Texas News for Thursday September 14th, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the National Flood Insurance Program says early estimates show Hurricane Harvey will result in about $11 billion in payouts to insured homeowners, mostly in southeast Texas. Roy E. Wright, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s deputy associate administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, says that would likely make Harvey the second costliest storm in the history of the federal insurance program.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The University of Tennessee says one of its professors has helped identify a species of giant prehistoric crocodiles that roamed the coasts and waterways of what’s now north-central Texas about 95 million years ago. A UT news release Wednesday says Stephanie Drumheller-Horton was on the team that identified the species that grew up to 20 feet long and likely ate whatever they wanted, from turtles to dinosaurs. The team found the fossils at an Arlington, Texas dig site discovered in 2003.


NEW YORK (AP) — Stevie Wonder has asked television viewers to “Lean on Me,” while Usher and Blake Shelton encouraged people to “Stand By Me” during a telethon for hurricane relief. Cher and Justin Bieber are among the stars who encouraged people to help victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma during Tuesday’s benefit. Organizers said more than $44 million was raised Tuesday and donations are still being accepted.


HOUSTON (AP) — Houston-area officials are asking the federal government for $17 million to purchase more than 100 homes at the highest risk of flooding. The grant application is based on flooding in the previous two years, so it may not apply to the estimated 136,000 buildings in Harris County that were flooded during Hurricane Harvey. The Houston Chronicle reports that more than 1,000 residents have requested buyouts since Harvey pummeled the area.


Arkansas News for Thursday September 14th, 2017

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — Police say a woman has been found dead in a car in the parking lot of a northwest Arkansas hospital. Springdale Police Lt. Jeff Taylor told KHOG that the woman was found Wednesday morning outside Northwest Medical Center in Springdale. Her name was not released and Taylor says the body is being sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy to determine the cause of death and for positive identification.


MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (AP) — Voters in Baxter County have approved two sales tax measures that will expand the county jail and fund Mountain Home’s fire and police departments. Voters on Tuesday approved an eight-month, 1 percent sales tax that will pay for 50 new beds at the Baxter County jail, along with a 0.25 percent sales tax to pay for maintenance and operation at the jail. In Mountain Home, voters approved a 0.375 percent sales tax that will support police and fire departments in the city.


FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — City leaders in northwest Arkansas have been advised to reject a settlement in a lawsuit that accuses them of violating the Freedom of Information Act by discussing city business in emails. Fort Smith attorney Joey McCutchen filed two FOIA lawsuits on behalf of a resident. His settlement offer requires the city directors to admit that the emails violated the act by holding informal meetings. But the city’s attorney, Jerry Canfield, recommends that the city directors reject the offer.


ROGERS, Ark. (AP) — Firefighters say a woman was found dead following a house fire in northwest Arkansas. The Rogers Fire Department says it was called shortly before 4 a.m. Wednesday to the home on the city’s east side. Firefighters say the woman lived alone in the home. Her name hasn’t been released.


Louisiana News for Thursday September 14th, 2017

BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) — Family and friends have bid farewell to 75 soldiers with the Louisiana National Guard’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company who are headed to Afghanistan. Lt. Col. Jonathan Lloyd, commander of the HHC’s165th Combat Sustainment and Support Battalion, says the Bossier City-based unit left Monday for a 10-month deployment. Lloyd says the 165th’s mission is similar to what they do when the state calls them for support during emergencies or natural disasters.


BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi police chief has resigned amid questions about a videotaped drug bust. Bay St. Louis Mayor Mike Favre says the video shows Chief Daren Freeman holding his hand on the face of a handcuffed person. The mayor says the video is months old, but he recently saw it for the first time. It has not been publicly released.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A man convicted in a multi-million dollar health care fraud scheme in 2013 now faces federal charges _ along with four other men _ in the 2012 slaying of a witness in the case. Federal prosecutors announced the indictments Wednesday of 68-year-old Louis Age Jr., Age’s son, and three others.


COVINGTON, La. (AP) — A Louisiana coroner says somebody killed a fire chief’s wife before her house burned down. The St. Tammany Parish sheriff says his investigation doesn’t necessarily support the coroner’s conclusion that Nanette Krentel’s death was homicide. The parish coroner, Dr. Charles Preston, says in a news release that two autopsies and forensic reconstruction all indicate homicide. Sheriff Randy Smith says he’ll hold a news conference Thursday about the investigation.