Texas man charged in death of postal worker
HOUSTON (AP) - Authorities have charged a 36-year-old man with murder in the death of a U.S. postal worker north of Houston.
Federal officials say James Wayne Ham was charged Monday in the killing of 52-year-old Marie Youngblood. The San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office had taken him into custody Sunday, saying at the time that Ham was a suspect.
He's scheduled to appear in federal court in Houston on Tuesday and prosecutors will argue he be held without bond.
Youngblood's body was found late Friday inside her burned-out SUV. Investigators say she was shot multiple times at close range after making a delivery at Ham's home in Coldspring.
Investigators say Ham has previously complained that his mail was not being delivered properly.
Online jail records did not indicate an attorney for Ham.
2 dead in Houston shooting incident
HOUSTON (AP) - Investigators have identified four men they say were involved in a drug-related shooting in Houston that left a 10-year-old boy and a woman dead.
Houston police said Monday 1 of the men - 23-year-old Bobby Austin - is in custody charged with capital murder. The same charge has been filed against 22-year-old Jerome Dewon Godine, who is being sought by police.
Authorities say the boy and the 29-year-old woman were both shot in the head at their home May 13. A 40-year-old man, who police say was the woman's boyfriend and the father of the 10-year-old, also was shot in the head. He remained in critical condition Monday at a hospital.
The shooting was discovered when the man's other son returned home from school.
Harris County jail records do not indicate an attorney for Austin
Firefighter dies in Dallas condo complex blaze
DALLAS (AP) - The mayor of Dallas is calling a veteran Dallas firefighter a hero for laying down his life for citizens.
Mike Rawlings was referring to 51-year-old Stanley Wilson, who died after being trapped while battling a six-alarm blaze at a condominium complex.
Dallas Fire-Rescue officials say Wilson had been a Dallas firefighter for 28 years.
A U.S. flag covered Wilson's body when it was located and removed from the rubble about six hours after the fire started before dawn Monday.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says two firefighters were transported to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening. Two residents were treated for minor smoke inhalation.
Authorities are trying to determine what sparked the fire that damaged about two dozen units.
Two women burned at convenience store
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Two women playing video games at a North Texas convenience store and a worker have been burned after a female suspect set 1 of those customers on fire.
The Fort Worth Fire Department says the incident happened early Monday. The woman who allegedly threw the flammable liquid fled with another person.
Authorities are trying to determine what prompted the assault.
Fire department spokesman Timothy Hardeman says the suspect entered the store and doused one woman with a flammable liquid. Investigators are trying to determine how the liquid was then ignited.
Hardeman says the woman set on fire was transported to a Dallas hospital with life-threatening burns. The second victim has lesser injuries and she was taken to another hospital. An employee suffered minor burns as he helped the victims.
Political fight flares at Texas Legislature
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Acrimony is cropping up in the state Legislature, where a House member is killing bills submitted by a Houston senator in retaliation for her opposition to an exoneration bill.
San Antonio Democrat Ruth McClendon filibustered two bills on Friday authored by Houston Republican Sen. Joan Huffman. She killed another bill last week.
McClendon is angry that Huffman is blocking a vote on the Timothy Cole Exoneration Review Commission. The panel would investigate cases where possibly innocent people have been falsely convicted.
Huffman believes a commission is unnecessary and she was also insulted by a support of the bill. McClendon accuses Huffman of not showing respect for the Texas House of Representatives, which approved the commission, and she wants a vote.
Among the bills McClendon killed were two expanding the chemical definition of illegal, synthetic drugs.
PEACH CROPS-INCLEMENT WEATHER
Drought, freeze, hail pummel Central Texas peaches
, Texas (AP) - A combination of weather events have Central Texas peach farmers expecting a meager crop once again this season, after several years of little yield due to whimsical weather.
The Austin American-Statesman reports about 90% of the Gillespie County peach crops have been wiped out by a warmer-than-normal winter, two late freezes and a hailstorm that pummeled the few peaches that remained on the trees.
About 40% of the state's peaches come from Gillespie County where average yield has dropped from about 200 bushels per acre in good seasons to about a third of that in more recent years.
Smaller yields from peach trees have forced farmers to spend more money to protect them from the weather and also find other crops to diversify their sources of income.
Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com/
FT BLISS-AFGHANISTAN CASUALTIES
Fort Bliss identifies soldier killed in blast
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Military officials have identified the third Fort Bliss soldier killed recently in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device.
Authorities at Fort Bliss on Monday announced that Pfc. Cody James Towse of Oak Ridge, Utah, was killed in the May 14 attack. He was 21 years old.
They previously announced that two specialists from Fort Bliss - William Joseph Gilbert and Mitchell Kirk Daehling - also were killed, as was Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey C. Baker based at Fort Stewart in Georgia.
Towse was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.
Five other Fort Bliss soldiers were killed by a roadside blast in early May in Afghanistan.
Expect heavy traffic enforcement over holidays
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - More Texas troopers will be on patrol over the Memorial Day weekend watching for speeders, drunken drivers and travelers not wearing seat belts.
The Department of Public Safety says increased holiday patrols will begin Friday and run through the Monday holiday.
DPS troopers last Memorial Day weekend arrested 609 DWI violators and wrote more than 6,000 speeding citations. DPS also had nearly 1,400 seat belt and child safety restraint tickets. The agency says 825 drivers were cited for not having insurance.
Troopers also arrested 264 fugitives and 219 people with outstanding felony warrants. DPS says 16 stolen vehicles were recovered during the year-ago holiday period.
Warren Buffett meets with young entrepreneurs
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Billionaire Warren Buffett spent his day listening to business pitches from a select group of kids, but the ideas weren't likely to generate new acquisitions for Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate.
The kids, who are between 7 and 16 years old, are finalists in a contest tied to "The Secret Millionaire's Club," a cartoon narrated by Buffett that teaches kids about finance. The cartoon airs on the Hub cable network and online at www.smckids.com .
Five kids and three teams were flown to Omaha to present their ideas to Buffett and the judges. The finalists are from Maryland, Maine, Texas, New Jersey, Ohio, Kentucky and Washington.
The winning individual and team each receive $5,000. Runners-up get $500.
The Fairholme Foundation sponsors the contest, and By Kids For Kids oversees it.
SOUTH TEXAS-TRAIN WRECK
4 men killed in Karnes County traffic accident
KENEDY, Texas (AP) - Four men in a car have died in a South Texas traffic accident also involving a tanker truck and their friend riding a motorcycle.
The Department of Public Safety says the wreck happened early Monday near Kenedy, about 50 miles southeast of San Antonio.
Trooper Javier Reyes says the motorcycle and the car were following an 18-wheeler when the truck stopped to make a left turn. The motorcycle rider put his bike down. The car hit the truck.
The trucker wasn't hurt. The motorcycle rider has injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
Reyes says the four victims and the motorcyclist were oilfield workers and had been at a bar. Authorities are trying to determine if alcohol played a role in the wreck.
Names of the victims weren't immediately released
S Reed, LB Cushing out for OTAs
HOUSTON (AP) - Texans coach Gary Kubiak says safety Ed Reed is doing "really well" as he recovers from hip surgery.
The 9-time Pro Bowler signed a 3-year, $15 million contract in free agency and will miss all of the Texans' organized team activities, which began Monday.
Linebacker Brian Cushing will also miss the OTAs as he recovers from left knee surgery. Cushing says he has no restrictions on the knee, but coaches are playing it safe.
Kubiak said linebacker Brooks Reed took reps at inside linebacker, which allows draft picks Sam Montgomery and Trevardo Williams to play with the first and second teams. Monday was also the first opportunity for first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins to take the field with fellow receiver Andre Johnson
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