Friday, December 28, 2012

Will Fiscal Cliff Cause Premature Deaths In Rich People?

I couldn't believe what I read last night on CNBC's web site. In addition to all the other negative reasons why falling off the fiscal cliff is bad there is a new one. Apparently there is a financial incentive for those who have estates valued in the millions of dollars to have their loved ones die before December 31, 2012. Don't you think it's time we all take a step back, breathe deeply and relax all this gloom and doom talk? It's true that a lot of notable people have died in the last few days. From Charles Durning to Jack Klugman and then the news late last night that General Norman Schwarzkopf had passed away.

In addition to those notable folks, former President George HW Bush is in critical condition in an ICU unit of a Houston hospital. Do you suppose he will die too before January 1 2013? I've never been a rich man, but I do know that people of means tend to value their money and passing it on to their relatives above almost anything else. If true this new thinking among the wealthiest among us could prove to be a bonanza for undertakers around the United States of America, if Congress and President Obama don't act quickly to stop the country from falling off a fiscal cliff. I've seen commercials on television showing granny getting pushed off a cliff in her wheelchair, but this latest development is something I never thought of.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

President George Bush (41) In Houston ICU

For a month former President George HW Bush has been in a Texas hospital. The former president was first hospitalized suffering from bronchitis, but in recent days his condition has worsened. It was learned late Wednesday night that President Bush has been moved from his regular hospital room into the ICU. The first President Bush has enjoyed living his life since losing his reelection bid to Bill Clinton. In his retirement, President Bush has celebrated birthdays by parachuting out of airplanes. The first time I saw him do that I thought, hey what a neat idea.

With President Bush's advanced age - being in a hospital ICU is never a small deal. Like many of you, I will be praying that he makes a full recovery and able to return home soon. On Christmas Day, President George W Bush (43) visited his father in the hospital. If experience serves me well, the next 48 hours will be critical in the life of President George HW Bush. While the first President Bush only served one term in the White House, I thought his contribution to this nation was greater than other presidents who served much longer. I'll never forget the night he went on television and announce to the world that U.S. warplanes had entered Iraqi airspace during the first Gulf war.

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Gun Control Not The Answer For Most Waco Residents

If you've watch the mainstream national news media since the terrible shootings in Connecticut a couple of weeks ago, you have seen a steady stream of pro gun control news coverage. As has been the case in the past, central Texans do not agree that more gun control is the solution to this problem. The issue of gun control is just the latest example of how far out of touch reporters and news anchors are from most of the American people.

With few exceptions, most of the people I've talked to in Waco believe more gun control will not solve this problem. Instead, they believe the opposite is true. There are liberal elements in the mainstream news media who will use any tragedy to further their goal of taking firearms away from law abiding citizens. While at the same time ignoring the mental health aspect of what causes people to snap and take the lives of others. It is not a surprise to me that ever since the mainstream media started nonstop coverage of why more gun control is needed in the United States, gun sales have been at an all time high.

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Protect Pets During Cold Weather

Sadly too many people forget about protecting their pets during extremely cold weather. Last night the temperature in Waco dropped into the mid twenty's, while the chill factor was around 19°. Even with a heavy fur coat, dogs and cats will suffer and often die when left outside in such conditions.

It will be extremely cold again tonight and one of the worst things you can do is to leave your pet out in such terrible weather conditions. It's important to remember that it's not just mom, dad, and the kids that are part of the family - but our pets are as well. Remember they depend on us and let's not let them down by not taking care of their needs during this latest cold spell.



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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Waco White Christmas?

I had been hoping for a White Christmas this year in Waco, but so far the only thing I'm feeling is bone cold winds that cut right through a heavy sweater.

Early this morning, there was thunder and lighting and a nice rain - but no sign of snow so far. I don't know about you, but I like it better when Christmas Day falls on the weekend instead of during the week. For me, it will be back to work tomorrow.

As I write this, the wind is rattling my windows while I watch a Christmas Story on TBS. Each year, watching that movie has become a family tradition. There is still a chance it might snow before Christmas Day is over and I am hoping for the best.




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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cold Weather Headed Toward Waco

In a few hours the temperature in Waco is expected to drop into the mid twenty's. So far in 2012, cold weather has been hard to find in the area. However, just in time for Christmas there is a small chance of snow in the forecast.

What I've noticed about the winner of 2012 in Waco so far is the lack of any kind of precipitation. When I move to the area back in 1983 - there was much rain, some sleet and and little snowfall every winter. However, the amount of cold weather and precipitation in recent years has been below normal.

So get out your long sleeve shirts, heavy coats and maybe even that ugly Christmas sweater you promised to never wear again. The next few days all of us will be able to dress like we're supposed to during December in Waco. Will it snow on Christmas Day? Probably not, but we can still hope.



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Are Waco School Children Safe From Gun Violence?

We've all been mesmerized and shocked by the horrific events that took place last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. I'm sure I am not the only one who worries that the same type of mass killing in a public school could happen right here in Waco. I do not think any school can protect our children and grandchildren as long as mentally ill people are not treated or incarcerated. Sadly, the first national focus has gone to gun control as the only solution to solve this problem.

Like many of you, I grew up with guns around my home for hunting and protection. No one I personally know or have ever known has used a guns in violence against another human being. However, as has been the case in the past - law abiding citizens who choose to own and carry firearms soon will be punished for the mad behavior of a total stranger. While I believe Americans should be allowed to own a gun, I do not believe anyone should own an assault rifle. That is just my personal opinion.

I wrote the other day on my other blog about a compromise conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats should make to try and save the lives of innocent people in public venues and most importantly little children in school. Click here to read more. Are school children safe in the Waco public school system? I doubt they are any safer than those little six and seven year old kids who were murdered in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday.

On this issue the only reasonable solution is to either put armed security guards in every school in America or allow teachers and other school faculty to carry their own gun to protect children during the next murderous rampage. Why do you think it is that these suicidal gunmen always show up in movie theaters or in school classrooms? Could it be that guns are banned in both? Allowing teachers to carry guns in the classroom and private citizens with legal permits to do the same in movie theaters might be the best defense we have.



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Monday, December 10, 2012

Texas News Blog December 10, 2012

Cold Conditions Cause Power Outages - -Freezing weather reached parts of Texas Monday as strong winds cut electricity to about 3,000 homes and businesses in central parts of the state.

Arrests Made In Copperas Cove School Bomb Threats - Two suspects have been arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat for their connection to two separate incidents at Copperas Cove Independent School District campuses on Friday December 7.

DNA Retesting In 1980's Lake Waco Murders - The Lake Waco murders happened when three teens were brutally murdered in 1982. Four men were charged in the crime.

Angel Tree In Mall Needs Donations - Presents are still needed for about 700 of the 3,000 McLennan County children the program is trying to serve — a number higher than this time last year, she said.



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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Texas News Blog December 9, 2012

Cold Weather Arrives In Central Texas - After a run of record or near record high temperatures, the winter weather arrives in Texas with a vengeance Sunday and some parts of the state could even get some snow.

New Midway School Bond Election - “We generate more revenue than we need to pay off the current bond debt,” said Karl Kacir, assistant superintendent for finance. The revenue surplus is one of the reasons Midway ISD may be able to go out for a more than $20 million bond issue without raising residents’ tax rates.

Drug Bust In Bruceville-Eddy Leads To One Arrest - The raid took place just after 10:30 at the intersection of Eagle Drive and Miracle Lane, across from Bruceville-Eddy Junior High. That's where police say they found a large amount of methamphetamine.

Justin Trey Davis & James David Robinson Arrested In Gatesville - Police were called to an apartment in the 200 block of Old Osage Road before midnight Thursday. They were told a group of people pounded on the door, forced their way into the apartment and beat up the people inside.

RG3 Injured In Baltimore Ravens Game - Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III says he doesn't think he has a torn ACL in his right knee. Griffin was injured in the final minute of the fourth quarter of today's 31-28 win over the Baltimore Ravens. The team announced he had a sprained knee. He was scheduled to have an MRI later in the evening.

Fort Hood Soldiers Home In Time For Christmas - Members of Fort Hood's 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command came home from their year-long deployment in Afghanistan Sunday morning. The unit deployed 155 soldiers, most overseas since last December.

Animal Welfare Board To Hold No Kill Summit - Waco's animal welfare advisory board is hosting a no-kill summit Wednesday to explore ways to lower the stray animal population and implement a no-kill policy at the now city-run animal control facility.



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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Texas News Blog December 8, 2012

Shots Fired At Villa Victoria Apartments In Waco - After an argument, shots were fired at a local apartment complex. At present, two suspects are still at large. Villa Victoria Apartments are located on Neil drive in Waco. No injuries were reported.

Woman Robbed In 2500 Block Of Waco Drive - A woman was robbed at gunpoint Friday evening as she left a business in a shopping center in the 2500 block of West Waco Drive. The robber took her purse and a bag containing a bank deposit from the business.

Daniel Coleman Reynolds Sentenced To Life In Prison - A local man has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole after he was convicted of sex abuse of a child. Daniel Coleman Reynolds was convicted Friday for the abuse of a six-year-old girl between six months to a year.

Hewitt School Teacher John Gates Arrested - A fourth grade teacher at Hewitt Elementary School has been arrested for indecency with a child. On December 6, 60-year-old John Gates was arrested on two counts of indecency with a child and booked into the McLennan County Jail.

Owens-Brockway Glass Container Installs Pollution Equipment - Owens-Brockway Glass Container Co. will spend $37.5 million installing pollution-control equipment at its Waco plant and three other facilities as part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency. It also will pay a $1.45 million penalty to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations at the plants.

"Johnny Football" Manziel Wins 2012 Heisman Trophy - The Texas A&M quarterback won the 2012 Heisman Trophy Saturday, beating out Notre Dame linebacker Manti T'eo and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.

Cedar Hill Defeats Midway 49-34 - “Coach Gambill says every week, we flip the lights on and off,” said senior wide receiver Hunter Jarmon, who hauled in a 31-yard reception on the fourth-down play, then caught the winning pass from Kramer Robertson, a 10-yarder three plays later. “That means we’re closing this chapter and moving on to the next one. The lights are on for this one. Last week’s success was great and all, but we have to look forward to the next round.”



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Review Of Speech Recognition Software On Windows 7

I went to the Waco Wal-Mart today on Franklin drive, to buy a few accessories for my computer. With Christmas less than three weeks away, you can imagine how busy they were. Needless to say I had to park closer to McDonald's then to the Wal-Mart entrance. The bad part is not that Wal-Mart is always busy, but the people who work and shop there are usually rude. I make it a point to never shop at Wal-Mart, unless there's no other place to find the stuff I need.

That said, I was able to find a microphone for my computer. After writing this blog for over three years using a keyboard and typing, I learned there was new voice recognition software that would type the words I speak into the computer. This is my first post using the new system. Like many of you, I have seen software advertised on television called Dragon. Much to my surprise, Windows 7 already has voice recognition software pre-installed on the operating system and it works extremely well. It is called "Speech Recognition".

I've been using Windows 7 for well over a year, and never realized that this software was pre-installed on my computer. I wonder what else is hidden inside this operating system I do not know about? I will say this, Windows 7 is the most stable operating system I've ever used. Compared to many of you I am an old timer. I bought my first computer in the early 90's. My first operating system was DOS. In the early days of computers, there was no such thing as voice recognition software. In the future, I will write another review, but as of today it is working fantastic.



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Friday, December 7, 2012

Baylor Students Post Racist Photos?

It was not a good day for Baylor University yesterday after October party pictures showing some students dressed up like Mexicans with name tags saying "green card" were posted on the Internet. In the past few years, Baylor and other like minded universities have made efforts to try and downplay or coverup racist opinions from their students. However, when it comes to judging people solely based on race, no university, company or government agency has that much control over anyone with a live Internet open for real-time postings.

While these new photographs from Baylor and other schools around the nation are the latest to go public, they will not be the last - because racism is not dead, but simply continuing on in underground venues. I know some people will consider these new student pictures from Baylor as nothing more than an all out effort to shame people who may be in the USA illegally. However, the reason way these photos were taken in the first place are more complicated.

While I am not a graduate of Baylor University, I do believe a majority of alumni and the administration of the school do want the university portrayed in a civil and not racist way. That is why Baylor University denounced these new photos with as much force as any other controversy I have witnessed in years. After the presidential election of 2012, it became clear to anyone with a sound mind that the Republican Party must find additional constituencies other than white voters who are afraid of change.

Most GOP leaders believe that the easiest of these constituencies to convince to vote Republicans in the future are Americans of Hispanic decent. There is a battle of culture going on right now in Waco and around the country, because the days when older white men and women can consistently win nationwide elections with folks who see the world exactly like them has faded away. These sad pictures of Baylor students making fun of Mexican Americans is only the opening battle in the Republican Party as major change sweeps the United States of America.



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Monday, December 3, 2012

I-35 Between West & Troy Death Trap?

A few weeks ago - I drove on a business trip from Waco to Amarillo, Texas. During my trip north, I noticed a tremendous amount of highway construction on Interstate 35 between Lacy Lakeview and West, Texas. In fact, I remember telling myself to be careful when I return home, because that leg of my trip would be at night. Sure enough, a few days later when I drove back from Amarillo to Waco - I hit that same area of construction and it was twice as bad in the dark as it was during the daytime.

Believe it or not, there are actual human beings standing on I-35 at night trying to upgrade that Interstate highway to handle more traffic. I don't know what they pay these workers, but it is not enough. It's not just the fact it is dangerous to be building and repairing a roadway at night, but it is also the time of day when crazy people decide to drink and drive the most.

Even before I arrived at the worst part of the construction just north of West, I noticed some drivers of cars and big trucks racing each other to try and get into the right lane before traffic was merged. In addition to the traffic snarls on I-35 between West and Lacy Lakeview, Texas. There are additional dangerous areas between Lorena and Troy, Texas. Hardly a day goes by without a major traffic accident on these two stretches of Interstate 35 that do not result in serious injury or death.

I am not a traffic engineer, but common sense should suggest that the methods Tex Dot are using to expand I-35 are dangerous. The US federal government is the main reason why truck traffic on I-35 is so great. Does anyone remember NAFTA? That was a treaty, which opened up huge increases in trucking traffic on Interstate 35. In the future - when traveling outside the Waco area, I will take another route to my destination. Right now - I-35 between West and Troy, Texas is a complete death trap for the driving public and the people who work there.



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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cowboys Beat Eagles In Late Game Rally

Nothing tops off a great Waco weekend better than watching the Dallas Cowboys win against the Philadelphia Eagles. During the first half of the game - it appeared the Cowboys were not going to show up to play, again. However, in the second half - they came back to life and won. It has been a bad year to be a Dallas Cowboys fan, because most close games have not turned into victory for the team.

Almost every Cowboys fan has a reason why the team is not good in 2012. My reason is owner Jerry Jones and his reluctance to hire a top tier coach to rebuild the entire team. I also do not believe that Tony Romo is the right quarterback to be leading the team at this time. The Washington Redskins (Baylor Bears) RG3 is a better NFL quarterback in his rookie season than Tony Rono has become in many years of play. It's not that Tony Romo is not a good player, it's just that he is not great.

For older Cowboys fans, like me, who remember well the bad years when Craig Morton and Dandy Don Meredeth lead the team - the play of Tony Romo brings back bad memories. I still remember what a difference Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman made when they joined the team as the starting quarterback. Cowboys fans want and deserve a great quarterback. However, with Romo ready to sign a new multi-year deal to remain the Cowboys starting quarterback - it will be years until real change might take place.

In the mean time, tonight's win against the Philadelphia Eagles was sweet. It is so much more fun going into work on Monday morning after the Cowboys' soundly beat a division rival the weekend before.



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Art Briles Responsible For Baylor Football Success

It cannot be said enough that the reason why the Baylor Bears football team has been invited to three bowl games in as many years is totally due to the schools decision to hire and keep head-coach Art Briles. As Baylor fans cheered the amazing success of RG3 in 2011, what was missed by some was the decision of Brials to convince him to even put on a Baylor uniform in the first place.

The importance of hiring the right head coach is critical to any winning sports program. If you need an example of what a team looks like without the right person at head coach, just look at the Dallas Cowboys since Jimmy Johnson was fired. When I first moved to the Waco area in 1983, Baylor fans were still talking about when the lights burned all night long at Floyd Casey Stadium after then coach Grant Teaff lead the Baylor Bears to a Southwest Conference Championship.

Between the tenure of Grant Teaff and Art Briles there were years of disappointing football seasons when Baylor's bowl chances were non-existent. I remember some people claiming, during those years, that Baylor should play in the Toilet Bowl. Without Art Briles, the fortunes of Baylor football would not have improved. That is why it is critical for the powers that be at Baylor continue to keep Coach Briles' contract fresh and competitive with others around the nation.

With the continued leadership of Coach Briles, Baylor will remain competitive in three major collegiate sports (men tennis, girls basketball & football) for years to come. There is an old saying in business that says "it takes money to make money" and that saying is also true in sports. If Baylor wants to continue to win, it is imperative that the right coaches are hired and more importantly properly compensated and maintained when other schools try to take them away from us.



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BJ's Brewhouse Restaurant Waco Texas

My wife and I visited BJ's Brewhouse for the first time today. We have heard for weeks how good food is there, so we decided to try it out for ourselves. The first thing you notice when entering BJ's Brewhouse is the nice atmosphere of the restaurant.

The atmosphere at BJ's Brewhouse is similar to a nice restaurant like Outback Steakhouse or a high end nightclub in Dallas or Houston. Compared to other Waco restaurants, BJ's Brewhouse is considerably more expensive. However, there was an excellent coupon in Sundays Waco Tribune Herald newspaper that will save you money.

For around 20 dollars - my wife and I enjoyed a nice dinner salad, a tasty pizza with four toppings and one of the most delicious cookie desserts we have ever eaten. That cookie alone made the trip to BJ's Brewhouse worthwhile.

BJ's Brewhouse in Waco Texas is located just in front of Richland Mall on Highway 6 and Loop 340. If you want to take your significant other on a date they will always remember, consider Waco's BJ's Brewhouse.



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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Four Texans Win One Million Dollars In Powerball

Four tickets sold in Texas matched five numbers in Wednesday night’s record Powerball drawing and Thursday the first of the state’s $1 million winners claimed his prize. KWTX-TV Waco, Texas.



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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Five In The Hospital After Temple Car Accident

Five people, including two young children, were transported to the hospital after two cars collided at the 4700 block of Charter Oak Drive.

McLane Children's Hospital Utilizes New Device

You might cringe at the idea of having your blood drawn or being hooked up to an IV line.

No Downtown Waco Christmas Parade In 2012

Downtown Waco’s traditional holiday event trifecta, Holiday on the Square, has disbanded this year, and officials say tight funds played a role in the festivities’ unraveling.

City Of Waco Takes Over Humane Society

The Humane Society of Central Texas in Waco will soon be run by the city of Waco. Tonight the shelter is expected to approve a contract handing the facility over to the city.

Copperas Cove Student With Gun Arrested

A 13-year-old boy is arrested when police found an unloaded handgun in his locker Tuesday morning. The eighth grader at S.C. Lee Junior High student was arrested after administrators heard student reports that a student had brought a Glock .40 caliber handgun to school.

Lorena Without Water After Main Break

A construction crew hit a steel-encased 12-inch water main under Interstate 35 Wednesday, leaving schools daycares, homes and businesses west of the highway in Lorena without water.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

HEB Plans New Waco Supermarket (I-35 & Valley Mills Drive)

H-E-B’s plans for a flagship supermarket at Interstate 35 and Valley Mills Drive are moving forward, with the Waco Plan Commission voting tonight on a buffer zone between the store and the adjacent neighborhood.

Temple Jack In The Box Restaurant Robbed

Temple police Cpl. Christopher Wilcox said officers were sent at around 5:40 a.m. to the Jack in the Box restaurant, in the 3600 block of H K Dodgen Loop where a caller reported that an armed man walked into the business and demanded money.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fatal Accident In Lampasas

Department of Public Safety troopers are looking for the driver of a pickup that fled the scene after triggering a fatal traffic accident in Lampasas County Sunday evening.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Salado Thanksgiving Traffic Accidents

Northbound I35 was at a crawl Sunday afternoon as many Central Texans were headed home from the Thanksgiving holiday.

Dallas Motel Murders

Police were investigating Sunday after three people were found shot to death in a room at a motel in Dallas.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Charles Darrell McKenzie Of McGregor Was Murdered On Sunday

A stabbing in McGregor early Sunday morning leaves one man dead and a woman injured.

Pedro Rodriguez (23) Shot At Waco Nightclub

Police Monday identified a man who was shot after a fight that started in a popular downtown Waco nightclub spilled outside as Pedro Rodriguez, 23.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Man Hit By Car Near Baylor University On I-35 Waco

A man who tried crossing the interstate in Waco on Sunday night was hit by a car and killed.

Police Officer In Lacy Lakeview Shooting Is Recovering

A police officer from the City of Lacy Lakeview, Texas is recovering from a gun shot wound.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fort Hood Soldier Killed At Train Crossing

An off base soldier was killed when a train stuck his car in Killeen, Friday.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Police Officer In Lacy Lakeview Shot In Line Of Duty

A police officer in Lacy Lakeview, Texas was shot yesterday in the line-of-duty.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Big Rig 18-Wheeler Accidents Increase On I-35 Near Waco

Major accidents involving big rigs have increased on I-35 near the City of Waco.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Brazos Queen To Make Comeback In Waco

The Brazos Queen attempts to make a comeback in Waco, Texas.

Texas Meter & Devices Building Destroyed In Bellmead Fire

A large business in Bellmead was destroyed by fire on Monday.

Waco City Council Approves Humane Society Deal

The Humane Society and Waco City Council have reached a deal to keep shelter open.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Area Fire Departments Buy Stronger Jaws Of Life

Fire departments in Waco, Temple and Killeen are buying better equipment to save lives.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gulf War Illness To Be Studied By Baylor University

Baylor University in Waco has been given a grant to research Gulf War Illness.

SWAT Team In Temple Storms Home Saves Kids

A SWAT team in Temple stormed a home this weekend to save two children who were being held.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Head On Car Collision In Temple

Many were injured Friday after a two car head on collision in Temple.

Fort Hood Soldiers Awarded The Silver Star

Several Fort Hood soldiers were recently awarded the Silver Star for their service in Afghanistan.

Waco Marines Begin Buying Toys For Tots

As Christmas approaches, Marines in the Waco area begin buying toys for needy kids.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Major Truck Accidents On I-35 South Of Waco

Three 18-wheeler truck accidents on Interstate 35 between Bruceville Eddy and Lorena.

Ricky Donnell Cummings Verdict Guilty Of Double Murder

Friday afternoon, a Waco jury found Ricky Donnell Cummings guilty on double murder charges.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Army On Fort Hood Strengthens Cyber Security

US military working hard to increase cyber security.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

State Rests In The Cummings Murder Trial

It will be the turn of the defense on Tuesday as the Cummings murder trial continues.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wild Hogs Cause Problems On Texas Highway 130

Wild Feral Hogs are causing traffic accidents on Highway 130 between Austin and San Antonio.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Video From Major Truck Accident On I-35 Near Waco

Watch video from a recent truck accident on Interstate 35 near Waco, Texas.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Constance Marie Jones Spring Street Murder Case

Testimony in the Spring Street murder trial, in Waco, will continue today.

Texas Highway 130 Speed Limit 85-Miles-Per-Hour

If you want to drive really fast down a state highway, why not try 130 in Texas. The speed limit there is 85-miles-per-hour.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Salado ISD Teacher Lisa Wagnon Arrest Warrant Filed

48-year-old former Salado, Texas female teacher Lisa Wagnon had a warrant issued for her arrest today. She is charged with having an improper relationship with a male student.