News

Devin McCraney, Sharika Allison (inset)
Story Attachment: 

Jefferson County Judge Milton Shuffield has ruled that former Beaumont Independent School District finance employees are responsible for paying back millions of dollars the pair stole while employed with the school district – as well as millions more in punitive damages.

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TxDOT photo

State Highway 87 in Newton County was closed Wednesday, May 4, by an overturned log truck approximately two miles south of FM1416. The report came in at approximately 12:45 p.m. A 2011 Freightliner hauling timber near the community of Old Salem was traveling southbound on Highway 87.  The load shifted as the truck entered a curve, causing the vehicle to land on its side, with the load of timber spilling onto the roadway.

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Michael Gelagotis

A man who has been pretending to be a police officer for years, after running afoul of the law yet again for criminal impersonation, was remanded to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for 10 years on May 2. The sentence was given as a probation revocation for an earlier impersonation of a peace officer charge Michael Gelagotis pleaded guilty to in 2009.

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Eva and Ross Smith are the honorees for the American Red Cross 28th annual “Cock

The local American Red Cross chapter is holding its 28th annual “Cocktails and Camo” Hurricane Party on Friday, May 6, at the Beaumont Civic Center. Individual tickets are $125 each.

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News release from the FDA, May 5:

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized a rule extending its authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco, and pipe tobacco, among others. This historic rule helps implement the bipartisan Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 and allows the FDA to improve public health and protect future generations from the dangers of tobacco use through a variety of steps, including restricting the sale of these tobacco products to minors nationwide.

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News release from the U.S. Attorney's Office:

A 38-year-old federal inmate has been indicted for escaping from a Federal Correctional Complex in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales May 4.

James Ortega, of McKinney, Texas, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Apr. 6, 2016, and charged with escaping from federal custody. Ortega made an initial appearance and was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zachary J. Hawthorn on May 3, 2016.

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News release from the U.S. Attorney's Office:

Three individuals, including two federal inmates, have been indicted in connection with an escape from a Federal Correctional Complex in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales May 5.

Todd Allen Hammer, 40, and Jason Wesley Tate, 44, both federal inmates housed in Beaumont, Texas, and Lorna Leslie, 55, of Sherman, Texas, were indicted by a federal grand jury on Apr. 4, 2016, and charged with escaping from federal custody and conspiracy to escape from federal custody.

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Four alleged members of the Gangster Disciples were arrested May 4 for the aggravated robbery and shooting of a clerk at the Stop and Go that occurred on April 19, the Beaumont Police Department reports. 

According to a news release from BPD, Beaumont Police and law enforcement officers from several other agencies executed a high-risk search warrant at a residence in the 4800 block of Beaumont Drive in Beaumont at about 5:30 p.m. after obtaining aggravated robbery warrant for four men they believe responsible for the April 19 incident. 

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Jessie Haynes

May 4, the Court of Criminal Appeals refused to hear an appeal from former Beaumont Independent School District Special Assistant to the Superintendent Jessie Haynes related to a criminal conviction handed down by a jury in May 2014.

The Class B misdemeanor conviction carried a sentence of two years probation, a $2,000 fine and community service, and Haynes was instructed to take a series of betterment classes, including anger management classes.

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Beaumont firefighters battled an apartment fire, extinguishing the blaze before it could spread to other apartments at 4905 Wyatt St. on May 3.

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