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Study: Texas Needs Alternatives to Sending Women to Prison

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By Public News Service Study: Texas Needs Alternatives to Sending Women to Prison AUSTIN, Texas – Prison reform advocates say too many of the 12,000 women in Texas prisons don’t need to be behind bars.

A study by the nonpartisan Texas Criminal Justice Coalition finds that more than two-thirds of the state’s female inmates were convicted of nonviolent offenses and recommends that lawmakers develop alternative policies that emphasize more pretrial diversion and probation opportunities for women in the criminal justice system.

Lindsey Linder, an attorney with the Coalition, says the study finds that women in prison often have faced a different set of life experiences than men.
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Source:: Texas News Service


Alert - HTST2 - Lavaca River at Hallettsville (Texas)

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Alert conditions are not currently being met.

Flood Categories

Primary (ft)

  • Action : 20 ft
  • Minor : 27 ft
  • Moderate : 28 ft
  • Major : 29 ft

Secondary (kcfs)

  • Action : Not Set
  • Minor : Not Set
  • Moderate : Not Set
  • Major : Not Set

The forecast flood categories are the same as the observation flood categories.

Gauge Data


Latest Observation Category: Normal
Latest Observation: 3.23 ft
Latest Observation (Secondary): 0.0025 kcfs
Observation Time: Mar 10, 2018 12:15 PM -0600


Forecast Issued: N/A

There is currently no forecast data available.


Recent Projected Forecast Available: N/A
Recent Projected Forecast Time: N/A


Highest Projected Forecast Available: N/A
Highest Projected Forecast Time: N/A


Last Projected Forecast Available: N/A
Last Projected Forecast Time: N/A
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Data and Site Info for Hallettsville: USGS ID: 08163500

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Source:: Lavaca River at Hallettsville (ALERT)


Tim McGraw collapses onstage at music festival in Ireland

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By Music News Group

ABC/Image Group LAA scary moment occurred Sunday night when Tim McGraw collapsed onstage in the middle of his performance at the C2C: Country to Country Festival in Dublin, Ireland.

According to Rolling Stone, the country music superstar just got done performing his hit song “Humble & Kind” when he dropped to his knees and took a seat on the stage.

Medical staff treated McGraw backstage, and his wife, Faith Hill, came out to address the crowd, saying, “He’s been super dehydrated. I apologize, but I made the decision that he cannot come back out onstage.”

McGraw and Hill have been touring together as part of their Soul2Soul trek.

A statement from McGraw’s publicist reads, “Tim McGraw was suffering from dehydration in Dublin this evening at the C2C show. He was attended to by local medical staff on-site and will be fine. He and Faith thank everyone for their love and support and look forward to seeing their Irish fans again soon.”

McGraw will have several weeks to rest up, as his next scheduled show is a Richmond, Virginia, gig on May 31, when the Soul2Soul tour resumes its North American run.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Country Music News


Gunman in deadly hostage incident was highly decorated Army veteran

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iStock/Thinkstock(YOUNTVILLE, Calif.) — The former Army sharpshooter who allegedly killed three hostages, including a pregnant woman, during a nearly eight-hour siege of a Northern California veterans home was a highly decorated military veteran who had a tough time readjusting to civilian life after serving in Afghanistan, his former legal guardian told ABC News.

Suspected gunman Albert Wong, 36, who also died Friday in the Wine Country region of Napa County, served in Afghanistan from April 2011 to March 2012, but returned from the battlefield suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, his former guardian said.

“We had long talks when he first came back. It was horrible what he saw over there. The way he explained it, it was like a movie but worse,” Cissy Sherr, who was Wong’s legal guardian and help raise him as a child, told ABC News.

Sherr, who lives in the Bay Area, said Wong had a difficult time readjusting to civilian life, explaining he suffered from insomnia and anxiety over his everyday surroundings.

“I think he realized that it started to catch up with him,” Sherr said. “He and I had talks about PTSD and I encouraged him to look into transcendental meditation.”

She said Wong’s father died when he was 8 years old and his mother had physical disabilities that prevented her from caring for him. Sherr said she and her husband, who knew Wong’s parents, agreed to become Wong’s legal guardian.

She said when Wong became a teenager he went to live at a foster care home, but always stayed in touch.

She said Wong, after returning from combat, had sought help at a nonprofit program called Pathway Home in Yountville, which provides post-9/11 military veterans counseling and assistance in reintegrating into civilian life.

“He was really, really trying. He seemed to be getting the help that he needed,” Sherr said.

Wong’s foster care brother, Tyrone Lampkin, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that Wong was asked to leave the Path Home program about two weeks ago after he was caught with a knife. He said Wong was angry about being dismissed from the program.

“Whatever happened out there, he didn’t say he was going to shoot anybody,” Lampkin told the newspaper. “He said he wanted to get back at them, talk to them, yell at them, not to kill them. He didn’t mention that.”

Citing privacy laws, Yountville Mayor John Dunbar, who serves on the board of directors of the Pathway Home, told ABC News on Sunday that he could not discuss any aspect of Wong’s treatment. But he confirmed Wong “was dismissed from the program a few weeks earlier.”

Armed with a rifle and numerous rounds of ammunition, authorities said, Wong burst into an employee going away party at the Veteran Home of California about 10:30 a.m. on Friday and took hostages, including some who had tried to help him cope with PTSD, officials said.

During the standoff, Wong traded gunshots with a Napa County sheriff’s deputy whom officials credited with keeping the gunman confined to a room he barricaded himself in on the 600 acre-property. When SWAT team members finally breached the room where Wong was holding the hostages about 6 p.m. Friday, they found Wong and three victims dead.

The victims were identified as Pathway Home executive director Christine Loeber, 48; the program’s clinical director, Jennifer Golick, 42, and psychologist Jennifer Gonzales, 32, who was six months pregnant.

It remained unclear on Sunday whether Wong died from a wound suffered in the gunfight with the sheriff deputy or from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sherr, who says she last spoke to Wong several months ago, said she learned of the hostage incident from a reporter while the standoff was occurring.

“We were hopeful that there was going to be a peaceful resolution. When we found out how it ended, I just pretty much fell apart,” Sherr said.

“I don’t understand. I don’t know the person they were describing,” she said. “Growing up, he was so soft spoken and polite.”

She said Wong always had a desire to join the military, saying, “He wanted to serve his country.”

According to his military record, Wong served in the Army reserves before enlisting as an active service member of the Army in May 2010.

He was deployed to Afghanistan from April 2011 to March 2012, according to his service record. He received an Army Commendation Medal, a Good Conduct Medal and the Afghanistan Medal. He also received the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a NATO Medal, a Combat Infantryman Badge and an Expert Marksmanship Badge.

Sherr said she wishes Wong had reached out to her for help.

“But it wasn’t his habit to ask for handouts. He was always a young man with character,” Sherr said. “He was a really good boy. It’s sad that it had to be this way. It’s a sad waste of a life.”

Mayor Dunbar said he and the staff at Pathway Home are focused on supporting the six veterans residents who are currently going through the program and assisting the families of the three women who were killed.

“They dedicated their lives to serving others, particularly our veterans,” Dunbar told ABC News, adding that the victims were all friends. “They wanted to make sure that the veterans who came back, who needed support, got that support. They personally committed themselves to whatever it took to help our veterans heal, to return to family, to return to society.”

He said that in the 10 years since the Pathway Home program was founded “we’ve never had a violent episode anywhere near this.”

“These are warriors who come back that have behavioral health and mental health challenges,” Dunbar said, “but we have staff that are professionals, that are dedicated to helping those that need that type of help.”
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Source:: National News


Helicopter crashes into Manhattan's East River, killing 2, injuring others

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Two people were killed and three were critically injured after a helicopter crashed into Manhattan’s East River Sunday evening, authorities said.

The red Eurocopter AS350 helicopter was carrying six passengers when it went down, police sources said. Three of the passengers were critically wounded after being pulled from the water by NYPD and FDNY emergency divers.

A bystander captured the helicopter’s descent into the water on video. The footage shows the final seconds as the chopper’s propellers strike the glassy river’s surface, its engine sputtering.

The helicopter hit the cold water somewhere between East 86th and East 96th Streets on Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood about 7 p.m., local and federal authorities later confirmed.

The pilot was experiencing engine failure, sources said.

The Federal Aviation Administration tweeted that it was investigating the crash and added that the helicopter is “reportedly inverted in the water.” It added that the National Transportation Safety Board would lead the investigation.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, “five people have been recovered” by divers from the FDNY and NYPD.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been informed of the ongoing effort in the water to the rescue effort. Officials were preparing for a news conference.

Soon after the helicopter went down, a series of dispatches captured in real-time over FDNY’s scanners by Broadcastify.com break down the initial emergency response.

“We got reports from NYPD that a helicopter is upside down in the water,” a dispatcher stated.

Then, divers from both the NYPD and FDNY were going into the water, according to the dispatcher.

At the same time, Coast Guard confirmed its agency launched two 45-foot Response Boats and one 29-foot Response Boat to the crash site.

At least one private tugboat helped aid one survivor to safety, the Coast Guard added.

An unidentified eyewitness was dining at a restaurant when she spotted the red helicopter diving into the water.

“We were … having dessert and noticed a red helicopter going full speed toward the water,” she told ABC station WABC-TV. “It almost looked very surreal and next thing we know it’s approaching the water slowly and then it just completely crashed.”

Afterward, she said members of the Coast Guard arrived and were attempting to help the helicopter passengers.

“We’re just hoping they survived.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


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