Monday, January 26
Teen in custody after infant found dead in Dallas apartment
DALLAS (AP) — A 14-year-old girl is being questioned in the death of an infant found dead in a Dallas apartment.
Police say a preliminary investigation indicates the teenager drowned the 3-month-old child while the mother was away from the residence. The body of the infant was found in the apartment when police arrived Monday morning.
Authorities say the teenager was related to the baby. A second teen was found in the home when police arrived and is considered a witness. Police do not believe the second teen was involved in the child's death.
No other information was immediately available.
Man who shot Bexar County deputy gets 40 years in prison
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A man who shot a sheriff's deputy as he tried to serve him with several warrants at a house outside of San Antonio has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Juan Daniel Gonzales Jr. pleaded no contest Friday to attempted capital murder of a police officer. The 40-year-old was then sentenced to 40 years in prison as part of a plea agreement.
He was arrested in February 2013 after twice shooting Bexar County Sheriff's Deputy Jose Esquivel in 2013. Esquivel, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was shot in the arms. He survived.
Esquivel fired back 14 times at Gonzales, who was hiding in the laundry room. But Gonzales was not struck.
The warrants accused Gonzales of felony theft, retaliation and failing to register as a sex offender.
Masked robber killed in shootout with store clerk
(Information in the following story is from: Tyler Morning Telegraph, http://www.tylerpaper.com)
TYLER, Texas (AP) — Authorities say a masked robber has been killed during a shootout with a convenience store clerk just outside of Tyler.
Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith tells the Tyler Morning Telegraph that the first deputy to arrive on the scene Sunday evening found a man dead on the floor wearing a mask with a gun next to his body.
The male clerk was not injured. Authorities did not say how many times the robber was hit by gunfire.
Early in the investigation, officials believed several rounds were fired.
Lt. Gary Middleton says "we believe somewhere around six rounds were fired, with a few being fired from both parties."
Middleton said no suspect vehicle was found at the location.
HOUSTON MAYORAL RACE-BELL
First candidate enters Houston mayoral race
(Information in the following story is from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com)
HOUSTON (AP) — The first official candidate has entered the race to become the next mayor of Houston.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Chris Bell, a former city councilman and one-term Democratic congressman, formally announced his campaign for mayor on Sunday.
The race to replace term-limited Mayor Annise Parker is expected to be wide-open and hotly contested.
Bell, a Democrat, vowed to modernize how the city fills potholes and fixes sidewalks. He believes infrastructure is the issue that will persuade Houston voters to cast a ballot for him in November.
Several other candidates have signaled that they'll join Bell in the field. Those include state Rep. Sylvester Turner and city councilmen Oliver Pennington and Stephen Costello.
GALVESTON COUNTY-BEACH SQUATTERS
Galveston County officials want to root out beach squatters
(Information in the following story is from: The Galveston County Daily News, http://www.galvnews.com)
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Galveston County officials are seeking a change in state law to help them root out squatters living on beaches on Bolivar Peninsula.
County commissioners will push the state Legislature this session for a change in the Texas Natural Resources Code to allow counties bordering the Gulf of Mexico to ban full-time living on unincorporated beaches, most of which are found on Bolivar Peninsula.
Commissioner Ryan Dennard tells The Galveston County Daily News that cities have the power to regulate camping on beaches, but counties responsible for unincorporated areas do not have the regulatory power without a change in state law.
He says "people have set up these makeshift camps and stay for a really, really long time and there are health and safety issues that come up."
JOPLIN RECOVERY CONTRACTOR LEAVES
Contractor leading Joplin redevelopment closes offices
(Information in the following story is from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com)
JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A Texas-based contractor hired to lead Joplin's recovery from the 2011 tornado apparently has left the city without notice.
The Joplin Globe reports Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is no longer operating out of its offices in Joplin and left no forwarding address.
A phone call Monday from The Associated Press to the company's headquarters in Sugar Land, Texas, did not connect and an email did not receive a response. The Globe reports repeated efforts to reach company officials by phone or email since last Thursday have been unsuccessful.
The city of Joplin has paid the company about $1.7 million in development fees as of August.
Mayor Mike Seibert said city officials don't know the firm's status but the contract with Wallace Bajjali is still in effect.