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Another Guilty Verdict In Dallas Corruption Case & Nightly Roundup

By BJ Austin, KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX –

A Dallas federal jury has returned another conviction in the City Hall corruption case. The guilty verdict for Jibreel Rashad was delivered after only two hours of deliberation.

He is the sixth defendant to go to trial in the case involving low income housing developers and cash payments for favorable votes at City Hall.

Five defendants were convicted in October, including former Councilman Don Hill. Sentencing is February 26th. Five others have pled guilty.

Rashad will be sentenced in May. He could get up to 20 years. He is already in prison for mortgage fraud.

Downtown Dallas Street Gets Name Change

Downtown Dallas has a new street: Cesar Chavez Boulevard.

The City Council voted Wednesday to re-name South Central Expressway - the surface street - for the Hispanic migrant farm worker/civil rights leader. Chavez Boulevard will run from Pacific downtown to Grand Avenue in the Fair Park neighborhood.

The vote comes after two failed attempts to re-name Industrial Boulevard and Ross Avenue for Chavez. This time, the vote was unanimous.

American Airlines to charge $50 for coach standby

Next time you think about flying standby on American Airlines, be prepared to give the gate agent your name and $50.

The nation's second-largest airline said Wednesday that starting with tickets bought on Feb. 22, only elite frequent fliers, travelers in first or business class, military personnel and people who bought pricey coach tickets will be allowed to fly standby.

Everyone else switching flights on their day of travel will have to pay $50 to get a confirmed seat.

In announcing the change, Fort Worth, Texas-based American played down the $50 fee. Instead, it said it was improving the boarding process by eliminating the gaggle of would-be standby fliers who flock to the desk before flights.

Perry seeks reimbursement for detained immigrants

Gov. Rick Perry wants the federal government to reimburse Texas for the cost of holding illegal immigrants in state prisons.

Perry said Wednesday that Texas spends $13.5 million each month holding illegal immigrants who are either serving their sentences or awaiting deportation. He also called for programs to speed identification of suspects who enter the country illegally.

Appearing at a campaign stop in Corpus Christi, Perry said there are an estimated 9,000 illegal immigrants in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Perry said he will send a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to request reimbursement.