Thousands Lose Electricity In North Texas Storms | KERA News

Thousands Lose Electricity In North Texas Storms

Storms in Texas have left thousands of homes and businesses without electricity and canceled dozens of flights.

About 7,900 Oncor Electric customers were without power Thursday afternoon as crews worked to restore service. The outages stretch from Sherman to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and into Central Texas.

American Airlines on Thursday canceled 35 flights in and out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Spokeswoman Dori Alvarez says the Fort Worth-based carrier on Wednesday canceled 140 DFW flights.

The National Weather Service says showers and thunderstorms are expected in north and central parts of Texas until Friday.


Retail gasoline prices drop 6 cents across Texas

Retail gasoline prices across Texas have dropped an average 6 cents this week in a slide that began two months ago.

AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price per gallon has settled at $3.38. Gasoline prices nationally also fell 6 cents to reach at average $3.56 per gallon.

AAA says it's the eighth week in a row or declining retail gasoline prices in Texas, where a year ago the cost was $3.59 per gallon.

Amarillo has the least expensive gasoline this week, at $3.31 per gallon. AAA says motorists in El Paso are paying the highest average cost, at $3.57 per gallon.

The association says the decline in gasoline prices continues as global crude oil prices drop in response to economic concerns overseas.


Dallas Police Looking To Finance High-Tech Crime Fighting

The Dallas Police Department is teaming again with Safer Dallas Better Dallas to become a leader in high-tech crime fighting. The non-profit has been raising money for better crime-fighting since 2004.

Police Chief David Brown says the goal is to take a “bundle” of crime-fighting technology into 27 Hot Spots. These neighborhoods are 6% of the geographic area, but 40% of the crime.

Chief Brown says the technology includes cameras that are monitored real-time; plus bait cars and even bait “houses” to catch career burglars and copper thieves.

“We believe this is the future of law enforcement, and we’re on the forefront,” the Chief said at a news conference. “Dallas is on the forefront of deploying this in packages. No other city is trying this.”

It’s expensive: $300,000 per technology package. Chief Brown plans to use some forfeited drug money to jump start the program.

Thursday, he got a $30,000 check from an apartment developer to start fundraising for high-tech crime fighting in the Ross/Bennett area of East Dallas.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Embattled cancer agency changes course on grant

The state's $3 billion cancer research initiative has changed course and will give a scientific review to an already approved project that led to a top agency executive resigning in protest.

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has come under fire over a $20 million award in March to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. It's the largest grant in the agency's history but was reviewed only by a panel that evaluates commercial impact.

Dr. Alfred Gilman, the agency's chief scientific officer, was overruled in his effort to allow another panel to evaluate the project's scientific merit. He now plans to step down in October.

CPRIT announced late Wednesday that the M.D. Anderson project will now get a scientific review before any money is given.


Perry's Dewhurst nod sparks boos at GOP convention

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has provoked boos at the state Republican Convention by repeating his support for U.S. Senate candidate David Dewhurst.

Perry said Thursday that the country needs more conservatives in Washington like his friend Dewhurst, who has been lieutenant governor since 2003.

That drew loud and sustained boos from supporters of Dewhurst's opponent, former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz. The reaction partially drowned out Perry's cries of "Texas works! Texas works!" as he continued his speech.

Dewhurst and Cruz meet in a runoff election July 31 for the Republican nomination to replacing retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Perry also repeatedly applauded the tea party in his convention speech. But many top tea party leaders across Texas and the U.S. are supporting Cruz.