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Expert: Voter IDs In Texas Won't Affect Turnout

Michael Galkovsky / (cc) flickr

An expert testifying for the state of Texas says new voter identification requirements would not affect voter turnout.

Daron Shaw, a University of Texas professor and political science expert, told a federal court in Washington on Wednesday that there's also no evidence a 2011 law passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature would disproportionately impact one race over another.

Lawyers for the Justice Department and other intervening groups are seeking to discredit Shaw's testimony, noting methodological concerns and that he worked for both of President George W. Bush's presidential campaigns.

A federal court is hearing arguments about Texas' controversial voter ID law, which has yet to be implemented. The Justice Department blocked the measure in March under the federal Voting Rights Act, but Texas sued bringing the two sides to Washington.


Man killed, wife wounded at Highland Park home

Police say a man has been fatally stabbed and his wife wounded in an incident at their house in a wealthy Dallas enclave.

Highland Park police Sgt. Lance Koppa says no suspects are being sought in the stabbings early Wednesday. Koppa says the couple's 16-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter were home at the time and were not hurt.

Koppa says police are trying to figure out how the incident started and who had what role. He says police are examining some knives recovered at the home.

A coroner identified the man who died as 50-year-old John Rodman Steele. Koppa says 48-year-old Dina Steele is hospitalized in stable condition and she has cooperated with police.

The couple's children have been placed with a relative.


Federal lawsuit alleges sex discrimination

The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit alleging that two Texas agencies are liable for three employees at the now defunct Texas Department of Rural Affairs being discriminated against because they were women.

The Justice Department says the Texas Department of Agriculture and Texas General Land Office assumed responsibility for the now defunct agency.

The lawsuit filed in Texas Wednesday says the three women were paid significantly less than their male colleagues at the Texas Department of Rural Affairs for performing substantially the same work. It says the women were retaliated against by losing their jobs as a result of their claims.

The complaint seeks monetary damages.

A land office spokesman says they do not comment on pending litigation. A message left with the agriculture department was not immediately returned.


DNA leads to charge in 1994 North Texas killing

Investigators say DNA evidence has led a convicted sex offender to be accused of a 1994 North Texas slaying.

Baylor County Sheriff Bob Elliott said Wednesday that 50-year-old Jack Wesley Melton of Paris, Texas, was arrested May 9 for parole violation.

Elliott says routine DNA tests linked Melton to the October 1994 shooting of 69-year-old Florence Kate Martin at her home near Mabelle. Elliott says Martin apparently was a random victim.

The Wichita Falls Times Record News reports Melton in 1988 was sentenced to 30 years for burglary of a habitation with intent to commit another felony. He was paroled in 1991. Details on his sex offender record weren't immediately available.

Bond has been set at $500,000 for Melton. His attorney did not immediately return a message Wednesday.


Romney draws boos from NAACP when he dings Obama

Republican Mitt Romney is telling black voters that he's a better choice than President Barack Obama to help build their neighborhoods and lessen unemployment among African Americans.

But Romney was greeted with boos from attendees at the NAACP's annual meeting Wednesday in Houston when he pledged to repeal "Obamacare." That's the name Republicans have given the health care overhaul that was passed by Democrats and recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Romney said he wouldn't be running for president if he didn't think he could do a better job than Obama, the nation's first black president.

But Romney is unlikely to win the black vote. Some 95 percent of black voters backed Obama in 2008.

Romney was heckled at another point in the speech when he criticized Obama.