Former Meat Company Executive Sentenced for Loan Fraud
TYLER – A 60-year-old former meat company executive from Tyler has been sentenced to federal prison for making false statements on a loan application. Bobby Gene Loggins pleaded guilty on Dec. 5, 2013, to making false statements to a bank. He was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison on July 22 by U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis of Tyler. Loggins was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,773,371.52. Read more …
Commissioners Reject Two Resolutions on Immigration
TYLER — Smith County commissioners Tuesday rejected two resolutions addressing possible housing for illegal immigrants. Commissioner Terry Phillips believes an overwhelming number of illegal immigrants in the county would be both a health risk and a safety concern. County Judge Joel Baker agreed with Phillips but said the county has no authority to deny cooperation with the state or federal government. Baker told KETK, “I agree that the borders need to be secure and this immigration issue needs to be dealt with in an appropriate manner, and it’s not being dealt with in an appropriate manner. But we cannot as a commissioners court effect the proper change.”
One Person Hospitalized in Longview Shooting
LONGVIEW — Longview police are looking for a gunman after one person was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. It happened around 5:20 Tuesday afternoon in the 600 block of Baylor Drive at the Guthrie Creek Apartments. Arriving officers were told a suspect approached the victim in the swimming pool area of the appartment complex. The victim and suspect exchanged words and the suspect shot the victim in the head, according to reports. The victim was transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries and has since been released, according to KETK. The suspect fled the scene prior to officers’ arrival. The shooting remains under investigation.
Man Arrested Following Two-County Chase
LONGVIEW — A chase through two East Texas counties ends in an arrest. 33-year-old Robert Moorhead was arrested Monday night. Gregg County deputies tell KETK the chase stemmed from an argument in Gladewater between Moorhead and his ex-common law wife. She claims he followed her and her four children home, then rammed his truck into her car. When deputies found Moorhead, he reportedly led them on a chase through Gregg and Smith Counties before crashing off Old Highway 135 in Liberty City. He’s now in the Gregg County Jail.
Tyler Earns City Council of the Year Honors
TYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday was presented the City Council of the Year Award from the Texas City Management Association (TCMA). According to a city news release, the honor was based on continued commitment to ethics, prudent financial management, support for employee professional development, focus on positive community relations, and unique community initiatives. A few examples noted include a new city ethics policy, one of the lowest tax rates in the state, establishment of a comprehensive citywide Lean Six Sigma program, a AAA bond rating, zero general obligation debt, a robust city education program called City University, and the Industry Growth Initiative. Read more …
Fire Department Plans for Future Facilities
TYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday received a Lean Six Sigma presentation regarding Fire Department planning for future facilities. As part of the Lean Six Sigma initiative, a study was conducted concerning fire station locations in Tyler, according to a city news release. Officials say the analysis was performed to determine the most fiscally sound means for construction and staffing of stations while also addressing the need to replace some of the city’s oldest and outdated fire stations. Read more …
Gladewater Man Accused of Inappropriate Communication with Minor
GLADEWATER — A Gladewater man was arrested Tuesday on a charge of solicitation of a minor. Cody Jacob Richardson, 19, is being held in Gregg County Jail on $150,000 bond after a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to jail records. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, Gregg County Sheriff’s Office investigator Terry Mitchell said Wednesday that an offense report was filed against Richardson on June 30 by deputy Christopher Lee. According to Lee’s report, Richardson had been exchanging inappropriate text messages with a minor female. The victim’s mother told Lee that her daughter had been communicating with Richardson through a friend’s Apple iPod. Read more …
Family’s Dog Found in Washington, Returned
TYLER (AP) – An East Texas family’s dog that ran away seven years ago has been found in Tacoma, Washington, and returned thanks to a microchip implanted in the pooch. Dinah Miller of Tyler traveled to Houston on Tuesday to reclaim her Maltese named Reese. Miller says her family was visiting relatives near Dallas in 2007 when Reese got loose. The Millers received a call last weekend that their dog was found on a road in Tacoma and a veterinarian discovered the microchip with the contact information. Meanwhile, Kelli Davis of Spanaway, Washington, says her family adopted the dog at a shelter in Mesquite, Texas, about six years ago. The Davis family later moved to Washington. The pet they called Harley recently ran off. The dog was flown to Houston on Monday night.
Faulkner Sprayground Maintenance
TYLER — The sprayground at Tyler’s Faulkner Park will be closed on Thursday, July 24, for maintenance. It is expected to reopen on Friday, July 25. Faulkner Park is located at 410 W. Cumberland Road.
Woman Sentenced to Life in Stepson’s Death
DALLAS (AP) – A North Texas jury has sentenced a woman to life in prison for the 2011 starvation death of her 10-year-old stepson. 33-year-old Elizabeth Ramsey must serve 30 years in prison before she becomes eligible for parole. The Dallas County jury imposed the sentence Wednesday, a day after finding Ramsey guilty of intentional serious injury to a child in the death of Johnathan Ramsey. Ramsey’s husband, Aaron Ramsey, the father of the child, already is serving a life sentence in the death. Prosecutors say the two locked the boy in his room, slowly starved him on a diet of bread and water, and dumped his emaciated body in a rural area south of Dallas in 2011. The body was found the next year in a creek.
FDA Warns of Compounded Drug Recall by Texas Firm
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration is warning doctors not to use compounded drugs from a Texas specialty pharmacy due to risks of contamination. The agency says FDA inspectors recently uncovered unsanitary conditions at Unique Pharmaceuticals’ plant in Temple, Texas. The inspections revealed production problems in several lots of drugs that were supposed to be sterile. The company is now recalling all non-expired sterile products distributed across the U.S., including a fluid used to clear mucus from the airways of patients with respiratory conditions. The FDA said in a statement it is not aware of any illnesses linked to the products. Unique Pharmaceuticals is a compounding pharmacy, which means it produces customized medications to fill specifications made by doctors. Compounding pharmacy operations have been repeatedly linked to contamination problems for decades.
Houston Police Seek ID on Body Found at Warehouse
HOUSTON (AP) – Houston police are trying to identify a woman whose body was found at an abandoned warehouse. Police on Wednesday appealed to the public for help in the case being investigated as a homicide. Autopsy results are pending on the woman believed to be in her 30s. Her body was discovered late Tuesday night after police received a tip. Further details about the woman and a possible cause of death weren’t immediately released.
Texan Claimed Bingo Cash Paid for Assault Rifles
BROWNSVILLE (AP) – A South Texas woman who says she used bingo winnings to buy five assault rifles has been convicted of lying on the purchase records. Yadira Garcia of Alamo faces up to 30 years in federal prison during sentencing later this year in Brownsville. Jurors on Tuesday convicted the 35-year-old Garcia of six counts of making false statements on firearms records. Prosecutors say Garcia last August bought five assault rifles over six days from dealers in Harlingen and McAllen and paid more than $5,000. Investigators did not immediately say the source of the cash that Garcia said was from bingo. Garcia told investigators that she was the buyer, lived in Pharr and relatives and friends kept the guns for her. One of the rifles days later turned up in Reynosa, Mexico
State Files New Complaints against Cancer Doctor
HOUSTON (AP) – State medical regulators have filed additional complaints against a Houston doctor whose cancer treatments have incurred heavy criticism from the medical establishment. The Texas Medical Board earlier this month submitted an expanded complaint contending that Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski lures patients who are ineligible for his experimental drug and charges heavy fees before any consultation, among other charges. The Houston Chronicle reports regulators also determined he acted unprofessionally and failed to meet state standards of care. Burzynski’s lawyer, Richard Jaffe, said the complaint was “outrageous” and is part of a vendetta by the board. The federal Food and Drug Administration recently gave limited approval for Burzynski to move forward with clinical trials using his controversial anti-neoplaston drug, which is a synthesized version of human peptides found in blood and urine.
$25M Goal for Special License Plates Met Early
AUSTIN (AP) – A Texas state department says a company hired to make specialty license plates has hit its required $25 million revenue goal a few months early. My Plates has sold more than 199,000 license plates since 2009. It received a contract from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles that year to market and sell specialty plates. Texas lawmakers authorized the contract as a way to raise $25 million for the state over five years. The company met its current revenue obligation to Texas four months ahead of schedule. The department renewed its contract with the company this March for another five years.
Yankees edge Yu Darvish, Rangers in rain-shortened game
A wet field gave the New York Yankees one weird win.
Brett Gardner hit a tiebreaking homer off All-Star ace Yu Darvish, and New York beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 Wednesday night in a rain-shortened game called in the fifth inning under bizarre circumstances.
Once the rain stopped, the grounds crew did its best to dry out the field. But both managers expressed concern about players getting hurt on the soft basepaths, and the game was called after an unusual delay that lasted 1 hour, 49 minutes.
“The field was just not playable,” umpire crew chief Dale Scott told a pool reporter.
During the delay, the last-place Rangers reached an agreement to trade closer Joakim Soria to Detroit for minor league pitchers Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel.
David Phelps (5-4) pitched out of a jam just before the storm, and Francisco Cervelli doubled twice to help the Yankees win for the fifth time in six games on a 10-game homestand following the All-Star break.
Chase Headley had a double in his first start for New York after he was acquired in Tuesday’s trade with San Diego. 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.”
Mavs void Rashard Lewis contract
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks voided the contract for Rashard Lewis after discovering that the veteran forward needed surgery on his right knee.”It came to our attention during Rashard Lewis’ physical that he is in need of a medical procedure on his right knee,” Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said in a statement released by the team. “We wish him all the best for a speedy recovery and continued success in his remarkable career.”
Lewis signed a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum with the Mavs last week.
Agent Tony Dutt said they aren’t certain yet about the severity of the injury or how long Lewis will be sidelined.
The Mavs signed the 34-year-old Lewis, a 16-year veteran, to back up Dirk Nowitzki at power forward. The two-time All-Star averaged 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 16.2 minutes per game for the Miami Heat last season, primarily coming off the bench.
Rolando McClain’s request denied
DECATUR, Ala. — An Alabama judge has denied a motion from Dallas linebacker Rolando McClain to delay his trial because of training camp.
Decatur Municipal Court Clerk Jessica Haggard said Tuesday that Judge Bill Cook Jr. declined to push back the trial set for Friday on charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. McClain’s local attorney, Carl Cole, had filed a motion to reschedule because the Cowboys start camp on Thursday.
McClain was with the Cowboys when they arrived in Oxnard, California, on Tuesday. He wasn’t available for comment, and it wasn’t immediately clear how the team planned to handle a possible trip to Alabama.
Dallas acquired the rights to McClain from Baltimore on July 1. He was the eighth overall pick by Oakland out of Alabama in 2010 but had retired and hasn’t played since 2012.
Haggard says the case had been postponed three times since McClain’s arrest in April 2013.
It was his third arrest in Decatur since 2011.
McClain has played in 41 games over three seasons.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
Cuban: Mavs might save $2.7M exception
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks are in discussions with a couple of candidates for their $2.7 million cap-room exception, but owner Mark Cuban made it clear that the team isn’t desperate to fill that slot this summer.
“We’re talking to a couple of players, but it’s one of those things that if we don’t get the right player, we’ll just hold it so that during the season when a player gets cut, we’ll have that opportunity to offer,” Cuban said during a Tuesday appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “Fitzsimmons and Friedo.”
There has been mutual interest between the Mavs and guard Mo Williams throughout the free-agency period. However, Williams has offers for more than the $2.7 million salary the Mavs can offer, sources said.
A source also told ESPNDallas.com recently that Williams wasn’t the Mavs’ top target for their $2.7 million exception, declining to elaborate on the player who is a higher priority. (Jameer Nelson?)
If the Mavs opt not to use the exception this summer, they’d be positioned to outbid many teams for veteran players who receive midseason buyouts. That is how the Mavs acquired swingman Corey Brewer during the 2011 title season.
Felton pleads guilty in NYC gun case
NEW YORK — Dallas Mavericks point guard Raymond Felton pleaded guilty Wednesday in a New York gun case, taking a plea deal that involved admitting a felony but spares him jail.
Felton pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm. He admitted he knowingly had a large-capacity ammunition magazine and a pistol without a license.
“Are those charges true?” Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Larry Stephen asked.
“Yes, sir,” Felton said, later adding in a soft voice, “I apologize.”
He was immediately sentenced to 500 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Rebold said Felton will be allowed to do the service outside New York.
If he complies, the case will be closed without jail time or probation.
Felton has said the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which had outlined the agreement in court last month, was fair to him.
The criminal case arose last winter, as Felton grappled with the breakup of his marriage and navigated a struggling season with the New York Knicks. He was traded to Dallas last month, two days after his plea plan was announced.
About a week after Felton’s law student wife filed for divorce, her attorney brought a loaded semi-automatic handgun to a police precinct and said it was Felton’s and she wanted it out of the house, authorities said. Felton’s lawyer, Jim Walden, has said Felton never threatened anyone with the gun.
After police contacted Felton, he turned himself in shortly after a Mavericks-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.
Felton was charged under a state law that bans many large-capacity ammunition magazines. Prosecutors said Felton’s could hold about 20 rounds.
The NBA has said it is monitoring the case. The league usually waits until criminal cases against players are resolved before deciding whether to impose any fine or suspension.
Felton, 30, was a star at the University of North Carolina and was the fifth pick of the 2005 NBA draft. Besides Dallas and New York, he’s played for the Charlotte Bobcats, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers.
Last season, Felton missed 17 games while battling injuries and averaged a career-low 9.7 points as the Knicks went 37-45 and missed the playoffs.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
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!