Sunday, March 12, 2017

No Texting While Driving Law In Texas

A bill that would make texting and driving illegal in the state of Texas is making progress in the legislature.

Groesbeck resident Jimmy Rincker has been pushing for the statewide ban of distracted driving since his sister Amanda Rincker died in a texting and driving accident. Rincker had convinced the city of Groesbeck to pass a ban on using a cell phone while behind the wheel, and now he is hoping the state will follow suit.

The Texas House held a committee hearing last week and passed House Bill 62 unanimously. It will then be taken to the floor for debate. Meanwhile, the Senate will hold a committee hearing Monday, March 13 to look at the twin bill, Senate Bill 31.

Rincker said, “We’ve gotten some support for the bills, but we also got some pushback from lawmakers.”

He said similar bills have struggled with the Senate before. In 2015, a bill to stop texting while driving went to the floor, but the Senate shut it down. Later that same year, Amanda Rincker was killed on State Highway 14.

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Source: KWTX

DFW Teen Killed By Drunk Driver On Sunday

A 43-year-old man is being charged with intoxication manslaughter after causing a crash that killed an 18-year-old Sunday afternoon.

Police say Patrick Henry was killed after the vehicle he was in was struck by a vehicle driven by a 43-year-old alleged drunk driver.

The identity of the 43-year-old has not been released.

According to police, Henry was the passenger in a Chevy Equinox that was traveling eastbound along W. Camp Wisdom Road and attempting to make a left turn onto S. Hampton Road.

The 43-year-old was driving a Dodge Charger with his 10-year-old son in the vehicle. They were traveling westbound on W. Camp Wisdom Road.

Police say Henry’s vehicle was in the middle of the intersection attempting to make a left turn when the 43-year-old’s vehicle entered the intersection at a high rate of speed and struck the right side of Henry’s vehicle.

The impact caused the Equinox to go into the air and land on the roof of the vehicle. The Charger rotated and came to a rest against a fence.

Henry was pronounced dead at the scene due to a massive head injury when authorities arrived. The driver of the Equinox was transported to a hospital with a dislocated shoulder and cuts.

The 43-year-old man was transported to a hospital with undisclosed injuries. His 10-year-old son was transported to a hospital with a broken arm and possible internal injuries.

Police say the 43-year-old’s identity will not be released until he is booked.

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Gas War In Houston - .79 Cents Per Gallon

Gas for 79 cents?

It's not the 70's.

It's 2017. And this is a good old-fashioned gas war.

Lines of cars wrapped around a Chevron and Texaco on Old Spanish Trail in Houston early Sunday morning.

The station supervisor at the Chevron said they dropped prices in response to the Texaco lowering prices - they kept going until the prices hit 79 cents.

The prices were a limited time offer and subject to change at any time. Still, lines of folks were able to take advantage of super low prices.

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Source: ABC13

Group Tells Illegals Not To Open Door For ICE

Don't open the front door if immigration officials knock, not even a little bit. If you're taken into custody, tell them your name and nothing else. Definitely don't sign anything.

That's the advice being drummed into immigrants in New York City and around the country at training sessions put on by advocacy organizations.

Called "know your rights" training, the sessions have been pushed by some groups as a way to prepare for a possible crackdown on illegal immigration under President Donald Trump.

Organizers say the idea is to give immigrants guidance on how to legitimately push back against attempts to detain them.

Most of the tactics revolve around keeping agents from learning anything they don't already know.

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Source: KWTX

Dallas Boater Killed By Propeller

A boat propeller killed a Trophy Club father who was found dead after a boating trip with his son, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s report.

38-year old Matthew Meinert died shortly after the propeller hit him in the head, according to the report.

He disappeared Monday evening while fishing on Denton Creek with his 2-year old son, Oliver.

The little boy was found Tuesday morning. He was not hurt.

Game wardens discovered Meinert's body on Thursday near the spot where they found his boat.

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Source: FOX4NEWS

Have You Ever Seen The Blue Hole?

Every part of Texas has its own hidden treasures, and that goes for East Texas, too.

Hidden deep inside the Angelina National Forest is a body of water unlike anything seen in the Pineywoods.

It’s the Blue Hole, a natural spring that shines as bright as any hidden treasure with its glittering, blue waters.

"Being from East Texas and seeing water like this, it was just something that didn’t exist,” said David Frankens, the owner of the Blue Hole.

But it does exist in Jasper County, and the natural spring belongs to Frankens, a Diboll native, and a handful of owners.

“As you look around the property, you’ll notice, around the edges of the lake, the trees are anywhere from 20 to 25 years old, minimum,” Frankens said. “There’s some real maturity to the Blue Hole.”

That maturity that came with time and Mother Nature.

“If you start looking at your natural colors here, from the water to the green pine straw to the brown straw and the brown trees, you have a lot of very natural, earth-toned colors,” Frankens explained.

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Source: KTRE

Places To See Texas Bluebonnets This Spring

It's bluebonnet season. Here's a list of some great locations to see them near Austin in Central Texas!

1. There’s no time like springtime to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in southwest Austin. The Center displays 650 native Texas plant species (including bluebonnets) in gardens, meadows and nature trails. Visitors can also explore the family garden, dine in the cafe, buy souvenirs at the gift shop and more.

2. Just south of downtown, on South Congress Avenue, is the beautiful St. Edward’s University. Head to the campus grounds for lovely fields of bluebonnets. One of the best fields is located on the corner of St. Edwards and University Loop Drive.

3. Located just 13 miles southeast of downtown, McKinney Falls State Park offers 726 acres of hiking and cycling trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, a campground and beautiful swathes of bluebonnets.

4. About 20 miles north of downtown, Brushy Creek Lake Park in Cedar Park is a 90-acre oasis with nature trails, a 38-acre lake and scenic picnic areas. Bring a lunch to enjoy alfresco, and then stroll around the park to see the wildflowers on display.

5. An hour northwest of Austin, Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area is tucked into a bend of the Colorado River, boasting wide-open riverfront views, boating, camping, picnicking and fields of lush, green grass speckled with fists of bluebonnets.

6. In Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park, take your pick from more than 40 picnic areas, and then stroll the grounds to see violet bluebonnets and red Indian paintbrushes.

7. For an easy day trip, drive an hour and 40 minutes from Austin to historic Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country, where you’ll find Wildseed Farms, a family-owned wildflower farm with seemingly endless fields of blooms.

8. From Fredericksburg, drive north up Highway 16 to Llano, just 40 minutes away. The wildflowers along Highway 16 are plentiful, so the drive is picturesque.

9. A 30-minute drive east of Llano on Highway 29 is Burnet, known as the “Bluebonnet Capital of Texas.” Stop to see the giant bluebonnet statue, or visit in April during the annual Bluebonnet Festival, featuring live music, parades, kid-friendly rides and a wildflower show.

10. On scenic Highway 281 between Burnet and Marble Falls, you’ll come across what’s often been referred to as “The Bluebonnet House,” an abandoned two-story stone home surrounded by a field of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush and old oaks. Stop and snap a picture—after all, it’s believed to be the most photographed house in Texas.

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Source: KXAN

10 Best Beaches In Texas

A list of the top 10 beaches in Texas compiled by Only In Your State

10. Matagorda Bay Nature Park

I've been to Matagorda Island, and somehow the water here looks bluer than the water in Galveston. Plus, it's not so overrun with tourists and sightseers, so I'd highly recommend this beach for families who want some fun in the sun without all the hassle of big crowds.

9. Surfside Beach

Located in Brazoria County near the city of Freeport, it's one of the cleanest beaches you'll find within driving distance of Houston. You can also make bonfires here, drive on the beach, and enjoy free parking.

8. Crystal Beach

If you don't feel like taking the ferry to Galveston, you can always head to Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula; there's not nearly as many people here, and you can also rent a beach cabin if you're staying with friends or family.

7. Padre Island

This island is actually the longest undeveloped barrier island in the entire world, and it's not teeming with tourists like South Padre Island just below it. There's many beaches to choose from here, including Bird Island Basin, one of the nation's top windsurfing destinations. If you go to Malaquite Beach between June and August, you can see hundreds of baby sea turtles hatch as part of the hatchling program. However, if you just want to relax on the beach, head down to the southern part of the island, where you will find the most solitude.

6. Mustang Island

Pick a nice sandy spot to lay your towel on either the Corpus Christi Bay side or the Gulf side, and if you check out the Mustang Island State Park, you can go kayaking down the Mustang Island Paddling Trails.

5. South Padre Island

You can't mention great beaches without listing South Padre Island; it's definitely a tourist hot spot though, and can get pretty rowdy with the bar scene and younger tourists. However, it's one of the best places to spot dolphins and massive sea turtles, and although I've never been, I know plenty of people who have traveled here and attested to the abundance of wildlife and beautiful beaches.

4. Galveston Island

People say the beaches of Galveston have been noisy, dirty, and overrun with tourists, but I disagree. You just have to know where to go, and I know from experience to avoid the paid beaches such as Stewart, since the showers, gift shop, and umbrellas & chairs attract a huge crowd during the summer. Drive down Seawall Blvd a ways until you see Rita's and Pleasure Pier..this is the area of the island where I've found less people, and if you need food or the restroom, there's plenty of businesses across the street.

3. Rockport Beach

This is one of the cleanest beaches in Texas, and since it faces the Aransas Bay, it makes it safer for children to swim since there's no big waves or strong undertows to worry about. It's also considered a pretty romantic beach with a 1500 foot lighted jetty pier at the end of Rockport Harbor. Perfect place for your sweetheart and the kids, too.

2. Boca Chica

Way down in Brownsville, you'll find an eight-mile stretch of beach between the Rio Grande delta and lower Laguna Madre. It's relatively free from tourists most of the time, so it makes for the perfect temporary escape from civilization.

1. Port Aransas

This beach has a really chill vibe, and doesn't attract the hordes of people that flock to Galveston or South Padre Island.

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Suspicious Disappearance Of Retired Firefighter

The Hunt County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's hep finding 70-year-old Michael Chambers, who went missing under "suspicious circumstances."

Chambers, a retired Dallas Fire-Rescue firefighter, was last heard from on the morning of March 10 when he spoke to his wife over the phone, according to the sheriff's office news release.

After searching Chambers' Hunt County home, deputies uncovered evidence indicating that Chambers' disappearance may be suspicious.

A spokesperson for the sheriff's office declined to elaborate on the evidence found in the home.

Chambers frequently wears a Dallas Fire-Rescue T-shirt and hat, according to the news release.

He is 6 feet 3 inches tall, 225 pounds and has balding gray hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Hunt County Sheriff's Office at (903) 453-6838.

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Source: NBCDFW

Carjacker Killed Man Over Manual Transmission

A father was shot and killed in front of his wife and 10-year-old daughter after being carjacked because the killer didn't know how to use a manual transmission, police said.

It happened just before midnight near Richcrest Dr. and Greenbriar Park in North Houston.

Pedro Aguilar, 47, was in his car on the street in front of an apartment complex when two men in their late teens to early 20's approached him to carjack him, police said.

They weren't able to get the car to drive because it was a manual transmission, not an automatic, and shot the man in anger, police said.

The victim died at the scene.

The two men fled the scene.

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Source: ABC13

A Memorial To An American Hero

The Chris Kyle Memorial Plaza was unveiled to the public last July with a statue of Chris Kyle.

Taya Kyle, wife of war veteran Chris Kyle, said, "The goal is for the setting to be a healing and peaceful place for veterans and their families receiving care at the medical center, and those citizens who want to stop by and take a moment in honor of Chris and all those who serve."

Numerous representatives were at the ceremony including Congressman K. Michael Conway, Senator Kel Seliger, State Representative Brooks Landgraf and several members of the Kyle family.

The plaza is located at 8050 E. Highway 191, behind the Medical Center Health System Center for Health and Wellness in Odessa.

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