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GILMER–The Upshur County Sheriff’s Office will present a “Church Safety Seminar” from 8 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday at the New Beginnings Baptist Church near Gilmer, said Sheriff Larry Webb.
The event is free of charge to the general public at the church on north Texas 155 near city limits.
Registration for an optional $5 lunch may be made at the church’s website, Webb said.
He said that the seminar, at which he and other members of his office will speak, will discuss not only church shootings, but other crimes which could occur at a church, such as robbery, vehicle thefts, burglary and internal theft.
Webb said the mass shooting which claimed 26 lives last year at the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church was not the sole impetus for the local event since he had already pledged during his campaign for sheriff in 2016 to hold such a seminar. However, he said there was “heightened interest” in such a seminar since that tragedy.
Online petition creating social media stir for Land Commissioner
(AUSTIN) The siege of the Texas General Land Office and Commissioner George P. Bush by his predecessor Jerry Patterson continued today as Texans from across the state signed an online petition asking Bush to “leave the Cenotaph and the Alamo alone!” The signers numbered in the hundreds and hailed from locations like Electra, Texas City, Sherman, Ennis, Cibolo and East Tawakoni.
The Alamo Cenotaph was built in 1940 as a memorial to the Texians and Tejanos who died at the Alamo fighting for Texas independence in 1836. Commissioner George P. Bush is working with the San Antonio mayor on a plan to remove the monument from the Alamo grounds as part of the upcoming refit of the complex. To the descendants of those who died at the Alamo, the Cenotaph, or “empty tomb,” represents the only gravestone for their ancestors.
“The people of Texas are making their objections abundantly clear to George P. Bush,” said Patterson, “leave the Cenotaph where it is and don’t mess with the history of the Alamo. We must restore the Alamo battlefield and do so in a transparent way. Bush won’t do that, but I will. That’s why I’m running for Texas Land Commissioner.”
The online form when completed sends a message directly to Commissioner Bush’s campaign email address. The letter reads:
I am writing to add my voice to those requesting you to leave the Alamo Cenotaph in its current location.
The Alamo Cenotaph was built 77 years ago as a memorial to the Texians and Tejanos who died at the Alamo fighting for Texas independence in 1836. I understand you are working together on a plan to remove the monument from the Alamo grounds to a location where fewer visitors will see it, if at all. The Cenotaph, or “empty tomb,” was placed at the Alamo complex to represent the gravestone for the heroes of the Alamo whose bodies were burned by Mexican General Santa Anna.
Please consider my signature on this page as a message to the Texas General Land Office and the City of San Antonio that Texans want the memorial to stay where originally intended.
NOTE: RECEIPT OF THIS EMAIL PETITION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE APPROVAL TO INCLUDE MY EMAIL ADDRESS ON EMAIL LISTS MAINTAINED BY THE TEXAS GENERAL LAND OFFICE OR THE GEORGE P. BUSH CAMPAIGN.
Patterson said the petition and a similar petition on Facebook will stay up as long as it takes for Commissioner Bush to get the message.
“He’s got until March 6th,” Patterson quipped. March 6th is not only the anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo but also the Republican primary election day.
To sign or view the petition, click here.
The man who was instrumental in Elvis becoming a rock-n-roll sensation has died.
Award-winning broadcaster and legendary DJ Tom Perryman, who has been playing country music and connecting with his fans for nearly 70 years passed away Thursday.
“I sorta got my start in Texas,” a reflective Elvis Presley told reporters at Dallas’ Love Field in August 1958. Presley, a soldier in the United States Army at the time, had just returned from Memphis, where he attended the funeral of his mother, Gladys, and was en route back to Fort Hood to re-sume basic training.
By that time, of course, Presley had become an American idol. But just a few years earlier, a largely unknown Elvis Presley had electrified stages from the Piney Woods to the High Plains, leaving Texas audiences all shook up and ready to rock.
“One night in October 1954, I got a call from Pappy Covington, who was booking talent at the ‘Louisiana Hayride’ at Shreveport,” says 85-year-old Tyler radio legend Tom Perryman. “He said, ‘I’ve got these three boys from Memphis who just auditioned to play the Hayride.’ Said they were broke, and could I get them a booking in East Texas?” Perryman soon booked Elvis, guitarist Scotty Moore, and bass player Bill Black into the Mint Club in Gladewater. “Then a few months later, at a show at the Humble Oil Camp Community Center in Hawkins, I watched the reactions of a girl, her mother, and her grandmother in the crowd,” says Perryman, “and I knew immediately that this Elvis was a very special artist.”
Musicologists point to Presley’s raw and frenzied performances of the mid-1950s, before he joined the Army, as the most transformative of Presley’s career. “He played more than a hundred shows in Texas from ’54 to ’56,” says Stanley Oberst of Waco, author of the books Elvis in Texas and Elvis Presley: Rockin’ Across Texas. Oberst used a 1955 state road map to track Presley’s travels through Texas around that time. “There should be an official Elvis route marked with signs—the ‘Hound Dog Highway,’” he says.
LeTourneau University will present weekly Spring 2018 Science Seminars on a variety of research topics each Thursday from 11 to 11:50 a.m. in the Berry Auditorium, C101, in the Glaske Engineering Building on the university’s main campus, 2100 S. Mobberly Ave. in Longview.
All presentations are free and open to the public.
Organizer of the seminars is LETU chemistry professor Dr. Gary DeBoer.
“These science seminars exemplify the meaning of a university,” DeBoer said. “They are a means of communicating the latest research discoveries while allowing the community to engage with the scientists. We want to serve our community and we encourage the public to attend and celebrate the discoveries of science with us on Thursdays at 11 a.m. this semester.”
Any questions or comments regarding the seminar schedule may be directed to Gary DeBoer at GaryDeBoer@letu.edu or 903.233.3363. Opinions expressed by the speakers at seminar are their own and should not be taken as official positions of LeTourneau University. Updates to this schedule can be found at www.letu.edu/scienceseminars.
TYLER – TxDOT crews are preparing I-20 and other major roadways for winter conditions forecast for the area New Year’s Weekend and into next week. Pre-treating operations using a brine solution began Thursday and will continue Friday and Saturday targeting roadways and elevated structures that have the potential to freeze during winter conditions.
Brine is a salt and water solution applied to roadways creating a barrier that helps prevent ice and snow from sticking to the surface. It has proven to be a cost-effective and environmentally safer treatment than other anti-icing and de-icing applications allowing TxDOT to more effectively pre-treat roadways.
In addition to the pre-treatment, maintenance crews in the Tyler District’s 8-counties are readying equipment and materials to address roadway situations as weather conditions change. Once winter conditions set in, crews will work 24/7 to monitor and treat roadways, especially highly exposed areas that are susceptible to wind and ice such as bridges, ramps and overpasses, to keep them passable and safe for travel.
Safety tips for winter driving:
• Avoid unnecessary travel if conditions warrant.
• Know before you go. Check weather forecasts before departing and visit www.DriveTexas.org or call 800-452-9292 to check highway conditions and notices for road closures due to snow or ice.
• Be extra cautious on bridges, overpasses, ramps, turns and shaded areas that usually freeze first.
• Reduce speed and allow extra time to reach destinations.
• Increase the following distance between you and other vehicles.
• If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes and steer into the direction of the skid.
• Stay back at least 200 feet from vehicles treating roadways, and move over for emergency vehicles.
• Be patient. Your trip time could increase when adverse weather conditions exist.
• Remain in your vehicle. If stranded, please call 911 to alert emergency services.
• Assemble an emergency roadside kit, including a first-aid kit, booster cables, abrasive materials (sand or cat litter), flashlights, warm clothes, snacks and water.
DALLAS — Shenandoah West Moneypenny, 34, of Gladewater, Texas, and Shawn Dale Sanders, 43, of Dallas, Texas, remain in federal custody on a federal criminal complaint for the sex trafficking of a 13-year-old female, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.
Moneypenny and Sanders are each charged with one count of conspiracy to use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct. Both defendants were arrested on December 18, 2017 and will remain in federal custody pending trial.
According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, in October 2017, a family member of a 13-year-old minor female (Victim) contacted a Garland Independent School District School Resource Officer after finding communications on the minor’s laptop computer between Victim and adult males. The family brought the laptop computer and Victim’s cellular phone to the School Resource Officer, who previewed the devices and observed sexually explicit communications.
During an interview with law enforcement, according to the affidavit, Victim disclosed that she had sexual contact with up to four adult men who she met online. When asked how she came to communicate with these men, Victim stated that she met a man online named “Aiden” and he put her in contact with other men to “meet up.” Aiden, who was later identified as Moneypenny, began to set up in-person meets for her through Craigslist advertisements that he placed. These advertisements sought men to meet Victim for sex. Responses to the Craigslist ads went directly to Moneypenny’s email account and, once he deemed the responder to be safe for Victim to meet, Moneypenny provided Victim with their contact information.
In August 2017, Victim met Sanders in response to the Craigslist ad. Sanders picked Victim up from the middle school and drove her to a local park where they had sexual conduct. During this meeting Sanders took sexually explicit pictures of Victim and sent them to Moneypenny as a trade-off for setting him up with the Victim. Sanders and Victim met approximately four times after that and engaged in sexual conduct.
Moneypenny received a total of 219 replies to the Craigslist advertisement, including Sanders reply.
A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The penalty for the offense as charged is not less than 15 years or more than 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood leverages federal, state and local resources to better investigate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children. Project Safe Childhood also prioritizes identifying and rescuing victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Garland Police Department are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney P.J. Meitl is in charge of the prosecution.
Firefighters from Gladewater and Clarksville City/Warren City VFD battled an oil-related fire in the woods just off E. Shepherd in north Gladewater Tuesday morning. At least one person was reported injured and was transported to the hospital via helicopter. Neighbors in the area told the Mirror the explosion rocked their homes more than 400 yards away.
“I thought it was going to bring my house down,” one lady said.
Police sent out the alarm about the explosion – stating “Large oil lease fire in the 1100 Block of N Lynn. 1 person injured. Fire and Police units are on scene. Please remain clear of the area,” the notice reads.