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Roundup: Gas Prices In Texas Slip 5 Cents

By BJ Austin, KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – Retail gasoline prices in Texas have fallen for a fourth straight week, dropping 5 cents to average $3.58 a gallon. AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price per gallon nationally is also down 5 cents, reaching $3.73 this week.

The association says the declines are due to a recent drop in crude oil prices and a decline in U.S. retail gasoline demand.

The cheapest price at the pump in Texas is $3.50 a gallon in Beaumont. Amarillo has the state's most expensive gasoline, averaging $3.65 a gallon.

House defies veto of Internet sales tax bill

Lawmakers in the Texas House have a defied the governor's veto of an Internet sales measure.

Legislators voted to keep a tax provision in an omnibus spending bill that would expand the number of Internet sellers who must collect sales tax. If the measure is not removed in conference committee, it would expand the definition of what it means to do business in Texas.

Right now Internet sellers like don't have to collect sales tax because they are not physically present in the state. The bill would make a contractual agreement with a marketing agent inside the state a physical presence for tax purposes.

Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a separate bill earlier this month, but it is now inside a must-pass bill. But it can still be removed.

2 top prosecutors leaving Dallas DA's office

The prosecutor who leads Dallas County's nationally known conviction integrity unit is one of two top assistants to District Attorney Craig Watkins leaving their positions.

Watkins announced Thursday that Mike Ware, who heads the unit that scrutinizes wrongful convictions, is returning to private practice. He will be replaced by Dallas attorney Russell Wilson.

Watkins also said First Assistant DA Terri Moore is giving up her position. A replacement was not announced.

Both will be leaving the DA's office on July 1.

Twenty-two people have been exonerated through DNA testing in Dallas County since 2001. The county's record is unmatched nationally because its crime lab maintains biological evidence even decades after a conviction, leaving samples available to test, and Watkins has cooperated with innocence groups in reviewing hundreds of inmate requests.

Reward Offered In Two FW Bank Robberies

A 25 hundred dollar reward is being offered for the capture of a Fort Worth Bank robbery suspect.

The FBI says the First Convenience Bank on Bridgewood was robbed in March, then a First Convenience on Camp Bowie was robbed in May. Investigators believe the same suspect is responsible for both.

The suspect is described as African American, about six feet tall, and in one robbery wore a navy blue hoodie, a reflective vest and sunglasses.

Fired Dallas officer not guilty

A jury has found a fired Dallas police officer not guilty of aggravated assault after he was accused of pointing a gun at a man during a night of drinking at the home of country singer Steve Holy.

Paul Loughridge had been accused of aiming the gun at Walter McRae while he and another officer were drinking with Holy in December 2007.

Known for his 2006 hit "Brand New Girlfriend," Holy told police the officers pointed their guns at him and his friend and ordered them on the ground.

Former officer Randy Anderson was sentenced to four years' probation and 45 days in jail in 2009 for his role in the incident.v Loughridge said he wants his job back.