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Train Derailment Stalls Traffic

LONGVIEW — Traffic was backed up Saturday night near Wal-Mart on Estes Parkway after police said three rail cars came off the tracks. The Longview Police Department was called to direct traffic to alternate routes, and police spokeswoman Kristie Brian said about 7:00 Saturday night that it was unknown how long it would take to clear the tracks. According to KETK, traffic was backed up in both directions, down Estes and Eastman Road. Brian said there were no injuries.

$700M Housing Project Set for Austin Watershed

AUSTIN (AP) – Crews are doing prep work on a $700 million project in a watershed area that’s expected to bring more housing and commercial space to Austin. The project is called Tecoma and is by Austin-based developer Stratus Properties Inc. It’s expected that it’ll bring more than 1,800 apartments and townhomes to Austin and over a million square feet of commercial space. The Austin American-Statesman reports that a local environmental group says it’ll oppose the development, which is planned to start this year. City officials say they’re allowing the company to build part of its project under less strict environmental rules. They say the firm’s preliminary plans were approved before a voter-approved ordinance was passed. That measure protects water quality by putting stricter limits on developments in the watershed.

Steve Coburn ‘very ashamed’ news services

Steve Coburn, the co-owner of California Chrome, apologized for his two-day rant against Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist and the Triple Crown rules during an emotional interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday.

Coburn and his wife, Caroline, hoped to undo any damage inflicted by his previous interviews, saying he wanted to “apologize to everyone associated with Tonalist” and “all the horse racing in the world.”

“Very ashamed of myself,” Coburn told GMA. “Very ashamed. I need to apologize to a lot of people.”

California Chrome, which had won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and had hoped to become the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years, finished in a dead-heat for fourth with Wicked Strong behind Tonalist in Saturday’s race.

“It’s just the emotion of the whole journey coming together at one time,” the 61-year-old Coburn said Monday.

Added Caroline Coburn: “I’m proud of him for coming up here and doing this. It was something we needed to do. Our story has given so much joy to so many people. I hope that this 30 seconds doesn’t destroy all that.”

Tonalist had not competed in either the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness Stakes, which drew Coburn’s ire in an interview immediately after the race with NBC, and subsequent interviews with other media outlets, including ESPN.

“It says Triple Crown. You nominate your horse for the Triple Crown. That means three,” Coburn said in the track-side interview with ESPN on Sunday. “Even the Triple Crown trophy has three points on it. So when you earn enough points to run in the Kentucky Derby, those 20 horses that start in the Kentucky Derby should be the only 20 allowed to run in the Preakness and the Belmont for the Triple Crown.”

He also made a questionable analogy of why Tonalist’s participation Saturday was unfair.

“These people nominate their horses for the Triple Crown and then they hold out two [races] and then come back and run one,” Coburn told ESPN. “That would be like me at 6-2 playing basketball with a kid in a wheelchair. They haven’t done anything with their horses in the Triple Crown. There were three horses in this race that ran in the first two — California Chrome, Ride on Curlin and General a Rod — none of the other horses did. You figure out. You ask yourself, ‘Would it be fair if I played basketball with a child in a wheelchair?'”

On Monday, Coburn was apologetic to Tonalist and the horse’s backers.

“I need to apologize to the winners. They run a beautiful race. They deserve that. I didn’t mean to take anything away from them,” Coburn said. “… Congratulations, you got a fantastic horse. He deserved to win. He won the race, fair and square.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Texas Man Convicted in 1983 ND Murder Released

Richard LaFuenteDEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) — A Texas man who has maintained his innocence while serving 28 years in federal prison for the murder of a man in North Dakota has been released. Richard LaFuente was convicted in the 1983 death of Edward Peltier of Devils Lake, North Dakota. He has been in a federal prison in Texas since 1986. He was denied parole for the fourth time last July and the Minnesota Innocence Project appealed on LaFuente’s behalf. The U.S. Parole Commission reversed its decision and granted his release. His conviction has still not been overturned. The Minnesota Innocence Project says it will continue to try to prove his innocence. The nonprofit legal group says some members of Peltier’s family who believe in LaFuente’s innocence have testified on his behalf.

Manziel needs alter ego to succeed

By Jean-Jacques Taylor |

IRVING, Texas — Johnny Manziel became a first-round pick because of the mystical mojo that made him Johnny Football.

You can call it swag. Or charisma. Or you can just refer to it as Manziel’s “it” factor.

Anyone who ever watched him play at Texas A&M knows what it is. That’s where he won the Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman and became college football’s most exciting — and, perhaps, notorious — player.

That’s reason No.1 why the dumbest thing the Cleveland Browns can do is suppress the phenomenon that is Johnny Football, the dude who has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated twice in the last month.

The Browns did just that last weekend during the club’s rookie minicamp.

They banned the national media from the minicamp and limited the local media to a few minutes of watching the rookie go through a few drills, which included throwing three passes. Later, Manziel met with the media for about 15 minutes.

This is after owner Jimmy Haslam popped off about Manziel being a backup and needing to understand his role.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

“I got passed up 21 times, so that says something,” Manziel told the media after Saturday’s practice.

“Getting passed up 21 times is never fun — and obviously some of those teams weren’t going to take quarterbacks – but, still, it’s even humbling to be the second quarterback off the board. So for them to come in and say that, I don’t think I need to be humbled. I realize where I’m at in this organization and what I need to be doing, and that’s all I’m really focused on.”

The Browns PR department should have consulted with the St. Louis Rams about how to handle a high-profile rookie. Instead of hiding Michael Sam, the Rams embraced the attention, fulfilled 105 credential requests and kept it moving after Sam’s availability ended.

Manziel, selected with the 22nd pick of the first round, needs his Johnny Football alter ego the same way Deion Sanders needed Prime Time and Michael Irvin needed The Playmaker.

The Browns have been irrelevant since their return to the NFL in 1999. A 77-163 record, two winning seasons and one playoff appearance in 15 seasons will do that.

The Browns have had 21 different starting quarterbacks and seven coaches since returning to the NFL after the original franchise moved to Baltimore at the end of the 1995 season.

Johnny Football already has has invigorated the fan base — his jersey is among the league’s hottest sellers — and a locker room that knows it has no chance to win without a difference-maker at quarterback shouldn’t be too far behind, as long as he plays well.

He’s the guy who make plays and persuades his teammates to believe the impossible is possible.

He revived Texas A&M, which had been a nonfactor on the national college football scene since the 1990s. Texas A&M won 10 games or more once from 1995 through 2011.

The Aggies owe their football resurrection to Johnny Football, the dude who once partied wearing a “Scooby-Doo” costume.

Perhaps, he can resurrect this moribund Browns franchise, too. We’ll never know if the front office doesn’t accept Johnny Football, the dude who parties with the rapper Drake and dates models.

He’s not the only quarterback fresh out of college who was born into a wealthy family, but he’s the only one hanging with one of the music industry’s most successful rappers. And he’s the only one with a jet-setting lifestyle who routinely has been seen courtside at NBA games or lounging in suites during an NFL game.

He’s the epitome of a celebrity quarterback, and every team in the NFL knew that’s what they would be getting if they called his name on draft day.

When you think about it, what other player in the draft would have texted an assistant coach during the draft and implored that coach’s team to draft him so, “We can wreck this league together”?


That’s the essence of Johnny Football. And that’s why the Browns front office must accept Johnny Football. It’s the only way for Cleveland to reap the benefits form a guy who doesn’t come close to fitting the measurables for successful NFL quarterbacks.

None of us know if Manziel’s style will translate to the NFL, but there’s no doubt he’ll fail if the Browns attempt to neuter him and make him play and act like every other NFL quarterback.

He’s unique. The aura that envelopes him and the confidence he possesses are what made him special and what give him a chance to be that difference-maker those in the Browns locker room are looking to rally behind.

“He is [different] and that’s part of it,” said Browns head coach in Mike Pettine. “We talked about the ‘it’ factor and he’s got it. But we also think [Browns quarterback] Brian [Hoyer] has it, as well.

“I think all NFL quarterbacks have to have that swagger about them, that aura that it’s confidence and not cockiness.”


Then again, we’re talking about a franchise that hasn’t had an All-Pro quarterback since Brian Sipe in 1980. Sipe (1980), Bernie Kosar (1987) and Derek Anderson (2007) are Cleveland’s only Pro Bowl quarterbacks since the 1960s.

And we’re talking about a first-year head coach in Pettine who’s spent his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. Steve McNair, who led Baltimore to 13 wins in 2006 during his 12th year in the league, is the best quarterback he’s ever had on one of his teams.

Pettine must learn to embrace his celebrity quarterback and the noise that surrounds him.

Manziel, the ultimate boom or bust player, has no chance to maximize his potential if Cleveland’s front office and coaching staff treat Johnny Football like he’s just another player.

Colombo working in personnel department

By Todd Archer |

IRVING, Texas – Three years after he played his last game in the NFL, former Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Marc Colombo is checking out life on the personnel side of the NFL.

Colombo, who started for the Cowboys at right tackle from 2006-10 and finished his career in 2011 with the Miami Dolphins, is working in the scouting department this summer.

“Marc’s obviously a very smart guy and knows what he’s doing and he was always a leader in that offensive line room,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “He knows what guys look like. He’s testing the water in a lot of areas. We’re giving him some projects, see what he likes. He’s obviously a guy who did a lot for the Cowboys.”

Colombo spent most of his time observing the offensive line on Friday and Saturday, but he talked to multiple coaches, including special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia.

“He’s got great energy,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Always has, always will.”

Talkback Question

Talkback Question
Do parents have the right to force minor child to have an abortion?

Call 903-593-5822 during the Morning News – between 5-8am – to get your opinion heard. You can also vote on our Talkback Poll!

Surely KDOK isn’t going to a “talk radio” format!?!

KDOK will, in fact, change call letters to KTBB-FM and begin broadcasting
all news and talk. The change will take place April 27.

I am the decision maker. It was not made lightly.

People will lose their jobs. That does not please me. The affected people
are more than employees, they have become friends of mine in the decade and
a half that they have been a part of my company. I am doing all that I can
within the bounds of fiscal responsibility and my responsibility for the
health of the company to provide those employees with a severance package
that will soften the blow.

We will not compete with Imus and Stern and the “umpteen already on the
air.” None of these hosts is on the air in this market nor does it look like
they will be in the forseeable future.

This change is brought about by the necessity of recognizing the structural
shifts taking place in the music industry and the radio industry. Radio is
gradually, but with increasing velocity, losing its no. 1 status as a music
delivery appliance. iPods and devices like it, together with nearly
unlimited and very low or no cost access to music on the internet, are
conspiring to dramatically reduce radio’s role as the principal provider of
music entertainment.

I, too, like KDOK and I will miss it. But the fact is that it has become
increasingly difficult to keep KDOK competitive, particularly in the
extremely difficult revenue environment in which all media is currently
operating. Unlike stations that play current music, KDOK operates from a
very static library. In order to keep time spent listening at competitive
levels, it was necessary to constantly engage in audience research that
tested the library for burnout and listener fatigue. This process costs the
same in Tyler, Texas for KDOK as it does in Dallas, Texas for KLUV. The
critical difference is that KLUV has ten times the revenue and therefore,
their music research costs do not have nearly the profound impact on
profitability that such costs have here.

The decision to change KDOK is also driven by the fact that it is very
likely that Congress will pass legislation either this session or next that
will impose a royalty payment on radio stations that play recorded music
owned by the record labels. This is an additional non-productive drain on
revenue that the industry simply cannot afford, particularly now.

I believe that when it becomes clear that this legislation will pass, other
radio operators will look at one or more of the FM stations that they own in
this market and ask themselves, “What kind of talk programming could we do?”

As much as we have enjoyed KDOK, our news and talk station KTBB is the
principal driver of this company. I could never be forgiven for allowing new
talk competition on the FM dial to dilute the audience and market revenue
share enjoyed by KTBB. As goes KTBB goes this company. Therefore, if there
is going to be viable talk competition on the FM band, I want that
competition to be right here inside my own company. If I’m going to compete,
I want to compete with myself.

This company is a business and must make business decisions. Profit is not
an option. It is the deferred cost of remaining in business. Therefore, with
current and future profitability in mind, I came to the difficult decision
to change KDOK to KTBB-FM.

I appreciate your loyal listening and I apologize for the impact losing KDOK
will have on your daily enjoyment of radio.

Paul L. Gleiser

What happened to the Dale Groom talk show on Saturday mornings?

About 18 months ago, Dale Groom became the Extension Agent for Dallas County. It has become clear that the demands of that job and his frequent travel make it increasingly difficult for Dale to devote the time to a one-hour program on Saturday. Dale was a valued member of our lineup for many years and we wish him the best.

I would like to ask Dr. Bob a weather question. Is this possible?

Absolutely! Please visit Dr. Bob’s Weather Questions page for both a contact form and a list of previously asked/answered weather questions.

Why can I listen to other Texas stations without subscription?

The quick answer is because the other radio stations do not broadcast 100% of their over-the-air programming on the internet. In almost all cases, they separate at the commercial breaks and run either fill music or commercials that are locally produced and do not employ announcers or actors that are members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). Many have a completely separate automated music service that they stream over the internet, playing the same music that they play on the air but without the simultaneous content of the terrestrial signal.

AFTRA is the national union that represents performers that appear on television and radio programs and commercials. Early in the lifetime of internet radio station streaming, AFTRA took the position that their master contract, to which almost all national advertising agencies are signatory, did not include performace over the internet. AFTRA maintains that streaming over the internet constitutes a performance of the work that is separate and distinct from performance over the air. AFTRA believes that their members are entitled to additional compensation for that additional performance.

As a result, national advertisers began stipulating in their ad buys that the commercials they placed could not be included in radio station audio streams. This had enormous operational and logistical implications.

The immediate impact on us was profound. Our streaming provider at the time, Yahoo! Broadcast, the successor to, Mark Cuban’s company, terminated their contract with us rather than run the risk of us streaming them an AFTRA commercial which could lead to Yahoo! being named in a suit.

The capital outlay necessary to install a system that will automatically separate the audio streams when a commercial break starts is not supported by the potential revenue. I simply decided that the costs far outweighed the benefits.

And that led me to develop the model that you now see. We limit our streaming to those who are already entitled to hear our audio over the air. We use audio streaming as an enhancement to our terrestrial signal, making it easier to hear the station in workplaces and buildings that are not structurally friendly to radio. The subscription simply provides a mechanism for us, via the billing zip code of a credit card, to establish legitimate residency within our ARBITRON-defined metro area (ARBITRON is the national research firm that conducts radio station ratings). It’s not about the fee for us. We do not keep it. We donate it to the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Texas.

We are taking the position, so far unchallenged, that simply repeating our audio signal on the internet within the geographic area we are already licensed to serve, and having an auditable mechanism to prove that, does not constitute performance over the World Wide Web and thus does not infringe upon the rights of AFTRA performers or anyone else.

Eventually, as the internet continues to grow in importance within the advertising industry, the “AFTRA problem” will probably be sorted out in a way that works for everybody.

In the meantime, however, for us it is either this model or no streaming at all.

Thanks for your interest and I hope I have answered your question.

Paul L. Gleiser

Kurt Busch wins 2011 Bud Shootout

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — It was a two-car tango at Daytona International Speedway, where the wild, pack racing was replaced Saturday night by sizzling fast speeds and a strange ending that gave Kurt Busch the win in the Budweiser Shootout.

The exhibition race was the first test on Daytona’s smooth new pavement, and speeds at times hit 206 mph in a race that had a record 28 lead changes among nine drivers.

The final pass, though, was ruled illegal as Denny Hamlin was disqualified for going below the out-of-bounds line.

It made Busch, who actually crossed the finish line in second place, the first Dodge driver to win the non-points race that has opened Speedweeks for the last 33 years.

“What an unbelievable experience, this two-car draft. I had no idea what to expect going in,” Busch said. “I was just going to take it one lap at a time and see how it played out.”

The ruling against Hamlin by NASCAR was not controversial. The yellow-line rule has been in effect and enforced since NASCAR returned to Daytona in July 2001, nearly five months following the last-lap accident that killed Dale Earnhardt.

“I thought it was a great, three-wide finish,” said Hamlin, “but obviously I used some pavement I shouldn’t have.”

It was instead the style of racing seen Saturday that created the most controversy as the opinions between drivers and fans differed greatly.

The racing at Daytona had for so long been a white-knuckle, bumper-to-bumper mob of race cars unable to pull away from each other. Cars could shoot through the field at will, but one small bobble often created dangerous accidents.

When the track opened last month for testing, though, teams had seemingly figured out the new NASCAR rule packages and the smooth surface at Daytona had created a new strategy of two-car racing.

So from the start of Saturday’s 75-lap race, the field was quickly split into several packs of two cars. It lasted all the way to the end, when two packs of two had pulled so far away from everyone else that they were the only four drivers in contention for the win.

Ryan Newman was leading Hamlin around the oval, with Busch and Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray trailing close behind. Newman, as the leader, said he knew he was “a sitting duck” as he waited for Hamlin’s attempted pass.

It came as they closed in on the checkered flag, when Hamlin dove low and eventually under the yellow line that circles the bottom of the track.

Busch then skirted around Newman at the top of the track, pulling McMurray with him.

Hamlin was black-flagged and fell to 12th in the final standings, while Busch was declared the winner with McMurray and Newman finishing second and third.

Hamlin understood NASCAR’s ruling.

“That yellow line’s there to protect us and the fans in the stands safety. I just chose to take the safer route,” he said. “Winning a Shootout’s not worth sending [Newman] through the grandstands, and for me, as fast as what we’re running, if I get into his left rear, that car will go airborne.

“It’s a tough position. I probably should have gone high to avoid that whole thing.”

Busch gushed praise on McMurray, a friend off the track who he credited for pushing him around the oval and staying on his rear bumper so that Busch could pick up his first win at Daytona.

“He was the man tonight. He stayed with us. He stayed true,” Busch said. “I can’t thank him enough for doing that.”

McMurray, like everyone else, used the closing laps to get an idea of how next week’s season-opening Daytona 500 may be won.

“It looks like third place is the place to be [on the final lap],” McMurray said. “You know the second-place guy will try to go for the win. You have to hope the guy in fourth will stay [behind] the guy who’s in third.”

Some drivers liked the racing, and Newman, who for years has railed against the dangers of restrictor-plate races, was in favor of the new style.

“I honestly liked the way it separated out,” he said. “When you’re sitting four rows deep in the middle of three wide, there’s nothing you can physically do to make anything any different. When you are in those positions, or those two-car packs, you have a little more versatility to move around. I would rather it be the way it was than they way it has been at Talladega, three wide 10 rows deep.”

And although hysteria often accompanies speeds that creep too close to 200 mph, McMurray said he didn’t even notice a difference. NASCAR can change the size of the horsepower-sapping restrictor plates to reduce the speeds, and can do it at anytime before next Sunday’s race.

“You can’t tell the difference if you’re going 180 or 220,” McMurray said. “I never went 220, but you can’t tell the difference in the speed.”

But it made for an active night for the spotters, who had to coach their drivers around the track until they figured out a strategy.

“It’s so hard. I’ve got a headache right now from just trying to be strategic,” Hamlin said.

At one point, Jeff Gordon sarcastically radioed his team his take on the race.

“I figured it out,” he said. “This is like playing chess on the edge of a cliff with the wind blowing 50 mph gusts.”

Top 10 Results: Final 2010 Tally
Baetz, Richard 1670
Tavares, Alarick 1500
Light, Bryan 1450
Holmes, Kendrick 1370
McGee, Donna 1370
Sprick, Ron 1360
Wood, Timi 1350
Allen, Wes 1330
Baetz, Michelle 1310
Tavares, Tammy 1310

You can get a complete list of the current weeks points anytime by sending a blank e-mail to fantasylist at ktbb dot com

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