All posts by rbutler

Texas Today: Diabetes cooking class in December

A cooking school, Cooking Well with Diabetes, is scheduled for the first two Saturdays in December from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the County Annex Conference Room at 409 S. Pecan St., Lampasas.

The class fee is $35 per person or $50 per couple with scholarships available for the income eligible.

Class size is limited to the first 20 persons.

Recipes will be demonstrated and shared so lunch will be served at each session.

To register, contact the Texas AgriLife Extension Office Lampasas County at (512) 556-8271, Ext. 140 or email Karen DeZarn at

Registration is required by Nov. 28.

Thunder Creek meeting Saturday

The Thunder Creek Community Association will meet at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Live Oak Ridge Middle School.

All Killeen Neighborhood Watch graduates are invited to attend.

Residents on the following streets also are invited to attend:

Thundercreek Drive

Waterfall Drive

Bull Run Drive

Starfish Drive

Regency Drive

Catalina Drive

All residents in Thunder Creek West.

Share the latest information and happenings about this community.

Special guests will share safety tips.

RSVP to (254) 526-0870.

Border agent finds 6-foot boa constrictor

LA PALOMA — A Border Patrol agent in South Texas captured a 6-foot boa constrictor that officials believe someone had as a pet but dumped when it got so big.

Agency officials said the snake was unharmed Monday when the agent, while on patrol, spotted the creature along a levee near La Paloma.

Agent Woody Lee said the snake was removed because the animal posed a threat to public safety.

The snake, which officials said is not native to the area, has been turned over to park rangers at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

Woman found shot to death near I-35

GEORGETOWN — Authorities said the body of an 18-year-old woman was found shot to death and dumped in an isolated area off Interstate 35 in Central Texas.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office said the body of Tynesia Brown was found Monday near Jarrell. Officials believe she was killed elsewhere.

Detectives said that Brown was from Bedford in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

7 arrested at Occupy El Paso campsite

EL PASO — Police said seven people have been arrested at an Occupy El Paso campsite in a peaceful removal of the protesters.

El Paso police spokesman Darrel Petry said no one was injured during the arrests early Tuesday at San Jacinto Plaza.

Petry said the seven El Paso residents are accused of misdemeanor unlawful camping in a city park and also being in a public park after hours.

Judge denies Occupy Dallas order against city

DALLAS — A federal judge has refused to grant an order sought by Occupy Dallas demonstrators to prevent the city from closing their campsite.

Protesters failed to get a temporary restraining order Tuesday.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a statement that no action will be taken Tuesday.

The city last week alleged protesters had violated an agreement to allow the campsite near Dallas City Hall.

Tractor overturns, operator killed

BEAUMONT — A tractor operator mowing along a Southeast Texas canal has died after the equipment overturned and ended up in the water.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said the body of a 34-year-old Groves man was recovered Monday night. Divers assisted with the effort.

Investigators said the accident in rural Jefferson County apparently happened as the man was cutting grass along the canal and the equipment slipped off the levee.

—Herald staff, wire reports

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Bedford woman found dead near I-35 in central Texas

Sarah Blaskovich

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Detectives believe a suspect may have ties to North Texas.

Tynesia Brown

Williamson County Sheriff’s Office

Tynesia Brown

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office reports that 19-year-old Tynesia Brown was found dead from a gunshot wound in an “isolated area” near Jarrell, Texas, which is north of Austin, on Monday, November 14. Brown is from Bedford.

According to a statement, “detectives believe that the murder occurred elsewhere, and that the suspect may be known in the North Texas area. Detectives believe Brown may have been traveling with another black female and a black male, in a silver sedan. All three are believed to have visited truck stops and hotels up and down Interstate 35. It is unknown, but detectives are not ruling out that the murder could have occurred in a hotel room. Hotel personnel are asked if they observe the appearance of a crime scene and or a significant amount of blood in a room to call 911.”

Police report that Brown was last seen on Friday, November 11 by her mother. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for anyone who can give information that leads to an arrest or indictment of an offender. If you have information, call 911, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office at 512-943-1300, or Crime Stoppers at 800-253-7867 or 877-373-8477.

A good Central Texas soaking, but not enough to end fire season – Austin American

By Farzad Mashhood


Updated: 10:03 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011

Published: 9:55 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011

A weaker portion of a heavy thunderstorm system dumped less than an inch of much-needed rain on the Austin area Tuesday, but it was enough to do some damage.

A Dripping Springs home was destroyed by lightning, parts of Austin were without power around midday, and police reported 115 wrecks by the afternoon.

Still, it wasn’t enough rain for the Texas Forest Service to call an end to a now yearlong fire season.

It would take a tropical storm-magnitude rainfall of several inches to end the threat of fire, said state Forest Service spokeswoman April Saginor. Tuesday’s rainfall came on the one-year anniversary of the start of the fire season, Nov. 15, 2010.

In September, wildfires charred 35,000 acres in Bastrop County, making it the costliest wildfire in Texas history. Officials have estimated losses at $250 million in the blaze that destroyed more than 1,600 homes and claimed two lives.

The Forest Service is expecting some large, wind-induced fires in the winter because of dead trees and pastures across the bone-dry state, Saginor said.

After Tuesday’s storm moved east from Mexico into Texas in the morning, the front separated, with the harshest storms avoiding Austin, National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Baskin said.

“Poor old Austin just kind of missed out on the whole thing,” Baskin said.

Camp Mabry recorded 0.68 inches of rain by 4 p.m. Tuesday as the rain had stopped for the day, Baskin said. Most of the rain fell east of Interstate 35 between San Antonio and Waco, he said.

The Highland Lakes saw little change from the rain by the evening, with Lake Travis rising less than an inch.

The 3 p.m. total of 115 wrecks that Austin police responded to is more than double the number of calls — 50 — that police received in the same time period Monday, when there was no rain, officials said. No fatal wrecks were reported.

No one was injured in the Dripping Springs house fire that was called in about 10:30 a.m. after a neighbor reported seeing lightning strike, but Hays County sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Jordan said: “The house is going to be a total loss.”

Austin Energy had two major outages leaving nearly 4,000 homes without power.

Lightning destroyed equipment near Manor Road and 51st Street in East Austin, leaving about 2,000 customers without power from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., utility spokesman Ed Clark said.

A pole fire near Texas 71 and Old Bee Cave Road in Southwest Austin cut off power to 1,900 customers from 11:30 a.m. to about 1:30 p.m., Clark said. Ten to 15 smaller outages generally affecting groups of less than 100 customers also occurred Tuesday, he said.

Tuesday’s thunderstorm was an appropriate backdrop for Hays County officials to announce they were lifting their burn ban until further notice. The ban has been more or less been in effect for about a year, restricting how and what county residents can burn outdoors.

But Hays County Judge Bert Cobb and Fire Marshal Mark Chambers said Tuesday that recent showers and the greening of some grass have created a window in which to burn debris.

In Travis County, the rain wasn’t enough to persuade the Commissioners Court to end the burn ban, as it voted Tuesday to extend it through Dec. 14.

Travis County Fire Marshal Hershel Lee said he would consult today with fire chiefs in county emergency services districts on whether they think the ban can be lifted in light of Tuesday’s rain. But he indicated the forecast is not favorable.

“While this is very helpful, this is probably not the answer to what we need. We need about three days in a row (of rain) to get fuels soaked up,” Lee said.

With the exception of three days in February when the ban was temporarily lifted, Travis County has been under a burn ban since Dec. 14, 2010. The Commissioners Court can renew the ban every 30 days.

A violation of the burn ban is a Class C misdemeanor, subject to a fine up to $500.

According to the Texas Forest Service, 194 of the state’s 254 counties have outdoor burn bans, including Travis, Williamson and Bastrop.;


Additional material from staff writers Ciara O’Rourke and Juan Castillo.

Reward Offered After Murdered Teen Found Along Rural Central Texas Road

JARRELL (November 15, 2011)—Williamson County investigators Tuesday identified a 18-year-old woman whose body was found along a rural road off Interstate 35 south of Jarrell as Tynesia Brown of Bedford and announced that a reward of as much as $5,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest or indictment.

An area rancher found Brown’s body Monday morning along Williamson County Road 370.

She had been shot to death and investigators think she was killed elsewhere and that her body was dumped in Williamson County.

She may have been traveling with a man and a woman in a silver sedan, authorities said, and the three may have stopped a truck stops and hotels along Interstate 35.

It’s possible she was killed in a hotel room, authorities said.

Investigators were asking Interstate 35 hotel workers to contact local police if they find “the appearance of a crime scene or a significant amount of blood in a room.”

Brown’s mother last saw her daughter on Friday in the family’s home in Bedford.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about Brown or the two people with whom she may have been traveling to contact the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office at (I512) 943-1300, Williamson County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-253-7867 or North Texas Crime Stoppers 1-877-373-TIPS (8477).