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Feds To Announce Arrest In East Texas & Midday Roundup


By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – Federal authorities who have been investigating a series of explosive devices found in East Texas say they've made an arrest.

A federal official declined to provide details on the Wednesday afternoon announcement in Tyler, but a news release said there was an arrest in a "significant matter."

The U.S. Attorney's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and other law enforcement agencies were to be on hand.

Officials have said at least 14 devices have been found, including five reported pipe bombs. No one has been injured. ATF officials have said they believe most of the incidents are related.

Rebate program begins for Texas appliances

Texans have a new incentive to buy energy-efficient appliances.

The state began accepting rebate reservations Wednesday for the Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program, to purchase select Energy Star appliances. Texas is using $20 million in federal stimulus funds. The program is restricted to replacement of existing appliances.

An online reservation system was temporarily unavailable several hours after the program began Wednesday, amid high response from the public. Some consumers complained of not being able to get through on phone lines.

The state comptroller's office says eligible purchases, starting April 16, include refrigerators, freezers, room air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, central air conditioners, air-source heat pumps and hot water heaters.

Texans can request to be on the rebate waiting list once reservations have closed.

Dallas Opera appoints new general director

The Dallas Opera has appointed a new director. The Dallas Opera said Wednesday that 47-year-old Keith Cerny, chief executive of the Internet-based sheet music company Sheet Music Plus, will assume the post on May 24.

John T. Cody Jr. had been interim general director for the past year since the resignation of George Steel, who was director for about three before leaving to lead the New York City Opera.

Opera President Kern Wildenthal says Cerny's accomplishments as executive director and chief financial officer of the San Francisco Opera proved his ability to lead a major opera company. Cerny was at the San Francisco Opera from 2004 to 2007.

The opera moved into the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House last fall.

Katrina-displaced students make gains in Texas

Students displaced by 2005's Hurricane Katrina are making academic gains in Texas schools.

The Texas Education Agency has released results of a study that tracked the progress of Katrina students.

Katrina devastated coastal states in August 2005, sending more than 46,000 young evacuees from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida into Texas public schools.

TEA reported Tuesday that the children who were studied performed slightly better than their Texas peers in the same demographic groups. When compared with all Texas students, the Katrina students perform as well or better than the Texans on reading performance.

The gap in mathematic performance narrowed substantially.