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Hundreds Mourn Slain Texas Pastor & Nightly Roundup

By BJ Austin, KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – About 1,500 mourners gathered Wednesday at a funeral service in Arlington for the Rev. Clint Dobson.

Those who spoke at the emotional service said his life should be celebrated because of his tremendous impact - even though he was just 28 when he died.

He had been pastor for about three years of NorthPointe Baptist Church, a satellite church of First Baptist Church of Arlington.

Police have arrested 24-year-old Steven Lawayne Nelson and 19-year-old Anthony Gregory Springs. Both are jailed in Arlington on capital murder and attempted capital murder charges.

A NorthPointe Baptist Church assistant was severely beaten and robbed in the March 3 crime.

Dallas Settles Green Cement Lawsuit

The city of Dallas settled a lawsuit over "green cement" today.

Ash Grove Cement Company sued over the Dallas policy to buy only so-called green cement made in "dry" kilns. Ash Grove's plant in Midlothian is a "wet" kiln operation, which produces more pollution.

Clean Air advocate Jim Schermbeck says environmentalists agreed to a settlement that requires Ash Grove to upgrade pollution technology.

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Schermbeck: It really is a better outcome tied to the progress of technology in the cement industry, and doesn't allow them a perpetual get-out-of-jail-free-card because their technology is obsolete and nobody builds "wet" kilns anymore.

In the short term, the settlement requires a 10%, year-round reduction of emissions at Ash Grove's Midlothian plant. In the long term, Ash Grove will be required to install new, cleaner technology.

Arlington was also part of the lawsuit, and must vote on the settlement. Ash Grove says comment is premature.

Former speaker falls during hearing

Former Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick fell and hit his head while giving testimony on a bill that would ban texting and driving.

He was appearing before the House Transportation Committee early Wednesday morning when he collapsed. Medics wheeled him into a back room where his aides said he quickly regained consciousness.

His chief of staff, in a statement, said Craddick apparently had a bad reaction to medication for an infected tooth. The statement reported that Craddick fell and hit his head, but was making jokes as he was taken to Brackenridge Hospital where doctors will hold him overnight as a precaution.

The 67-year-old Republican from Midland served as the House speaker from 2003-2009. He was voted out and replaced by current Speaker Joe Strauss.

Teachers, parents, students headed to Capitol

Public school teachers from across Texas have a message for state lawmakers: They're not going down without a fight.

Many are at risk of losing their jobs because of state budget cuts. They're converging on the front lawn of the Capitol Saturday, demanding that the Legislature tap a multi-billion reserve account to fully fund public schools.

Proposals to deal with a massive state revenue shortfall have hit schools the hardest, causing layoff notifications and school closures across the state. More than 10,000 teachers, parents and students are expected to attend the event.

Fort Worth Councilman at White House Bullying Conference

Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns is part of Thursday's "White House Conference on Bullying Prevention."

Burns delivered an emotional story of childhood bullying before the City Council last fall. The video of his message telling gay teenagers at risk of suicide that "it gets better" went viral.

The Councilman says since then, he's tried to keep that conversation going.

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Burns: The interest from the President certainly keeps that conversation going. I'm so happy that he's created the new website, and very please to be part of this larger, national effort.

Burns says the President will announce the new website at the conference. Burns spoke on his way to the airport and Washington. He says he received the invitation to attend yesterday - as the Fort Worth City Council meeting was about to begin.

DWI Officers Get Ready For St. Patrick's Weekend

Dallas Police will conduct a "no-refusal" DWI initiative during St. Patrick's Day Weekend. That means police will get a search warrant to compel a blood sample from any DWI suspect who refuses to voluntarily take a breathalyzer test, or give a blood sample.

Dallas officers say they will also be a little stricter this year about the open container law.

The annual Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade is Saturday.