Company Responds after Worker Dies in Tyler Construction Mishap
TYLER The management company of a hotel under construction in South Tyler is responding after an accident claimed the life of a worker at the site. The firm is offering its condolences to family of Michael Castillo. In a statement, the company says, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time. Safety is a primary concern for all our sites. We are looking into how this event occurred. We will also be taking all precautions to ensure something like this does not happen at this or any of our other properties in the future.” Read more …
Harrison County Accident Kills Two, Closes Part of I-20
SCOTTSVILLE (AP) — Authorities say two people are dead and a section of Interstate 20 westbound in East Texas remains closed after a fire engulfed an 18-wheeler involved in a crash with a second tractor-trailer. Harrison County sheriff’s deputies tell KSLA TV the accident happened around 2:30 this morning just west of the Scottsville exit. That’s about eight miles west of the Texas/Louisiana state line. All westbound traffic is being diverted off of I-20 onto Exit 628. State troopers say one 18-wheeler was traveling west when it rear-ended another 18-wheeler. The semi that caused the crash then caught on fire. The accident remains under investigation and authorities have not released the names of the victims.
One Arrested, One Sought in Home Burglary
TYLER One person has been arrested and one is still sought after a home burglary Thursday in Tyler. According to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 12:20 p.m., sheriff’s detectives requested assistance from Tyler Police Department on initiating a traffic stop after seeing a vehicle suspected of involvement in a residential burglary case. The two men driving a gold Chrysler 300 led officers and detectives on a brief pursuit ending when the vehicle wrecked into a curb at the 2800 block of Pine Burr Road near downtown Tyler. Read more …
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Staples to Resign
AUSTIN (AP/Staff) – State Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples says he’s leaving office to become president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association. Staples said in a statement released Thursday that he’ll step down sometime within the next two months. His departure was expected, following a failed bid for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. His political career began as a city councilor in his hometown of Palestine. He went on to serve in the state House and then the Senate before becoming agriculture commissioner He received attention earlier this month when he raised objections to a school district pilot program that encourages kids to eat meatless lunches once a week. Staples said the effort by Dripping Springs was part of an “activist movement” advocating a vegetarian diet for Americans. Read more …
Captured Fugitive Guilty of Health Care Fraud Violations
TYLER A 44-year-old captured fugitive has pleaded guilty in connection with a federal health care fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales. Vivian Yusuf, formerly of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud on Sep. 17 in Tyler before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love. Yusuf, a fugitive, wanted since March 2011, was arrested on June 3, 2014, at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. Yusuf had been indicted for conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, and aggravated identity theft on Jan. 12, 2012. Read more …
Cruelty Charge Dropped against Ex-Deputy
EMORY (AP/Staff) – An animal cruelty charge has been dropped against a former Rains County sheriff’s deputy who was fired after shooting a farm dog that was later euthanized. Jerrod Dooley appeared in court Thursday in Emory and said he’s permanently surrendered his law enforcement license. Dooley also apologized for shooting the blue heeler named Candy. Dooley said he was bitten before by another dog and that left him fearful of an attack. Dooley in April answered a burglary call near Point. Dooley has said the dog charged at him before he fired. The distraught owner then euthanized the wounded animal. Dooley was fired after he and the sheriff’s office received threats following the incident, part of which was recorded by patrol car video.
Couple’s Appeal Denied in Child Injury Case
TYLER A Tyler husband and wife have been denied an appeal after the two were both sentenced to 25 years in prison for injury to a child. KETK reports the Twelfth Court of Appeals denied an appeal for Kenneth and Shelley Walker, who were sentenced October 3, 2012. They’d been found guilty of placing their two-year-old granddaughter, Bridget Walker, into a bathtub filled with scalding water. The toddler was severely burned on her feet and ankles and was flown to a Dallas hospital for treatment. Read more …
East Texas State Fair Begins
TYLER — Today’s the first day of the East Texas State Fair, and it’s designated as Senior Citizen Day. That’s just one of numerous attractions as the fair kicks off a ten-day run, wrapping up Sunday, Sept. 28. Free nightly concerts are featured, with nationally-known and local entertainment. There’ll also be carnival rides, food, shopping, livestock shows, and more. You can go to http://www.etstatefair.com for a complete rundown. Read more …
Some Will Not be Charged for Using Toll 49
TYLER — Drivers who used Toll 49 between Interstate Highway 20 and State Highway 31 on the following days and times will not be charged for their tolls. Specifics:
*Monday, September 15th during the hours of 8 a.m. to 7:10 p.m.,
*Tuesday, September 16th during the hours of 7:10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
*Wednesday, September 17th during the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 7:35 p.m.
Maintenance work was being performed on the toll road which caused some delays and lane closures. We appreciate drivers patience while we performed the road work, said Everett Owen, Interim Executive Director of the NET RMA. We are being supportive of our customers. Whenever there is work performed that might slow traffic, the NET RMA will consider not charging for road utilization on a case by case scenario. The NET RMA does use message boards to alert drivers of any potential delays.
GOP’s Abbott Woos Latinos on Hostile Texas Border
PENITAS (AP) Despite a 3-to-1 edge in campaign cash and polling leads over his Democratic opponent, Greg Abbott is courting Republican-snubbing Hispanic voters with efforts reminiscent of former President George W. Bush’s time as Texas governor. The Republican candidate and current attorney general has made 14 visits to the Rio Grande Valley. He’s recruited a Mexican actor for some of his TV commercials, spent generously on Spanish-language advertising and introduces his wife Cecilia as the soon-to-be first Latina first lady of Texas. Today, the Rio Grande Valley will play host to the first debate between Abbott and his Democratic opponent Wendy Davis. It’s the first gubernatorial debate on the border since 1998, when Bush began wooing Hispanics for his presidential bid. Another debate is scheduled for later this month in Dallas.
Contempt Case Reopened against Perry Prosecutor
AUSTIN (AP) The special prosecutor handling the felony indictment against Governor Rick Perry is himself facing legal trouble after a court ruling cleared the way for a criminal case to be filed against him. In January, prosecutors in Bexar County filed a contempt-of-court motion against Michael McCrum, but the case was halted because it was filed after deadline. An opinion this week by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals renewed the case. McCrum is accused of telling a witness in a manslaughter trial to “get lost for a while” to hinder her being called to testify. If convicted, McCrum faces a maximum six months in jail. The special prosecutor is leading the case that saw an Austin grand jury last month indict Perry on two counts related to abuse of official power.
Perry, A&M Dedicate Key Element of Vaccine Center
COLLEGE STATION(AP) Governor Rick Perry and top officials from Texas A&M University have dedicated a new 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant that’s to produce enough flu vaccine to treat 50 million people within four months of a declared pandemic. The $91 million plant is a cornerstone of A&M’s growing center to battle contagious diseases and bioterrorism. It’s been touted as potentially generating $41 billion in expenditures over the next 25 years and drawing the largest federal investment in Texas since NASA came to the state in the 1960s. Perry and others Thursday signed a stainless steel beam that’s to be part of the building that’s now about 35% finished but should be completed in about a year. Actual vaccine for clinical tests should be in production by 2018.
Search Resumes for Texas Deputy Missing in Flood
AUSTIN (AP) A search for a missing Central Texas sheriff’s deputy resumes, a day after her patrol car was found swamped by floodwaters minutes after she radioed for help while checking flooded low-water crossings. The search picked up again today after storms before nightfall Thursday halted efforts to locate her. Travis County sheriff’s spokesman Roger Wade says the deputy, whose identity hasn’t been revealed, was checking crossings during the storms. She radioed early Thursday to say her patrol car was being washed away in an Austin-area subdivision. Her empty car was found a short time later awash in floodwaters but she was nowhere to be found. The National Weather Service forecasts more heavy rain through Saturday over much of West Texas and through Friday in Southeast Texas.
Stabbing Injures Student, School Evacuated
BASTROP (AP) Authorities say a student has been hospitalized after being stabbed during a fight at his Texas high school that prompted officials to evacuate the building. Police Cpl. Vicky Steffanic says the fight broke out between two 15-year-old boys Thursday morning in a bathroom at Bastrop High School, with one stabbing the other. The school, about 25 miles southeast of Austin, was then placed on lockdown. Steffanic says the victim was hospitalized but his injuries aren’t considered life-threatening. The other teen was apprehended off campus. He’s charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. School district spokesman Donald Williams released a statement saying students were taken to a nearby performing arts center after the stabbing. They were later allowed to return, and classes resumed. Steffanic says it’s unclear what prompted fight.
Federal Inmate Sentenced for Deadly Assault
BEAUMONT (AP) A Missouri man incarcerated at a federal prison in Southeast Texas has been sentenced to more than 12 years for fatally beating another inmate who he mistakenly believed was in prison for molesting children. Jacob Smith of Forsyth, Missouri, was sentenced Thursday after earlier pleading guilty to assault with intent to commit murder. Federal prosecutors say the 23-year-old Smith was incarcerated at the prison in Beaumont in October 2012 when he and another inmate entered the cell of Edward Lee Bowlin. They say the two men used their hands and feet to beat him. They left but Smith soon returned and continued to beat Bowlin, causing him to suffer head and brain trauma. Bowlin fell into a coma and died in November 2013. Smith’s original offense was not immediately clear.
Two School Officials Sentenced for Stealing Millions
BEAUMONT (AP) Two top officials of a Southeast Texas school district have been sentenced to prison for stealing more than $4 million from the district. Devin Wayne McCraney is the former Beaumont Independent School District finance director, while Sharika Baksh Allison is the district’s former comptroller. U.S. District Judge Ron Clark sentenced McCraney in Beaumont to 5 years and 8 months in federal prison for pleading guilty on April 14 to defrauding programs that receive federal funds. Allison was sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in federal prison for pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud those programs. They also have been ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution. In April, the Texas Education Agency announced it was taking over the district and lowering its accreditation status.
San Antonio Hotel Guest Found Dead in Courtyard
SAN ANTONIO (AP) San Antonio police say a guest has been found dead in the courtyard of a seven-story hotel after she apparently fell. Police say the body was discovered before dawn Thursday by an employee of the Omni La Mansion del Rio. The name of the woman wasn’t immediately released. Police did not immediately say how she fell or from what floor. Investigators found no evidence of foul play. Police say a man who was staying with the woman was awakened and advised of her death. Police say the man was intoxicated but said he was asleep and unaware that the woman left the room. The general manager of the Omni La Mansion
Texas, U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices Down 6 Cents
IRVING (AP) Retail gasoline prices in Texas fell 6 cents this week in a decline that matched the nationwide drop in prices at the pump. AAA Texas on Thursday reported gasoline prices statewide were $3.17 per gallon. The national average was $3.36 per gallon. El Paso has the most expensive gasoline in Texas at $3.23 per gallon. The association survey found Amarillo with the cheapest gasoline statewide at $3.08 per gallon. AAA officials say the average retail price for gasoline typically falls this time of year amid decreased demand and the transition to winter-blend gasoline, which is cheaper to produce.
Frisco Pledges $1M to Bring Video Game Museum
FRISCO (AP) A community development board in a fast-growing northern Dallas suburb has approved a $1 million plan to renovate a city museum into the nation’s first video game museum. The Dallas Morning News reports the Frisco Community Development Corp. board voted unanimously Thursday night to approve a deal with the Videogame History Museum for building renovations and startup costs. The museum would be housed inside the city-owned Frisco Discovery Center and would be called the National Videogame Museum 1.0. It would be the testing ground for a larger and more permanent home planned in Frisco. About $800,000 from the city would renovate the space and expand its parking. Then, $100,000 grants from the Community Development Corp. and the Frisco Convention and Visitors Bureau would go toward the museum’s startup costs.
You Tell Me Texas by Paul Gleiser
If the goal of the War on Poverty was to significantly reduce the proportion of the population living below the poverty line, one would have to say that so far the war is a draw. Read More | Visit The You Tell Me Texas Blog
Having the occasional case of the blues is one thing. Depression that affects your ability to go to work, do the things you like to do and maintain relationships with friends and loved ones is something entirely different. In this post to HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast clinical psychologist Dr. Charles Walker answers questions about recognizing and treating clinical depression. Go to: http://www.uthealth.org/healthconnection/