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Roundup: Perry Urges Obama To Halt Air Rules

Pete Williamson (cc) flickr

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – Texas Gov. Rick Perry is asking President Barack Obama to use his executive authority to prevent or delay implementation of stricter pollution standards.

The standards go into effect beginning Jan. 1. Texas' largest energy companies say they don't have adequate time to meet the deadlines without shutting down plants and jeopardizing the reliability of Texas' electric grid.

In a Monday letter to Obama that was obtained by The Associated Press, Perry said implementation of the rules will have an "immediate and devastating effect" on the Texas economy and its ability to supply electricity. Perry released the letter as he tries to shore up support among conservatives in Republican presidential bid.

The rules are designed to significantly reduce smog and soot pollution by requiring 27 states to decrease smokestack emissions.

First lawsuit filed in Bastrop wildfires

A lawyer for three victims of this month's Bastrop County wildfire is suing an electric utility whose fallen power lines officials say likely started one of the most destructive wildfires in recent Texas history.

Attorney William Rossick filed the suit Monday in Bastrop against Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. The suit seeks compensation for personal injury, property damage, mental anguish and medical expenses.

Texas Forest Service officials say tree limbs pushed by 30 mph wind gusts over the Labor Day weekend likely struck Bluebonnet's overhead power lines, sparking the fires that destroyed 1,600 Central Texas homes and killed two people.

Bluebonnet CEO Mark Rose tells the Austin American-Statesman the suit is a misguided attempt to blame the utility for a terrible incident that was out of its control.

Lt. Governor breaks with Perry on tuition

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is breaking with Gov. Rick Perry by opposing in-state college tuition rates for illegal immigrants.

Dewhurst, running for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison, says he understands Perry's arguments but says his stance is all about fairness. Dewhurst's comments came in a taping Monday for a political show to be aired Sunday on Dallas' WFAA-TV.

Perry, seeking the Republican presidential nomination, has been criticized by opponents in his own party for his position that children of illegal immigrants in Texas through no fault of their own should pay reduced in-state college tuition.

Dewhurst says if Americans from Louisiana or Oklahoma or New Mexico aren't eligible for the lower tuition, it's not fair to give the break to non-citizens.

New duds for Texas State Fair's Big Tex

When the Texas State Fair opens its three-week run Friday in Dallas, the signature 52-foot cowboy Big Tex will be sporting some new duds.

Tex been fitted with a red and blue Western-style shirt with stars and new blue jeans to go with his boots - size 70. The outfit was selected in an online vote conducted by Tex's official tailor for the past 14 years, the clothing maker Dickies.

Dickies vice president Matthew McCartin told The Dallas Morning News it took about two weeks to make Tex's shirt and another week for the jeans.

Tex took his place Monday at the Fair Park to utter for the first time this year his famous "Howdy."

L-Word star kisses girl, gets escorted off flight

A lesbian actress who starred in "The L-Word" says she was escorted off of a Southwest Airlines flight for kissing her girlfriend.

Leisha Hailey on Monday took to Twitter to call for a boycott of the carrier after a flight attendant told them other passengers had complained.

Hailey tweeted, "Since when is showing affection to someone you love illegal?"

Southwest responded on its website that Hailey was approached "based solely on behavior and not gender."

The actress and a band mate from the group Uh Huh Her were on a flight from Baltimore to St. Louis.

Earlier this month, the Dallas-based airline kicked off Green Day's lead man Billie Joe Armstrong for wearing his pants too low.

Illegal net kills thousands of sharks off Texas

As many as 3,000 sharks died in an illegal gill net state officials say stretched for miles just off the South Texas Gulf coast.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Steve Lightfoot says game wardens found the three-mile net just off the South Padre Island beach on Sept. 20.

Lightfoot says no arrests have been made, but officials suspect Mexican nationals set the net.

KGBT-TV of Harlingen reports overfishing has all but ruined commercial fishing in the Gulf of Mexico on the Mexican side of the U.S. border.

Mexico rejects video call to exterminate cartel

The Mexican government says it is investigating videos posted on the Internet in which a gang of masked men vow to exterminate the violent Zetas drug cartel, and said it opposes such vigilante methods.

The videos have been posted by a group believed linked to the powerful Sinaloa cartel that calls itself the "mata zetas," or "Zetas Killers." The Zetas were founded by deserters from an elite military unit and are known for their brutality.

In a video posted over the weekend, the group says it is attacking the Zetas because people are tired of the gang's kidnappings and extortions.

Mexico's Interior Department said in a statement Monday that while the Zetas "should be defeated, that must occur by legal means and never by methods outside the law."