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Amid controversy, Austin school police chief takes another job

Austin school district Police Chief Eric Mendez is expected to announce his resignation Monday morning, taking another police chief position in another organization. The announcement comes just days after questions surfaced about whether his staff did enough to investigate a sexual assault allegation of a 4-year-old girl at Boone Elementary in February. On Friday night, Travis County District Attorney...


Hamilton Pool to reopen May 1 with safety features to prevent drowning

Hamilton Pool Preserve will be open for swimming again, starting on May 1, Travis County Parks officials announced Friday. Two drownings last year prompted Travis County Parks to close the pool to swimmers while officials re-evaluated safety protocols. On Aug. 14, a 17-year-old from Harker Heights failed to resurface around 10:20 a.m. Emergency crews pulled the teen from the water and flew him to...
SPLASH TIME: Hamilton Pool to reopen May 1 with safety features

SPLASH TIME: Hamilton Pool to reopen May 1 with safety features

Hamilton Pool Preserve will be open for swimming again, starting on May 1, Travis County Parks officials announced Friday.   Two drownings last year prompted Travis County Parks to close the pool to swimmers while officials re-evaluated safety protocols.  Travis County Parks officials say they have installed a loaner life jacket kiosk at the pool entrance. Visitors can now borrow...
Goodwill worker stole $3,000 from nonprofit’s West Austin store, police say

Goodwill worker stole $3,000 from nonprofit’s West Austin store, police say

Police are accusing a Goodwill employee of stealing $3,000 worth of cash and merchandise from one of the nonprofit’s Austin stores. In an arrest warrant affidavit issued Thursday for 40-year-old Marcelita Felix, police say she stole $100 of merchandise and $2,900 cash from the Goodwill at 701 Newman Drive in West Austin.  On April 3, a theft report was made to police after the loss...
With $42 million upgrade, Texas telescope joins hunt for dark energy

With $42 million upgrade, Texas telescope joins hunt for dark energy

Dark energy is a mysterious force that astronomers haven’t detected, don’t understand and can explain only in the vaguest terms as the reason for the universe’s expansion. Even Karl Gebhardt, one of the world’s foremost astronomers — a man who discovered the largest black hole ever observed — has no idea what dark energy actually is. But he is hoping a $42 million...
Austin police eyes $300,000 bomb robot to save human cops from danger

Austin police eyes $300,000 bomb robot to save human cops from danger

The Austin Police Department is planning to drop just over $300,000 for a new bomb squad robot that’s aimed at keeping officers out of harm’s way. City documents show the department is seeking approval for a contract with Remotec Inc. for an Andros FX explosive ordinance disposal vehicle, which is designed to knock out suspicious objects, explosive devices or other threats. Last year,...
Buda hosts Wiener Dog Races this weekend

Buda hosts Wiener Dog Races this weekend

The 20th annual Buda Wiener Dog Races takes place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at City Park. Admission is $5 for ages 12 and older and free for children 11 and younger. Along with the dog races, which begin at 10 a.m. both days, there will be a pet parade, spelling bees, arts and crafts booths, bouncy houses, cook-offs, live music and a petting zoo. San Antonio Street will be closed to...
Valerie Jarrett on Trump’s win, Obama’s legacy and how to raise women up

Valerie Jarrett on Trump’s win, Obama’s legacy and how to raise women up

When Donald Trump visited the White House a few days after winning last year’s election, a photograph captured staffers and top members of the Obama administration looking markedly discontent. Valerie Jarrett, the longest-serving senior adviser to then-President Barack Obama, could be seen leaning cross-armed against a column in the Rose Garden. “The irony is I saw the cameras, so that...

Community news: Barbecue cookoff, demolition training this weekend

TRAVIS COUNTY CENTRAL AUSTIN Nonprofit dental clinic extends hours Manos de Cristo Dental Center will start extended hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The nonprofit dental clinic at 4911 Harmon Ave. recently expanded its professional team and decided to extend the operating hours to better serve patients who normally could not schedule...
Round Rock to get 9th fire station when former home becomes firehouse

Round Rock to get 9th fire station when former home becomes firehouse

The Round Rock Fire Department will soon have a ninth fire station after a former home is renovated to serve as a new firehouse. Officials have begun renovations to a former single-family home, located at 2721 Sam Bass Road in northwest Round Rock, and construction is expected to be finished by the end of May, according to the city. The home was purchased by the city in 2015 with the intention of...
Wear: With wit and taunts, @EvilMopacATX taps Austin commuters’ pain

Wear: With wit and taunts, @EvilMopacATX taps Austin commuters’ pain

Until recently, I assumed my tombstone would include the note, “He once quoted a dead woman.” Which I did, innocently if idiotically, back in 2007. Long story, too long to explain here. And that was a very hard-to-write correction. But, anyway, I now have a replacement epitaph: “He interviewed a highway.” MoPac Boulevard pretty much moped through its first four decades without...
Wastewater treatment leading issue in Wimberley City Council elections

Wastewater treatment leading issue in Wimberley City Council elections

Now that Wimberley is at the precipice of dealing with wastewater treatment, an issue that has for more than a decade plagued the Hill Country town, it has again emerged as a leading issue in upcoming City Council elections. Two City Council seats are up for grabs in the May 6 election: Place 1, which pits former mayor and council member Steve Thurber against Sally Trapp, currently a council...
WOMAN FOUND: Police locate woman, 81, who was reported missing Thursday

WOMAN FOUND: Police locate woman, 81, who was reported missing Thursday

11 a.m. update: Austin police say Sarah Neil Gray has been found and is safe. Officials have not released any other details. Earlier: Austin police are asking the public’s help in finding an 81-year-old woman with medical issues. Sarah Neil Gray was last seen at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the 2200 block of Pompton Drive, near West Anderson Lane and Burnet Road in North Austin. Police have released...
UPDATE: Austin breaks heat record, with damaging winds and hail possible Saturday

UPDATE: Austin breaks heat record, with damaging winds and hail possible Saturday

4:05 p.m. update: The temperature has risen 4 degrees at Camp Mabry in less than an hour, according to National Weather Service data -- meaning Austin just set another all-time record high, at 95 degrees. The heat index is 101. The normal high for today is 83 degrees, according to the weather service. The previous record, of 94 degrees, was set in 1955. This heat continues what was the warmest first...
Rape inquiry at Austin school didn’t miss medical records, chief says

Rape inquiry at Austin school didn’t miss medical records, chief says

Austin school district police did not close a sex assault investigation without reviewing medical records of the alleged victim, Chief Eric Mendez told the media Thursday night, just after a parent meeting at Boone Elementary. The American-Statesman reported last week that school police had not obtained key medical information after doctors determined a 4-year-old prekindergarten student at Boone...
NEW DETAILS: Police ID Cedar Park man arrested after hours-long SWAT standoff 

NEW DETAILS: Police ID Cedar Park man arrested after hours-long SWAT standoff 

It began with a 911 call. A woman told a dispatcher she was worried about Galen Wasem and asked if someone could look in on him. That request triggered a series of events that culminated in a six-hour standoff between Wasem and Cedar Park police, which ended when officers broke down the door of the apartment where Wasem was hiding.  Wasem was taken to a Cedar Park hospital...
Bowie High School parents seek student’s expulsion, sue school district over alleged harassment

Bowie High School parents seek student’s expulsion, sue school district over alleged harassment

Parents of a Bowie High School student are seeking an order from a federal judge to expel a student they say has harassed their daughter. The unnamed male student attempted to commit suicide at school Jan. 18 in front of their daughter, according to a lawsuit the girl’s parents filed Thursday against the Austin school district. Additionally, he has repeatedly gotten into her car without...
Ex-wife of Infowars host Alex Jones wins joint custody

Ex-wife of Infowars host Alex Jones wins joint custody

After nine hours of deliberation, a Travis County jury in the Alex Jones-Kelly Jones child custody trial gave Kelly Jones a great victory, awarding her joint custody with the right to have their three children make their primary residence with her instead of her husband for the first time since the couple’s 2015 divorce. Alex Jones will share joint custody, which means that he will have visitation...
Legal challenges likely ahead for SB 4

Legal challenges likely ahead for SB 4

Now that Senate Bill 4 is on its way to becoming law, opponents are looking to the courts for relief – and a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court case is giving them hope. The high court struck down parts of a controversial 2010 immigration law in Arizona on the grounds that Congress, not the states, has the power to create immigration law. Experts say that argument could come into play with Texas&rsquo...
Two more sex crime allegations in Austin schools getting new scrutiny

Two more sex crime allegations in Austin schools getting new scrutiny

Austin school police are reviewing two previously reported sex crime cases at separate campuses to ensure detectives properly handled them amid concerns from parents and others in the community, school district Police Chief Eric Mendez told the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV on Thursday. The investigations in both instances had already been suspended or closed, and the revelation of the reviews comes...
House committee approves tougher inspections of farmworker housing

House committee approves tougher inspections of farmworker housing

A pair of bills that would strengthen state inspections of farmworker housing, stiffen penalties on violators and require state regulators to look for unlicensed facilities passed the House Urban Affairs Committee with 7-0 votes on Thursday. With just weeks remaining in the legislative calendar, the legislation’s window could be closing quickly though. The House Calendars Committee still needs...
Austin police honor pedicab driver for helping catch assault suspect

Austin police honor pedicab driver for helping catch assault suspect

Luis Velazquez-Palos said he didn’t think twice before helping a woman who was in distress in downtown Austin last year, and police said his actions played a crucial role in helping them catch the man accused of sexually assaulting that woman that day. Austin police recognized Velazquez-Palos on Thursday with a Distinguished Service award. The Austin police Sex Crimes Division nominated Velazquez-Palos...
Police: 5 charged with assault in Pflugerville Saturday shooting

Police: 5 charged with assault in Pflugerville Saturday shooting

Four teenagers and one man have been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and engaging in organized criminal activity after a shooting Saturday at Lake Pflugerville that injured one person, according to police. On Saturday, officers responded to the lake after a call about shots fired, police said. One person was found injured, and the Austin-Travis County EMS took the person to Seton...

UT police investigating report of drive-by shooting

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS UT police: Drive-by shooting reported University of Texas and Austin police are on the hunt for a gunman after reports of a drive-by shooting near campus Thursday morning. The scene unfolded at an off-campus construction site near the intersection of Dean Keeton and San Jacinto streets just after 10 a.m., when a man in a white sedan targeted an unidentified person he apparently...
Cancer patient gets wish to meet jewelry maker Kendra Scott

Cancer patient gets wish to meet jewelry maker Kendra Scott

It was a request Kendra Scott says she couldn’t – and wouldn’t – refuse. An 18-year-old Memphis, Tenn., girl with a form of brain cancer with no known treatment or cure was eager to meet her, so the Austin-based jewelry designer whose brand has become known worldwide put her team to work on setting up a visit. “Once I heard her story, I was like, ‘Get her on a plane...
Austin’s interim police chief says he will comply with SB 4

Austin’s interim police chief says he will comply with SB 4

5:55 p.m. update: Interim Austin police Chief Brian Manley on Thursday repeated his concerns about key provisions of Senate Bill 4, the so-called sanctuary cities legislation now poised to become law, but said he will uphold the law if it is given the final thumbs-up. The bill earned initial approval in the early morning hours Thursday, then final approval later in the day in a 94-53 vote along party...
Round Rock among inaugural districts selected for Holdsworth training

Round Rock among inaugural districts selected for Holdsworth training

The Round Rock district has been chosen to be among the inaugural group of seven school systems to go through The Holdsworth Center, a new training and leadership development center in Austin. The center will draw upon best practices in strategic talent management to support current leaders and develop future superintendents and principals across the state. In January, H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles...

Near-record heat, humidity Friday; storms to rock Austin late Saturday

Eeyore’s Birthday Party could start out sweaty and end up waterlogged. A cold front should pass through Austin as early as Saturday afternoon, according to National Weather Service forecasts, before turning the hot, muggy weather that has settled over the area into potentially severe storms. The front should disrupt what promises to be a stretch of days made for a shorts, shades and swimming...
A midnight stroll, a grab and a push: When policing the mentally ill turns deadly

A midnight stroll, a grab and a push: When policing the mentally ill turns deadly

Sometime around midnight on Sept. 23, 2014, Tom Klessig left his stately home in the heart of the affluent Dallas suburb of University Park to go on one of his late-night walks around the neighborhood. Klessig, a 23-year-old former wrestling champion, was back in his childhood home, living with his parents after years of struggle with schizoaffective disorder, which left him hearing voices and...
NEW: Opponents promise legal challenges ahead for SB 4

NEW: Opponents promise legal challenges ahead for SB 4

Just hours after the Texas House approved its version of Senate Bill 4 that included a new provision empowering police to ask for proof of legal residence during traffic stops, immigrant advocates said that legal challenges were already being formulated. "It is inevitable that you will see cities and counties across the state suing the state,” Austin City Council Member Greg Casar...
Three ways the ‘sanctuary cities’ bill could affect Austin

Three ways the ‘sanctuary cities’ bill could affect Austin

With the Texas House’s approval of the bill to ban so-called sanctuary cities, the measure will all but certainly become law. The Senate has already approved Senate Bill 4, and Gov. Greg Abbott has made signing it one of his top priorities for this legislative session. Here are some ways that the bill could affect Austin: 1. Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s big decision: Hernandez...
TxDOT launches motorcycle awareness campaign as riding season gets into high gear

TxDOT launches motorcycle awareness campaign as riding season gets into high gear

The Texas Department of Transportation is again asking drivers to keep an eye out for motorcyclists as they hit the highways over the next few months. TxDOT officials joined city leaders, emergency medical personnel and motorcyclists on Thursday morning to launch the “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign ahead of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May.  Authorities...
ISOLATED INCIDENT: UT police say drive-by shooting didn’t involve students or staff

ISOLATED INCIDENT: UT police say drive-by shooting didn’t involve students or staff

University of Texas and Austin police are on the hunt for a gunman following reports of a drive-by shooting near campus Thursday morning. The scene unfolded at an off-campus construction site near the intersection of Dean Keeton and San Jacinto streets just after 10 a.m., when a man in a white sedan shot at an unidentified person he apparently knew, university police told staff and...

Community news: MS 150 Bike Ride this weekend

TRAVIS COUNTY DOWNTOWN AUSTIN MS 150 Bike Ride this weekend More than 12,000 bicyclists are expected to raise $16 million to help fund multiple sclerosis research and programs at this weekend’s 33rd annual BP MS 150 Bike Ride from Houston to Austin. Riders are expected to arrive at the finish line in downtown Austin beginning around 11 a.m. Sunday. The MS 150 is the largest fundraising event...
Austin attorney accused of murder plot will plead to drug charges

Austin attorney accused of murder plot will plead to drug charges

An Austin attorney who is charged with hiring a hit man to kill someone is expected to plead guilty to felony drug charges related to his 2015 arrest. James Walker, 64, has a scheduled appearance in Travis County State district court on May 11 for a plea setting, court records show. Assistant District Attorney Mark Pryor told the American-Statesman that he expects Walker to plead guilty to delivery...
NEW NOW: Travis Co. Sheriff Sally Hernandez praises Democrats who fought 'sanctuary cities' bill

NEW NOW: Travis Co. Sheriff Sally Hernandez praises Democrats who fought 'sanctuary cities' bill

Hours after the Texas House gave preliminary approval to a ban on so-called sanctuary cities, Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez praised Democratic representatives for their efforts to quash the measure. “They truly listened to leaders in both law enforcement and communities of faith, as well as the people we are sworn to protect and serve,” Hernandez said in a statement. “They...
EMS: Pedestrian critically injured in Southeast Austin wreck

EMS: Pedestrian critically injured in Southeast Austin wreck

A Southeast Austin wreck left a pedestrian critically injured Thursday morning, authorities said. The wreck occurred at the intersection of East Stassney Lane and Chaparral Trail shortly before 6:30 a.m. Paramedics took the man, believed to be in his 40s, to South Austin Medical Center for treatment. 
STORMY SAT. NIGHT: Cold front to generate rain, possibly damaging winds, hail

STORMY SAT. NIGHT: Cold front to generate rain, possibly damaging winds, hail

4 p.m. update: A cold front sweeping through the state may produce strong to severe storms Saturday night in the Hill Country and along the Interstate 35 corridor, the National Weather Service says. Forecasters say other possible weather threats include damaging straight-line winds of 60 mph or stronger and hail between 1 and 2 inches in diameter. Although widespread heavy rainfall is not...
Austin police honor pedicab driver who helped catch sex assault suspect

Austin police honor pedicab driver who helped catch sex assault suspect

Austin police on Thursday are honoring a pedicab driver who they said played a crucial role in helping them catch a sexual assault suspect last year. Luis Palos was to be recognized at a 2 p.m. ceremony for his distinguished service. In the early morning hours of May 19, 2016, Palos was on his pedicab when he heard a loud wail near Fifth and and San Antonio streets, according to an arrest...
Herman: Texas Legislature mulls ‘experiential dinners’ bill, aka beer

Herman: Texas Legislature mulls ‘experiential dinners’ bill, aka beer

I realize that by being an obnoxious prohibitionist (is there any other kind?) I’m probably missing out on some things in life, such as the joy of swirling a wine glass while saying things like, “flaccid, yet horny.” (Thanks to the late, great Robin Williams for that one.) And, it turns out, all law-abiding Texans (is there any other kind?) also might be missing out on some alcohol-related...
'UNCONSTITUTIONAL': Raucous crowd protests 'sanctuary cities' bill at Texas Capitol 

'UNCONSTITUTIONAL': Raucous crowd protests 'sanctuary cities' bill at Texas Capitol 

Immigrant families as well as their friends and allies gathered at the Texas Capitol Wednesday evening, a crowd of several hundred dressed in black to protest a state bill that would ban so-called sanctuary cities. The Texas Senate has already approved the bill, and the House is taking up the bill today.  City Council Member Greg Casar, who is against the bill, spoke to protesters in the...
ON VIDEO: Austin school officer who scuffled with eighth-grader faces grand jury

ON VIDEO: Austin school officer who scuffled with eighth-grader faces grand jury

In the first case under a new system for handling possible police misconduct, Travis County prosecutors have begun presenting a case to grand jurors against a former Austin school district officer captured on video in a physical confrontation with a middle school student. Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore confirmed the case to the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV on Wednesday and said...
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center could become Texas’ official state botanical garden

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center could become Texas’ official state botanical garden

The next time you visit Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center you could be visiting Texas’ official state botanical garden.  Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, and Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin have filed bills proposing the garden be officially recognized as “the state botanical garden and arboretum.” According to the Daily Texan, the 279-acre garden is the...
Deputies: Boy dies after drunken driver strikes 5 children walking home from bus stop

Deputies: Boy dies after drunken driver strikes 5 children walking home from bus stop

A 13-year-boy died Friday after he and four other children were struck by a drunken driver while they walked home from a bus stop Thursday in Florida, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said. John Camfield, 48, of Davenport, was driving his Kia Rio on Allegheny Road near Athabasca Drive at about 5 p.m. Thursday when witnesses said he leaned forward and left the road, hitting five Dundee Ridge Middle...
Boy accused of selling marijuana gummy bears at middle school

Boy accused of selling marijuana gummy bears at middle school

Police in California arrested an eighth-grade student Wednesday on suspicion of selling marijuana-laced gummy bears to his classmates, according to multiple reports. The boy, who was not identified because of his age, is accused of selling the candy to his classmates at Bonita Vista Middle School in Chula Vista, KGTV reported. School district spokesman Manny Rubio told the San Diego Union-Tribune...
Ex-officers charged in traffic stop brutality case surrender

Ex-officers charged in traffic stop brutality case surrender

  Two former Gwinnett County, Georgia, police officers, who were fired after a traffic stop caught on camera that showed them kicking and hitting a man, have turned themselves in to police. Former Gwinnett County police Sgt. Mike Bongiovanni turned himself in on criminal charges just before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Former officer Robert McDonald turned himself in late Tuesday evening after his legal...
United Airlines offering incentives, lower fares

United Airlines offering incentives, lower fares

After suffering through several weeks of bad publicity, particularly after a video showed a police officer violently dragging a passenger off a plane, United Airlines has been working on initiatives to win back customers, the New York Times reported. >> Read more trending news  United will boost its financial incentives for passengers who are asked to leave planes when flights...
Dog recovering after eating nails wrapped in hot dogs

Dog recovering after eating nails wrapped in hot dogs

The owners of a 4-year-old Yorkshire terrier mix are trying to understand why someone left nails wrapped in hot dogs at their Wisconsin apartment complex. >> Read more trending news Tom Deakin and his girlfriend, Jennifer Ramos, are the owners of Clarice, the dog that is recovering after eating the hot dogs, WISC reported. The dog ate six nails wrapped in hot dogs, and Deakin believes they...
7 things to know now: Trump says job is tough; United passenger settles; Warren slams Obama

7 things to know now: Trump says job is tough; United passenger settles; Warren slams Obama

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today. 1. Not that easy: In an interview in advance of his 100th day in office, President Donald Trump said he imagined the job as president would be easier than it has turned out to be. In the interview with Reuters, Trump said he missed his life before he took office. "I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is...
Black woman stands vigil at Jefferson Davis statue in New Orleans

Black woman stands vigil at Jefferson Davis statue in New Orleans

Arlene Barnum said her race has nothing to do with her support of the Confederacy and the statues in New Orleans that preserve its memory. >> Read more trending news  “It’s about being on the right side of history,” said Barnum, a black woman from Oklahoma who grew up in Louisiana. Barnum was at Thursday night’s protest in front of the Jefferson Davis statue, one...
Comedian Bill Cosby reveals he is totally blind

Comedian Bill Cosby reveals he is totally blind

Comedian Bill Cosby said he is completely blind, USA Today reported. >> Read more trending news In his first interview in two years, Cosby told the National Newspaper Publishers Association news service that he woke up one morning two years ago and told his wife, Camille, “I can't see.” Cosby was later told by doctors that nothing could be done to restore his vision. That...
Beatles’ rare outtake from ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions released

Beatles’ rare outtake from ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions released

It was 50 years ago today … Well, almost. As the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album draws near, Capitol Records is sharing an unreleased outtake from the band’s recording sessions. >> Read more trending news The disc, ranked No. 1 in Rolling Stone’s survey of its top 500 albums of all time, was originally...
Florida elementary school janitor accused of sexting teen

Florida elementary school janitor accused of sexting teen

A Florida elementary school janitor has been suspended after allegedly exchanging explicit photos and texts with a 15-year-old boy, deputies said.  >> Read more trending news  Matthew Benedict, 29, of Lake County reportedly gave the teen a cellphone and sexted him, WESH reported.  Even though Benedict worked in the school district, detectives said, that’s not how they...
Love me tenders: Woman takes chicken engagement photos

Love me tenders: Woman takes chicken engagement photos

Picture it: Wings, a prayer and an engagement. Love me tender, she said. Or was that tenders? >> Read more trending news  Elyse Chelsea Clark said yes to a box of Popeyes fried chicken. “Finally engaged!!” the New Orleans woman announced as she posted a gallery of photos to Facebook on April 26, nola.com reported. “I never thought in a million years someone would...
Albino catfish snags pacifier at Virginia museum

Albino catfish snags pacifier at Virginia museum

It was the catch of the day for a fish at the Virginia Living Museum. >> Read more trending news  When a young guest dropped a pacifier in the museum’s Cypress Swamp exhibit earlier this week, an albino catfish caught it and began sucking on it, WTVR reported. Museum staff members were able to retrieve the pacifier and returned it to the family of the guest, but they managed...
Arkansas executes fourth inmate in 8 days

Arkansas executes fourth inmate in 8 days

Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days, as Kenneth Williams received a lethal injection Thursday night, KARK reported. Williams, 38, died at the Cummins Unit prison in Varner. He was convicted of killing a former deputy warden after he escaped from prison in 1999, The Associated Press reported. At the time of his escape, in a hog slop-filled tank in a garbage truck, Williams was...
Southwest Airlines to end overbooking policy

Southwest Airlines to end overbooking policy

The CEO of Southwest Airlines said Thursday that the company will end its practice of overbooking, USA Today reported. >> Read more trending news    Gary Kelly, discussing Southwest’s quarterly earnings on CNBC, said the airline has made the decision to “cease to overbook going forward, USA Today reported. “We’ve been taking steps over the last several...
Police: Florida man takes stolen forklift for a spin

Police: Florida man takes stolen forklift for a spin

A Florida man allegedly stole a forklift just because it’s better than walking, police said. >> Read more trending news    Bradley Barefoot, 43, was at a Best Buy in Daytona Beach when he used the fork lift to move “some large boxes to a neighboring parking lot,” The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.  After he determined the boxes had no value, he left...
Trump: ‘Major, major’ conflict with N. Korea possible

Trump: ‘Major, major’ conflict with N. Korea possible

President Donald Trump said “a major, major conflict” with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he is hoping for a peaceful solution to the problem, Reuters reported. >> Read more trending news “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters in an...
Florida police say woman offered sex for chicken nuggets

Florida police say woman offered sex for chicken nuggets

An accused Florida prostitute wasn’t a chicken when it came to asking for what she wanted in exchange for sex, according to police. >> Read more trending news  Alex DiReeno, 22, of Manatee County allegedly told an undercover officer that she would give him oral sex in return for $25 and some chicken nuggets, The Smoking Gun reported.  However, instead of getting a happy...
Israeli missile launch: What is the Patriot Missile Defense System?

Israeli missile launch: What is the Patriot Missile Defense System?

The Israeli military deployed its missile defense system Thursday to intercept a drone fired from Syria, officials said. According to The Associated Press, the incident came after Syria accused Israel of attacking a military installation near Damascus International Airport early Thursday. While Israel has several defense systems, military officials used the country’s aging Patriot Missile Defense...
Bill Paxton remembered at premiere of final film ‘The Circle’

Bill Paxton remembered at premiere of final film ‘The Circle’

The director of the new tech drama “The Circle,” starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, remembered actor Bill Paxton at the film’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday. Paxton, who played Watson’s father, had a small role in the movie, his last before his death at 61 after heart surgery in February.  Director James Ponsoldt called the...
11-year-old saves mom after man attacks her with knife

11-year-old saves mom after man attacks her with knife

An 11-year-old boy stopped a man who attacked his mother with a knife after the man burst into the family’s apartment Tuesday in New York, according to multiple reports. Police told WABC that Brian Febus, 22, knocked on the family’s apartment door around 5 p.m. Tuesday and asked to use the bathroom. Police said a woman answered the door and refused his request, and Febus kicked his way...
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo: ‘Sanctuary cities’ bill targets 'cooks & nannies,' not criminals

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo: ‘Sanctuary cities’ bill targets 'cooks & nannies,' not criminals

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo took to Twitter after Wednesday’s contentious Texas House debate on Senate Bill 4, to express his thoughts. The bill bans so-called sanctuary cities, which are cities that choose to not fully cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. After 16 hours of debate the House gave initial approval to the bill. Acevedo began by tweeting, “We became cops...
Hershey getting health conscious, cutting chocolate calories by 2022

Hershey getting health conscious, cutting chocolate calories by 2022

The Hershey Co. is promising to make major changes in the calorie count of some of its chocolate snacks. The company announced last week that it wants to cut the calories in 50 percent of its standard and king-size confectionary snacks by 2022, and include easier-to-read nutrition labels on the front of 100 percent of its standard and king-size packaging by the end of next year. Hershey CEO Michele...
Ohio man accused of trying to join ISIS in Syria

Ohio man accused of trying to join ISIS in Syria

An Ohio man is in federal custody, facing charges related to attempting to provide material support to terrorist group ISIS. FBI agents on the Joint Terrorism Task Force on Wednesday arrested Laith Waleed Alebbini, 26, at Cincinnati/Kentucky International Airport. Alebbini was on his way to Syria to join ISIS fighters, the FBI said. Authorities said in a news release that Alebbini is accused of attempting...
Smugglers caught with $380K worth of cocaine in pants, Customs officials say

Smugglers caught with $380K worth of cocaine in pants, Customs officials say

 Two men face smuggling charges after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said they found pounds of cocaine hidden under the men’s pants during an inspection in New York. Officers found the men last week while checking passengers arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport on a flight from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The passengers had a combined total of about 23 pounds...
101-year-old woman wins 100-meter dash at World Masters Games

101-year-old woman wins 100-meter dash at World Masters Games

She came. She ran. She conquered.  A 101-year-old woman from India won gold in the 100-meter dash at the World Masters Games in New Zealand. Man Kaur may have been the only athlete competing in her age division in the race, but she finished in 74 seconds. Not bad for someone who only started running at 96, according to Sports Illustrated. The World Masters Games are held every four years by the...
Johnny Depp, dressed as Jack Sparrow, surprises Disneyland visitors

Johnny Depp, dressed as Jack Sparrow, surprises Disneyland visitors

It really was a pirate’s life for Johnny Depp at Disneyland Wednesday night. Depp had a major surprise for riders on the Disneyland version of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” He blended in with the audio-animatronics on the ride, dressed in full Captain Jack Sparrow garb. He appeared in one of the village scenes, getting as close as the water would let him to the boats full of riders...
Man accused of chopping down utility pole

Man accused of chopping down utility pole

A Kentucky man is facing charges after deputies said he chopped down a utility pole near his Graves County home with plans to sell the pole’s transformer back to the power company, according to multiple reports. Authorities arrested Jared Hayes, 40, Tuesday on charges of first-degree criminal mischief and theft by unlawful taking, according to Graves County Jail records. His arrest came after...
Springtime surprise: Two fluffy owlets born in Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center planter

Springtime surprise: Two fluffy owlets born in Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center planter

With flora comes fauna. Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center took to Instagram last week to share some good spring news -- two fluffy owlets were born to a great horned owl who has made herself at home in one of the botanical garden’s entryway planters.  The owlets have already grown, and, according to the Wildflower Center’s Instagram, are expected to fledge within...
7 things to know now: Tax cuts proposed; NFL draft; Coulter canceled; Cosby, daughter speak out

7 things to know now: Tax cuts proposed; NFL draft; Coulter canceled; Cosby, daughter speak out

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today. 1. More money: United Airlines has raised the limit on payments to customers who agree to give up their seat on overbooked flights. The airline says it will pay up to $10,000 for the inconvenience. The airline announced the new limit, along with other changes in the way customers are compensated, after a video of a man being violently...
Jeff Goldblum reprising original role as brash mathematician in ‘Jurassic World 2’

Jeff Goldblum reprising original role as brash mathematician in ‘Jurassic World 2’

  A familiar face is returning for the latest installment in the “Jurassic Park” franchise. Actor Jeff Goldblum, played the brash mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm in 1993’s “Jurassic Park” and its sequel in 1997 “The Lost World,” and has now has signed on for “Jurassic World 2,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Goldblum, who also reprised...
Jarrell man accused of illegal dumping after charging disposal fees

Jarrell man accused of illegal dumping after charging disposal fees

The owner of an auto repair business in Jarrell is accused of dumping more than 200 pounds of used tired after charging his customers fees for tire disposal last year, according to an arrest affidavit. Larry Wiley, 65, of Jarrell, was charged with illegal dumping, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. The investigation began when someone told police they had seen Wiley and his...
Trump tax plan: What is the AMT, tax repatriation, the death tax?

Trump tax plan: What is the AMT, tax repatriation, the death tax?

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced a proposal to drastically cut taxes for corporations and simplify the tax filing system for individuals. Companies would see a business tax rate of 15 percent, down from 35 percent, and individuals would benefit from a doubling of the standard deduction and a simplified form to fill out on tax day each year. Reduce the seven tax brackets to three brackets...
Central Texas’ loneliest falcon might live on top of the UT Tower

Central Texas’ loneliest falcon might live on top of the UT Tower

Central Texas’ loneliest falcon might live in a wooden box on top of the UT Tower. And now we’ve taken her eggs. According to KUT, “the only peregrine falcon that lives year-round in Central Texas” lives atop the UT Tower, where she has twice laid a nest full of eggs, only to have them remain unfertilized. As the falcon is the only one of her kind to remain in the region...
Missing woman found in well hole in neighbor’s shed; man charged with kidnapping

Missing woman found in well hole in neighbor’s shed; man charged with kidnapping

Police arrested a man Wednesday morning after authorities found a missing woman trapped inside his shed. Jennifer Elliot was reported missing just after midnight Wednesday and was found around 4 a.m. after residents heard her cries coming from a shed on Central Avenue in Blanchester.  Police went to the 100 block of Central Avenue after a neighbor reported hearing screams coming from the property...
Freedom Caucus says it now backs GOP health care plan

Freedom Caucus says it now backs GOP health care plan

Members of the House Freedom Caucus announced Wednesday that It will now back a Republican health care plan since an amendment that allows states to opt out of some Affordable Care Act rules has been included. "While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs," the Freedom Caucus...
School district: No shooter at Washington state middle school, despite report

School district: No shooter at Washington state middle school, despite report

School district officials said authorities did not find a shooter at Hawkins Middle School in Mason County, Washington, on Wednesday afternoon, after deputies said they were responding to a report of an active shooter. Mason County sheriff’s deputies told KIRO7.com they received a report a shooter in the school’s cafeteria. Here’s what we know:
Madonna unhappy with biopic in works on life of Material Girl before fame

Madonna unhappy with biopic in works on life of Material Girl before fame

  Madonna has some strong words for the producers of a planned biopic on her younger years, before she hit the big time. “Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen,” she said in an Instagram post.  “Only I can tell my story.” Universal acquired the rights to a script, called “Blond Ambition,” about the Material Girl’s life in New York and her...
Brother shoots, kills 13-year-old sister while playing with gun, police say

Brother shoots, kills 13-year-old sister while playing with gun, police say

Police arrested a 17-year-old on Tuesday night after authorities said he shot and killed his 13-year-old sister in an apparently accidental shooting. Authorities responded to the family’s home in Florida City, Florida, around 6 p.m. after 17-year-old Martaevious Santiago called 911, Miami-Dade police said. Medics with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue found Santiago’s sister, 13-year-old Tedra King...
Murder charge dismissed in 1995 Round Rock hot tub case

Murder charge dismissed in 1995 Round Rock hot tub case

The Williamson County district attorney’s office has dismissed a murder charge against a man accused of killing his wife in 1995 in their hot tub in Round Rock. William Foster was indicted in 2015. Jana Duty, who was the Williamson County district attorney at the time, said Foster’s wife, 49-year-old Donna Foster, had suspicious injuries consistent with being held underwater in the hot...
‘Silence of the Lambs’ director Jonathan Demme dies at 73

‘Silence of the Lambs’ director Jonathan Demme dies at 73

Academy Award winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme, best known for directing “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” has died. He was 73. An unidentified source close to Demme’s family told IndieWire on Wednesday that Demme died of esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease.
Women, children injured after fleeing teens crash stolen SUV at St. Louis airport

Women, children injured after fleeing teens crash stolen SUV at St. Louis airport

Two women and a pair of children were injured Tuesday when the teenage driver of a stolen SUV collided with the car they were in as the SUV fled police near Terminal 2 at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. The car’s driver, a 30-year-old woman, suffered possible broken bones, according to police. She was in critical but stable condition Tuesday. A second woman, 28, suffered abrasions and...
Read Pope Francis’ TED talk; pontiff warns of danger of power, need for ‘tenderness’

Read Pope Francis’ TED talk; pontiff warns of danger of power, need for ‘tenderness’

Pope Francis gave a surprise TED talk on Wednesday, telling those listening that the future has a name, and it is “hope.” The pontiff went on to say that while Christians should be optimistic, they should not ignore those who are suffering. Here is the text of his TED talk: Pope Francis: “Good evening – or, good morning, I am not sure what time it is there. Regardless...
'Call of Duty’ reveal set for Wednesday

'Call of Duty’ reveal set for Wednesday

The next installment of the video game “Call of Duty” is set to be revealed on Wednesday. While there have been leaks about many of the new game's features, details from the game’s developers have been few. What is known today is that the latest version will return to its original setting, World War II. The “worldwide reveal” for the game is set for Wednesday at...
7 things to know now: Man kills daughter on Facebook Live; ‘Bachelor’ Chris Soules arrested; sanctuary cities

7 things to know now: Man kills daughter on Facebook Live; ‘Bachelor’ Chris Soules arrested; sanctuary cities

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today. What to know now: 1. Man kills daughter on Facebook Live: A man in Thailand murdered his infant daughter, broadcasting the crime on Facebook Live Tuesday. Wuttisan Wongtalay, 20, hanged his 11-month-old daughter before killing himself. His death was not broadcast on the social media site. His body was found by police next to his...
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