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Texas Executes Killer & Nightly Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX –

A 44-year-old Texas man has been executed for raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl, despite his attorneys' pleas that he was too mentally impaired to qualify for capital punishment.

Bobby Wayne Woods received lethal injection Thursday evening moments after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt his execution. His lawyers had argued Woods was mentally impaired, making him ineligible for execution, and that previous appeals to spare Woods' life were unsuccessful because of shoddy work by his lawyer at the time.

Woods was convicted of killing Sarah Patterson. She and her 9-year-old brother were snatched from their home near Fort Worth in April 1997. Her brother was beaten and left for dead but survived to testify against Woods.

Unit deploying a month after losing soldiers

Just a month after some of its soldiers were killed or wounded in a mass shooting at Fort Hood, an Army Reserve unit will deploy to Afghanistan as scheduled early Friday.

Three soldiers from the Madison, Wis.-based unit were killed in the Nov. 5 shooting in a building where soldiers must go before deployment.

Fort Hood officials say the unit is ready to go after finishing its mobilization and pre-deployment requirements this week. An Army psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Hasan, has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in connection with the shooting. He remains in a San Antonio military hospital recovering from gunshot wounds that left him paralyzed.

Fort Hood officer says she can't do same job

One of two civilian police officers who brought down the alleged Fort Hood shooter says her wounds from the attack will cut short her career as street police officer.

Sgt. Kimberly Munley says doctors have told her she needs a total knee replacement, but it might wear out sooner if she runs or carries the 15- to 25-pound gear pack required by her job.

Munley told WECT-TV in Wilmington, N.C., her hometown, that she wants to stay in law enforcement and may pursue a career as an instructor.

Munley and another civilian officer in Fort Hood's police force are credited with shooting Maj. Nidal Hasan in the Nov. 5 shooting rampage on the Texas Army post.

Texas environmental agency announces record fines

Texas environmental regulators have issued a record number of fines for polluters in 2009.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Thursday announced it issued 1,756 administrative orders in the fiscal year, the most since the agency began issuing fines in 1985.

Agency Chairman Bryan W. Shaw says the many businesses that were fined are also forced to pay to fix their problems. The TCEQ also takes a lead role in the Texas Environmental Enforcement Task Force to pursue criminal prosecution that led to 17 convictions.

The agency conducted about 107,000 investigations and responded to nearly 5,000 complaints.

SS numbers not needed for Salvation Army gifts

Families signing up their children for The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program in the Houston area will no longer have to give a Social Security number.

Some had seen the practice as a way to check immigration status, but the charity said it was a way to cut down on fraud. The Christian charity says the number could be a child or parent's and was enough to register the entire family.

It was used to check if families were going to various Salvation Army centers and registering at each one, said spokesman Juan Alanis. Social Security numbers were never used to verify legal status, the Salvation Army said Thursday.

The charity accepts consular identification cards, school records and birth certificates as forms of ID, Alanis said.