Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

The purchase period for the state’s appliance mail-in rebate program starts today.

The last time the state did this, the website and phone lines were jammed with people trying to get in on the action. This time, consumers are supposed to buy the energy-efficient appliance first, and then mail-in a rebate application form.

The State Comptroller’s office says just over $18-million in federal stimulus funding is available for the rebates.  The program will remain open until all the funds have been distributed.

The Texas Capitol
Picture by KUT

In a move that seems to be becoming a holiday tradition, the Texas Department of Public Safety released it's annual call for Texans to avoid Mexico over the holidays.  DPS sighted increased violence, kidnappings, assault and rape along the boarder as reasons Texans should stay away.

In a press release today, DPS Director Steven C. McCraw says that while the department knows people safely travel and vacation in Mexico on a daily basis, the increase in violence is also a reality.

Terry Bennett Amber Alert
Photo courtesy AmberAlert.gov

Police in McAllen have issued an Amber Alert for Terry Onne Bennett.

gavel
Image courtesy Keith Burtis http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithburtis/

The two men charged in a string of church fires last year in East Texas have announced their plan to plead guilty, reports the Associated Press. 

Fort Hood memorial
Image courtesy 807MDSC http://www.flickr.com/photos/807thpao/

Three psychological experts appointed by the Pentagon have been examining the Army Major accused of killing 13 people during a shooting rampage last year at Fort Hood.

Nidal Hasan's lawyer, John Galligan, told KUT News that the evaluation started on Wednesday. The experts will determine whether Hasan is fit to stand trial.  Galligan objects to the evaluation because he says he hasn't received all evidence in the case, including some held by the White House. He is prohibited from attending the evaluation.

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