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Major vehicle accident in Port Arthur
PORT ARTHUR-- Police are investigating a major motor vehicle accident in the 3900 block of Lexington Avenue.

The call came in around 9 p.m. Thursday night.

At least two vehicles are involved, and we're told one ended up in the lawn in front of the house.

Stay with KFDM onair and online for more on this developing story.

Lamar University student gives Thanksgiving meals to Beaumont residents

Lamar University student gives Thanksgiving meals to Beaumont residents

BEAUMONT- Jessica Crawford

 A Lamar University student spent her Thanksgiving passing out meals to people all over Beaumont.

Candice Cesear and her parents created the C-Factory Foundation, which is a community service organization.

Cesear is also planning a toy drive for Christmas. To find out how you can help, call 409-225-1331.

"It really makes me happy and warms my heart to make someone else happy," says Cesear.

Cesear says she wants to share her good fortune.

"I'm super blessed and I would love to bless others," she says. "Touch and help as many people as possible."

Cesears says her mother helped her cook about 100 meals for Thanksgiving.

"We cooked broccoli, rice, BBQ chicken, Macaroni and cheese, and string beans," she says.

Cesear handed out meals at carwashes, parks, and anywhere she could find people.

"It means a lot sometimes for somebody to just come by and say 'Hi,' we're thinking about you," says Cesear. "A lot of people, they don't have that."

John Durbin says the holiday depressed him because he couldn't spend it with his family.

"I'm living on a mattress outside right now," he says. "It's ok. I've got four blankets to keep me warm at night."

The home cooked meal turned his day around.

"Today it was nice to have y'all come by to put a smile to my face," says Durbin.

Cesears parents are smiling, too.

"We're very proud of her and we thank God for her because she's been a blessing to so many people," says Melanie Thomas, Cesear's mom.


Coming up at 10 pm on KFDM 6 News

Some of the stories we are working on for 10 pm on KFDM 6 News:

Kara Dixon gets reactions from neighbors who were caught in a seven-hour, hostage-and-SWAT-team situation last night. Hear what neighbors did when the suspect started shooting at them.

Jessica Crawford reports live on a Lamar student who is putting her education to work in brightening families lives this Thanksgiving.


Police are seeking a man who robbed an 11th St. Business today in Beaumont.


KFDM Meteorologist Kerry Cooper is looking at a warm humid weekend in his updated forecast.

Pilgrim who fell overboard during Mayflower voyage went on to populate the nation

BOSTON (AP) -- John Howland may not be as famous as William Bradford, John Carver and Myles Standish, notable passengers on the Mayflower that landed in Massachusetts in 1620.

Yet Howland, who boarded the ship as Carver's servant, probably had a greater impact on the history of the United States than any of them. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will sit down for Thanksgiving dinner Thursday unaware that they owe their very existence to Howland, who almost never even made it to the New World.

Howland fell overboard in the middle of the Atlantic during a gale but grabbed a trailing rope and was hauled back aboard by sailors using boat hooks. His remarkable story is the subject of a new children's book, "The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland's Good Fortune," by Irish illustrator and author P.J. Lynch.

Howland and his wife, fellow Mayflower passenger Elizabeth Tilley, had 10 children and more than 80 grandchildren. Now, an estimated 2 million Americans can trace their roots to him.

Howland's descendants include three presidents -- Franklin Roosevelt, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush -- as well as former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin; poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; actors Alec Baldwin, Humphrey Bogart, and Christopher Lloyd; Mormon church founder Joseph Smith; and child care guru Dr. Benjamin Spock.

"The idea that the existence of all these people hinged on that one guy grabbing a rope in the ocean and holding on tight totally caught my imagination," Lynch said in a phone interview from his Dublin home. "Many of these people have made America what it is."

There are so many Howland descendants that they have their own club — The Pilgrim John Howland Society — with about 1,200 members.

Gail Adams, a Howland descendant and editor of the society's publication, "The Howland Quarterly," was thrilled when she first found out about her lineage two decades ago.

"To think, if he hadn't made it, I wouldn't even be here," she said from her home in Virginia.

Lynch developed an interest in the story of the Pilgrims and Howland when he read Nathaniel Philbrick's book, "Mayflower." It was mostly new to him because he hadn't gone to school in the U.S., where the story of the Pilgrims is taught to every child.

He acknowledges his book -- written in the first person from Howland's point of view — isn't a 100 percent accurate account, and he has taken some liberties in telling and illustrating the story. For example, Howland was actually a young man on the Mayflower trip, not a boy as the book title suggests.

But that's OK with the experts — and Howland's very large extended family.

"He did a great job on it," said Richard Pickering, deputy executive director of Plimoth Plantation, the living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, that preserves the story of the Pilgrims. "There is very little documentation about Howland's early years, but Lynch imagines them beautifully."

"He's right on," Adams said.

The book even describes the beginnings of a romance between Howland and Tilley, which isn't so farfetched, Adams said.

Tilley was left an orphan after the first winter in Plymouth yet chose to stay even though she had family in England and her best friend returned.

"My theory -- no proof -- is that when handsome John fell overboard and had to be nursed back to health, she was smitten," Adams said.

Image: "Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor," by William Halsall, 1882 at Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.  Public Domain.

Guy V. Lewis, coach of Phi Slama Jama teams, dies at 93

HOUSTON (AP) -- Former University of Houston men's basketball coach Guy V. Lewis, best known for leading the Phi Slama Jama teams of the 1980s, has died. He was 93.

He died at a retirement facility in Kyle, Texas, on Thanksgiving morning surrounded by family, the school said Thursday.

Lewis coached the Cougars for 30 years. He guided Houston to back-to-back NCAA title games in 1983 and '84 but never won the national championship, losing to N.C. State in the 1983 final on Lorenzo Charles' last-second shot, one of the NCAA Tournament's greatest upsets and most memorable plays.

"It feels awful," Lewis said after that game. "I've never lost a game that didn't feel that way, but this one was terrible."

Lewis, who helped lead the integration of college basketball in the South by recruiting Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney to Houston, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

Known for plaid jackets and wringing his hands with a red polka-dot towel during games, Lewis compiled a 592-279 record at Houston, guiding the Cougars to 27 consecutive winning seasons from 1959-85. He was honored as the national coach of the year twice (1968 and '83) and led Houston to 14 NCAA Tournaments and five Final Fours.

Lewis had mostly avoided the spotlight since retiring in 1986. He suffered a stroke in February 2002 and had used a wheelchair in recent years.

He was known for putting together the "Game of the Century" at the Astrodome in 1968 between Houston and UCLA. It was the first regular-season game to be broadcast on national television. Houston defeated the Bruins in front of a crowd of more than 52,000, which, at that time, was the largest ever to watch an indoor basketball game.

Lewis attended the introductory news conference in December 2007 for Kevin Sumlin, the first black football coach in Houston history. It was a symbolic, significant appearance because Lewis signed Houston's first two black basketball players and some of the first in the region in Hayes and Chaney in 1964, when programs were just starting to integrate.

Hayes and Chaney led the Cougars to the program's first Final Four in 1967 but lost to Lew Alcindor's UCLA team in the semifinal game.

"Basketball in the state of Texas and throughout the South is all due to coach Guy V. Lewis," Hayes said in 2013. "He put everything on the line to step out and integrate his program. Not only that, he had vision to say: 'Hey, we can play a game in the Houston Astrodome.' Not only that, he just was such a motivator and such an innovator that created so many doors for the game of basketball to grow."

Along with Hayes, Lewis also coached fellow All-Americans Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. The three were included on the NBA's Top 50 greatest players list in 1996. Lewis and North Carolina's Dean Smith were the only men to coach three players from that list while they were in college.

Players and CBS announcer Jim Nantz lobbied for years for Lewis to get into the Naismith Hall of Fame. When he finally received the honor in 2013 he made a rare public appearance. 

It was difficult for him to convey his thoughts in words in his later years because of aphasia from his strokes, so his daughter spoke on his behalf at the event to celebrate his induction.

"It's pure joy and we're not even upset that it took so long. ... Dad is used to winning in overtime," Sherry Lewis said.

Lewis announced his retirement during the 1985-86 season, and the Cougars finished 14-14, his first non-winning season since 1958-59.

Guy Vernon Lewis II was born in Arp, a town of fewer than 1,000 residents in northeast Texas. He became a flight instructor for the U.S. Army during World War II and enrolled at the University of Houston in 1946.

He joined the basketball team, averaged 21.1 points and led the Cougars to the Lone Star Conference championship. By the early 1950s, he was working as an assistant coach under Alden Pasche and took over when Pasche retired in 1956.

Funeral services are pending.

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