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Court Chastens Texas In Voter ID Case

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A federal court has warned Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to turnover evidence in the Voter ID case or the law will not be in effect by November.

In a sternly-worded order released late Monday, a three-judge panel in Washington said that if Texas doesn't turn-over key evidence in 48 hours, the July trial will be delayed further. Federal attorneys have repeatedly complained Abbott's staff have used legal maneuvers to avoid turning over important documents and keeping lawmakers from testifying.

The judges are trying to decide if the Voter ID law complies with the Voting Rights Act, which bans some states with a history or racial discrimination from passing new election laws without federal approval. The Texas law requires voters to show a government-issued photo ID.


Teen, boyfriend arrested in fatal Dallas shooting

Police have charged a 16-year-old girl and her boyfriend with capital murder in the fatal shooting of a grandfather who was protecting his family from masked intruders in his Dallas home.

Dallas police Lt. David Pughes said the girl and 17-year-old Jose Alfaro were arrested after a brief standoff at a Dallas home Monday night. Police aren't identifying the girl, who has been charged as a juvenile. Alfaro faces adult charges.

Pughes says police don't know the motive. He said the girl and a granddaughter of the victim, 66-year-old Lorenzo Moreno, were friends who had fallen out. Police are seeking four other suspects in the Sunday shooting.

Alfaro is being held in the Dallas County jail on $1 million bond. There is no attorney listed in online jail records.


Democratic Texas Senators question Medicaid cuts

Democratic state senators are questioning whether cuts in Medicaid could lead to a shortage of doctors willing to treat the poor, elderly and disabled.

El Paso Sen. Jose Rodriguez said Tuesday that he'd heard complaints from health care providers that cuts in reimbursement rates were forcing them to cut back on patients. He said he was worried have enough doctors available for the health care program for the poor and disabled.

State Medicaid Director Billy Millwee said that so far, the data his agency has collected shows no impact on the availability of doctors. But he did acknowledge that taking $500 million out of the health care economy did lead to complaints from the industry.

The senators are reviewing more than $3.1 billion in cuts to the Medicaid program.


BPI closing 3 plants, blaming 'pink slime' uproar

A South Dakota beef company says it plans to close processing plants in three states because of the controversy surrounding a product that critics have dubbed "pink slime."

Beef Products Inc. spokesman Rich Jochum said Monday that 650 jobs will be lost when it closes its plants in Amarillo, Texas; Garden City, Kansas; and Waterloo Iowa. The closures will be effective May 25.

A plant in South Sioux City, Neb., will remain open.

The company blames what it calls unfounded attacks over a product that it calls "lean, finely textured beef." In the process, bits of beef are heated and treated with a small amount of ammonia.

Beef Products is based in Dakota Dunes, S.D.