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Rollover accident reported on FM 1442 in Bridge City
BRIDGE CITY -- An elderly woman has been transported to CHRISTUS Hospital St. Elizabeth after a single vehicle rollover accident on FM 1442 near the Bridgefield Addition.The white four-door Hyundai ran off the road for unknown reasons.

Statement from Chrysler headquarters regarding ignition switch recall

The following statement is from Chrysler Media Relations Manager Eric Mayne. It is in regard to the Chrysler L25 safety recall for a defect existing in some 2008 through 2010 model year Chrysler Town & Country, and Dodge Grand Caravan, and some 2009 through 2010 Dodge Journey vehicles.

"Customer safety is paramount at FCA US. Accordingly, sufficient time is needed for engineers to design and validate appropriate replacement parts. Not all vehicles affected by recalls will experience problems. Nevertheless, all vehicles that may be susceptible to a defect will benefit from free repair. FCA US complies fully with the regulations that govern recalls and regrets any inconveniences its customers may experience."

He says customers with concerns may call Chrysler's Customer Care Center at 248-853-1403. Mayne says rental vehicles are available on a case by case basis, and the replacement part is still in development.

The safety recall states:

"Upon starting your vehicle the Frequency Operated Button Ignition Key (FOBIK), may not fully seat in the "ON" position. If not fully seated, under certain operating conditions (for example bumpy roads) the FOBIK could inadvertently move to the "Accessory" mode. This could cause unintended engine shut off and the passive restraint systems, including the airbags to shut off. This could increase the risk of crash under certain driving conditions and increase the risk of occupant injury during a crash."



Fire destroys large home south of Jasper

JASPER COUNTY - By Mike Lout and Steve W Stewart/KJAS and Rayburn Broadcasting

Despite the efforts of six local fire departments, an early Thursday morning blaze destroyed a large home just south of Jasper.

Shortly after 6:00, the volunteers of the Jasper Fire Department were first dispatched to the William and Cory Gaston residence, located on Highway 96, just south of the Double M Ranch, and they arrived to find the two story wood frame and stone structure was already completely involved.

Jasper firefighters were soon joined by the East End, Tri-Community, Roganville, Rayburn, and Angelina Fire Departments. However, despite their efforts, the home and everything inside was a complete loss.

Those at the scene said that one of the Gaston children was asleep in an upstairs bedroom, and awoke to the smell of smoke. The family was able to escape without injury, and the only things that they were able to save was a boat, and a pickup truck which sustained some damage.

Firefighters at the scene said they are looking closely at the possibility that the fire began near the top of the chimney.

If you would like to help to the Gaston family, clothing donations can be dropped off at Stewart Glass & Mirror on West Gibson Street, or you can make monetary donation to a special fund which has been set up at First Bank & Trust East Texas.

GasBuddy: Expect sharp hikes at the pump after recent wholesale price spike

CHICAGO (Feb. 25, 2015) – The transition from 'winter blend' to 'summer blend' gasoline always brings increases in retail gasoline prices, but nothing you've seen over the past year is likely to match what GasBuddy anticipates over the next two to three weeks. 


"Wednesday brought a big price rally in gasoline markets and gasoline wholesalers are seeing huge increases,"said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. 


"Wholesale prices today alone have increased coast to coast from 10 to 27 cents per gallon; and when you add that on top of the increases that occurred earlier this month, it’s inevitable that retail prices will climb aggressively in weeks ahead."  


"Just since Monday, Feb. 2, wholesale prices nationwide have increased by an average of 54 cents per gallon,"DeHaan added. “And the west coast, by far, has seen the steepest increases, with Los Angeles wholesale pricing up $0.96/gal., ; San Francisco up $0.84 and the Pacific Northwest up by $0.73.


"While some of the rally is attributed to the seasonal decline in gasoline inventory; reduced refinery output and the shift to summer grades of gasoline, there have also been significant operational issues at refineries in five states.


"And of course, the United Steelworkers Union strike that began Feb. 1 exacerbates operations at 12 refineries where they've imposed 'work stoppages' in California, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.


"Volatility is the name of the game right now and we expect that to translate into 10-cent increases in retail gasoline, week after week over the next two to three weeks, with larger, more immediate increases in West Coast areas," DeHaan said.

Regulators approve tougher rules for internet providers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile now must act in the "public interest" when providing a mobile connection to your home or phone, under rules approved Thursday by a divided Federal Communications Commission.

The plan, which puts the Internet in the same regulatory camp as the telephone and bans business practices that are "unjust or unreasonable," represents the biggest regulatory shakeup to the industry in almost two decades. The goal is to prevent providers from slowing or blocking web traffic, or creating paid fast lanes on the Internet, said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

The 3-2 vote was expected to trigger industry lawsuits that could take several years to resolve. Still, consumer advocates cheered the regulations as a victory for smaller Internet-based companies which feared they would have to pay "tolls" to move their content.

Net neutrality is the idea that websites or videos load at about the same speed. That means you won't be more inclined to watch a particular show on Amazon Prime instead of on Netflix because Amazon has struck a deal with your service provider to load its data faster.

Opponents, including many congressional Republicans, said the FCC plan constitutes dangerous government overreach that would eventually drive up consumer costs and discourage industry investment.

Republican FCC Commissioners Mike O'Rielly and Ajit Pai, who voted against the plan, alleged that President Barack Obama unfairly used his influence to push through the regulations, calling the plan a "half-baked, illogical, internally inconsistent and indefensible document."

Michael Powell, a former Republican FCC chairman who now runs the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, warned that consumers would almost immediately "bear the burden of new taxes and increased costs, and they will likely wait longer for faster and more innovative networks since investment will slow in the face of bureaucratic oversight."

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said he would pursue industry-friendly legislation, although it was unlikely that Obama would sign such a bill. The FCC's five commissioners are expected to testify before a Senate panel March 18.

"One way or another, I am committed to moving a legislative solution, preferably bipartisan, to stop monopoly-era phone regulations that harm Internet consumers and innovation," Thune said in a statement this week.

It's not true that consumers would see new taxes right away. The Internet Tax Freedom Act bans taxes on Internet access, although that bill expires in October. While Congress is expected to renew that legislation, it's conceivable that states could eventually push Congress for the ability to tax Internet service now that it has been deemed a vital public utility.

"Read my lips. More Internet taxes are coming. It's just a matter of when," Commissioner Pai said.

For years, providers mostly agreed not to pick winners and losers among Web traffic because they didn't want to encourage regulators to step in and because they said consumers demanded it. But that started to change around 2005, when YouTube came online and Netflix became increasingly popular. On-demand video became known as data hogs, and evidence began to surface that some providers were manipulating traffic without telling consumers.

By 2010, the FCC enacted open Internet rules, but the agency's legal approach was eventually struck down. FCC officials are hoping to erase the legal ambiguity by no longer classifying the Internet as an "information service" but a "telecommunications service" subject to Title II of the 1934 Communications Act.

That would dramatically expand regulators' power over the industry by requiring providers to act in the public's interest and enabling the FCC to fine companies found to be employing "unreasonable" business practices.

The FCC says it won't apply some sections of Title II, including price controls. That means rates charged to customers for Internet access won't be subject to preapproval. But the law allows the government to investigate if consumers complain that costs are unfair.

Also at stake Thursday was Obama's goal of helping local governments build their own fast, cheap broadband. Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina, have filed petitions with the agency to help override state laws that restrict them from expanding their broadband service to neighboring towns.

The FCC approved these petitions, setting a precedent for other communities that might want to do the same.

Nineteen states place restrictions on municipal broadband networks, many with laws encouraged by cable and telephone companies. Advocates of those laws say they are designed to protect taxpayers from municipal projects that are expensive, can fail or may be unnecessary.


Follow Anne Flaherty on Twitter at .

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Rally of support, prayer set for Beaumont police officers

BEAUMONT  -- The Beaumont Area Pastor Council and the Beaumont Police Clergy and Police Partnership are hosting a Prayer Rally this evening, February 26, from 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm, at the Gospel of Jesus Christ Church located at 2575 Wilson Street in north Beaumont.

These groups are hosting the rally to offer support and prayer for members of the Beaumont Police Department.  They invite and encourage all members of the public to attend this interfaith rally.

The below area churches have pledged support or will have a a representative in attendance at tonight’s rally:

  • Pastor Harlan Merriam                St. Andrews Presbyterian
  • Rabbi Joshua Taub                     Temple Emanuel
  • Pastor Castille Colbert                 The Gospel of Jesus Christ Church
  • Pastor John Adolph                     Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
  • Pastor Dwight Benoit                   Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church
  • Pastor Vernon Tubbs                   1st Full Gospel Baptist Church
  • Pastor G.W. Bryant                     Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
  • Pastor Silvan Broussard              Church of Philadelphia
  • Pastor Donny Flippo                    Gospel Center Church
  • Pastor Rhonda Hopson                Plymouth United Church of Christ
  • Pastor James Lowe                     Saint’s Temple COGIC
  • Pastor Rick White                        Christian Fellowship Church
  • Rev. Jesus Abrego                      Catholic Diocese of Beaumont
  • Pastor Gary Cantue                    Maxson Memorial COGIC
  • Pastor Howard Cameron             Trinity Church
  • Pastor Roosevelt Henry               Trinity Church
  • Pastor Ben Burnside                    First United Methodist Church
  • Pastor Anjelita Dirden                  Wesley Student Center at Lamar University
  • Pastor Kevin Brown                     First Baptist Church – Mauriceville
  • Pastor Scooter Wenner               First Baptist Church – Fannett
  • Pastor Big Jim Sayles                  West End Baptist Church
  • Pastor Taquita Brown                  Restoration Outreach Church
  • Pastor Wayne Ozio                     Church on the Rock
  • Pastor Clarence Brown                Holland Missionary Bapt. Church
  • Pastor Phillip Reed                      Family Worship Center
  • Pastor Clay Williams                    Vision Alive
  • Pastor Donald Winfrey                 Jehovah Jireh Church
  • Pastor Jonathan Elms                 The Apostolic Church
  • Pastor Armstead Holmes             Fruit of the Vine
  • Pastor John Rathgeber                St. John Lutheran
  • Pastor Charmaine James            Cathedral Church
  • Pastor Sam Walker                     The North Church
  • Pastor Mark Smith                      Solid Rock Community Church
  • Dr. James Fuller                          Calder Baptist Church

Jasper driver injured when his car crashes into woods

JASPER -- by Steve Steward (KJAS) -- A Jasper man was injured in a Wednesday evening single-vehicle crash into a wooded area on the west side of town. The accident occurred shortly after 6:00 on Live Oak Lane, just south of Willow Drive.

Jasper Police said 18-year-old Keldric Shankle was northbound in a 1996 Buick Century when he lost control of the car. The vehicle crashed into a wooded area on the east side of the road and rolled onto its side.

Despite suffering serious leg injuries, Shankle was somehow able to climb out of the car and walk to the edge of the road where passing motorists stopped to help.

Shankle was transported by ambulance to Christus Jasper Memorial Hospital where he was, at last word, undergoing treatment.

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