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Texas court throws out improper photography law

AUSTIN - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has thrown out the state law that bans photos or videos taken in a public place without consent and for sexual gratification.

The court ruled the Improper Photography law is a violation of the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech.

Click here to read the court ruling

The ruling was 8-1.

The court determined the pictures are "inherently expressive" similar to film and paintings, and thus protected by the First Amendment.

 

Rain chances remain high next two days

SOUTHEAST TEXAS - Rain chances remain strong the next couple of days across Southeast Texas.

Our chances of rain are 60% Wednesday and 70% Thursday. Rain chances drop to 30% Friday, 20% Saturday and 10% Sunday.

Watch KFDM Weather for Greg's forecast.

Temperatures are expected to remain in the mid to upper 80's to near 90.

Naturalization ceremony: 15 men and women become American citizens

BEAUMONT - From City of Beaumont

Fifteen area residents became citizens of the United States today in a special ceremony at the Beaumont Public Library.

Watch KFDM News for reaction from some of the people who became naturalized citizens.

Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn, who presided over the Naturalization Oath Ceremony, said he was honored to be conducting it at the library. Naturalization ceremonies are usually held at the Federal Courthouse downtown.

“The Beaumont Public Library has been very important in my life,” said Judge Hawthorn. “That’s the room I learned to read in as a child,” he said, indicating a room adjacent to the makeshift courtroom in the library’s first floor where citizenship candidates, friends and family gathered for the milestone event.

The ceremony was the culmination of extensive preparation – sometimes years long – by each candidate to earn the right to become an American citizen.

Kirbyville resident Abraham Zuniga said he prepared for six years for the day he could take the Oath of Allegiance and “make my dreams come true.”

“I’m so excited,” said Zuniga. “I’m very proud to be an American.”

Zuniga said libraries have played an important role in his life, as well. As a college student in the Houston area, he regularly used libraries as a resource. He also learned English through the Houston Public Library.

Barbara Beard, Director of the Maureen Gray Literacy Center, appealed to Judge Hawthorn by letter several months ago to hold the ceremony at the library in recognition of Citizenship Day, also known as Constitution Day. The center offers ESL classes, as well as citizenship test preparation.

Beard pointed out after the ceremony that some candidates come from countries where there is no free public library system. “It was important to us that they be able to be physically present in the library and see what’s available to them.” said Beard. “We’re very happy to host it.”

Once the candidates took the oath of citizenship, Judge Hawthorn made it official.

“You’re a United States citizen now, and no one will ever be able to take that away from you,” he said.

Police: Texas man uses blade on infant daughter
KILLEEN, Texas (AP) -- A Central Texas man has been charged with injuring a child after police say he cut his 10-month-old daughter with a box cutter.

Killeen Police say 28-year-old Roberto Quintana was arrested over the weekend. His wife tells police that Quintana put tape over her mouth and threatened her with the box cutter.

She says he then used it on their infant's leg. Police say the child was cut twice. It's unclear if she was hospitalized.

Quintana is being held at the Bell County Jail on $200,000 bond. Online jail records didn't indicate an attorney.

Vikings reverse course, make Peterson stay away from team

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- After a day of public pressure from angry fans and concerned sponsors, the Minnesota Vikings have reversed course and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, a move that will require him to stay away from the team while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas.

The Vikings made the announcement early Wednesday morning, about a day and a half after initially deciding that Peterson could play with the team while the legal process played out. Peterson is charged with a felony for using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son and now could miss the rest of the season while the case proceeds through the court system.

The Vikings came under heavy criticism for their initial stance. Several sponsors responded by either suspending their deals with the Vikings or severing ties with Peterson, prompting Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf to revisit the situation on Tuesday.

"While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian," the Wilfs said in a statement. "We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right. At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community."

Peterson was indicted last week in Montgomery County, Texas, after admitting to authorities that he struck his son with a tree branch. Peterson said he was disciplining his son the same way his own father disciplined him while growing up in Palestine, Texas, and didn't intend to hurt him.

The Vikings deactivated him for the 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday while they gathered more information. But on Monday they announced that Peterson was being reinstated and expected to play this weekend at New Orleans.

The about face came after the Radisson hotel chains suspended its sponsorship with the Vikings, Papa John's considered doing the same, and Anheuser-Busch said it was "disappointed and increasingly concerned" with the negative attention brought to the league by Ray Rice's assault on his wife and Peterson's arrest.

Castrol Motor Oil, Special Olympics Minnesota and Mylan Inc. all severed ties with Peterson, and Twin Cities Nike stores pulled Peterson's jerseys from its shelves.

"This is the best possible outcome given the circumstances," Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, told The Associated Press of the Vikings' decision. "Adrian understands the gravity of the situation and this enables him to take care of his personal situation. We fully support Adrian and he looks forward to watching his teammates and coaches being successful during his absence."

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, who spearheaded an effort to secure $477 million in public money to help build the team a new stadium, and Sen. Al Franken were among the many who called for the Vikings to reconsider their position.

Peterson's first court appearance isn't until Oct. 8, and with the Vikings specifying that he must stay away "until the legal proceedings are resolved," it appears there is a possibility that he won't play again this year.

The Vikings said they had deliberations with the NFL over the previous two days and informed the league they were revisiting the situation. Executives were at the team's Winter Park headquarters late into the night on Tuesday, discussing how to respond to the avalanche of criticism.

"After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian," the Wilfs said in their statement. "We are always focused on trying to make the right decision as an organization.

"We embrace our role — and the responsibilities that go with it — as a leader in the community, as a business partner and as an organization that can build bridges with our fans and positively impact this great region. We appreciate and value the input we have received from our fans, our partners and the community."

What this means for Peterson's future with the team remains to be seen. The 29-year-old has been the face of the franchise practically since he was drafted in 2007, one of the most popular and marketable stars in the NFL whose All Day Foundation charity is devoted to helping children.

But the foundation's website was shuttered on Tuesday, at one point posting a message that it "will re-engage after Adrian, his family, and staff have reflected on how the current situation impacts the direction for Adrian's philanthropy."

Peterson has rushed for 10,190 yards and 86 touchdowns in his NFL career. He won the MVP award in 2012 after rushing for 2,097 yards in his return from a torn ACL.

"We will support Adrian during this legal and personal process, but we firmly believe and realize this is the right decision," the Wilfs said. "We hope that all of our fans can respect the process that we have gone through to reach this final decision."

___

Online:

AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL


 

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US consumer prices fall 0.2 percent in August

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer prices edged down in August, the first monthly drop since the spring of 2013, as gasoline, airline tickets and clothing prices all fell. It was the latest evidence that inflation remains under control.

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