Rain Gauges Fill Up Across North Texas | KERA News

Rain Gauges Fill Up Across North Texas

The winner for rainfall overnight in North Texas is the area around Oakland and I-30 in Fort Worth -- more than six inches reported by the National Weather Service.

Senior Meteorologist Eric Martello says Dallas Love Field reported 4 ½, and Prosper in Collin County got five inches.

Martello: The one good thing about these rains, even though we did have some flooding, it was over a course of a 12 to 18 hour period. So, it was a good, soaking, moderate-occasionally-heavy rainfall. The soil was able to absorb most of it. Overall, it’s very beneficial for the lakes and rivers in the area that were generally low.

Commuters this morning had to navigate many flooded low-lying streets and intersections. At least half a dozen high-water rescues were reported across the area.

Fort Worth’s Fire Department made a few high water rescues on Trinity Boulevard, according to spokesperson Tim Hardeman.

Hardeman: They found five cars in the water. Some people had gotten out and walked out of the water on their own. There were five people still in their vehicles. Our first engine called for a dive team to come out and got their boat out. Firefighters walked the boat out to the vehicles and got the people out without incident.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport reported just 87 cancelled flights out of some 1800 that occur every day. Love Field saw no cancellations.

BJ Austin & Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Judge skeptical of redistricting aide's testimony

A judge presiding over the Texas redistricting trial in Washington says she's skeptical that a top Texas legislative staffer rarely consulted with elected officials when drawing the new map.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer is one of three judges considering whether the Texas Legislature violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act when drawing the new district lines. She says she "finds it difficult" to believe that staff didn't regularly consult with top lawmakers when redrawing the Texas map.

Texas House staffer Gerardo Interiano testified Wednesday that there were few matters in the process that required him to talk to Republican House leaders as he drew the map. He says most key questions were hashed out by staff and that he believes the Texas map was drawn fairly and without racial bias.


Group files appeal against sonogram requirement

The Center for Reproductive Rights is asking for a rehearing of its argument that a law requiring a sonogram before an abortion is unconstitutional.

Two weeks ago the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction preventing Texas from requiring doctors to conduct a sonogram. The law also requires the doctor to show the woman the sonogram image, to play the fetal heartbeat aloud and to explain what the doctor sees, whether the woman wants to hear it or not.

The three-judge panel ruled that the law is constitutional and said a lower court was wrong to stop Texas from enforcing it.

The center is asking for a rehearing by the entire appeals court to reconsider the earlier decision, which they say is wrong.

Texas is currently enforcing the law.


11 hurt, none seriously, in Dallas bus crash

Eleven people have been hospitalized after a tractor-trailer rig crashed into the rear of a Dallas public transit bus.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit spokesman Morgan Lyons says the bus was rear-ended just about 4 p.m. Wednesday on Loop 12, about 1 mile west of U.S. 175 in southeast Dallas.

The 10 passengers on the bus and the bus driver suffered primarily back and neck injuries. All were hospitalized, although Lyons says none of the injuries are serious.


Ex-Stanford employee tells jurors he saw problems

One of Texas financier R. Allen Stanford's former employees tells jurors he believes he saw Stanford make up accounting figures used in an annual report to woo investors.

Leo Mejia ran an advertising agency owned by Stanford. Mejia testified Wednesday at the financier's fraud trial in Houston.

Mejia said he saw Stanford and his chief financial officer make various faulty changes to figures related to the bank's finances just before they were approved for an annual report for Stanford's bank.

Federal prosecutors contend Stanford used money investors deposited in his Caribbean bank to fund his businesses and lavish billionaire lifestyle.

Stanford's attorneys say his businesses were legitimate.

Stanford is charged with 14 counts, including mail and wire fraud. He could face up to 20 years if convicted.


Charges could take weeks for triple-murder suspect

It will take several weeks for murder charges to be filed against a man accused of killing three people found behind a barn in North Texas.

Fannin County Criminal District Attorney Richard Glaser tells The Associated Press that he expects the case against 52-year-old Thomas Taunton to go before a grand jury in late February or March.

Glaser says he won't decide whether to seek the death penalty for Taunton until the grand jury returns an indictment.

Taunton was arrested last week in connection with the deaths of 73-year-old Harold Harpst, 79-year-old Sue Harpst and 48-year-old Regina Taunton. Regina Taunton was Sue Harpst's daughter.

Authorities haven't said whether Thomas Taunton is related to the three.

The victims were found about 30 miles from their home in rural Leonard.