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Dallas County Declares West Nile Emergency

Sean McCann
(cc) flickr

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has declared a state of emergency as cases of West Nile virus escalate.

The judge has instructed the county’s director of Emergency Management to file a disaster declaration with the state. That would provide more spray trucks and pesticide to combat infected mosquitoes.

Dallas County now reports 175 cases and nine deaths. Tarrant, Denton, and Ellis counties each report one death from the mosquito-transmitted illness.

This afternoon, Judge Jenkins meets with local, state, and federal officials to talk about battling mosquitoes and the fast-spreading virus. Representatives from the Dallas County Medical Society, which advocates immediate aerial spraying, will also be included.

The group is to hold a news conference at 3:00 this afternoon.

BJ Austin, KERA News

AWOL soldier gets life term for Fort Hood plot

An AWOL soldier convicted of planning to blow up a restaurant full of Fort Hood troops has been sentenced to life in prison by a federal judge in Texas.

Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo received the punishment Friday in Waco.

Abdo told authorities he planned to make bombs as part of a "massive attack" against Fort Hood soldiers last year. He was convicted in May on six federal charges, including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

The 22-year-old represented himself at the sentencing.

Abdo was AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., when he was arrested with bomb-making materials last summer at a Fort Hood-area motel.


Penney records bigger-than-expected loss in 2Q

J.C. Penney Co. is reporting a bigger-than-expected loss and plummeting sales, as its customers continue to be turned off by a new pricing plan that gets rid of hundreds of sales in favor of every day lower prices.

It also withdrew its profit guidance for the year.

The department store, based in Plano, Texas, says that it lost $147 million, or 67 cents per share, in the quarter ended July 28. That compares with a profit of 14 million, or 7 cents per share.

Sales tumbled almost 23 percent to $3.02 billion. Revenue at stores opened at least a year fell 21.7 fell, worse than 18.9 percent drop in the first quarter.

Analysts had expected only a 26 cent loss on revenue of $3.2 billion.


Armstrong doping case in federal court

Lance Armstrong's fight with U.S. anti-doping officials is going before a federal judge in Austin, Texas.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says Armstrong used steroids and blood boosters to win the Tour de France from 1999-2005. He faces a lifetime ban from the sport and could be stripped of his titles if found guilty.

Armstrong denies doping and is suing to block the case. His lawyers will argue in court Friday that the doping agency's investigation and arbitration process are unfair and violate his constitutional rights.

Armstrong also says the International Cycling Union should have jurisdiction.


Thomas Nelson cancels 'The Jefferson Lies'

Nashville-based Thomas Nelson Publishers has ceased publication of a best-selling book about Thomas Jefferson by evangelical writer David Barton over historical errors.

The company said in a statement that they had received several complaints about "The Jefferson Lies," which was published in April. The company said that historical details included in the book were not adequately supported.

Barton is president of WallBuilders, an Aledo, Texas-based conservative group. Barton told The Tennessean that he stands by his book and said he was surprised by Thomas Nelson's decision because the publisher never mentioned any concerns.

Critics have said Barton's book contains factually untrue statements about Jefferson, and some ministers called on Nelson to cancel the book.