Victim Identified in Fatal Wood County Crash
WOOD COUNTY — One person is dead after a two-vehicle collision around 9:30 Wednesday morning in Wood County. According to KETK, DPS says emergency crews responded to the accident on Highway 11, nearly 7 ˝ miles east of Winnsboro. A tractor-trailer traveling westbound crossed over the center line when driving into a curve and struck a car heading eastbound head-on. The driver of the car, identified as Velma Dismukes, 42, of Winnsboro, was pronounced dead at the scene by Judge Cindy Weems. Dismukes was taken to Beaty Funeral Home in Winnsboro. The driver of the semi, Mitchell Bartram, 56, of Euless, was not injured in the crash. There was no immediate word on possible charges.
19-Year-Old Dies in Fiery Crash near Marshall
MARSHALL — A 19-year-old East Texan died in a fiery one-vehicle crash near Marshall. According to KETK, DPS says shortly after 8:45 Wednesday night, Mason Duvall’s truck was traveling north on Farm Road 1997 at an unsafe speed while on a curve. The vehicle left the east side of the road, hit a tree, and caught on fire. Duvall was pronounced dead at the scene. DPS said the road was wet at the time of the accident.
Tyler Joins National Network to Increase Post-High School Attainment
TYLER — Tyler has joined Lumina Foundation’s Community Partnership for Attainment, according to a news release from the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce. With support and oversight from the Tyler Area Business Education Council, a cross-sector group of community members will work with Lumina, according to the release. Officials say the group will develop and execute strategies that will increase the percentage of residents who possess a postsecondary credential. Tyler is one of the final 20 cities in Lumina’s 75-city community-based attainment network. “The selection of Tyler as one of 75 cities to work with Lumina and other national thought leaders shows that the work in this community is being recognized on a national level,” said Tyler Mayor Martin Heines. Read more …
Schaefer Files Measure Targeting Food Stamp Fraud
AUSTIN — State Representative Matt Schaefer of Tyler has filed a bill requiring photo identification and the recipient’s name on food stamp cards. The District 6 Republican says the cards would also include the fraud hotline number and a statement saying, “Paid for by the American taxpayer.” Claiming there’s a lot of fraud in Texas, Schaefer says right now the cards don’t even have the person’s name on them and that they’re being sold and used for currency. According to Schaefer, “If the state of Massachusetts can put photo ID and the names on the food stamp cards, we can do it in Texas. We need integrity in our food stamp program.”
Charge Upgraded to Murder in Longview Shooting
LONGVIEW — A murder charge has been filed in a Longview shooting that turned fatal. The move follows the death of Jerrad Hunt of Longview nearly three weeks after he was shot at a gas station. “I can confirm that Jerrad Hunt did pass away around 6:00 p.m. on Monday at Good Shepherd Medical Center,” Hunt’s attorney, Kirby Portley, said Tuesday. The charge filed against the suspect, identified as Christian Earl Sibley, 21, of Longview, has been upgraded from aggravated assault. Police say they responded to the gunshot call in the 3000 block of Estes Parkway just before 10:30 a.m. February 3. When they got there, Hunt, 22, had already been taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Memorial Fund Set Up for Ex-Pine Tree Student Killed in Cedar Park
LONGVIEW — The Pine Tree ISD Foundation Thursday announced a memorial fund set up in honor of a former student murdered in Cedar Park on February 17. According to KETK, the Katie Eager Memorial Endowment will be open to receive donations starting on Monday, March 2. The money will be used to help fund teacher grants and unique opportunities for children, according to the foundation. Read more …
Coffee City Mayor Dies at 78
COFFEE CITY — Coffee City officials confirmed Mayor Ray Wakeman died Wednesday at the age of 78. According to KETK, a city spokesperson could not comment on the manner of his death. Mayor Wakeman was sworn into office in December 2012. The mayor lived in the city he led for more than 30 years. He previously served on the city council. According to his Facebook page, Wakeman attended Marshall High School.
Judge Rules for Peterson, Paving Way for Reinstatement
MINNEAPOLIS (AP/Staff) – A federal judge has cleared the way for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to be reinstated. U.S. District Judge David Doty issued his order Thursday, less than three weeks after hearing oral arguments. Doty overruled NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson’s previous denial of Peterson’s appeal. The league suspended the former Palestine star through at least April 15 for his involvement in a child abuse case. But Doty said in his 16-page ruling that Henderson “simply disregarded the law of the shop and in doing so failed to meet his duty under the” collective bargaining agreement.
Perry Attorneys Ask Texas Appeals Court to Toss Felony Case
AUSTIN (AP) — Attorneys for former Texas Governor Rick Perry have asked a state appeals court to dismiss felony abuse-of-power charges against the possible 2016 presidential candidate on free-speech grounds. In briefs processed Thursday by the Third Court of Appeals, Perry’s lawyers argue that more than just their client’s freedom is at stake. They say the Republican was acting within his rights when he issued a 2013 veto. His attorneys also have repeatedly sought to dismiss the case with the district court judge presiding over it. Perry was indicted last summer by an Austin grand jury. He’s accused of publicly threatening, then carrying out, a veto of state funding for public corruption prosecutors. Perry left office last month, but plans to announce soon whether he’ll run for president next year.
Texas Tea Party Lawmaker Worries Tuition Bill Being Skipped
AUSTIN (AP) — An outspoken tea party lawmaker is demanding to know why the Republican House speaker hasn’t referred one of the session’s potentially most-contentious bills to committee. Bedford Republican Jonathan Stickland took to the floor Thursday to complain that his bill repealing in-state tuition at public universities for some students who are in the country illegally had “been skipped.” Stickland says he filed the bill in November, long before the session began January 13, but it hadn’t been assigned to committee. He said bills filed subsequently had been. Bills must be approved in committee before going to the full House. Speaker Joe Straus responded that assigning bills to committee out of numerical order “was not uncommon.” Conservative grassroots groups have long claimed Straus deliberately delays hot-button bills.
Agency Under Fire for No-Bid Contracts Names Ethics Chief
AUSTIN (AP) — The former head of the state ethics commission has been named the chief ethics officer of a vast Texas agency facing heavy criticism for granting $110 million in no-bid state contracts. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission on Thursday announced the appointment of David Reisman. (pictured) HHS Commissioner Kyle Janek said in a statement the position was created to “increase our emphasis on ethical behavior.” Lawmakers recently have condemned HHS for awarding lucrative, no-bid contracts to an Austin tech company to root out Medicaid fraud. Reisman most recently worked at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, which generated controversy in 2013 for its own series of questionable contracts.
Cruz: Make Candidates Who Claim Conservatism Prove it
OXON HILL, MD. (AP) — Senator Ted Cruz says voters need to demand presidential hopefuls prove they’re conservative and not just take their word. The Republican from Texas spoke Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington. Cruz says everyone who is likely running for the White House is likely to claim they’re the most conservative candidate, but not everyone has a record to back it up. Cruz, a firebrand who often clashes with his party’s leadership in the Senate, says voters are also looking for someone who will stand up to Washington. Cruz also is jabbing Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton over her paid speeches. He jokes that Clinton was skipping the conference because she couldn’t find a foreign government to pick up the tab.
Three Dead after Shooting at Southeast Houston Apartment Complex
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston police say drugs may have been involved in gunfire at an apartment complex where three men were found shot to death. Police on Thursday searched for three men who were last seen fleeing in a car. Sgt. Mark Holbrook says neighbors heard gunfire Wednesday night. Investigators found one man dead in the parking lot. The bodies of the other two men were in a unit where one apparently lived. Holbrook says two other men showed up at a hospital and were treated for gunshot wounds. Investigators are trying to determine whether those injuries are related to the deadly gunfire.
Police: Gunman Linked to Random Texas Shootings; 1 died
HOUSTON (AP) — Police are searching for a Houston-area gunman they believe is responsible for a series of random shootings this month that left a man dead and three injured. Investigators say that in each instance the suspect drove a dark-colored SUV and fired at men along city streets in Houston and the nearby suburb of Missouri City. Houston police say Pak Ho, 34, suffered multiple gunshots February 17 and died at a hospital. Hours later, two other men were shot and wounded at separate locations. Police say another person fled February 17 when the gunman’s weapon jammed. Days later, yet another man suffered two gunshot wounds. Investigators were told by victims that the gunman did not say anything before firing or offer any warnings.
Man Charged with Murder in Death of Infant
BRYAN (AP) — A 35-year-old man has been charged with murder in the death of a 7-month-old girl who police say was found by officers with a fractured skull, broken leg and other injuries. Talawrence Donyea Tennell of Bryan was being held Thursday at the Brazos County jail on a $50,000 bond. A Bryan police report indicates Tennell told officers that he was high on PCP Wednesday when his girlfriend’s daughter suffered her injuries. He told investigators he fell asleep and awoke to find the baby on the floor and unresponsive. The child was taken to a hospital where she died.
North Texan Gets Life Term for Soliciting Girl, 16, for Sex
McKINNEY (AP) — A registered sex offender from North Texas must serve life in prison for molesting a 16-year-old Houston-area girl he met online and nicknamed “wifey.” Joshua Karr of Allen was convicted of sexual assault of a child and online solicitation of a minor. Prosecutors in Collin County on Thursday announced the penalty for the 32-year-old Karr. He also pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and attempted escape. Karr had previous convictions for possession of child porn and attempted aggravated kidnapping. Skype logs indicated Karr groomed the victim by calling her “wifey” as they chatted online. Karr on December 20, 2013, picked the girl up outside her school in Pasadena and took the teen to his mother’s home in Allen, nearly 300 miles away. Police rescued the girl two weeks later.
Detained Immigrant Families in South Texas Issued Bonds
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Immigration attorneys say the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has begun issuing bonds for Central American immigrant families detained in Karnes County. The San Antonio Express-News reports the move comes after a federal court judge last week issued a preliminary injunction against the agency’s policy of detaining mothers and children seeking asylum in the U.S. The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the case, claimed the detentions were part of a strategy to deter other asylum-seekers from coming to the U.S. The agency said it’s still reviewing the ruling, but immigration attorneys say they believe it has already changed its policies. A San Antonio immigration attorney says three of his clients received bonds Thursday. His clients are all mothers from Central America who had been in detention since January.
Conservatives Taking Aim at UT System Regents Appointments
AUSTIN (AP) — Conservatives are taking aim at Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s first appointments to the University of Texas System Board of Regents. The Senate Nominations Committee on Thursday peppered the nominees with tough questions about admissions, transparency and rising tuition rates. New appointment David Beck, a Houston attorney, and Regent Steve Hicks, who has been reappointed to a new term, were notably challenged on those issues by several Republican lawmakers. Beck and Hicks have been longtime supporters of embattled UT-Austin President Bill Powers, who was pressured to resign and leaves office in June. Far-right groups also have criticized nominee Sara Martinez Tucker for her support of Common Core, an education initiative that has been criticized by conservatives. The panel adjourned without voting on the nominations.
UT Fraternity Got Prior Party Complaint
AUSTIN (AP) — The University of Texas received a complaint about a fraternity’s portrayal of Hispanics at a party a year before the same fraternity came under scrutiny for a similar party earlier this month. Records released to The Associated Press show a complaint contends that members of Phi Gamma Delta wore “stereotypical Mexican clothing” like sombreros, ponchos and mariachi outfits to a party at their house. What the university did in response wasn’t immediately clear. The complaint was filed electronically in January 2014 with the Campus Climate Response Team, part of the school’s Office of Diversity and Community Engagement. The fraternity threw a similar party Feb. 7 and more than 20 people complained following that gathering. Fraternity President Andrew Campbell has apologized, but could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
Teens Accused in Fatal Beating of Emu
COMANCHE (AP) — Some West Texas teenagers have been accused in the beating death of an emu during a party on private property. The Comanche County Sheriff’s Office says eight people were arrested or cited in the bird’s death. Investigator Robert Jolley said Thursday that more arrests are possible over the February 15 incident. Jolley says the case involves some students at Comanche High School and a party near where the emu was kept. Officials say Cassius Mankin, 18, was charged with felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor theft. Jail officials Thursday didn’t immediately provide further information on Mankin, who’s free on $20,000 bond. Seven minors and adults were cited for criminal trespass, criminal mischief or both. Superintendent Rick Howard says Mankin and several other students are suspended from extracurricular activities amid the investigation.
Retail Gasoline Prices across Texas Up 6 Cents This Week
COPPELL (AP) — Retail gasoline prices across Texas have risen 6 cents this week to reach an average $2.17 per gallon. AAA Texas on Thursday reported that compares with a 7-cent increase nationwide, with gas prices hitting $2.34 per gallon. Dallas and Fort Worth have the most expensive gasoline statewide this week at $2.22 per gallon. Drivers in San Antonio have the cheapest price at the pump with an average $2.12 per gallon. AAA experts say refineries are doing seasonal maintenance. The process can limit fuel production and contribute to rising retail gasoline prices.
JC Penney Shares Slide after 4Q Miss
PLANO (AP) — Shares in J.C. Penney Company are tumbling in aftermarket trading after the department store chain posted disappointing results for its key holiday-shopping-season quarter. The company reported a loss of $59 million, or 19 cents per share, in the three-month period that ended January 31st. But excluding one-time items, it said it broke even for the quarter. Analysts had expected a profit of 12 cents for the period on that basis, according to FactSet. Revenue rose 2.9% to $3.89 billion, edging analysts’ estimate of $3.87 billion. Sales in stores open at least a year rose 4.4 percent for all of 2014. The company expects that metric, a key one for retail, to rise 3 to 5 percent in 2015. Penney’s shares slid almost 10 percent in aftermarket trading.
You Tell Me Texas by Paul Gleiser
The wage inequality fight is yet another leftover from the 1960s — a time for which liberals have a very special nostalgia.
Some people seem to eat whatever they want and never gain a pound. The rest of us have to be really careful. So what’s at work? The answer is metabolism: the mechanism by which your body burns the calories you eat and converts them to the energy necessary for your body to function. In the latest post to HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast internal medicine expert Dr. David Shafer answers questions about your metabolism and its effect on how much you weigh. Go to: http://www.uthealth.org/healthconnection/
Today in History
1945 - Battle of US 94 Infantry
1960 - US Olympic Ice Hockey Team beats USSR 3-2 en route to gold medal
1966 - Ladies Figure Skating Championship in Davos won by Peggy Fleming of US
1973 - White Sox slugger Dick Allen signs 3-year $750,000 contract
1977 - Judy Rankin wins LPGA...
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