Police Seek Robbery Suspect
TYLER — Police in Tyler are on the hunt for a robbery suspect. At around 3:10 Sunday morning, officers responded to 4400 Paluxy, near building 11. It was reported that a female had been robbed. Upon arrival the female was contacted and appeared to be uninjured, according to police. She stated that she had just parked and was approached by a black male. The man claimed to have a firearm but one was not seen, according to the victim. She said she initially tried to walk away and then was tackled to the ground by the man. He then reportedly took her purse and ran off. The suspect was described as in his early twenties, wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans, and a black and white bandana covering his face. Anyone with any information concerning this case is asked to call the Tyler Police Department.
Investigators: Motel Fire in Tyler Appears Suspicious
TYLER — Tyler Fire Department investigators are working to determine how a fire started around 10:45 a.m. Saturday at the Economy Inn in the 3300 block of Mineola Highway. Investigators tell KETK the blaze began in one of the rooms and was called in by the resident of that unit. Investigators say fire crews were nearby and were able to arrive on scene and contain the blaze before it consumed other units. They say the room where the fire started was destroyed, with nearby rooms sustaining water and smoke damage. Investigators add that the fire appears to be suspicious. There was no immediate word on whether any arrests have been made. No one was injured.
Winona City Officals: “We Didn’t Want to Increase the Utility Rates”
WINONA — Officials are responding after reports surfaced about the city of Winona’s failure to pay its utility bills, putting the town in a financial crisis. KETK reports that after the city council voted in favor of raising the utility rates for residents, the people of Winona wanted answers. The city is struggling financially, and more than just the city’s utility bills went unpaid. The former city administrator failed to pay several bills, and on top of that, the city is now in the process of trying to fix water maintenance issues that did not meet state standards. Read more …
Kilgore Man Arrested for Drug Possession
GREGG COUNTY — A Kilgore man remains behind bars after police found he was in possession of drugs. KETK reports Michael Jerome Mumphrey, 30, was arrested Thursday in Gregg County. Police found he was in possession of a controlled substance more than four grams and possession of marijuana more than four ounces, according to authorities. Mumphrey was being held on bonds totaling $60,000.
Veterans Forced to Relocate, Remain in Homeless Program
TYLER — Many local veterans were upset Thursday after being forced out of their home in Tyler. The Andrews Center Homeless Veteran Program has been helping vets for the last five years. It’s reported to be a successful program that gives veterans a place to stay for free, feeds them, and helps them find work. According to KETK, the controversy is that a few of the veterans were upset after having to leave one of the homes in Tyler Thursday. They were not kicked out of the program, simply relocated. It was a decision the Andrews Center said it needed to make in order to be able to continue to help the veterans. Read more …
Tyler ISD Students Win State Honors at Technology Competition
TYLER – Technology students at Robert E. Lee High School earned state honors at the Texas Technology Student Association (TSA) state competition in Waco recently. The team received seven state championship awards in categories of photography; construction, modeling and design; applied tech science; graphic solutions; system control; technical problem solving; and desktop publishing. Three Lee students earned third place finishes, and one of those finishes qualified two students for national competition. Two other students finished in the top five.
Thousands Skip School in Houston on Make-up Day
HOUSTON (AP) – Thousands of Houston students and teachers stayed home on Good Friday instead of reporting to class to make up for a school day canceled by bad weather. Teachers in Houston ISD who did show up reported having as few as one student in their classrooms. District spokeswoman Sheleah Reed told the Houston Chronicle that officials didn’t foresee the widespread absences. A January winter storm forced the largest school district in Texas to cancel classes and designate Good Friday as a make-up day. Schools receive about $35 a student for daily attendance. That means so many absences could normally cost districts millions of dollars in state funding. But Good Friday is one of the few days that schools can preserve funding for students who cite religious reasons for missing class.
Texting while Driving Ban Could Revive after Perry
AUSTIN (AP) – Efforts to implement a statewide texting while driving ban in Texas are likely to resurface next year no matter who replaces Gov. Rick Perry. Texas is one of only seven states without a law prohibiting all drivers from texting while driving. Many major cities have ordinances on the books but attempts to pass a statewide ban in the Legislature have failed. A safety nonprofit has designated April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Perry vetoed a texting bill in 2011. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports that the two candidates vying to replace Perry have taken opposite views on the issue. Republican Greg Abbott is against what his campaign calls additional government mandates. Aides to Democrat Wendy Davis point out that she co-authored a ban bill in the Texas Senate.
Police: 4 Dead after Car Hits Taxi near Houston
PASADENA (AP) – Authorities near Houston say four people are dead and two others are in critical condition after a car drifted into oncoming traffic and slammed into a taxi cab. Pasadena police spokesman Vance Mitchell said Saturday the impact sounded like an “explosion” to an officer who happened to be near the early morning crash. He said there was no actual fire but described the accident scene as horrendous. Investigators say the car that hit the taxi apparently went too fast around a curve and lost control. Mitchell said two people in the car died along with two passengers in the backseat of the taxi. The taxi driver and a front-seat passenger were airlifted to a hospital with critical injuries. Authorities did not immediately release names or ages of the victims.
Perry’s Passed-Over Pick for A&M President Resigns
COLLEGE STATION (AP) – A top Texas A&M University executive who Gov. Rick Perry wanted promoted to school president has resigned after not getting the job. Guy Diedrich is the latest in an exodus of Perry allies who have recently left the Texas A&M system. The Bryan-College Station Eagle reported Saturday that Diedrich quietly left his $300,000-a-year post as vice chancellor for strategic initiatives in March. Perry pushed A&M regents in December to select Diedrich as interim president of the 53,000-student campus. His public endorsement rankled faculty who accused the governor of trying to impose his political will on his alma mater. Regents instead chose Mark Hussey, a longtime dean who’s highly respected in academic circles at the school. Diedrich is the third top A&M executive to leave since December.
Texas Search Group, FAA at Odds Over Drone Use
HOUSTON (AP) – A Texas-based group of volunteers involved in searches for missing persons around the nation has run afoul of federal aviation authorities for using drones in its work. A fleet of four unmanned aircraft used by Texas EquuSearch has been grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration until the agency develops rules that allow for the commercial use of unmanned aircraft. Congress has given the FAA until the end of next year to do so. Texas EquuSearch claims its drones are not used for commercial purposes and therefore should not be subject to the restrictions. Group founder Tim Miller says an attorney involved in drone litigation is working on a lawsuit to challenge the ban.
State Not Finished with El Paso Cheating Scandal
El PASO (AP) – Texas education officials want to repeal state certifications of 11 administrators linked to an El Paso classroom cheating scandal. The El Paso Times reports Saturday that it marks the first time the state has tried holding individual employees accountable for rampant cheating in the El Paso district from 2007 to 2010. School officials were accused of holding students back or coercing them into dropping out to improve standardized test scores. Most of those named in the Texas Education Agency petition are no longer district employees. The petition accuses them of helping falsify federal accountability reports or knowing of the scheme but doing nothing to stop it. The fallout led to former district superintendent Lorenzo Garcia pleading guilty to fraud. He is serving a three-year prison term.
Lewis pitches Rangers past ChiSox
Colby Lewis had to be reminded about his last victory for the Texas Rangers. It had been a while.
Lewis allowed one run over 5 1/3 innings for his first win in nearly two years, after elbow surgery and a unique hip procedure, and the Rangers beat the Chicago White Sox 6-3 on Saturday night for their fifth consecutive victory.
“It’s pretty sentimental,” Lewis said. “It’s one of those victories that I’m just excited about.”
The 34-year-old right-hander won for the first time since June 17, 2012, a month before his last game prior to surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. He was still rehabbing from that last August when he had right hip resurfacing surgery, and is the first known major league pitcher to return from that operation to remove bone spurs without a full hip replacement.
“It was awesome,” shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “We’re really glad for him.”
Joakim Soria, the fifth Texas reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his third save in four chances. He then gave the game ball to Lewis (1-1).
Before his season debut Monday night, a home loss to Seattle when he also went 5 1/3 innings, Lewis hadn’t made a major league start since July 18, 2012. Read more …
A’s use 9th-inning rally to send Astros to 6th straight loss
Josh Reddick isn’t ready to declare himself out of an early-season batting slump, not after the miserable start he got off to.
A pair of solid games at the plate sure has the Oakland outfielder feeling a lot better about things, however.
Reddick had hits in his last three at-bats, including an RBI single that capped a three-run rally in the ninth inning that lifted the Athletics over the Houston Astros 4-3 on Saturday.
“It feels good again after the first week of going up there thinking, ‘How am I even going to touch this baseball?’ ” Reddick said. “It’s a great turnaround, a great feeling to be back in the box with some confidence.”
Reddick’s single off Houston reliever Chad Qualls was the fourth game-ending hit of his career and continued a recent offensive surge for Oakland’s bearded outfielder. Reddick also had three hits and a home run in Friday’s 11-3 win after starting the season in a 4-for-41 rut.
“Sometimes it only takes one game where you get a couple of hits or a couple of balls up (and) you start to feel a lot better about yourself,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “I think it was just a matter of being more confident.”
Jed Lowrie started the A’s comeback with a leadoff home run against Qualls (0-1). Read more …
Dirk vs. Duncan: Showcase of greats
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
DALLAS — Forget about the seedings for a second. Savor what we are about to witness.
The Dallas Mavericks meeting the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs means we get the treat of watching living legends Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan compete against each other.
Sure, we’ve seen it before. In fact, it’s happened five times, with mixed results and many magnificent performances by two Lone Star State, one-team superstars. But there’s no guarantee we’ll see it again, no matter how good the all-time greats look in their golden years.
They don’t necessarily match up against each other most of the time when the Mavs and Spurs play, but this is a historic occasion that should be appreciated by basketball fans around the world, not just up and down Interstate 35.
“It’s a showcase for two of the 12 greatest players of all time,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “Both of those guys have been more than 10-time All-Stars, league MVP and Finals MVP. There’s only a dozen guys that have done that and you got two of them. They still play like they’re in their prime, both those guys.
“So this is a treat for people who appreciate NBA basketball and the history of the game. You got two guys whose love and respect for the game is so high and their work ethic and standards are so high that they’ve kept it going in their mid-30s as well as anybody I’ve ever seen.” Read more …
Adduci becomes 10th Ranger to be put on DL
By Randy Jennings | Special to ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas — The number of Rangers on the disabled list swelled to 10 with the addition of Jim Adduci on Saturday.
The outfielder suffered a broken little finger on his left hand sliding into second base in the third inning of a 12-0 win over the White Sox on Friday night and is expected to be out for four weeks.
The Rangers led 2-0 at the time when Adduci tagged at first base and advanced on Donnie Murphy’s deep fly to center field. A good throw from Sox center fielder Adam Eaton made it a close play, forcing a head-first slide by Adduci.
Adduci remained in the game and contributed two more hits including a double, raising his batting average to .462.
But when he awoke Saturday morning, Adduci had a swollen finger. Manager Ron Washington, demonstrating he hasn’t lost his sense of humor among all the mishaps, suggested Adduci “might have broken it in his sleep.”
That the Rangers have managed to win 10 of 17 games so far without key personnel is a reflection on the entire organization, Washington said. While the team can’t control injuries, “we control our attitude, and things are working out well,” he said
Had Washington known before the season that he could field a team with the number of players currently on the disabled list, he said he would have been “taken aback.”
Adduci’s spot on the 25-man roster will be filled by 20-year-old switch-hitting infielder Luis Sardinas, who was promoted Saturday from Double-A Frisco. Sardinas, signed as a non-drafted signee in 2009, was hitting .238 with the RoughRiders.
Players on the disabled list don’t surrender their lockers in the Rangers clubhouse. And new additions, like Sardinas, are making lockers scarce. Read more …
Spurs’ Parker: Success nothing without title
By Dave McMenamin | ESPNLosAngeles.com
SAN ANTONIO — When the San Antonio Spurs open the playoffs Sunday against the Dallas Mavericks, it will be 10 months to the day from last season’s devastating loss in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
They made the most of that time, finishing with the best record in the league this season, and their 62-20 mark secured home court throughout the postseason.
As much as the Finals collapse sparked the Spurs to the No. 1 overall seed, there remains just one thing that matters for San Antonio.
“It shows a lot of character on our team, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t win the whole thing,” Tony Parker said after practice Saturday. “We have home court. We did a good job. But we know it doesn’t guarantee anything. We just have to stay focused and we know we have a long way to go.”
The championship culture is so prevalent for the Spurs that a local television station was promoting a one-hour playoff preview show entitled “Drive for Five: Unfinished Business” on Saturday, an example of the city’s expectation this spring to add to the four titles the team has captured since 1999.
The Spurs opened training camp back in October by showing the team a tape from their 103-100 loss to Miami in Game 6, a game in which they were up by five points with 28 seconds remaining and ended up losing in overtime after Ray Allen’s miracle 3 from the corner forced the extra period. Read more …