From AP REPORTS

Man loses ear as he flees police

LA JOYA, Texas (AP) A man driving a car full of suspected illegal immigrants lost his ear as he tried to flee from police.

The 22-year-old Mexican national had turned into a brushy field from a farm-to-market road Sunday when he tried to open the door and jump from the car, said Joe Cantu, a La Joya police spokesman.

The car door bounced against a tree and slammed shut on the man's head, cleanly severing his ear, police said.

Police and Border Patrol agents found four of the six passengers who fled the car after it came to a stop. Authorities also discovered four people in the car's trunk who were thought to be illegal immigrants from El Salvador and Honduras, Cantu said.

Police had stopped the 22-year-old driver, whose name was not released, for speeding. But he hit the gas after stopping beside of the road. After the accident, he was taken to a McAllen hospital.

Information from: The Monitor, http://www.themonitor.com

Murder suspect arrested in Mexico

SAN ANTONIO (AP) A murder suspect who bluffed his way out of a Texas jail in October has been returned to San Antonio after being arrested in central Mexico, the U.S. Marshals Service said Sunday.

Mexican law enforcement officials captured David Sauceda, 28, on Saturday outside a house in the town of Tangancicuaro, about 200 miles northwest of Mexico City. Sauceda had been living there with his girlfriend and two children, officials said.

Mexico deported Sauceda on immigration violations without going through standard extradition procedures, authorities said.

"There wasn't an extradition issue at all," U.S. Marshal LaFayette Collins said in a story posted on the San Antonio Express-News Web site Sunday. "The Mexicans wanted to get rid of him."

Sauceda, alleged to be a member of the Mexican Mafia prison gang, faces charges of murder, armed robbery and home invasion.

Sauceda broke out of the Bexar County Jail on Oct. 28 by pretending to be his cellmate, reciting the cellmate's personal information.

Former Houston mayor Welch dead at 89

HOUSTON (AP) Former five-term Houston mayor Louie Welch, remembered for his service to the city and a remark caught on a television microphone that ended his lengthy political career, died Sunday. He was 89.

Welch suffered from lung cancer, his son Gary told the Houston Chronicle.

"He was one of Houston's finest mayors," said former Mayor Bob Lanier. "He was a good and decent man who loved public service and fought to make people's lives better."

Welch's political career began in 1949 when he was elected to Houston City Council. He was a council member for eight years, from 1950 until 1952 and from 1956 to 1962.

After unsuccessful mayoral bids in 1952 and 1954, Welch was elected mayor for the first time in 1963.

Man loses ear as he flees police

LA JOYA, Texas (AP) A man driving a car full of suspected illegal immigrants lost his ear as he tried to flee from police.

The 22-year-old Mexican national had turned into a brushy field from a farm-to-market road Sunday when he tried to open the door and jump from the car, said Joe Cantu, a La Joya police spokesman.

The car door bounced against a tree and slammed shut on the man's head, cleanly severing his ear, police said.

Police and Border Patrol agents found four of the six passengers who fled the car after it came to a stop. Authorities also discovered four people in the car's trunk who were thought to be illegal immigrants from El Salvador and Honduras, Cantu said.

Police had stopped the 22-year-old driver, whose name was not released, for speeding. But he hit the gas after stopping beside of the road. After the accident, he was taken to a McAllen hospital.

More than $41 million raised in Texas politics in 2007

AUSTIN (AP) More than $41 million flowed through the Texas political system in 2007, according to fundraising reports, as politicians and special interest groups geared up for elections in 2008 and beyond.

A Houston Chronicle analysis of reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission found that Houston home builder Bob Perry topped the list of individual donors in Texas, giving more than $1 million to Texas candidates and political action committees last year.

Perry, who is not related to Gov. Rick Perry, was the top political donor in the nation in 2006, when he gave more than $16 million to state and federal candidates. In 2007, Perry mostly gave to Republicans, though some of his funds went to Democrats, the Chronicle reported.

Fred Baron, a Dallas lawyer, was second on the list of the state's individual donors in 2007. He donated more than $969,000, with most going to the Texas Democratic Trust. Baron founded the trust, which is dedicated to rebuilding the infrastructure of the Texas Democratic Party.

3 killed, 2 hurt in collision between Fort Worth and Denton

DALLAS (AP) Three people, including a child, were killed overnight when a vehicle attempting to pass on a two-lane highway slammed head-on into an oncoming vehicle.

Two other people were injured in the crash near on U.S. 377, just north of Texas 114. Their conditions aren't available.

The crash happened about 9 p.m. Sunday when a southbound vehicle attempted to pass in the oncoming lane and slammed into the northbound vehicle.

Officers' alleged sex assaults prompt transfer of supervisors

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Police Chief William McManus has transferred four supervisors to new units in response to accusations that three patrol officers on the same shift were accused of engaging in sexual acts with women while on duty.

McManus said the transfer of the lieutenant and three sergeants took effect over the weekend.

Last month, officers Michael Anthony Munoz and Victor Hugo Gonzalez were arrested and accused of paying an 18-year-old woman to perform oral sex on them in June. Munoz, 33, was charged with official oppression, while Gonzalez, 36, was charged with official oppression, promoting prostitution and sexual assault.

In a separate incident in November, Officer Raymond Ramos, 28, was accused of sexually assaulting a 28-year-old woman. He was also charged with official oppression and violating the woman's civil rights.

All three officers worked out of a southside substation on the night shift. They are now on paid administration leave.

In the aftermath of the arrests, the department moved Lt. Richard Ramirez and Sgt. James Montanio to separate shifts in the department's youth services unit. Sgts. Roy Miller and Marc Randle were moved to separate shifts in the department's communications section, a police spokesman said.

"This is not to say the lieutenant or sergeants did anything wrong, per se, but I simply can't overlook the leadership issue," McManus said. "I don't believe they were complicit in (illegal activity) at all, but I would be negligent if I did not look more deeply into the pathology of this."

Teddy Stewart, outgoing president of the San Antonio Police Officers' Association, said the transfers were severe.

"I have not seen this before, and I've been here 20 years," Stewart said. "Transferring the whole shift is a dramatic move. If you narrowly define who's responsible, it's more acceptable."

Information from: San Antonio Express-News, http://www.mysanantonio.com

Burglar breaks into car in Texas, steal's Greek Orthodox bishop's bejeweled crown

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) A burglar who broke into a Greek Orthodox bishop's car made off with quite a haul, but fencing one of the stolen items could prove difficult.

Among the items stolen from Bishop Metropolitan Isaiah's car was a jeweled crown of gold and silver, which Isaiah estimated to be worth between $6,000 and $10,000.

Isaiah, who is based in Denver and is bishop for the Northwest region of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, said he was dining with others at a restaurant when the break-in occurred. He said the car was parked in a well-lit spot.

"We came out at 10 o'clock, and the window was smashed," he said.

The burglar also made off with a copy of the New Testament, a veil, a cell phone and a black fabric bag. The bag had special meaning to the ex-Marine because it was given to him years ago by the widow of a fellow Marine.

Isaiah offered a reward of at least $1,000 if the crown is returned without damage.

"That was the first gift I received as a bishop 22 years ago," he said. "I feel lost without it."

At a vespers service Saturday night, he was the only priest with no head covering.

"I just hope and pray that those who took it will have a change of heart," he said.