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'Texas 7' Prison Fugitive Scheduled For Execution

Nick DiFonzo
The Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a member of the ‘Texas 7’ is scheduled for execution; Lance Armstrong hit two cars after partying; a lawmaker is concerned about the Alamo ownership; and more.

A member of a notorious gang that escaped from a Texas prison is scheduled for execution for killing an Irving police officer as the seven fugitives held up a sporting good store more than 14 years ago. Donald Newbury on Wednesday evening would be the third member of the "Texas 7" to be executed since they were hunted down in Colorado six weeks after pulling off the largest prison escape in Texas. The gang broke out of the Connally Unit in South Texas in December 2000. Attorneys for the 52-year-old Newbury have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put off his lethal injection. A 29-year-old Irving police officer, Aubrey Hawkins, was gunned down as the gang robbed the store late on Christmas Eve in 2000. [Associated Press]

In this video, the police chief of Pueblo, Colorado, Luis Velez, talks with the Colorado Springs Gazette about the execution of Newbury. Velez was involved in the 2001 capture of Newbury in Colorado.

  • A new app will help you find parking in Dallas. The city says the ParkMe app will help drivers find and pay for parking. It’s free to download and available on various smartphones, including iOS, Android and Windows. A city press release says: “Features of the app include limited real-time parking availability, direct routing to parking garage entry points, a parking rate calculator helping drivers find the cheapest option, and a timer that alerts drivers when it's time to move their vehicle.” Find the app here.

  • Authorities say disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong hit two parked cars after a night of partying in Aspen but agreed to let his girlfriend take the blame to avoid national attention. Police say they cited Armstrong after the Dec. 28 hit-and-run but only after his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, admitted to lying for him. Police say Hansen told them she had been driving home from a party when she lost control of Armstrong's SUV, hitting the cars. But Hansen eventually told officers Armstrong was driving, and they both decided to let her take the blame. Armstrong declined immediate comment, and his attorney didn't immediately return a call. Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles after admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs to win them all from 1999 to 2005. [Associated Press]

  • A Texas lawmaker wants to make sure Texas maintains control of the Alamo. The Texas Tribune reports: “A legislative proposal by state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, would ban any foreign entity from owning, controlling or managing the Alamo complex. Campbell proposed the Protect the Alamo Act in response to a nomination that could make the San Antonio Missions — including the emblematic Alamo — a World Heritage site in July through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).” But former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson tells the Tribune the Alamo’s ownership has never been at risk. Read more here. [Texas Tribune]

  • When your anatomy says you’re one gender, but early on you know you’re not, what can you do? Where can you go for help? KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports: “Meet a 15-year-old North Texan and her mom who talk about their journey -- and the help they’ve received from a hospital that says it's the only one in the Southwest handling all aspects of treating kids with what’s called gender dysphoria.”
Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.