TTR News Center

Governor Abbott Appoints Three To Texas State Board Of Examiners Of Psychologists

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By lauren.mccanse@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Herman Adler, Ryan Bridges, and Andoni Zagouris to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists for terms set to expire on October 31, 2023. The Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Herman Adler, Ryan Bridges, and Andoni Zagouris to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists for terms set to expire on October 31, 2023. The board regulates the practice of psychology in the state of Texas.

Herman Adler of Houston is a psychometrician and researcher with The Menninger Clinic. As a licensed psychological associate, he works with inpatient adults and adolescents, performs cognitive and diagnostic assessments, and contributes to psychological reports. He previously served as a psychological intern at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston as part of his clinical training. He is an associate member of the American Psychological Association and a member of the Texas Association of Psychological Associates. Adler received a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Ryan Bridges of Houston is a crewmember of Vineyard Vines. He previously worked as the director of recruiting for the Fitzpatrick Group, and as a financial representative with AIG Financial Network. He is an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America and a Master Mason with the Freemasons – Grand Lodge of Texas. He is also a former student regent for the Texas State University System and a former student representative for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Bridges received a Bachelor of Business Administration in general business from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Business Administration from Sam Houston State University.

Andoni Zagouris of Kingsland is a retired school psychologist. He spent a number of years as a school psychologist in the Rio Grande Valley region providing assessments and counseling services for adolescent students dealing with mental health needs. Prior to serving as a school psychologist, he worked with various rehabilitation groups. Zagouris received a Bachelor of Science in secondary education and a Master of Arts in psychology and education from Texas A&M University – Kingsville.

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Source:: Office of the Governor


California man, teens arrested over alleged funeral donations scam

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By Michael Dobuski

Victorville Police Department(SAN BERNADINO, Calif.) — Police in Southern California arrested a 20-year-old man and two teenage boys this week after they allegedly scammed people in a fake funeral scheme.

Richard Navarrete, of San Bernardino, California, and two unidentified 14-year-olds were taken into custody on Monday after they allegedly accepted cash donations for the funeral of a young boy who they falsely claimed had died, authorities said.

The suspects were allegedly accepting donations near a highway in Victorville, California, just north of San Bernardino, when a police officer initiated a “pedestrian check” and launched an investigation, the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department said in a statement.

Officers said they had water bottles with cash donations inside and were holding handwritten signs that read: “Funeral Donations,” “Anything is a blessing” and “RIP Johnny,” police said in a statement.

Authorities have released photographs from their investigation because “it is believed other victims exist,” the statement said.

“Through investigation, deputies discovered the boy was not deceased and was in fact the son of Navarrete’s friend,” the department said in a statement. “Each of the subjects had water bottles containing money that had been donated as a result of the fraudulent signs.”

Police interviewed one of the alleged victims near the scene and are searching for others who may have fallen victim to the scam, according to the statement.

The suspects are facing charges of theft by false pretenses, the department said. It’s unclear if they have obtained attorneys.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


2 mental health patients chained in back of sheriff's van drown as deputies rescued: Police

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By Michael Dobuski

Google Maps(MULLINS, S.C.) — Two female mental patients chained in the back of a county sheriff’s van drowned when the vehicle in which they were traveling was overcome by floodwaters, police said.

The deputies who were transporting the two women to a different facility in South Carolina were saved, local law enforcement officials told ABC News late Tuesday.

The two women have not yet been identified.

The pair of Horry County Sheriff’s deputies who were in the van tried to extricate the patients, but, due to rapidly rising floodwaters, were unable to open the van’s doors to reach the shackled women, according to a statement from County Sheriff Phillip Thompson. Rescue teams responded in time to save the deputies.

The coroner in neighboring Marion County confirmed the two deceased patients were female, and the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the incident, according to the statement.

“Tonight’s incident is a tragedy,” Thompson said in the statement. “Just like you, we have questions we want answered. We are fully cooperating with the State Law Enforcement Division to support their investigation of this event.”

According to ABC affiliate WPDE, the patients were being transported from Loris Hospital Waccamaw Center for Mental Health to McLeod Health, which runs multiple facilities in the region.

The van was traveling west on Highway 76 into neighboring Marion County when floodwaters overcame the vehicle.

The incident happened in the area of the Little Pee Dee River, which branches off from the Lumber River, in Mullins, South Carolina. The Lumber River overflowed its banks following the record rains dumped by Hurricane Florence.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Iowa jogger Mollie Tibbetts' alleged killer set to appear in court

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By Michael Dobuski

Poweshiek County Sheriffs Office(BROOKLYN, Iowa) — The accused killer of Iowa jogger Mollie Tibbetts appeared in court Wednesday where he pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, one month after he was arrested for allegedly killing the 20-year-old college student.

Tibbetts, a rising sophomore at the University of Iowa, disappeared on July 18 while jogging in her rural farming town of Brooklyn, a close-knit community of about 1,500 residents.

Her disappearance garnered national attention and state and federal investigators were soon asked to join the case.

On Aug. 21, her alleged killer, 24-year-old Cristhian Rivera, was arrested after authorities said he led them to the college student’s body in a farm field.

Tibbetts died from multiple sharp force injuries, according to her autopsy.

Rivera was charged with first-degree murder.

Rivera is an undocumented immigrant and his arrest renewed debate over America’s immigration system.

On the day of Rivera’s arrest, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement, “We are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community, and we will do all we can bring justice to Mollie’s killer.”

But Tibbetts’ father said his daughter wouldn’t want to be the face of an immigration debate and he begged for the family to be allowed to grieve privately.

“Please leave us out of your debate,” Rob Tibbetts wrote in a guest column in The Des Moines Register. “I’m tired of my family being abused … We want Mollie to die with dignity.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Elizabeth Smart's captor Wanda Barzee has been released from prison

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By Michael Dobuski

ABC News(DRAPER, Utah) — Wanda Barzee, one of Elizabeth Smart’s former captors, has been released from prison, much to Smart’s surprise and disappointment.

Barzee was released from the Draper Prison in Draper, Utah, Wednesday morning, Utah Department of Corrections spokeswoman Kaitlin Felsted said.

She will have 72 hours to report to U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services, according to department spokesman Eric Anderson. She will be on a supervised release for five years.

Barzee’s release comes after the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole said it had miscalculated the time Barzee, 72, was supposed to serve in prison, The Associated Press reported.

Smart was 14 when she was kidnapped in 2002 from her Salt Lake City home and held as a prisoner by Barzee and her husband Brian David Mitchell. She was rescued in 2003.

Smart, 30, said in a news conference last week that Barzee saw her as a slave, and called her a “handmaiden.” She added that Barzee not only assisted in her abduction but would sit next to — and encourage — Mitchell as he raped her.

“She did appalling things while I was in captivity,” Smart said. “I know the depth of her depravity.”

Smart was shocked to find out that her captor would be released from prison so soon, saying last week, “I would urge the powers that be and anyone who works under them to really strongly reconsider this situation, to look at all the facts, look at her mental status, and see if they really and honestly truly feel that she is no longer a threat.”

Barzee, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping Smart, was previously scheduled to be released in 2024, and the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole denied her an early parole at a hearing in June.

But Barzee was convicted on both state and federal charges, and her attorney, Scott Williams, argued that time she had already served in federal prison must be credited toward her state conviction, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. The board agreed and moved up her release date last week.

“The Board has heard concerns and requests to reconsider releasing Wanda Barzee,” the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole said in a statement last week. “This is not an early release or a discretionary release. On September 19, Ms. Barzee will have spent 15 years in custody, which is the maximum amount of time allowed by her state conviction and sentence. Ms. Barzee cannot legally be held in the Utah State prison beyond the length of her sentence.”

Mitchell, meanwhile, is serving a life sentence, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


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