NPR for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Texas OKs Experimental Stem Cell Therapy Limits


The Texas Medical Board has approved new rules on experimental stem cell therapies such as the one Gov. Rick Perry underwent during back surgery last year.

The rules require patients to give their consent and a review board must approve the procedure before using adult stem cells.

Supporters say establishing formal rules will lead to more medical innovation. Critics warned that the rules don't provide enough protection for patients and could lead to an explosion of doctors promoting unproven, expensive treatments.

Perry had his own stem cells injected into his back.

The Food and Drug Administration hasn't approved using adult stem cells to help people heal from surgery, but experimentation is common. Some scientists tout the possible benefits, including treatment for heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.


Line breaks force drinking water boiling in Kemp

A boil-water advisory has been issued for a Dallas-area town with lingering pipeline problems.

The mayor of Kemp on Friday said multiple leaks led to the safety warning for drinking water.

Donald Kile says both distribution lines have failed since Wednesday. He says the lines are now fixed and the flowing water is safe for bathing, but not drinking.

Kile says testing will determine when the water is safe for consumption and clearance might not come until Tuesday. Bottled water is available at Kemp City Hall.

Kemp last August lost water for a few days because of problems with the same antiquated pipes.

Kile says government funds are being sought to help pay the estimated $2.5 million cost to replace the current system.

Kemp is 40 miles southeast of Dallas.


TABC administrator leaving for equestrian group

The administrator of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is resigning to become executive director of the National Cutting Horse Association.

Alan Steen said Friday he will leave the agency June 1 to head the 20,000-member equestrian organization based in Fort Worth.

Steen's resignation ends a nine-year tenure at the TABC that has included several controversies.

The commission fired two agents and an officer and changed numerous procedures after a 2009 raid at a Fort Worth gay bar, the Rainbow Lounge, resulted in a patron being hospitalized.

The agency also was forced to revise policies for sting operations aimed at catching businesses serving alcohol to minors when an agent was arrested for sexually assaulting a teen working with him.

Steen is a longtime cutting horse breeder and contestant in various competitions.


Burns turns his talents to Dust Bowl days of 1930s

The maker of blockbuster documentaries "The Civil War" and "Baseball" has turned his attention to the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.

Ken Burns tells the Amarillo Globe-News in Friday's editions that he and his producers interviewed 26 survivors in Texas and Oklahoma for "The Dust Bowl," which will air in two parts in November on PBS stations.

Burns, who will visit the two states this weekend to promote the documentary, told the newspaper that watching a survivor of the dust bowl weep over the death of a family member decades ago made him realize that history still strongly affects the living.

He said he hopes the film will bring a face and facts to stories people have grown up only hearing.


UT Southwestern hospital to be named for Clements

The new University Hospital being built for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas will be named for former Gov. Bill Clements.

A UT Southwestern statement Thursday says the new William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital is scheduled to open in late 2014. Clements is being honored for his $100 million gift in 2009 to UT Southwestern, which is the largest single gift in the medical school's 59-year history.

Together with the existing Zale Lipshy University Hospital, the $800 million, 460-bed Clements facility will support the medical school's research, education and training activities.

The new hospital will replace the former St. Paul University Hospital.


Mesquite officer fatally shoots burglary suspect

A police chase that ended in Dallas has led to the fatal shooting of a burglary suspect by a suburban officer.

Mesquite police say the shooting happened early Friday in a neighborhood after a van carrying three men wrecked.

A report of a burglary at an apartment complex led officers to be on the lookout for a van, which was later spotted and chased into Dallas. Investigators say the van crashed into a fence and two suspects were caught.

Mesquite police Lt. Bill Hedgpeth says the third suspect ran down an alley and was pursued by an officer, then the pair struggled.

Hedgpeth says the officer managed to shoot the suspect, who later died at a hospital. The officer suffered minor injuries.

Further details were not immediately available.


Man gets 70 years for slaying near Fort Worth bar

A North Texas man has been sentenced to 70 years in prison over a deadly 2009 fight about a female relative.

A jury in Fort Worth on Thursday sentenced 29-year-old Roberto Sanchez after convicting him of murder.

Authorities say Sanchez fatally stabbed 30-year-old Sergio Gonzalez outside a Fort Worth bar. Officials believe the men were arguing about a woman who is a cousin to Sanchez.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Gonzalez had known the woman for two years and she was with him before deciding to leave the club with Sanchez.

A confrontation broke out between the men. Witnesses say Sanchez later bragged about the killing.