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Southwest Faces Deadline To Replace Parts & Nightly Roundup


By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX –

Southwest Airlines faces a deadline of tomorrow for settling a dispute with regulators over use of unapproved parts.

Dallas-based Southwest today said the "perfectly safe" parts were installed on almost twice as many planes as it first believed -- at 82 planes, instead of just 46 jets. The airline also has suspended a maintenance firm -- D-Velco -- which got the parts from a subcontractor.

Southwest says it has replaced the unapproved parts in more than 25 planes -- but needs more time to find parts for the remaining jets.

Without an extension, the Federal Aviation Administration could force Southwest to ground some planes.

FAA officials have said the unapproved parts - designed to push hot engine exhaust away from the wings - didn't pose an immediate safety hazard. The feds on Aug. 22 gave Southwest 10 days to fix the problem.

14-year-old leads officers in wrong-way chase

A 14-year-old boy has been taken to a hospital with minor injuries after he led officers on a wrong-way chase in a sport utility vehicle.

Chief Deputy John Garrett, a spokesman for Precinct 1 Constable, says a cruiser spotted the Mitsubishi Montero speeding in a school zone just before 9 a.m. Monday.

The boy took off east in the westbound lane when he saw the law, eventually crashing into a parked car. Garrett says three constables then chased the boy on foot before catching him.

The boy sustained a cut lip and will be charged with evading arrest at the least.

Kimbrough rejoins A&M as special adviser

Jay Kimbrough, an ex-chief of staff to Gov. Rick Perry, has been hired as a special adviser to Texas A&M System regents.

The Eagle in Bryan-College Station reports Kimbrough will earn $260,000 annually as he rejoins the university system. Kimbrough says he was hired "to help foster and enhance the mission of the university."

Kimbrough in 2006 was hired as deputy general counsel, eventually adding duties of deputy chancellor of the Texas A&M System for a $300,000 annual salary.

Kimbrough last October was selected by Perry to lead his staff, going into the 2009 legislative session. The attorney left Perry's staff in July.

Perry in 2007 named Kimbrough as conservator of the Texas Youth Commission. Kimbrough is also a former executive director of the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Bell, security guards union reach contract deal

Bell Helicopter has reached a new contract with the union representing security guards and firefighters at its Dallas-Fort Worth-area plants.

Bell says members of the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America Local 256 ratified the three-year contract Sunday. The union represents about 60 workers at Bell's DFW plants.

The deal was the fourth and last labor contract Bell negotiated this year. The others that went smoothly were with unions representing office workers and engineering workers.

That wasn't the case for a union representing 2,500 manufacturing workers, which went on strike for nearly six weeks. United Auto Workers Local 218 members finally ratified a four-year contract in July after several failed talks with Bell.

Fort Worth-based Bell Helicopter is a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc.

Beaumont company recalls red pepper

A salmonella scare is prompting a Beaumont-based coffee and spice packager into a red pepper recall.

The Texas Coffee Co. is recalling 3- and 8-ounce packages of Texjoy red pepper because of potential contamination by salmonella bacteria. Infection can cause flulike symptoms in otherwise-healthy people and death in young children, frail or elderly people and those with compromised immune systems.

The recalled spice was sold in retailers in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. The clear plastic packages bear lot numbers A29A07A2012, A28A07A2012 and A30A07A2012.

A Texas Coffee statement issued Monday says it received word of the potential contamination from its supplier. The statement says no illnesses relating to the product have been reported so far. The company says consumers can return pepper covered by the recall to their retailer for a refund. Questions can be directed to 1-800-259-3400.