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Roundup: Texas Jobless Rate For May Steady At 8 Percent

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – The May unemployment rate for Texas is the same as April at 8 percent. The Texas Workforce Commission on Friday announced the metro jobless rate held steady last month, compared to the May 2010 unemployment rate of 8.1 percent. The national jobless rate last month was 9.1 percent.

The Austin-based commission says total nonfarm employment in Texas was up by 8,800 jobs in May, for a total gain of 205,400 jobs from a year ago.

Chairman Tom Pauken says Texas continues to see continued private-sector job growth, including an additional 10,900 manufacturing jobs in the past year.

The Midland area had the lowest unemployment in the state last month, at 4.6 percent. The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest jobless rate in May, reaching 11.9 percent.

5 charged over vandalism to Kilgore school buses

Five graduates will face misdemeanor charges over dozens of damaged school buses that forced classes to be canceled for a day in an East Texas district.

Kilgore police initially said the students could face felony criminal mischief charges.

The Longview News-Journal reported Friday that Gregg County District Attorney Carl Dorrough says the former Kilgore High School students have been charged with misdemeanor vandalism offenses.

The Kilgore Independent School District called off classes April 8 after 39 buses were discovered with valve stem damage. All five seniors were then sent to an alternative school, but were allowed to graduate June 3. The students have apologized and agreed to pay the $3,100 in damage.

The misdemeanor charges carry a sentence of up to a $500 fine.

Obama extends National Guard border deployment

The Obama Administration is keeping the National Guard on the U.S.-Mexico border for at least another three months where the soldiers support the Border Patrol by watching for people sneaking across the border.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matthew Chandler says the soldiers act "as a critical bridge" while the administration brings new funding and personnel to the area.

Last year the administration deployed 1,200 soldiers in the four border states to assist with border security. The Defense Department has now agreed to spend $35 million to extend that deployment, set to expire June 30, through the end of September.

Life in Texas prison for convicted sex offender

A convicted sex offender has been ordered to serve three consecutive life prison terms for molesting a boy in North Texas.

A judge in Wichita Falls on Thursday sentenced 54-year-old Joe Dale Johnson.

Jurors hours earlier convicted Johnson of two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child over 2007 incidents with a 13-year-old boy in Burkburnett.

Johnson previously served time for sex crimes involving children in Kansas in the 1980s.

Wichita County prosecutors on Friday did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press to provide additional details.