Hard to find in parts of Texas: A top-rated nursing home

May 14, 2015
Natalie Anne Sealy, photographed by her daughter Billie Pender.
Courtesy Photo

The call from the nursing home came just before dawn, jolting Martha Sherwood awake.

During the night, fire ants had swarmed over her 85-year-old mother, injecting their stinging venom into Natalie Sealy’s face, arms, hands and chest.

JoAnn Hill's home in far northwestern Smith County lost its roof and two of its walls in a May 10 tornado. Hill and her dog survived without injury.
Mark Haslett

The far northwestern corner of Smith County lies between the Van Zandt County and Wood County lines. There, the unincorporated community of Providence lies a few miles west of Mineola. The same storm that produced a tornado that destroyed much of Van on the night of May 10 also created a smaller tornado that damaged homes in Providence.

Commerce general practitioner Dr. Rick Selvaggi says, when seeking online medical information, government, or "dot-gov," sites, tend to have the most up-to-date information.  He cites a recent study on information related to sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.  Libraries tend to have access to data bases that are more detailed than what's available on most web sites, Dr. Rick says.

Plan to reform school finance system on life support

May 13, 2015
A Travis County district judge ruled in the districts' favor in August — saying the way the state distributes money to districts is unconstitutional because of both inadequate and unequal funding. The state appealed the lawsuit to the high court.

A school finance plan that would result in an extra $800 million for public education faces dim prospects in the dwindling weeks of the legislative session, a top House lawmaker said Tuesday. 

In an interview at the Capitol, Public Education Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock said he still hoped the House would debate his legislation to reform the state's school finance system. But the Killeen Republican added that it has "become abundantly clear" that Senate leaders did not intend to move House Bill 1759 even if it made it to that chamber.

Texas A&M University-Commerce professor of economics Dr. Dale Funderburk says when the president of the Dallas branch of the Federal Reserve, Richard Fisher, retired recently, he defended the Fed against calls for it to be audited, but he criticized the Fed for being dominated by the New York branch and for being too timid in raising interest rates.

Trade deal backed by Cornyn, Cruz is blocked in U.S. Senate

May 12, 2015
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

Despite the support of nearly every Republican in the U.S. Senate, including both from Texas, economic legislation seek as key to President Obama's legacy was blocked on the U.S. Senate floor Tuesday.

Senate Democrats united against the proposal authorizing Obama to negotiate with Pacific Rim countries on a massive trade deal that has been years in the making. And the Obama-Republican coalition was unable to pull together enough votes to meet the 60-vote threshold to stop a filibuster.

To some, Miller's school food plan is half-baked

May 12, 2015
Sid Miller's new school food plan is not everyone's idea of healthy eating.

The reintroduction of deep fat fryers and soda machines into public schools may top the agenda of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. But some teachers, nurses and parents don't appear to share his appetite for sugary drinks and french fries.

Lions in the league: Seven Lions earn pro football bids

May 12, 2015
Seven Texas A&M Commerce Lions have made it to the pros.

Seven different former A&M-Commerce football players – Vernon Johnson, Ricky Collins, Charles Tuaau, Seth Smith, Ronald Fields, J

Six LSC Championships is the most championships in the history of the university.
Lion Athletics

The No. 9 ranked A&M-Commerce men's track and field team captured the program's first LSC Outdoor T&F Championship in 48 years Saturday, on the tails of a 196 point performance.

The Lions finished 30 points ahead of second-place West Texas A&M, who scored 166. The Lion women meanwhile took fourth with a score of 99, beating out A&M-Kingsville by ten points. The score is the highest point total an A&M-Commerce women's outdoor T&F team has ever scored at the LSC Championships.

Walker adds duo to men’s basketball team for 2015-16

May 12, 2015
Issac Asrat finished his Plano East career as the school's second leading scorer all-time.
Lion Athletics

A&M-Commerce head men's basketball coach Sam Walker announced the signing of Issac Asrat and Onaye Sims to his 2015-16 Lion roster.

Once the court order is filed domestic abusers have five days to turn their guns in.

It has been one week since Dallas County started enforcing a law banning the possession of fire arms by those convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor. The law has been on the books since 1968 in the Federal Gun Control Act.

According to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, no guns have been confiscated because there have been no court orders for them to be turned in.

Once such an order is filed, offenders have five days to surrender their guns to the DFW Gun Range in Dallas.

Northeast Texas author Jim Ainsworth has recently published a book of brief personal essays, "A River of Stories," which opens with a "eulogy" to his father, written many years after his death.

This morning at 7:25 AM, Paris police received a call of a wrecked vehicle behind a building in the 5000 block of SE Loop 286. The report indicated there was a lone occupant in the vehicle who was deceased. Preliminary investigation indicates that the vehicle crashed into a concrete loading dock. Investigators are still on scene and have a possible identification on the driver.

Two people died and three remain missing as of early evening on May 11 following the tornado that struck Van on the night of May 10.
National Weather Service

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a disaster area in Van Zandt County, following last night's deadly tornado.

Senate backs allowing pastors to refuse to marry same-sex couples

May 11, 2015
Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) authored the Pastor Protection Act - a bill that allows pastors the right to refuse to marry same-sex couples.

The so-called Pastor Protection Act — a bill that clarifies clergy members' right to refuse to marry same-sex couples — tentatively passed the Texas Senate on Monday.