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Arrest warrant issued for Newton County sheriff
KFDM News - An arrest warrant has been issued for the Newton County sheriff.

The attorney for Newton County Sheriff Eddie Shannon tells KFDM News he's confident the sheriff will be exonerated of a felony charge of terroristic threat handed up Thursday afternoon by a grand jury.

The grand jury indicted Shannon on the Third Degree Felony charge of terroristic threat. If convicted, he could face punishment ranging from probation to between 2 and 10 years in prison.

In June, our media partner KJAS reported that Shannon had attended a Commissioners Court meeting in which he became frustrated with the court.  KJAS said a source told them Shannon had gone back to the Sheriff's Office and reportedly threatened to shoot the county judge and commissioners. Shannon's attorney, Blair Bisbey, called the accusations "absurd."

The Texas Rangers investigated and Tyler County Assistant District Attorney Lou Ann Cloy was appointed Special Prosecutor.

The attorney for Shannon says Shannon will continue to serve as sheriff to the best of his ability.      

However, KFDM News checked with the Newton County Judge Truman Dougharty. He told us he'll check with the special prosecutor before deciding what action, if any, to take on the sheriff's job status. The county judge did not want to comment on the indictment.

In a statement to KFDM News, attorney Blair Bisbey said, "We are disappointed that the grand jury reached what we consider an erroneous decision. Grand jury proceedings are secret, so we have no way of knowing what influenced that decision, but we do have complete faith in our system of justice and are confident that once we have the opportunity to present all the facts in open court in a public trial, that Sheriff Shannon's innocence will be obvious, and that he will be exonerated from these unfortunate accusations. In the meantime, he will continue to serve the people of Newton County to the best of his ability as their elected sheriff."

BISD notifies employees of layoffs


The Board of Managers voted to approve Phase I of the Reduction in Force (RIF) at its regularly scheduled meeting on July 28, 2014. Phase I of the RIF was employees from administration which included Project Director/Supervisor 21st Century Grant Lona Mitchell-Alexander, Special Initiative Supervisor/Grant Writer Veda Brown, Director of Communications Jessie Haynes, and District Lead Math Teacher Jeffrey Nelson.  According to Board President Dr. Jimmy Simmons, the board wanted to keep the planetarium open; hence the District Planetarium Lead Teacher Sharon Rigsby was not a part of the RIF. Chief Academic Officer Dr. Dwaine Augustine, who is also acting in the capacity of Interim Human Resources Director, in a report to the board on Monday, July 28, 2014, stated that of the 221 contracted positions slated to be riffed all but approximately six has been placed in vacant positions throughout the district. As of today, July 31, 2014 all but approximately one has been placed in positions.

At-will notifications will be sent by mail to affected employees today, July 31, 2014. A total of 110 at-will positions will be eliminated, and of the 110 positions, over 28 people in those positions have already retired or resigned. The decision to eliminate certain positions was based on staffing guidelines. "This is a very difficult time for all of us, but we had to make tough decisions that were in the best interest of the district," Butler said. In order to make this difficult process for affected employees, the district did give employees a two week notice. The last working day for employees affected by the RIF will be August 15, 2014. They will also be covered by the district's insurance until August 31, 2014. Employees will also have the opportunity to apply for vacant positions as they become available. The district is also in the process of working with Texas Workforce Solutions to provide support for employees affected by the RIF. Further details will be released upon confirmation.

During the 2013-2014 school year, the district had a total of 2829 employees, which cost a total of $138,654,934.09. For the upcoming 2014-2015 school year according to Chief Academic Officer Dr. Dwaine Augustine, the total amount of employees has decreased to 2496 which will cost the district approximately $121,852,275.06. From 2013-2014 to 2014-2015, the district will have reduced the total amount of employees by 333 which will save the district approximately $16,802,659.03. 

"As information becomes available and decisions are made regarding the RIF, I will make sure we keep staff and the community informed," said Butler. 

Udate on child who's father and stepmother were gunned down outside Tyler County church
TYLER COUNTY - The young daughter of a man killed with his wife outside a Tyler County church back in January is now having extended visitation with her paternal grandmother.

The grandmother has been pursuing custody of the 5-year-old daughter of Nathan Maddox.

Nathan and Kristal Maddox were shot and killed on Jan. 18 outside Mount Carmel Baptist Church.
Investigators say the couple was in a custody battle with the family of Nathan Maddox's ex-wife, who is the child's mother.

Back in March, deputies arrested Nathan Maddox's ex-wife, Kristen Westfall along with her brother and parents.

They're charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and accused of working together to commit the shooting.

Child Protective Services spokeswoman Shari Pulliam says CPS is working toward seeing that the young child's grandmother Kelly Haggard has alternative relative conservatorship. Pulliam said giving Haggard permanent custody of the child is the state's ultimate goal.

Bridge City ISD could possibly hold bond election
BRIDGE CITY - The Bridge City ISD superintendent Mike King heard from the community about a potential bond election.

The district organized a community facility committee last year to discuss the needs of the district and its programs.

The superintendent highlighted several of those needs, which would benefit from the bond such as academics, a fine arts center and athletics.

District officials will have another open meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday,  Aug. 7, in the Bridge City High School cafeteria.

Jazz on the Lake kicks off, more to come
KFDM News - It can't get any better than live music, good food and wine.

The city of Beaumont kicked off its Jazz at the Lake concert featuring Dean James.

The next concert will be Aug. 28, featuring Jimmy Simmons, and on Sept. 25, featuring the Jazz Innovators.

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Asia stocks dip on Dow drop

HONG KONG (AP) -- Most Asian stock markets dipped on Friday following a big sell-off on Wall Street but losses were limited by optimistic reports on China's economy.

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   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
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LONDON (AP) -- Zoe Saldana hopes fanboys find her sexy in "Guardians of the Galaxy" even though she has green skin.

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