Local and National News Headlines 2/3
WASHINGTON – There were less people out of work in January, dropping the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent, the lowest in nearly three years. The economy created 243,000 jobs last month, the most in nine months. Employers have added an average of 201,000 jobs per month in the past three months. More jobs and higher incomes should help consumers boost spending and increase economic growth.
Komen Reverses Decision
NEW YORK — Susan G. Koman for the Cure reverses decision to end grants to Planned Parenthood . The organization was facing a backlash over a decision to halt grants to Planned Parenthood. The Dallas-based Komen has received numerous negative emails and Facebook posts since news broke Tuesday it was stopping most of the breast-screening grants. Komen officials denied Planned Parenthood’s assertion the decision was politically-driven.
Whitehouse Police Chief Takes Leave of Absence
WHITEHOUSE, Texas – The City of Whitehouse Police Chief has decided to take a voluntarily leave of absence with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation against him and other Whitehouse City officials. In a statement released today by Whitehouse City Manager Mike Peterson ,he states that the current investigation may cause distractions to the operation of the Police Department and it’s in the best interest of the City of Whitehouse that Chief Rick Waller take a leave of absence. Chief Waller and Fire Chief Ronnie Fite are under investigation for alleged financial irregularities. Fite who was city manager until 2009 was terminated as the City’s Fire Chief January 31st. The investigation was initially started by Smith County Precinct 3 Constable Dustin Rust, but the findings are now expected to be handed over to the Texas Rangers .
Missing 3-Year-Old Found in Van Zandt County
VAN ZANDT Co. – A 3-year-old East Texas girl who wandered away from her house and went missing for six hours Thursday was found safe last night near a creek bed in Van Zandt County. Authorities say Zoey Smith was found with her dog after the two were last seen walking down County Road 4207. Search dogs and dozens of law officers spent the afternoon looking for the little girl. Paramedics on the scene checked her out and she appeared to be just wet and tired. The case is under investigation according to Van Zandt County Sheriff Pat Burnett.
Teenager Sentenced for Killing Sister
TYLER — A 16-year-old Chapel Hill teen has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the shooting death of his sister, 19-year-old Amanda Anderson. Nate Anderson pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree murder for the September 2010 shooting. Nate was 15 at the time of his sister’s death, but he was certified to be tried as an adult. Anderson could be eligible for parole in 10 years. A motive for the shooting was never revealed, and prosecutors say they may never know why Nate killed his sister.
Brother Shoots Brother at Holly Lake
HOLLY LAKE RANCH – An argument between two Wood County brothers has left one hospitalized with a gunshot wound and another jailed in connection with the shooting. Wood County Sheriff’s department was called out to a residence at 651 Holly Trail at Holly Lake where they found the victim, 55-year-old Tommy Winkle with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Deputies arrested the victim’s brother, 56-year-old Arvis Winkle, and charged him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Jobless Veterans Searching for Work
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says it’ll cost about $1 billion to put 20,000 jobless veterans back to work. The administration wants those unemployed vets to help rebuild trails, roads and levees on public land. The administration also will go after more grant money for programs that allow local communities to hire more police officers and firefighters.
Are You a Facebook ‘Power User?’
NEW YORK — A new study finds that average Facebook users get more messages and comments than they send. The Pew Research Center study found that only a small number of people are considered “power users,” who do more than their share of tagging, liking and uploading.
Search on for Two Kidnapped Americans in Egypt
AL-ARISH, Egypt — Egyptian officials say a search is on for two kidnapped Americans. Two security officials say gunmen kidnapped the Americans and their Egyptian tour guide near St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai. Egypt has faced deteriorating security and a surge in crime since the popular uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak.
Retail gasoline prices jump 13 cents across Texas
HOUSTON — Retail gasoline prices have jumped 13 cents across Texas. Triple-A Texas reports the average price at the pump statewide was $3.38 per gallon. The association says nationwide gasoline prices increased 7 cents, to settle at an average $3.45. AAA Texas spokeswoman Sarah Schimmer says Texans are paying about $2 more to fill up than they did last week or about $47 on average for a 14-gallon tank.