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Posted: Feb 22, 2014 2:30 AM

Updated: Feb 22, 2014 2:31 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Federal officials have granted "endangered species" status to two salamander species unique to Central Texas. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced yesterday the listing of the Georgetown salamander and the Salado (suh-LAY'-doh) salamander. It says the small amphibians are endangered by habitat degradation and changes in the flow and quality of water in the springs where they live.

EL PASO, Texas (AP) Authorities say a West Texas man has been arrested and charged with shining a laser on a helicopter flying overhead. Don Ray Dorsett was arrested yesterday in El Paso. No one was injured in the January 4th incident.

PLANO, Texas (AP) A Texas man who pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a natural gas pipeline with a homemade bomb last year in a Dallas suburb wants to withdraw that plea. A hearing Wednesday is scheduled for 34-year-old Anson Chi in a federal court in Plano.

HOUSTON (AP) A Houston man has pleaded guilty in the murder-for-hire death of his mother in 2009, admitting he paid a high school classmate $4,000 to stab her. The Houston Chronicle reports Danish Minhas pleaded guilty Thursday to murder in exchange for 50 years in prison. Minhas, now 21, admitted paying fellow Lee High School student Nur Mohamed to stab 43-year-old Tabassum Khan in November 2009. At the time, Minhas was 17, Mohamed was 18.

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