News

AUSTIN — A pilot program allowing soldiers in hostile fire zones to vote via email is being touted as a success after just eight soldiers from Bexar County cast ballots in Texas’ general elections last year.

State lawmakers now are poised to expand the program, likely to Bell County, home to Fort Hood, and El Paso County, home to Fort Bliss. Bexar County includes military-heavy San Antonio.

The Chatham House / Wikimedia Commons

DALLAS — Think flying is getting worse? A pair of university researchers who track the airline business say it’s a fact.

More flights are late, more bags are getting lost, and customers are lodging more complaints about U.S. airlines, government data shows. Dean Headley, a marketing professor at Wichita State and one of the co-authors of an annual report — now in its 25th year — being released Monday, said passengers already know that air travel is getting worse. “We just got the numbers to prove it.”

For the third straight year, Virgin America led the rankings. The niche airline with a limited route network was followed by Hawaiian Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Among other findings in the report:

LATENESS: The percentage of flights that arrived on time fell to 76.2 percent last year from 78.4 percent in 2013. Best: Hawaiian Airlines. Worst: Envoy Air, which operates most American Eagle flights.

Survey: Nearly 9 In 10 US Adults Now Have Health Insurance

Apr 13, 2015
Ryan Poppe

WASHINGTON — Underlining a change across the nation, nearly 9 out of 10 adults now say they have health insurance, according to an extensive survey released Monday. As recently as 2013, slightly more than 8 out of 10 had coverage.

Whether the new number from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index turns out to be a high-water mark for President Barack Obama’s health care law, or a milestone on the path toward his goal of getting virtually all U.S. residents covered, remains to be seen.

The law’s future is still up in the air, and will turn on factors ranging from an upcoming Supreme Court decision on consumer subsidies to actions by Republican leaders in states opposed to Medicaid expansion.

The Gallup-Healthways survey found that the share of adults who lack insurance dropped to 11.9 percent for the first three months of this year, the lowest level since that survey began its tracking in 2008.

Sachyn Mital / Wikimedia Commons

NEW YORK — John Legend has launched a campaign to end mass incarceration.

The Grammy-winning singer announced the multiyear initiative, FREE AMERICA, on Monday. He will visit and perform at a correctional facility on Thursday in Austin, Texas, where he also will be part of a press conference with state legislators to discuss Texas’ criminal justice system.

“We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country,” Legend said in an interview. “It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration.”

Legend, 36, will also visit a California state prison and co-host a criminal justice event with Politico in Washington, D.C., later this month.

ROBSTOWN, Texas — A former South Texas reserve deputy is accused of trying to smuggle several non-U.S. citizens into the country.

Federal court documents show Robstown police arrested Luis Enrique Guevara after authorities found three Guatemalan citizens inside the vehicle he was driving. Officers had pulled Guevara over for speeding and for having electronic devices on his dashboard that obstructed his view from the windshield.

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