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Some of the stories we are working on for Alive at Five: 

  • A two-year old child is burned by boiling water.
  • A Lexus crashes head-on into an oncoming 18-wheeler.
  • Shell's Norco prepares to run without union workers
  • PA Police have new tool to combat gang violence.

Air Rescue has been called for child burned by boiling water

BEAUMONT --  Air Rescue has been called for a two-year-old child burned by boiling water in the  8100 block of Quail Hollow Dr. around 4 PM today.

Enforcement begins Thursday in Jefferson County gang injunction

BEAUMONT — From Jefferson County D.A.'s Office

A civil gang injunction granted by a Jefferson County judge became final earlier this week and law enforcement agencies will begin to enforce the injunction’s restrictions tomorrow, announced Criminal District Attorney Bob Wortham.  The injunction is in effect until January of 2025.   

The injunction, filed December 10, 2014, in County Court at Law Number One of Jefferson County, alleged the Surenos 13 criminal street gang and nine of its members to be a public nuisance.  The injunction requested 39 restrictions be placed on the gang to prevent the continuation of its criminal activity.  Judge Gerald Eddins agreed in a hearing on January 27, 2015, and ordered all nine defendants to be subjected to 37 restrictions in a certain geographical area called a “safety zone” and two restrictions that will be enforced countywide.

The “Surenos Safety Zone 2014” is approximately 6.35 square miles and comprises of the following boundaries located in Port Arthur and Groves:

Intersection of Proctor Street (2800/2900 block of Memorial Blvd, (east/west) and (400 block north/south) of Memorial Blvd (HWY 69) North on Memorial Blvd (4300 block north/south) to HWY 73. Hwy 73 (2800/2900 block) East to Main Ave in Groves Texas. South on Main Ave to Proctor Street Extension. Proctor Street extension (6000 block) West back to the intersection of Memorial Blvd (HWY 69) or 2800 block of Proctor in Port Arthur Jefferson County, Texas.

Restrictions include but are not limited to, a curfew between the hours of 9pm and 6am, a ban on possessing weapons or items to make gang graffiti,  prohibits gang members from being together in a public place, and forbids the gang members from displaying gang signs or wearing gang clothing.  A violation of the 39 restrictions can subject the enjoined defendants to immediate arrest and prosecution for a Class A misdemeanor which carries up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine or both. 

Numerous law enforcement agencies including the Port Arthur Police Department, Groves Police Department, and some federal agencies will assist in enforcement efforts beginning on Thursday, March 5. 

First Assistant Criminal District Attorney Cory Crenshaw stated, “Gang injunctions have been wildly successful in counties across this state.  Gang injunctions significantly reduce gang crime and bring much needed relief to the neighborhoods most impacted by this nuisance.  We are grateful that Judge Eddins agreed with the facts and evidence we presented in our case and we are optimistic this injunction will rid our county of this lawless gang.  Should another gang step up to fill the vacuum left as a result of this injunction, the District Attorney’s Office stands ready to file additional injunctions.”


Lumberton PD: fatal crash at Hwy 69 and Jordan Dr.

UPDATE No. 2 -- Lumberton Police report that all lanes of Hwy 69 are now open and the wreck has been cleared.


UPDATE  --  KFDM Photographer Kevin Fitch reports from the scene of the Hwy 69 accident that the 18-wheeler was traveling north on Hwy. 69 with a man and woman in the cab..   A male driver was traveling South on Hwy 69 in a Lexus. 


For unknown reasons, the driver of the Lexus drifted into both of the north bound lanes when the head-on collision happened.


Stay tuned to KFDM.com and KFDM News at Noon, 5 and 6pm for updates.


The accident is still under investigation. 


Hwy 69 north bound is still closed and one lane of Hwy 69 south bound is open.  Police are alternating traffic on one south bound lane.  


Police have not released the name of those involved in the accident.


LUMBERTON -- Lumberton PD reports a fatal accident on Hwy 69 near Jordan Dr. in Lumberton involving a Lexus and an 18-wheeler.


When emergency personnel arrived on the scene they discovered the driver of the Lexus died in the accident.  The truck driver was not injured.



Groves Police: Unknown customer during robbery was gunman's lookout

GROVES -- Groves Police say a customer in the B & B Mini Mart during a robbery Feb. 28, was the gunman's lookout.


The robbery suspect entered the store Saturday, Feb 28 and displayed a handgun and demanded money from the store clerk.  He then fled the area on foot.They identified the lookout as Jamile Christopher Hamilton, 19, of Port Arthur.  


The gunman was identified as Donovan Lee Barnes, 21, of Port Arthur. Police were able to locate and arrest Barnes within two hours of the robbery, at an apartment complex in Port Arthur. 

 

Barnes was booked at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility where he was charged with Aggravated Robbery which is a 1st Degree Felony.  Judge Mehaffy set the bond at $200,000.,On Tuesday, March 3, detectives secured an arrest warrant for Hamilton.  

 

With the assistance of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Hamilton was arrested at an apartment complex in Port Arthur and taken into custody without  Incident.  He is currently being held at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.  Judge DeRouen set Hamilton's bond at $200,000.

House bill could exempt English-learning students from tests, help schools' rating

EL PASO (KFOX14) -- On Tuesday, House Bill 66, authored by Representative Mary Gonzalez, District 75, passed the Public Education Committee at the state Capitol.


The piece of legislation would exempt English-learning student test scores on a school’s performance rating for up to three years after a student enrolls in the district.


"What House Bill 66 does is students will have to take the tests, but these tests aren't going to be punitive, they're just going to give us data," Gonzalez said. "It's not going to go on the campus report card."


Gonzalez said that when students who do not know the language are forced to take a state exam, their low scores often hurt school districts' accountability ratings.


"No one wants to use testing that isn't accurate to measure our schools' success rate," Gonzalez said.


Officials with Fabens ISD has 76 migrant students enrolled, and they said they have seen a rise in students seeking asylum in their district.


The district's superintendent, Poncho Garcia, said the students have a very difficult time passing because 80 percent of them don't know English when they enroll in the district.


He added that that hurts the district's accountability.


"For districts you're rated on your ability of how many kids pass their EOC tests," Garcia said.


Gonzalez said the idea for the bill was given to her by Ysleta and Socorro school districts last legislative session when they came to her with this problem.


Abraham Chacon is a senior at Ysleta High School in the lower valley of El Paso.


He recently moved to El Paso from Mexico and he has only been speaking English for a year.  "I had a low level of English," Chacon said.


Chacon took a standardized test this week, even though he said he is not as as proficient as he'd like to be.  "The questions that are in the test are not that easy," Chacon said. "You have to have some skills to answer them."

But if the bill passes, students like Chacon would have a better chance at a higher grade.


"I think it's very important because in our least few years we've seen an increase in immigrant students in our school system," Gonzalez said. "Because of that increase, you want to make sure that the students, the teachers and the schools don't have unnecessary consequences based on our standardized testing."

Gonzalez said this would not only benefit school districts on the border, but schools all over the state of Texas.  If passed, the bill would go into effect Sept. 1, 2015.

Senate wants Texas voters to OK using funds for tax cuts

AUSTIN -- (AP)  --  Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants to use billions of extra dollars on tax cuts and paying down debt without forcing lawmakers to make a politically unpopular vote to authorize more spending.


Patrick said Wednesday the proposal would free up nearly $5 billion that is otherwise off limits unless the Republican-controlled Legislature votes to bust a self-imposed spending cap. That option is politically toxic to most conservatives.


A Senate bill would instead put the onus on voters in November to decide whether the Legislature can spend additional money in economic boom times on tax cuts and debt reduction.


Gov. Greg Abbot has called for more than $4 billion in tax cuts but other needs are piling up. Those include an underfunded state pension system and health care for retired teachers.


(Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Boston bombing trial: Defense says client did it

Photo: FBI / MGN    License Info

Lastest from the trial -- 

11 A.M.  --  A lawyer for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has begun her opening statement by admitting her client participated in the attacks.


Judy Clarke says: "It was him."


She says the only thing the defense disagrees with prosecutors about is "why."


Clarke calls the bombings a "series of senseless, horribly misguided acts carried out by two brothers."


But she portrayed brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the ringleader, saying he planned it and "enlisted his brother into these series of horrific acts." Tamerlan died in a shootout with police.


Clarke says: "The evidence will not establish and we will not argue that Tamerlan put a gun to Dzhokhar's head or that he forced him to join in the plan, but you will hear evidence about the kind of influence that this older brother had."


---

10:20 A.M.  --A prosecutor says Tsarnaev's motive for the Boston Marathon bombing was to reach paradise by claiming victory in a holy war against Americans.


Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb said Wednesday in opening statements that Tsarnaev "acted like he didn't have a care in the world" after the bombings. He says Tsarnaev hung out with friends while victims learned their limbs would have to be cut off.


The prosecutor described how 8-year-old Martin Richard stood on a metal barrier with other children so he could see the runners. Weinreb says Martin's mother found him lying on the ground bleeding to death after the bombs exploded.


The victims watched somberly as Weinreb described the carnage. Several victims hung their heads and appeared to fight back tears.

Zavalla man charged with shooting at family over messy room

By Steve Stewart (KJAS.com)  - ZAVALLA --  KTRE 9 News in Lufkin is reporting that a man in nearby Zavalla went to jail on Tuesday evening after he allegedly fired shots at his wife and adult stepson following an argument over a messy bedroom.

 

According to the report, Angelina County deputies were called out shortly before 7:00 to a residence on Holly Springs Lane. Once there, deputies determined that 65-year-old Ronald Carlton Smith used a rifle to fire shots at the family members. Smith told deputies that his 37-year-old stepson hit him on the head and then pushed him out of the room.

 

The report said that Smith allegedly fired at least three shots from a .22 caliber rifle at the stepson and his 57-year-old wife, but neither was injured.

 

Smith was later charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and at last word he remained in the Angelina County Jail.

Justices pepper health care law opponents with questions

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court justices peppered opponents of President Barack Obama's health care law with skeptical questions during oral arguments Wednesday on the latest challenge to the sweeping legislation.


Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote is seen as pivotal, suggested that the plaintiffs' argument raises a "serious" constitutional problem affecting the relationship between states and the federal government.


The plaintiffs argue that only residents of states that set up their own insurance markets can get federal subsidies to help pay their premiums.


Millions of people could be affected by the court's decision. The justices are trying to determine whether the law makes people in all 50 states eligible for federal tax subsidies to cut the cost of insurance premiums. Or, does it limit tax credits only to people who live in states that created their own health insurance marketplaces?


During oral arguments, the courts' liberal justices also expressed doubts. In an earlier case involving the law, however, Kennedy was on the opposite side, voting to strike down a key requirement.


A ruling that limits where subsidies are available would have dramatic consequences because roughly three dozen states opted against their own marketplace, or exchange, and instead rely on the U.S. Health and Human Services Department's healthcare.gov. Independent studies estimate that 8 million people could lose insurance coverage.


Activists on both sides were in place outside the marble courthouse by 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. Some held placards showing how many people in each state would lose insurance if the court rules that the law does not allow subsidies everywhere.


Opponents of the Affordable Care Act failed to kill the law in an epic, election-year Supreme Court case in 2012. Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the court's liberal justices and provided the crucial vote to uphold the law in the midst of Obama's re-election campaign.


The new case, part of a long-running political and legal fight to get rid of the law also known as Obamacare, focuses on four words - "established by the state" - in a law that runs more than 900 pages. The challengers say those words are clear and conclusive evidence that Congress wanted to limit subsidies only to those consumers who get their insurance through a marketplace, or exchange, that was established by the state.


The administration counters that the law was written to dramatically reduce the ranks of uninsured, and that it would make no sense to condition subsidies on where people live. The phrase "established by the state," is what the administration calls a "term of art" that takes both state- and federally run exchanges. The administration also says the term cannot be read in isolation, and that other parts of the law show that subsidies should be widely available.


Both sides in the case argue that the law unambiguously supports only its position. One other option for the court is to declare the law is ambiguous when it comes to subsidies and defer to the Internal Revenue Service's regulations making tax credits available nationwide.


Partisan and ideological divisions remain stark for a law that passed Congress in 2010 with no Republican votes. Of the judges who have ruled on lawsuits over the subsidies, Democratic appointees have sided with the administration and Republican appointees have been with the challengers.


Roberts was the only justice to essentially cross party lines with his vote in 2012. His fellow conservatives on the court voted to strike down Obamacare in its entirety.


The lawyers arguing the case Wednesday also squared off three years ago. Michael Carvin argued part of the broad challenge to the health care law in 2012. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., the administration's chief Supreme Court lawyer, successfully defended it.


A decision in King v. Burwell, 14-114, is expected by late June.

---

Follow Mark Sherman on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/shermancourt

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 

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