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Category: State News

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Oklahoma Official Says Rail Used by Amtrak Is Compliant

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – An Oklahoma transportation official says rail used by Amtrak for the Heartland Flyer that runs daily between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas, complies with a new speed control system. Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson has said it’s possible service will be suspended on tracks that don’t have what’s known as Positive Train Control – or PTC. Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kenna Mitchell told The Journal Record that ODOT has confirmed with Amtrak that the Heartland Flyer line is PTC-compliant. Railroads face a year-end deadline for installing the system, but some are asking for an extension until 2020, on top of a three-year delay granted in 2015. Amtrak has PTC in place on tracks it owns in the northeast and in Michigan. Elsewhere, it operates on track owned by freight carriers and other entities.

Drug Deal Set Up on Facebook Ends with Teen Shot, Injured

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Authorities say a drug deal an 18-year-old in San Antonio had set up on Facebook turned out to be less than social. San Antonio police say the teenager was shot and injured around 3 a.m. Saturday as he tried to sell the drugs outside his home after setting up the transaction on the popular social media site. Investigators say something went wrong with the deal and the two males who had come to buy the drugs shot the teenager. Police continue looking for the two suspects, who fled the scene. The teenager was taken to a local hospital where he was listed in stable condition. The teenager told police he doesn’t know the suspects’ identities.

Ex-Insurance Agent Gets Life Sentence for Client Theft

PLAINVIEW (AP) – A former Lubbock insurance agent has been sentenced to life in prison for stealing money from some of his elderly clients. Joseph Gaines was also ordered to pay back $810,000 he had taken from his victims. He had pleaded guilty to an enhanced felony count of misapplication of fiduciary property of the elderly. The Texas Department of Insurance’s fraud unit found Gaines had persuaded senior citizens in West Texas to purchase annuities but kept the money for himself. Authorities began investigating Gaines after a 94-year-old woman’s family called an insurance company to confirm her $700,000 investment. They were told there was no policy in her name. Gaines was charged with felonies in Swisher, Wilbarger, and Howard counties. Several of Gaines victims testified at his sentencing on Thursday in Swisher County.

Man Charged with 4-Year-Old Boy’s Death in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Authorities in San Antonio have charged a man with capital murder after the body of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son was found lying next to him in a hotel room. Police say the woman had left her three children in the care of her boyfriend, 32-year-old Michael Arroyo, at a San Antonio hotel Friday evening. Investigators say the woman returned to the hotel room and found her son dead and lying next to Arroyo, who was intoxicated. Police say the boy had visible head injuries and other bruising. The woman’s two other children, ages 1 and 3, were taken to a local hospital for treatment of possible injuries. Arroyo was also charged with two counts of injury to a child. He was taken to a hospital for possible toxic ingestion.

Teens Arrested for Threats against Houston Area Schools

RICHMOND, Texas (AP) – Authorities say two teenagers accused in separate incidents of making threats through social media to harm people at two Houston area schools have been arrested. In one incident, investigators with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office allege a 14-year-old student sent a message on Snapchat Friday morning indicating he was going to shoot a middle school in Missouri City. In the other incident, a 15-year-old is accused of sending a message Friday afternoon through Snapchat that contained an image of students fleeing the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The student claimed the same would happen at a charter school in Katy. The sheriff’s office says the students were each charged with making a terroristic threat, a felony. Both students are in being held in a juvenile detention facility.

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Oklahoma Official Says Rail Used by Amtrak Is Compliant

Posted/updated on: February 17, 2018 at 4:26 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – An Oklahoma transportation official says rail used by Amtrak for the Heartland Flyer that runs daily between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas, complies with a new speed control system. Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson has said it’s possible service will be suspended on tracks that don’t have what’s known as Positive Train Control – or PTC. Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kenna Mitchell told The Journal Record that ODOT has confirmed with Amtrak that the Heartland Flyer line is PTC-compliant. Railroads face a year-end deadline for installing the system, but some are asking for an extension until 2020, on top of a three-year delay granted in 2015. Amtrak has PTC in place on tracks it owns in the northeast and in Michigan. Elsewhere, it operates on track owned by freight carriers and other entities.

Drug Deal Set Up on Facebook Ends with Teen Shot, Injured

Posted/updated on: February 17, 2018 at 4:25 pm

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Authorities say a drug deal an 18-year-old in San Antonio had set up on Facebook turned out to be less than social. San Antonio police say the teenager was shot and injured around 3 a.m. Saturday as he tried to sell the drugs outside his home after setting up the transaction on the popular social media site. Investigators say something went wrong with the deal and the two males who had come to buy the drugs shot the teenager. Police continue looking for the two suspects, who fled the scene. The teenager was taken to a local hospital where he was listed in stable condition. The teenager told police he doesn’t know the suspects’ identities.

Ex-Insurance Agent Gets Life Sentence for Client Theft

Posted/updated on: February 17, 2018 at 4:24 pm

PLAINVIEW (AP) – A former Lubbock insurance agent has been sentenced to life in prison for stealing money from some of his elderly clients. Joseph Gaines was also ordered to pay back $810,000 he had taken from his victims. He had pleaded guilty to an enhanced felony count of misapplication of fiduciary property of the elderly. The Texas Department of Insurance’s fraud unit found Gaines had persuaded senior citizens in West Texas to purchase annuities but kept the money for himself. Authorities began investigating Gaines after a 94-year-old woman’s family called an insurance company to confirm her $700,000 investment. They were told there was no policy in her name. Gaines was charged with felonies in Swisher, Wilbarger, and Howard counties. Several of Gaines victims testified at his sentencing on Thursday in Swisher County.

Man Charged with 4-Year-Old Boy’s Death in San Antonio

Posted/updated on: February 17, 2018 at 4:22 pm

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Authorities in San Antonio have charged a man with capital murder after the body of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son was found lying next to him in a hotel room. Police say the woman had left her three children in the care of her boyfriend, 32-year-old Michael Arroyo, at a San Antonio hotel Friday evening. Investigators say the woman returned to the hotel room and found her son dead and lying next to Arroyo, who was intoxicated. Police say the boy had visible head injuries and other bruising. The woman’s two other children, ages 1 and 3, were taken to a local hospital for treatment of possible injuries. Arroyo was also charged with two counts of injury to a child. He was taken to a hospital for possible toxic ingestion.

Teens Arrested for Threats against Houston Area Schools

Posted/updated on: February 17, 2018 at 4:54 pm

RICHMOND, Texas (AP) – Authorities say two teenagers accused in separate incidents of making threats through social media to harm people at two Houston area schools have been arrested. In one incident, investigators with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office allege a 14-year-old student sent a message on Snapchat Friday morning indicating he was going to shoot a middle school in Missouri City. In the other incident, a 15-year-old is accused of sending a message Friday afternoon through Snapchat that contained an image of students fleeing the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The student claimed the same would happen at a charter school in Katy. The sheriff’s office says the students were each charged with making a terroristic threat, a felony. Both students are in being held in a juvenile detention facility.

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