North Texas Daily

National/Regional news briefs

National/Regional news briefs

March 02
01:31 2012

NATIONAL

U.S. Coast Guard increases presence in the Arctic

SEATTLE – With increasing ship traffic through once-frozen northern seas and the expected debut of offshore oil drilling as early as July, the U.S. Coast Guard is launching Arctic Shield, its largest-ever deployment in the Arctic Ocean.

Coast Guard officials said this week that they will be mounting full-scale patrols as well as helicopter and small-craft operations across the northern and western coasts of Alaska as Royal Dutch Shell prepares to drill exploratory wells in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

“As the ice has receded and there’s more open water, we’re moving our operations up north,” Capt. Adam Shaw, chief of prevention for the Coast Guard’s 17th District in Alaska, said.

Arctic Shield 2012 will allow the Coast Guard to do search-and-rescue operations for troubled vessels, monitor oil operations and conduct outreach activities with area communities.

REGIONAL


Federal court orders May 29 primary date for Texas

AUSTIN – The federal court in San Antonio has ordered Texas to hold its primary elections on May 29, resolving for now one of the biggest issues in the state’s redistricting battles.

The three-judge panel issued the election schedule two days after releasing political maps for Texas to use in the 2012 election. Legal disputes over the maps for congressional and House districts have kept Texas from holding elections.

In the primary schedule released Thursday, the filing period for candidates reopens on Friday and closes on March 9. County election officials will mail out voter registration cards on April 25 and any run-off elections will be held on July 31.

While the court order clarifies the election schedule, some minority groups complain that the election maps are unfair and are seeking changes.

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@prestonrios_: FINALSMU-65 UNT- 35
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