Tyler’s City Manager Heading to Dallas
TYLER — Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel announced Friday that he will be resigning after accepting a position as an assistant city manager in Dallas. “We are grateful to Mark for his 10 years of service to the City of Tyler. Mark and our entire City staff have worked diligently to make Tyler the standard for local government,” said Mayor Martin Heines. “We wish him the best of success in his future endeavors. Our city council will move forward with the appointment of an interim city manager on Aug. 13. Our permanent replacement search will focus on employing a city manager who shares our beliefs in a conservative business-like approach to City government.” Read more …
Body Found in Cherokee County Identified
NEW SUMMERFIELD — The New Summerfield Police Department received confirmation Friday from the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas that the body discovered July 29 near Reklaw was that of Javier Jimenez. According to KETK, police say Jimenez was positively identified utilizing finger prints on file. The Medical Examiner listed the cause of death as homicide due to gunshot wound. Officials say there is no further information to release at this time and the investigation is continuing with the assistance of several allied agencies. Read more …
Winona City Council Accepts Stroud’s Resignation, Hears Citizen Concerns
WINONA — The Winona City Council met Thursday evening and officially accepted the resignation of Mayor Dede Stroud after less than three months in office. She told KETK she was wronged, harassed, neglected, and stripped of her duties. But Stroud says, “I’m not giving up. I’m not finished. I’m not going to turn my back on my community or the citizens. I’m gonna try to help find out what’s going on.” Stroud added the city council was orchestrating against her from the very beginning. Read more …
SCSO: Four Burglaries Cleared with One Arrest
TYLER — Authorities say the arrest of 31-year-old Dustin Berry has cleared four area burglaries. According to a Smith County Sheriff’s Office news release, detectives received information Tuesday from a Smith County resident regarding over $21,000 worth of tools and wires which had been taken when his business was burglarized on July 18 in Flint. He was told that it was a former employee who had stolen his property and that some of that property could now be found in the Pinecrest mobile home park on FM 2868 in Flint. That same day, another Smith County resident contacted SCSO detectives advising she also had information that her stolen property was located in the Pinecrest mobile home park. This victim’s home had been burglarized on Wednesday, July 23, and a John Deere riding lawnmower had been stolen. Read more …
Man Sentenced for Stealing Van with One-Year-Old Inside
GILMER — A Houston man gets two lengthy prison sentences after he was convicted of stealing a van with a baby inside in Upshur County. KETK reports Andrew Lowell Crane, 32, pleaded guilty to one count apiece of aggravated kidnapping and child endangerment. He was sentenced to 30 years for the kidnapping and 20 for the child endangerment. The sentences will run concurrently, meaning Crane will not serve more than 30 years. Read more …
Police: Man Broke into Ex-Girlfriend’s house, Bit Her
GLADEWATER — A Gladewater man is behind bars after he allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s house, began biting her, and hurt her leg, armpit, and wrist. According to KETK, Gladewater police say Damian Daniels, 20, was jailed Wednesday . Police say he also prevented the woman from calling 911 by breaking her phone. Officials allege Daniels broke into the woman’s home while she was not there and waited for her to return. Daniels was charged with burglary of a habitation, interfering with an emergency call, and assault causing bodily injury, according to Gregg County judicial records. He is currently being held in the Gregg County Jail on $20,000 bond.
Weather Radio Tower Out of Service
TYLER — The Tyler NOAA Weather Radio Transmitter is temporarily out of service. On or about July 24, the transmitter was struck by lightning. NWS/Shreveport believes that the station should again be operational in mid-August. According to a statement on the ktbb.com weather page from forecaster Dr. Bob Peters, residents in the Tyler Metropolitan Area can probably pick up the Gilmer or Palestine transmitters. The Gilmer frequency is 162.425 MHz., two channels below the Tyler transmitter, and the Palestine transmitter is 162.450 MHZ., one channel below the Tyler transmitter. The antennae on receivers should probably be extended fully to receive the signals. Warnings for Smith County are transmitted over both stations.
ETMC Donates Ambulance to “Believe and See”
TYLER — East Texas Medical Center is teaming up with Believe and See, an organization that helps restore sight with cataract surgeries in the country of Togo in Africa, by donating an ambulance unit. According to an ETMC news release, the group restores sight to 100 people each month in remote villages, educates for blindness prevention, and provides agriculture training, plus spiritual support. “We are so pleased that ETMC is able to provide one of our ambulance units to assist people in Africa and provide a mobile cataract clinic to rural areas,” said Elmer G. Ellis, ETMC President/CEO. “Our teal and white ambulances are seen in East Texas, Waco and Pasadena, TX and now you will find one of our units on the roads in Togo. This donation of a former EMS unit represents a unique opportunity for ETMC to impact healthcare half-way around the world.” Read more …
Two Ebola Victims to Be Treated at Atlanta Hospital
ATLANTA, Ga. (AP/Staff) – Two American aid workers infected with the Ebola virus in Africa, including one from Texas, will be treated at a specialized unit of an Atlanta hospital. Dr. Bruce Ribner said Friday the patients will receive care at Emory University Hospital. Ribner said he had no personal safety concerns over treating the patients of the dangerous disease. Hospital officials did not identify the patients, citing confidentiality rules. They were previously identified as Dr. Kent Brantly of Fort Worth and Nancy Writebol of Charlotte, N.C. Ribner said one of the patients was expected to arrive this weekend, while a second was expected several days later. The Pentagon’s press secretary, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Friday that private-chartered aircraft will be arriving at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in metro Atlanta with patients evacuated from Africa. Kirby did not have further details.
Street Flooding Reported in Houston after Storms
HOUSTON (AP) – Some street flooding was reported in Houston Friday after storms dumped several inches of rain and cut power to thousands of homes and businesses. The National Weather Service says a weak cold front moved through the Houston area Friday. Parts of Harris County had more than 6 inches of rain. An underground parking garage at an apartment complex flooded, with water and debris nearly up to the windows of some vehicles. CenterPoint Energy reported about 1,600 customers without electricity Friday afternoon as crews worked to restore power. Forecasters say the outlook for the Houston area includes a chance for showers through the weekend.
Contractor Serving 1,100 Foster Children Quits
AUSTIN (AP) – The state will take over direct management of the care and service of about 1,100 foster children after the contractor it had hired canceled its contract. In a statement issued Friday, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services promised that foster children wouldn’t be affected by the withdrawal of Providence Service Corp. of Texas. The company had been serving state foster children in 60 West Texas counties under a five-year, $30 million-a-year contract that took effect Feb. 1, 2013. However, the company invoked an opt-out clause Friday. The state recently told Providence of several areas where it had underperformed. The state’s 17,000-child foster system had been under scrutiny since seven foster children died of abuse or neglect in fiscal year 2013. Only one such youngster died this year
Midland Officer Not Indicted in Fatal Shooting
MIDLAND (AP) – A grand jury has declined to indict a West Texas police officer who was off-duty when he fatally shot a robbery suspect at restaurant. Midland police on Thursday announced Detective James Cox has returned to work. Cox on June 27 was eating at a Mexican restaurant in Midland when a man walked in a back door, fired several shots in the kitchen and tried to rob the place. Investigators say Cox confronted the fleeing suspect, 35-year-old Nyocomus Garnett, who refused to surrender. Cox fatally shot Garnett when the suspect pointed a gun at him. Cox was put on paid administrative leave following the incident. He was no-billed by a grand jury in late July.
Bryan Police Say Man Playing with Gun Fatally Shot
BRYAN (AP) – A Central Texas teenage has died after he and another man were playing with a gun and the weapon discharged. Bryan police say 18-year-old Tyrell Wilson of Bryan was pronounced dead Friday at a hospital. Officers on Thursday night responded to reports of a shooting at a house. Investigators say Wilson and another 18-year-old man were playing with an unspecified firearm when the weapon discharged. Details on Wilson’s fatal injuries and the name of the other man weren’t immediately released. Officer Kelley McKethan had no immediate additional details.
Parched Wichita Falls Hopes to Cut Lake Evaporation
WICHITA FALLS (AP) – Wichita Falls is adding another tool to try to deal with a dwindling water supply due to a persistent drought. The North Texas city that provides water to about 150,000 people near the Oklahoma border is trying to reduce evaporation from one of the lakes that supplies water by adding a thin biodegradable layer to the surface. Director of public works Russell Schreiber says the hope is to cut daily evaporation of 40 million gallons a day from Arrowhead Lake by at least 10 percent. Schreiber says the 75-day pilot program is the largest of its kind. The lake is 6,000 acres. It’s yet another step for the city. Wichita Falls has instituted water restrictions and a wastewater reuse program and tried cloud seeding. Arrowhead Lake is 22 percent full.
Petit’s homer leads Astros over Blue Jays, 3-1
Gregorio Petit’s first career home run put Houston on top in the eighth inning and the Astros held on for a 3-1 win over the Blue Jays on Friday night, snapping Toronto’s six-game winning streak.
The game was tied at 1-1 when Petit launched Aaron Loup’s first pitch into the first row of the Crawford Boxes in left field to give the Astros the lead. Jose Altuve connected on the next pitch by Loup (3-3) for a ground-rule double before stealing third base.
Houston got an insurance run on a sacrifice fly by Robbie Grossman.
Jose Veras (1-1) got the last two outs of the eighth inning for the win and Chad Qualls threw a scoreless ninth for his 12th save.
Melky Cabrera singled with one out in the first and reached third on a single by Jose Bautista that crashed off the wall in left field and knocked a number out of the scoreboard there. The Blue Jays took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Dioner Navarro.
Toronto starter J.A. Happ gave up three hits and one run with six strikeouts in seven innings. Read more …
Murphy, Salazar lead Indians past Rangers, 12-2
David Murphy had a big night against his former team.
Murphy was 4 for 4 with two RBIs and threw a runner out at the plate, and the Cleveland Indians routed the Texas Rangers 12-2.
Murphy played for Texas from 2007-13 before signing a two-year contract with the Indians in November.
“Obviously when you’re playing against your friends, a lot of guys I played with over there are gone, but playing for bragging rights, it can be fun,” he said.
Murphy had a two-run double in the fifth when Cleveland scored six times. He doubled in the second and added singles in the fourth and sixth. Murphy also threw out Adrian Beltre at home from right field in the second.
“That was fun because it was Adrian and I did play with him,” Murphy said. “I can talk a little trash with him.”
Murphy even played through an attempt to make a diving catch on a foul ball in the eighth inning that tore his pants.
“I’ve been known to go through some pairs of pants,” he said. “They’re double-layered, but I still go through them. I’ve done it plenty of times.” Read more …
Cowboys go through off-beat drills
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com
OXNARD, Calif. — At one point Mike Pope made a list of all the drills he has had his tight ends do over 32 years in the NFL, and it totaled 478.
“I can’t remember all of them because I’m getting a little bit older,” said the 72-year-old Pope, “but they’re just common sense more than anything else.”
Pope is not afraid to make his tight ends run through unconventional drills.
Like throwing ice water at shirtless tight ends, wearing a helmet? Like having the tight ends wearing swim goggles to cut down on their peripheral vision? Like having tight ends attempt to catch passes with a bag over their helmets? Like having tight ends catch a pass, draped over another tight end while a third tight end is holding down his feet? Like having the tight ends do a duck walk with a medicine ball? Like having the tight ends toss a ball in the air, turn and catch a pass from Pope and then catch the ball they tossed in the air?
Who thinks of this stuff? Pope does. He said he has no interests outside of football. Read more …
Rios, Cotts hope to be back with Rangers in ’15
By Scott Sargent | Special to ESPNDallas.com
CLEVELAND — Alex Rios and Neal Cotts are both Texas Rangers — for now. With the MLB non-waiver trade deadline in the rear view mirror, both men sat in the visitor’s locker room within Cleveland’s Progressive Field exhibiting a giant sigh of relief as they awaited the first game of a 10-game road trip.
Having spent the last several days receiving phone calls from his agent and packing up some belongings in the event he was traded, the 33-year-old Rios sat quietly in front of his far-corner locker, soaking in the last few moments before taking batting practice, a pair of batting gloves perched on his lap and his bat resting against his knee.
“I’m not off the hook yet,” said Rios, acquired by Texas a season ago after the non-waiver deadline had past. “There’s still another month to go, but I’m content and focused on the things I have to do.”
For Cotts, the rumors and speculation surrounding the deadline had a greater effect on his wife, Jaime, than it did on him. “She gets worried,” the 34-year-old reliever said.
As recent as the day of the deadline, it was of the belief that Rangers general manager Jon Daniels had been shopping his impending free agents in hopes of obtaining younger, quality talent for the team’s farm system. Though dealing with depressed power numbers compared to past seasons and some recent injuries (including a sprained ankle and bruised knee), Rios was the subject of rumors that included no fewer than five interested organizations, some of which may have been impacted by a no-trade clause that is written into his current contract. Ultimately, no deals were consummated as nothing reached past the proposal stage. Rios inferred that his no-trade clause never came into play due to the level of the discussions that took place. Nevertheless, the trade deadline has become old hat for the veteran outfielder, having been surrounded by rumors over much of the last two years as teams look to bolster their lineup for the last two months of the season. Read more …
Cowboys add defensive end
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com
OXNARD, Calif. — With injuries keeping five defensive linemen out of practices, the Dallas Cowboys agreed to deals with end Ken Boatright and Adewale Ojomo.
Rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence had surgery on a broken foot on Thursday and is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks. Defensive tackle Terrell McClain has been battling a sprained ankle and Ben Bass suffered a hamstring strain on Thursday. Anthony Spencer is on the physically unable to perform list and Amobi Okoye is on the non-football injury list. Their absences have put a strain on the remaining defensive linemen.
To make room on the roster, wide receiver L’Damian Washington and guard Darius Morris will be waived.
Boatright, who is 6-foot-3, 254 pounds, spent time with the Seattle Seahawks last season after signing as an undrafted free agent. He was cut in June. Boatright’s agent, Brett Tessler, tweeted the agreement.
Ojomo was cut by the Tennessee Titans following an arrest for soliciting a prostitute. He has spent time with the New York Giants, Seahawks and Buffalo Bills since 2012. He has played in one game in his career.
In addition to Boatright and Ojomo, the Cowboys also worked out Cory Henry, who went to rookie minicamp with the Houston Texans on a tryout basis. He had 32 career sacks at Florida Atlantic.
Eagles RB McCoy: I own Dallas
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy ’s comment was made in jest, but it could make for decent bulletin-board fodder anyway.
“I own Dallas,” McCoy boasted to Eagles fans as he walked over to greet ex-Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin of the NFL Network at Friday’s practice.
That’s far from the most inflammatory comment from a rivalry that has featured the “Bounty Bowl” and Philly fans cheering as Irvin lay on the hard Veterans Stadium turf with a neck injury that ended his career. It’s just a little fun in the middle of the summer.
But is it accurate?
The Eagles are 4-4 in regular-season games in which McCoy played against the Cowboys. By that standard, the Cowboys own the NFL.
And the Cowboys won the playoff meeting between the teams in the 2009 season. Read more …
Cowboys send out playoff tickets
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com
When Dallas Cowboys season-ticket holders open the envelope with their tickets this week, they might be shocked to find what’s in there.
Along with all the preseason and regular-season tickets, there’s a sheet of playoff tickets, including a ticket for the NFC Championship Game, a game the team hasn’t played in since the 1995 season.
With all the scrutiny on the lack of postseason success for the Cowboys, who have gone 8-8 each of the past three seasons and have missed the playoffs the past four years, the actual printing of the tickets and sending them ahead of time to fans is sure to cause a stir. Especially because no other team has ever done this.
“It’s a convenience for our season-ticket holders to have everything in one package,” said Brett Daniels, the Cowboys director of corporate communications. “It’s an evolution to be fan-friendly. They have their tickets online and if we clinch a playoff berth they go to the computer and click they want the tickets.”
Daniels said in previous years the Cowboys would send out playoff invoices in November and mail them out in December. Fans would send in a check or write in credit card numbers on the invoices. Now, everything is done online and gives the fans more control over what they want to do.
“Included in this package are your 2014 playoff tickets and parking (if applicable) for two potential home games at AT&T Stadium,” read a letter that came with the season tickets. “The barcodes on the tickets will be activated when a home playoff game is clinched and the tickets have been paid in full.”
After NFL teams had problems selling out playoff games this past season, especially the Green Bay Packers, who required their season-ticket holders to pay for the full slate of playoff games before the team even made the playoffs, the league changed its policy requiring teams to charge fans for tickets only as a certain game was clinched.
“I don’t take the challenges that we had on wild-card weekend as any reflection of our fans’ passion,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said at his state-of-the-league address during this year’s Super Bowl week. “Those were mistakes that were made by us, the NFL and our clubs. What we have to do is recognize that technology has changed and that we have to use technology more efficiently and more intelligently to make sure we don’t put our fans in that kind of position. Green Bay, as an example, sold close to 50,000 tickets over a five-day period, including New Year’s Day. We shouldn’t be in that position, and that’s on us, and we have to fix it, and we will. But that is not an indication in any way of the fans’ passion.”
Brian Lafemina, the league’s senior vice president of club business development, confirmed to ESPN.com that the Cowboys are the only team in the league that preprinted and sent out its playoff tickets to fans in advance this year, but he said he expects more teams to adopt this practice in the future.
“It’s operationally efficient for the teams, and it’s convenient for the fan,” Lafemina said. “There are times when teams don’t know if they are hosting a playoff game until a week before, and doing this helps eliminate some of the friction that exists among the teams and fans. This dovetails nicely with our new policy. If a fan says they will pay if a game is played, the team can now charge that fan and the ticket is already in hand.”
Ticket industry insiders agree the reason the Cowboys included all the tickets was to encourage season-ticket holders to actually buy those tickets now that they are in hand.
“Doing this is smart because the team has less people to call after the team clinches because so many will be automatically charged,” said Patrick Ryan, co-owner of Houston-based The Ticket Experience, which owns seats for the Cowboys as well as 17 other NFL teams. “They then have less tickets to move during the public on sale because season seat holders will have already taken up so much of the allotted inventory.”
That’s, of course, if the team qualifies to play those games.
“It’s a bold move and gives season-ticket holders a tangible asset that they can look at all season long and gives them hope and something to look forward to,” said Jimmy Siegendorf, a Cowboys fan who is the owner of Florida-based ticket brokerage Premium Seats USA, which specializes in NFL ticket and tailgate packages. “On the flip side, it could result in salt in the wound if the team falls short of its goals once again.”
ESPNDallas.com’s Calvin Watkins contributed to this report.
Cowboys TE coach offers up off-beat drills
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com
OXNARD, Calif. – At one point Mike Pope made a list of all the drills he has had his tight ends do over 32 years in the NFL, and it totaled 478.
“I can’t remember all of them because I’m getting a little bit older,” said the 72-year-old Pope, “but they’re just common sense more than anything else.”
Like throwing ice water at shirtless tight ends, wearing a helmet? Like having the tight ends wearing swim goggles to cut down on their peripheral vision? Like having tight ends attempt to catch passes with a bag over their helmets? Like having tight ends catch a passed, draped over another tight end while a third tight end is holding down his feet? Like having the tight ends do a duck walk with a medicine ball? Like having the tight ends toss a ball in the air, turn and catch a pass from Pope and then catch the ball they tossed in the air?
Who thinks of this stuff? Pope does. He said he has no interests outside of football.
“No, I don’t take credit for them,” said Pope, who joined the Cowboys’ staff in the offseason. “You see something in the game and say, ‘How can I make a drill out of that?’ A lot of them are things like end zone drills and you just see something happen and a player has to do something out of the extraordinary to make a catch, make a play. How does he do it? He’s off balance, he’s on one foot somebody has got him by the shirt. He’s trying to run and he can’t run. You just see those in the game and then you just come out here and put them together. It’s not that hard.”
James Hanna has figured out the “why” behind the drills, so he has not responded with, “We are doing, what?”
“He wants us to think about coming from the ground, that’s why we do the duck walk stuff, like raising up as opposed to reaching out,” Hanna said. “That’s how you get in bad position.”
The receiving drills are all about concentration. Most of the catches by tight ends are contested. They have to battle a linebacker or safety in tight coverage.
“There’s someone always knocking us around, particularly when you get the credentials that a Jason Witten has,” Pope said. “You think they’re just going let him run down and catch the ball? I don’t think so. We want to get them on our schedule if they do.”
He admits the ice-water drill is more about the fun he gets from dousing his players.
“But we put that camera up real close and one of the things I really concentrate on teaching and getting them to understand — because they don’t really believe it — that when the ball comes ,when something really abnormal happens they flinch,” Pope said. “They temporarily close their eyes. It’s an instinct. It’s uncontrollable. So hitting them with the ice water, they all flinch. I told them all, I said, ‘If I bet you your car, you’d all be walking,’ because that ice water hits them and it’s such a shock to their body. Any of those things that you can do to try to distract them — so anything you can do — is a decent drill.”
He does not tell the tight end what’s coming, but by now they know it will be something strange. Pope said there have never been any complains in his career, from Pro Bowlers like Mark Bavaro, Ben Coates, Jeremy Shockey and Stephen Alexander to players like Martellus Bennett, whom he coached with the Giants in 2012, to his current crew.
“They look at me like I’m Hannibal Lecter or something like that,” Pope said. “But now, they get the gist of it.”
Training camp is young. Pope has plenty more left in his repertoire.
“It’s a lot of stuff I’ve never done before, but I’ve reflected a little bit on it and it seems like pretty practical stuff,” Hanna said. “So that’s good.”
Mavs open preseason vs. Rockets
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
Chandler Parsons can get any awkward moments with his former team out of the way in the preseason opener.
The Dallas Mavericks will open the preseason against the Houston Rockets at the American Airlines Center on Oct. 7. After spending his first three seasons in Houston, Parsons signed a three-year, $46 million deal with the Mavs in restricted free agency.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, center Dwight Howard and shooting guard James Harden have all made comments diminishing the impact of Parsons’ departure. All have been duly noted in public fashion by Parsons.
The preseason finale features a reunion for point guard Jameer Nelson, another free-agent addition for the Mavs. The Mavs will finish the preseason on Oct. 24 in Orlando, where Nelson spent the first 10 seasons of his career before being waived this offseason. The Orlando Magic put up billboards around town expressing their appreciation for Nelson after that decision.
One other reunion on the Mavs’ preseason schedule: Vince Carter will come to town with the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 20. The Mavs hoped to re-sign Carter after his contributions the last three seasons, but he opted to go to the Grizzlies for a three-year, $12.2 million offer, more than the Mavs would have ended up being able to offer.
The Mavs’ preseason schedule:
Oct. 7: vs. Houston Rockets
Oct. 10: vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Oct. 12: vs. Indiana Pacers
Oct. 17: at Cleveland Cavaliers
Oct. 18: at Indiana Pacers
Oct. 20: vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Oct. 23: at New Orleans Pelicans
Oct. 24: at Orlando Magic
You Tell Me Texas by Paul Gleiser
If the president believes that the Lois Lerner/IRS story is a “phony scandal,” why then does he continue to resist appointing a special prosecutor who could prove him right? Read More | Visit The You Tell Me Texas Blog
Many of us got allergy shots as kids or take allergy shots as adults. Aside from the discomfort of getting a shot, there is also the inconvenience of having to visit a doctor’s office or clinic. There is now an alternative to taking allergy immunotherapy by injection. The U.T. Health Science Center at Tyler’s Dr. Jonathan Buttram discusses a safe alternative to allergy shots in this post to HealthConnection.TV. Go to: http://www.uthealth.org/healthconnection/