Ex-coach gets 6 months in college scam, runs from courthouse
BOSTON (AP) — The former men's tennis coach at the University of Texas at Austin sprinted away from reporters and his lawyers after he was sentenced to six months in prison for his role in a college admissions scandal. Michael Center was sentenced Monday to six months in prison for taking a $100,000 bribe in a scheme in which prosecutors say parents paid huge sums to get their kids into top universities. He pleaded guilty last year in Boston's federal court. Center cried as he apologized in court to his family and friends. The judge said Center's actions undermined the public's confidence in the admissions process.
Crackdown on immigrants who use public benefits takes effect
PHOENIX (AP) — Advocates say new guidelines that disqualify more people from green cards if they use government benefits is prompting droves of immigrants to drop government social services. That even includes citizens and legal residents who may be entitled to the benefits but fear they will be kicked out of the U.S. Advocates are scrambling to find other options to fill the needs of a traditionally low-income population. They predict that the Trump administration guidelines taking effect Monday will result in extreme hardship for many. The government says the rule will help make immigrants more self-sufficient and protect American taxpayers.
LEANING TOWER OF DALLAS
‘Leaning Tower of Dallas’ endures blows from wrecking ball
DALLAS (AP) — The “Leaning Tower of Dallas” has endured hundreds of blows from a wrecking ball. The social media sensation born when a part of an 11-story building survived implosion is set to come down. Dozens of people gathered northeast of the Texas city's downtown to watch Monday as a crane was used to batter the former Affiliated Computer Services building. The structure inspired jokes and comparisons to Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa when a Feb. 16 implosion failed to bring down its core. The company overseeing the demolition says it may up to four days.
FLEA MARKET SHOOTING
Sheriff: 7 injured in shooting at Houston flea market
HOUSTON (AP) — A sheriff in Southeast Texas says seven people were injured after a shooting at a Houston flea market that was holding a dance. The Houston Chronicle reports the incident happened Sunday night at the Mercado Sabadomingo. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the suspect told authorities that the gun was in his pocket when it accidentally went off. But the sheriff adds the suspect's version of the incident didn't match the evidence. None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.
Costs, delays scuttle 124-mile Constitution Pipeline project
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A nearly $1 billion pipeline project that had been designed to take natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York and New England has been abandoned. A spokeswoman from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy says Monday that the economics of the 124-mile-long Constitution Pipeline project have changed so the investment is no longer justified. Duke is one of four project partners. The Williams Cos. of Tulsa, Okahoma, is the principal partner. The others are Houston-based Cabot Oil and Gas and Calgary, Alberta-based Alta Gas. The Constitution Pipeline was proposed in 2013 and has faced legal and regulatory challenges and opposition from environmental groups.
Pioneering black NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson dies
NASA says pioneering black mathematician Katherine Johnson has died. She worked on NASA’s early space missions and was portrayed in the film “Hidden Figures,” about black female aerospace workers. In a Monday morning tweet, the space agency said it celebrates her 101 years of life and her legacy of excellence and breaking down racial and social barriers. Johnson was one of the so-called “computers” who calculated rocket trajectories and earth orbits by hand during NASA’s early years. Until 1958, Johnson and other black women worked in a racially segregated computing unit at what is now called Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Their work was the focus of the Oscar-nominated 2016 film.
OIL BOOM-NEW MEXICO
New Mexico to revisit bonds for oil and gas development
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It was the 1970s when New Mexico last increased the amount of bond money that oil and gas companies are required to put up before drilling. As development continues at a record pace, State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard says it's time to take another look. Legislation that called for a study of the issue stalled during the recent session, but the State Land Office is moving ahead and will research bond levels over the next several months. Officials say the amount of bonding needed to assure that taxpayers aren't left paying for any clean-up and restoration after development is currently unknown.
Wyoming patrol: Texas man dies after jumping from vehicle
SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming authorities say a Texas man suspected of drunken driving is dead after jumping out of his speeding vehicle while being chased by a state trooper. The Wyoming Highway Patrol says 43-year-old Marshall Acker of Tyler climbed out of his vehicle through his sunroof during Friday's chase and jumped onto Interstate 90 near Sheridan as his vehicle traveled at around 80 mph. The approximately 5-mile pursuit started after troopers were notified of a suspected drunken driver. Acker was initially spotted driving at 97 mph in a 75 mph zone and failed to stop for a trooper who turned on his emergency lights and sirens.
CHINA OUTBREAK-US QUARANTINE-NEBRASKA
Person who tests positive for COVID-19 transferred to Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Officials say another person who has tested positive for COVID-19 after being evacuated from a cruise ship in Japan will be transferred to an Omaha hospital. The University of Nebraska Medical Center says the person had been monitored at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas but was being flown Monday afternoon to Omaha. The person is a spouse of one of 13 people already being monitored and treated at the Omaha hospital. Of the 14 people who will be at the hospital, 12 are being monitored at the National Quarantine Unit. Two are being cared for at the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit. Two have tested negative for the virus and could be released from quarantine March 2.
FATAL CRASH-PREGNANT WOMAN
Woman pregnant with twins, 7-year-old son die in car crash