Longview Man Guilty of Assaulting Officer
LONGVIEW — A jury in Longview needed about an hour Wednesday to convict Shaun Antonio Thompson of felony assault for threatening a police officer with a shotgun at a Longview apartment complex in August 2013, according to the Longview News-Journal. Thompson, 27, was shot three times by an officer after pointing a gun at the lawman. The officer was exonerated in the shooting by a Texas Ranger, who instead filed a formal complaint against Thompson. The defendant faced a lesser charge of aggravated assault, which would have put the penalty range at two to 20 years. He now faces up to life in prison on the first-degree conviction and will be sentenced by Brabham on Nov. 3. The judge also raised Thompson’s bail from $50,000 to $75,000 Wednesday.
Renovations Wrapping Up at Smith County Jail
TYLER — The Smith County Jail is wrapping up its renovations this fall. KETK reports the construction’s been carried out in two phases. According to County Commissioner Jeff Warr, the first phase was completed under budget. Any extra money is going towards fixing up the main housing area, as well as upgrading security. The $35-million expansion was $30 million less than the closest proposal. This makes spending tight, and although commissioners don’t expect to go over budget, they say it’s going to be a close one. Warr says, “We’re still in budget and operating as leanly as we can, and it gave us the opportunity to upgrade the system, (including) additional security and some things like that since we had the additional money.” According to Warr, there should be no further financial burden on taxpayers.
Assistant Jail Administrator Promoted
TYLER — Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith has promoted a new jail captain and assistant jail administrator. He issued a statement on the evening of Tuesday, September 30, 2014, affirming that effective October 1, 2014, Lieutenant Tobby Hughes is promoted to the rank of Captain and will also be classified as the Assistant Jail Administrator. “Captain Hughes will have my full support as we continue to move forward at the Smith County Jail,” says Smith. Read more …
Angelina County Commissioner Indicted
LUFKIN – Angelina County Commissioner Robert Lewis Loggins, 54, has been indicted by a grand jury for using county equipment for personal reasons. The precinct 3 county commissioner is charged with two counts of misdemeanor A, abuse of official capacity. His bonds total $1,500.Loggins had been accused of using county equipment on his daughter’s land.
Marijuana Cited in Weekend Misdemeanor Arrest Spike
HENDERSON — There was a rise in misdemeanor arrests in Rusk County over the weekend, most of those for marijuana possession. According to KETK and the Henderson Daily News, the sheriff says there’s no specific reason for the increase, since the cases were just what officials call routine traffic stops.
East Texas State Fair Breaks Records
TYLER — The 99th annual East Texas State Fair was BIG. Total attendance was 249,701 which represents a 25.7% increase over 2013. This is the largest crowd since the economic downturn in 2008. The Fair broke records in several categories. Food sales were up 18.4%. Carnival ridership was up 35.2%. Livestock show entries were up 1.6%. The best success indicator according to John Sykes, President of The Park of East Texas, was children’s ticket sales. Those sales were up 24.1%. Read more …
Tyler Christmas Parade Accepting Applications
TYLER — The city of Tyler’s Christmas Parade is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. in downtown Tyler. Additionally, the 29th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on the T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza immediately following the parade. Due to the disbandment of the Tyler Jaycees this summer, the Tyler Police and Fire Departments have stepped up to plan and manage the annual Christmas Parade, according to a city news release. Read more …
Sister: U.S. Ebola Patient Said He Was from Liberia
DALLAS (AP) — The sister of the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States says he told officials the first time he went to the hospital that he was visiting from Liberia. Mai Wureh told The Associated Press that her brother, Thomas Eric Duncan, went to a Dallas emergency room on Friday and was sent away with antibiotics. He returned two days later to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and was admitted. Doctor Mark Lester confirmed Wednesday that a nurse asked Duncan on his first visit whether he had been in an area affected by the Ebola outbreak that has killed thousands in West Africa but that the “information was not fully communicated throughout the whole team.” The disease is not contagious until symptoms begin, and it takes close contact with bodily fluids to spread. Officials at the Dallas hospital are reviewing protocols after its emergency room sent the man home after he told a nurse he had recently arrived from West Africa. Read more …
Report: Hospital Protocol Failed in TB Outbreak
EL PASO (AP) — A federal report shows an El Paso hospital worker who exposed more than 850 infants to tuberculosis was allowed to return to work despite showing symptoms of the disease and coughing up blood at a hospital health screening. The report released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reveals that the nurse assistant told others at Providence Memorial Hospital in July that she was fatigued and coughing up blood. But she was not removed from work until a month later. The report shows the hospital knew the worker had a latent form of TB so her symptoms should have triggered more tests to confirm if the disease had become contagious. But hospital guidelines did not mandate further testing. She was placed on leave after her private doctor diagnosed her.
Advocates Urge Texas to Again Expand DNA Testing
AUSTIN (AP) — Advocacy groups and a Texan who spent nearly 25 years in prison for a killing he didn’t commit are urging the 2015 Legislature to again expand access to crime-scene DNA testing. Michael Morton was convicted of the 1986 slaying of his wife but exonerated by DNA testing in 2011. He joined the New York-based Innocence Project and Democratic Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston at the Texas Capitol on Wednesday. Those gathered say they want “minor fixes” to an existing law they say was weakened by an appeals court ruling. The 2011 law allowed genetic testing on most crime-scene evidence. In February, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals again denied further DNA testing in the case of death row inmate Larry Swearingen. He’s condemned for the 1998 slaying of Melissa Trotter.
Seven Indicted in Red River Army Depot Fraud Case
TEXARKANA (AP) — Seven Northeast Texas men have been indicted in a federal fraud and theft investigation involving military trucks and repairs at the Red River Army Depot. An indictment returned September 17 in Texarkana and unsealed Wednesday includes charges of conspiracy, fraud and theft of government property or money. Prosecutors say the alleged billing scheme, involving tires and parts never received or work never done, led to about $2 million in losses since 2007. The Red River Army Depot, located about 10 miles east of Texarkana, employs a large civilian workforce to help repair tactical vehicles. The suspects include vendors or civilian employees from Texarkana, Douglassville, Hooks, Atlanta, Queen City and De Kalb. All face initial court appearances Thursday.
Cowboys’ Spillman Subject of Reported Sex Assault
GRAPEVINE (AP) — Dallas Cowboys special teams player C.J. Spillman is under investigation but hasn’t been arrested or charged after a report of an alleged sexual assault at the team hotel last month. Grapevine police spokesman Sgt. Robert Eberling said Wednesday night that the alleged incident took place early the morning of September 20 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center. The team flew to St. Louis later that Saturday, and Spillman played against the Rams the next day. He has played in all four games for the Cowboys, including last weekend at home against New Orleans. Eberling said no other details were being released because the investigation is ongoing. Spillman’s agent and attorney declined to comment. The Cowboys signed the 28-year-old Spillman on September 1.
Texas Tech Students Protest Against ‘Rape Culture’
LUBBOCK (AP) — Some Texas Tech University students have demonstrated against what they say is a “rape culture” on campus by laying bed sheets spray-painted with “no means no” at three locations. The women’s actions Wednesday came a day after university officials sent an email to students and faculty that called activities at a recent off-campus fraternity party “reprehensible.” A picture of a banner at the Sept. 20 Phi Delta Theta fraternity gathering, briefly posted online, read, “No means yes, yes means anal (sex).” University spokesman Chris Cook said the school learned of the banner the day after the party and began investigating immediately. Last week the university established a task force to review Greek organizations. The bed sheets displayed Wednesday were removed by police after about 30 minutes.
Texas Appeals Court Upholds DeLay Reversal
HOUSTON (AP) — The highest criminal court in Texas has refused to reinstate two money-laundering convictions of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday upheld a ruling last year from the 3rd Court of Appeals that tossed DeLay’s 2010 convictions for money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Prosecutors argued in June before the Austin-based Court of Criminal Appeals that the convictions be reinstated. But the appeals court said in its 8-1 ruling it agrees with the lower court findings, which said as a matter of law, what prosecutors proved in DeLay’s case did not constitute either offense. The charges were related to corporate donations to DeLay’s political action committee that prosecutors say were illegally funneled to some Texas House candidates in 2002.
Girl Missing for 12 Years Found with Mom in Mexico
AUSTIN (AP) — Authorities say a Texas girl reported kidnapped 12 years ago has been found with her mother in Mexico, and that the mother is now facing charges in the U.S. The FBI says Sabrina Allen, 17, was found Tuesday night in Mexico City. She was reported missing by her father in 2002, after the then-4-year-old girl vanished after a weekend visit with her mother. The teen and her mother, Dara Llorens, were flown back to Texas early Wednesday. Llorens is now jailed in Austin on an aggravated kidnapping charge and being held on a $300,000 bond. Gregory Allen said during a news conference with Austin police that he’s looking forward to giving his daughter a hug. Authorities didn’t reveal the teen’s whereabouts. The case was twice profiled on “America’s Most Wanted.”
Two Men Charged in Border Patrol Agent’s Death
RAYMONDVILLE (AP) — Two men from Mexico have been indicted over the fatal shooting of an off-duty Border Patrol agent and in the wounding of his father during a Texas fishing trip. The Valley Morning Star reports a grand jury indicted Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval, 30, and Ismael Hernandez-Vallejo, 40, on capital murder and attempted capital murder charges. Javier Vega Junior was slain in August during a robbery while fishing with family members in Willacy County. Vega’s father was wounded in the back and spent several days hospitalized. Both suspects remain in custody. They could face the death penalty if convicted of capital murder. A message seeking information about whether the suspects have attorneys was left with the court.
Ex-Texas Deputy Gets 12 Years in Drug Cash Case
McALLEN (AP) — A former Texas law enforcement officer who over a dozen years hauled about $40 million in drug money meant for Mexico has been sentenced to 12 years in prison. Robert “Bobby” Maldonado of Weslaco was sentenced Wednesday by a federal judge in McAllen. The ex-Texas Department of Public Safety trooper and former Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit money laundering. A 2012 traffic stop yielded more than $1 million in the trunk of his car. Maldonado was running for Hidalgo County constable at the time of his arrest in Victoria County. Prosecutors say Maldonado from 2001 to late 2013 would fly to cities including Detroit, Chicago and Birmingham, Alabama, rent a car, pick up the money and drive to the South Texas border.
Consultant Says Austin Should Create Safety Plan
AUSTIN (AP) — A consulting firm says Austin should create a safety plan that limits how many other events occur the week of the South by Southwest festival. The Austin American-Statesman reports the festival’s planners have long argued the city’s downtown area is filled with crowds because of nonsanctioned, pop-up events by businesses. They say people are drawn into venues with the promise of free alcohol and that those businesses can’t handle large crowds. The report was sent Tuesday to city officials. The festival’s co-founder says the festival should get priority permitting for all of its events. The festival hired the consulting firm after four people died in a crash during last year’s event. An artist was also arrested after being accused of trying to incite a riot.
Bush Hosts Golf Tournament for Wounded Warriors
IRVING (AP) — Former President George W. Bush is hosting his fourth annual golf tournament for military members who were wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan. Bush is set to make comments this morning as the second day of the Warrior Open tees off at the Las Colinas Country Club in the Dallas suburb of Irving. The tournament opened Wednesday with the 21 selected military members competing in a 36-hole tournament. The Warrior Open today features the military members playing with PGA Tour professionals in a pro-am. The Warrior Open also highlights several military support organizations that give assistance to service personnel and their families while they are deployed and then when they return home.
Cannon Firing Returns to Texas A&M Field
COLLEGE STATION (AP) — Each time Texas A&M scores a touchdown at their next home game against Ole Miss, fans can expect to hear the sound of a cannon firing. A tradition for years, the cannon wasn’t fired at the school’s most recent game because of safety concerns about it being used within the newly updated Kyle Field stadium. Texas A&M officials believe they can safely fire the cannon from the field’s southeast tower for the rest of the season. On Tuesday, the Texas A&M System also announced that new grass has been installed at Kyle Field. The field began deteriorating during a September game against Rice University. Heavy rains the night before the game, plus the grass being on the ground only for a month, caused some holes in the field.
Texas Woman Buys Nuremberg Stenographer’s Mementos
ANCHORAGE (AP) — A Dallas woman has paid $9,000 for documents from the Nuremberg trials that were found in an old trunk in Alaska that belonged to a postwar stenographer. Fran Berg was the highest bidder for the items in an auction of World War II memorabilia Saturday by Anchorage-based Alaska Auction Co. The collection, which includes carbon copies of trial transcripts, had belonged to the late Maxine Carr, a stenographer at the war-crimes trials following the war. Berg is a member of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide commission whose late father-in-law helped liberate Nazi victims from a concentration camp in Dachau. She says she bought the collection as a private citizen and wants to show it to war survivors and museums. The documents were found stored in Carr’s long-vacant Anchorage home.
You Tell Me Texas by Paul Gleiser
Peddling a fantasy that the tide of war is receding can win an election. But unless the tide really does recede, the battle will eventually have to be joined. Read More | Visit The You Tell Me Texas Blog
We’ve all heard the expression, “you are what you eat.” And as it turns out, that statement may be true when it comes to your risk of getting cancer. In the latest post to HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast cancer expert Dr. Ed Sauter discusses and answers questions about foods that can increase and foods that can decrease your risk of getting cancer. Go to: http://www.uthealth.org/healthconnection/