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This Hour: Latest Texas news, sports, business and entertainment

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FORT HOOD-PROSTITUTION RING

Fort Hood officer to face trial by court martial

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - A noncommissioned sexual abuse prevention officer accused of operating a prostitution ring at a central Texas army base will face a military court martial.

Fort Hood said Friday that Sergeant 1st Class Gregory McQueen's case will go to trial. His attorneys could not be immediately reached.

Initial charges were filed in March against McQueen alleging 21 criminal charges including pandering, adultery and sexual assault.

During a June hearing, two soldiers said that McQueen recruited them and other cash-strapped female soldiers to join a prostitution ring.

The base says the lieutenant general who presided over the hearing consulted McQueen's chain of command and the case's investigating officer before recommending that McQueen stand trial.

Another soldier at the base, Master Sergeant Brad Grimes, was already demoted and reprimanded in the case.

SPACEX-ROCKET EXPLODES

Rocket explodes during test flight; no injuries

MCGREGOR, Texas (AP) - An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded shortly after launch on a test flight at the company's Central Texas development site.

A SpaceX statement said nobody was injured in the Friday afternoon explosion at its test site in McGregor, Texas, 23 miles southeast of Waco.

In a statement, SpaceX spokesman John Taylor says the test flight involved a three-engine version of its reusable Falcon 9 rocket. He said an "anomaly" was detected in the rocket and it automatically self-destructed.

He said the vehicle remained within its designated flight area throughout and a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration was present.

The company offered no further details on the nature of the "anomaly," but Taylor said SpaceX will review the flight record to learn more about the rocket's performance before its next test flight.

LASER INDICTMENT

Lubbock man indicted in laser shining at aircraft

DALLAS (AP) - A 23-year-old former suburban Dallas man has been indicted on a federal count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft in the laser shining on a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter.

A U.S. attorney's statement says FBI agents arrested Steven Alexander Chavez on Friday in Lubbock, to where he had moved recently from Garland.

According to the indictment returned earlier this week in Dallas, Chavez knowingly aimed the laser pointer at a DPS helicopter on August 24th, 2013.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined up to $250,000.

Federal records list no attorney for Chavez, whose personal telephone number is not listed.

FOOTBALL PRACTICE-LIGHTNING

1 of 3 teens hit by lightning out of hospital

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - One of three eighth-grade football players hit by lightning during practice in a southern New Mexico town is out of the hospital.

His father says 13-year-old Demetrius Aguilera was released Thursday afternoon from a children's hospital in Texas.

Kenndre Aguilera tells the Las Cruces Sun-News his son wanted to see his teammates at Picacho Middle School in Las Cruces right away.

El Paso Children's Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Badr (BAY-der) said Friday that the most badly injured of the three teens, 13-year-old Hunter Keffer, has been upgraded from critical to serious condition. Another teen was in good condition Thursday, but Badr couldn't release updated information because he hasn't been identified.

An injured coach was released from a hospital after treatment.

The lightning struck near the school's practice field Tuesday afternoon.

RIG COUNT-TEXAS-SOUTHWEST

Texas rig count drops by 13

HOUSTON (AP) - Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Incorporated says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell 17 this week to 1,896.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,564 rigs were exploring for oil and 330 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas count declined by 13 rigs, North Dakota shut down 2, and Oklahoma's rig count dipped by one. Arkansas and Louisiana each added one rig.

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