News

A 48-year-old Mexican national illegally living in the Beaumont area was sentenced to prison for federal immigration violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

Jose De Jesus Rocha-Perez pleaded guilty on Dec. 27 to illegal reentry by a previously deported alien and was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison on May 31 by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.         

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Nederland Independent School District has announced Mrs. Natalie Gomez as the new Central Middle School principal. Central Middle School serves over 700 fifth through eighth grade students.

Gomez has 17 years of educational experience, all within Nederland ISD. The last seven years, she has served as assistant principal at Nederland High School. Gomez holds a masters in Educational Leadership from Lamar University and has serves on numerous district committees. A seven-person committee assisted with interviewing Gomez amongst a large applicant pool.

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After responding to a call of a body floating in a private pond near Vidor's community pool, the Vidor Police Department (VPD) has released the identity of the man found.

Officers were reviewing all missing persons cases in the area as they awaited the medical examiner to make identification of the body.

An autopsy was conducted on May 30 and the examiner was able to establish the body belonged to 49-year-old Patrick Steven Wall, of Vidor.

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Officers with the Beaumont Police Department were dispatched to Parkdale Mall in reference to a robbery that had just taken place on May 30, at about 2:15 p.m. 

Arriving officers were told a black male suspect approached a victim as she left J.C. Penney. The suspect shoved a gun in the back of the victim and demanded her purse, resulting in a short struggle between the two. The suspect struck the victim in the elbow and managed to get the victim's handbag. He then entered a getaway vehicle that was being driven by a black feemale.

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The Nederland Independent School District will be hosting community input meetings for the design phase of the construction projects included in the 2019 bond package. Community members are invited to attend to learn more about the design process and provide feedback.

The first meeting will take place Saturday, June 8. The Nederland High School design will be the discussed item at this meeting. 

The elementary campus design will be the topic at a Saturday, June 15, meeting.

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The Port Arthur Police Department (PAPD) is investigating one of its own after an arrest of driving under the influence over the weekend. 

Texas Department of Public Safety arrested Josh Abshier on Saturday, June 1, just before 3 a.m. on Highway 62 in Orange County. He has since posted bond from the Orange County Jail.

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Approximately 1 in 5 crashes in Texas involves distracted driving, which continues to be a problem in the state, even after a state law banned texting and driving in 2017.

“Our message is no longer just a public safety suggestion to urge Texans to avoid distraction while operating a vehicle – it is to remind them of the law that now forbids such activity,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “One life lost is one too many and distracted driving is completely preventable.”

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Jefferson County Sheriff's Office deputies were working eastbound traffic on Interstate 10 at Smith Road on June 3, at about 12: 30 p.m. when they observed a Mercedes pass them with no license plates.

The vehicle was stopped for the traffic violation, at which time the drriver stated he had no driver's license; however, he verbally identified himself as Kenneth Jerrod Branch, of Dickinson. Branch admitted he was a convicted felon and that there was a loaded pistol near the front seat. He was detained for further investigation.

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The Texas Department of Public Safety reported a pedestrian was killed Thursday, May 30, at about 9 p.m. on Interstate 10 near FM 1132.

Information from responding agencies said the pedestrian was hit numerous times by vehicles on the interstate. The westbound lanes were shut down for several hours as the accident was investigated.

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An autopsy has been ordered after the Vidor Police Department recovered the body of an individual floating in a private pond near the city's community pool.

According to Vidor Chief Rod Carroll, the department received a call of a possible body floating in the pond around the 19000 block of Interstate 10. With assistance from the Orange County Sheriff's Office and Orange County Emergency Service District No. 1, the remains of a suspected white male were recovered. 

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