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Residents On Both Sides of Spraying Debate Plead With Judge

Sean McCann
(cc) flickr

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins expects a majority of cities north of I-30 will sign on to aerial spraying for mosquitoes – the carriers of West Nile virus.

At today’s County Commissioners meeting, the Judge heard from Dallas County residents for and against aerial spraying.

Brandon Pollard is an East Dallas beekeeper.  He says ground spraying has already hurt his hives, and aerial spraying could be devastating.

“Judge Jenkins I will tell you that my bees are in a state of emergency.  My bees are dying. This is my business.  My bees are pollinating the food that goes onto every one of these people’s tables," he said.

But an emotional Gretchen Brasch, hospitalized three weeks ago with West Nile, said people need the aerial spraying.

“If you examine the risks, I think Judge Jenkins has made a good recommendation on this. So, please just think about the people," she said. "Look at the people more than anything else on this.”

Judge Jenkins says cities have until 5 p.m. tomorrow to approve aerial spraying.  The judge expects the first of two spraying runs to happen Friday night.

The Clarke-made adulticide Duet is the substance that will be sprayed. View a factsheet here.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Chief: Gunman in Texas shootout killed by officers

Authorities say the gunman in a deadly shootout near Texas A&M University was fatally wounded by officers who responded to reports of gunfire.

College Station police Chief Jeff Capps said Tuesday that 35-year-old Thomas Alton Caffall III had "long guns and pistols" in his home when Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann showed up to deliver an eviction notice Monday.

Capps says Bachmann was fatally wounded as he approached Caffall's rental home. A bystander, College Station resident Chris Northcliff, also died in the shootout. Police confirmed his age as 51 on Tuesday.

Police did not say whose gunfire hit the other victims.

Capps says he had no other details on the weapons found in Caffall's home.

He said he wasn't aware of any previous law enforcement contact with the gunman.


Judge refuses to further delay Fort Hood trial

A military judge has refused to again delay the trial of an Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage.

Col. Gregory Gross decided at a pretrial hearing Tuesday that the court-martial of Maj. Nidal Hasan should begin with jury selection as scheduled on Monday.

Gross previously delayed the trial from March to June and then to August.

Hasan's attorneys had argued that they needed more time to look through 26 boxes of documents, including some of his medical records and jail logs.

Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 attack at the Texas Army post.

He faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted.


Texas lawmakers hold tobacco manufacturing hearing

Texas lawmakers will hear testimony on how much revenue the state gets from tobacco-related manufacturers - and whether to make changes to increase it.

A 1998 settlement with the nation's leading tobacco companies resulted in billions of dollars for Texas. The state has used some of the money to pay for the Children's Health Insurance Program and various anti-smoking efforts.

On Tuesday, the Texas House Ways and Means Committee will hear about tobacco manufacturers that participated in that settlement and about differences with those that didn't.

The committee also plans to evaluate whether any changes are needed to increase tobacco-related revenue.