Below are some of the top stories from around Fort Worth and Texas on Tuesday. Click on the links for more details on each one.
‘Affluenza’ dad goes to trial
Fred Couch — whose son, Ethan Couch, killed four people in a drunken driving crash in 2013 — is on trial this week, accused of impersonating a police officer.
Witnesses testified Tuesday that Fred Couch was wearing a Lakeside police badge when North Richland Hills officers encountered him on a disturbance call in 2014. But Couch’s attorneys said that doesn’t mean he’s guilty of a crime. He was given a badge, they said, because he was a member of a Lakeside search-and-rescue team.
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Couch faces a Class B misdemeanor in the case, punishable by up to 180 days in the county jail and a $2,000 fine.
His son, Ethan Couch, is known as the “affluenza teen.” A psychologist at his intoxication manslaughter trial in 2013 said the teen had “affluenza” because of his wealthy upbringing.
Stricter panhandling ordinance?
The Fort Worth City Council told city staff Tuesday to proceed with writing a more aggressive panhandling ordinance that could make it illegal to give money to beggars.
“We can make it illegal to give to a panhandler in a public area,” Councilman Cary Moon said. “We can treat it as a life-safety issue.”
More mumps in Johnson County
The number of mumps cases in Johnson County has risen to 48, up from 20 last week. Officials believe the outbreak has peaked, but the stats behind it are notable: Texas, as a whole, hasn’t had more than 20 cases of the virus in a year since 2011.
The cases are mostly in school-age children in Keene and Cleburne. Dr. Elvin Adams, the local health authority, believes the virus came from an outbreak in Arkansas, where several Keene students visited about a month ago.
Homlessness among students on the rise
A federal report released Tuesday said 113,063 students in Texas experienced homelessness in the 2014-15 school year. Homelessness is on the rise among public schools in 35 states, the report said.
In Fort Worth, school district officials have identified 1,283 homeless students this year.
Fort Worth man escapes jail...and goes to Buc-ee’s?
The Houston Chronicle reports that Dominic Potter, an inmate from Fort Worth, broke out of the Galveston County Jail on Monday night, and then surfaced at a Buc-ee’s in Madisonville. Potter was spotted on surveillance video at the popular gas station. Authorities were still searching for him Tuesday.