One Dead in Friday Night Crash
SMITH COUNTY — A Palestine man was killed late Friday night in a head-on collision in southwestern Smith County. KETK reports the collision happened around 11:30 p.m. near FM 2661. State troopers say the victim was Billy Joe Armstrong, 30. Troopers were still investigating the incident at last report, and no other details were immediately available.
Three, Including Toddler, Critically Injured in Wreck
SMITH COUNTY — Smith County emergency crews responded Saturday morning to an accident with critical injuries, and a toddler was one of the victims. KETK reports the crash happened around 11:30 a.m. on Toll 49, one mile north of Highway 64. State troopers say a small Lexus crossed the center lane for unknown reasons and sideswiped a van before colliding head-on with a Mustang. Troopers say three people, including a 2-year-old, were taken to the hospital. They were last reported in critical condition. No other details were immediately available.
Longview Reacts to Possibility Glass Dragon Could Reopen
LONGVIEW — The Glass Dragon reopening its doors may just happen. KETK reports it was the case that sent shock waves across Gregg and Upshur counties earlier this month. That’s when three people were arrested after a federal, state, and local investigation into the Glass Dragon’s alleged distribution of synthetic marijuana. According to the Longview News-Journal, Jeremy Tidwell has filed a motion in federal court to let him reopen one of his smoke shops to sell electronic cigarettes and other legal items. Some businesses surrounding the Glass Dragon are not happy about the news, though Tidwell’s effort has at least one supporter. Read more …
Officer Cleared in Fatal Shooting
LONGVIEW — Longview Police Officer Johnny Lyons has been cleared of any wrongdoing by a Gregg County grand jury in the August 7 shooting of Regan Wagner. Police say Lyons shot and killed Wagner near Akin Park during a daytime traffic stop after Wagner displayed a firearm and refused repeated requests to put it down. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Wagner, 23, of Longview, had been pulled over for an expired inspection sticker. Longview police initially said Wagner was killed during an exchange of gunfire but later said Wagner did not fire any shots. Longview police spokeswoman Kristie Brian said Wagner showed a gun but could not confirm whether it was loaded. Read more …
Man Gets Ten Years in Henderson County Meth Case
ATHENS — A former Seven Points resident heads to prison on a methamphetamine-related charge. On Wednesday morning, Ray Glenn Followwell, 50, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. According to KETK, Followwell was indicted by a Henderson County Grand Jury following an investigation by Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Wick Gabbard. On November 18th of last year, Gabbard obtained and executed a narcotics search warrant on Followwell’s residence off CR 2428. Other law officers assisted in the execution of the warrant. Read more …
Texas Inaugural Committee Announces New Appointments
AUSTIN – Following last week’s announcement of its executive leadership team, the 2015 Texas Inaugural Committee Friday announced the remainder of its committee appointments. Three of those chosen are from East Texas. The people on the list were selected by Governor-elect Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor-elect Dan Patrick to oversee January’s celebration honoring the state’s newly-elected leaders. The governor’s appointments include Andrea and Brandon Steele of Tyler, and JoAnn Fleming of Flint is listed among the lieutenant governor’s appointments. Read more …
Tips Sought after TV Meteorologist Shot
TEMPLE (AP) – More than 130 tips have been left on a telephone hotline in the search for a man who shot a Central Texas meteorologist outside the TV station. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson said Saturday that no arrests have been made in the wounding of Patrick Crawford. Crawford, who’s the morning weathercaster at KCEN-TV near Waco, was shot Wednesday morning while in his car in the station parking lot. The unknown man then fled on foot. Wilson says authorities so far have no credible leads on who attacked Crawford. Investigators are seeking a motive for the gunfire. Crawford underwent surgery at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, where a spokesman said he remained in fair condition Saturday. The law enforcement tip line is 1-800-863-8558.
Perry: Top Official Resigning over No-Bid Contract
AUSTIN (AP) – A top state health official has resigned at the request of Gov. Rick Perry over $110 million in no-bid contracts that public corruption prosecutors say they will likely investigate. Texas Health and Human Services Commission Inspector General Doug Wilson submitted his resignation Friday. Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed says the governor has lost confidence in Wilson as the fallout from lucrative deals with an Austin tech company widens. Wilson’s resignation follows the departure of former general counsel Jack Stick, who steered the agency toward hiring Austin-based 21CT to root out Medicaid fraud. Other top health officials are also being put on administrative leave. They include Stick’s wife, Erica, who is the agency’s chief of staff. Health Commissioner Kyle Janek says the moves were done to protect the integrity of a review.
Immigrants Build Document Trails to Remain in U.S.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – The search for documents is on for immigrants who may qualify for a work permit and reprieve from deportation under measures President Barack Obama announced last month. Applicants must prove they were in the country continuously since January 2010 – a tall order for many accustomed to avoiding trails. For critics, conditions are ripe for fraud. The administration has not said which documents it will accept, but advocates are taking guidance from a 2012 reprieve for immigrants who came to the country as young children. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program allows vehicle registrations, baptism records, mortgages, postmarked letters – and those are just some suggestions from the agency. Denver immigration attorney Laura Lichter suggests using movie rental receipts, veterinarian bills, and customer loyalty programs that detail purchase histories.
Man Charged with Disrupting Qatar-to-Houston Flight
HOUSTON (AP) – A federal indictment alleges a Houston man disrupted a flight from the Persian Gulf to Houston earlier this month, including threatening to blow up the plane. The indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Houston accuses 33-year-old Joseph Ferrarone of interfering with a flight crew. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. Court documents show Ferrarone was on the Qatar-to-Houston flight Dec. 1 when he created a disturbance by using abusive language against the cabin crew, threatening to blow up the plane and refusing to comply with flight attendants’ directions. His attorney, Thomas Berg of Houston, says his client has pleaded not guilty and is set for trial Feb. 2. Berg says Ferrarone remains in custody without bond pending mental health tests.
Harris County Grand Juries Lack Hispanics
HOUSTON (AP) – A newspaper says Hispanics are so underrepresented in Houston-area criminal grand juries that the legality of indictments could be questioned based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision that found such disparities can violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. An analysis conducted by the Houston Chronicle found that there are three times more adult Hispanics living in Harris County than the number who serve on grand juries, 36 percent versus 12 percent. The analysis also found that Asians are underrepresented in Harris County to a similar degree. In Castaneda v. Partida, a 1977 case that made it to the high court, Hidalgo County grand juries were found to be 39 percent Mexican-American, though the county population was 79 percent. The Mexican-American defendant’s indictment was thrown out.
Two Officers Hurt, Suspect Captured after Bank Heist, Shootout
BURLESON (AP) – Two police officers were wounded, one seriously, and a suspect is in custody after a North Texas bank robbery ended in a shootout. The holdup happened at a Wells Fargo bank in the Fort Worth suburb of Burleson, 12 miles south of downtown Fort Worth. Deputy Police Chief Chris Havens says the two officers were answering a midday Friday report of a suspicious person at the bank when they saw the suspect leave the bank with an undetermined amount of cash. When the officers followed on foot, the suspect turned and opened fire with a semiautomatic handgun. City spokeswoman Sally Ellertson says one officer was hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds but was expected to recover. The other suffered only minor injuries and wasn’t expected to be admitted to the hospital.
10 Hurt in Houston-Area School Bus Traffic Wreck
HOUSTON (AP) – Authorities say seven students and three drivers have been slightly hurt in a Houston-area traffic accident involving a school bus. The Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District says all 10 injured people were taken to a hospital Friday afternoon, as a precaution. Officials say nobody suffered serious injuries in the three-vehicle collision involving a bus hauling elementary school students. The victims included the bus driver and the operators of the other two vehicles. Authorities are trying to determine the cause of the accident in northwest Harris County.
Houston City Attorney Announces Resignation
HOUSTON (AP) – Houston City Attorney David Feldman has resigned, effective Jan. 16. Feldman said Friday that he wants to return to private law practice with his son. Feldman worked as Houston’s city attorney for nearly five years, after earlier spending more than 30 years in private practice. Feldman also says he plans to be available to support Houston’s equal rights ordinance, which he helped create. The Houston City Council approved the updated measure last May. The ordinance consolidates city bans on discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion and other categories and increases protections for gay and transgender residents. Critics have said the ordinance would impede their religious liberties. The measure has been challenged in court by conservative groups. The case is scheduled for trial next month.
Two Killed, Three Hurt in Oil Rig Explosion
COALGATE, Okla. (AP/Staff) – Oklahoma officials say two people have died of injuries suffered during an explosion and fire at an oil rig in the southeastern corner of the state. All of the workers were employed by Dan D. Drilling of Lamont, Oklahoma, and the rig is owned by Amarillo, Texas-based Pablo Energy. The state Medical Examiner’s office identified the dead as 26-year-old Gary Keenen of Ada and 27-year-old Kelsey Bellah of Tulsa. Three others were injured, two critically. The explosion occurred around 1 a.m. Friday on the deck of a rig about 2 miles west of Coalgate, about 100 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Fire Marshal’s Office says the fire is out and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is helping investigate.
Texas Drilling Company Pleads Guilty in Alaska Case
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A drilling company has pleaded guilty to committing environmental and maritime crimes in Alaska’s Arctic. Bernie Wolford Junior, president of Sugar Land, Texas-based Noble Drilling U.S. LLC, appeared in Anchorage federal court on Friday after reaching an agreement with prosecutors earlier this month. Wolford said the $8.2 million fine and $4 million in community service payments would be paid Friday.
You Tell Me Texas by Paul Gleiser
Sad is a word we use to describe someone who is feeling blue. When spelled in all caps, SAD is also an acronym for a clinical condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder. People who suffer from this condition find that their mood and outlook turns negative as the days grow shorter and colder in the winter. In the latest post to HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast clinical psychologist Dr. Kathryn Wortz discusses diagnosing and treating SAD. Go to: http://www.uthealth.org/healthconnection/
Today in History
Today in History for 20th December 2014- Historical Events 1830 - Great Britain, France, Prussia, Austria and Russia recognize Belgium 1922 - 14 republics form Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (USSR) 1943 - "Internationale" is no longer USSR National Anthem 1987 - Nancy Lopez/Miller Barber wins LPGA Mazda Golf Championship 2005 - The first same sex civil partnerships in Scotland are celebrated. 2005 - 2005 New York City transit stri... Read more on HistoryOrb.com
Health Recipe of the Day!
Healthy Desserts: Rachel's Cream Cheese Fruit Salad
4.41 / 5 Stars | 59 Reviews
by Rachel Lewis
"This is a wonderful summer salad because it takes advantage of all the fresh fruit at the market, and because it has a glorious dressing made from strawberry flavored cream cheese, brown sugar vanilla and cinnamon."