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Irving Man Charged In Slaying Of Teen

Texas police say they have arrested a man in the death of a 16-year-old girl who was expected to testify against him in an upcoming sexual assault trial.

Police in Carrollton say 30-year-old Franklin Davis, of Irving, was charged with capital murder Sunday after confessing to killing Shania Gray.

The teen disappeared Thursday, and her body was found Saturday in a secluded area near the Trinity River.

Police say Gray once babysat for Davis' children.

A family spokeswoman says Gray told her grandfather Davis raped her.

He was charged with four counts of sexual assault of a child, and a trial was scheduled next month.

Davis is being held in Dallas County jail on $2 million bond.


AA Flight Attendants Line Up To Take Early Out

More than 900 American Airlines flight attendants are taking the Voluntary Early Out Program, which includes a $40,000 bonus for leaving early.

A hotline message Sunday to members of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said meetings on the Early Out Program have been standing room only.

Flight attendants may request a date for their departure, but the final decision rests with the airlines.

BJ Austin, KERA News

County Health Departments Gear Up For Flu Season

While North Texas public health departments remain busy with mosquito spraying and the battle against West Nile virus, they’re also gearing up for flu season.

Dallas County Health and Human Services is now offering flu shots. Officials say this season is expected to be similar to last year, and the vaccine will include the H1N1 virus.

At Dallas County clinics the adult vaccine is $20. It’s free to Medicare patients.

Tarrant County Public Health plans a news conference on flu shots later this week.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Tarrant To Spray For Mosquitoes Monday Night

Tarrant County will ground spray for mosquitoes tonight in all unincorporated areas of Precincts 1-4. Those are areas around Benbrook, Redon, Alliance and Eagle Mountain Lake.

Tarrant County reports five deaths and 250 human cases of West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.

BJ Austin, KERA News

New Emergency-Trauma Center Slated for Dallas

Methodist Medical Center in Oak Cliff is choosing tomorrow – 9/11 -- to break ground on a new emergency and trauma center.

It’s a $108 million, six-story tower that will consolidate emergency and critical care in one central location on the hospital campus.

Dallas public safety and elected officials will attend the ground breaking.

Lyndsay Knecht, KERA News

UT Nets Grant For Engineering Center

The University of Texas is getting an $18.5 million federal grant for a new engineering research center that will focus on turning advances in nanoscience into innovations.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the National Science Foundation announced the grant Monday. It will be paid during the next five years, with $13.5 million staying at UT and about $5 million to be split about evenly between its two academic partners, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of New Mexico.

Roger Bonnecaze, chairman of UT's chemical engineering department, says the goal is to spin off startup companies that will create jobs, fuel economic growth and build Austin's reputation for high-tech innovation.

The center will be known as Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies, or NASCENT.


Perry: A&M's Move to SEC Good for Aggies, State

Gov. Rick Perry says Texas A&M's move to the Southeastern Conference is good for the school and the state of Texas.

The A&M graduate is on an economic development trip to Italy. But he said by phone Monday that he watched the end of the Aggies' loss to Florida on Saturday via Internet.

Perry joked that he "probably should have watched the first half" since Florida rallied to win 20-17, spoiling A&M's SEC debut.

He added that the SEC is a "league that plays amazingly high-quality football."

Perry also attended Sunday's Italian Formula Grand Prix ahead of the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin in November.

He said "we think of Texas being a die-hard football state" but that he saw an Italian crowd with "the same intensity for this sport."


City's Landfill System Needs Major Work, Says Audit

The Dallas landfill may be good at handling trash --- but cash is another matter, according to a new city audit.

The report released this week says it’s likely the landfill has lost about a million dollars over the past ten years because of lax controls over trucks coming in and out and how much they’re actually dumping.

It also says the cash the landfill collects is not properly protected.  Auditors found unlocked cash drawers, bank deposit bags left unattended, and an inadequate camera surveillance system.

City officials agree with audit recommendations, and say they’ve already begun corrections.

Official audit

BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas Officer Dies In Gun Cleaning Accident

Dallas Police Chief David Brown announced death of Officer Christopher Pasley on Monday:

It is with great sadness that I report to you the passing of Officer Christopher Pasley, #9047.  Officer Pasley died as a result of an apparent accidental discharge while cleaning his weapon at home today.  Officer Pasley was assigned to the Central Patrol Division and has been with the Dallas Police Department since January 10, 2007. The Department’s Employee Relations Team has been activated to coordinate assistance to the family during this traumatic time.  I request the citizens of Dallas keep Officer Pasley and his family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. 

BJ Austin, KERA News