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AMR Unions Plan To Back Takeover Bid By US Airways

Andrew Morrell

Unions at American Airlines plan to support a potential takeover offer by rival US Airways, according to two people familiar with the situation.

The unions believe that combining with US Airways would give American the best chance to grow and preserve jobs, said the two, who spoke on condition that they not be identified because no decision has been announced.

An announcement from the unions is possible as early as Friday morning, they said.

A spokesman for American, which is based in Fort Worth, says that the company is focused on its own plan to reorganize under bankruptcy protection, which he calls the best option for the airline's 73,000 employees.

US Airways, based in Tempe, Ariz., declined to comment.


Warrant Issued In Burned Puppy Case

Dallas Police know who they’re looking for in the case of a puppy set on fire earlier this month.

An arrest warrant has been issued for 18 year old Darius Ewing. Police believe he was the one who doused the puppy with lighter fluid and set it on fire. Anyone with information about Ewing is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.

The four month old pup, later named Justice, lived for more than a week.

Police say they are still working to determine if there were more witnesses to the crime at an apartment complex on Masters Road.

A 25 thousand dollar reward is being offered by the SPCA and other groups. A vigil for Justice is set for Friday night outside Dallas City Hall.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Texas Average Gas Price Drops 3 Cents

A survey finds that retail gasoline prices across Texas have slipped for the second week in a row.

 AAA Texas on Thursday reported that the average price per gallon at the pump declined 3 cents, to settle at $3.80. The association says gas prices nationwide are down 2 cents, to reach $3.89 per gallon.

Houston has the state's most expensive retail gasoline this week, at $3.86 a gallon.

AAA says the cheapest gasoline in Texas can be found in Amarillo, at $3.57 per gallon.


Texas comparing California prison cellphone rules

Texas prison officials are evaluating a California plan to curb calls on smuggled devices by having cellphone towers at units.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the system blocks certain calls, texts and online access. Administrators at each prison would manage the tower and only allow calls based on approved phone numbers.

Federal law prohibits jamming of calls.

Jason Clark with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Wednesday that the agency is working with contractor Century Link. The company operates pay phones in Texas prisons.

Clark says Texas corrections employees last year confiscated more than 900 unauthorized cellphones. That compares to nearly 1,500 smuggled phones seized three years ago. Texas authorities attribute the decline to security upgrades.

California expects to begin operating the new system this fall.


Armed Forces Bowl set for Dec. 29 in Fort Worth

Organizers say the Armed Forces Bowl will be placed Dec. 29 in Fort Worth after two years in Dallas.

Bowl officials on Thursday announced the game will return to TCU's Amon G. Carter Stadium, which has undergone $143 million in renovations. The stadium overhaul began following the 2010 football season.

The previous two Armed Forces Bowl games were played at Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University.

Fort Worth-based Bell Helicopter-Textron sponsors the military-themed bowl.


Texas math standards aim to exceed national ones

Texas' top education official says the state should hammer out new K-12 math curriculum standards that are better than national requirements adopted almost everywhere in th e country - or delay approving anything until it can.

The new, 10-year requirements are up for final passage by the State Board of Education on Friday.

But Education Commissioner Robert Scott said Thursday that making the final product better than national math standards adopted in 45 states is more important than meeting the deadline.

He said if the standards aren't better, the board should call a special meeting to finish the job in May.

Business leaders have complained Texas' proposed standards aren't strenuous enough.

Some education groups support them, but others worry teachers and students are being asked to do too much, too fast.


Perry backs Dewhurst for US Senate bid

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he's supporting Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.

Perry made his remarks Wednesday in an interview with Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT, and Dewhurst's campaign is starting to promote the key endorsement.

Running against Dewhurst are former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz and former college and NFL football player Craig James.

In the interview, Perry said Dewhurst has been a loyal supporter of his and he in turn is supporting Dewhurst's Senate bid.

Dewhurst has been lieutenant governor since 2003.


Nurse accused in fatal baby abduction in court

A nurse accused of fatally shooting a new mother and speeding away with the dying woman's infant son has quietly told a Texas judge that she understands she's facing capital murder charges.

Verna McClain made a brief court appearance Thursday. She's accused of shooting 28-year-old Kala Golden in the parking lot of a suburban Houston pediatric clinic and snatching Golden's 3-day-old son. The infant was later found safe.

The judge delayed McClain's bond hearing until Monday to give her court-appointed attorneys more time. She's being held without bond until then.

Handcuffed and wearing a pink and white striped prison uniform, McClain spoke softly and looked down during the brief hearing.

Investigators say the 30-year-old McClain had suffered a miscarriage and was reportedly desperate to find a child.