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Woman Found Unharmed, Man Arrested

MINEOLA — A Smith County woman, who was said to have been kidnapped, has been found unharmed and the man who was said to have taken her has been arrested. It was earlier reported that a man, identified as James Derrick Adams Jr., 26, kicked in the door of a home in the Enchanted Lakes area in the northwest part of the county. He was then said to have abducted Melissa Nicole Boaz, 37. They drove off in a green minivan with a broken rear window. But, after the woman was found, she told deputies she was not taken against her will and the situation was a misunderstanding. No word on where she was found, but Adams was arrested on County Road 456, south of County Road 455. He was arrested after leaving the mini van and running into a wooded area. Even though he is not facing a kidnapping charge, he could be facing burglary charges if the woman wants to press charges.

Shoplifter in Custody

LONGVIEW – A shoplifter has been arrested in Longview. Clinton Paul McDowell, 42, of Longview is said to have tried to leave the Academy Store on Forest Square without paying for several boxes of ammunition. To compound his problems, he has 4 prior convictions for theft. McDowell has been charged with theft of property with two or more previous convictions. He remains in the Gregg County jail under a $5,000 bond.

Sex Offender’s Appeal Turned Down

GILMER – An appeals court is rejecting the appeal of a convicted sex offender in Upshur County. The 6th Court of Appeals in Texarkana has turned down the appeal of 48 year old Orlandos Lugene Johnson, of Gilmer. He had argued his lawyer had “rendered ineffective assistance” during his trial. Last May, Johnson pleaded guilty two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. He asked the court to set his punishment. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison on each count, to be served concurrently. Johnson was an employee of Gilmer school system and had worked for the district over 20 years.

Longview Burglary Suspects Arrested

LONGVIEW – Two Longview burglary suspects have been arrested. They were arrested after a police officer heard an audible alarm at a business on South High Street. He then saw two persons leaving through the damaged front door of the building. After a short foot chase, both were taken into custody. One was a juvenile. The other was Dewayne Lamont Black, Jr, 18, of Longview. They found had three previous convictions for evading arrest. So, besides being charged with burglary of a building, he is also charged with evading arrest with prior convictions.

Sanderson Farms Project, an Economic Plus for the Area

TYLER – Local officials gathered in Tyler Monday morning to discuss Sanderson Farms building several facilities in Smith and Wood counties. The company plans to construct a $200 million dollar feed mill, hatchery, poultry processing plant, and wastewater treatment facility. At full capacity, the complex will employ 1700 people, will require 80 contract growers, and will be equipped to process and sell 375 million pounds of dressed poultry meat annually. Tyler Economic Development Council President and CEO Tom Mullins says the project will have a tremendous impact on the Winona, Lindale and Mineola areas.… Read More

Henderson County Burglary Suspect Arrested

MURCHISON – A Henderson County burglary suspect is in custody because of a caller’s tip. The caller told authorities 19 year old Travis Brax Davis of Murchison was a likely suspect in a burglary and was driving without a valid license. Sheriff’s deputies pulled him over on Highway 31 near a service station in the Murchison area around 8:30 Sunday night. When they saw several large, fixed-blade knives near his drivers’ seat, Davis and his two passengers were asked to get out of the car. They found inside a knife sheath a plastic baggie with a white crystal-like substance that appeared to be methamphetamine. Additional drug paraphernalia was discovered in the vehicle. They also found in the car property belonging to a local RV park that had reported a burglary on Saturday. Davis is in the Henderson County jail on charges of burglary of a building and possession of a controlled substance.

Emergency Situation at Kilgore Apartments Ends

KILGORE — One person is in custody following what the Kilgore police called an emergency situation at the Lakewood Manor Apartments on Danville Drive. Taken into custody was Daniel Aaron Nutt, 32, of Kilgore. He has been charged with terroristic threat family violence and resisting arrest and booked into the Kilgore Municipal Jail. Around 5:15 Sunday afternoon, the police received a report of assault family violence with a possibly armed suspect. The caller and victim told officers he had been involved in an argument with his roommate, who he identified as Nutt. He said during the argument Nutt threatened to kill him and approached in a threatening manner. Fearing for his safety, he climbed out of his apartment window prior to the arrival of officers. The victim added that the apartment contained numerous handguns and long guns. Nutt initially refused to come out of the apartment, so officers partially evacuated the complex. A short time later Nutt left the apartment and was arrested.

Fatal Wreck in Longview

LONGVIEW – Speed may have played a role in a fatal Longview accident. The accident, around 7:45 Sunday morning, happened on Cherokee Street near Pine Tree Pirate Stadium. Bartez Dunn, 27 of Longview, who appeared to have been driving too fast, left the road on a curve and hit a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

TxDOT Road Projects Update

TYLER – Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the Week of March 20th. These schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues.

Plans to move SH 294 traffic to a temporary detour at the intersection of US 79 has been postponed until Tuesday, March 21. Motorists should be prepared for this major change in the traffic pattern. Once traffic is moved over to the detour just south of the railroad crossing, the contractor will demolish the existing US 79 intersection. Traffic will remain on the detour for about two months as the new permanent intersection is constructed. Caution is advised as traffic acclimates to the changes. The new intersection will be built to create a more standard “T” intersection with US 79. Additional project information is available below in the Anderson County section of this release under the heading US 79 New Lane Construction Project.

In Tyler, work continues on SH 64/Fifth Street and motorists are encouraged to take alternate routes to reach their destinations. The contractor, Madden Contracting Company, is conducting the work from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Work continues between US 271 and SH 155. Daily lane closures and delays can be expected. The anticipated completion date is around March 21.… Read More

Sanctuary City Bill, Budget Come Into Focus

AUSTIN (AP) — A bill that Republicans say would crackdown on so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas is inching toward Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk, and time is running out for opponents hoping to weaken the impact. The sweeping proposal would give Republican lawmakers a long-sought cudgel against local governments that don’t fully cooperate with federal immigration agents, threatening police chiefs and elected sheriffs with jail time, and fining defiant cities and counties up to $25,000 a day. A committee could send the bill to the full House as early as this week.… Read More

Man Brought to Southeast Texas Jail Dies

BEAUMONT (AP) — A 33-year-old man brought to a Southeast Texas county jail on trespassing charges died has died shortly after arriving. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says the man passed out before he was processed into the county jail in Beaumont on Saturday, medical personnel began life-saving measures and an ambulance was summoned.

Body Found in Houston Rental House

HOUSTON (AP) — Police say the body of a man who likely was killed days earlier has been found in a home in southwest Houston. The man has not been identified but the single-story home was being rented by three people.

Dallas-Area Boy Rescued From Washing Machine

PLANO (AP) — A 13-year-old suburban Dallas boy playing around at home with some friends decided to see if he could fit in a washing machine. Turns out he could. But then he couldn’t get out. His parents wound up calling firefighters in Plano. He was not hurt.

Police in Austin Seek to Curb Rising Violent Crime Rate

AUSTIN (AP) — Austin police are trying to halt the increase in armed robberies with overall violent crime on the rise in the fast-growing area. The Austin American-Statesman reports that while thousands of visitors flocked to the city for the annual South by Southwest festivals over the past week, violence around the area left about a half-dozen people dead. Violent crime rose last year by 10%, and Austin counted more homicides than it had in years.

Longview Man Accused of Indecency with a Child

LONGVIEW – A Longview man is in the Gregg County Jail on a charge of indecency with a child-sexual contact. Awaiting transfer to the Harrison County Jail is Thomas William Click, 62. He was arrested Friday afternoon after being accused of fondling a young girl.

Anderson County Man in Prison After Feds Found Toilet-Water Meth

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A woman arrested after federal agents drained buckets of meth-laced toilet water from her home is heading to prison. The Sun Herald reports a judge gave Chiquita Acker, 40, of Pearlington, Mississippi, the maximum of 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine after she pleaded guilty to sale of a controlled substance. Two other people, Roy “Red” Tatum, 41 of Palestine, Texas and Tosh “Bugga” Humphrey, 36, of Slidell, Louisiana, were arrested and are serving five-year sentences. Federal agents arrested Acker in April 2016 as they said she tried to sell methamphetamine at a Gulfport truck stop. Other agents went to her house and heard a toilet flushing. They ripped open the pipe and drained three gallons of toilet water, which tested positive for meth.

Billboard Ad by Satanic Temple Takes Aim at Texas School

FORT WORTH (AP) — A group called The Satanic Temple has put up a billboard in North Texas that criticizes the use of paddling and other corporal punishment in schools. The Massachusetts-based group placed the billboard ad in Springtown, a community northwest of Fort Worth where a male assistant principal in 2012 spanked two female high school students. The incident prompted the school board to alter its policy. Corporal punishment is still allowed but a parent or guardian must approve its use.

Phoenix Flight to Atlanta Makes Emergency Landing in Texas

PHOENIX (AP) — Southwest Airlines says a pressurization issue forced a flight from Phoenix to Atlanta to make an emergency landing in Amarillo. The airline says its pilots and crew followed emergency procedures to divert and land at the nearest airport when the midflight malfunction occurred Saturday morning.

Bromance Between Gyllenhaal and Reynolds Filming ‘Life’

AUSTIN (AP) — Actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds say they developed a genuine friendship during the filming of their new sci-fi thriller called “Life.” The movie, about a team of scientists who find an alien life form from Mars that wreaks havoc on a spaceship, is premiering Saturday at the South by Southwest festival in Austin.

Reports of Shots Fired in Tyler

TYLER – Tyler police are investigating an assault case involving a couple in which shots may have been fired. The police received three separate calls after that investigation where shots were fired, and investigators believe they are related to the assault. The Friday night and Saturday morning locations where shots were reported are on Bellwood Road at 11:10pm, at apartments on WNW Loop 323 at 12:06am and on Mimosa Street at 12:25am. No injuries were reported.

Raucous Town Hall Crowd Often Drowns Out Texas Congressman

RICHARDSON (AP) — A raucous crowd repeatedly shouted down U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions as he defended Republican health care and other policies at a town hall in suburban Dallas. More than 2,000 people filled an auditorium at a high school in Richardson on Saturday for the boisterous town hall where Sessions regularly was drowned out by yelling from critics in the crowd. At one point, while promoting Republican efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, Sessions said, “I understand why you’re so frustrated. You don’t know how to listen.” The audience grew particularly animated over questions about defunding Planned Parenthood, Russian interference in U.S. elections and federal budget cuts proposed by President Donald Trump.

Federal Flood Insurance for Texas Residents Expected to Rise

HOUSTON (AP) — The cost of federal flood insurance is expected to rise for thousands of Houston-area homeowners as Congress looks to reform a program that’s billions of dollars in debt. The National Flood Insurance Program provides coverage to more than 300,000 homes in Harris and Galveston counties. But the Houston Chronicle reports it’s $24.6 billion in debt and Congress has a September deadline to reform and renew it.

NTSB Pledges Report On Fatal Biloxi Bus Crash Within 3 Weeks

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Investigators said Friday that a preliminary report on the train-bus crash that killed four Texas tourists should be ready within two to three weeks. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said in a news release that board investigators concluded work in Biloxi and have returned to their normal offices. He also said investigators interviewed the bus driver Wednesday. The board is asking any witnesses, or anyone with pictures, video or other relevant information to contact Pete Kotowski, the investigator-in-charge by emailing witness@ntsb.gov.

State Purchasing Director Placed On Leave Over Contract

AUSTIN (AP) — A purchasing director for state Child Protective Services has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into a contract proposal involving a nonprofit that employs the director’s husband. The Austin American-Statesman reports lawmakers were told of the investigation into a “substantial procurement” that involved CPS’ Frianita Wilson. It’s the second time Wilson has been placed on leave amid contract questions.

Records: Lawyer Billed as ‘DWI Dude’ Stole From Rebel Group

Federal prosecutors say a Texas lawyer who bills himself as the “DWI Dude” conspired to steal more than $1 million from Colombia’s largest rebel group. Court records contend that 56-year-old Jamie Balagia conspired with two others to launder $1.2 million provided by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Authorities say FARC leaders were told the money would be used to bribe judges and others involved in the prosecution of a rebel leader on drug charges in Texas.

Harrison County Jail Inmate Dies

MARSHALL – An inmate has been found dead in the Harrison County Jail. The woman was found unresponsive in her jail cell shortly before 11:45 Friday night. She had been arrested around 4:00 Friday afternoon at Walmart for shoplifting and possession of drug paraphernalia. She called her husband around 7:45pm and was returned to her cell. She was found unresponsive in her cell about four hours later. Jail personnel and EMS were unable to revive her. Her name has not been released at this time. Harrison County Investigators and Texas Rangers are investigating the death.

School Crosswalk to be Installed in Tyler

TYLER – On Sunday from around 4:30 to 9:00am, the City of Tyler Traffic Department will be installing a school crosswalk at the intersection of Shiloh Road and New Copeland Road. Drivers should anticipate delays and take an alternative route if possible.

Officials: Texas Fugitive Dead After Pursuit in Mississippi

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) — Authorities say a man wanted for a double homicide in Texas is dead after a pursuit in Mississippi. Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain tells WLBT-TV that early investigation seems to indicate the man shot and killed himself Friday after leading state troopers on a high-speed chase. Highway Patrol spokesman Cpl. Brandon Fortenberry tells The Enterprise-Journal that troopers received word the suspect, traveling in a white Ford Escape, had crossed the Mississippi-Louisiana line on Interstate 55 about 4:33 p.m. About a mile south of Summit, he went into a field where he apparently shot himself about 5 p.m. Strain says his agency working with Texas authorities to positively identify the man, who’s suspected of killing two people Wednesday in the Austin area over an apparent business dispute.

Man Charged With Murder in Texas College Student’s Death

ALPINE (AP) — A West Texas man has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of a college student he was dating. The remains of Zuzu Verk were found last month in a shallow grave in the wilderness near Alpine, about 200 miles southeast of El Paso. A Brewster County grand jury indicted Robert Fabian, 22, on Friday in the death of Verk, a student at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. His bond is set at $750,000. He already was jailed on $175,000 bond on an evidence tampering charge.

Houston Boarding House Where Fire Killed 2 Was Unregulated

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston boarding house where a fire killed two occupants and injured a third was operating without a city permit. The Houston Chronicle reports Briscoe’s Place was an unregulated rooming house with about 20 windowless bedrooms rented to the down-and-out. The newspaper reports the building had received a city permit to operate as a banquet hall but not as a residential building. City officials say they denied a Fire Prevention Permit for a boarding house. A fire official described the building as a “maze” to navigate. Firefighters encountered heavy smoke when they arrived early Thursday morning at the home, which is part of a dilapidated plaza south of downtown.

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Woman Found Unharmed, Man Arrested

Posted/updated on: March 21, 2017 at 4:07 pm

MINEOLA — A Smith County woman, who was said to have been kidnapped, has been found unharmed and the man who was said to have taken her has been arrested. It was earlier reported that a man, identified as James Derrick Adams Jr., 26, kicked in the door of a home in the Enchanted Lakes area in the northwest part of the county. He was then said to have abducted Melissa Nicole Boaz, 37. They drove off in a green minivan with a broken rear window. But, after the woman was found, she told deputies she was not taken against her will and the situation was a misunderstanding. No word on where she was found, but Adams was arrested on County Road 456, south of County Road 455. He was arrested after leaving the mini van and running into a wooded area. Even though he is not facing a kidnapping charge, he could be facing burglary charges if the woman wants to press charges.

Shoplifter in Custody

Posted/updated on: March 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm

LONGVIEW – A shoplifter has been arrested in Longview. Clinton Paul McDowell, 42, of Longview is said to have tried to leave the Academy Store on Forest Square without paying for several boxes of ammunition. To compound his problems, he has 4 prior convictions for theft. McDowell has been charged with theft of property with two or more previous convictions. He remains in the Gregg County jail under a $5,000 bond.

Sex Offender’s Appeal Turned Down

Posted/updated on: March 21, 2017 at 2:42 pm

GILMER – An appeals court is rejecting the appeal of a convicted sex offender in Upshur County. The 6th Court of Appeals in Texarkana has turned down the appeal of 48 year old Orlandos Lugene Johnson, of Gilmer. He had argued his lawyer had “rendered ineffective assistance” during his trial. Last May, Johnson pleaded guilty two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. He asked the court to set his punishment. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison on each count, to be served concurrently. Johnson was an employee of Gilmer school system and had worked for the district over 20 years.

Longview Burglary Suspects Arrested

Posted/updated on: March 21, 2017 at 2:22 pm

LONGVIEW – Two Longview burglary suspects have been arrested. They were arrested after a police officer heard an audible alarm at a business on South High Street. He then saw two persons leaving through the damaged front door of the building. After a short foot chase, both were taken into custody. One was a juvenile. The other was Dewayne Lamont Black, Jr, 18, of Longview. They found had three previous convictions for evading arrest. So, besides being charged with burglary of a building, he is also charged with evading arrest with prior convictions.

Sanderson Farms Project, an Economic Plus for the Area

Posted/updated on: March 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm

TYLER – Local officials gathered in Tyler Monday morning to discuss Sanderson Farms building several facilities in Smith and Wood counties. The company plans to construct a $200 million dollar feed mill, hatchery, poultry processing plant, and wastewater treatment facility. At full capacity, the complex will employ 1700 people, will require 80 contract growers, and will be equipped to process and sell 375 million pounds of dressed poultry meat annually. Tyler Economic Development Council President and CEO Tom Mullins says the project will have a tremendous impact on the Winona, Lindale and Mineola areas.… Read More

Henderson County Burglary Suspect Arrested

Posted/updated on: March 21, 2017 at 11:58 am

MURCHISON – A Henderson County burglary suspect is in custody because of a caller’s tip. The caller told authorities 19 year old Travis Brax Davis of Murchison was a likely suspect in a burglary and was driving without a valid license. Sheriff’s deputies pulled him over on Highway 31 near a service station in the Murchison area around 8:30 Sunday night. When they saw several large, fixed-blade knives near his drivers’ seat, Davis and his two passengers were asked to get out of the car. They found inside a knife sheath a plastic baggie with a white crystal-like substance that appeared to be methamphetamine. Additional drug paraphernalia was discovered in the vehicle. They also found in the car property belonging to a local RV park that had reported a burglary on Saturday. Davis is in the Henderson County jail on charges of burglary of a building and possession of a controlled substance.

Emergency Situation at Kilgore Apartments Ends

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 7:33 pm

KILGORE — One person is in custody following what the Kilgore police called an emergency situation at the Lakewood Manor Apartments on Danville Drive. Taken into custody was Daniel Aaron Nutt, 32, of Kilgore. He has been charged with terroristic threat family violence and resisting arrest and booked into the Kilgore Municipal Jail. Around 5:15 Sunday afternoon, the police received a report of assault family violence with a possibly armed suspect. The caller and victim told officers he had been involved in an argument with his roommate, who he identified as Nutt. He said during the argument Nutt threatened to kill him and approached in a threatening manner. Fearing for his safety, he climbed out of his apartment window prior to the arrival of officers. The victim added that the apartment contained numerous handguns and long guns. Nutt initially refused to come out of the apartment, so officers partially evacuated the complex. A short time later Nutt left the apartment and was arrested.

Fatal Wreck in Longview

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 4:40 pm

LONGVIEW – Speed may have played a role in a fatal Longview accident. The accident, around 7:45 Sunday morning, happened on Cherokee Street near Pine Tree Pirate Stadium. Bartez Dunn, 27 of Longview, who appeared to have been driving too fast, left the road on a curve and hit a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

TxDOT Road Projects Update

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 3:06 pm

TYLER – Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the Week of March 20th. These schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues.

Plans to move SH 294 traffic to a temporary detour at the intersection of US 79 has been postponed until Tuesday, March 21. Motorists should be prepared for this major change in the traffic pattern. Once traffic is moved over to the detour just south of the railroad crossing, the contractor will demolish the existing US 79 intersection. Traffic will remain on the detour for about two months as the new permanent intersection is constructed. Caution is advised as traffic acclimates to the changes. The new intersection will be built to create a more standard “T” intersection with US 79. Additional project information is available below in the Anderson County section of this release under the heading US 79 New Lane Construction Project.

In Tyler, work continues on SH 64/Fifth Street and motorists are encouraged to take alternate routes to reach their destinations. The contractor, Madden Contracting Company, is conducting the work from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Work continues between US 271 and SH 155. Daily lane closures and delays can be expected. The anticipated completion date is around March 21.… Read More

Sanctuary City Bill, Budget Come Into Focus

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm

AUSTIN (AP) — A bill that Republicans say would crackdown on so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas is inching toward Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk, and time is running out for opponents hoping to weaken the impact. The sweeping proposal would give Republican lawmakers a long-sought cudgel against local governments that don’t fully cooperate with federal immigration agents, threatening police chiefs and elected sheriffs with jail time, and fining defiant cities and counties up to $25,000 a day. A committee could send the bill to the full House as early as this week.… Read More

Man Brought to Southeast Texas Jail Dies

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 3:28 am

BEAUMONT (AP) — A 33-year-old man brought to a Southeast Texas county jail on trespassing charges died has died shortly after arriving. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says the man passed out before he was processed into the county jail in Beaumont on Saturday, medical personnel began life-saving measures and an ambulance was summoned.

Body Found in Houston Rental House

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 3:36 am

HOUSTON (AP) — Police say the body of a man who likely was killed days earlier has been found in a home in southwest Houston. The man has not been identified but the single-story home was being rented by three people.

Dallas-Area Boy Rescued From Washing Machine

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 3:36 am

PLANO (AP) — A 13-year-old suburban Dallas boy playing around at home with some friends decided to see if he could fit in a washing machine. Turns out he could. But then he couldn’t get out. His parents wound up calling firefighters in Plano. He was not hurt.

Police in Austin Seek to Curb Rising Violent Crime Rate

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 12:42 pm

AUSTIN (AP) — Austin police are trying to halt the increase in armed robberies with overall violent crime on the rise in the fast-growing area. The Austin American-Statesman reports that while thousands of visitors flocked to the city for the annual South by Southwest festivals over the past week, violence around the area left about a half-dozen people dead. Violent crime rose last year by 10%, and Austin counted more homicides than it had in years.

Longview Man Accused of Indecency with a Child

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm

LONGVIEW – A Longview man is in the Gregg County Jail on a charge of indecency with a child-sexual contact. Awaiting transfer to the Harrison County Jail is Thomas William Click, 62. He was arrested Friday afternoon after being accused of fondling a young girl.

Anderson County Man in Prison After Feds Found Toilet-Water Meth

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A woman arrested after federal agents drained buckets of meth-laced toilet water from her home is heading to prison. The Sun Herald reports a judge gave Chiquita Acker, 40, of Pearlington, Mississippi, the maximum of 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine after she pleaded guilty to sale of a controlled substance. Two other people, Roy “Red” Tatum, 41 of Palestine, Texas and Tosh “Bugga” Humphrey, 36, of Slidell, Louisiana, were arrested and are serving five-year sentences. Federal agents arrested Acker in April 2016 as they said she tried to sell methamphetamine at a Gulfport truck stop. Other agents went to her house and heard a toilet flushing. They ripped open the pipe and drained three gallons of toilet water, which tested positive for meth.

Billboard Ad by Satanic Temple Takes Aim at Texas School

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 6:57 am

FORT WORTH (AP) — A group called The Satanic Temple has put up a billboard in North Texas that criticizes the use of paddling and other corporal punishment in schools. The Massachusetts-based group placed the billboard ad in Springtown, a community northwest of Fort Worth where a male assistant principal in 2012 spanked two female high school students. The incident prompted the school board to alter its policy. Corporal punishment is still allowed but a parent or guardian must approve its use.

Phoenix Flight to Atlanta Makes Emergency Landing in Texas

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 6:57 am

PHOENIX (AP) — Southwest Airlines says a pressurization issue forced a flight from Phoenix to Atlanta to make an emergency landing in Amarillo. The airline says its pilots and crew followed emergency procedures to divert and land at the nearest airport when the midflight malfunction occurred Saturday morning.

Bromance Between Gyllenhaal and Reynolds Filming ‘Life’

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 3:35 am

AUSTIN (AP) — Actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds say they developed a genuine friendship during the filming of their new sci-fi thriller called “Life.” The movie, about a team of scientists who find an alien life form from Mars that wreaks havoc on a spaceship, is premiering Saturday at the South by Southwest festival in Austin.

Reports of Shots Fired in Tyler

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm

TYLER – Tyler police are investigating an assault case involving a couple in which shots may have been fired. The police received three separate calls after that investigation where shots were fired, and investigators believe they are related to the assault. The Friday night and Saturday morning locations where shots were reported are on Bellwood Road at 11:10pm, at apartments on WNW Loop 323 at 12:06am and on Mimosa Street at 12:25am. No injuries were reported.

Raucous Town Hall Crowd Often Drowns Out Texas Congressman

Posted/updated on: March 19, 2017 at 2:52 pm

RICHARDSON (AP) — A raucous crowd repeatedly shouted down U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions as he defended Republican health care and other policies at a town hall in suburban Dallas. More than 2,000 people filled an auditorium at a high school in Richardson on Saturday for the boisterous town hall where Sessions regularly was drowned out by yelling from critics in the crowd. At one point, while promoting Republican efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, Sessions said, “I understand why you’re so frustrated. You don’t know how to listen.” The audience grew particularly animated over questions about defunding Planned Parenthood, Russian interference in U.S. elections and federal budget cuts proposed by President Donald Trump.

Federal Flood Insurance for Texas Residents Expected to Rise

Posted/updated on: March 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — The cost of federal flood insurance is expected to rise for thousands of Houston-area homeowners as Congress looks to reform a program that’s billions of dollars in debt. The National Flood Insurance Program provides coverage to more than 300,000 homes in Harris and Galveston counties. But the Houston Chronicle reports it’s $24.6 billion in debt and Congress has a September deadline to reform and renew it.

NTSB Pledges Report On Fatal Biloxi Bus Crash Within 3 Weeks

Posted/updated on: March 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Investigators said Friday that a preliminary report on the train-bus crash that killed four Texas tourists should be ready within two to three weeks. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said in a news release that board investigators concluded work in Biloxi and have returned to their normal offices. He also said investigators interviewed the bus driver Wednesday. The board is asking any witnesses, or anyone with pictures, video or other relevant information to contact Pete Kotowski, the investigator-in-charge by emailing witness@ntsb.gov.

State Purchasing Director Placed On Leave Over Contract

Posted/updated on: March 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm

AUSTIN (AP) — A purchasing director for state Child Protective Services has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into a contract proposal involving a nonprofit that employs the director’s husband. The Austin American-Statesman reports lawmakers were told of the investigation into a “substantial procurement” that involved CPS’ Frianita Wilson. It’s the second time Wilson has been placed on leave amid contract questions.

Records: Lawyer Billed as ‘DWI Dude’ Stole From Rebel Group

Posted/updated on: March 19, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Federal prosecutors say a Texas lawyer who bills himself as the “DWI Dude” conspired to steal more than $1 million from Colombia’s largest rebel group. Court records contend that 56-year-old Jamie Balagia conspired with two others to launder $1.2 million provided by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Authorities say FARC leaders were told the money would be used to bribe judges and others involved in the prosecution of a rebel leader on drug charges in Texas.

Harrison County Jail Inmate Dies

Posted/updated on: March 20, 2017 at 11:47 am

MARSHALL – An inmate has been found dead in the Harrison County Jail. The woman was found unresponsive in her jail cell shortly before 11:45 Friday night. She had been arrested around 4:00 Friday afternoon at Walmart for shoplifting and possession of drug paraphernalia. She called her husband around 7:45pm and was returned to her cell. She was found unresponsive in her cell about four hours later. Jail personnel and EMS were unable to revive her. Her name has not been released at this time. Harrison County Investigators and Texas Rangers are investigating the death.

School Crosswalk to be Installed in Tyler

Posted/updated on: March 19, 2017 at 1:48 pm

TYLER – On Sunday from around 4:30 to 9:00am, the City of Tyler Traffic Department will be installing a school crosswalk at the intersection of Shiloh Road and New Copeland Road. Drivers should anticipate delays and take an alternative route if possible.

Officials: Texas Fugitive Dead After Pursuit in Mississippi

Posted/updated on: March 19, 2017 at 5:18 am

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) — Authorities say a man wanted for a double homicide in Texas is dead after a pursuit in Mississippi. Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain tells WLBT-TV that early investigation seems to indicate the man shot and killed himself Friday after leading state troopers on a high-speed chase. Highway Patrol spokesman Cpl. Brandon Fortenberry tells The Enterprise-Journal that troopers received word the suspect, traveling in a white Ford Escape, had crossed the Mississippi-Louisiana line on Interstate 55 about 4:33 p.m. About a mile south of Summit, he went into a field where he apparently shot himself about 5 p.m. Strain says his agency working with Texas authorities to positively identify the man, who’s suspected of killing two people Wednesday in the Austin area over an apparent business dispute.

Man Charged With Murder in Texas College Student’s Death

Posted/updated on: March 19, 2017 at 5:18 am

ALPINE (AP) — A West Texas man has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of a college student he was dating. The remains of Zuzu Verk were found last month in a shallow grave in the wilderness near Alpine, about 200 miles southeast of El Paso. A Brewster County grand jury indicted Robert Fabian, 22, on Friday in the death of Verk, a student at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. His bond is set at $750,000. He already was jailed on $175,000 bond on an evidence tampering charge.

Houston Boarding House Where Fire Killed 2 Was Unregulated

Posted/updated on: March 19, 2017 at 5:18 am

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston boarding house where a fire killed two occupants and injured a third was operating without a city permit. The Houston Chronicle reports Briscoe’s Place was an unregulated rooming house with about 20 windowless bedrooms rented to the down-and-out. The newspaper reports the building had received a city permit to operate as a banquet hall but not as a residential building. City officials say they denied a Fire Prevention Permit for a boarding house. A fire official described the building as a “maze” to navigate. Firefighters encountered heavy smoke when they arrived early Thursday morning at the home, which is part of a dilapidated plaza south of downtown.

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