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Roundup: Texas Education Agency Closing Arlington School

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – The Texas Education Agency is shutting down Arlington's Metro Academy of Math And Science.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the TEA issued its order after the school received 3 years of academically unacceptable ratings & poor financial reports. The academy lists nearly $1 million dollars in debt.

The school is requesting a hearing with the state in hopes of winning a reprieve.

In February, officials began proceedings to revoke the accreditation and charter of the school. A state conservator is slated to oversee the closure process.

Group Prays For John Wiley Price

Supporters of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price prayed for him last night at an Oak Cliff church. The FBI and IRS raided the offices and home of Commissioner Price last week but did not say why.

The African American Pastor's Coalition organized the event to comfort a community that has seen several black elected officials indicted over the years. Coalition Vice President Dr. Freddie Haynes says the focus is on healing.

Rev. Freddie Haynes: We prayed for the community, we prayed for peace, we prayed for our schools, we prayed for all elected officials, our judges, we covered the specter tonight because John is not in this by himself. It's going to be a healing move for our city which really needs it.

The night of prayer was the first of several planned community gatherings to support Price who has served 27-years as county commissioner in southern Dallas.

Farmers workers to get $1.5 million back wages

Farmers Insurance has agreed to pay just over $1.5 million in back overtime wages to workers at 11 customer service call centers in Texas and five other states after a U.S. Labor Department investigation.

The federal probe found what a Labor Department statement Wednesday called "significant and systemic violations" of federal overtime and record-keeping provisions of federal wage-hour statutes. The agreement will pay back overtime to almost 3,500 workers.

Those workers were spread over Farmers centers in Austin, Texas; Olathe, Kan.; Oklahoma City; Lake Mary, Fla.; and Grand Rapids, Mich.; Overland Park, Kan.; and Hillsboro, Ore.

Farmers spokesman Mark Toohey says the Los Angeles-based company is committed to fair pay, accurate timekeeping and providing "the best work environment" for its employees.

Mexican inmate, White House want execution delayed

A Mexican national just hours away from his scheduled execution in Texas is awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case that could affect other foreigners arrested in the U.S. and Americans detained abroad.

Humberto Leal is scheduled for lethal injection Thursday evening. The 38-year-old was convicted in the 1994 rape and murder of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda of San Antonio.

Leal's case have prompted a flurry of appeals. His attorneys have support from the White House and the Mexican government in their plea to delay the execution so his case can be thoroughly reviewed.

The appeal argues that authorities never told Leal after his arrest that an international treaty allowed him to seek legal assistance from the Mexican government. His attorneys say such assistance could have aided his defense.

DA: law firm to collect $35M in forfeited bonds

A law firm will be appointed to collect about $35 million in forfeited bonds owed to Dallas County.

District Attorney Craig Watkins said Wednesday that a law firm, to be selected later, will get to keep 25 percent of the amount collected.

A recent Dallas Morning News review found that many of the uncollected defaulted judgments date back decades. The newspaper reports that Dallas County has been hampered by outdated computers, poor oversight and lack of coordination among departments.

Defendants post bond to get out of jail, paying bondsmen usually 10 percent of the amount set by a judge. If the person doesn't show up for court, a warrant is issued and the bond is forfeited.

The newspaper review found many companies failed to pay Dallas County the full amount.

Fort Hood shooting suspect will face death penalty

News that the suspected Fort Hood gunman will face the death penalty if convicted is coming as no surprise to those affected by the shooting rampage.

Relatives of the dead and victims who survived have cried and prayed together since 13 people were killed and more than two dozen others were injured during the shootings at the Texas Army post in November 2009.

Some applauded Wednesday's decision by Fort Hood's commanding general that suspected gunman Maj. Nidal Hasan would face a death sentence if convicted during a military trial. They say it could bring some closure.

But Leila Hunt Willingham, whose brother was killed, says the case's outcome won't bring her any more peace than what she could get on her own. And it won't bring back her brother.