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Class Action Lawsuit Challenges Texas Foster Care & Midday Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – A class action lawsuit claims "deficiencies" in the Texas foster care system force thousands of children to live in poorly supervised institutions and frequently move from place to place.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Corpus Christi by the New York-based child advocacy group Children's Rights.

The suit also contends that Texas children in foster care languish for years without permanent families, face a higher risk of abuse, are denied mental health services and are routinely separated from their brothers and sisters.

The plaintiffs are nine children between the ages of nine and 16.

Gov. Rick Perry is among the named defendants. A spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said the agency was preparing a statement.

Texans could get to vote on expanding gambling

Texans could get to vote on a constitutional amendment to expand gambling.

The House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee is hearing testimony on a number of measures to allow casinos and slot machines. The Texas Gaming Association is backing a measure that would license eight casinos and slot machines at eight racetracks.

Other measures would allow gambling on Indian reservations or slot machines at bingo halls.

The Texas Gaming Association says its proposal could bring in $1.2 billion a year in gaming taxes alone. But opponents warn that gambling could bring more trouble than it's worth.

Tilman Fertitta, who runs Landry's Inc. says he could have a casino up and running in Galveston in a matter of weeks, if the bill passes.

Dallas doctor accused over smoking near car

A Dallas physician is accused of trying to run over someone he allegedly saw smoking near his car.

Police say 54-year-old Dr. Jeffrey Reed Thompson faces a felony charge of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

Friday's incident began in a medical office parking garage.

The 48-year-old smoker, Donald Zuelly of Rowlett, told police that Thompson told him he couldn't smoke in the garage, yanked the cigarette from his mouth, threw it down and stepped on it. Police say Zuelly told the doctor not to touch him and threw down a soft drink can. Some liquid splashed onto the doctor's pants.

Zuelly says Thompson then hopped into his car and drove at him. Zuelly scraped his arm trying to flee.

Thompson, who's free on $5,000 bond, did not immediately comment.