Authorities: 40 Illegal Alien Criminals Arrested by ICE in East Texas
TYLER — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested 40 convicted criminal aliens during a three-day operation which concluded Saturday, according to information from ICE. KETK reports the operation was conducted by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Fugitive Operations Teams in eight east Texas cities. Officials say it was “part of the agency’s commitment to prioritize the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration violators.” Read more …
Marshall Murder Suspect Arrested
MARSHALL – A suspect has been arrested in Louisiana in connection with a Marshall murder last month. U.S. Marshall’s in Tallulah, Louisiana took into custody yesterday Corey Lamar Johnson, 31, of Jefferson. A warrant had been issued for his arrest in the shooting of Jalen Juwan White, who would have turned 28 the day after his death. He was shot around 2:45am on March 24th in the 100 block of West Pinecrest at the Rumors Arcade. He was taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Marshall, where he later died. Johnson remains in jail in Louisiana, awaiting extradition back to Texas.
Missouri Man Jailed in East Texas for Sexual Assault
SMITH COUNTY — A Missouri man is arrested on charges of aggravated child sexual assault. According to KETK, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office said, Bruce Alderman, 51, of Knox City, Missouri, was arrested Sunday after an investigation by the Whitehouse Police Department. Alderman has been accused of sexually assaulting a four-year-old child before fleeing to Missouri. He is being held in the Smith County Jail on $75,000 bond.
Authorities Seek Armed Robbers Who Tied Up Couple, Stole Truck
OVERTON — Officials are searching for two or three people who reportedly tied up an East Texas couple while they stole their belongings. According to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department, Monday, at around 10:15 p.m., they received a call in regards to an armed robbery on County Road 137 in Leverett’s Chapel. According to KETK, deputies were told by the victims they were approached outside their home by two or three people dressed in dark clothes and armed with a pistol and rifle. The victims were then forced back inside their home and tied up. They were forced to lead the robbers through the house as the thieves began taking money and jewelry. Read more …
E-Cig Usage Banned in Smith Co. Buildings, near Property Entrances
TYLER — Electronic cigarettes and other vaping products will now be covered under Smith County’s smoking ordinance and will not be allowed inside Smith County buildings, nor within 50 feet of the county property entrances. According to KETK, citizens and employees who take part in the popular alternative to traditional tobacco use will now have to abide by the same policies as cigarette smokers and those who chew tobacco. Read more …
Longview City Staffer’s Job in Jeopardy
LONGVIEW — A Longview city staffer could be getting a pink slip next week. According to KETK, the City Council next week will vote on whether to fire Director of Development Services Kevin Cummings. City Manager David Willard recommended Cummings be fired for poor job performance. The recommendation comes just weeks after it was discovered Mark Adas worked as the city engineer for five years without a valid state engineering license. It was Cummings’s responsibility to verify Adas’s certifications.
Another Scam Hits East Texas
TYLER — A phone scam targeting East Texans is on the rise. The scam artists are calling mobile or land lines claiming to be from the computer company Microsoft. They say they are from “Windows” or the “Windows help desk.” Their most recent target was Mack Barton of Tyler. Read more …
Chaplain Joins UT Health Northeast
TYLER — The Rev. Jack Voss is the new chaplain at UT Health Northeast. Rev. Voss has served as senior pastor of a non-denominational church in Owasso, Oklahoma, where he and his wife, Janice, ministered for 20 years. He founded Marketplace Grill, a professional networking luncheon of Christian businessmen in Owasso. In addition, he has served as the president of the Collinsville, Texas, Ministerial Alliance and served in a volunteer chaplain program that he developed for the Collinsville Police Department. Rev. Voss, a native East Texan, received his bachelor’s of theology from Texas Bible College in Lufkin. He has preached and taught leadership in the African countries of Liberia, Malawi, and South Africa, as well as in the Asian countries of the Philippines and Taiwan. Other nations he has visited in his ministry are China, Mexico, New Zealand, and Ukraine.
Judge Stoudt Reports on State of Gregg County
LONGVIEW — Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt has updated residents with his State of the County Address. The Longview News-Journal report a key topic was the tax rate. Stoudt said Gregg County has the ninth lowest tax rate in the state and the lowest among counties with populations of 200,000 or less. Stoudt also noted the county has taken on many highway and airport renovations without taking on any debt. The judge additionally emphasized partnerships in which the county has been involved, including team-ups with the city of Longview, the Longview Economic Development Corporation, and TxDOT
Austin Bank Named “One of 2014 Best Companies to Work for in Texas”
JACKSONVILLE — Austin Bank was recently named one of the 2014 Best Companies to Work for in Texas. The bank was recognized and honored on Tuesday, April 1st at the Texas Association of Business Awards dinner in Austin. This is the sixth year for Austin Bank to receive this award. The awards program was created in 2006 and is a project of TEXAS MONTHLY, the Texas Association of Business (TAB), the Texas State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (TSC-SHRM) and Best Companies Group. Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the Best Companies to Work for in Texas. The 2014 list is comprised of 100 companies which benefit the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses. Austin Bank ranked #19 in the medium sized company category. Read more …
Flynn Comments as State Considers Chemical Plant Regulations
AUSTIN — The state is debating more regulations on chemical plants to prevent another tragedy like in West, Texas, almost a year ago. Among those weighing in is state Representative Dan Flynn of Van (pictured). State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy thinks a couple of simple moves would have been able to prevent last year’s accident. Connealy says if ammonium nitrate is to be kept in a combustible facility, fire sprinklers need to be placed in the facility. He says an alternative is to build a non-combustible storage bin. Flynn represents some plant owners who don’t want more regulations. He says, “We used to weld right outside where we stored this, and we haven’t had that many incidences.” There are currently 46 chemical facilities in Texas that house ammonium nitrate and are described as dangerous.
Rubio: Terrorists Training in Syria May Strike US
AUSTIN (AP) — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is warning that terrorists training in ungoverned swaths of Syria may soon attack American interests abroad, or even on the nation’s home soil. The tea party darling and possible 2016 presidential hopeful gave a foreign policy speech in Austin on Tuesday. That meant heading onto the home turf of two other potential future White House contenders, Texas Governor Rick Perry and Rubio’s Senate colleague, Ted Cruz. Rubio said the Obama administration failed to lead in Syria has allowed foreign fighters to train unchecked there. He said trouble spots around the world “eventually come for us.” Rubio also noted that since his Senate term expires in 2016, he will have to make a decision about running for president relatively soon “but not today.”
Julian Castro, Dan Patrick Debate Immigration
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — What began as a Twitter war between a prominent immigration reform advocate and an equally prominent Republican hardliner on immigration reform has now been waged face-to-face for audiences on the Internet and Spanish-language television. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (pictured) and state Senator Dan Patrick debated Tuesday evening in Univision’s San Antonio studios. Notable by his absence was Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, whom the tea-party favorite Patrick is challenging in a May 27 GOP primary. There was no new ground staked out by the antagonists. Castro advocates granting legal residency to young people brought by their parents into the United States without papers. Meanwhile, Patrick continued to dismiss any reform efforts until he and his supporters deem the border with Mexico to be secure.
Perry’s Lawyer in Veto Probe Hired at $450 Hourly
AUSTIN (AP) — The attorney Governor Rick Perry hired amid a grand jury investigation into abuse of power allegations has a $450 hourly contract. Austin attorney David Botsford is being paid with taxpayer dollars. Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said Tuesday that using state funds is appropriate since the case involves “actions by the governor while acting in his official capacity.” A watchdog group claims Perry carried out an unlawful threat upon vetoing $7.5 million for public corruption prosecutors last summer.
Wendy Davis Schedules Neck Surgery
AUSTIN (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is scheduled to undergo neck surgery to relieve pain in her shoulder and right arm. Doctors will remove bone spurs and degenerative discs that are creating compression on the nerves in her neck. The procedure is scheduled today in Fort Worth.
Texas Candidate Faces Thorny Death Penalty Choice
AUSTIN (AP) — The death penalty has strong public support in Texas. Political candidates don’t dare get in the way of the state’s use of the ultimate punishment. But Greg Abbott, Republican candidate for governor, must soon make a decision as attorney general that could disrupt the nation’s busiest death chamber. Abbott must decide whether Texas must disclose the source of its execution drugs, which could prompt suppliers to halt their deliveries. Abbott’s predicament should provide a political opportunity for Democratic opponent Wendy Davis, but it doesn’t. Davis also supports the death penalty. But Abbott’s record as a law-and-order attorney general makes it difficult to portray him as soft on crime. In a state where more than 70% of the people support capital punishment, there’s little room to maneuver on the issue.
Condemned Killer of 3 in Corpus Christi Set to Die
HUNTSVILLE (AP) — Attorneys are trying to stop Wednesday’s scheduled execution of a man convicted of killing three people at a Corpus Christi home. Lawyers say they’ve found new evidence that Jose Villegas is mentally impaired and need more time to investigate. His lawyers say they’ll ask the U.S. Supreme Court to delay his scheduled execution this evening in Huntsville. Villegas was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend, her three-year-old son and her mother in 2001.
Texas Man Gets Life Term for fatal Stabbings of 3
DALLAS (AP) — A 52-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty in the 2012 stabbing deaths of his estranged wife and her parents. William Gerard Palmer in January 2012 stabbed Donya Palmer; 48, her mother, Mary Davis; 67, and father, Raymond Davis, 69, in the Davises’ East Dallas home. Palmer and his wife had separated a week before the killings. The Dallas Morning News reports William Palmer’s lawyers had argued their client suffered from depression and medication caused a psychotic episode that led to the violence. The jury deliberated less than 45 minutes before returning a guilty verdict.
Amber Alert for Texas Girl
MAGNOLIA – An Amber Alert has been issued for a missing Montgomery teenager. She is identified as Elizabeth Rex, 14. She is said to have down syndrome, autism and a pre-development disorder. She is said to be 5-foot 1-inches tall, and weighs 113 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing black pants, gray tank top, red jacket, and gray tennis shoes. Authorities are looking for Randy Johnson in connection with her abduction. The type of car he may be driving is unknown. The suspect was last heard from in Magnolia, Texas. Law enforcement officials believe this child to be in grave or immediate danger. If you see this girl, you are asked to contact the nearest law enforcement agency.
Offshore Rig Taking on Water but Stable after Wave
GALVESTON (AP) — An offshore drilling rig is taking on water but is stable after being hit by a large storm wave off the Texas coast. The U.S. Coast Guard says the rig was drilling for oil and gas in 3,000-foot depths around 10:00 Tuesday morning when the wave hit. Petty Officer Manda Emery says the platform was knocked 55 feet, and one of three watertight chambers in one of the rig’s six floatation columns began taking on water. Emery says the platform is being kept level and there is no spill. None of the 116 crew members was injured, and there have been no evacuations. The rig is about 130 miles from Galveston.
UT Official: Maroon Bluebonnets Will be Plucked
AUSTIN (AP) — Officials at the University of Texas in Austin say they intend to pluck the maroon bluebonnets that have mysteriously appeared in the shadow of the UT Tower. It’s believed that Texas A&M pranksters at some point planted the seeds for a variant of bluebonnet known as Alamo Fire, which is a shade of maroon. The Texas A&M colors are maroon and white, which Longhorn fans find unsightly in light of their loyalty to burnt orange. Markus Hogue, UT’s coordinator for irrigation and water conservation, tells the Houston Chronicle the Alamo Fire will be removed soon. He says any maroon bluebonnet that’s seen next year will be immediately pulled. But with much of Texas deep in drought, Hogue did give the suspects credit for choosing a plant that needs little watering.
Fielder ends HR drought as Rangers top M’s
Prince Fielder ended his Texas home run drought, and Robbie Ross finally got some help from the offense as a starter.
Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit back-to-back homers, Ross limited Seattle to five singles in seven-plus innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Mariners 5-0 Tuesday night.
Fielder ended a 13-game homerless streak to start the season with a line drive to right-center field off former Texas first-round pick Blake Beavan (0-1) to lead off the second inning. Two pitches later, Kouzmanoff went deep to left.
Told before the game that he was a game away from tying the longest drought to start a season in his career, Fielder casually figured it was about time for a long ball.
“I was just messing around,” said Fielder, in his first season with the Rangers after a trade that sent fan favorite Ian Kinsler to Detroit. “But I guess it worked.”
The Mariners didn’t get a runner past second base in their third shutout loss in a week.
“Probably the first night where I was probably a little disappointed in our approach a little bit,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “I thought we should have done better.” Read more …
Royals down Astros 4-2
Kansas City rookie Yordano Ventura entered Tuesday night’s game winless in four career starts dating to last season despite posting a 2.53 ERA in those games.
On Tuesday night, he pitched seven solid innings and finally got his first victory as the Royals beat the Houston Astros 4-2.
“I’m just really proud for him because that was like his fifth time he’s gone for his first win and he’s had an opportunity to win ballgames two or three times and we couldn’t hold it for him,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “To finally get that out of the way for him, to get his first major league win was big for all of us tonight.”
Omar Infante homered and drove in two runs for the Royals.
Ventura (1-0), an elite prospect with a 100 mph fastball, allowed four hits and one earned run with seven strikeouts in seven innings — both career highs. His seven strikeouts were the most by a Kansas City rookie since Will Smith also fanned seven on Sept. 11, 2012.
“I feel really good,” Ventura said in Spanish through a translator. “I feel that the team supported me and played really good defense and scored a lot of runs for me. It gives me a lot of satisfaction so I can keep working hard to help the team win.”
Infante had a solo shot in the first inning off Lucas Harrell (0-3) and added an RBI in the third inning as the Royals found some offense after managing just five runs combined as they were swept in a weekend series at Minnesota. Read more …
Durrett: Playoffs key step for Stars
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill believes firmly in living in reality. He doesn’t try to convince anyone that his team is built to win the Stanley Cup. Don’t get the wrong idea: The Stars’ goal, like everyone in the playoffs, is to hoist, arguably, the most famous trophy in sports.
But by simply making it, Nill, coach Lindy Ruff and the organization has achieved one of the major goals for this season. Nill talked about it at the preseason unveiling of the team’s new uniforms, appropriately named “Victory Green.” He’s discussed it as the season has progressed, never backing away from the notion that making the playoffs was attainable and a critical first step in skating back to contending status.
“This team needed this,” Nill said, a day after the team clinched its first playoff berth in six years by beating St. Louis. Dallas will take on Anaheim in the first-round series, which begins Wednesday. “It’s very important. Our players need to experience what it’s like to play in that atmosphere. It’s one step in the process. We still have work to do, but we needed to take this step.”
A lot has happened since the Stars were last in the playoffs, a Western Conference finals appearance in 2008. Barack Obama was elected president. The Stars’ American Airlines Center roommates, the Dallas Mavericks, won the NBA title. The Texas Rangers went to consecutive World Series. Heck, the Dallas Cowboys even won a playoff game since the last postseason berth for the Stars.
To get the Stars back to the postseason, Nill arrived in the summer and made some changes. One of his first decisions: hiring Ruff to replace Glen Gulutzan as coach.
Nill wanted a veteran coach and someone with a track record of playoff success to help lead the team. Ruff has certainly done those things. Read more …
Mavs-Grizz finale for West’s 7th seed
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
DALLAS – The loser has to see the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
That’s what will be on the line during the Dallas Mavericks-Memphis Grizzlies regular-season finale Wednesday night at the FedExForum.
The Grizzlies made sure the game would be meaningful with a victory Monday night over the Phoenix Suns. That pulled Memphis even with Dallas at 49-32, making the tiebreaker the Mavs own over Memphis irrelevant.
The Golden State Warriors clinched the West’s 6-seed by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.
The Mavs-Grizzlies winner gets the No. 7 seed and most likely opens the playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder, although OKC needs a win Wednesday over the Detroit Pistons or needs the Los Angeles Clippers to lose one of their last two games to wrap up the No. 2 seed.
The Mavs-Grizzlies loser gets the No. 8 seed and a certain trip to San Antonio to face a team that has the NBA’s best record and has lost only four times since the All-Star break.
Romo 14th highest paid athlete in world
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com
IRVING, Texas — In a recent ranking of sports franchises, the Dallas Cowboys had the highest value of any NFL team, checking in at $2.3 billion.
The Cowboys doled out an average yearly salary of $1.875 million in 2013, which ranked 156th among 294 teams in 15 leagues in seven sports across the globe, according to the survey done by ESPN The Magazine/SportingIntelligence Global Salary Survey.
The Cowboys were 21st among NFL teams in average yearly salary. The Seattle Seahawks were No. 1 at $2.303 million, which was 116th in the overall survey. The Cowboys ranked just below Southampton ($1.893 million) of the English Premier League and just ahead of the NHL’s Florida Panthers ($1.850 million).
For the NFL teams, large rosters combined with many players making the league minimum (based on years accrued) led to the lower average annual salaries. Manchester City of the EPL checked in at No. 1 overall at $8.109 million, ahead of the New York Yankees ($8.031 million).
Of the top 25 highest-paid athletes in the world, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo checked in at No. 14 at $26.5 million thanks to the six-year, $108 million extension he signed last offseason that included a $25 million signing bonus.
Romo fit between Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton ($27.5 million each) and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney ($26 million).
Cowboys host several draft prospects
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
The Cowboys have brought in several college prospects to visit Valley Ranch over the past two days.
They can bring in up to 30 players for national visits.
Among the confirmed players who have made the trip to Valley Ranch: Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, Boise State Demarcus Lawrence, Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward, Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy, Florida State defensive end Timmy Jernigan and North Dakota State tackle Billy Turner.
The Cowboys are planning more visits on Wednesday.
Donald has been projected to the Cowboys in several mock drafts, and in an interview with the Cowboys’ website he said he would like to play for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
“I had the opportunity to talk to him a couple times at the combine; I talked to him [Sunday] and I talked to him [Monday],” Donald told the website. “He’s a great coach, and just talking to him and looking in his eyes — the way he talks, he’s got a passion for the game of football and he loves the game of football.”