Tony Alameda, right, places flowers at a makeshift memorial at the San Antonio police headquarters, Friday, June 30, 2017. Two police officers were wounded critically and a suspect was killed in a shootout on a street just north of downtown. (Eric Gay/AP)
TEXAS
Court rules against same-sex benefits

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday threw out a lower-court ruling that said spouses of gay and lesbian public employees are entitled to government-subsidized same-sex marriage benefits. The state’s highest civil court unanimously ordered a trial court to reconsider the case.

As part of a case challenging Houston’s benefits policy, the Supreme Court suggested a landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage does not fully address the right to marriage benefits. Justice Jeffrey Boyd, writing on behalf of the court in a 24-page opinion, said there’s still room for state courts to explore the “reach and ramifications” of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.

“We agree with the Mayor [of Houston] that any effort to resolve whether and the extent to which the Constitution requires states or cities to provide tax-funded benefits to same-sex couples without considering Obergefell would simply be erroneous,” Boyd wrote.“On the other hand, we agree . . . that the Supreme Court did not address and resolve that specific issue in Obergefell.”

— Texas Tribune

CALIFORNIA
2 hurt when plane crashes on freeway

A small twin-engine plane dropped out of the sky and exploded in flames on a busy freeway near a Southern California airport Friday morning, injuring the two people aboard but clipping only one passing vehicle, a fire official said.

The Cessna 310 aircraft crashed on Interstate 405, just short of a runway at John Wayne Airport in Costa Mesa around 9:30 a.m., said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The pilot declared an emergency shortly after taking off from the airport and was trying to return when the crash occurred, Gregor said.

The two people aboard the plane, a man and a woman in their 50s and 60s, were taken to a hospital with traumatic injuries, Orange County Fire Capt. Larry Kurtz said.

— Associated Press

MICHIGAN
Snyder vetoes ‘Choose Life’ license plate

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed legislation on Friday to require Michigan to create and sell an antiabortion fundraising license plate, saying the politically contentious bill would have divided residents.

The measure approved by the GOP-controlled legislature would have required the “Choose Life” plate to be issued by next June.

“The ‘Choose Life’ license plate is a political message that has the potential to bitterly divide millions of Michiganders and that, in my view, is not appropriate for a state-issued license plate,” Snyder said in a letter to lawmakers.

Michigan has fundraising plates for public universities and 14 special causes such as breast cancer awareness that cost drivers $35 initially and $10 each time they are renewed.

— Associated Press

MILITARY
Searchers’ wounds part of Bergdahl trial

Serious wounds to a soldier and a Navy SEAL who searched for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl can be used at the sentencing phase of his upcoming trial, a judge ruled Friday, giving prosecutors leverage to pursue stiff punishment against the soldier.

The judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, ruled that the service members wouldn’t have wound up in the firefights that left them wounded if they hadn’t been searching for Bergdahl, so their injuries would be relevant to his sentencing if he’s convicted of misbehavior before the enemy at trial in October.

The charge, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, alleges that Bergdahl endangered fellow service members by leaving his remote post and triggering search missions across Afghanistan.

— Associated Press