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Gas Prices Slow Down & Nightly Roundup

By BJ Austin, KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – The surge in gasoline prices is slowing down a bit.

The Triple-A-Texas weekly survey shows the statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded in Texas rose only a penny last week, to $3.76.

The previous couple of weeks saw increases of a dime or more.

For the third week in a row, Dallas and Fort Worth have the most expensive gasoline in the state an average $3.79 a gallon. That's unchanged from last week.

Dallas Red Cross Turns 100

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Dallas Red Cross.

Anita Foster, with the Dallas office, says it was the first chartered Red Cross chapter in the Southwest.

In 1912, a year after a growing group of volunteers officially became the "Red Cross", the Trinity River flooded again, and Dallas was caught in a meningitis epidemic.

Foster says she wonders how these early Red Cross volunteers did it.

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Foster: I mean we have cars, and planes, and Blackberry's and Twitter feeds. We have all of these great new tools that help us get our work done. But they did it. You know, they really did the heavy lifting.

Foster says Red Cross employees had a small party, but many folks weren't there. They were in the field, helping the Tarrant County "Chisholm Chapter" tend to the victims of the huge, Possum Kingdom wildfire.

House committee votes to extend business tax break

Texas lawmakers voted Thursday to extend a tax break for businesses with revenues of less than $1 million a year at a time the state is facing a massive budget shortfall.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted 8-0 to send the bill to the full House with three lawmakers absent.

The bill by Republican state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran would continue a tax break that will cost the state almost $150 million over the next two years. Under the original business franchise tax, only companies with revenues of less than $600,000 a year were exempt from the tax.

Texas lawmakers are $27 billion short of what the state needs to maintain current services. The House has approved a bare-bones budget that would cut billions from education and health care.

Gun Houston kindergartner had belonged to family friend

Houston police say the loaded handgun that a kindergartner took to his elementary school and accidentally fired, injuring the boy and two other students, belonged to a friend of the boy's family.

Investigators said Thursday that the unidentified 6-year-old boy accidentally fired the weapon while showing it off to friends in the cafeteria Tuesday morning.

Police say they are still trying to determine if any charges will be filed in connection with the case.

Capt. Lori Bender says while the investigation has determined no adult knew the boy had the gun, there could be some culpability for giving the boy access to the gun.

Bender declined to say when or how the boy got the gun, which was identified as a semiautomatic 9 mm Kel-Tec.

North Texas Couple Face Child Porn Charges

A federal grand jury in Dallas has indicted a former Ennis resident on child pornography charges involving photographs of his wife's young daughter.

Investigators say 39 year old Buddy Anderson took sexually explicit photos of the girl a number of years ago when the family lived in Ennis.

Sharon Anderson pleaded guilty to federal charges earlier this week. She told investigators she permitted her husband to take the photos. Her daughter was between four and eight years old at the time.

The Anderson's came under investigation after a crew hired to clean an abandoned apartment in Ennis found the photos in the garbage on the apartment's porch.

The charges carry a prison sentence of up to 30 years.