Category: State News
ARLINGTON (AP) — A white police officer fired after his fatal shooting of a black college football player had applied twice to the Arlington Police Department before being hired on his third try, according to personnel records released by the department on Friday. Brad Miller applied to the department in 2011 but wasn’t hired before his application expired a year later. He applied again but failed his medical examination and was told not to reapply for six months. Miller followed a fitness regime, applied exactly six months later and was accepted as a 48-year-old recruit. Police Chief Will Johnson fired Miller four days after Miller confronted 19-year-old Christian Taylor alone inside a car showroom Aug. 7. Miller fatally shot the unarmed Angelo State football player, who disobeyed Miller’s instructions and advanced toward him.
AMARILLO (AP) — Investigators say alcohol and speed were factors in a traffic accident in the Texas Panhandle that killed the 71-year-old father of PGA Tour player Ryan Palmer. Charles Franklin “Butch” Palmer of Amarillo died the night of August 18 in the rollover of his sport utility vehicle on Loop 335 on the northeastern fringe of Amarillo. The Texas Department of Public Safety crash report obtained by the Amarillo Globe-News didn’t specify the amount of alcohol in Palmer’s blood. Palmer, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from his SUV and killed when it flipped several times after skidding across the highway and into a ditch.
EL PASO (AP) — An El Paso-area woman has become the second person in the West Texas city’s area this year to die of West Nile virus. City health officials say the woman was the fourth person in the area to have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in 2015. Fifteen cases, but no deaths, were reported last year. The most severe West Nile outbreak around El Paso was in 2012, when 32 people contracted the virus and six died. El Paso Public Health Director Robert Resendes tells the El Paso Times that while the two people who now have died this year also had other medical problems, the virus also can threaten the lives of healthy people. While most people recover, there’s no known vaccine against the virus.
EDINBURG (AP) — Three Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies are on administrative leave after they shot and wounded a man authorities say rammed his pickup truck into their patrol cars. Authorities say the injuries to the shooting victim are not life-threatening. Sheriff Eddie Guerra tells The Monitor newspaper of McAllen the deputies were conducting a drug investigation Thursday at a home near Edinburg in the Rio Grande Valley when a man inside a parked truck jumped out and ran. The sheriff says the truck driver then tried to speed away. When he slammed into the unmarked patrol cars, the deputies felt threatened and responded by firing at him. He says Texas Rangers are helping his department with the shooting investigation. The truck driver and another passenger in the truck have been detained.
DALLAS (AP) — Texas high school students taking the SAT have put up the lowest scores in more than two decades. The College Board, which administers the college entrance tests, reports Texas students in the Class of 2015 averaged 486 on the math section of the test, down nine points from the previous year, and 470 in reading, down six points. A perfect score in each section is 800. Writing scores averaged 454, off seven points. The Texas scores mirror declines nationwide, although other states haven’t dropped as much. Texas Education Agency spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe tells The Dallas Morning News lower scores are due at least in part to policies of two dozen districts, including Dallas and Fort Worth, where all upper class students now take the SAT each year.
CORPUS CHRISTI (AP) — A Nueces County grand jury has decided no criminal charges should be filed against a 16-year-old driver who authorities say crossed the center line of a state highway and led to the death of Corpus Christi Police Chief Floyd Simpson. Simpson was on his motorcycle in Port Aransas in May, tried to evade the pickup truck and suffered fatal injuries when he crashed his bike and his helmet became dislodged. Port Aransas Police Chief Scott Burroughs tells the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that evidence collected during the investigation of the crash shows it was an accident and the pickup driver likely was fatigued after a three-day diving class. Corpus Christi Interim Police Chief Mike Markle says he believes his friend Simpson would have accepted the grand jury outcome.
HOUSTON (AP) — A funeral for slain Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth ended with thousands of officers standing at attention and forming a wall outside one of Houston’s largest churches. The symbolic gesture along with a 21-gun salute and flyover of police helicopters followed the service for the 47-year-old deputy who was gunned down while pumping gas a week ago at a suburban Houston convenience store. A 30-year-old Houston man is charged with capital murder. Sheriff’s department chaplain Lt. Don Savell says Friday’s service at Second Baptist Church brought people together with “heavy hearts” and many questions. But he says they hope to find strength and look for “seeds of hope.” Sheriff Ron Hickman says about 11,000 officers were paying respects. Hickman says Goforth was “one of the good guys.”