NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A federal appeals court has partially lifted a judge’s order that blocked much of a Texas law targeting “sanctuary cities.” Monday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows more of the law to take effect, and says that the law could survive with some language changes. The law requires Texas cities and counties to comply with federal immigration officials’ requests to detain people who are suspected of being in the country illegally and jailed on non-immigration offenses. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia blocked much of the law on Aug. 31, a day before it was to take effect. The state asked the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to let the law take effect ahead of oral arguments set for November.
HOUSTON (AP) – The American Red Cross has transported more than 250 people from a Houston convention center to a new emergency shelter in an empty department store almost a month after Hurricane Harvey displaced thousands. The Houston Chronicle reports that storm victims began relocating from the NRG Center to the Greenspoint Mall on Friday. Red Cross officials say the mall may be able to house storm victims for a longer period of time than other venues. Gregory Smith is the Red Cross site director for the mall shelter. He says it’s often a challenge to keep shelters open long enough to allow displaced residents to get back on their feet. The Red Cross also has relocated hundreds to a Houston Community College warehouse and the Chinese Community Center.
DALLAS (AP) – Foundations supported by two former first ladies have earmarked about $2 million for education-related recovery from recent hurricanes. The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation on Monday announced the combined pledge. Hurricane Harvey made landfall last month in South Texas, leading to devastating flooding in the Houston area. Irma slammed parts of Florida in early September. The Laura Bush Foundation is dedicating nearly $1 million for grants to hurricane-affected schools. The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation is committing $1 million for resources for public libraries, teachers and students in Houston.
HOUSTON (AP) – More than 100 psychologists in Texas have volunteered to provide free therapy sessions to people affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Psychological Association announced details Monday. The offer includes three sessions per person impacted by Harvey and needing support. It’s been a month since Harvey made landfall in South Texas. The ensuing heavy rain swamped parts of Houston and forced thousands of people to evacuate their flooded homes. A TPA statement says psychologists are working to build awareness for normal emotional experiences and behaviors that survivors of disaster can encounter. The free sessions can be done in person, by telephone or via online.
FORT WORTH (AP) – Authorities say a North Texas police officer remains hospitalized following a traffic accident while pursuing a driver suspected of pointing a gun at another vehicle. Fort Worth police spokesman Officer Brad Perez says the suspect, 21-year-old Christopher Anderson, was being held Monday on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, evading arrest and unlawful possession of a firearm. Anderson was arrested after Sunday’s wreck that injured two Fort Worth officers. Perez says one officer remained hospitalized Monday while the other was discharged. Details on the officers weren’t released. The officers were responding to the reported road rage incident when their patrol car hit a brick wall. Police say Anderson was arrested after a foot chase. Perez didn’t immediately have details on bond or a lawyer to speak for Anderson.
DALLAS (AP) – A Dallas-area man must serve more than three years in federal prison for his role in what prosecutors call a foreclosure rescue scheme. Bruce Kevin Hawkins was sentenced Monday to 41 months behind bars. The 52-year-old DeSoto man in June pleaded guilty to mail fraud as part of a plea deal. Hawkins must also repay $219,000. Prosecutors say dozens of homeowners facing foreclosure were offered a chance to get out of their current mortgage, receive a new home loan and pay less. Victims were advised to ignore notices from the legitimate mortgage holder, sign fraudulent documents and were duped into making payments to companies associated with Hawkins. About 70 homeowners lost an estimated $242,000. Prosecutors say two co-defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. A fourth person awaits trial.