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3 men plead guilty in holdup spree, van theft

Three Dal­las men pleaded guilty Tues­day to fed­eral car­jack­ing and firearms charges stem­ming from an armed rob­bery spree in Jan­uary. Felipe Acosta, 18, and Guillermo Flores and Gon­zalo Gan­dara, both 19, ad­mit­ted that on Jan. 18, they used a sawed-off shot­gun to hold up more than a half-dozen peo­ple and steal a van in Dal­las. Their vic­tims in­cluded a Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina evac­uee and her 3-year-old child. All three men face a max­i­mum sen­tence of life in prison. Sen­tenc­ing is sched­uled for Jan­uary.

Jon Nielsen

DEN­TON Nearly 9,500 on pe­ti­tion, Save Fry Street group says

Nearly 9,500 peo­ple signed a pe­ti­tion sup­port­ing the preser­va­tion of Fry Street, the Den­ton City Coun­cil was told Tues­day. Chuck Voellinger of the Save Fry Street coali­tion said the ef­fort shows that sup­port for rec­og­niz­ing the area as a cul­tural and his­toric icon is strong. The group started the pe­ti­tion drive this year in re­sponse to news that a Hous­ton-area de­vel­oper had pur­chased most of the 100 block of Fry Street for re­de­vel­op­ment as a new re­tail cen­ter. The May an­nounce­ment by United Eq­ui­ties Inc. of Bel­laire met re­sis­tance from some in Den­ton who wanted to pro­tect ex­ist­ing busi­nesses and build­ings, some dat­ing to the 1920s. De­vel­oper Buster Freed­man has told city of­fi­cials he plans to bring a bal­ance of old and new el­e­ments. Coun­cil mem­bers did not act on the is­sue Tues­day, and the project prob­a­bly would come be­fore them for a vote only if the de­vel­oper seeks a vari­ance on city de­vel­op­ment stan­dards, of­fi­cials have said.

Lowell Brown, Den­ton Record-Chron­i­cle

EAST OAK CLIFF 2 of­fi­cers suf­fer mi­nor in­juries in van col­li­sion

Two Dal­las po­lice of­fi­cers were hos­pi­tal­ized with mi­nor in­juries Tues­day af­ter­noon af­ter their squad car col­lided with a van just south of down­town Dal­las. The of­fi­cers were trav­el­ing east on Corinth Street near Akard Street about 4:10 p.m. when a west­bound van ap­par­ently failed to yield and tried to make an il­le­gal turn, Sgt. John­nie Har­ris said. The crash caused the van to skid onto a Dal­las Area Rapid Tran­sit rail track. The driver of the van was not in­jured, and the of­fi­cers were taken to Bay­lor Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter for ob­ser­va­tion. DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said the crash caused mi­nor de­lays for com­muters for about an hour.

Holly Yan

FAR NORTH DAL­LAS Cou­ple’s deaths be­lieved to be mur­der-sui­cide

A hus­band and wife died in an ap­par­ent mur­der-sui­cide Tues­day morn­ing, Dal­las po­lice said. Of­fi­cers re­sponded to a dis­tur­bance call about 7:30 a.m. at an apart­ment in the 4800 block of Frank­ford Road near the Dal­las North Toll­way, po­lice Sgt. Larry Lewis said. When of­fi­cers ar­rived, he said, they heard a wo­man yell for help, fol­lowed by two gun­shots. Of­fi­cers tried to break through the apart­ment’s door, but it was blocked with furniture. Once inside, po­lice found the bod­ies of Carolyn Smith, 45, and Larry Smith, 52. In­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve Mr. Smith shot his wife be­fore killing him­self. Sgt. Lewis said that neigh­bors re­ported hear­ing the cou­ple ar­gue but that the cat­a­lyst for the shoot­ings re­mained un­clear.

Holly Yan

FLOWER MOUND Mos­quito spray­ing set af­ter W. Nile virus re­port

Flower Mound will start spray­ing for mos­qui­toes Fri­day in neigh­bor­hoods af­fected by West Nile virus this week. Spray­ing will start af­ter 11:30 p.m. and con­clude be­fore 4 a.m. Satur­day. Neigh­bor­hoods be­ing sprayed will be no­ti­fied with com­mu­nity signs. Dur­ing spray­ing, res­i­dents should stay inside if pos­si­ble, but those who are out­side or in a ve­hi­cle should keep their dis­tance from the spray­ing truck. Res­i­dents also should cover fish­ponds, bring pets in­doors and close win­dows. Af­ter spray­ing, res­i­dents should clean out­side toys, play equip­ment and furniture with soap and wa­ter, and wash ex­posed fruits and veg­eta­bles be­fore eat­ing. For in­for­ma­tion, call Flower Mound En­vi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices at 972-874-6340.

Marissa Ala­nis

FORT WORTH Test re­sults pend­ing in death of wo­man, 34

In­ves­ti­ga­tors are await­ing tox­i­col­ogy re­sults be­fore rul­ing on the cause of death of a West Fort Worth wo­man who was found Mon­day by her 10-year-old son. Lau­rie Chavers, 34, was found on the floor of her apart­ment in the 2800 block of Las Ve­gas Trail. Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the death as a homi­cide. Re­sults from an au­topsy should be avail­able in about six weeks, said Linda An­der­son, spokes­woman for the Tar­rant County med­i­cal ex­am­iner’s of­fice. Ms. Chavers’ son sought help from a main­te­nance worker when he could not en­ter the apart­ment, of­fi­cials said. The boy is liv­ing with rel­a­tives, po­lice said.

De­bra Den­nis

FRISCO Dis­trict chief seeks to open file of teacher put on leave

The Frisco school su­per­in­ten­dent sent a let­ter Tues­day to a teacher who has been placed on leave, ask­ing per­mis­sion to open her per­son­nel file. Syd­ney McGee says she was pushed out of the class­room be­cause of com­plaints over a field trip to the Dal­las Mu­seum of Art, but dis­trict of­fi­cials say she has other per­for­mance is­sues and wishes to bet­ter re­spond to crit­i­cism over her case. The dis­trict has been in­un­dated with na­tional me­dia re­quests since Su­per­in­ten­dent Rick Reedy an­nounced last week that he planned to rec­om­mend that Ms. McGee’s con­tract not be re­newed next year. She is on leave with pay for the rest of the school year. “I be­lieve some of the in­for­ma­tion be­ing dis­sem­i­nated to the press is not true and is mis­lead­ing, es­pe­cially the al­le­ga­tion that the dis­trict has dis­ci­plined a teacher for ex­pos­ing stu­dents to nude art,” Dr. Reedy said in a pre­pared state­ment. Rogge Dunn, Ms. McGee’s at­tor­ney, said he would prob­a­bly deny the re­quest un­less the dis­trict also agrees to open the per­son­nel files of the su­per­in­ten­dent and Fisher El­e­men­tary prin­ci­pal Nancy Law­son.

Karen Ayres

IRV­ING Cus­tody hear­ing de­layed for miss­ing boy’s brother

A pre­trial hear­ing in the cus­tody case of the brother of a miss­ing Irv­ing tod­dler was moved from Tues­day to Dec. 4. Child Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices took Alexis Ma­jano, 4, into cus­tody the day af­ter his brother Elian, 2, dis­ap­peared while play­ing at Irv­ing’s Lively Park on June 21. CPS of­fi­cials said the chil­dren were left un­su­per­vised as their mother, Yancy Ma­jano, sat in a truck with her boyfriend. She is seek­ing to re­gain cus­tody of her old­est son and is re­ceiv­ing twice-weekly vis­its. Alexis is in the cus­tody of a fam­ily friend. Irv­ing po­lice are still search­ing for Elian.

Kather­ine Leal Unmuth

Irv­ing ISD’s en­roll­ment in­crease short of fore­cast

The Irv­ing school dis­trict’s en­roll­ment grew this fall but not as much as ad­min­is­tra­tors pro­jected. Peak en­roll­ment for the dis­trict Fri­day was 33,124, an in­crease of 288 stu­dents over last fall. Ad­min­is­tra­tors pro­jected an in­crease of 459 stu­dents. The es­ti­mated loss in state fund­ing for the dis­trict’s bud­get is $795,670. Ad­min­is­tra­tors had ex­pected more growth among el­e­men­tary stu­dents. The most growth was at the high school level, which gained 266 stu­dents. The school with the most growth was Bran­den­burg El­e­men­tary, which now has 890 stu­dents.

Kather­ine Leal Unmuth

Trustees OK plans for in­cen­tive pay al­lot­ment

Irv­ing school trustees on Mon­day ap­proved plans for dis­tribut­ing teacher in­cen­tive pay at six cam­puses set to re­ceive $905,000 in grants. The schools re­ceiv­ing money are Good and Keyes el­e­men­taries; Austin, Bowie and de Zavala mid­dle schools; and Irv­ing High School. Irv­ing High will re­ceive $230,000, and the other schools will get $135,000. Fac­ulty mem­bers on each cam­pus planned how to dis­trib­ute the money, which is linked to stan­dard­ized test scores. Plans will be sub­mit­ted to the state for ap­proval Thurs­day. The Texas Ed­u­ca­tion Agency chose schools with a large num­ber of eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged stu­dents and good per­for­mance.

Kather­ine Leal Unmuth

RICHARD­SON Man ac­cused of try­ing to cash leg­is­la­tor’s check

A Dal­las man was ar­rested Mon­day on sus­pi­cion of try­ing to cash a $3,500 check stolen dur­ing a re­cent bur­glary of state Rep. Fred Hill’s Richard­son of­fice, po­lice said. An­thony Cobb, 48, was ar­rested on a forgery charge af­ter try­ing to cash the check at a Dal­las busi­ness, Richard­son po­lice spokesman Kevin Per­lich said. Mr. Cobb, who is de­scribed as be­ing home­less, gave po­lice a Dal­las soup kitchen as his ad­dress. Mr. Hill’s of­fice on Coit Road was bur­glar­ized Sept. 25, Sgt. Per­lich said. A com­puter and other stolen items were re­cov­ered Tues­day morn­ing near the of­fice, Sgt. Per­lich said.

Wendy Hund­ley

TAR­RANT COUNTY Flu shots to be of­fered at sev­eral lo­ca­tions

The Tar­rant County Pub­lic Health De­part­ment is of­fer­ing flu shots. The shots will be of­fered at 9 a.m. at th­ese lo­ca­tions: to­day at the Re­source Con­nec­tion, 2300 Cir­cle Drive in Fort Worth; Thurs­day at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 852 Bedford-Eu­less Road in Hurst; and Tues­day at May­field Road Bap­tist Church, 1701 E. May­field Road in Ar­ling­ton. The shots are $20 per per­son and must be paid for in cash. Medi­care Part B and Se­cure Hori­zons are ac­cepted. For in­for­ma­tion, call the de­part­ment’s flu shot hot­line at 817-2384448 or go to health.tar­rant

Marissa Ala­nis

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