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Tornado Season In Texas & Nightly Roundup

By Bill Zeeble & BJ Austin, KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – Multiple tornadoes have been reported as severe thunderstorms rumbled over parts of North and East Texas for a second consecutive day.

Severe weather raked across Ellis, Navarro and Kaufman counties again Tuesday afternoon.

National Weather Service forecaster Bill Bunting says damage was reported in eastern Kaufman County.

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Bunting: We've already had reports of several homes damaged over in the area near Mabank. And I don't think the evening is over yet. We still have more tornadoes to develop over the eastern parts of Texas.

Monday, half a dozen tornadoes raced across the same counties. Bunting says Tuesday should be the last of six severe weather nights in a row for North and East Texas.

In Kaufman County, dime and ping pong ball sized hail fell, tornadoes touched down earlier. Pat Laney, with the Kaufman county sheriff's department, was watching the weather from her porch.

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Laney: Between Kemp and Mabank, they have minor damage at the Cedar Creek Country Club. A tornado did touch down. They have some trees down, minor damage and no injuries reported.

Laney says a total of three tornadoes reportedly touched down in Kaufman. One of them may have touched down twice in different places.

Mabank Police Chief Kyle McAfee reports widespread tree damage and damage to shingles and other roof features.

KDFW-TV of Dallas-Fort Worth reports shoppers at the Brookshire's supermarket in Mabank sought shelter in a walk-in freezer until the danger passed.

Perry says disaster could wipe out reserves

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says a natural disaster could wipe out cash reserves and warned against tapping the state's so-called Rainy Day Fund to make up a huge budget shortfall.

Speaking to reporters outside the Texas House Tuesday, Perry said wildfires have already strained emergency response funds. If a hurricane were to hit Texas now, he said the state could suffer a huge financial blow. The comments were more proof that Perry is dead set against using money from the multi-billion dollar Rainy Day Fund to soften the blow from staggering budget cuts proposed by state lawmakers.

Perry said if a big storm pounded the Gulf Coast, "we would be bankrupt."

"I'm not willing to do that," he said.

FW Real Estate Scammer Sentenced To Prison

A Fort Worth man is going to federal prison for 20 years for a real estate scam involving dead people's properties.

Prosecutors say 63 year old Norris Fisher targeted unoccupied properties or vacant lots belonging to individuals who had recently died. The indictment says he forged "heirship" papers that transferred the deeds to him.

Court records say he stole more than 150 properties worth nearly four million dollars.

House bill would limit sell of drinks in schools

Schools would be prohibited from selling sugary drinks under legislation approved by the Texas House.

The bill, which was adopted Tuesday, would ban the campus sale of drinks other than 1 percent milk, unsweetened water, 100-percent vegetable or fruit juices and zero-calorie electrolyte drinks.

The campus ban would only apply during the school day.

Warrant served suspect in fitness leader's death

A capital murder warrant for the arrest of the ex-boyfriend of a suburban Dallas fitness instructor was served on the man in an Arizona hospital.

A Plano police statement Tuesday confirmed that 48-year-old Terrance Deering Black had been served in a Flagstaff, Ariz., hospital where he was being treated for a 25-foot fall after a Friday leap from a Grand Canyon ledge.

The arrest affidavit says Susan Loper died of head trauma so severe that a detective described it as "overkill" that "could be attributed to a suspect who has had a personal relationship with the victim and then the relationship became strained."

Loper was reported missing April 19 from a Plano country club fitness room where police found blood and bullets. Her body was found the next day.