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Gov. Perry Signs Eminent Domain Bill & Nightly Roundup

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By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX –

Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill today that asks voters to amend the state constitution by limiting government's ability to take private property using eminent domain authority. If approved in November, the constitutional amendment would prohibit government officials from taking property and giving it to a private developer to boost the tax base.

Shelter Violations Uncovered

A state investigation has found more than a dozen fire code violations at the East Texas homeless shelter where five men died in a massive blaze early this year. Thirty men were sleeping in makeshift cubicles when the Christians in Action shelter in Paris caught on fire in the early morning hours of Jan. 5.

Bell Helicopter Strike

Manufacturing workers at Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. picketed the company's Fort Worth-area plants today their first day on strike in more than two decades. Local United Auto Workers members are protesting proposed increases in medical costs and plans to outsource the work of janitors.

Exxon Ordered To Pay Millions

Exxon Mobil Corp. has been ordered to pay $507.5 million in punitive damages to Alaska natives, fishermen, business owners and others harmed by the massive 1989 oil spill off Alaska. The ruling by 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco today also awards interest payments at 5.9 percent to plaintiffs.