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Perry Accuses EPA of Power Grab & Nightly Roundup


By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – Texas Gov. Rick Perry says an EPA decision to bar the state from issuing an operating permit to a southeast Texas refinery is part of an Obama administration effort to take power away from states.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday barred Texas from issuing an operating permit to the independently owned Flint Hills Corpus Christi East Refinery, saying the state's permit violates the Clean Air Act.

Instead, the EPA plans to issue the refinery a more stringent permit that it says complies with the law.

Al Armendariz, the regional head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, says the EPA also objected to 40 permits late last year largely because they allowed flexible rules for emitting pollutants. He says months of talks failed, so the EPA blocked Texas from issuing its permit.

Armendariz says the EPA will block Texas from issuing permits in 39 other cases, including those for facilities owned by Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Dow Chemical.

Gov. Perry's office said in a statement the Clean Air Act gives permitting authority to the state. The statement said President Barack Obama's administration is making a "concerted effort to transfer power away from the states to the federal government."

Would-Be Downtown Dallas Bomber To Plead Guilty

Hosam Smadi, the Jordanian-born teenager accused of trying to blow up a downtown Dallas skyscraper, is expected to plead guilty in court Wednesday afternoon.

Smadi was arrested last September after FBI undercover agents foiled the attempted bombing of Fountain Place at Ross and Field.

Smadi's online postings about Jihad attracted attention of the FBI. Undercover agents supplied him with a bomb that was a dud. Smadi was arrested after he drove a car containing the bomb into the Fountain Place parking garage, then tried to detonate it by cellphone from a safe distance.

He is expected to plead guilty to one count of use of a weapon of mass destruction, and could face up to 30 years in prison.

Dallas County Commissioners Want to Cut A Deal

A proposal from County Commissioners to embattled Dallas County Constable Derick Evans essentially takes the heat off Evans.

In a memo believed to be the authorized settlement from the County, Evans denies any wrongdoing, will be reimbursed for the higher-priced "surety bond" Commissioners made him purchase, and the County leaders say they look forward to a strong, positive relationship going forward.

Evans would agree to work with a new towing contractor in his precinct, and refrain from raising re-election money through raffles, or by using his employees.

A source close to Evans says the Constable may not accept the deal.
For months, Evans, and Constable Jaime Cortes, in another precinct, have been accused by Commissioners of possible illegal actions on the job. Evans recently won his re-election bid. Cortes lost.

Large Group of Dallas Officers Disciplined

19 Dallas Police officers are being disciplined for violating the city's chase policy. Two of them are getting demoted. Others get suspensions and written reprimands.

The officers chased a vehicle taken in an aggravated robbery. The Dallas Police Department chase policy is one of the most restrictive among big cities. Police may only pursue give chase at high speed if a violent felony is involved.

Guilty in Garland

A 58 year old Garland man faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

Investigators say William McBurney tossed a computer with more than a quarter-MILLION images of child pornography in a church dumpster. It was found by an employee who turned it over to Garland Police.

Evidence found at McBurney's home led police to an offsite storage facility where police found more child porn. McBurney told agents he had been viewing child pornography for years, and was downloading images when police knocked on his door. He will be sentenced in August.