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Gov. Perry Accepts Debate Invitation & Nightly Roundup


By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX –

Gov. Rick Perry has accepted invitations to participate in the first two debates for next year's Republican gubernatorial nomination. Perry's seeking an unprecedented third term as Texas governor against a likely primary challenge from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

He accepted the invitation Tuesday and challenged Hutchison to join him in the debate.

Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner says the governor invites Hutchison to, in his words, "dispel concerns that her sixteen years in Washington have left her out of touch with the issues facing everyday Texans."

Hutchison campaign spokesman Jeff Sedosky wouldn't commit to the debate but said Hutchison "looks forward to debating the issues with Rick Perry and plans to do so repeatedly over the next seven months."

In a brief statement, Sedosky attacked Perry's record on issues such as border security and federal stimulus spending.

Texas starvation case to proceed to grand jury

A judge is sending to a Dallas County grand jury the case of a mother accused of keeping her three children starving in a hotel bathroom for at least nine months.

State District Judge Terrie McVea ruled during an examining trial that there was probable cause for a grand jury to consider indicting Abneris Santiago. A grand jury will likely get the case this month.

The 30-year-old mother is charged with one count of injury to a child. Police and a relative found Santiago's three children shut inside a hotel bathroom last month. The 11-year-old girl and her 10- and 5-year-old half brothers were emaciated and filthy, requiring hospitalization for 10 days.

The doctor who examined them said the children appeared to have been starved and that their condition was life-threatening. The 11-year-old said she had been sexually assaulted, and the eldest son was covered in bruises from a beating authorities said was delivered by his mother's boyfriend.

The mother's boyfriend, 37-year-old Alfred Santiago, faces charges of aggravated sexual assault and continuous sexual abuse.

DOT says fewer flights on-time in June

The Department of Transportation says U.S. airlines had more late flights in June than in May.

The 19 airlines that report monthly on-time data also had more delayed flights during the month than the same time a year ago. DOT reported Tuesday that, among legacy carriers, Houston-based Continental Airlines reported the fewest delays; Fort Worth-based American Airlines posted the worst on-time performance.

The most frequent causes for flight delays included airport congestion, equipment problems and weather.

Reports of mishandled baggage fell 20 percent in June from a year ago, DOT said, but there were more complaints in June than in May. AirTran had the fewest complaints; Fort Worth-based American Eagle Airlines, an American Airlines sibling had the most.

RadioShack changing name to "The Shack"

RadioShack Corp. on Thursday gets a new nickname: "The Shack."

The Fort Worth-based electronics retailer says customers, associates and investors have long referred to the company as The Shack. Chief marketing officer Lee Applbaum says the company "decided to embrace that fact and share it with the world."

RadioShack in July announced the addition of T-Mobile to its lineup of wireless carriers in about 4,000 stores. The company also is joining seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, of Austin, to sponsor his new American Pro-Tour cycling team and work on his fight against cancer.

Armstrong, who finished third in this year's Tour, is a cancer survivor.

About 100 seek Galveston hurricane evacuation help

Galveston is trying a new bar code registration system to help track people who evacuate if another storm like Hurricane Ike threatens the island. Sept. 13 is the first anniversary of Ike.

The Galveston County Daily News reports only about 100 people have registered for transportation inland. Nearly 2,000 people required evacuation help during Ike.

Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas says it's very important that Galveston citizens who have special needs sign up now.

Galveston is using a tracking system supplied by the state. Each evacuee will get a wristband with a bar code, for scanning on a bus and at a shelter. The tracking system, with help from preregistered information, is an updated program being used by cities in Galveston County for the first time since Ike.

People who register don't have to leave on buses if they change their minds or decide to evacuate with friends or family.