Fort Hood suspect to return to court Wednesday

FORT HOOD - The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage will be back in a military court this week.

Maj. Nidal Hasan will attend a pretrial hearing Wednesday. The judge may rule on a request from defense attorneys for a forensic pathologist, who would be paid by the government.

The judge also might rule on a defense motion to force prosecutors to provide notes from meetings with President Barack Obama, the defense secretary and other officials after the November 2009 shootings. But prosecutors say no Army officers involved in the case have been influenced by higher-ranking officials.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.

His trial is to start in June at the Army post.

TxDOT open house Thursday in Temple

The Texas Department of Transportation and the city of Temple will host a public, open-house meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Railroad & Heritage Museum, 315 W. Avenue B in Temple.

During the come-and-go session, engineers will be on hand to answer questions about the plans for a proposed extension of the Temple Interstate 35 expansion project, scheduled to go to contract this summer.

TxDOT proposes moving several entrance and exit ramps between South Loop 363 and Midway Drive, along with the addition of an auxiliary lane on the southbound side.

The changes will not require the acquisition of any additional right of way, but it will change the placement of most of the ramps in this area, so TxDOT is seeking comments from the public.

Tires damaged on dozens of Crosby school buses

CROSBY - Dozens of school buses in a Houston-area district were vandalized and parents were asked to drop off their children for classes.

The Crosby Independent School District on Monday announced 58 of its 70 buses had tire damage and could not operate.

Superintendent Keith Moore said the valve stems were found cut on parked buses in an area secured by a chain-link fence and barb wire. Moore said a nearby maintenance building has security video but most of the buses were too far away to determine the culprits.

Moore said the Houston ISD helped provide valve stem replacements so the buses could run their regular routes later Monday.

About half of the district's, more than 5,000, students ride the buses in Crosby, located 20 miles northeast of Houston.

Man posing for picture dies in fall from cliff in Austin

AUSTIN - A North Texas man is dead after he fell from a cliff while posing for a photograph with a landmark Austin bridge in the background.

The Travis County Medical Examiner's Office identified the dead man as 63-year-old Phillip Lloyd Short of Denison.

The Austin Fire Department said he died Sunday afternoon in the fall of 50 to 75 feet from a cliff overlooking the Pennybacker Bridge on Loop 360 over the Colorado River in the far western hills of Austin.

Fire Lt. Jim Baker said Short's family was taking photos of the much-photographed bridge at sunset when Short fell to his death.

FBI names special agent in charge of Dallas office

DALLAS - The FBI named the next special agent in charge of the Dallas field office.

The FBI said in a news release that Diego Rodriguez will succeed Robert E. Casey Jr., who is retiring April 30.

Rodriguez, currently serving as special agent in charge for the criminal division of the FBI's New York office, is expected to arrive in Dallas during the summer.

In his present position in New York, he is responsible for investigations of federal violations including white collar crimes, violent crimes and civil rights.

His career with the FBI has also included stops in Puerto Rico, Miami, and at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Dallas school board votes superintendent pick

DALLAS - The chief administrator of a Colorado school district is the new lone finalist for the vacant Dallas school superintendent's position.

The Dallas school district board voted 55-year-old Mike Miles as its lone finalist. If approved by a final board vote April 26 after a state-mandated posting, Miles could begin work July 2.

Miles was superintendent since 2006 of the Harrison School District No. 2, which includes the southern suburbs of Colorado Springs, Colo.

He began his education career as a high school teacher at another Colorado Springs-area district, the Fountain-Fort Carson School District No. 8, before taking the Harrison job.

-Herald staff, wire reports

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