Winona Mayor Tells Why She Resigned
WINONA — We’re hearing more about the resignation of Winona Mayor Dede Stroud after less than three months in office. Stroud tells KETK she was harassed and neglected, and couldn’t handle it any longer. She says she knew it would be difficult but that she didn’t anticipate “a day-to-day battle on the inside of the City Hall in order to get control of the situation” going on in the city. She added, “The Council stripped me of all of my duties other than signing checks and preparing the budget.” Stroud also says, “I feel like I let everyone down, and I’m sorry. I did not turn my back on the community. I did turn my back on the council members and the people at City Hall” because “I refuse to let them treat me like that.” Mayor Pro Tem Earl Brown will fill in as mayor for the time being. The Council will meet Thursday evening to discuss the resignation and the future of the financially troubled city.
Hawkins Mayor Tells His Side of the Story
HAWKINS — The Hawkins mayor says everything said about him in an arrest affidavit is not true, except for the fact that he was at the residence where the alleged violation took place. Will Rogers is accused of overstepping his duties as mayor and threatening to fine a resident $500 if she didn’t cut her grass. Rogers tells KETK he never threatened to write the woman a ticket or impose a fine about her grass. He says he wanted to talk to her about her concession stand. Rogers claims it’s a nuisance and people were complaining. That stand could have also cost the woman $500 a day. Read more …
Blood Alcohol Results Released in Triple Fatality
HENDERSON — Authorities have released the results of a blood alcohol test for an East Texas woman who reportedly killed a mother and her two children in a July 10 drunken-driving accident. KETK reports that according to Rusk County officials, the blood alcohol content level for Shelby Taylor, 22, of Henderson, was .16, twice the legal limit, at the time of the crash. Taylor remains free on $501,000 bond. She was facing a 2013 DWI accusation, among other charges, before the fatal crash occurred. The Rusk County District Attorney’s Office has filed three manslaughter charges against her for the deaths of Rudra Patel, 5, Trisha Patel, 12, and Heena Patel, 43. The father, Ketanbhai Patel, 42, survived the crash. Read more …
Body Found in Cherokee County
REKLAW — Cherokee County law enforcement is working to determine the identity of a body found Tuesday near Reklaw. KETK reports that according to the New Summerfield Police Department, on July 24, officials began a missing person investigation for Javier Jimenez. He was reported missing by his wife the day before. Jimenez left his house for work in Jacksonville at 7:00am, but he never returned home. On July 29, a truck was found abandoned on a piece of land in the Reklaw area. Deputies and police officers responded to the scene and found a body in the bed of the vehicle. Read more …
Fair Plaza Garage Officially Opens
TYLER — Wednesday’s ribbon cutting has officially opened the Fair Plaza Parking Garage at 208 South College Ave. in Tyler. “The garage will be an integral part of the entry point into downtown,” said City Engineer Carter Delleney. “We are particularly pleased that the façade will be in keeping with the look, history and feel of our downtown.” The garage’s exterior design incorporates architectural elements from the Blackstone Hotel, Tyler Commercial College, the clock tower from the historic Smith County Courthouse, and other former landmark buildings. Read more …
Deadline For Submitting Longview Parks Survey
LONGVIEW — Today’s the deadline for Longview residents to share their thoughts and ideas about the future of parks in the city. As part of the Longview Comprehensive Plan, the city is updating the 5-year Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan. Residents can give their input by completing a survey. According to Director of Community Services Laura Hill, “This Master Plan is very important to our staff members, park board members, and city council because it informs us of citizens’ priorities. For instance, over the last several years, we have seen a major improvement to our walking trails, which was a direct result of residents telling us those were a top priority.” You can go to
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LongviewParks for the survey.
Immigration Crisis Legislation in Washington
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to deal with the immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border has won a temporary reprieve in the Senate. Senators voted 63-33 Wednesday to advance the $3.5 billion emergency spending bill over a procedural hurdle. But with Congress adjourning for the summer within days and Republicans opposed, there was little expectation that the legislation would ultimately prevail. The bill includes $2.7 billion for more immigration judges, detention facilities and other measures to deal with the tens and thousands of youths who’ve been arriving illegally in South Texas without their parents. Republicans say it’s a blank check and they’re demanding policy changes that would send the migrants back home more quickly.
Cruz, Conservatives Criticize Immigration Crisis Bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to deal with the immigration surge on the U.S.-Mexico border won a temporary reprieve in the Senate Wednesday as lawmakers tried to respond to the crisis before adjourning for the summer. Senators voted 63-33 to advance the $3.5 billion emergency spending bill over an initial procedural hurdle. But with Republicans and a few Democrats opposed, there was little expectation that the legislation would ultimately prevail with only days left before Congress’ annual August recess. It was unclear whether House Speaker John Boehner would be able to count on enough support to pass the bill as he aimed for a vote Thursday. Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz summoned House conservatives to a meeting Wednesday night to strategize. Cruz has argued that no bill should pass unless it repeals a two-year-old Obama directive granting work permits to immigrants brought here illegally as kids, and some House conservatives were issuing similar demands.
Feds to Show off Immigrant Family Detention
KARNES CITY (AP) — Federal immigration officials are to give a tour today of a South Texas detention center where they plan to house women who enter the United States illegally with their children. The Karnes County Civil Detention Center in Karnes City is being converted after being used to house male immigrants. The contract with the private company operating the prison was changed earlier this month to hold families in expedited removal proceedings. Illegal immigration in South Texas has surged in recent months, especially children travelling alone and parents bringing their children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Lacking family detention centers, the government has been releasing so-called “family units” with notices to appear before immigration authorities when they reach their destinations. Karnes City is about 50 miles southeast of San Antonio.
Perry: America Must End ‘Ambivalence’ on Israel
DALLAS (AP) — Texas Governor Rick Perry has told a pro-Israel rally in Dallas that America must end a “policy of calculated ambivalence” toward the Middle East. But Perry mostly refrained from attacking American policy toward Israel in his brief short speech Wednesday. Several hundred people waved white-and-blue flags and cheered as Perry described his visits to Israel and his desire that the country remain a Jewish state. Thousands of people have died during several weeks of fighting between Israeli soldiers and insurgents in the Palestinian territory of Gaza. Perry has long touted his support for Israel as the Republican finishes his last term as governor and explores a second run for president.
Texas Worker Dies, Another Injured from Poison Gas
SAN MARCOS (AP) — San Marcos fire officials say two incidents of carbon monoxide exposure have killed one worker and hospitalized another. Fire Marshal Ken Bell says the separate incidents happened within a 12-hour period spanning Tuesday and Wednesday. Rob Schmid, 57, died about 15 feet below ground late Tuesday afternoon in a chamber at a state-run fish hatchery. He was exposed to the gas while working on an underground pump. Bell says the colorless, odorless gas was at five times the limit that humans can handle. The second incident happened early Wednesday morning at a private construction site across town. Bell says a worker was operating a machine in a confined space. The unnamed worker is being treated in a hypobaric chamber at an area hospital.
McDonald’s Ordered to Pay $27M in Deaths of Teens
BRYAN (AP) — A Central Texas jury has ordered McDonald’s to pay $27 million in damages to the families of two teenagers killed in a car accident while en route to a hospital after a fight outside the fast-food restaurant in College Station in 2012. A release Wednesday from the attorney representing the families of Denton James Ward, 18, of Flower Mound and Lauren Bailey Crisp, 19, of Dripping Springs says McDonald’s lax security led to their deaths. The two were with another couple when they stopped at the restaurant. The young men were beaten in the parking lot. Their girlfriends tried to get them to a hospital but the driver ran a red light and was hit by a pickup, killing Crisp. McDonald’s did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Sheriff Asks for Help in Probe of Family’s Slaying
HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities are asking for the public’s help in their investigation of the slayings six months ago of a family of four, including two children, at their suburban Houston home. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said at a news conference Wednesday that his agency continues seeking those responsible for the fatal shootings, but investigators are asking anybody with information to come forward. Crime Stoppers is offering a $70,000 reward for information on the deaths of Maoye Sun, 50, his wife Mei Xie, 49, and their 7- and 9-year-old sons. Garcia says authorities are still trying to determine a motive for the slayings. Deputies discovered the bodies Jan. 30 in the family’s Cypress home. Investigators say the husband was last seen alive leaving work on Jan. 24.
Austin Police Seek Person Who Threw Rocks at Cars
AUSTIN (AP) — Austin police are searching for a person who they say has been hurling large rocks at cars on the interstate. Police said Wednesday that at least two people have been hit during four incidents on Interstate 35 between 2:00 and 5:00 am. A June 14 attack left a man with critical injuries on his face and skull when a rock went through his windshield. Police say the man has brain damage and will potentially need care for the rest of his life. Three other incidents were reported Sunday. Police say a woman suffered minor injuries. Police are asking for the public’s help to identify the person.
Police: 14 Arrested in Galveston Drug Bust
GALVESTON (AP) — Galveston Police say they’ve arrested 14 people on felony drug charges after an extensive narcotics investigation. A city police spokesman told The Galveston County Daily News on Wednesday there is a growing cocaine and methamphetamine problem in the city. He says the seven-month, multi-agency investigation resulted in 21 indictments. Arrest warrants have been issued for the five Galveston men who weren’t detained in a police sweep Tuesday night. The spokesman says law enforcement used undercover officers, recording devices and video cameras. He says some of the people charged have gang affiliations or connections to drug traffickers in Mexico. The names of the people arrested have not been released.
Texas Search Group Resumes Drone Use
HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas-based group that had been embroiled in a legal fight over its use of drones in its searches for missing persons has resumed utilizing the unmanned aircraft. Texas Equuearch began using a drone Wednesday in its search in Livingston in East Texas for a 57-year-old man missing since July 9. The flight is the first since the group received a favorable appeals court ruling earlier this month. The group had stopped using drones in February after it received what it described as an order from the Federal Aviation Administration to stop the flights. Texas EquuSearch sued the FAA, and an appeals court ruled earlier this month that the FAA warning to the group had no legal consequences. An FAA spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday.
Obese Doberman Rescued in Texas, Given New Diet
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio animal care officials say an obese Doberman taken in last week is being transferred to Conroe for further care. A spokeswoman for the city’s Animal Care Services said Wednesday that the dog named Bear weighs in at 147 pounds. That’s twice the size of an average Doberman. Caregivers say he looks miserable and is possibly depressed. A Doberman rescue organization took in the dog Friday morning near Fort Worth. He has a microchip, but the chip isn’t registered. They have Bear on joint supplement and thyroid medication. He’s also dealing with high cholesterol The spokeswoman says caregivers will start by taking Bear “on some very short walks.” She says he will be fed four small meals a day of premium food. The dog’s goal weight is 80 pounds.
Houston Firm Offers Space Flights for Pet Remains
HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston company that already sends human remains out of this world will offer the same memorial space flights for four-legged loved ones. Celestis Inc. on Wednesday announced that rockets carrying the cremated remains of dogs and cats will start this fall. Spokeswoman Pazia Schonfeld says the cost will be about the same as for human remains sent into space and returned, starting at about $995. Celestis Pets is working with a California company, Into the Sunset Pet Transition Center of San Diego, for pet cremations. Celestis for years has offered a rocket service that takes partial human remains into space and brings them back, including ashes of “Star Trek” TV show creator Gene Roddenberry.