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TEXAS ROUNDUP — 3 dead in home due to carbon monoxide

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio police say a man and his two children have been found dead in a house where the electricity had been off since Friday and a generator was located inside.

Police say the homeowner stopped by the house late Monday after not being able to reach the 56-year-old resident or his daughters, ages 9 to 11.

Authorities say a fuel-powered generator was inside the home and turned on but not running. Emergency responders detected high levels of poisonous carbon monoxide, which can be emitted by generators.

Police found no signs of trauma. Causes of death were pending.

Names of the victims weren’t immediately released. Officials didn’t say why the electricity wasn’t working.

San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Woody Woodward says generators should never be placed inside homes.

 

Recovery continues in
town 2 years after Harvey

PORT ARANSAS — Federal officials say most retailers in a South Texas town decimated by Hurricane Harvey have reopened as tourism authorities seek to woo visitors back.

A Federal Emergency Management Agency statement Tuesday said Port Aransas continues to recover from the August 2017 hurricane.

Port Aransas, about 200 miles southwest of Houston, received more than $22 million from FEMA after Harvey. Much of the money was spent to clear debris, install temporary buildings and keep public institutions running. State funds also helped.

Jeffrey Hentz, with the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau, says 90% of restaurants and retailers have reopened, but only 60% of the lodging has reopened.

Officials estimate about 35,000 people in April attended Texas SandFest, a sand sculpture competition in Port Aransas.

 

Governor signs bill
on rape kit backlog

DALLAS — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has signed a bill that will aim to eliminate the backlog of thousands of untested rape kits in Texas.

Abbott signed the measure in Dallas on Tuesday along with four other bills designed to help victims of sex crimes.

The new law mandates law enforcement agencies conduct an audit to determine all of the untested rape kits in the state and that they set timelines for their analysis. Democratic Rep. Victoria Neave says it’s unclear how many untested rape kits exist.

Abbott says the measure will better address and provide justice for survivors of rape and sexual assault.

It will also require that evidence be kept for at least 40 years or until the statute of limitations runs out, depending on which is longer.

 

Texas company signs
plea deal in oilfield death

BISMARCK, N.D. — A Houston company has reached a plea deal in the October 2014 death of an Alabama man who died in an explosion while working in the North Dakota oil patch.

A federal criminal complaint accuses C&J Well Services, formerly known as Nabors Completion and Production Services, of violating safety regulations and causing the death of 29-year-old Marine veteran Dustin Payne, of Hazel Green, Alabama.

Authorities say Payne was welding inside a water hauling tank that had not been properly cleaned and vented. The welding equipment ignited a hydrocarbon vapor mixture that caused a massive explosion.

The plea agreement calls for C&J Well Services to pay $1.6 million to Payne’s estate as well as a $500,000 fine.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2015 fined the company more than $97,000.

 

See also: TEXAS ROUNDUP — Body of trans woman pulled from Dallas lake