranium is classified as low-level and will come from federal energy facilities. Depleted uranium is a byproduct of enriched uranium that fuels nuclear power plants.
Experts say the substance gets more radioactive as time passes and if disposed of improperly could pose health risks.
GAS DRILLING-BIBLICAL BILLBOARD
Brine firm sues over biblical fracking billboard
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An eastern Ohio man who uses a biblical reference and a statement against "poisoned waters" on billboards opposing gas-drilling wastewater wells faces a legal threat from the wells' operator.
Austin, Texas-based Buckeye Brine alleges in a July lawsuit that billboards paid for by Michael Boals of Coshocton (kuh-SHAHK'-tuhn) contain false and defamatory attacks against its deep-injection sites. They dispose of contaminated wastewater from oil and gas drilling.
Boals refuses to pull the billboards. The 55-year-old says stating that the wells "pump poisoned waters" underfoot is true. An environmental legal group argues that quoting prophecy from Revelation - on men dying from waters "made bitter" - is Boals' free-speech right.
The company says its wells are safe and legal and the messages are misleading. It's taken its complaint to the sign owner
OFFSHORE GULF SALE
US government sells 400,000 acres in Gulf of Mexico off Texas coast
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The federal government has sold more than 400,000 acres in the western Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast for oil and gas exploration and development.
U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management official Michael Celata says Wednesday's sales, if approved, will bring in about $110 million.
Celata says deep-water tracts drew the highest bids.
Conoco Phillips paid about $61 million for a single tract in the ultra-deep-water Alaminos Canyon area.
The sale is the latest in the Obama administration's five-year program to aggressively develop resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Previous sales involved about 60 million offshore acres in the western Gulf, which added about $2.3 billion to the U.S. Treasury.
The government must decide whether to award the tracts to bidders within 90 days.
CAPSIZED SHRIMP BOAT
Official: Submerged boat delayed retrieval of body
BAYTOWN, Texas (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard this week spent 17 hours covering 38 square miles of the Houston Ship Channel searching for a missing shrimp boat captain whose body was ultimately found by his father in the capsized vessel.
The father found 42-year-old Ronald Lynn Galloway's body in the pilot house of the Mr. Anthony, hours after the Coast Guard had suspended its search.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Manda Emery said Wednesday that searchers were prevented from finding Galloway soon after the vessel capsized because murky waters restricted access.
Emery says the tide eventually shifted the boat, allowing for entry into the pilot house.
She says a Harris County sheriff's dive team searched the waters Monday but had limited access to the boat. A call to sheriff's officials was not returned.
RED CROSS-DISASTER WAREHOUSE
New Red Cross disaster warehouse in Texas ready
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - An American Red Cross disaster supplies warehouse in North Texas has the distinction of being the group's biggest facility to serve the most people.
Spokeswoman Anita Foster says the site in Arlington that was dedicated Wednesday has 174,000 square feet of space.
The location, capable of serving up to 100,000 people, has a larger supply of products that any other Red Cross location.
The Disaster Field Supply Center has cots, blankets, personal hygiene items, cleanup kits, coolers and cooking supplies stacked on towering shelves.
Similar centers are in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Missouri and Nevada. The new site between Dallas and Fort Worth replaces a smaller facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Officials cite convenience and cost savings for the move to North Texas with its extensive highway system and vast availability of trucks.
Texas man charged with slaying of estranged wife
ANDERSON, Texas (AP) - A Central Texas man has been charged in the fatal shooting of his estranged wife at her home.
The Grimes County Sheriff's Office says Kelly Armstrong of Navasota (nah-vuh-SOH'-tuh) surrendered Wednesday to face a murder charge, with bond set at $150,000.
District Attorney Tuck McLain says 40-year-old Autumn Armstrong and her spouse were divorcing. The husband early Monday called 911 to report his wife was shot. McLain says the woman was found dead in her bed with a gun nearby.
Preliminary autopsy results indicated Autumn Armstrong was shot in the right thigh and bled to death. McLain says it didn't appear that Armstrong provided medical help to his wife before emergency responders arrived.
An attorney for Armstrong didn't immediately return a message Wednesday.
Navasota is 65 miles northwest of Houston.
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