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Tonight at 10PM:  a woman and her daughter scramble to safety as their house goes up in flames. Plus, KFDM's Lauren Huet  talks to the sister of a man found burned in his car -- she tell the agony of not knowing what happened.

Fire destroys home in the Dixie Community

By Steve Steward KJAS.com -- 

JASPER COUNTY--   Fire destroyed a home in the Dixie Community on Monday afternoon. 

 

 

The blaze was reported at about 3:30 on County Road 103, about one-half mile west of Farm to Market Road 1747.

 

The volunteers of both the Angelina River and Jasper Fire Departments responded, and arrived a short time later to find the house completely engulfed in flames.

 

The home belonged to Mary Lee Hafford, who said that she was inside with her daughter and two grandchildren when it began. Hafford said she felt the heat of the fire, and got everyone out safely.

 

Firefighters worked for about an hour to bring it under control.

 

There were no injuries, and no word on what may have caused the fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chambers County deputies arrest four for boat ramp burglary

CHAMBERS COUNTY -- Chambers County deputies Sunday arrested and jailed four suspects on charges of Burglary of a Motor Vehicle. "Investigations are ongoing into the recent boat ramp burglaries and also whether or not they can be tied to these suspects", said Sheriff Hawthorne. 

 

The four suspects are: Ramiro Rangel, 17,  w/m from Baytown, Eriverto Jaimes, 18, w/m from Baytown, Benito Lozoya, 17, w/m from Baytown, and Isaac Chavez , 17., w/m also from Baytown.

 

 All four suspects claimed they were students of Baytown Lee High School.  The four suspects have been arraigned on two counts each of Burglary of a Motor vehicle and their bonds set at $10,000 each.  

Possible drone found on White House lawn

WASHINGTON (AP) — A device, possibly an unmanned aerial drone, was found on the White House grounds during the middle of the night while President Barack Obama and the first lady were in India, but his spokesman said Monday that it posed no threat.

It was unclear whether their daughters, Sasha and Malia, were at home at the time of the incident with their grandmother, Marian Robinson, who also lives at the White House. The White House had said before the president's trip that the daughters would remain in Washington so not to miss school.

The Secret Service had no immediate comment on what it found.

Obama's press secretary, Josh Earnest, speaking in New Delhi, did not deny that the object found at the White House was an aerial drone. Drones come in various sizes, some quite small, with purposes ranging from surveillance to recreational toys.

"There is a device that has been recovered by the Secret Service at the White House," Earnest said when asked if a drone was found. "The early indications are that it does not pose any sort of ongoing threat to anybody at the White House."

Police, fire and other emergency vehicles swarmed around the White House in the predawn hours, with several clustered near the southeast entrance to the mansion. The White House was dark and the entire perimeter was on lockdown until around 5 a.m., when those who work in the complex were allowed inside.

After daylight, more than a dozen Secret Service officers fanned out in a search across the White House lawn as snow began to fall. They peered down in the grass and used flashlights to look through the large bushes that line the mansion's driveway.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, were the featured guests Monday at a parade celebrating India's Republic Day. They planned to stop in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday before returning to Washington.

While the circumstances of this incident were not immediately clear, previous security breaches at the White House have led to questions about the Secret Service's effectiveness.

Four high-ranking executives were reassigned this month, and former director Julia Pierson was forced to resign last year after a Texas man armed with a knife was able to get over a White House fence in September and run deep into the executive mansion before being subdued.

An independent panel that investigated the agency's leadership and practices in the wake of the September incident and the disclosure of a previously unreported security breach that month recommended hiring a new director from outside the agency.

That report was the second critical review of the agency responsible for protecting the president. In November, the Homeland Security Department, which oversees the Secret Service, released an internal investigation about the fence-scaling incident that found poor training, staff and a series of missteps led to the breach.

Homeland Security investigators found, among other things, that uniformed agents patrolling the White House grounds the night of Sept. 19 mistakenly assumed that thick bushes near the mansion's front door would stop the intruder.

___ Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nedrapickler

DETCOG - region struggling to emerge from "Great Recession"

San Augustine, Texas - "Despite all you hear about how well the Texas economy is doing, the 12 county Deep East Texas Region is struggling to emerge from the recent 'Great Recession,'" Deep East Texas Council of Governments Executive Director Walter Diggles told his board of directors at their January meeting. 


Diggles went on to summarize the slow and steady growth in jobs and population the region had experienced in the first decade of the century. "Between 2000 and 2010 the population of the Deep East Texas region grew by over 6%, but after reaching a peak in 2011 Census estimates are now showing that the regional population has dropped by more than 2,000 people," Diggles reported.


Current job reports are showing a similar trend. "The region reported slow but steady growth in jobs from 2000 to 2010. However the past four years the numbers have been down and then back up in a 2,000 jobs range. According to the methodology used to compile the jobs numbers the 2,000 variance is within the margin of error for the reports," said Diggles, "which indicates there has been no growth in jobs."


The report also covers the region’s local sale tax allocations from the state. After tracking individual city and county allocations for several years, DETCOG has started preparing a Comprehensive Regional Sales Tax Report. Much like population and jobs, the report shows a recent downturn in local sales tax allocations to the cities and counties in the region. Those numbers indicate an over $85 Million drop in taxable sales in the twelve counties from 2013 to 2014.


"The State of the Region 2015" also covers DETCOG Programs and Activities that have brought money and jobs into the region. Hurricane Ike Disaster Recovery funds have been used for a job creating Forgivable Loan Program that has committed $4.75 Million to create over 300 jobs at thirteen businesses across the region. Working with cities and counties in the region, DETCOG has assisted in securing nearly $9 Million in Economic Development Administration grants for Industrial Park Infrastructure, a Commerce Center and Water/Sewer Infrastructure improvements. DETCOG's Regional Housing Authority has paid part of the rent on 1,800 units of housing this past year. Those payments put over $10 Million into the regional economy.

The Hurricane Ike Housing Recovery Program has completed 26 site built, single family, homes in 2014. There are another 53 homes either authorized to be built or being built. The program is projected to build a total of 110 new homes in the region. DETCOG also participated in bringing $5 Million into both Lufkin and Nacogdoches to build or enhance storm shelters. Those funds were used to expand their civic centers.


"We think it is important that everyone recognizes what is happening and that we do not wait until 2020 to start doing something about it," concluded Diggles, "DETCOG plans to expand its Economic Development Efforts in 2015 and encourage the cities and counties in the region to focus on helping their local businesses create jobs."


The Deep East Texas Council of Governments region covers 12 counties. Those counties are Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler.

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