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This Hour: Latest Texas news, sports, business and entertainment

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Police: Man assaulted neighbor, damaged his drone

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - An Austin man has been arrested for head-butting his neighbor and damaging the victim's hand-held ham radio and personal drone.

Steven Anthony Garza faces assault and criminal mischief charges.

Police say that around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the 34-year-old walked into his neighbor's backyard and head-butted him. He later threw over a fence the radio and personal drone.

Garza told officers his neighbor had been using the equipment to spy on him and was attempting to "triangulate" his position and get into his head.

But his neighbor says he was using the amateur radio equipment to talk with his father at the time of the incident.

Travis County jail records show Garza remained in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.


Officials: Accused killer had targeted others

KAUFMAN, Texas (AP) - Authorities say the man charged in the deaths last year of two North Texas prosecutors had intended to kill other law enforcement officials.

Court documents filed Tuesday contend former Justice of the Peace Eric Williams sought to kill Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Norville Wiley, who was previously a judge in Kaufman County.

Records also allege Williams had targeted former district court Judge Glen Ashworth. They do not indicate why Wiley and Ashworth were marked.

Williams faces capital murder charges in the shooting deaths of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia. He's also accused of killing Kaufman County prosecutor Mark Hasse.

Authorities believe Williams bore a grudge against McLelland and Hasse for successfully prosecuting him for stealing three county-owned computer monitors. That conviction cost Williams his law license.


Longtime Texas journalist to receive Madison award

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Longtime Texas journalist Donnis Baggett has been selected as recipient of the 2014 James Madison Award presented by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

Baggett, executive vice president of the Texas Press Association, will receive the award Sept. 12 during the John Henry Faulk Awards luncheon at the foundation's Bernard and Audre Rapoport State Conference in Austin.

The Madison award is given to those demonstrating a commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment.

Baggett leads the press association's governmental affairs program, focusing on protecting open records, open meetings and public notices.

Baggett worked for Texas newspapers for nearly 40 years before joining the press association in 2012.

Foundation President Diana Fuentes said Baggett "has spent his career working for freedom of the press and open government."


Iowa Republicans supportive of Perry

HIAWATHA, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Republicans say Texas Gov. Rick Perry has not been tarnished by a recent indictment.

Perry was in Iowa on Tuesday, campaigning for 1st Congressional District candidate Rod Blum. It's the potential 2016 presidential candidate's first Iowa visit since he was indicted last month on two felony counts alleging he abused the power of his office.

Republicans gathered for an event in Hiawatha said the indictment was politically motivated. During brief remarks at a local political office, Perry spoke about job gains in Texas and drew applause when he talked about sending National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border.

Perry entered the 2012 presidential race with much fanfare but quickly stumbled. He finished fifth in the Iowa caucuses in early 2012 and quit the race two weeks later.


Ex-fire chief in Southeast Texas accused of theft

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - A former volunteer fire chief in Southeast Texas has surrendered on theft-related counts after about $70,000 in department money allegedly was misspent.

The Galveston County Sheriff's Office says 56-year-old David Miles Loop turned himself in Tuesday and was freed on $15,000 bond.

A grand jury Friday indicted the ex-Crystal Beach Volunteer Fire Department chief on charges of theft by a public servant and misapplication of fiduciary property.

Jail officials had no information on an attorney for Loop, who's accused of using a department credit card and spending about $25,000 at a Louisiana race track and casino. He also allegedly misappropriated about $45,000 in department funds.

A department official last fall noticed the credit card charges and money missing from a bank account.

Loop was voted out as chief in January.


Justice Department: Texas voter ID discriminatory

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - A Justice Department lawyer has told a federal judge that a tough new Texas voter ID law was motivated by racial discrimination and should be struck down.

Opening statements began Tuesday in a trial over the measure Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed into law in 2011. Opponents call it the most stringent voter ID measure of any adopted by conservative states in recent years.

Experts estimate that nearly 800,000 registered voters in Texas lack an acceptable form of ID under the law. Justice Department attorney Elizabeth Westfall says blacks and Hispanics make up a disproportionate number of those voters.

Texas is the first major test for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder since the Supreme Court last year struck down a key part of the federal Voting Rights Act.


Girl, 5, dies after San Angelo domestic dispute

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - A West Texas man has been charged with murder after police say a 5-year-old girl was assaulted at a home and later died.

San Angelo police early Tuesday responded to two 911 calls to report alleged domestic violence at a house.

Officers discovered the injured child and another female victim at the residence. Both were transported to a hospital where the girl died.

Tom Green County jail records show 23-year-old Isidro Miguel DeLacruz Jr. of San Angelo was being held without bond on a murder charge. Online records don't list an attorney for him.

Officer Tracy Gonzalez had no immediate information on who called 911 or whether the suspect is related to the victims.

Names of the two females and further details on the survivor's condition were not immediately released.


ERCOT: Ample electric capacity for fall, winter

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - The operator of the electric distribution grid for most of Texas says it expects to have ample electricity available to keep up with periods of peak demand in the fall and winter.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, issued its projections Tuesday.

The ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, Ken McIntyre, says in a release that the state has 2,100 more megawatts available now than this time last year. One megawatt is enough to power about 200 homes during peak periods and 500 homes under normal conditions.

Officials say the fall-winter assessment is based on a forecast that's consistent with average weather patterns.

ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to 23 million Texas customers - representing 85 percent of the state's electric load.


Report: Confusion hampered response to fatal fire

HOUSTON (AP) - A report detailing the response to a hotel fire last year that killed four Houston firefighters says the effort was hampered by confusion over who was in charge, cluttered radio channels and other disorganization.

The report says adding to the chaos on May 31, 2013, was limited planning that included difficulty in finding space for arriving engines.

The Houston Chronicle reports one fire crew ran out of water from its engine's tank while another crew searched for a hydrant. This caused another team to back out of the hotel before re-entering again. Meanwhile, strong winds fueled the flames.

A 20-member city panel released the report Monday and offered more than 200 recommendations for improvements.

It does not indicate the cause of the blaze, which also left 12 firefighters injured.


Beer-hauling truck wrecks in Houston, spills cases

HOUSTON (AP) - A collision between a beer-hauling truck and a car in Houston has left both drivers slightly hurt and scattered dozens of cases of brew along a highway.

Houston police are trying to determine what caused the accident early Tuesday that closed part of the Katy Freeway for several hours during cleanup.

Authorities say the 18-wheeler ended up on its side and lost its load of beer in a leaky mess.

Police say both drivers were transported to hospitals for treatment of injuries not believed to be serious.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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