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Roundup: Court Orders Delayed, Shortened Filing Period

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – A federal court has ordered a new schedule for candidates to file for a place on the 2012 primary election ballot.

The order pushes back the start of the candidate filing period from Nov. 12 to Nov. 28. It ends Dec. 15.

The new schedule is to accommodate ongoing litigation over Texas' new election district maps. Legislative and congressional maps drawn by the Legislature earlier this year can't be implemented until they are cleared by a court in Washington. With no resolution in sight, the San Antonio court - overseeing a parallel case - is putting guidelines in place so county election officials and would-be candidates can prepare for the March primary.

The San Antonio court is expected to order temporary maps before the filing period opens.

Texas Delays Action On Stem Cell Rules

The Texas state medical board is delaying until at least April a final vote on new stem cell therapy rules that could restrict or even block procedures like the one Gov. Rick Perry recently had on his aching back.

Its members voiced support for the changes Friday before voting to return next year to tweak the proposed regulations.

The proposed rules require an accredited body to review stem-cell procedures to ensure patient safety. Such therapies would also have to be done by physicians while adhering to Texas and federal laws. Procedures without the review would be prohibited.

The Republican presidential candidate had stem cells taken from his fat and then grown in a lab injected into his back and bloodstream during a July operation fusing part of his spine.

Body of 2nd worker recovered from Texas sewer line

Officials say they have found the body of a second worker who died after apparently being overcome by fumes while working in sewer line north of Dallas.

Fairview Police Chief Granver Tolliver says crews were recovering the body Friday from the water treatment system where the man went missing Thursday morning.

Emergency officials say the two men apparently were not wearing protective breathing equipment while working on the sewer line. A third worker called for help after one worker was apparently overcome by fumes and another went in to try to save him.

Man declared innocent after 14 years in prison

A Dallas man who has served 14 years in prison for a molestation he steadfastly denied has been declared innocent.

Dale Lincoln Duke walked out of a Dallas courtroom Friday a free man after state district judge Susan Hawk agreed with prosecutors that he did not sexually assault his 7-year-old step-daughter in 1992.

Hawk told the 60-year-old Duke it was her "privilege" to release him, triggering applause and a standing ovation from most in the courtroom.

Duke had entered a no contest plea to the charge and received 10 years' deferred adjudication. He was sentenced to prison for 20 years in 1997 because he refused to admit to the offense.

Since then, the victim has recanted. Last year Duke's attorney found evidence that prosecutors in the 1990s had withheld evidence.

House subcommittee issues subpoena to DHS

House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith has issued a subpoena to force the Homeland Security Department to turn over immigration enforcement records.

The Texas Republican issued the subpoena following a subcommittee vote this week authorizing him to do so.

In August, Smith asked the DHS for a list of illegal immigrants who had not been detained or put in deportation proceedings.

DHS officials have said they're working on the request. The subpoena is the second one by Congress this week against the Obama administration. The other was related to a half billion-dollar government loan to a failed solar energy company.

Trooper: 1 dead in Abilene Christian bus crash

The Texas Department of Safety says at least one person has been killed in a crash involving a bus carrying students from Abilene Christian University.

State Trooper Phillip Dean tells The Associated Press in a brief email that multiple injuries also have been reported in the one-vehicle accident Friday.

Abilene Christian says in a statement posted on its website that the bus carrying 12 students, three faculty members and a faculty member's spouse overturned Friday near Paint Rock, about 200 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

Abilene Christian is a private university in central Texas with about 4,700 students.