Texas Digest: School addresses concerns over Muslim prayer room


FRISCO

School addresses prayer concerns

A North Texas school district says that Attorney General Ken Paxton is raising unfounded concerns about religious freedom over a spare classroom where Muslim students pray.

Chris Moore is a spokesman for the Frisco school district near Dallas. He said Friday the room is available to “students of all walks of life.”

Muslim students at Liberty High School have been allowed since 2007 to pray in a classroom that’s vacant for part of the afternoon. School officials say the initiative has been a success and never attracted controversy.

But Paxton’s office sent a letter Friday raising questions about students of other faiths being excluded from using the room to pray. Paxton’s letter cited a story about the prayer room from the high school’s student-run news website.

KIRBY

Off-duty DPS trooper shot at his home

Authorities say an off-duty state trooper was shot when he struggled with an intruder at the trooper’s home near San Antonio.

The unidentified trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety discovered someone in his yard late Thursday and retrieved his service weapon and put on a protective vest before confronting the intruder.

Authorities say the trooper was attacked as he went outside and the suspect tried to gain entry to the home in Kirby, northeast of San Antonio.

The trooper’s firearm discharged during the struggle and he was struck by the bullet, but protected by the vest.

He was taken to a hospital for observation.

The suspect fled the home on foot and authorities continue to search for him.

EL PASO

Mexico investigates inmate hanging in Texas jail

Mexican consular officials are investigating the hanging death of a West Texas jail inmate arrested for crossing the border illegally.

The El Paso Times reported that Norberto Santa Cruz died last Saturday after he was found hanging in the El Paso County Jail. Mexican Consul General Marcos Bucio of El Paso said Mexico’s government is pressing for information on what might have pushed the 42-year-old Juarez, Mexico, man to take his own life.

The U.S. Border Patrol said in a statement that Santa Cruz was arrested for trespassing in an El Paso rail yard and admitted to having entered the United States illegally by hopping a freight car. He was found hanged in his jail cell March 4 and was hospitalized. He was removed from life support Saturday.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

FORECAST: Scattered storms bring cold rain; temps mainly in the 40s 
FORECAST: Scattered storms bring cold rain; temps mainly in the 40s 

Thursday forecast for Austin: It’s miserable out there. Scattered storms rolled through Central Texas in the predawn hours Thursday and more rain is likely throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service. With new storms possible in the afternoon, Austin could get up to a quarter-inch of rain or higher in places where stronger thunderstorms...
Packed town hall showcases finalists for Austin Public Health director
Packed town hall showcases finalists for Austin Public Health director

A town hall Wednesday night showcased the two finalists running to become Austin Public Health’s next director. Stephanie Hayden, the current interim director, and Dr. Philip Huang, with the department’s Disease Prevention and health Promotion Division, are the two remaining candidates vying to lead the department that manages a variety...
Austin police seek help finding missing woman, 79
Austin police seek help finding missing woman, 79

Austin police are asking for the public’s help in finding a 79-year-old woman that went missing in North Austin.  Herminia Gomez was last seen Wednesday about 1:30 p.m. near the 300 block of Home Place, officials said. She was driving a 2005 Gray Ford Taurus with Texas license plates CK8-D660.  Gomez is about 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs...
Texas Democrats see big jump in turnout on first day of early voting

In the state’s 15 counties with the most registered voters, 51 percent more Democrats voted Tuesday, the first day of early voting for the party’s March 6 primary, than voted on the first day of early of voting for the 2014 Democratic primary. Meanwhile, the number of Republican primary voters on Tuesday increased by just 16 percent in...
Will Abbott take advice on Whitaker’s death sentence?
Will Abbott take advice on Whitaker’s death sentence?

Whether Gov. Greg Abbott spares death row inmate Thomas Whitaker from Thursday evening’s scheduled execution could hinge on how much trust the governor places on the group of advisers who recommended mercy in the case. Spurred by the father who Whitaker tried to have killed in 2003, all seven members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles supported...
More Stories