Financier Allen Stanford Convicted On 13 Of 14 Counts | KERA News

Financier Allen Stanford Convicted On 13 Of 14 Counts

A Houston jury has convicted Texas financier R. Allen Stanford on all but one of the charges he faced for allegedly bilking investors out of more than $7 billion in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

The federal jurors found Stanford guilty on 13 of 14 counts he faced. They found Stanford not guilty on one count of wire fraud.

The 61-year-old Stanford looked down when the verdict was read.

He faces up to 20 years in prison for the most serious charges but could be imprisoned for much longer if a judge orders his sentences be served consecutively.

Prosecutors say Stanford orchestrated a 20-year scheme that took billions through the sale of certificates of deposit from his Caribbean bank.

Stanford's attorneys blamed his ex-chief financial officer.


Vote Delayed On New Parkland Board Member

Dallas County Commissioners are expected to approve a new Parkland Hospital Board member in a special session on Friday.

Commissioner John Wiley Price has selected Dr. Winfred Parnell, an OB-GYN to fill the unexpired term of former Parkland Board Chair Dr. Lauren McDonald, who resigned last week.

Commissioner Price says the vote was delayed until Friday to clear up a potential conflict. Dr. Parnell is a current member of the Medical City Hospital Board.

Price: "There was some concern with regards to conflicts. He has after 16 years of service to Medical City, decided that he will resign that position to give service to the Parkland Board."

Parkland Board Vice Chair Cobie Russell says she believes Dr. Parnell will be a great addition as the Board works to correct a series of serious safety and patient-care violations.

BJ Austin, KERA News

DFW Airport Preference For CNG Cabs Struck Down … Again

For the second time, a Dallas judge says DFW Airport cannot send CNG taxicabs to the front of the line to pick up fares.

Twice cabbies challenged the policy benefitting compressed natural gas taxis.

Attorney Kelly Hollingsworth says the judge ruled again that such action is not directly related to operation of the airport, and therefore violates the Texas Transportation Code which governs DFW Airport Board action. Hollingsworth says cabbies are relieved.

Hollingsworth: "It absolutely breaks the back of the taxicab operators than can’t afford a 40 thousand dollar taxi cab. Ultimately, it puts everybody who doesn’t have a CNG taxicab out of business."

DFW Airport officials have said the CNG preference on the cab line is to encourage cleaner burning fuel and cleaner air.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Expert Talks About Getting Tarrant County Healthy

Tarrant County Public Health wants to give the county a check-up.

Director Lou Brewer says they’re enlisting citizens and organizations to gather data on the health of Tarrant residents, and then come up with an action plan to address the needs.

Wednesday morning, Dr. John McKnight, professor emeritus of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern will offer ideas about health policy, delivery of social services and mobilizing the community.

Lou Brewer says this is an exciting, new approach.

Brewer: We have a number of very good specific assessments and data sets that various partners have done over the years, but we’ve never taken it to the point of collectively coming up with a community health improvement plan.

She says the public is invited to hear Dr. McKnight at 9 this morning at Tarrant Public Health, South Main and Rosedale.

BJ Austin, KERA News

School bus allegedly went wrong way in Irving

A Dallas-area school bus driver has been put on administrative leave after allegedly going the wrong way on a service road to avoid heavy traffic.

KRLD Radio reports Irving school officials will consider whether the driver should be fired.

Irving Independent School District spokesman Pat Lamb says one special needs student was on the school bus Monday morning.

Authorities believe the bus driver deliberately headed the wrong way to avoid a wreck that had backed up traffic.

Lamb says the bus was bound for John R. Good Elementary School.


FW Water Main Replacement Will Impact Downtown Traffic

Work on five blocks of old water mains in downtown Fort Worth began today. Crews are replacing some existing water lines that date back to the early 1900’s.

They’ll be digging up 3rd Street between Throckmorton and Commerce, as well as Main and Houston Streets between 3rd and 4th. There will be lane closures and traffic back-ups until the end of June.

But, work will stop April 15 – 22 for the annual Main Street Arts Festival.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Mental health issues common among youth prisoners

Some 52 percent of young people in Texas' six youth prison facilities have moderate or high mental health treatment needs, the head of the state juvenile justice department says.

Texas Juvenile Justice Department executive director Cherie Townsend said Tuesday that that figure "greatly concerns us."

She said early intervention programs designed to rehabilitate problem children before they enter the juvenile justice system are especially crucial for youngsters with mental health problems.

Townsend is head of a new agency created after last year, when the state Legislature voted to merge two previously existing juvenile justice agencies.

Supporters say the move will save Texas money and bolster early-intervention and rehabilitation programs for a juvenile justice system that in the past was dogged by allegations of neglect and sexual abuse.



State Fair of Texas Announces 2012 Theme

The State Fair of Texas is announcing its theme for 2012:  “Big and Bright”. Fair officials say leading the way will be a Chinese Lantern Festival featuring displays as large as 50 feet high and 300 feet long.

And a new production of lights and graphics will be displayed on the outside of the Cotton Bowl.

The 2012 State Fair begins September 28th and will also honor the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts.

BJ Austin, KERA News

Texas woman discharged after bogus breast process

An East Texas woman who spent more than two weeks hospitalized after a bogus breast augmentation procedure has been discharged.

Officials say Sheena Bradford left a Longview hospital on Monday after being treated for an unknown gel injected into her breasts.

A Tyler beauty shop owner remained in custody Tuesday on two counts of practicing medicine without a license. Bond has been set at $200,000 for Carmel Foster, who was arrested late last month.

Tyler police say Bradford received injections at Foster's shop on Feb. 15. The customer was hospitalized within days and for a time was listed as critical.

Police are still trying to identify the gel, which oozed from Bradford's chest after the injection and Foster allegedly used glue to stop the leaks.


USGS: small earthquake recorded in El Paso area

Experts say a small earthquake has shaken parts of far West Texas.

The U.S. Geological Survey says Monday night's 2.5 magnitude earthquake was centered about 11 miles east of El Paso.

Law enforcement officials in El Paso say nobody has been hurt.

Authorities had no immediate reports of damage following the quake, which was recorded at 8:11 p.m. MST Monday.


South Texas: more than 9 tons of marijuana seized

Two truckers have been arrested in South Texas after their rigs yielded more than 9 tons of marijuana worth nearly $15 million.

Border Patrol officials say the loads were discovered during unrelated searches at the Carrizo Springs Station.

Officials say a truck that appeared to be hauling large metal tanks included a hidden load of nearly 6 tons of marijuana. The other rig appeared to have a load of industrial lime sacks, but was concealing more than 3 1/2 tons of marijuana.

Authorities say the drivers, who are from Quinlan and San Diego, Texas, were arrested Saturday. Details of the busts were released Monday. Further information on the suspects was not immediately available.