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City of Beaumont taking steps to reduce flooding

BEAUMONT - From City of Beaumont

The City of Beaumont has taken a number of steps to protect residents from flooding and flood damage over the past 12 months, including, but not limited to the following:

*Our Community Development Department has identified properties that are prone to flooding, known as repetitive loss areas. The city engineering office, in conjunction with Jefferson County Drainage District #6, has conducted studies and implemented mitigation measures in those areas.

*The city is in the process of making several appeals to the Federal Insurance Rate Map of our area. In an attempt to improve floodplain management for the city, we continue to update the digital map we have access to. This is not an official map, and therefore cannot be released to the public, but it is a great tool for plan review and office use.

*In our yearly update of the repetitive loss list, we proved 232 properties were mitigated due to successful drainage projects implemented over the years. This data has since been submitted to FEMA in hopes of returning these properties to preferred risk status for insurance purposes.

*The City of Beaumont was awarded $965,626 in Severe Repetitive Loss funds to purchase and demolish the apartment complex at 2505 Sweetgum, providing relief from flooding. This project is expected to be completed by 2017./ Our Building Codes Division has adopted the 2009 International Building Code, which is creating stronger, more storm resistant structures.

*The City of Beaumont’s Planning and Zoning Division participates in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System, a voluntary program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.

Family of murdered man delivers victim's impact statement to killer

 BEAUMONT, Texas – The family of a man murdered in Beaumont had an opportunity in court Wednesday to deliver a victim's impact statement to the killer.

The family of Marcus Simon Junior told Thomas Thien Nguyen, 24, how the killing affected their family.

Monday 252nd Criminal District Court Judge Lindsay Scott sentenced Nguyen to 40 years in prison for murder and 20 years for each of two assaults. He must serve at least 20 years before he becomes eligible for parole.

Nguyen pled guilty Monday to murder and two counts of aggravated assault stemming from a May 2010 shooting. He faced charges of shooting and killing Marcus Simon, Jr., of Beaumont, as well as shooting two other men, in an early morning altercation on May 27, 2012.

According to investigative reports, the two shooting victims that survived, Arthur Harmon and Mikael McGee, identified the shooter as Nguyen, who was an acquaintance of Simon. 

The D.A.'s Office says Beaumont police that responded to the scene knew Nguyen from an unrelated prior investigation.  He was located at his residence in Beaumont where officers located two firearms that were used in the shooting.  

Evidence indicates the motive in the case surrounded a narcotics transaction.


CDC separates fact from fiction about Ebola

WASHINGTON, D.C. - From Centers for Disease Control

Click here for comprehensive CDC information about Ebola

The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest in history and the first Ebola epidemic the world has ever known — affecting multiple countries( in West Africa. Although the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is very low, CDC and partners are taking precautions to prevent this from happening. On 9/30/2014, CDC confirmed, the first travel-associated case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States(

Symptoms of Ebola include

  • Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

Recovery from Ebola depends on the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.


Because the natural reservoir host of Ebola viruses has not yet been identified, the manner in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, researchers believe that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal.

When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with

  • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • infected animals
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.

Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of sick patients.

During outbreaks of Ebola, the disease can spread quickly within healthcare settings (such as a clinic or hospital). Exposure to Ebola can occur in healthcare settings where hospital staff are not wearing appropriate protective equipment, including masks, gowns, and gloves and eye protection.

Dedicated medical equipment (preferable disposable, when possible) should be used by healthcare personnel providing patient care. Proper cleaning and disposal of instruments, such as needles and syringes, is also important. If instruments are not disposable, they must be sterilized before being used again. Without adequate sterilization of the instruments, virus transmission can continue and amplify an outbreak.

Once someone recovers from Ebola, they can no longer spread the virus. However, Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to 3 months. People who recover from Ebola are advised to abstain from sex or use condoms for 3 months.

Latest CDC Outbreak Information(
Updated September 30, 2014

What's New

September 30, 2014 - CDC Newsroom: CDC and Texas Health Department Confirm First Ebola Case Diagnosed in the U.S.

September 30, 2014 - First Imported Case of Ebola Diagnosed in the U.S.(

September 26, 2014 - Checklist for Healthcare Coalitions for Ebola Preparedness[PDF - 4 pages] (

Appeals court refuses to reinstate DeLay convictions

HOUSTON (AP) - The highest criminal court in Texas has refused to reinstate two money-laundering convictions of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday upheld a ruling last year from the 3rd Court of Appeals that tossed DeLay's 2010 convictions for money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Prosecutors argued in June before the Austin-based Court of Criminal Appeals that the convictions be reinstated.

But the appeals court said in its 8-1 ruling it agrees with the lower court findings, which said as a matter of law, what prosecutors proved in DeLay's case did not constitute either offense.

The charges were related to corporate donations to DeLay's political action committee that prosecutors say were illegally funneled to some Texas House candidates in 2002.

Update on Highway 87 collision in Newton County

NEWTON COUNTY - A collision on Highway 87 in Newton County has injured several people, including children.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, at about 6 a.m. Wednesday two vehicles collided on Highway 87 just north of Deweyville. The crash injured two adults and three minor children.

The DPS says preliminary reports indicate the driver of a 2003 Pontiac passenger vehicle was traveling north on Highway 87 and the driver of a 2008 Dodge SUV was southbound on Highway 87.  The driver of the Pontiac veered into the southbound traffic lane and struck the Dodge head-on.  Troopers say at this time they can't determine exactly why the driver drove into the southbound lane of the highway.

The driver of the Pontiac, 27-year-old Tiffany Garrett of Vidor, was transported to Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth in critical condition. Garrett is in surgery.  There were three minor children in Garrett's vehicle at the time of the crash.  The two children that were in the back seat of the vehicle were in car seats and both were transported to Christus St. Elizabeth hospital. The DPS is checking on their injuries.  The minor child seated in the front seat of Garrett's vehicle was wearing a seat belt but sustained serious injuries and was flown by medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. 

The driver of the Dodge SUV, 29-year-old James Witmere of Newton, was transported to Christus St. Elizabeth in critical condition.

Troopers are working to confirm the ages of the minor children; however, their names will not be released.

NEWTON COUNTY - State troopers have reopened Highway 87 after it was closed for about one hour Wednesday morning following an accident, according to Trooper Stephanie Davis with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

A DPS dispatcher in Lufkin told KFDM News two troopers were investigating the accident on Highway 87 north of Deweyville. He doesn't have information yet on injuries.

Troopers received a call at about 6:10 a.m. Wednesday reporting the accident on Highway 87.  

Fatal accident Tuesday at Jasper/Sabine County line

JASPER COUNTY/SABINE COUNTY - By Steve W Stewart/KJAS and Rayburn Broadcasting Company

A Jasper County official has released the name of a man who died in a Tuesday evening crash at the Jasper/Sabine County Line. Meanwhile, another person is listed in very critical condition in a Beaumont hospital, and state troopers are still trying to figure out exactly how the accident happened.

According to Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Brett Holloway, 53-year-old Larry Lee Fike was pronounced dead at the scene, however, it took several hours for he and other officials to identify who the man was, and then to notify next-of-kin. Holloway said Fike was a native of Caldwell, but most recently lived in the Pine Terrace area near Brookeland.

The crash occurred shortly after 5:00 on Highway 96 in Brookeland, just a few feet inside the Sabine County line. A stretch of the highway had to be shut down, and traffic was diverted around the scene on Loop 149 in Brookeland. Troopers and other emergency personnel were at the scene until about 10:00 Tuesday night.

Troopers say they are still trying to determine which of the two men was driving the early model Chevrolet pickup truck, which collided with the trailer of an 18-wheeler. Troopers said they know the big-rig was traveling southbound on Highway 96, and it was believed that the pickup truck pulled out of a side road or a parking lot, and was struck on the passenger side by the driver-side rear portion of the trailer at the tires.

The pickup truck then slid off of the east side of the highway and stopped in a convenience store parking lot.

The truck driver, whose name has not been released, was not injured in the crash. He was driving a late model Freightliner which belongs to Sedita Trucking Inc. in Conroe, and he was pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with Georgia Pacific lumber.

Voter registration deadline Monday

JEFFERSON COUNTY - From Terry Wuenschel, Jefferson County Voter Registrar

Individuals who wish to vote in the November 4th Election must register, or make necessary corrections to their name and/or address, on or before, Monday, October 6, 2014.

Jefferson County residents may register in person at the Jefferson County Courthouse at 1149 Pearl Street in Beaumont, the Mid-County Tax Office at 4605 Jerry Ware Drive in Nederland, or at the Jefferson County Sub-Courthouse, located at 525 Lakeshore Drive in Port Arthur. Several deputy voter registrars are also working throughout the community to register individuals.

If you have a name or address change, or are unsure of your status, call 409-835-VOTE (8683) or 409-985-VOTE (8683). All new Voter Registration Applications and changes to your name and/or address must have the date indicated by the post office cancellation mark on or before October 6, 2014.

In an effort to accommodate all residents of Jefferson County, the Beaumont Voter Registration Office, now located on the 3rd floor of the courthouse, will extend its hours and be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM on October 6, 2014.   

Troopers identify Silsbee woman killed in FM 418 crash

Texas DPS reported a Silsbee woman was killed in a two-vehicle crash on FM 418 near the intersection with FM 1122 in Hardin county at about 2:30pm today. 

According to the investigating Trooper, a 2014 Mack truck tractor was traveling westbound on FM 418 and a 2007 Saturn passenger vehicle was traveling eastbound on FM 418.  

The driver of the Saturn attempted to make a left turn into a store parking lot directly in the path of the truck tractor.  The truck tractor struck the Saturn in the passenger side door.

The passenger of the Saturn, 19 year old Jobaha Sanchez of Silsbee, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.  

The driver of the Saturn, 20 year old Chase Spencer of Silsbee, was transported to St. Elizabeth hospital in serious but stable condition.  

The driver of the truck tractor, 60 year old Frank Morgan of Livingston, was not injured and refused medical treatment at the scene.

DPS closed FM 418 in both directions for almost three hours, but was reopened at 5:20pm.

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