Couple’s next ‘Fixer Upper’ to be hotel

WACO, Texas (AP) — The next redo project for former "Fixer Upper" TV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines will be a Texas hotel.

The couple on Thursday announced plans to transform a three-story office building into a boutique hotel in Waco. The site is a few blocks from their Magnolia Market at the Silos.

McLennan County owned the 91-year-old Grand Karem Shrine building. Commissioners last year agreed to sell the property, which housed health service offices, to Magnolia Vacation Rentals for $930,000. The county sold a nearby parking garage for $500,000.

No name was announced for the hotel that's expected to open in 2021.

Chip and Joanna Gaines in June announced a more than $10 million plan for a retail village at Magnolia Market at the Silos with more shops and other attractions.

Execution halted over claim of bias

HOUSTON (AP) — A Jewish death row inmate who was part of the “Texas 7” gang of escaped prisoners and faced execution in less than a week has won a reprieve after claiming the former judge at his trial was anti-Semitic and frequently used racial slurs.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday granted a stay of execution for Randy Halprin, who had been scheduled to receive a lethal injection on Oct. 10.

Halprin alleges in his appeal that ex-Dallas County Judge Vickers Cunningham referred to him with anti-Semitic language.

Cunningham declined to comment about the case on Friday.

Halprin was among the inmates who escaped from a South Texas prison in 2000 and committed numerous robberies, including one in which a suburban Dallas police officer was fatally shot.

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