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Herman: New rules would restrict grave decorations at city cemeteries

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department on Thursday released long-awaited proposed new rules for the five city-owned cemeteries. Four years is long, right? Even in the cemetery biz. And Tonja Walls-Davis, the city cemetery manager, expects the proposed rules, including tight restrictions on grave decorations, will draw the same kind of objections voiced in 2013 when the city tried to force the...


Texas State president condemns white supremacist fliers on campus

Texas State University officials said white supremacist fliers had been posted on some of the buildings on campus and that university police were investigating the matter. University President Denise Trauth issued a statement Friday, condemning the fliers and telling students that “there is no place for hate at our university.” RELATED: Anti-Semitic posters removed from Texas State &ldquo...
Police seeking help solving death of 25-year-old man found in East Austin

Police seeking help solving death of 25-year-old man found in East Austin

Police are seeking the public’s help to solve the death of a 25-year-old man who was found in East Austin on Thursday morning. Magdaleno Benitez Flores, 25, was discovered by MasTec utility employees in the 5000 block of Alf Avenue, near the Austin Energy Kingsbury Station Solar Project just east of Springdale Road, Austin police said. Police found evidence of trauma to Benitez Flores&rsquo...
Average Austin property tax bill hits $7,600, up $517 from last year

Average Austin property tax bill hits $7,600, up $517 from last year

The owner of an average Austin home will pay $7,607 in property taxes this year, an increase of 21 percent, or about $1,342 more than five years ago. Over that time, the taxable value of the average home has risen from $262,434 to $343,604, according to the Travis County appraisal district. It is a property tax hike of $517 over last year for the owner of the average Austin home. It’s a common...
6 things to know to get through the airport on F1 weekend

6 things to know to get through the airport on F1 weekend

For a few years, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s biggest day annually for passenger traffic has been the day after the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix. If you’re one of the estimated 23,000 travelers flying out this weekend, here are six key travel tips from airport officials: 1. Change out your cash : International travelers can exchange currency at two...
Nonprofit finding new ways to bolster small farmers

Nonprofit finding new ways to bolster small farmers

This Wednesday, the Sustainable Food Center will shutter one of its three farmers’ markets due to declining customers and sales. The nonprofit operates farmers’ markets to offer local farmers an opportunity to sell directly to consumers and to offer consumers a chance to buy local foods. But the closure of the mid-week market at the Triangle in Central Austin doesn’t indicate Austin&rsquo...
Will opening of southbound toll lane soothe MoPac’s headache?

Will opening of southbound toll lane soothe MoPac’s headache?

Southbound MoPac, you go next. On Oct. 28, with Central Texas drivers and toll authority officials still puzzling over the eccentricities of variable tolls on northbound MoPac Boulevard after its Oct. 7 debut, all 11 miles of the southbound toll lane likewise will open for business. That side of the expressway, unlike northbound MoPac and its legendary late afternoon crunch, has congestion both morning...
Capital Metro’s plan for more frequent routes will leave some behind

Capital Metro’s plan for more frequent routes will leave some behind

Magic elixir or Kool-Aid? The Capital Metro board next month will decide whether to quaff a deep drink of a trendy transit beverage called frequency. The agency’s spaghetti bowl of 82 routes, with buses that tend to show up at stops 20 minutes apart at best and often far longer, would be rearranged into something more closely resembling a grid. Most importantly, 14 primary bus routes would...

Community news: Free flu shots offered in Bastrop, Bee Cave

TRAVIS COUNTY SOUTHWEST AUSTIN Health clinic opens Baylor Scott & White Health announced the opening of its Baylor Scott & White Clinic – Austin Southwest, at 9521 U.S. 290, Suite 105, which opened its doors this week to serve Oak Hill and Dripping Springs residents. The 4,200-square-foot clinic provides services including family medicine, on-site X-ray and laboratory services. The Austin Southwest...
Hiring surge, especially at schools, drops Austin unemployment rate

Hiring surge, especially at schools, drops Austin unemployment rate

Austin-area workers streamed back into the labor force and, for most of them, directly into jobs during September, pushing the metro-area unemployment rate back down below 3 percent, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The number of employed Central Texans surged almost four times faster than the typical gains for September, according to commission data...
Texas State president condemns white supremacist fliers found on campus 

Texas State president condemns white supremacist fliers found on campus 

Texas State University officials said white supremacist fliers had been posted on some of the buildings on campus and that university police were investigating the matter. University President Denise Trauth issued a statement Friday, condemning the fliers and telling students that “there is no place for hate at our university.” RELATED: Anti-Semitic posters removed from Texas State...
Deputies looking for man who exposed himself at Leander park

Deputies looking for man who exposed himself at Leander park

Williamson County sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man who exposed himself to a woman in a park in Leander on Wednesday. The woman was walking her dog in Leander Regional Park when the man ran or walked up to her and exposed himself and then touched himself, said Patricia Gutierrez, a sheriff’s spokeswoman. READ: Suspect arrested after hike and bike sexual assault reported in September...
School bus, motorcycle collide in East Austin; no injuries reported

School bus, motorcycle collide in East Austin; no injuries reported

An Austin school district bus and a motorcycle collided early Friday but no one was injured, Austin police said.  The collision took place on the 900 block of Springdale Road near Bolm Road shortly before 7:30 a.m. and was quickly cleared.  Austin ISD said no students were on the bus.
UPDATE: Thunderstorms firing up in eastern Bastrop County near Smithville 

UPDATE: Thunderstorms firing up in eastern Bastrop County near Smithville 

12:40 p.m. update: Doppler radar shows storms firing up in western Bastrop County near Smithville and parts of Texas southeast of the Austin metro area. The National Weather Service is reporting foggy and misty conditions at its weather station at Camp Mabry in Central Austin, with temperatures around 70 degrees and calm winds. Conditions are similar at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, where...
Attorney General Sessions hails anti-sanctuary cities law in Texas

Attorney General Sessions hails anti-sanctuary cities law in Texas

2:25 p.m. update: Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez said she disagrees with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who praised Texas’ anti-sanctuary city law in a speech in Austin Friday. “I could not disagree more strongly. [Senate Bill 4] does not make our communities safer and Attorney General Sessions does not know our community,” Hernandez said in a statement. “However, at...
Judge ‘disgusted’ by doctor, but will allow his testimony in murder case

Judge ‘disgusted’ by doctor, but will allow his testimony in murder case

12:15 p.m. Travis County medical examiner Dr. Sam Andrews will be allowed to testify before the jury in Bryan Canchola’s but with several conditions, a judge ruled Friday. State district Judge David Wahlberg said he’s “disgusted” by Andrews’ lack of diligence in performing an autopsy on victim Stephen Sylvester, but believes the appropriate remedy is to let the defense&rsquo...
Hutto Economic Development Corporation under criminal investigation

Hutto Economic Development Corporation under criminal investigation

The Hutto city manager announced Thursday night at a City Council meeting that the former Hutto Economic Development Corporation is under criminal investigation. It was immediately unclear what the subject of the investigation is, but the revelation came several minutes after Mayor Pro Tem Tom Hines had said that the EDC — against the wishes of the City Council and the city manager — had...
AUSTIN POLICE CONTRACT: Deadline passing as civic groups wade in

AUSTIN POLICE CONTRACT: Deadline passing as civic groups wade in

11 p.m. update: Sparks flew Thursday night at a meeting of the Travis County Democratic Party as they debated a resolution urging the city of Austin to reject any new Austin police contract that didn’t reform certain practices. While the majority of those in the room seemed to support the resolution, it ultimately didn’t pass when, after counting the ayes and the nays on a vote to proceed...
‘Horns up’ in the Children’s Hospital

‘Horns up’ in the Children’s Hospital

University of Texas football players Tim Yoder, Michael Wilson and Kendall Moore get their “horns up” with future Longhorn Dylan Martinez at St. David’s Children’s Hospital. The football players visited sick children and their families to lift their spirits.

DPS: Driver, 18, dies in crash after police chase near Granite Shoals

BURNET COUNTY Police chase ends with fatal crash A police chase ended with the death of an 18-year-old driver near Granite Shoals early Thursday, authorities said. According to a Texas Department of Public Safety statement, a preliminary investigation found that Cruz Grimaldo Suarez was fleeing from police around 3:30 a.m. in Burnet County. He was traveling south on Prairie Creek Road in a Chevy pickup...
Austin man accused of killing girlfriend disappears ahead of trial

Austin man accused of killing girlfriend disappears ahead of trial

A Travis County murder defendant who is set to go to trial next week has disappeared after he failed to report to a pretrial hearing on Thursday. Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Kevin Michael Waguespack, who was out of jail on $250,000 bond. He is accused of killing his girlfriend Catherine Dyer, 31, in November 2015 in the home they shared in North Austin. “I just think that with...
County Road 458 closed following fatal wreck near Coupland

County Road 458 closed following fatal wreck near Coupland

A person died Thursday in a one-car wreck near Coupland, according to the Williamson County sheriff’s office. The wreck happened in the 2000 block of County Road 458 near the intersection with County Road 459, the sheriff’s office said. Authorities received a call about the crash at 1:53 p.m., said Patricia Gutierrez, a sheriff’s spokeswoman. The road has been shut down while the...
JUST IN: Killeen teacher put duct tape over 5th graders’ mouths, school officials say 

JUST IN: Killeen teacher put duct tape over 5th graders’ mouths, school officials say 

A substitute teacher at Maxdale Elementary School in Killeen was removed from campus on Thursday after putting duct tape over the mouths of ten fifth-graders for several minutes. Killeen Independent School district spokesman Terry Abbott said in a statement on Thursday afternoon that three other students also put duct tape over their own mouths as a result of the teacher’s actions. “As...
Travis County murder defendant flees ahead of next week’s trial

Travis County murder defendant flees ahead of next week’s trial

A Travis County murder defendant who is set to go to trial next week has gone missing after he failed to report to a pretrial hearing on Thursday. Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Kevin Michael Waguespack, who was out of jail on $250,000 bond. He is accused of killing his girlfriend Catherine Dyer, 31, in November 2015 in the home they shared in North Austin. “I just think that...
Later live music hours to continue on Red River, at least until April

Later live music hours to continue on Red River, at least until April

Austin will take another six months to test later nighttime music hours on Red River Street, after disparate interests agreed the program was going swimmingly. Even Mary Ingle, president of the Austin Neighborhoods Council, who in January argued passionately that Red River music ruined her quality of life and brought Lady Gaga to her living room, said Thursday that she supported extending the program...
Richard Overton, nation’s oldest vet, receives home makeover

Richard Overton, nation’s oldest vet, receives home makeover

From the beige recliner in his living room, Richard Overton, America’s oldest World War II veteran, said it felt good to have the home he’s lived in for nearly 70 years renovated with much-needed repairs. The Meals on Wheels Central Texas’ home repair program, which is a partnership with the Home Depot Foundation, provided updates this summer to Overton’s home that will allow...
A&M System to compete for Los Alamos contract against UT System

A&M System to compete for Los Alamos contract against UT System

Texas A&M University System regents voted unanimously Thursday to authorize the system to compete for a contract to run Los Alamos National Laboratory, centerpiece of the nation’s nuclear weapons complex and part of the portfolio overseen by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, a graduate of A&M. The action by the A&M System Board of Regents, meeting at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, about...
Gulf moisture, approaching cold front could make for soggy weekend

Gulf moisture, approaching cold front could make for soggy weekend

Get the umbrellas and ponchos ready for the bleachers, football and Formula One fans: This weekend promises to be a slick and soggy one. First, southeasterly winds will bring humidity from the Gulf of Mexico and increase rain chances to 40 percent on Friday and 30 percent on Saturday, the National Weather Service said Thursday. Then, a cold front arriving Saturday night from the north is expected...
Herman: Caution, free speech might offend you

Herman: Caution, free speech might offend you

It seems that some of our elected officials du jour (see Trump, Donald J., and Abbott, Gregory W.) sometimes have a problem with the whole free speech thing. So it’s comforting that one of our local appointed officials doesn’t. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, himself sometimes accused of courtroom free speechifying in ways that challenge some people’s sensibilities, did himself proud...
Longtime Rollingwood police chief resigns

Longtime Rollingwood police chief resigns

Longtime Rollingwood Police Department Chief Dayne Pryor on Wednesday night announced his retirement from law enforcement. Pryor said in a phone interview Thursday that he had been planning to retire soon and simply came to the conclusion that the timing was right. “It has been a part of my plan for about two years when I realized that at this age that I’m going to get out (of police work)...
18-year-old driver dies in crash after police chase near Granite Shoals, DPS says

18-year-old driver dies in crash after police chase near Granite Shoals, DPS says

A police chase ended with the death of an 18-year-old driver near Granite Shoals early Thursday, authorities said. According to a Texas Department of Public Safety statement, a preliminary investigation found that Cruz Grimaldo Suarez was fleeing from police around 3:30 a.m. in Burnet County. He was traveling south on Prairie Creek Road in a Chevy pickup when he swerved to the left, spun and...
Woman accused of hitting Leander man she just met in bar with her car

Woman accused of hitting Leander man she just met in bar with her car

A woman is accused of hitting a man with her car outside his Leander home after meeting him hours earlier at a bar in Cedar Park, according to an arrest affidavit released this week. Tigre Reana White, 35, of Cedar Park was charged Sept. 14 with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. She was arrested this week. Police were notified at 3:25 a.m. Aug. 12 about...
Threat rumors against Hutto High School not substantiated by police

Threat rumors against Hutto High School not substantiated by police

Police have not substantiated rumors on social media regarding threats against Hutto High School, according to a statement from the Hutto school district. Hutto High School was notified Thursday morning about the rumors, said the statement sent to parents and posted on the district’s Facebook page. It said Hutto ISD and city police are continuing to investigate. The statement did not provide...

Community news: Team to paddle length of Lake Travis

TRAVIS COUNTY LAKE TRAVIS Team to paddle length of lake Twelve paddle boarders will be the first paddle board team to attempt to paddle the distance of Lake Travis, 60 miles, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Friday, making a statement that post traumatic stress in first responders is real and needs agency and community support. The team will paddle for Foundation 1023 to raise awareness and support for positive...
Killeen police find man accused of sexually assaulting 7-year-old

Killeen police find man accused of sexually assaulting 7-year-old

Friday update: Authorities say Antoine Latrell Williams, who is accused of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old, is now being held at the Bell County Jail in Belton. “The Killeen Police Department would like to express its appreciation for the support of the community whose cooperation has assisted us in this investigation,” Killeen police Cmdr. Erich Morsbach said in a statement Friday...
AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL: Here’s what we’re watching today

AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL: Here’s what we’re watching today

The Austin City Council is back today with a busy agenda. The council could move forward on an anti-lobbying ordinance update that has been months in the making that revises the city’s rules on contractor interactions with the city. The rules have revolved around waste contracts; the updated ordinance would shorten the period in which bidders aren’t allowed to contact city officials, allow...
AUSTIN POLICE CONTRACT: Some Travis Democrats question its necessity

AUSTIN POLICE CONTRACT: Some Travis Democrats question its necessity

11 p.m. update: Sparks flew Thursday night at a meeting of the Travis County Democratic Party as they debated a resolution urging the city of Austin to reject any new Austin police contract that didn’t reform certain practices. While the majority of those in the room seemed to support the resolution, it ultimately didn’t pass when, after counting the ayes and the nays on a vote to proceed...
Richard Overton, nation’s oldest WWII vet, shows off home renovations

Richard Overton, nation’s oldest WWII vet, shows off home renovations

The decades-worn carpet filled with allergens is gone. Central air and updated ceiling fans have replaced window units. The old bathtub and toilet have been replaced with a roll-in shower and accessible toilet. “I love it!,” said Richard Overton, the nation’s oldest World War II veteran at age 111. The makeover of Overton’s East Austin home took place this summer, but a battle...
School bus collides with vehicle in Northwest Austin; no injuries reported

School bus collides with vehicle in Northwest Austin; no injuries reported

A Round Rock ISD school bus collided with another vehicle in Northwest Austin early Thursday, but none on board was injured, authorities said.  The wreck took place shortly after 7:30 a.m. along the 11800 block of Jollyville Road, near the intersection with Pavilion Boulevard and was quickly cleared.
FORECAST: Gulf humidity to return, bringing chance for evening showers

FORECAST: Gulf humidity to return, bringing chance for evening showers

Thursday forecast for Austin: After a cool start, heat and humidity will return to Austin on Thursday, bringing a small chance for late showers and storms through Saturday, fueled by moist air flowing from the Gulf of Mexico.  However, the weather pattern promises to be short-lived when a cold front is expected to arrive Saturday night, bringing storms to Austin as Formula 1 racers prepare...
What are you most curious about: Drug cartels, traffic lights or weirdos?

What are you most curious about: Drug cartels, traffic lights or weirdos?

It’s time to vote! We’ve sifted through hundreds of reader questions submitted to our Austin Answered project to pick the finalists for this voting round, and now we want to know which question you’d like for one of our reporters to answer. What are you most curious about? Got your own question? Hit us up at statesman.com/austinanswered. GET UP TO SPEED: Check out other Austin...
Sugar can fuel cancerous cells, study says

Sugar can fuel cancerous cells, study says

Different types of foods have been linked to cancer, including saturated fats and processed meats. Now, scientists say sugar can fuel the disease, too.  Researchers from universities in Belgium recently conducted a nine-year experiment, published in Nature Communications, that revealed how sugar stimulates the growth of tumors.  They explained that healthy cells receive energy...
Police: 2 arrested after leaving baby in car to commit burglary

Police: 2 arrested after leaving baby in car to commit burglary

Authorities arrested a man and a woman on charges of burglary and child endangering after they were accused of leaving a 1-year-old child in a vehicle while they robbed a woman. Butler County sheriff’s deputies were called to a home in the 600 block of Granada Avenue in Lemon Twp. at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday on a report of a burglary. The woman at the home told deputies that an unknown man came...
Why are more black women dying of breast cancer compared to white women?

Why are more black women dying of breast cancer compared to white women?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women under 60 years old are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women in the same age group. In fact, data from 2015 showed black women had a 39 percent higher breast cancer death rate. New research from Emory University, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute points...
4 soldiers killed in ambush: Where is Niger and what are U.S. troops doing there?

4 soldiers killed in ambush: Where is Niger and what are U.S. troops doing there?

Questions remain in the aftermath of an ambush attack on a group including U.S. Army soldiers in Niger that left four American service members dead on Oct. 4. Defense Department officials said Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29 and Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, were killed in an attack during an advise-and-assist mission in southwestern Niger. The...
4 Michigan city council members take knee during Pledge of Allegiance

4 Michigan city council members take knee during Pledge of Allegiance

Four members of the 11-member city council in Ann Arbor, Michigan, took a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance before Monday night’s meeting, MLive reported. Sumi Kailasapathy, a third-term council member, took a page out of NFL players’ playbooks and decided to make a statement protesting social injustice. Kailasapathy asked several City Council members to join her in the protest...
Taylor Swift is ‘Gorgeous’ as new song is released online

Taylor Swift is ‘Gorgeous’ as new song is released online

Taylor Swift is lighting up the web again with the third song from her upcoming “Reputation” album. >> Read more trending news Swift dropped the song “Gorgeous” Friday morning, Billboard reported. She teased the release Thursday on Instagram. A lyric video was released at midnight on YouTube of “Gorgeous” and it quickly shot up to number one on iTunes. Fans...
Cub Scout kicked out of den for questioning lawmaker about gun control, comments about black people

Cub Scout kicked out of den for questioning lawmaker about gun control, comments about black people

A Cub Scout in Colorado was kicked out of his den, allegedly for asking pointed questions to a state senator during a meeting organized by the Boy Scouts, The Denver Post reported. On Oct., 9, Ames Mayfield, 11, a fifth-grader and a Scout for five years, asked Colorado Sen. Vicki Marble questions about gun control and about comments she made about the mortality rates among black people at a 2013...
Nickelodeon fires ‘The Loud House’ creator over sexual harassment allegations

Nickelodeon fires ‘The Loud House’ creator over sexual harassment allegations

Nickelodeon fired the creator of its animated show “The Loud House” after he was accused of sexual harassment, CNN reported. Chris Savino was suspended earlier this week after several women came forward with allegations against the animator, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “Chris Savino is no longer working with Nickelodeon,” a network spokesman said in a statement...
Report: Tech companies to lobby for ‘Dreamers’ to stay in US

Report: Tech companies to lobby for ‘Dreamers’ to stay in US

Nearly two dozen companies in technology -- including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other industries -- are planning to launch a coalition to demand legislation that would allow young, undocumented immigrants a path to permanent residency, Reuters reported. Citing documents, Reuters reported that the Coalition for the American Dream intends to ask Congress to pass bipartisan legislation...
Florida teacher accused of molesting 13-year-old girl

Florida teacher accused of molesting 13-year-old girl

A Florida teacher and another man have been arrested after being accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl in a school classroom, Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies said.  Teacher and soccer coach, Sonny Juarez, 29, faces charges of lewd and lascivious molestation, which occurred between November 2016 until March 2017, WFLA reported.  Juarez, who taught at RCMA Academy in Wimauma...
Vegas homeowners remove shooting-themed Halloween display

Vegas homeowners remove shooting-themed Halloween display

The owners of a Las Vegas home have removed a Halloween display featuring the gravestones of the recent mass shooting victims after neighbors and social media users found it distasteful. The front yard display included a faux cemetery with 58 headstones reading “RIP” for each person who lost their life in the tragedy. Each gravestone was decorated with a tiny American flag, and a...
3-month-old girl among 84 rescued in sex trafficking sting

3-month-old girl among 84 rescued in sex trafficking sting

A 3-month-old girl and her 5-year-old sister were rescued in Denver by undercover agents during this month’s FBI-led sting operation against sex traffickers, CNN reported. In announcing details of Operation Cross Country XI, FBI officials said 82 other juveniles were rescued during a nationwide sweep last week. The FBI said 120 people were arrested. In the case of the two sisters...
Ohio woman gets DirecTV bill totaling more than $184,000

Ohio woman gets DirecTV bill totaling more than $184,000

An Ohio woman received a severe case of sticker shock when she opened her satellite television bill Monday. The balance due on Angela Mixon-Smith’s DirecTV bill totaled more than $184,000, WJW reported. “I mean, my chest got heavy,” she told WJW. “I had to get some water. I don't drink. I was ready to drink." The retired postal worker said her bill for DirecTV service...
Playboy features first transgender Playmate

Playboy features first transgender Playmate

Ines Rau became the first transgender Playmate, as the French model is in a pictorial and centerfold for the magazine’s November/December issue, the magazine announced. Rau previously appeared in the magazine’s May 2014 A-Z issue. “It’s how I celebrated my coming out, actually,” Rau told the magazine. “I took that chance, and then I signed with an agency...
White nationalist Richard Spencer jeered by University of Florida crowd

White nationalist Richard Spencer jeered by University of Florida crowd

White nationalist Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida was cut short Thursday by chants, jeering and shouting, Gainesville.com reported. Spencer spoke at an afternoon event at the university’s Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, but cut his scheduled two-hour appearance shortened by 25 minutes after having to yell over a heckling crowd, Gainesville...
Utah man uses sandwich board to find kidney donor for his wife

Utah man uses sandwich board to find kidney donor for his wife

A 74-year-old Utah man whose wife needs a kidney transplant is spreading his message by wearing a sandwich board, KSTU reported. Earlier this week, Wayne Winters began walking busy streets in Farr West, Utah, wearing a sign that reads “Need Kidney 4 Wife,” along with his telephone number. Winters’ wife, Deanne Winters, has stage 5 kidney failure. “I don’t walk real...
Volunteer co-leader of Girl Scouts troop arrested on child porn charges

Volunteer co-leader of Girl Scouts troop arrested on child porn charges

A Maryland man who was a co-leader of a Girl Scouts troop was arrested and charged with the possession of child pornography, The Evening Sun reported. Stacy Mizrahi, 45, of Ellicott City, faces four counts of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography, according to a Maryland State Police report. Maryland State Police began investigating in August...
Fugitive turns himself in, with doughnuts, after issuing challenge to police

Fugitive turns himself in, with doughnuts, after issuing challenge to police

A man made good on his promise to turn himself in to police in Michigan this week with a box of doughnuts in-hand after he challenged officers to get a Facebook post shared 1,000 times after taunting the department on social media. “You guys suck!” wrote 21-year-old Michael Zaydel, who goes by the name “Champagne Torino” on Facebook, in response to an Oct. 6 post from the Redford...
Don’t touch! Experts warn against venomous caterpillar popping up in Central Texas yards

Don’t touch! Experts warn against venomous caterpillar popping up in Central Texas yards

Watch out, Texans. Nature’s got another one up its sleeve.  You may be tempted (really, really tempted) to touch, pick up, pet or poke the state’s native “asp caterpillar.” But if you do, experts with the Austin Zoo warn, you will most definitely regret it.  National Geographic identifies the fuzzy family of caterpillars that morph into flannel moths (the one...
Texas high school cheer sign goes viral 

Texas high school cheer sign goes viral 

You know when you love your school so much, you claim to bleed its colors? That’s less impressive if your school’s color is already red... The Bridge City High School cheer squad drew national attention after encountering this exact dilemma. A sign promoting the squad’s spirit went viral after comedian Daniel Tosh shared it to the “Tosh.0” Facebook page.  One...
Canada heartbroken: Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie dead at 53 of brain cancer 

Canada heartbroken: Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie dead at 53 of brain cancer 

The lead singer of the Canadian alt-rock band the Tragically Hip, Gord Downie, died Wednesday night after a battle with terminal brain cancer. Downie, 53, passed away surrounded by his children and family, according to a family statement on Twitter. "Gord knew this day was coming – his response was to spend this precious time as he always had – making music, making memories and expressing...
Houston school district apologizes for altering homecoming queen's photo

Houston school district apologizes for altering homecoming queen's photo

When Ebony Smith was awarded the homecoming queen honors last week at a Houston-area school, she posed for the photo in a purple-jeweled crown nestled on her purple-dyed hair. The brightly colored hair is a dress code violation at North Shore Senior High School in Galena Park, just east of Houston, but how the school handled it caught everyone off guard. When the photo of Smith, alongside Homecoming...
Avoid the pain, get the gains: 5 most common exercise-related injuries

Avoid the pain, get the gains: 5 most common exercise-related injuries

For those that take their workouts seriously, be sure to add one more fitness goal to the list: avoiding exercise injuries.  Not only does getting hurt in the gym or on the trail cut back on how much time you spend getting fit,  it's also painful and treatment can be costly. Personal trainer Justin Price, M.A. told Men's Fitness that there are two main reasons for workout-related...
Austin mayor kicks off citywide Día de los Muertos celebration

Austin mayor kicks off citywide Día de los Muertos celebration

Mayor Steve Adler on Wednesday announced plans for a citywide Día de los Muertos celebration aimed at boosting the visibility of the city’s diverse arts as well as preserving Austin’s Hispanic heritage. Austin Día de los Muertos from Saturday through Nov. 4 will highlight existing annual events along with new ones under one marketing campaign. Adler will serve as honorary...
City of Austin declares Oct. 20 ‘Tom Petty Day’

City of Austin declares Oct. 20 ‘Tom Petty Day’

The City of Austin, by way of a proclamation by Mayor Steve Adler, has named Oct. 20 “Tom Petty Day,” KVUE reports.  The day, this Friday, would have marked the singer’s 67th birthday.  Below is the text of the proclamation issued by Adler: Petty died earlier this month after suffering a cardiac arrest. The city was encouraged to designate the...
Father of man accused of killing 6-year-old calls son 'gentle giant'

Father of man accused of killing 6-year-old calls son 'gentle giant'

The father of the 19-year-old man who is accused of killing 6-year-old Dayvid Pakko and leaving his body in a dumpster in Lynnwood, Washington, spoke from Texas on Tuesday. Randy Henckel said he is grieving the death of his grandson, Dayvid, and trying to make sense of the arrest of his son, Andrew Henckel, in connection with it. Andrew Henckel, who was visiting from Texas, is Dayvid's uncle. Randy...
Judge denies Jerry Sandusky's request for new sex abuse trial

Judge denies Jerry Sandusky's request for new sex abuse trial

A Pennsylvania judge has denied former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s request for a new trial. Judge John Foradora issued the order and an opinion on Sandusky's Post Conviction Relief Act appeal Wednesday afternoon. Sandusky argued that he did not receive adequate representation by his lawyers during the trial and that prosecutors failed to turn over information about victims'...
Spicewood family recovers from Vegas shooting

Spicewood family recovers from Vegas shooting

It took about two weeks after the shooting in Las Vegas for Spicewood resident Kim Daoust to finally have a good day. After everything she saw, after feeling her husband Chad Daoust get shot as he lay on her on the concert grounds, after losing track of him and then frantically searching for almost three hours before hospital officials called her son, the memories have woken her up some nights. Chad...
Students view augmented reality

Students view augmented reality

Fifth-grader Hana Daboub, third from right, and fellow St. Gabriel’s Catholic School students use special cameras to view placed 3D objects through Google’s Expeditions Augmented Reality program. Students can walk all around the objects, get in close to spot details and step back to see the full picture.
$5,000 reward after burglars steal nearly 30 firearms from Williamson County gun shop

$5,000 reward after burglars steal nearly 30 firearms from Williamson County gun shop

5 p.m. update: A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of burglars who twice struck a Williamson County gun shop, authorities said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms industry, announced the reward on Wednesday. Authorities say two men broke into Blackland Gun...
Austin leads way, but Texas tumbles in vegetarian-friendly rankings

Austin leads way, but Texas tumbles in vegetarian-friendly rankings

When WalletHub released its list of “2017’s Best Cities for Vegans & Vegetarians” it was probably too much to hope that a Texas city would make the Top 10. Beef … it’s what’s for breakfast lunch and dinner in a state that elevates barbecue to a minor religion. But two Texas cities made the top 20, with Austin (predictably) leading the way at No. 13 and Houston...
Chicago fires two security officers involved in United dragging incident; another quits

Chicago fires two security officers involved in United dragging incident; another quits

The Chicago Department of Aviation fired two security officers involved in dragging a 69-year-old passenger off a United Airlines flight for refusing to give up his seat, the city’s inspector general said Tuesday. The passenger, David Dao, suffered a concussion, broken nose and the loss of two teeth in the April incident at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, as...
Plaintiff says Central Health needs to focus on ‘us poor people’

Plaintiff says Central Health needs to focus on ‘us poor people’

After five years of arguing that the Travis County health district’s voter-approved contributions of taxpayer money to the University of Texas’ Dell Medical School are unlawful, activists have finally put the issue into the hands of a Travis County state judge. Travis County voters agreed in 2012 to raise Central Health’s property taxes to contribute $35 million a year to create...
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