TEXAS TODAY: News from across the state

Published 9:00 am Thursday, January 18, 2007

SMU president says Bush library will benefit campus, Dallas

DALLAS (AP) — Building George W. Bush’s presidential library at Southern Methodist University will increase the school’s visibility nationwide, lead to debate for professors and spur economic development in the city, SMU’s president told the faculty Wednesday.

Addressing the spring faculty meeting, R. Gerald Turner said concerns recently raised about the library’s public policy institute were unfounded. A foundation independent of SMU would run the think tank, while scholars studying there would be jointly appointed and under the control of the school.

“Over time, the political components of the library complex will fade and the historical aspects will ascend,” he told 175 of the 600-member faculty who were there.

SMU emerged as the front-runner last month when the library’s site selection committee said it was entering into further discussions with the 11,000-student, private university.

Convicted San Antonio cop killer put to death

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — As about two dozen San Antonio police officers stood outside holding blue glow sticks in memory of their fallen colleague Fabian Dominguez, his killer was executed.

Before he died by injection Wednesday night, Johnathan Moore, 32, apologized repeatedly to the officer’s widow and expressed remorse for the slaying 12 years ago. He blamed the death on “fear, stupidity and immaturity.”

Moore wished happiness to Jennifer Morgan and her twin daughters, who were less than a year old when their father was killed.

Eight minutes later, Moore was pronounced dead, making him the second Texas prisoner executed this year and the second of five scheduled to die this month in the nation’s busiest capital punishment state.

Convicted Border Patrol agents report to federal prison

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A pair of former U.S. Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a Mexican drug smuggler and trying to cover it up started serving their federal prison sentences Wednesday, officials said.

Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos were convicted last year for the shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila. A federal judge sentenced Ramos to 11 years and one day, and Compean was given 12 years in prison.

A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in El Paso said the men, both married fathers, surrendered just before Judge Kathleen Cardone’s deadline of 2 p.m. Wednesday. Cardone denied a request to let them remain free pending appeals.

It is unclear where the men will serve time, but it won’t be in the El Paso area, according to the Marshals Service.

Attorneys for the agents didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

Ice-glazed Texas shivers, shutting down schools, businesses

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The blast of freezing rain and snow that disrupted schools and businesses across much of Texas for two days was expected to begin moving out, giving roads and residents a chance to thaw.

Students who enjoyed extended weekends after Martin Luther King Jr. Day were to head back to class Thursday in San Antonio, Houston and Austin as transportation officials reopened some roadways that were closed because of icy conditions.

The reprieve from the winter blast may be short-lived for parts of northern and western Texas, where weather officials predicted cold and possible snow for Friday and the weekend.

At least 65 storm-related deaths have been reported in nine states, including 10 in Texas.