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Komen Official Quits After Planned Parenthood Dispute

Karen Handel
Richard Lacey (cc) flickr
Karen Handel

An executive with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer charity has resigned after a dispute over funding for Planned Parenthood. 

Karen Handel announced her resignation as vice president for public policy in a letter to Komen officials Tuesday.

Handel said in her letter that she had supported cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood.

Handel, a former Republican candidate for governor in Georgia, emphasized her opposition to abortion during her 2010 campaign.

Komen announced last week that it had adopted criteria excluding Planned Parenthood from future grants for breast-cancer screenings because it was under government investigation. It cited a probe launched by a congressman at the urging of anti-abortion groups.

The charity reversed that decision days later.


Commissioners Divided On Release Of Parkland Report

Dallas County Commissioners are split on whether Parkland Hospital should release a critical audit that found safety problems in 15 hospital departments.

Yesterday, the Parkland Board said it would not release the report because of patient privacy concerns and the possibility of lawsuits.

Commissioner Mike Cantrell says the public needs to see that report.

Cantrell: I think we ought to get it all out on the table and then we ought to move forward in a positive direction. I understand what the Parkland Board’s looking at as far as legal liability, those kinds of things. But ultimately, I think the report ought to come out and I believe it will.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is calling on the group that ordered the safety audit, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to release it.

But Commissioners John Wiley Price and Elba Garcia say Parkland must take steps to protect Dallas County taxpayers from the possibility of expensive lawsuits.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Free trees in wildfire-devastated Bastrop

A Central Texas city has announced a tree giveaway to help reforest the community devastated by 2011 wildfires.

Free young trees will be available Saturday in Bastrop, where wind-driven fires that started Labor Day weekend left two people dead and destroyed more than 1,600 homes. The Texas Forest Service says about 1.5 million trees were killed.

The state agency, which is co-sponsoring the giveaway, said Tuesday that the trees are for residents of Bastrop, about 30 miles east of Austin, and others affected by wildfires.

Officials did not immediately provide information on how many trees, in 5-gallon buckets, will be provided.

The trees will be available in the city's public works parking lot, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday or until the supply has been exhausted.


WADA urges Feds to hand over Armstrong info

The World Anti-Doping Agency is urging U.S. federal authorities to quickly hand over evidence collected in their lengthy probe into seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and doping in American cycling.

WADA president John Fahey says federal agencies in the United States gathered "significant evidence" in the criminal investigation that was abruptly closed last week with no charges filed.

Fahey, speaking Tuesday, said it would be "very, very helpful if that information was handed over" to the U.S Anti-Doping Agency, which said it will continue its own probe into doping in cycling.


LBJ's personal Lincoln Continental up for auction

A white 1964 Lincoln Continental convertible used by President Lyndon B. Johnson has been put up for auction in Texas.

Dan Kruse Classics has announced the March 3 sale of LBJ's personal vehicle, which he drove until his death in 1973.

An auction spokeswoman said Tuesday that the convertible is on display at the Central Texas Museum of Automotive History, founded by collector Dick Burdick. The auction will take place at the museum in Smithville, located about 35 miles southeast of Austin.

The auction will benefit the LBJ Foundation, which owns the Luxury car. The foundation provides funds to The University of Texas at Austin-the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.


Santorum Campaigning In North Texas Wednesday

Following tonight’s Republican presidential contests, candidate Rick Santorum will bring his campaign to North Texas.

Tomorrow morning Santorum will meet with area pastors in McKinney. Later in the day he’ll meet with Tea Party activists in Allen and hold a campaign rally in Plano.

Shelley Kofler, KERA News

Tests: cocaine in system of woman dead along I-20

Testing has revealed that an East Texas woman whose body was found along Interstate 20 died of a cocaine overdose.

Gregg County authorities on Monday released toxicology results on 39-year-old Melissa Diane Gonzales of Longview. A hitchhiker reported finding the body Jan. 11 near Longview.

The autopsy report says where no were signs of trauma or foul play and that the death, from acute cocaine intoxication, appeared to be accidental.

Investigators are trying to locate anyone who might have seen the woman in the hours before her death.