A kingpin of Texas organized crime will spend the rest of his life behind bars in a state prison, where authorities say he'll finally lose his voice in the brutal Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
James Byrd, 45, was already in federal prison. But that did little to stem his role in the Brotherhood, a prison gang that operates out of federal penitentiaries. Following a years-long joint initiative by federal and state agencies, Byrd will live the rest of his days almost entirely shut off from the outside world.
"He will be in a box for 23 hours a day," said Tarrant County criminal prosecutor Allenna Bangs, who worked Byrd's case. "That will be 50 very hard years."
Prosecutors' goal, Bangs said, was to land Byrd in state prison, where unlike federal prison, policy permits solitary confinement on the basis of gang involvement. That means no time to mill about the yard with other inmatesthe setting from which Brotherhood business is conducted.
Read more: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/aryan-brotherhood-Texas-gang-byrd-Fort-Worth-nazi-6636339.php
PAMPA, Texas -- A tornado has ripped through and leveled the Halliburton Plant in Pampa, according to the Gray County Sheriff's Office.
No one was inside the building at the time of the tornado, the Sheriff's Office said.
Because of the tornado, officials said there was a huge chemical leak.
The hazmat team from Potter County is en route to the scene. Several other fire departments are also assisting.
Read more: http://abc7amarillo.com/news/local/tornado-levels-pampa-halliburton-plant
Louisiana again will have to correct the states operating budget midyear to account for fewer revenues than anticipated.
This time the collections of taxes particularly corporate and severance and royalties are coming in $370 million less than the forecast on which the spending plan for Fiscal Year 2016 was drafted. The Revenue Estimating Conference on Monday officially lowered the amount of money state government has to spend in its $25 billion annual operating budget that began July 1.
Thats on top of another $117 million deficit for the last fiscal year.
Commissioner of Administration Stafford Palmieri said the Jindal administration will address both shortfalls and balance the budget, as required by law, with a plan she hopes to release in the next couple days.
Read more: http://theadvocate.com/news/14000585-133/state-will-have-to-find
1) OK, who wants to take a shower after Monday's debate?
David Vitter has never been asked so directly about, or attacked so relentlessly over his 2007 prostitution scandal. (The incriminating phone records were discovered that year, but as Vitter repeatedly said, the incidents happened 15 years ago).
It was loud, boisterous and brutal. The candidates shouted over the moderators and the audience, packed with supporters of both camps, cheered and hooted with gusto.
John Bel Edwards, who's running largely on a platform of integrity and honor, seized every opportunity to draw the contrast. Vitter said he's sought forgiveness, "tried like heck" to earn voters' trust and blamed the "gotcha media" for keeping the issue alive. Edwards said that as Christians, we're all obligated to forgive, but not to forget or vote for someone who's committed a crime.
Vitter hammered Edwards for having an event last week at a "very adult New Orleans night club" and hiring a purple party bus to ferry voters to the polls for early voting. Edwards said he was there with his wife. "Not as interesting as your date night, Senator," he added.
Read more: http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/14005080-123/john-bel-edwards-david-vitter
Representatives of the University of Texas faculty made it clear on Monday that they do not support allowing guns in the classroom or most anywhere else on campus.
The new campus carry law which allows those with concealed handgun licenses to take their pistols into campus buildings would create an uneasy and potentially hostile environment for intellectual inquiry, according to a resolution passed unanimously by the UT Faculty Council.
Other faculty members said they fear that the law could cause some students and academics to stay away from UT or transfer to another university.
I think that its very important to see this issue as part of an attack on public education, said Ann Cvetkovich, an English professor. We need to recognize the importance of freedom and ability to determine the nature of our workplaces.
Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/ut-faculty-group-votes-against-campus-carry/npPNT/?icmp=statesman_internallink_referralbox_free-to-premium-referral
Gov. Greg Abbott wrote President Barack Obama Monday, saying that accepting Syrian refugees irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril and Texas wont be a party to it.
But it was not clear, beyond making a political statement, what practical impact the governors missive would have.
Given the tragic attacks in Paris and the threats we have already seen, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees any one of whom could be connected to terrorism being resettled in Texas, Abbott said in the letter. Effective today, I am directing the Texas Health & Human Services Commissions Refugee Resettlement Program to not participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the state of Texas. And I urge you, as president, to halt your plans to allow Syrians to be resettled anywhere in the United States.
In the letter, Abbott wrote that, a Syrian `refugee appears to have been part of the Paris terror attack. American humanitarian compassion could be exploited to expose Americans to similar deadly danger. The reasons for such concerns are plentiful. The FBI director testified to Congress that the federal government does not have the background information that is necessary to effectively conduct proper security checks on Syrian nationals, Director Comey explained: `We can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them.
Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/abbott-to-obama-texas-wont-accept-syrian-refugees/npN3P/
[font color=330099]My apologies for being behind on the news, but my broadband service was disrupted on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.[/font]
FORT WORTH (KRLD) Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton may not like it, but he will have to live with microphones and television cameras in his security fraud trial.
Tarrant County Judge George Gallagher on Friday signed an order that allows broadcast media access to the trial. Gallagher is presiding over the trial, but it will be held in Collin County. While broadcast media is allowed to cover trials with microphones and cameras in Dallas County and Tarrant County, judges in Collin County normally frown upon such coverage.
Paxton himself objected to cameras and microphones in the courtroom back in August.
Media advocates welcomed the news. I think its spot-on, explained Frank Librio, president of the Dallas Press Club. Its the fundamental tenet of the First Amendment of the Constitution the freedom of the press. This will allow the public to see, in real time, an elected official going before the court of law.
Read more: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2015/11/13/judge-gives-media-access-to-paxton-trial/#.VkiN6tZeQCY.facebook
David Vitter and John Bel Edwards are making a public push to make sure that their voters show up on election day, with the Nov. 21 runoff date rapidly approaching.
Vitter, a U.S. senator, hopscotched around south Louisiana on Saturday, beginning with a Coffee and Tea Party Patriots Rally in Kenner. Edwards, a state representative from Amite, missed a campaign event in New Orleans because hes under the weather, said his spokeswoman, but his troops rallied there and in Baton Rouge. (He was seen popping throat lozenges at a forum Friday.)
Edwards also is pumping up enthusiasm among African-Americans, who form the base of the Democratic Party. He visited five African-American church services in New Orleans last Sunday morning and got standing ovations after speaking to congregants at each one. He will visit several African-American churches on Sunday in Monroe.
On Saturday, about 125 people came to the sunlit Kenner City Pavilion to hear Vitter and several warmup speakers.
Read more: http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/13982985-172/louisiana-candidates-for-governor-spend
A former University of North Texas exchange student from France was among the victims of the terrorist attacks Friday in Paris, the university said.
François Xavier Prévost, who attended UNT in fall 2007, was killed at the Bataclan theater where the American band Eagles of Death Metal was playing a sold-out show, university spokeswoman Margarita Venegas said.
UNT-International, which provides assistance to international students, learned of Prévosts death Saturday evening.
Our condolences go to his friends and family, and to all victims of terrorism everywhere, UNT-International said in a Facebook post.
Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20151115-former-unt-foreign-exchange-student-among-the-dead.ece
GREENVILLE, S.C. Tracing the roots of Fridays attacks in Paris in part to an unwillingness among U.S. leaders to call out "radical Islamic terrorism," U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said Saturday that he would not be afraid of such tough talk as president. But the Texas Republican stopped well short of calling for the U.S. to engage in a land war in the Middle East.
Campaigning in South Carolina, Cruz lashed out at President Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, saying that political correctness cannot stand in the way of fighting terrorism.
"We need a president that makes abundantly clear to any militant across the face of the earth, if you go and join ISIS, if you wage jihad against the United States of America, then you are signing your death warrant," Cruz said during a religious rally at Bob Jones University, one of several appearances hes making this weekend in the early primary state.
"There is a consequence to having an administration, to President Obama, to Hillary Clinton being unwilling to calling radical Islamic terrorism by its name," he added. "And as president, I will do just that."
Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/11/14/south-carolina-rallly-cruz-criticizes-obama-over-p/
[font color=330099]Cruz continues saying that we should furnish arms to the Kurds in Iraq and Syria which may sound good until one remembers that our NATO ally, Turkey, will not be happy about it.[/font]
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