Power Outages Widespread; JP/Constable Offices Close in Troup
EAST TEXAS — Thousands of East Texans have been affected by power outages in the wake of Wednesday night’s storm system. The Smith County Justice of the Peace and Constable Pct. 3 Offices shut down for the day Thursday due to a prolonged outage. The Precinct 3 offices are located at 313 E. Duval Street in Troup. Electricity was expected to be restored late Thursday night and normal office hours should resume on Friday, July 25, according to a county news release. KETK reports at least ten area counties have reported significant outages. According to Oncor, some places may be in the dark until early Friday morning.
Doctor Convicted of Health Care Fraud
TYLER (AP/Staff) – A North Texas physician who ran a chain of hospitals, including some in East Texas, has been convicted of conspiracy, identity theft, and health care fraud. A federal jury in Tyler found Dr. Tariq Mahmood guilty Thursday of more than $1 million in fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims. The Cedar Hill physician faces up to 10 years imprisonment for the conspiracy conviction, 10 years for each fraud count and two years for each identity theft count. No sentencing date has been set. He owned the Renaissance Terrell Hospital, which closed in February 2013 after a federal agency halted funding. Mahmood also operated Cozby Germany Hospital in Grand Saline, Central Texas Hospital in Cameron, Community General Hospital in Dilley, Lake Whitney Medical Center in Whitney, and Shelby Regional Medical Center in Center.
Daycare Worker Fired; State Officials Are Investigating
LONGVIEW — A Longview church has fired a daycare worker, after church officials say she hit a child with a shoe. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report a state investigation is now in place at Oakland Heights Baptist Church. The church’s childcare center fired the employee in June. Afterwards the church notified state officials about the incident. The worker reportedly hit the child with a shoe as punishment for taking his shoes off.
Two UT Players Arrested, Suspended in Sex Case; One Is from Athens
AUSTIN (AP/Staff) – Two University of Texas football players, including an East Texan, have been arrested and charged with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month. Wide receivers Kendall Sanders, who is from Athens, and Montrel Meander have been released from the university police station. According to an arrest affidavit, Sanders (pictured) and Meander texted each other during earlier interviews with police to “get their story straight.” Sanders also faces a charge of improper photography tied to the alleged assault on June 21. First-year Longhorns coach Charlie Strong, who will welcome his team to preseason training camp in two weeks, said he had suspended both players.
Date Set for Inmate’s Death Trial
GREGG COUNTY — A trial date is set in federal court for a lawsuit in which a mother claims her son died because he was denied his prescription drugs while an inmate at the Gregg County Jail. According to the Longview News-Journal, jury selection is Feb. 9 in Marshall. Betty Madewell seeks unspecified monetary damages in the March 2013 death of her 51-year-old son, Bobby Joe Madewell Jr. Betty Madewell claims the county denied her son prescriptions for Xanax and hydrocodone. The county, which has since amended its jail drug policy to be wider, denies Madewell’s claims. Read more …
Quitman Police Investigating Deaths of Young Children
QUITMAN — The Quitman Police Department confirmed it is investigating the deaths of two young children. According to KETK, Police Chief Kelly Cole said more information will not be released before 10 a.m. Friday but homicide has not been ruled out. We’ll update this story as soon as other details are provided by law enforcement.
Stepdad Gets 60 Years in Sexual Abuse of Three Girls
HENDERSON — A man convicted of sexually abusing his three stepdaughters has been sentenced to 60 years in prison with no parole. According to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, Barney Samuel Bradshaw, 35, was arrested in September 2013 for aggravated sexual assault after it was learned he was abusing his three children under the age of 14. KETK reports the sentencing was handed down after four hours of deliberation. Family members said they plan to appeal the conviction.
Boil Water Notice Issued for Area East of Tyler
SMITH COUNTY — Due to power outages in the Tyler area, the Texas Commission on Environment Quality has ordered Jackson Water Supply to issue a boil water notice. KETK reports the notice affects the area north of FM 850, but not inclusive of FM 850. The road is located in the Jackson and Chapel Hill area. The public will be updated when it is no longer necessary to boil. If you have questions concerning this matter, please call Jackson Water Supply at 903-566-1320 or 903-343-9713.
East Texas Lawmaker Seeks Ruling on Historical Racing
AUSTIN (AP/Staff) – An East Texas lawmaker is asking the attorney general to weigh in on whether a state commission has the authority to allow a new form of betting called historical racing. Republican State Rep. Dan Flynn of Van is requesting a review of devices that are like slot machines and allow people to bet on horse and dog races that have already happened. Race track owners have asked the Texas Racing Commission to allow the machines as a way to help their struggling industry. They say it’s another form of legal betting. The public still has several days to comment and the commission could vote as early as next month. But Flynn says it amounts to an expansion of gambling and would require a two-thirds vote from lawmakers and approval from voters.
Missing Longview Teen is Safe
LONGVIEW — A missing Longview teenager is back home. The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office had asked for help finding Hannah Nicole Barker, 15, who has last been last seen last Sunday. Jay Webb, administrative lieutenant of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, said Tuesday that Barker is believed to have run away from her home on Peggy Ruth Road. Webb said that he wants to thank the public for its assistance. He said the girl has returned home and is safe.
Groundbreaking Surgery at Mother Frances
TYLER – Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics became the first health system between Tyler and the Metroplex to perform a single-site (incision) laparoscopic gynecological surgery in East Texas when Dr. Daren Yeager successfully completed the procedure July 22 at Mother Frances Hospital Tyler. That’s according to a Trinity Mother Frances news release. Read more …
Cruz Demands Answers on FAA Flight Ban to Israel
WASHINGTON (AP) – Sen. Ted Cruz says he’ll continue blocking confirmation of a series of State Department nominees despite the Federal Aviation Administration lifting a ban on U.S. airline flights to Israel. The Texas Republican says he won’t release the holds until the Obama administration answers his questions. New U.S. ambassadors to several key allies are affected. Cruz has accused President Obama of using the flight ban to impose an economic boycott of Israel while it is fighting the militant group Hamas. The senator said Thursday, “There are still serious questions as to the decision-making that went into the ban on flights and whether it was driven by political consideration at the White House or by objective expert opinion at the agency.”
About 200 Dogs, Cats Seized from North Texas Shelter
WOLFE CITY (AP) – About 200 dogs and cats have been seized from a North Texas animal shelter amid allegations of neglect. A judge in Greenville will consider whether the animals should be returned to the no-kill Frank Barchard Memorial Shelter in Wolfe City. Shelter president Jody McIntier denies the allegations and seeks to have the animals returned. Officials with the Texas SPCA and Hunt County on Wednesday removed the animals, saying some were sick, lacked clean water and were in poor housing. The removal came following a July 16 visit by SPCA inspectors. The dogs and cats have been transported to a shelter in McKinney for evaluation, pending the July 31 custody hearing.
Five Wichita Falls Workers Stung by Swarm of Bees
WICHITA FALLS (AP) – A North Texas street department worker has been stung about 500 times by aggressive bees that also attacked four firefighters sent to help him. Wichita Falls city officials blamed Thursday’s attack on Africanized honey bees. Spokesman Barry Levy says a worker was attacked while mowing grass along culverts near the Weeks Park Tennis Center. Levy says the man was transported to a Wichita Falls hospital. His name and condition weren’t immediately released. Levy says four firefighters who responded were also stung. Levy says three of the firefighters were transported to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening. The tennis center, a nearby trail and part of a golf course have been closed until emergency personnel confirm the bees are gone. Further details weren’t immediately available.
Man Gets 2nd Death Sentence in Dallas Slaying
DALLAS (AP) – A Dallas man has been sentenced to death a second time for the 1986 killing of a Dallas civil rights attorney and his wife. The Dallas Morning News reports that a Dallas County jury on Wednesday again sentenced Kenneth Wayne Thomas to die for stabbing Fred and Mildred Finch in their South Dallas home. Thomas was tried in 1987 and sent to death row. But the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals gave the 53-year-old a new sentencing hearing, saying jurors had not properly considered whether he was mentally disabled. A separate jury decided earlier this month that Thomas was competent to stand trial. Attorneys Juan Sanchez and Brook Busbee say Thomas is happy about the verdict because he would have more appeals with a death sentence. They say they still believe he is incompetent.
Probation for Man Who Faked Being Fire Marshal
FORT WORTH (AP) – A North Texas man who pretended to be a fire marshal has been sentenced to two years of probation. Grapevine police say Charles Brandon flashed a badge to avoid paying a $10 cover charge and to get free drinks at a bar on New Year’s Eve 2012. His deal requires that he stay away from the nightclub.
American Airlines Reports Improved Profit and Revenue
FORT WORTH (AP) – Profit and revenue are up at American Airlines and the company will share some of the gains with stockholders. American earned $864 million in the second quarter, up from the $507 million American and US Airways earned separately a year ago before they merged. American will pay its first dividend since 1980.
Yankees beat Rangers for sixth win in seven games
Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley are quickly putting their stamp on a playoff surge for the New York Yankees.
Acquired earlier this month from NL West also-rans, they teamed up Thursday to help the Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 4-2. McCarthy threw six more solid innings, Headley delivered another timely hit and New York won for the sixth time in seven games.
“From the beginning of spring training, it’s about giving yourself a chance in the postseason,” said Headley, obtained this week in a trade with San Diego.
“What an opportunity for me,” he said. “I take it as an honor and privilege to be here.”
McCarthy improved to 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in three starts since the Yankees got him from Arizona. He was 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA at the time of the trade.
“I really felt I wanted more pressure,” he said. “It’s ramped up all the way. I feel like I’ve responded.”
“It’s the opposite of how I felt earlier in this year. I was a burden on the team and holding things up,” he said. Read more …
Agent: Aminu agrees to deal with Mavericks
Forward Al-Farouq Aminu has agreed to a two-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks with a player option for the second season, agent Raymond Brothers said.
The Mavs could only offer Aminu, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft, the veteran’s minimum.
The 6-foot-9, 215-pound Aminu, 23, has averaged 6.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in four seasons for the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans. He averaged 7.2 points and 6.2 rebounds for New Orleans last season, when he was primarily a starter.
Aminu, who has twice had 16-point, 20-rebound performances against the Mavs, will provide depth for Dallas behind small forward Chandler Parsons and power forward Dirk Nowitzki.
Sources: Mavs, PG Nelson near deal
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
The Dallas Mavericks are closing in on signing former Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, according to sources briefed on the talks.
Sources told ESPN.com that Nelson and the Mavericks, barring an unforeseen snag, are on track to formalize a contract Thursday, when Nelson visits Dallas.
ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the Mavericks had arranged to fly Nelson into town for a face-to-face visit Thursday in the hopes of finalizing a deal via use of their $2.7 million room exception.
Dallas has been in the market for another veteran floor leader all summer to help fill the void created by Jose Calderon’s exit in June. The Mavericks had to part with Calderon to reacquire center Tyson Chandler in a trade with the New York Knicks.
After initially focusing on Mo Williams, who maintains an offseason home in the Dallas area, Mavericks officials have been engaged in serious negotiations with Nelson over the past week to give coach Rick Carlisle another trusted ball handler.
Longtime Maverick Devin Harris is the projected starter at the point after landing a four-year deal worth more than $16 million this month. Newly acquired point guard Raymond Felton and second-year point guard Gal Mekel are also on Dallas’ roster, but the Mavericks have made the signing of another point guard their top remaining priority after securing the services of Chandler Parsons as their new starting small forward. Read more …
Cowboys’ Romo (back) fully cleared for camp
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
OXNARD, Calif. – The Dallas Cowboys believe quarterback Tony Romo has made a complete recovery from December surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.
Meanwhile, defensive end Anthony Spencer and defensive tackle Amobi Okoye “won’t be ready to go for a while,” coach Jason Garrett said. Spencer, who played in only one game last season, is recovering from microfracture knee surgery. Okoye, who signed with the Cowboys in May, did not play in 2013 due to what has been described as a personal medical issue.
The Cowboys exercised caution with Romo by keeping him out of competitive drills during the offseason, although he resumed his throwing program before the beginning of organized team activities. Romo’s reps will be closely monitored during training camp, but the Cowboys do not believe any extra limitations are necessary.
“He’s been working very hard on his conditioning and his throwing, and we do anticipate him being ready to go for all aspects,” Garrett said. “Like with anybody else coming off of an injury, though, we’ll evaluate him on a day by day basis and just see how he’s doing. In a situation like this, you want to monitor his throws. You want to make sure his reps are quality reps, that he’s not just out there banging balls, so to speak. So we want to make sure we’re very thoughtful about that, really like we would any player who is coming off an injury, and evaluate how he’s handling the work and continue to progress with him or dial it back a little bit. Read more …
Cowboys’ Jones says Garrett not under gun
By Todd Archer | ESPN.com
OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones doesn’t view 2014 as a win-or-else year for his head coach even as Jason Garrett enters the final year of his contract.
“In terms of the record of this team, this is not a make-or-break situation for Jason and members of this staff,” Jones said at the Cowboys’ opening training camp news conference. “We’ve got a job to do. We obviously want to zero in on what we have to do this afternoon and what we do the next day and the next day and the next day.
“I know firsthand that we’ve got a relationship, that I have a relationship (with Garrett) and there’s nobody that has a better feel for me than Jason, in terms of the relationship. We both know where our expectations are and when it’s looking good and when it’s looking dire. And I don’t expect it to be the latter.”
Garrett has a 29-27 record since taking over in the middle of the 2010 season for Wade Phillips but has posted three straight 8-8 records in which the Cowboys have missed out on the playoffs with Week 17 NFC East losses each time.
The Cowboys have retooled their roster since Garrett took over. Only eight of the 90 players on the current roster remain from when Garrett became Phillips’ replacement. Read more …
Rangers deal closer Soria to Tigers
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
NEW YORK — The Texas Rangers traded closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers for two pitching prospects on Wednesday night.
The deal was pending physicals and sends rookie right-hander Corey Knebel and right-handed minor league prospect Jake Thompson to Texas.
Knebel will be assigned to Triple-A Round Rock, with Thompson going to Double-A Frisco.
“Corey Knebel is a big physical right-handed guy with back of the bullpen speed and demeanor,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “A power fastball, curveball combo, a lot of success at (the University of Texas).”
Knebel, 22, made eight relief appearances for the Tigers this season allowing six earned runs in 8 2/3 innings.
He was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a second stint with the Tigers on July 19. His first appearance in the big leagues came against the Rangers on May 24 in Detroit.
Daniels said the fact Thompson, from Rockwall, Texas, was being assigned to Double-A at his age was a positive given the amount of talent at that classification.
Thompson, 20, had gone 7-4 with a 3.06 ERA in 18 starts for Lakeland (High-A) and Erie (AA) this season. Read more …
Strong offseason fueling Brandon Weeden
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com
IRVING, Texas – Brandon Weeden’s bid to be the Dallas Cowboys’ No. 2 quarterback in 2014 got a lot easier when the club decided to release Kyle Orton.
Barring something unforeseen, Weeden, who signed a two-year deal in the offseason, will be Tony Romo’s backup. But Weeden does not look at the move as “weight off my shoulders.”
“Given the situation Kyle has been in in previous years in Dallas, he’s been the backup quarterback, so I think if he was there it would be one more obstacle I would have to kind of hurdle,” Weeden said. “But at the same time I can’t really get wrapped up in putting all of my attention on that. I need to do what I did in the [organized team activities] and continue to play well and get better. I think hopefully things will work out that way regardless.”
The Cowboys felt confident enough to jettison Orton, who skipped the entire offseason program and minicamp, in part because of what Weeden did in the spring. With Romo recovering from back surgery and being kept out of competitive drills and Orton missing, Weeden took all of the first-team snaps.
“I think the reps I got in the OTAs were kind of irreplaceable,” Weeden said. “If I was in a situation where God forbid something happened to Tony and I’m asked to play, those are the guys I’m going to battle with, so those reps I got were invaluable. I know I won’t get many of those in [training] camp, but fortunately I had 12 practices where I was able to get out with those guys. Now it’s, ‘Let’s get to work.’ I’m ready to get to California and get things rolling.”
Orton had the same benefit last year of taking all of the offseason snaps in 2013 as Romo recovered from surgery to remove a cyst from his back. When Romo hurt his back in Week 16 against the Washington Redskins, he was able to step into the season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles and play well. He completed 30 of 46 passes for 358 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, but a late turnover sealed the Cowboys’ loss.
“[Gavin] Escobar and [Jason] Witten are two totally different players. Dez [Bryant] and Terrance [Williams] are two totally different players,” Weeden said. “You kind of learn what certain guys’ strengths are and little nuances of what they do. That’s the thing more than anything. You kind of get a feel for what Dez likes on fades and all that stuff a certain way where Terrance might like it another way. You’ve got to learn what each guy likes. When you’re with so many new guys it takes time. You always want more time, but it’s nice to have the reps I did get there to get a head start.”
Mack Brown joins ABC studio team
ESPN.com news services
BRISTOL, Conn. — Former Texas coach Mack Brown will serve as a studio analyst for college football games on ABC.
Brown stepped down in December after 16 years with the Longhorns, winning the national title after the 2005 season.
“I’m so excited and grateful to be joining ESPN’s college football coverage team,” Brown said in a news release. “We’ve been talking about it for a few months, and I think it’s a great opportunity to continue to be an active part of a game I love so much. People who know me know I’m a football junkie, so I’m really looking forward to watching and studying teams, sharing thoughts, and talking football with all of the passionate college football fans across the country each and every week.”
Brown will appear on “College Football Countdown” and offer pregame, halftime and postgame commentary for the games on ABC, including “Saturday Night Football.” He will work with host John Saunders and former Florida State quarterback Danny Kanell.
ESPN also said Thursday that former Miami and North Carolina coach Butch Davis will serve as an analyst for ESPN2′s studio coverage on Saturdays.
“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to be an analyst on a sport that has been a part of my coaching life at every level,” Davis said in the release.
Davis was fired by the Tar Heels in 2011 during an NCAA investigation. He led the Hurricanes back to national prominence while coaching them from 1995-2000. In between, there was a mostly unsuccessful NFL stint with the Cleveland Browns.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Two Texas WRs face felony charge
ESPN.com news services
AUSTIN, Texas — Two Longhorns football players have been charged with felony sexual assault, and their arrests are pending, a University of Texas police spokeswoman said.
Spokeswoman Cindy Posey says the players charged Thursday are wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander. Sanders also faces a charge of improper photography.
Texas coach Charlie Strong said in a statement that both players have been suspended from the football team.
“We’ve been monitoring and addressing the situation with Kendall (Sanders) and Montrel (Meander) since it was brought to our attention,” Strong said. “It’s been made clear to everyone on our team that treating women with respect is one of our core values, and I’m extremely disappointed that two young men in our program have been accused of not doing that. With the recent charges against them, they have been suspended indefinitely from our football team and will no longer participate in any team functions.”
Sanders, a junior, has played in 23 career games and started seven last year. He has 39 career receptions for 376 yards and one touchdown. Sanders was suspended for the 2013 season opener after a drunken-driving arrest.
Meander is a redshirt freshman who did not play last season.
ESPN.com’s Max Olson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Mark Cuban has right hip replaced
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban posted a video to Instagram of him taking his first steps a day after having his right hip replaced.
Mark Cuban @mcuban
24 hours after a total hip replacement taking my first steps. Why did I wait so long to do it !… http://instagram.com/p/q1ohzXO213/
9:59 AM – 24 Jul 2014
This is the second total hip replacement that Cuban, 55, has undergone. He had his left hip replaced in 2007, months before participating in the ABC show “Dancing With the Stars.”
Cuban suffers from osteoarthritis, a painful disease that affects millions. Osteoarthritis causes protective cartilage on the ends of bones to wear down over time. Cuban exercises on a regular basis, routinely conducting interviews from the StairMaster in the Mavericks’ weight room before home games.
Neftali Feliz: Closer today, beyond?
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
NEW YORK — At least for one day, the Texas Rangers have anointed Neftali Feliz as their closer.
Feliz will be in that role for Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the New York Yankees. Texas traded closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night for two pitching prospects.
Feliz was a dominant force as Texas’ closer in 2010 and 2011 before being moved to the starting rotation.
“If there’s an opportunity, I would like to become the closer again,” Feliz said. “I did it for a couple of years, and I will take advantage of the opportunity and do the best that I can.”
Manager Ron Washington said he’s unsure whether Feliz can close on consecutive days. It will depend on the number of pitches he throws in a given appearance, but Washington thinks Feliz is ready to do it.
“I’m going to give him the ball and tell him to do what he feels he needs to do with it,” Washington said. “This is what, Neftali’s fifth year? I can’t motivate Neftali. That [being the closer again] should motivate him enough. You got a chance to close and that’s what it is, a chance.”
Feliz is 0-1 with a 2.61 ERA since he was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on July 4 to work out of the bullpen. After allowing a home run to Melky Cabrera in Sunday’s loss to Toronto, Feliz has retired the past eight hitters he’s faced.
You Tell Me Texas by Paul Gleiser
Did you know your heart is a muscle just like the biceps in your arm or the quadriceps in your legs? It’s considered to be the hardest working muscle in your body; beating more than 3.5 billion times during an average lifespan. And like any hard-working muscle, your heart needs a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a good night’s sleep to stay healthy. But what actually happens to this vital muscle over time when you have diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol? UT Health’s cardiologist, Dr. Dudley Goulden, answers questions about maintaining a healthy heart muscle in this post to HealthConnection. Go to the UT Health Connection website!
Today in History
Today in History for 24th July 2014- Historical Events 1673 - Edmund Halley enters The Queen's College, Oxford, as an undergraduate 1929 - President Hoover proclaims Kellogg-Briand Pact which renounces war 1942 - Irving Berlin's musical "This is the Army" premieres in NYC 1958 - Ted Williams is fined $250 for spitting at Boston fans again 1965 - Bob Dylan release "Like a Rolling Stone" 1982 - "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" closes... Read more on HistoryOrb.com
Health Recipe of the Day!
Low-Fat Recipes: Sweet and Tangy Thai Cucumber Salad
4.75 / 5 Stars | 10 Reviews
"If you love Thai food but prefer less spice, try this ultra-easy Thai-inspired cucumber and onion salad that's refreshing, not hot."