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Sen. John Cornyn Promotes New Bill to Address Border Crisis

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 3:06 am

johncornynSenator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28) have each introduced bills in their respective houses of Congress that they together are calling the “Humane Act.” The bill is intended to close a loophole in a 2008 law that treats illegal immigrants from other countries differently than illegal immigrants from Mexico. According to Senator Cornyn, the law requires immigrants from countries other than Mexico to be released to a relative in the United States pending a hearing on a date in the future as set forth in a notice to appear. Most of those appearance obligations are never kept by the illegal immigrants, according to Senator Cornyn, resulting in de facto legal admission into the country. The bill that Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Cuellar have introduced would effectively modify that 2008 law so as to require detention of illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied children, and a speedy trial to determine the disposition of each case. The bill faces stiff headwinds in the Democratically-controlled Senate according to Sen. Cornyn.

KTBB’s Paul Gleiser spoke with Sen. Cornyn. That interview is available below.

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Sheriff’s Office Reviewing Policy on Case Submissions

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:30 am

thumb_Larry-SmithTYLER (Staff/AP) — Sheriff Larry Smith and the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Command Staff are in the process of reviewing incidents in which inmates were released on personal recognizance bonds. According to a news release, these inmates were released due to their cases not being filed with the District Attorney’s Office in time to indict. Officials say each case file will be reviewed at the Sheriff’s Office as well as any Sheriff’s Office communications to or from the District Attorney’s Office. Read more …

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Suspect in Triple Fatality Released on Bond

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:29 am

shelbytaylormug3HENDERSON — The woman accused of killing a woman and her two children in an alleged drunken driving incident has been released on bond. According to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby Taylor, 22, of Henderson, was set free after posting a $501,000 bond on Friday. KETK reports the suspect was facing a 2013 DWI accusation, among other charges, before the fatal crash occurred. The Rusk County District Attorney’s Office has filed three manslaughter charges against her for the deaths of Rudra Patel, 5, Trisha Patel, 12, and Heena Patel, 43. The father, 42-year-old Ketanbhai Patel, survived the crash. Read more …

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Bond Set at $2 Million in Four-Year-Old’s Death

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:29 am

stacieparsonsmugATHENS — Bond has been set at $2 million for an East Texas woman who was arrested after authorities say she admitted to killing her four-year-old daughter. According to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Stacie Marie Parsons, 25, of Athens, walked into the Athens Police Department around 8:45 Monday morning and told police she had murdered her young daughter. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office responded to her home in the 410 block of Martin Luther King Drive and found Parsons’s child deceased with head and chest trauma. Officials tell KETK the alleged murder took place at a bridge on County Road 1500. Parsons remains the Henderson County Jail on a single charge of capital murder.

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One Person Hospitalized in Longview Shooting

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:28 am

lvshootingsceneketkGREGG COUNTY — Longview Police are looking for a gunman after one person was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. According to KETK, it happened around 5:20 in the 600 block of Baylor Drive at the Guthrie Creek Apartments. It’s not known what spurred the shooting at this time. One victim was taken to a local hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Their identity is not known. Police could not provide a description of the suspect.

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Missing Teen Sought

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:27 am

hannahlongviewLONGVIEW — The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help finding a missing Longview teenager who was last seen Sunday. Jay Webb, administrative lieutenant of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, said Tuesday that Hannah Nicole Barker, 15, is believed to have run away from her home on Peggy Ruth Road. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Peggy Ruth Road is in a part of Longview that reaches into Harrison County. “She just apparently crawled out of a window at her residence,” Webb said. “Her mother went to check on her and she wasn’t there.” Barker is described as being 5-feet 1-inch tall and weighing 100 pounds. She has brown hair and green eyes, according to Webb. Anyone with information about Barker’s whereabouts is asked to call the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office at (903) 923-4000.

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One Killed, Three Hurt in Weekend Crash near Longview

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:26 am

HARRISON COUNTY — Three people are recovering from injuries sustained in a head-on collision that killed one person over the weekend about two miles north of Longview in Harrison County. KETK reports that at 9:27 a.m. on Saturday, an SUV headed north on FM 2208 crossed the center line and smashed into a truck driving south. The driver of the SUV was identified as Janice Wilkinson, 62, of Colmesneil. She was taken to a Longview hospital in stable condition. Two other passengers in the SUV were injured, one fatally. Bobby Wilkinson, 64, of Colmesneil, was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Nancy George. He was taken to the Meadowbrook Funeral Home in Marshall. Sharron Smith, 61, of Colmesneil was transported to a local hospital in stable condition. The driver of the truck, 19-year-old Cayden Ferrill, was treated and released from a Longview hospital. All four passengers were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

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Police: Man Wanted in Robbery Considered “Armed and Dangerous”

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:25 am

nickelberrylpdLONGVIEW — Longview Police are looking for 25-year-old Vontrequel “Trey” or “Tre” Nickelberry. According to KETK, he is the suspect in an aggravated robbery that occurred May 10 in the 1000 Block of Young St. Police say Nickelberry is considered armed and dangerous. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Nickelberry, you are asked to call police immediately or contact Gregg County Crimestoppers at 903-236-7867 to remain anonymous.

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Wood County Man Indicted in Sexual Abuse Cases

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:25 am

joshuatutorwoodcoWOOD COUNTY — A Yantis man was indicted recently for the alleged sexual abuse of two girls, ages 14 and 12. KETK reports the incidents happened about a month apart. On April 3, a Wood County deputy responded to a report of a sexual assault at the Yantis school, according to an Wood County arrest affidavit. Friends of the 12-year-old assaulted told police the victim said Joshua Michael Tutor, 20, had sexual relations with her on the playground. The mother also showed a string of text messages between her and the suspect. In the texts, the suspect admits to sexual activity, according to officials. Read more …

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Medical Code Workers Testify against Texas Doctor

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:24 am

tariq mahmoodTYLER (AP) – Some medical workers responsible for treatment billing codes say they felt pressured by a Dallas-area doctor to allegedly falsify data to get more money from Medicare. Testimony continues in the Tyler health care fraud trial of Dr. Tariq Mahmood, who’s denied wrongdoing. Federal prosecutors say the hospital chain owner conspired to submit more than $1.1 million in false billings. The Dallas Morning News reports Norma Longley testified Monday that she balked at changing billing codes for Renaissance Hospital Terrell patients. Longley says Mahmood insisted diagnoses by other doctors be altered to reflect more expensive treatments. She later discovered her codes for Medicare reimbursements were altered. Cynthia Kennemer Plumlee testified she was fired after refusing to let Mahmood be “involved” in reviewing patient codes. She cited professional ethics.

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Harassment Complaint Leads to Prostitution Arrest

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:23 am

pearson,josephLONGVIEW — Police in Longview say a prostitution arrest was made following a harassment complaint. Police were dispatched Tuesday morning to a suspicious vehicle in the area of the 2900 block of Lynn Street. When officers arrived they were told by the victim that the suspect, later identified as 34-year-old Joseph Pearson of Daingerfield, had been continually harassing him since April, 2013. Read more …

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General: Guard to Take Observation Role at Border

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:22 am

John Nichols-Texas National GuardMcALLEN (AP) — A top National Guard general says most of the 1,000 troops heading to South Texas will take up observation positions along the border and detain people only if they interfere with their mission. Texas Adjutant General John Nichols told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the troops will help deter illicit traffic amid a record spike of unaccompanied minors crossing the border. Republican Governor Rick Perry announced the Guard’s involvement Monday. Nichols says troops will be armed for their safety. They will try to avoid detaining people and instead refer people to state troopers. State troopers could arrest people for a state crime or call Border Patrol if they entered the country illegally. Nichols says training begins immediately to cover scenarios such as immigrant children turning themselves in.

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4 Dead in Texas Panhandle Car Wreck

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:21 am

DPS door signPERRYTON (AP) — Police say three adults and one toddler have died in a Texas Panhandle car wreck. The Texas Department of Public Safety says two vehicles crashed on a highway about 25 miles south of the Oklahoma border Tuesday evening. Police say the vehicles hit head-on and both caught fire after they landed in the ditch. One driver, his wife and their 2-year-old daughter were pronounced dead at the scene. A 19-year-old passenger in the other vehicle was also pronounced dead at the scene. Police say the other driver was able to escape the vehicle before it caught fire. He was taken to the Ochiltree General Hospital in Perryton.

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Explosion Levels Home in Central Texas; 3 Hurt

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:20 am

fire imageWILLIS (AP) — Officials say an explosion that destroyed a house in Central Texas resonated for miles, and yet three occupants survived the blast. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says the fiery blast happened before dawn Tuesday at a home near Willis, about 40 miles north of Houston. Montgomery County Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams says it could be weeks before investigators determine the cause of the explosion that was felt several miles away. Williams says two men and a woman suffered severe burns and were transported to a hospital. Their names and details on their conditions have not been released. Williams says investigators are trying to determine if any nearby homes have been damaged.

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Suspect in Texas Police Shooting ‘Presumed Dead’

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:18 am

crimescene-2LA JOYA (AP) — Authorities say a man suspected of shooting two South Texas police officers is “presumed dead” after an assault by officers on the house in which he was barricaded. The suspect in a capital murder case had been spraying bullets Tuesday night outside the house in the Rio Grande Valley town of La Joya. Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said the man was silenced Tuesday evening after officers rammed the front door, inserted tear gas and exchanged fire. Guerra said the man is “presumed dead” but that won’t be confirmed until a bomb squad clears the house of booby-trapped explosives the man said he’d rigged. Police say the two wounded officers and six others pinned down by gunfire have been rescued.

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‘Texas 7′ Gang Member Set for February Execution

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:15 am

Donald Newbury3HOUSTON (AP) — One of the infamous “Texas 7″ gang of escapees now has an execution date. State District Judge Rick Magnis has signed an order scheduling condemned inmate Donald Newbury, 52, for lethal injection on February 4. Newbury and six other convicts engineered the biggest prison escape in Texas history when they broke out of a South Texas prison in December 2000. Eleven days later, on Christmas Eve, they killed Irving officer Aubrey Hawkins while robbing a sporting goods store in the Dallas suburb. When the gang was captured in Colorado a month later, one member committed suicide as police closed in. The six others all received death sentences for Hawkins’ slaying. Two of them have been executed. At the time of the escape, Newbury was serving 99 years for aggravated robbery.

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Woman’s Sentencing Begins for Stepson’s Death

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:13 am

Elizabeth RamseyDALLAS (AP) — A North Texas jury begins hearing evidence on what to sentence a woman convicted in the 2011 starvation death of her 10-year-old stepson. The punishment phase of Elizabeth Ramsey’s trial begins today in state district court in Dallas. On Tuesday, the Dallas County jury found the 33-year-old woman guilty of intentional serious injury to a child in Johnathan Ramsey’s death. Jurors could sentence her to up to life in prison. That’s the sentence her husband and the boy’s 35-year-old father, Aaron Ramsey, is serving already. 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.

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Security Guard at Austin Motel Charged with Murder

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:12 am

Robert Earl Goins IIAUSTIN (AP) — A security guard at a Central Texas motel has been charged with murder in a fatal shooting during an altercation. Travis County jail records show Robert Earl Goins II, 43, was being held Tuesday on $300,000 bond. Jail records do not list an attorney for Goins, who was booked Monday afternoon in the slaying of Jonathan Cook, 27. Austin police say Goins told them that he and Cook argued on Friday night before the guard opened fire. Cook was found dead in a vehicle that crashed minutes later on Interstate 35. Sgt. Jerry Bauzon says police are trying to determine what prompted the dispute involving Cook, who was not a registered guest at the Budget Lodge. Investigators are also trying to determine whether Goins was authorized to carry a gun.

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Cartel Associates Get 1-Year Sentence for Bribery

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:11 am

Lady Justice-1AUSTIN (AP) — Federal prosecutors say two Mexican citizens have been sentenced to one year and one day in prison for attempting to bribe a federal judge. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement Tuesday that drug cartel associates Francisco Agustin Colorado Cebado and Ramon Segura Flores each must also pay a $10,000 fine. Both defendants and Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa, the father of Francisco Agustin Colorado, pleaded guilty in March to attempting to offer a $1.2 million bribe to the judge in exchange for a reduced sentence for the elder Colorado, who’s now serving 20 years for laundering drug money by purchasing race horses. Prosecutors say the judge did not participate in the scheme. Paul Nugent, Segura’s attorney, says the defendants are scheduled to be deported following their release.

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2 Houston Women Charged with Bank Fraud

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:09 am

Justice Department logoHOUSTON (AP) — A U.S. attorney says two Houston women have been charged with committing bank fraud and identity theft. U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson says Tonya Beverly, 38, and Leatrice Reynaud, 43, were arrested on charges of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. They’re expected to make a first appearance in court Tuesday. Officials say both women made at least 33 fake identities using information from unsuspecting people to transfer money into bank accounts they controlled. Authorities say they used identification data of at least eight people. Another Houston woman, who authorities say was a co-conspirator, is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud. She’s expected to surrender to police Wednesday.

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Texas Jury Awards Municipal Utility $30 Million

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:08 am

gavelNEW BRAUNFELS (AP) — A Central Texas jury has delivered a nearly $30 million verdict against the Lower Colorado River Authority. A Comal County jury on Tuesday returned the verdict in favor of New Braunfels Utilities. The Austin-based river authority manages water resources and provides electricity. New Braunfels Utilities says the LCRA violated their 1999 wholesale power contract by overcharging for electricity. The LCRA says New Braunfels Utilities and other utilities have unlawfully broken their contracts. The New Braunfels Utilities CEO tells the Austin American-Statesman that the money will go toward reducing electricity costs and expanding energy efficiency programs. A LCRA spokesman says the authority is disappointed in the local jury’s decision. He says it will consider an appeal.

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Real Estate Heir Accused of Urinating on Candy

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:06 am

Robert DurstHOUSTON (AP) — A New York City real estate heir who admitted killing his neighbor a decade ago in Texas is facing a new charge in Houston that accuses him of urinating on candy at a drug store. Authorities say Robert Durst, 71, was arrested Sunday after arguing with store employees. They say he was charged with criminal mischief after urinating on at least $100 worth of candy. His attorney, Chip Lewis, said in a statement Tuesday that they will address the allegations in court. In 2001, Durst was arrested as a fugitive and admitted killing his neighbor and dumping the remains in Galveston Bay. He claimed self-defense and was acquitted of homicide charges. Durst’s family runs The Durst Organization, a privately held billion-dollar real estate company that owns several New York skyscrapers.

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Bill for UT Regent Inquiry Nearly $600,000

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:04 am

Wallace Hall U-T regentAUSTIN (AP) — The bill for investigating the actions of a University of Texas System regent has totaled nearly $600,000. The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston lawyer Rusty Hardin’s firm billed the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations $588,000 to investigate Regent Wallace Hall. (pictured) The final invoices were released Tuesday. The panel has determined there are grounds to impeach Hall but has yet to vote on formal charges Hall is accused of abusing his authority as a regent with massive record requests, bullying staff and releasing private student information in an effort to topple Austin campus President Bill Powers. Hall denies wrongdoing. Powers recently agreed to step down in June 2015.

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TCU’s Fields Investigated for Alleged Assault

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:03 am

Devonte FieldsFORT WORTH (AP) — TCU has suspended defensive end Devonte Fields pending results of a police investigation into whether he punched a former girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun. Officers reported that 20-year-old Haley Brown’s right check was swollen and she had a cut under her eye when they arrived at a Fort Worth home early Sunday. Police on Tuesday said that no charges have been filed and Fields, the Big 12′s preseason defensive player of the year, has not been arrested. An emailed statement from TCU says the school doesn’t tolerate harassment or misconduct by a student and that the allegations against Fields will be go through an internal discipline process. Brown told police that she and Fields dated for two years and broke up June 1.

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San Antonio Councilwoman Voted City’s Next Mayor

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:02 am

Ivy TaylorSAN ANTONIO (AP) — The City Council has voted to appoint Councilwoman Ivy Taylor as the next mayor of San Antonio, replacing the departing Julian Castro. An initial vote Tuesday by the council drew some support for Councilman Ray Lopez but he then withdrew from consideration, clearing the path for Taylor to become the first African-American woman to lead the city. The San Antonio Express-News reports the mayoral term concludes next year and Taylor has pledged not to run. Taylor is a graduate of Yale University who was elected to the council in 2009. The U.S. Senate earlier this month easily confirmed Castro to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, boosting the national profile of a Democrat with a compelling biography who’s considered a vice presidential contender in 2016.

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Ground Broken on Fort Hood Memorial

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 2:00 am

thumb_forthoodKILLEEN (AP) — Ground has been broken for a Central Texas memorial to victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage that left 13 people dead and more than 30 wounded. Ceremonies were held Tuesday for the Fort Hood November 5 Memorial near the Killeen Civic and Conference Center The proposal calls for a more than $400,000 memorial pavilion and bronze sculptures honoring the 13 people who were slain. An organizational website also recognizes those who were wounded in the attack blamed on Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan. Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death last year for the Nov. 5, 2009, mass shootings. Hasan, who was a major at the time of the gunfire, said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression. Memorial organizers are still accepting donations.

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Exxon Mobil Says It’ll Follow New Anti-Bias Rules

Posted/updated on: July 23, 2014 at 1:59 am

Exxon-MobilIRVING (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. says it will comply with new protections for gay and transgender employees required of federal contractors, but isn’t saying whether it will formalize that wording in its corporate policies. President Barack Obama signed the executive order with the new protections Monday. The energy company, which has hundreds of millions in federal contracts, has resisted pressure from civil rights groups and shareholders to enumerate such protections in its formal policy. Many companies have added anti-gay bias as an explicit part of their non-discrimination policies. Exxon Mobil has maintained that its stated zero-tolerance standards ensure protections without having to specifically name them. Exxon Mobil spokesman Alan Jeffers said Tuesday the company will “comply with all governmental laws.” He wouldn’t say if that meant changing the formal policy’s language.

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Yankees Beat Rangers 2-1

Posted/updated on: July 22, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Chase Headley came through with a storybook swing at the stroke of midnight in his Yankees debut, hitting a game-winning single in the 14th inning to give New York a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

Derek Jeter broke Lou Gehrig’s franchise record for doubles, and the Yankees won an unlikely pitching duel after both rookie starters entered with a 5.10 ERA.

J.P. Arencibia snapped a scoreless tie with a leadoff homer in the 13th against New York reliever David Huff, but the Yankees responded with Brett Gardner’s leadoff double and Jacoby Ellsbury’s tying single off closer Joakim Soria in the bottom half.

Most seats were empty by the time Brian Roberts doubled with one out in the 14th off Nick Tepesch (3-6), who threw 99 pitches over 4 1/3 innings during Sunday’s start in Toronto. Roberts was held at third on Francisco Cervelli’s single before Headley looped a single to left-center just as the clock struck midnight.

Acquired from San Diego in a trade before the game, Headley raised one arm as he ran to first and was soon mobbed by his happy new teammates. He was doused with a sports drink by Gardner during a postgame television interview.

“Unbelievable,” Headley said. “I’m excited to be here. I can’t wait to help, and just to be a part of this great franchise.” Read more …

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Former Cowboys FB Newhouse dies at 64

Posted/updated on: July 22, 2014 at 11:41 pm

By Jean-Jacques Taylor |

Robert Newhouse, responsible for one of the iconic plays in Dallas Cowboys history, died Tuesday after a long illness. Newhouse was 64.

Rodd Newhouse told the television station that his father was surrounded by his wife and four children at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, when he died from the effects of heart disease.

He had been in declining health since suffering a stroke in 2010.

Newhouse, a Longview, Texas, native, played fullback for the Cowboys from 1972 to 1983.

He helped Tom Landry win his second Super Bowl with a memorable play against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl X.

With about seven minutes left, Newhouse took a handoff from Roger Staubach and headed left. Suddenly, he pulled up and lofted a pass to receiver Golden Richards just over the outstretched arm of a Denver defender to give the Cowboys their final points in a 27-10 victory. Read more …

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New Mavericks F Lewis needs knee surgery

Posted/updated on: July 22, 2014 at 11:44 pm

By Tim MacMahon |

DALLAS — Forward Rashard Lewis, who signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks for the veteran’s minimum last week, needs knee surgery, agent Tony Dutt confirmed.

Dutt said they aren’t certain yet about the severity of the injury or how long Lewis will be sidelined.

The Mavs signed Lewis, 34, 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.

Yahoo! Sports earlier reported that Lewis needed surgery.

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Judge denies McClain’s request to delay trial

Posted/updated on: July 22, 2014 at 11:43 pm

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.

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Cuban: Mavs might hold on to $2.7M exception

Posted/updated on: July 22, 2014 at 11:43 pm

By Tim MacMahon |

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 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.

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Sources: Mavs hosting free agent PG Nelson

Posted/updated on: July 22, 2014 at 11:42 pm

By Marc Stein |

The Dallas Mavericks will host free agent Jameer Nelson on a recruiting visit Thursday, as part of ongoing negotiations with the former Orlando Magic point guard, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told that the Mavericks are bringing Nelson to town in hopes of finally closing a deal with him, as Dallas continues to pursue a veteran point guard 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. Since then, they have been chasing Nelson and fellow veteran Mo Williams to give coach Rick Carlisle another trusted ballhandler.

Longtime Maverick Devin Harris is the projected starter at the point, after he landed a new, 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 priority, if they are to spend the $2.7 million room exception they still have at their disposal.

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Rangers put C Soto (groin) on disabled list

Posted/updated on: July 22, 2014 at 11:45 pm

By Calvin Watkins |

NEW YORK — The Texas Rangers’ projected opening day catcher is on the shelf again.

Geovany Soto was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday afternoon with tightness in his right groin. Soto suffered the injury running the bases in Monday’s 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees.

Soto started the season on the DL when he underwent surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus cartilage in his right knee in spring training.

“It’s frustrating,” Soto said. “I was out with the knee surgery and to comeback work, really, really hard to come back and do everything and more to be ready, it’s frustrating. All I can do is do whatever the doctors tell me to do and work hard and come back. Some things you can’t control.”

Last weekend, the Rangers had four catchers on the active roster.

Manager Ron Washington said Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez will be the main catchers with J.P. Arencibia serving as the emergency catcher. Arencibia will mainly play first base the rest of the season.

“Feel real bad, he worked his butt off to get back and he was starting to be productive for us,” Washington said of Soto, who hit .364 in four games with three starts at catcher. “And he’s done a great job with our pitching staff since he’s been back. It’s going to be a blow.”

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Strong offseason fueling Brandon Weeden

Posted/updated on: July 18, 2014 at 10:44 am

By Todd Archer |

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.”

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QB David Ash cleared to practice

Posted/updated on: July 22, 2014 at 10:06 am

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas quarterback David Ash has been cleared to participate in contact drills when the Longhorns return for training camp.

Ash missed most of last season with concussion symptoms and missed part of spring drills with a broken left foot.

Trainer Anthony Pass also cleared sophomore running back Johnathan Gray, who missed part of last season with an Achilles tendon injury. Senior linebacker Jordan Hicks, who had hip and Achilles tendon injuries the last two seasons, also has been cleared to practice.

Texas starts the season under new coach Charlie Strong on Aug. 30 at home against North Texas.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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Heart Health: Work as Hard for Your Heart as it Works for You

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!

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Today in History for 23rd July 2014

- Historical Events 1937 - Isolation of pituitary hormone announced (Yale University) 1956 - The Loi Cadre is passed by the French Republic in order to order French overseas territory affairs. 1976 - France performs nuclear Test at Muruora Island 1984 - Suzette Charles (NJ), 21, replaces Williams as 57th Miss America 1984 1994 - Dancer Gene Kelly suffers a mild stroke 1995 - 124th British Golf Open:... Read more on

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