News

A jury has found a former Beaumont correctional supervisor guilty of federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas for providing a cell phone to a cartel leader imprisoned at the private prison facility, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston Dec. 15. 

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Shangri La Botanical Garden and Nature Center announced the death of Maxine, the beloved barred owl. Maxine died peacefully Thursday, Dec. 1, at the age of 14. Known as the gentle ambassador for Shangri La’s education department, Maxine had a place in the hearts of many in the community.

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This week, Crime Stoppers needs your help in locating five fugitives wanted for drug charges.

Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s assistance in getting potentially dangerous dope dealers and drug users, along with the poisonous products they carry, off the streets. To that end, The Examiner will feature a list of five persons accused of drug-related crimes each week in High Five.

“Crime Stoppers and The Examiner are teaming up to fight the drug problem in Southeast Texas,” Beaumont Police Officer Carol Riley of Crime Stoppers said.

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Brian David Haney, 37-year-old partial owner of Vidor Family Pharmacy, pleaded guilty in Austin on Dec. 14 to federal bribery and tax charges in connection with a health care fraud scheme.

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane, Haney pleaded guilty to a two-count Information charging him with willful offer and payment of illegal remuneration in relation to a federal health care program and one count of making and filing a false income tax return.

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Robert Johnson Jr.

Jefferson County prosecutor Tom Kelley said he was pleased with a jury’s decision to mete out swift justice in a case that afforded a decade behind bars for a Beaumont man who entered a former acquaintance’s home and tried to sexually assault the woman in front of her small child.

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A local man is concerned with the potential lack of police presence at Parkdale Mall this holiday season after the Beaumont Police Department (BPD) pulled out of its substation earlier this year. But police say the closing of the substation has not negatively impacted crime in the shopping center as patrolmen are always close at hand and extra units are currently assigned to protect Christmas shoppers and others.

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Rhydan Bolton and Kristofer Garcia

UPDATE: Kristofer Garcia, 22, of Beaumont was found guilty of murder in the Jan. 19, 2015 shooting death of Rhydan Bolton, 19, a student at Lamar University. The jury later sentenced Garcia to 60 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine. 

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Rose Bottley brings toilet paper to the party.

At its annual Toilet Paper Tea on Thursday, Dec. 8, Southeast Texas Hospice encouraged attendees to bring an item to stock the office’s shelves for the new year and provide more end of life services in the Golden Triangle area.

Its first Christmas open house was held after moving into a new 4,500-square-foot office.

“My initial reaction was I’m not going to be able to pay the rent, much less provide toilet paper and lightbulbs,” said Mary McKenna, executive director. She invited people to bring these items to keep the organization afloat.

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Beaumont Police Department Chief Jimmy Singletary said he is grateful for the generous volunteers who decorated the downtown station’s tree this year, and to people who continue to donate gifts for local families in need this holiday season.

Debbie Rogers and Amy Hymel volunteered their time and services to make the lobby at the police station more festive in celebration of Christmas.

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Beaumont ISD Officer Macie Bergeron and Chief Rob Flores

The Beaumont Public Schools Foundation (BPSF) distributed nearly $13,000 in grant items to students and staff of the Beaumont Independent School District (BISD) for innovative classroom projects during the 2016 Fall Grant Caravan on Dec. 2. The foundation and friends visited nine campuses and the BISD Police Department, awarding 12 grants to 11 staff and a group of five students.

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