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Alligator Kills Man During A Late-Night Swim In Southeast Texas

Orhan Cam
An alligator, not pictured here, attacked a man Friday morning in Orange, Texas.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: an alligator kills a Texas man; the Alamo gets a special designation from the United Nations; a Fort Worth band is performing at a prestigious jazz festival; and more.

A man died after an alligator attacked him during a late-night swim at a marina in Southeast Texas. Police in Orange, near the state line with Louisiana, say 28-year-old Tommie Woodward was swimming in a bayou early Friday morning when the attack occurred. Orange County sheriff's deputies and a Texas game warden found his body nearby about two hours later. Police said the man was swimming with a woman, but Justice of the Peace Rodney Price told KFDM-TV in Beaumont that she only jumped from a dock after the man screamed for help. Price says a sign warns people not to swim in the area and that the man was bitten soon after he jumped in. The woman was not hurt. Here’s more from KFDM. [Associated Press]

  • The United Nations has designated the Alamo a World Heritage site. The Texas Tribune reports: “The San Antonio Missions, the Alamo and other historic Texas shrines have attained the status of other internationally recognized landmarks such as the Taj Mahal and the Great Barrier Reef. At a meeting in Germany Sunday morning, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated the site of the pivotal Battle of the Alamo in 1836 as a place of cultural significance. … The Texas shrines are the twenty-third World Historic Site in the United States, including landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and Independence Hall. In addition to the Alamo, the shrines include missions at Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan and Espada, all in San Antonio.” [Texas Tribune]

  • Students from Fort Worth’s Paschal High School are performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland this week. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “Twenty students from Paschal, reportedly the first Texas high school band in almost two decades to earn an invitation, will perform on July 7 and 8 and will be joined by Paschal alumnus and Grammy-winning trumpeter John Thomas, who is professor of jazz studies at the University of Southern California. The Paschal students raised $90,000 through a variety of performances and pledges.”

Learn more in this Star-Telegram video:

  • An unwelcome visitor was curled up at a North Texas museum until a worker noticed the nearly 6-foot snake and summoned help. The Wichita Falls Times Record News reported last week that the snake was safely removed from a toilet at the Archer County Museum. Mary Ann Levy was opening the museum in Archer City when she came upon the ratsnake. Sheriff's Deputy Tina Robertson was supervising an inmate crew mowing the grounds of the nearby courthouse. A trusty happened to know about snakes and he helped extricate the coiled creature. The snake was placed in a cardboard box. The reptile was being given to a breeder. [Associated Press]

  • Texans are pretty patriotic when it comes to listening to Fourth of July music. USA Today reports: “Spotify determined which states last year had the most time spent listening to popular Fourth of July music per capita.” Texas ranked No. 1. Pennsylvania was No. 2 and Washington state was No. 3. (Washington, D.C. was No. 6.) Among the most popular songs: Born in the U.S.A., God Bless the U.S.A. and American Girl.Learn more here. [USA Today]

Photo: Orhan Cam/

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.