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Blue Bell issues voluntary recall

BRENHAM, Texas (AP) — Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries issued a voluntary recall Monday night for all of its products on the market after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria.

The company "cannot say with certainty" how the bacteria was introduced to its facilities, Blue Bell's chief executive Paul Kruse said in a statement. Blue Bell issued the recall that includes ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks distributed in 23 states and international locations because other products "have the potential to be contaminated," according to the statement.

"We're committed to doing the 100 percent right thing, and the best way to do that is to take all of our products off the market until we can be confident that they are all safe," Kruse said.

The first recall in the family-owned creamery's 108-year history was issued last month after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked ice cream contaminated with listeria to three deaths at a Kansas hospital. Five others in Kansas and Texas were sickened with listeriosis, which can cause fever, muscle aches, gastrointestinal symptoms.

The illness was tracked to a production line in Brenham, Texas, and later to a second line in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The most recently contaminated samples were discovered through a testing program the company initiated after its first recall, according to the statement.

Monday's recall extends to retail outlets in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming and international locations.

The manufacturing facility in Oklahoma where operations were suspended earlier this month for sanitizing will remain closed as Blue Bell continues to investigate the source of the bacteria, the statement said.

Blue Bell is implementing a process to test all of its products before releasing them to the market, with plans to resume limited distribution soon.

The company said it is also expanding its cleaning and sanitization system, beefing up its employee training, expanding its swabbing system by 800 percent to include more surfaces and is sending daily samples to a microbiology laboratory for testing.

Listeria primarily affects pregnant women and their newborns, older adults and people with immune systems weakened by cancer, cancer treatments, or other serious conditions.

There's more information on the company's website:

Jury picked in Boyett trial

HARDIN COUNTY - Attorney have picked a jury of eight women and four men in the trial of Crystal Boyett, charged in connection with the deaths of two sisters and the unborn son of the older sister.

Watch KFDM News and stay with for trial coverage.

The 41-year-old defendant from Kirbyville faces three counts of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for a fatal collision last year.

Connely Burns, 20, and the unborn son she'd named Tyson, died in the collision, as did Burns' sister, Courtney Sterling, 15. Their mother was critically injured and spent months recovering.

District Attorney David Sheffield tells KFDM News his office is trying Boyett for the death of Connely Burns. Sheffield tells us he's holding open the possibility, in the future, of trying Boyett for the other deaths and the injury to the mother.

Investigators say Boyett was traveling at least 100 miles an hour February 3 of last year when she crashed into a vehicle driven by Courtney Sterling near the intersection of Highway 96 and 69 in Lumberton.

Jury selection began Monday morning and didn't end until about 7:15 p.m. Monday. There were about 80 potential jurors that showed up at the courthouse. The jury consists of eight women and four men.

The D.A. says the prosecution has dozens of potential witnesses. He isn't sure how many they'll call. The trial is expected to take at least several days.

If convicted, Boyett will face up to 20 years in prison. She'd be eligible for parole in 10. Sheffield says under the law, no matter how many times she's tried and convicted for this case, the maximum sentence would be 20 years total.  He tells KFDM News he'll ask the jury for the maximum punishment if it convicts Boyett.

Sheffield and Bruce Hoffer will try the case for the Hardin County District Attorney's Office.

Earlier report Monday - Jury selection is underway Monday in the trial of a woman charged with driving more than 100 mph and causing a collision that killed a woman and her unborn child as well as the woman's sister. Their mother was critically injured in the crash in Lumberton.

Watch KFDM News and stay with for coverage and updates.

Testimony is scheduled to begin Tuesday in the trial of Crystal Boyett, 41. She's charged with three counts of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She faces up to 20 years in prison if the jury convicts her.

Boyett is out of jail on $2.4 million bond.

A judge increased her bond by $400,000.00, to $2.4 million, December 11, following a hearing in Hardin County. He also ordered her not to drive. Under the previous bond conditions she was prevented from driving only in Hardin County.

The district attorney sought the increase or a bond revocation after he learned Boyett had received a speeding ticket in October for traveling 75 miles-per-hour in a 65 mile-per-hour zone. She pleaded guilty in November.

Boyett is charged with three counts of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a collision February 3 in Lumberton that killed Connely Burns, 20, her unborn son, Tyson, and Burns' sister, Courtney Sterling, 15. Their mother was hurt in the crash near the intersection of Highway 96 and 69.

Troopers say Boyett was traveling at more than 100 mph prior to the crash.

Coming up at 10 PM on KFDM News Tonight

Some of the stories we are working on for KFDM News Tonight at 10 PM -A friend of Millett Harrison's mother speak out about her fear of her son.  

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Houston area man in Newton jail on drug charges

NEWTON -- Newton County Sheriff Eddie Shannon said on Monday that a Houston-area man is in jail after drugs and money was discovered over the weekend.

According to Shannon, it all began on Saturday when Deputy Cody Downs, along with Deputy Barry Laird and a Newton police officer stopped a 2001 Acura SUV for a minor traffic violation on Farm to Market Road 2626.

Sheriff Shannon said it was soon discovered that the driver of the vehicle, 39-year-old Rashawn Mikle, of Humble, was wanted in Newton County on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

According to Shannon, a search of the vehicle revealed a large amount of cocaine, ecstacy tablets, and marijuana, along with $1,362.00 in cash.

Mikle later appeared before Newton County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Dana Ashmore, who leveled several charges against him. His bond was set at a combined total of $150,000.00, and at last word he remained behind bars.

Jasper man with child in vehicle evades Troopers

JASPER -- State Troopers and Jasper Police are looking for a 40-year-old Jasper man who faces Evading Arrest and Endangering a Child charges (both State Jail Felonies) after he fled from a traffic stop with a 13-year-old child in his pickup truck Monday.

The wanted man was identified as Patrick DeWayne Williams, 40 of Jasper, by passengers in his truck and by relatives.

A State Trooper in Jasper county initiated a traffic stop for an equipment violation on Highway 190 (eastbound) in the city of Jasper.  The driver of a green Toyota Tundra truck was operating a vehicle with an inoperable stop lamp and did not stop after the Trooper activated his emergency lights.  The Trooper advised the dispatcher that he had initiated a pursuit of a vehicle.


Initially, the Toyota truck was eastbound on Highway 190, turned into a bank parking lot and then continued eastbound on Highway 190.  The driver quickly turned onto South Bowie Street and traveled for about a quarter-mile before turning into a trailer park area. 

Once the vehicle came to a stop, the driver immediately exited the vehicle and ran on foot.  The Texas Department of Public Safety, with the assistance of the Jasper Police Department’s K-9 unit, conducted a brief search of the area for the suspect.  The suspected was not located.


After the search of the area, the Trooper returned to the suspect’s vehicle and questioned the two passengers in the vehicle.  One of the passengers in the vehicle was a 13-year-old minor child and the other passenger was a 24-year-old male subject from Jasper.  The two passengers and relatives identified the driver of the vehicle as 40-year-old Patrick DeWayne Williams of Jasper.


Troopers will file charges against Williams for Evading Arrest (State Jail Felony) and Endangering a Child (State Jail Felony).


There is no further information to be released.

Groves Police arrest man for burglary of Church

GROVES -- Groves Police have arrested Thomas Cain Robinson, 23, of Groves and charged him with burglary of the Friendship Baptist Church, 3417 Berry Avenue.

Officers were called to church about 4:29 PM on April 18 and observed a male fleeing from the rear of the church.

He was attempting to leave the area via adjacent backyards of residences. Police determined the man ha forced entry into the church and attempted to remove electronic equipment.

Robinson was transported to the Jefferson County Correctional facility where he was charged with Burglary of a Building. Robinson also had an active warrant out of Chambers County for Robbery.

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