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Texas House OKs Bill Requiring Voter ID & Midday Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – The Texas House has approved a bill requiring residents to show photo identification before voting.

The move came despite complaints from Democrats who say it's designed to erect hurdles for poor and minority voters who are less likely to have state-issued identification cards.

The legislation cleared the House 101-48 Wednesday night after more than 11 hours of debate in which Democrats repeatedly tried to derail it.

The measure has sparked anger and partisan bickering ever since Republican Gov. Rick Perry put it on the fast track in January. GOP lawmakers say it's necessary to prevent voter fraud. The bill faces a final, perfunctory hurdle in the House. A similar bill passed the Senate, but it faces another vote in that chamber.

Judge named for trial of 2 DeLay co-defendants

A new judge will oversee the Texas conspiracy and money laundering trial of two associates of convicted former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

State District Judge David Crain of Austin was named Wednesday.

The judge in DeLay's trial, Senior District Judge Pat Priest of San Antonio, recused himself March 10 from presiding over the trial of John Colyandro of Austin and James Ellis of Washington. They face trial for allegedly illegally funneling corporate money to Republican Texas legislative candidates in 2002.

A jury last year convicted DeLay of money laundering and conspiracy. The Houston-area Republican is appealing his three-year prison term.

The Austin American-Statesman reports Priest has sealed the records in the defense motion, alleging bias, to remove him.

Crain is a Democrat.

Big rig cab left dangling over Fort Worth highway

Three people have been rescued after a Fort Worth accident in which the cab of an 18-wheeler tanker truck ended up dangling over an elevated Interstate 20 ramp.

Two people in a car that was trapped under the empty water tanker truck were rescued about three hours after the accident happened early Thursday.

A fire department ladder truck was used to help reach the trucker and ease him from the cab. He was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Both people extricated from the car also were receiving medical attention. Further details on their conditions were not immediately available.

The cause of the pre-dawn wreck is sought.

East Texas deputy critical after stray cow attack

An East Texas deputy who was directing traffic away from an injured stray cow is hospitalized in critical condition after being attacked by the half-ton animal.

Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith says Deputy Robert Britton of Tyler early Thursday responded to a call about a cow hit by a vehicle near Bullard, about 90 miles southeast of Dallas.

Smith told The Associated Press that the 54-year-old deputy was directing traffic on County Road 344 when the cow charged him. The sheriff says Britton was knocked into the air, landed on his head and "then the animal continued the assault."

Other deputies rescued Britton. He was in critical condition in intensive care at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler.

Smith says the cow has been put down. The owner is sought.