WACO (AP) – Baylor has hired former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe to replace Art Briles and lead its football program through a tumultuous time. The school announced Monday that Grobe had been named acting coach. Briles was let go last week after the release of a report commissioned by the school that accused the successful coach of not responding to or inappropriately handling allegations of sexual assault and violence by members of his team. Grobe, 64, has been out of coaching for two seasons. He spent 13 years with Wake Forest, leading the team to some of its best seasons. Grobe was 77-82, including an Atlantic Coast Conference title and Orange Bowl appearance in 2006. The Demon Deacons went to five bowl games under Grobe, half the school’s overall total.
TYLER – One person is in custody following a standoff near Tyler’s Trane plant. It was reported shortly before 12:30 Monday afternoon on Hancock Drive just southeast of Tyler. Arrested was 32 year old Michael Greenlee of Tyler. He is said to have gotten into a dispute with a construction worker and fired a shot into the ground. No one was hit. A negotiator contacted Greenlee and talked him out of his house. He was booked into the Smith County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault.
CINCINNATI (AP) – Animal rights activists gathered Monday at the Cincinnati Zoo for a vigil in remembrance of a Texas-born gorilla who was fatally shot to protect a 4-year-old boy who had fallen into its exhibit. Dozens of people were outside the zoo Monday afternoon. They held signs with messages such as “Rest in Peace Harambe.” The boy slipped through a barricade at the gorilla exhibit on Saturday and fell into a small moat. A zoo special response team feared the boy’s life was in danger, so they shot and killed the gorilla, named Harambe. Vigil organizer Anthony Seta of Cincinnati calls the 17-year-old western lowland gorilla’s death “a senseless tragedy.” But he says the purpose of the vigil isn’t to point fingers but to pay tribute to Harambe. Harambe was born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, and arrived in Cincinnati less than two years ago.
FORT WORTH (AP) – Authorities say they have rescued another 40 people from floodwaters in Fort Bend County even though rain has stopped in most of the state. Some rivers and waterways are still rising slowly after torrential rain last week. Forecasters say flooding of the Brazos River in parts of southeast Texas will continue through Tuesday, when the river is expected to crest more than three feet above the previous record. Flood warnings across Texas remained in effect Monday though only isolated rainfall was expected in parts of the southeast.
LITTLEFIELD (AP) – Many of Texas’ most violent sex offenders have been housed for months in a former prison in rural West Texas, and the head of the state agency that oversees the overhauled program believes it will lead to successful rehabilitations. Texas Civil Commitment Office executive director Marsha McLane says the new program in Littlefield is more intensive and therapeutic in nature. But critics say it’s a warehouse for offenders. Lawmakers scrapped the state’s old civil commitment program for convicted sex offenders last year due to poor management and ineffectiveness. No one successfully completed it in 16 years. The new program has four in-patient treatment tiers, and the fifth places them under supervision in the county where they were convicted. Nineteen other states and the District of Columbia permit civil commitment.
HOUSTON (AP) – The Coast Guard says the body of a man who was swept away while trying to rescue a woman in distress has been recovered near where he disappeared on the Texas Gulf Coast. The Guard said in a statement that the body of 37-year-old Stephen Espedal was found Monday morning by members of his family who had been searching for him in the San Luis Pass between Freeport and Galveston. Rescue crews had searched for Espedal through the night but were unable to find him. Espedal was part of a group Sunday that rescued a woman who was swept into a strong current. The woman was able to make it to shore and two other people were rescued by boat, but Espedal was swept away.
TYLER — The Literacy Council of Tyler is looking for information about a statue stolen from Southside Park. The statue is holding a stack of books. KETK reports the council was notified by the parks department it was missing on Friday. This is not the first time the statue has been stolen. It went missing around this time last year but was recovered in a nearby creek. The statue was a gift to the park by a donor. If you have any information, contact Tyler police.
LONGVIEW – A man is undergoing evaluation at a Longview hospital following a Monday morning incident. Shortly after 7:15 Monday morning police were called to a Village Drive apartment where a man had gotten into a cab. He appeared to have a handgun, which he held to his head, an said he wanted to go to the hospital. The cab driver fled. The man surrendered without incident when police deployed gas into the cab. The gun turned out to be a toy. The man was taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center. Depending on the outcome of the evaluation, charges could be filed in the case.
TYLER — An East Texas congressman gives thought to repopulating humanity in space and wonders how many gays should be on the trip. Congressman Louie Gohmert, Tyler, commenting on the house floor concerning the expansion of rights for transgender and gay people, contemplates a doomsday scenario in which a colony of humans are sent to live on another planet. Gohmert said, “God made people male and female, with no question marks.”
NACOGDOCHES — Nacogdoches officials are investigating an early Monday morning accident that has left three people dead and one critically injured. According to KETK, the accident happened around 1:30 on East Starr Avenue, near the intersection of Glen Hollow Street. The investigation indicates that a car, driven by Chace Scruggs, was traveling east on Starr Avenue when it left the roadway and struck several trees. The vehicle then caught fire. Scruggs, Rajeen “Ray” Williams and Geena Zarick (pictured) were pronounced dead at the scene. A fourth person, Trent Haynes, was taken to a local hospital in serious condition. All are currently, or were recently, enrolled in SFA.
HOUSTON (AP) – A Houston police spokesman says two constable deputies injured while responding to a shootout at an auto shop have been released from the hospital. John Cannon says four other people remain hospitalized with injuries that aren’t life-threatening, including a person police say is a possible suspect. The three others still in the hospital have told police they were in their cars when they were shot. A customer at the auto detail shop was killed Sunday morning when a man walked in and began shooting. The gunman was later killed by a SWAT officer. Cannon says at least three police vehicles sustained damage during the shootout, one of which was struck 21 times. A police helicopter was hit five times. A bomb squad remains at the scene searching for unspent ammunition. Cannon says the county medical examiner’s office may identify the gunman on Monday.
HOUSTON (AP) – Flash flooding in the Texas Hill Country has left at least one person dead and widespread damage in at least one town. Kendall County sheriff’s Cpl. Reid Daly says Cypress Creek had flooded a street in the town of Comfort, about 45 miles north of San Antonio, when a car containing three people was swept from the street about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. The driver made it to shore, and a female passenger was rescued from a tree. But Daly says 23-year-old Florida Molima was missing until her body was found around 11 a.m. Sunday about 8 miles downstream. She becomes the sixth flood-related death in Texas over Memorial Day weekend. In Bandera, about 45 miles northwest of San Antonio, an estimated 10 inches of rain overnight led to rescues of nine people and widespread damage, including the collapse of the roof of the Bandera Bulletin, the weekly newspaper. Photos from the area showed campers and trailers stacked against each other, but no injuries were reported.
LUBBOCK (AP) — Jail records show one of three Texas Tech football players kicked off the team earlier this month has been charged with felony burglary. Records show Robert James Castaneda, 20, was arrested Friday on a charge of burglary of a habitation, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Castaneda is currently free on a $5,000 bond.
AUSTIN (AP) – Texas has elevated the alert level of its state operations center as severe storms and possible flooding could affect parts of the state through the Memorial Day weekend. Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the elevated status for the center in the wake of torrential rain that damaged homes and prompted evacuations in Central and Southeast Texas. Representatives from various state agencies have reported to the center in Austin to coordinate Texas’ response to the bad weather. One of the areas affected by the rainfall – Bastrop County- has issued a disaster declaration after about 100 homes were damaged. Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape says this is the fifth disaster declaration he’s issued since the Memorial Day weekend in 2015. Four were for flooding and one was for fire damage.… Read More
WINNSBORO — Winnsboro police say they will present the Madison Cannon case again. The case, prosecuted by the Texas Attorney General, was no-billed this week by a Wood County grand jury. According to KETK, no information was ever disclosed on the person or people prosecuted, and no arrests or persons of interest were ever publicly released.… Read More
HARROLD (AP) — An unlikely battleground over whether public schools must allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice is taking shape in two tiny towns in Texas and Arizona, neither of which currently enrolls anyone who is transgender. Eleven states suing the Obama administration claim that a new federal directive about transgender students thrusts “seismic changes” upon 100,000 schools nationwide. But only two districts joined the lawsuit — Harrold, a Texas farming community, and the Heber-Overgaard Unified School District northeast of Phoenix, a conservative region where summer homes are popular.
DALLAS (AP) — As he leaves the volunteer presidency of the Boy Scouts of America, Robert Gates says the organization is well-positioned for the future after deciding to allow openly gay adult leaders in its ranks. The former U.S. secretary of defense ended his two-year term Thursday as volunteer president. He was replaced by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.
FORT WORTH (AP) — A woman charged in connection to the death of a former co-worker who was beaten, bound, strangled and set afire has been found guilty. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Carter Carol Cervantez, 27, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison.
WACO (AP) – The daughter of outgoing Baylor football coach Art Briles called the circumstances that led to his ouster a “media witch hunt” and wrote that her father is a “man of incredible character” in a Facebook post. Staley Lebby posted Thursday, several hours after the school released the finding of an investigation that showed leaders – including Briles – mishandled allegations of sexual assault and violence, some involving football players. The board of regents announced it had begun the process to fire Briles. Lebby, who is married to Baylor running backs coach Jeff Lebby, wrote her father’s “character has NEVER been questioned.” She added: “There is always so much more to a story than being told. This media witch hunt has been the most disturbing thing I’ve ever witnessed.” Baylor University’s board of regents says it will fire football coach Art Briles and re-assign university President Kenneth Starr in response to questions about its handling of sexual assault complaints against players.… Read More
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Six states and the Federal Highway Administration have agreed to make the roadsides along Interstate 35 friendlier for bees and butterflies to help the insects boost their declining populations. The 1,500-mile stretch of road between northern Minnesota and southern Texas is a path for monarch butterflies that migrate between Mexico and Canada. Both the butterflies and bees pollinate plants that produce much of the nation’s food. Officials from Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas and the federal government signed an agreement Thursday to improve the habitat and develop a branding campaign informally naming the interstate the “Monarch Highway.” Honeybee and monarch butterfly populations have been dwindling in recent years.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – A former Bexar County sheriff’s deputy has been found not guilty of murder in the 2013 fatal shooting of a motorist after a minor traffic accident in San Antonio. A jury on Tuesday found former Bexar County sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Thomas not guilty of murder in the death of 29-year-old Matthew Jackson. Thomas was off-duty but in uniform at the time of the shooting. He has said he feared for his life when Jackson ran toward his car with something shiny in his hand. The shiny object was later determined to be a cigarette lighter. Thomas had faced up to life in prison if he’d been convicted.
FORT WORTH (ABC) – Ethan Couch — the so-called “affluenza teen” — isn’t the only member of the Couch family in trouble with the law. A grand jury has found sufficient evidence to charge his mother, Tonya Couch, with money laundering and with hindering the apprehension of her son. The younger Couch is thought to have violated the juvenile probation he was given after killing four people in a DWI crash; rather than face his probation officer, he and his mother headed for Mexico with several thousand dollars in cash.
TYLER — Police are seeking leads in a Thursday morning bank robbery in south Tyler. According to KETK, Public Information Officer Don Martin says two thieves hit Citizens National Bank on W. Grande Boulevard near Old Jacksonville Highway. According to police records, officers were dispatched to the report at 10:07 a.m. Police say they may have found the suspect vehicle, described as a four-door silver Chevrolet with Oklahoma plates. One of the two robbers is described as a black male who is 5 feet 6 inches tall and wearing dark clothes, a hood, and camo face paint. No description is available of the second person. Police said the black male robbed employees at gunpoint as they put cash in an exterior ATM.
TYLER — A man indicted in a 2015 Longview bank robbery is set to take a plea Friday at a hearing in federal court in Tyler. Patrick Terry Gilbert was indicted in November on charges of bank robbery; using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence; felon in possession of a firearm; and possession of an unregistered firearm in the Oct. 23 robbery of Capital One Bank in the 1100 block of Judson Road. Gilbert is accused of robbing the bank with a shotgun while wearing a mask from the movie “Scream.” Attorneys in the case notified the district court Monday that a plea agreement was reached, and a hearing is set Friday morning in Tyler.
DALLAS (AP) – Dallas police say a woman was struck by a stray bullet while driving and witnesses told officers the gunfire came from a pickup that fled. Police say that after being shot Wednesday, the woman was taken to a hospital in stable condition. Yasmin Bhatia, the chief executive of Uplift Peak Preparatory, says the woman was leaving the school’s senior picnic at a park when she was wounded. No students were injured and the group evacuated the park.
AUSTIN (AP) – Austin police say a staff shortage is forcing the department to fill vacancies in patrol shifts with detectives or non-patrol officers for the next 12 months. Officials tell the Austin American-Statesman the program will pull 500 officers and detectives off their usual assignments for three weeks during the next year to fill empty patrol shifts. Every four months, they will spend a 40-hour workweek performing patrol work. Police leaders say the program, which started last week, is a temporary solution to persistent staff shortages. Assistant Chief Chris McIlvain says, “we are working hard to find a workable solution.” McIlvain says national recruiting efforts to fill vacancies have been affected by a negative public attitude toward police, which has put officers under more scrutiny.
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) – A Texan has been sentenced to prison for stealing mail and using fake checks in victims’ names at a Biloxi, Mississippi Wal-Mart. The Sun Herald reports 47-year-old David Burney, of Grandbury, Texas, received a 16-month prison term Tuesday that will run concurrent with a pending sentence in a criminal case in Hood County, Texas. U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden also ordered Burney to help repay just over $6,500. About $10,500 in losses have been reported in the scheme. Burney pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to commit mail theft and identity theft.
GLADEWATER — A Gladewater teenager has been taken into custody after reportedly shooting his father. According to KETK, officers responded to a home on Ferry around 3:00 Wednesday morning and found Noel Garner Sr. with a gunshot wound. Officials said he was shot by his son, Noel Garner, Jr.,19. Garner, Sr. was shot in his face but was able to give officers details of what happened. His injuries were not life-threatening. Garner, Jr. fled the scene before officers arrived but was found a short time later. He was taken into custody without incident and has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
DALLAS (AP) – Intruders got over the fencing that protects Texas’ two busiest airports more than authorities disclosed, though there were no breaches last year. An Associated Press investigation shows 16 breaches of perimeter security at Dallas-Fort Worth International or George Bush Intercontinental since 2004. The airports acknowledged 13 incidents when AP revealed problems with airport defenses last year. Federal records showed three more breaches than DFW told AP about. Among them: A 2012 case in which a man squeezed through a perimeter gate and was stopped near a runway. The airport did not explain the discrepancy. Airports say their perimeters are strong and note no breach involved a known terrorist plot. Nationally, breaches are happening about every 10 days at one of the 31 major airports AP studied.
HOUSTON (AP) – Homeowners who have suffered repeat flood damage have sued Houston, alleging the city backed improvements at a commercial development that they say were made without adequate drainage. The federal lawsuit filed Wednesday claims authorities reneged on promises to build concrete-walled drainage ponds. As a result, it says, hundreds of homes “suffered repeated and horrific flooding.” Residents of the Memorial City area say homes that never before flooded have been inundated three times since 2009, most recently on April 18. Citywide, that flooding took eight lives and caused tens of millions in damage. Mayor Sylvester Turner rejected accusations of political favoritism toward developers Wednesday. He has named a flooding czar and says he will go to Washington next month to lobby for help mitigating flooding damage in the fourth-largest U.S. city.