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Beaumont man killed in crash near Spurlock Road in Jefferson County

JEFFERSON COUNTY -- A 30-year-old man from Beaumont was killed in a one-vehicle crash on US-69 near Spurlock Road in Jefferson County about 11pm Monday, June 29.

The driver, Dwight Earl Guidry, 30, of Beaumont, was transported with serious injuries to the Medical Center of Southeast Texas. Guidry died at the hospital at 12:14 am, Tuesday, June 30.

Guidry was driving a 2006 Jaguar passenger vehicle was southbound on US-69 near Spurlock Road at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the vehicle. 

The vehicle traveled into the center grass median. In an attempt to drive the vehicle back onto the highway, Guidry over-corrected sending the vehicle back across US-69 (South) and down the embankment.

State Dept. warns U.S. citizens in Greece of banking disruptions

PHOTO: Stall owner Kleanthis Tsironis poses at Varvakios Market in Athens, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. On the streets of the Greek capital, resplendent in the early days of summer, there’s still a veneer of normalcy - at least for foreigners. But for locals, the miserly 60 euros ($67) per day cash limit at ATMs makes it difficult to run a small business or keep a family going. (AP Photo/Spyros Tsakiris)

As Greece sinks further into financial crisis—unable to pay its roughly €1.6 billion debt to the International Monetary Fund by the June 30 deadline -- Americans visiting or living in the southeastern European country will likely feel the impact.

The State Department on Sunday warned U.S. citizens they may experience banking disruptions while in Greece and advised them to carry enough cash to cover emergencies, as banks are expected to remain closed for at least a week under capital controls and ATM withdrawals have been limited for Greeks.

The U.S. Embassy in Athens also advised Americans to avoid rallies and demonstrations concerning Greece’s economic meltdown.

Read the State Department’s full message below:

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Greece of the possibility of disruptions to banking services – including credit-card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece in light of developments within the local economy. International and local media are reporting that banks will remain closed starting on Monday, June 29, 2015, and that capital controls may be imposed before they re-open. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry more than one means of payment (cash, debit cards, credit cards), and make sure to have enough cash on hand to cover emergencies and any unexpected delays.
The State Department recommends you maintain a high level of security awareness and avoid political rallies and demonstrations as instances of unrest can occur. Exercise caution and common sense: Avoid the areas of demonstrations, and if you find yourself too close to a demonstration, move in the opposite direction and seek shelter. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a website with information about anticipated demonstrations, rallies, and strikes. We encourage all U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. U.S. citizens should maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security. Exercise vigilance to protect against pickpocketing and secure valuables in hotel rooms when traveling. For additional information, please refer to "Travelers Checklist."
U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Greece are encouraged to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or nearest Consulate to contact them in the case of an emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Athens. Regularly monitor the Department’s website where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Greece.
Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. You can follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.
You can contact the U.S. Embassy in Athens for general consular assistance and up-to-date information on conditions in Greece. The U.S. Embassy in Athens is located at 91 Vasilisis Sophias Avenue and is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, except on Greek and U.S. official holidays and the last Wednesday of every month. The U.S. Embassy in Athens can be reached by e-mail, or by telephone at 210-720-2414, or 210-729-4444 for after-hours emergencies. If you are a U.S. citizen with an after-hours emergency, please call the U.S. Embassy in Athens at 210-729-4444.

$45 million expansion announced for Delta Downs Casino Hotel

VINTON (from Boyd Gaming Corp.) -- Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) today announced a $45 million expansion of Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel in Vinton, Louisiana.

Set for completion at the end of 2016, the centerpiece of the project is a new hotel tower, featuring 167 additional guest rooms and suites. Boyd Gaming also plans to redesign all 200 existing rooms at the property, providing a fresh new look and feel to the hotel.

The property will also redesign its food and beverage facilities, as well as expand its special events center to better accommodate meeting and banquet functions.

"Delta Downs is extremely popular with our guests, and demand exceeds what we can accommodate with our current facility," said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming. "With 370 rooms and suites, Delta Downs will be better positioned to meet this growing demand, giving us the opportunity to extend our unique brand of hospitality to more visitors than ever before."

"With our new amenities, we'll be giving our guests more options to enjoy, and more reasons to visit," Smith said. "And by creating a broader entertainment experience, we are confident we'll attract many new guests to the new Delta Downs."

Design work is now being completed, with construction slated to commence this September.

Liberty County men arrested for theft of Mauriceville Utility District truck, generator

MAURICEVILLE --Two men from Liberty and Raywood have been jailed in Orange County on 3rd-degree felony theft after Orange deputies charge they were caught with a trailer stolen from the Mauriceville Utility District.

The two were identified as 31-year-old black male, Shaun Arceneaux of Raywood Texas, and 23-year-old white male, Robert Williamson of Liberty.

The Orange County Chief Deputy Clint Hodgkinson said a Mauriceville Utility District called the SO about 9:15 Tuesday morning and reported he was following a truck that was pulling a trailer and generator belonging to the Mauriceville Utility District.  The trailer had been at the utility's well site off FM 2802 in Mauriceville.

The caller was tailing the truck on I-10 and when the truck noticed he was following, the suspect began driving at a high rate of speed weaving in and out of other traffic.

The men then exited near FM 1132, quickly looped around, and turned into the parking lot of Diversified Metals. The two men then tried to disconnect the stolen trailer with the generator and while doing so, the caller and several Sheriff's Deputies drove into the parking lot. 

The two men were arrested and the trailer and generator were returned to the employee of the Mauriceville Utility District.

Arcenaux and Williamson were booked into the Orange County Jail for 3rd Degree Felony Theft. No bond has been set and they remain in custody.

Coming up at Noon on KFDM
Some of the stories we are working on for noon on KFDM:
Deputies say a suspect drove right past them in a stolen truck.
BISD has a new leader for Special Education.
Jasper ISD to consider dozens of employee resignations
Dana Melancon has details on large thunderstorm cells building up.

Hutto, Tx, man jailed on truck theft charges

ORANGE COUNTY -- A Hutto, Texas , man is in Orange County Jail charged with  Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Evading Arrest after he drove past deputies in the vehicle Monday and then fled from them, the Orange Sheriff's Department says.  

He was  identified as Brandon Martinez  32, of Hutto, Texas. Martinez was transported to the Orange County Jail where he was booked for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Evading Arrest. His bond was set at $14,500 and he remains in custody.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call Monday, June 29 about 11:40 p.m. in reference to a truck that was stolen from the Crawdad’s convenient store parking lot on North Highway 62 in Mauriceville, Orange County, Texas. The caller stated that when they saw the truck driving off, they got into another vehicle and followed. The stolen truck was a white 2006 GMC.

As Deputies responded to the area, a Deputy passed the stolen truck on N. Hwy 62 headed southbound. As the Deputy activated the emergency lights, the driver of the stolen truck began to attempt to evade the Deputy and turned down a driveway to a residence.

Deputies said, the suspect then drove the truck behind the residence and exited the truck. The Deputy was able to gain on the suspect as he then began to flee on foot.

The Deputy caught up to the suspect and ordered him to stop. When the suspect continued to flee, the Deputy used a Taser on the man and brought him into custody.

The truck owner arrived on the scene shortly after the suspect was detained and said she did not know the suspect. The complainant wished to file charges for the theft of the truck.

Jefferson County Tax Assessor warns of scheme

JEFFERSON COUNTY (from Tax Assessor Allison Nathan Getz) -- The Jefferson County Tax Assessor-Collector wants you to be aware of people that are going door to door or calling by phone trying to collect your property taxes.

"My office does not go to a taxpayer's home or make collection phone calls, " Allison Nathan Getz said. There have been numerous reports of taxpayers being called or someone coming to their door to collect money.

All correspondence with the tax office is done by mail with an official letterhead and the county seal on it. There are several companies that do a direct mailing wanting taxpayers to authorize them to recover refunds for them from failure to file for tax exemptions.

"Why would you pay someone money for something that you can easily do on your own? If you receive a letter about the recovery of a refund, please call our office and let us help you file the necessary paperwork so that you keep your money. We want our taxpayers to get the most out of their exemptions," Getz said.

Property owners who are in doubt about the status of their exemptions can contact the Jefferson County Tax Office and have the staff inform them of any exemptions they are currently receiving; and any that they may potentially qualify to receive.

Chris Christie running for president 'to change the world'

Photo: Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0 

LIVINGSTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie prepared Tuesday to launch his 2016 campaign for president, telling his most loyal supporters that he's ready to begin what he called a "noble" effort to "lead our country and to change the world."

The Republican governor is set to kick off his campaign Tuesday morning in the gymnasium of his old high school in the town of Livingston, New Jersey, where he experienced some of his first political victories in student politics.

"The idea of going back to where you were when you were 15, or 16, or 17 years old, and to be able to stand in front of that group of people and offer yourself to the presidency is a really, really amazing moment," Christie said in a private call with donors, friends and out-of-state supporters a few hours before his official announcement.

Christie called on them to "to have confidence" going forward. He said he was "ready to go" and excited "to begin what I hope is going to be a really noble and successful effort to try to lead our country and to change the world."

Christie is aiming to reintroduce himself to a national audience that has seen him fade from favor among Republicans and then try to climb back.

Four years ago, some of Christie's backers tried to persuade him to challenge President Barack Obama. In the years since, he won re-election with ease, but also struggled to revive the state's moribund economy and fought with the state's Democratic-controlled legislature over pensions and the state budget.

While Christie's turn as head of the Republican Governors Association was widely viewed as a success in the 2014 midterm elections, he's also faced the fallout from the actions of three former aides, charged with creating politically motivated traffic jams to retaliate against a Democratic mayor who declined to endorse Christie's re-election.

The governor faces a tough sell with many conservatives, but has seemingly found his stride at times in visits to early voting states with the lively town hall meetings he's known for at home.

In articulating his vision for the country, Christie plans to draw heavily on his upbringing and his time in Livingston, a town about 20 miles west of New York City. His former high school friends were among the first to receive word that Christie would be launching his campaign at their old school.

"He's respecting his roots," said Stephen Slotnick, a fellow classmate who applauded the governor for including "the people who've grown up with him, the people who've supported him his entire life."

In an interview with The Associated Press ahead of his 35th high school reunion earlier this year, Christie, who also served in student government during his junior high school years, talked about some of the lessons he learned from those early races. Among them: Always vote for yourself.

"The first race I ever ran in, I did not vote for myself. I voted for the other person because I actually thought that you know it was conceited to vote for yourself. And I wound up losing the election by two votes," he said. "So I learned always to vote for yourself, that's the first thing."

Traffic Alert -- I-10 lanes closed, Hollywood to College
BEAUMONT (TXDOT) --The outside and middle lanes of I-10 westbound from Hollywood to College will be closed from 9 am-1 pm today for repairs. Expect possible delays. 

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