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Texas News Briefs 08.27.15

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Texas News Briefs 

 Off-duty Dallas policeman helps catch alleged fake officer 

DALLAS (AP) — Police have nabbed a driver accused of flashing law enforcement-style red and blue lights behind a vehicle being driven by an off-duty Dallas officer.

Charles Troutman was charged Wednesday with impersonating a public servant and possession of marijuana.

Dallas County online jail records do not list the 22-year-old suspect as still in custody Thursday or information on an attorney or bond for him.

An off-duty Dallas officer was traveling in his personal vehicle on Interstate 30 before dawn Wednesday when a vehicle behind him flashed police-type lights. The officer became suspicious, pulled over and called 911.

The suspect's unmarked Chevrolet pickup truck drove by but was stopped by Mesquite police and Troutman was arrested.

Dallas police are seeking other drivers allegedly pulled over by Troutman.

 

Texas inmate wrongly released 2 years early back in custody 

LONDON, Texas (AP) — An inmate mistakenly released from the Jim Wells County jail two years early has been caught about 250 miles away at a Central Texas home.

Authorities say Jonathan Miser of Orange Grove was captured Wednesday at residence near London, about 125 miles northwest of Austin.

Miser was wrongly released from the jail in Alice on July 20 due to a paperwork error. He was sentenced in early June to about five weeks in custody for evading arrest, possession of a controlled substance and escape.

The erroneous release was discovered Aug. 3. Authorities say a corrections officer failed to submit paperwork that would have retained Miser for Aransas County, where he must serve two years in an unrelated case.

Two Jim Wells County jailers resigned following the mix-up.

 

Former IRS worker in Texas sentenced for fraud, ID theft 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A former IRS employee in Texas has been sentenced to two years and a day in prison for stealing personal data to file more than 50 bogus tax returns.

Kenneth Goheen of Austin was sentenced Wednesday and ordered to repay nearly $120,000 that he illegally received.

The 57-year-old Goheen in June pleaded guilty in Austin to wire fraud and to aggravated identity theft.

Goheen was a tax examining technician with the IRS before the scam was discovered. Prosecutors say he stole identification information from individual tax ID number applicants.

Goheen used the information to file dozens of fraudulent tax returns between March 2013 and January 2015 to wrongly get tax refunds.

 

Kentucky trucker gets prison in Texas prostitution case 

WACO, Texas (AP) — A trucker from Kentucky must serve more than four years in federal prison for trying to transport prostitutes he planned to pick up in Texas.

Anthony Wayne Farrior of Paducah, Kentucky, was sentenced Wednesday in Waco. The 28-year-old trucker in July pleaded guilty to violating the Mann Act, which deals with prostitution and human trafficking.

Prosecutors say Farrior in February, with help from a cellphone, answered an Internet advertisement and stopped at a truck stop in Waco, seeking to have sex with women. The ad was placed by an undercover officer.

Authorities say Farrior agreed to transport women to work as prostitutes at truck stops around the country, in exchange for part of the cash earned.

Farrior was arrested March 6 in Waco.

 

Community pool site near Houston trashed during party 

RICHMOND, Texas (AP) — Investigators are trying to determine who vandalized a community pool near Houston during a party where some revelers arrived by stretch limousine.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday released security video in the burglary investigation in the Richmond area.

About 15 to 20 teens and young adults are seen wearing bathing suits and arriving at the pool in the Parkway Lakes Subdivision. Several vehicles, including a limo, pull up to the site.

Officials are trying to determine who was able to retrieve a key and an entry code to the pool complex. Authorities believe some partygoers splashed paint on the walls and floors of a building.

Deputies on Aug. 1 discovered the vandalism. A similar trashing occurred a week later.

Richmond is 20 miles southwest of Houston.

 

Greatbatch buying Lake Region Medical in $1.73B deal 

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Medical components maker Greatbatch is buying Lake Region Medical in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $1.73 billion.

The companies say the transaction will create one of the biggest medical device component suppliers in the world. It will serve the cardiac, neuromodulation, vascular, orthopaedics and advanced surgical markets. The business will have operations in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Greatbatch Inc. will pay about $478 million in cash, assume approximately $1 billion of Lake Region Medical Inc.'s debt and issue 5.1 million shares of common stock and options to Lake Region Medical's shareholders.

Greatbatch stockholders are expected to own about 83.4 percent of the combined company, with Lake Region Medical stockholders owning about 16.6 percent.

The combined company will have approximately $1.5 billion in revenue and more than 9,000 employees worldwide.

Both companies' boards unanimously approved the transaction, which is targeted to close in the fourth quarter.

 

Texas News Briefs 08.25.15

6 hurt in Houston apartments fire, cause sought

HOUSTON (AP) — Officials say six people have been hurt in a fire at a Houston apartment complex.

The Houston Fire Department says the blaze broke out before dawn Tuesday at a complex in the northwest part of the city.

Three people were treated at the scene. Three others were transported to a hospital, as a precaution, for treatment of smoke inhalation.

Authorities say a security guard helped rescue one man by kicking in the door of the first-floor unit to pull the victim to safety.

Investigators are trying to determine what started the blaze that damaged several apartments. The fire was extinguished in about a half-hour.

 

Lubbock assistant chief promoted to new police chief 

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A longtime West Texas law enforcement officer has been chosen to lead the Lubbock Police Department.

Assistant Chief Greg Stevens was promoted Monday after the Lubbock City Council approved the hiring.

Stevens, who's been with the department for 22 years and an assistant chief since 2014, takes over for interim Chief Jerry Brewer.

Chief Roger Ellis retired July 1 after being demoted to captain amid a government investigation into department hiring practices. A federal review determined Lubbock police discriminated against women and Hispanics in hiring probationary officers.

Brewer last week suspended another assistant chief and reprimanded two commanders over handling of the investigation into the 2012 killing of a 15-year-old boy. The victim was Mark Ysasaga (ee-suh-SAH'-guh).

Jose Simental of Brownfield remains in custody on a murder charge.

 

Lubbock police arrest man wielding 

baseball bat, knife

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Lubbock police fired beanbag rounds to disarm a man wielding a knife and a baseball bat and suspected of attacking a Wal-Mart worker.

Lubbock County jail records show 50-year-old Martin Hernandez was being held Tuesday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Bond was $250,000 for Hernandez, who was treated for an eye injury after being hit with the nonlethal rounds Saturday. A store worker earlier reported he was hit in the hand with a bat. Police didn't immediately release a motive.

Patrol car video shows a man swinging a bat and a knife while outside the store. Police several times order the man to drop the knife, then an officer fires several beanbag rounds.

Online jail records don't list an attorney to speak for Hernandez.

 

2nd Texas man gets prison for IRS

 identity fraud 

DALLAS (AP) — A North Texas man has been sentenced to nearly eight years in a U.S. prison for a tax returns scam involving forged United Kingdom passports.

Reminco Zhangazha was sentenced Monday in Dallas and ordered to repay more than $2.6 million. Zhangazha in June 2014 pleaded guilty to theft of public funds.

Another Texan, Tonderai Sakupwanya, pleaded guilty to the same count and in January was sentenced to 87 months and ordered to repay the U.S. government.

Investigators say the men filed fraudulent tax returns online. They set up private mailboxes, as their addresses, using names from fake United Kingdom passports.

Prosecutors say the aliases were also used to set up bank accounts where the tax refunds were electronically deposited.

 

7 disaster help 

centers from May storms to close in Texas 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Seven federal disaster recovery centers in five Texas counties will close this week after providing assistance since deadly May storms.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says the sites will operate through Thursday. That's also the last day for survivors of the May 4 to June 22 storms and flooding to register for FEMA assistance or Small Business Administration loans.

The FEMA locations are in Caldwell, Harris, Hays, Jim Wells and Nueces (nyoo-AY'-sis) counties.

Memorial Day weekend flooding in parts of Texas claimed more than two dozen lives. The bodies of two children, swept away by floodwaters in Wimberley, have yet to be recovered.

 

San Antonio 

convenience store owner gets prison for fraud

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A San Antonio convenience store owner must serve four years in federal prison and repay nearly $1.7 million for food stamp fraud.

Sunny Joseph of San Antonio was sentenced Monday. The 52-year-old owner of Picnic Food Mart in April pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

Prosecutors say the scam began in November 2009 and ran until March 2011. Joseph and his employees sold ineligible items, including tobacco and alcohol, to food stamp recipients.

Investigators say Joseph also allowed the swapping of government benefits for cash but charged an exchange fee of up to 42 cents per dollar.

 

Lake Dallas coach charged for improper conduct with student 

LAKE DALLAS, Texas (AP) — A 59-year-old teacher and coach in the Lake Dallas Independent School District is accused of having an improper relationship with a student.

According to Corinth police, Dugan Patrick Walker was arrested and charged Monday on a count of improper relationship between an educator and student. He has since posted $5,000 bond.

TEXAS NEWS BRIEFS 08.26.15

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Texas holds off on therapy cuts in 

Medicaid program 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas health officials are postponing a $350 million cut in Medicaid payments to therapists after being pushed to the brink of legal action in state court.

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Cong. Ratcliff says Obama administration is targeting Texas

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Taking advantage of the summer break in Washington, Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe travelled around his Fourth Congressional District sharing information and listening to residents in the district.

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All taxing entities would fund Luminant suit

All taxing entities in Titus County will pay a portion of the court tab if Luminant files a lawsuit against the county’s Appraisal District.

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