In brief: Indicted Texas governor goes on the offensive
AUSTIN, Texas – Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry vowed Saturday to fight a criminal indictment in a defiant response that showed an old slice of swagger that he’s kept holstered lately while seeking to remake his image for a potential 2016 presidential run.
Perry called two felony counts of abuse of power issued by an Austin grand jury “outrageous” and made no apologies for his 2013 veto that prompted a criminal investigation against the longest-serving governor in Texas history.
Perry made it clear he will finish his term that ends in January and said it was the investigation against him – and not his actions – that amounted to an abuse of power. A Travis County grand jury Friday indicted Perry for carrying out a threat to veto state funds to the local district attorney, an elected Democrat, who refused to resign following a drunken-driving arrest.
“We don’t settle political differences with indictments in this country,” Perry told reporters outside his office in the Texas Capitol.
Woman recovering after drinking caustic iced tea
SALT LAKE CITY – A woman who unknowingly drank iced tea laced with an industrial cleaning solution at a Utah restaurant has whispered and gotten out of bed, her lawyer said Saturday.
The progress marks the first sign of improvement for Jan Harding since the 67-year-old was rushed to a hospital nearly a week ago with severe burns to her mouth and throat, according to family attorney Paxton Guymon.
The heavy-duty cleaner that ended up in the sweetened iced tea Harding drank Aug. 10 at a Dickey’s Barbecue in a Salt Lake City suburb was unintentionally mixed into a bag of sugar, which a worker later added into the iced tea dispenser, authorities have said.
Harding’s breathing tube has been removed, and she was doing well without it, Guymon said in an email.
Prosecutor: Kidnapped sisters sexually abused
CANTON, N.Y. – Two young Amish sisters were sexually abused after their abduction from a roadside farm stand in northern New York, a prosecutor said Saturday.
St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain’s disclosure came hours after the county’s sheriff said the couple charged in the kidnapping were prowling for easy targets and may have planned to abduct other children.
Stephen Howells Jr. and Nicole Vaisey, both of Hermon, were arrested and arraigned Friday on charges they abducted the 7-year-old and 12-year-old sisters with the intent to physically or sexually abuse them.
“We felt that there was the definite potential that there was going to be other victims,” St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said.
The sisters were abducted Wednesday from the farm stand in front of the family’s home in Oswegatchie, near the Canadian border. They were set free by their captors about 24 hours later and turned up safe at the door of a house 15 miles from where they were taken.