Texas Round Up: What’s Happenin’ Around Texas?

COVER11AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) was granted $5 million in National Emergency Grant (NEG) funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to train workers facing long-term unemployment. Eight local workforce development boards will use the funding to provide work-based training opportunities in high-demand occupations to long-term unemployed workers, focusing on Unemployment Insurance (UI) recipients who are likely to exhaust their benefits. Veterans and military spouses who meet the criteria set for dislocated workers will receive preference in selection for the programs supported by this grant funding. The eight workforce development boards included in the grant funding will implement or expand on-the-job training, registered apprenticeships and existing partnerships with employers in high-growth fields. The boards will place participating job seekers in bioscience, defense, nanotechnology, manufacturing and renewable energy industry jobs. TWC will leverage all available resources, including the Workforce Investment Act programs, UI, Wagner-Peyser Employment Services, public assistance and veterans’ programs to complement the new programs launched from the NEG funding and better serve participating job seekers. Texas was one of 32 states awarded funding from a total of $154.8 million made available through the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker National Reserve fund.

AUSTIN - Black businessman Michael Cargill installed a Bitcoin ATM machine in his business, which makes him one of the first and few to have it in the area. Cargill is the owner of Central Texas Gun Work. According to Cargill, his business increased by 50% after installation of the Bitcoin ATM. According to Bitcoin, it “uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network.” In addition, Bitcoin is public and can be used by anyone. In other words, it is an electronic currency.

BEAUMONT – Recently, the Board of Managers voted to approve Vernon Butler as the new superintendent for Beaumont ISD.  A veteran educator, Butler is a native of Massachusetts. His career includes service as a teacher, assistant principal, high school principal, Superintendent of Anthony ISD, and most recently, Interim Superintendent at El Paso Independent School District. He has also worked with Regions 11 and 19 Educational Service Centers.

Some of Butler’s personal priorities include providing transparency and working to identify failures and reinforcing the Code of Ethics and Standards Practices for Texas Educators.

DALLAS – Council member Dwaine R. Caraway and Texas State Technical College (TSTC) will host a free college and job fair featuring hands-on activities, advanced technology exhibits and financial aid and admissions representatives. The event, “Bridging Technology and Education,” college and job fair will be held in Exhibit Hall A of the Dallas Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday Aug. 9. Last year, Caraway took a group of students to TSTC in Waco to give them a firsthand look at what the college has to offer. After that successful trip, he decided to find a way to bring that experience to Dallas.

 

DALLAS - The mother of a 31-year-old man whose shooting death at the hands of an officer spurred outrage and protest in the Dixon Circle community has filed a lawsuit against the city of Dallas and the officer. Sandra Harper filed a wrongful-death suit Tuesday evening in the death of her son, James Harper.  Mrs. Harper accuses the officer of using excessive force, the Dallas Police Department of racial profiling and false arrest and the city of Dallas and DPD of failure to train. Mr. Harper was shot by Officer Brian Rowden after police were called to a home where a tipster claimed a kidnap victim was being held. The call was later determined to be a false tip.

DALLAS – Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson is hosting a “Youth Summit and Diversity Dialogue” on August 19th at the Meadows School of Art at SMU. The event starts at 7.30 a.m. and ends at 4.00 p.m. Continental Breakfast and lunch provided. Free parking.  For additional information call 214-922-8885

 FT WORTH –  The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Randy Hofstetter, 28, to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list, and a cash reward up to $5,000 is now being offered for information leading to his capture. Hofstetter has a violent criminal past, and is wanted for failure to register as a sex offender, probation violation and parole violation. All tips are guaranteed to be anonymous. Hofstetter’s last known address was in Fort Worth, and he has ties to other cities in Tarrant County, including Arlington, Keller and Hurst. He also has ties to Sulphur Springs (Hopkins County). Hofstetter has been known to seek employment through temporary staffing agencies. His criminal history includes aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault and manufacture/delivery of methamphetamine. Hofstetter is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs approximately 220 pounds. He has multiple tattoos, including a biohazard emblem on the right side of his chest; a portrait of a little girl on the left side of his chest; and “In Loving Memory Paw Paw” on his arm.

For more information and updates in the event of his arrest, see his wanted bulletin at: http://www.dps.texas.gov/Texas10MostWanted/SexOffenderDetails.aspx?id=248.

SAN ANTONIO – Dogs across Texas and Latin America carry the kissing bug disease that could be deadly to people, according to a report by the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal. The Chagas disease, caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is on the rise among shelter dogs and humans in the United States. The “kissing bug” is a threat to dogs and humans. As many as five known species of bugs carry the disease. About 300,000 to 1 million Americans have been infected by the disease, as opposed to around 8 million people across Mexico and Central and South America.

SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Robert Chrismon, 51, to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list, and a cash reward up to $3,000 is now being offered for information leading to his capture. Chrismon is a violent sex offender, and is wanted for parole violation and failure to comply with sex offender registration. All tips are guaranteed to be anonymous. Chrismon has ties to San Antonio, and he has been known to work as a general laborer. His criminal history includes aggravated rape, aggravated assault, kidnapping and escape. In 1981, Chrismon was sentenced to 55 years for the kidnapping and aggravated rape of a San Antonio teen. He received an additional 10 years for the attempted stabbing of a Corpus Christi police officer during an arrest. For more information, please view his wanted bulletin at: http://www.dps.texas.gov/Texas10MostWanted/SexOffenderDetails.aspx?id=250. Chrismon is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs approximately 180 pounds.  He has a scorpion tattoo on his upper right arm, a cut scar on his chest and additional cut scars on both wrists.

TEMPLE – Bell County has seen a slight increase in cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Six cases were reported recently, said Lacey Sanders, disease surveillance coordinator for the Bell County Health District. The disease is most dangerous for babies and young children. Pertussis cases in Texas and the United States have been increasing for several reasons, including waning immunity in adults and adolescents; heightened awareness of the disease among clinicians, school nurses, parents and the general public; better laboratory testing methodologies; and enhanced disease surveillance capabilities.

WACO – Baylor University School of Music students and faculty are morning the loss of two students killed in an auto accident while on their way to a music convention Laura Ezinwa Onwudinanti, 21, of Grand Prairie, and John Patrick “Jack” Stewart, 19, of Dallas, died in the wreck about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on State Highway 7 near the Limestone and Falls county lines. About 20 other professors and students were traveling to the music conference at Louisiana State University. Stewart was a freshman at  Baylor. Onwudinanti graduated in May with a Bachelor of Arts in music education and was looking forward to entering the University of Michigan’s music program, where she planned to study clarinet performance, Baylor officials said.

 

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