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Contractor Cited In Cowboys Stadium Incident & Nightly Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – Federal workplace safety watchdogs are citing a contractor for the fall of two of its workers at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

The two workers slid 260 feet down the stadium's frost-covered roof before landing in a rain gutter while performing maintenance on a cold Dec. 3 morning.

One worker lost consciousness after breaking a leg and incurring head and chest injuries. The other worker suffered a back injury.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration accuses Birdair Inc. of Amherst, N.Y. of one willful and one serious violation of OSHA safety standards. Birdair has 15 days to comply with the penalties, request an informal conference with OSHA or to contest the citations to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review commission.

Birdair general counsel Karen Matthews says Birdair will contest the citations.

Appeals court hears Texas creationism case

The former director of the science program for Texas public schools asks a federal appeals court to revive a lawsuit claiming she was fired after a dispute over creationism.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard arguments Monday in Christina Castillo Comer's lawsuit against the head of the Texas Education Agency. A lower court dismissed her claims last year.

Comer says she was disciplined in 2007 after forwarding an e-mail about a presentation by a philosophy professor regarded as an opponent of teaching creationism in schools.

The agency says Comer violated her employer's "neutrality" policy by airing her personal opposition to creationism. Comer claims the agency has an unwritten, unconstitutional policy of treating creationism as science.

Dallas paper wins online news award

The Dallas Morning News has won the Headliner Foundation's first Charles E. Green Award for Best Online Package among the state's daily newspapers and television and radio stations.

The package titled "A Tour Of The Invisible City," was submitted by Rob Robberson, Jennifer Chamberlain, Tom Setzer and Layne Smith. The package focused on the economic and quality-of-life disparities between northern and southern Dallas.

Finishing second was "The Economy Project" by KERA Radio of Dallas-Fort Worth and third was "Fatal Funnel" by Gabe Semenza, Bill Clough, Robert Zavala, Julie Zavala, T.C. Baker of the Victoria Advocate.

The competition was among the division winners of the best online package category in the annual Texas Associated Press Managing Editors' newspaper contest and Texas AP Broadcasters contest.

The other division winners were "Houston Snow" by the staff of KHOU in Houston; "Twilight: New Moon" by John Bumgardner of KEYE in Austin; "Olsen Trial Blog" by Steve Fullhart of KBTX of Bryan-College Station; and "Texas City Disater" by T.J. Aulds, Greg Mefford and Israel Thompson of the Galveston County Daily News.