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TEXAS: How El Paso beat drought

For decades, El Paso defied the look of most desert communities, with neighborhoods boasting lush, green lawns and residents freely running their sprinklers. Then a study released in 1979 showed just how close El Paso was to a crisis: At its rate of water use, the city would run dry within 36 years. Over the next couple of decades the city took drastic measures to stabilize its water supply, undergoing a philosophical and physical face-lift that included ripping up grass from many public places, installing rock and cactus gardens and offering financial incentives for residents to do the same. Today, El Paso is among the few cities in the drought-stricken state not worrying about water. It's a distinction El Paso leaders attribute to a conservation plan that other cities in less arid climates such as San Antonio and Austin have tried to a limited extent amid receding water resources and booming population growth.

Parents charged in death

Police say a 10-year-old boy died of dehydration after his parents kept water from him for five days as punishment for wetting his bed. Michael Ray James and Tina Alberson, both 42, are charged with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury in the July 25 death of their son Jonathan James. Jonathan's twin brother, Joseph James, and a 12-year-old stepbrother weren't hurt. Joseph told The Dallas Morning News that his parents put Jonathan in a room without air conditioning and told him to stand by the window. Temperatures in Dallas hit 100 or more every day but one last month. Police documents show the boy collapsed and hit his head on the floor the night he died.

THE NORTHWEST: Wildfire danger continues

Crews facing adverse weather forecasts rushed to bolster protective lines around blazes that have scorched tens of thousands of acres in the Northern Rockies, while firefighters in Oregon worked to corral a range fire that forced a kids' science camp to evacuate. Fire conditions rose to critical across Montana, north central Idaho and northwest Wyoming.

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