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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent a record 14 years in office vanquishing nearly all who dared confront him.
But with eight months left on the job and a decision to make about the 2016 presidential race, the nation's longest-serving governor is now the focus of a grand jury investigation over a veto he cast last summer.
A special prosecutor will probe whether Perry abused his power by vetoing state funds for a unit headed by a district attorney he had called on to resign. Perry said the official, Democrat Rosemary Lehmberg, had lost public trust after being convicted of drunken driving. She alleged the veto was partisan.
The grand jury investigation comes as Perry has been softening his image. He hasn't ruled out another White House run in 2016.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A star sea lion at the St. Louis Zoo has died.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Bennie the sea lion died Friday. He was 11.
Zoo spokeswoman Susan Gallagher says tests will be done to determine the cause of death. She says the sea lion had been lethargic and eating poorly for several days.
Bennie was born at the zoo's Sea Lion Basin in 2002 and had been part of the Sea Lion Show for seven years. He was known for kissing onlookers, from average visitors to movie stars and Cardinals ballplayers.
Bennie was also in a 2012 television commercial announcing the opening of the zoo's then-new Sea Lion Sound. The ad won a Brass Ring Award in Marketing Excellence.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A smartphone app-based ride-sharing service has started service in St. Louis, ignoring a cease and desist order from the city's taxi commission.
Lyft lets users look for members who offer rides. Lyft drivers, who outfit the front grilles of their cars with large pink mustaches, are separate from for-hire taxi services. There's no set payment on Lyft rides, but passengers are encouraged to make a donation.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the program began Friday in St. Louis, with the San Francisco-based company throwing a launch party. Lyft ignored a cease and desist order from the city's taxi commission when the app went live in St. Louis.
Ron Klein, the commissi