Today`s Local News2019-01-19
Saturday, January 19, 2019



(MILAM CO) A new scam is making rounds here in Milam County, this time from a fake fireman.

According to Cameron Fire Chief Henry Horelica, a person is calling people around the county stating they are with the Cameron Fire Department and asking for money. Horelica advises that no one in fire department will ever call and ask for money in that manner. This is a scam and callers should hang up or call the authorities. 

Just Thursday, Milam County Sheriff Chris White advised of a scam in Milam County of a caller stating they are a deputy with the Milam County Sheriff`s Office. That caller then states they will be getting a warrant for failure to appear for a jury summons and that they require you pay a fine over the phone to avoid arrest. In the most recent instance, White said the caller identified himself as Deputy Mike Clore, the name of an actual deputy. However, White advises that no deputy will ever call you about a fine in this manner. Deputies will also never demand a payment over the phone. This is a scam and callers should hang up or call the authorities. 


(CAMERON) Cameron ISD Board of Trustees will meet Tuesday in Special Session.

On the agenda will be to discuss and possibly take action on the Superintendent Retirement and Resignation, discuss the options for the Superintendent search process, and to announce the selection of the superintendent search firm. Tuesday`s special meeting is scheduled for 6PM in the board conference room. 


(BELTON) A Temple teenager with Milam County ties has been sentenced to additional time behind bars. 

According to the Bell County District Attorney`s Office, 17-year-old Edgar Lopez-Benitez was handed a 10 year prison term on a charge of Assaulting a Public Servant. His term will run concurrent to 2 others he was given last December for murder and arson. Late last year, Lopez-Benitez was handed 45 years in prison for murder and 10 years in prison for arson. Lopez-Benitez previously entered a guilty plea to those 2 charges in order to avoid a trial. The murder charge stems from the November 2017 murder of 15-year-old Andrew Bryan. After being certified to stand trial as an adult in February, Lopez-Benitez was indicted. This latest charge comes from his time in custody in Bell County Jail. On September 23rd, Lopez-Benitez assaulted a jailer, hitting him in the head, face, and body. 

Lopez-Benitez was arrested last November for Bryan`s murder at a Temple park. Temple Police responded to the park to find Bryan dead of gunshot wounds. Investigators learned a juvenile teenage male had opened fire and then fled the scene on foot. Officials quickly established a perimeter in order to look for him. Two schools were placed on a lock down while the search was underway. A SWAT team was called to the scene to assist in the search and authorities located the suspect at a home in the 900 block of 8th Street. He surrendered to police after 11AM and was taken to the Juvenile Justice center for processing. The arson charge stems from his allegedly intentionally setting a house on fire in the 700 block of North 1st Street just a few days before the murder. Temple Fire & Rescue put out that blaze and were able to save nearby homes. Investigators later discovered the fire was set on purpose. 

According to court documents, Lopez-Benitez was certified as an adult in this case for multiple reasons: he has a juvenile criminal record in Milam and Bell Counties, he is charged with felonies, his offenses were premeditated and deliberate, his conduct was willful and conscious, his offenses were aggravated and against a person, he is sophisticated and mature enough to be tried as an adult, he is a danger to the public and likely won`t be rehabilitated through the juvenile system, and his life follows an adult pattern of living and conduct. 


(TEMPLE) Two bodies found in Oklahoma are now confirmed to be 2 missing Temple people.

Temple Police announced Thursday morning that the Oklahoma State Medical Examiners Office has now confirmed the identities of 2 people found dead in rural Oklahoma as that of 28-year-old Jenna Scott and 32-year-old Michael Swearingen, both of Temple. Preliminary investigation indicated the bodies found Tuesday were likely Scott and Swearingen. Both had been missing since January 4th. The couple had last been seen in a Hyundai that was later located abandoned in Austin. Two people are in custody at this time in connection to their disappearance. Bell County authorities said 37-year-old Ginell McDonough and 26-year-old Maya Maxwell remain held; McDonough on a charge of Harboring a Fugitive and Maxwell on a charge of Tampering with Evidence. 

Both women are connected to Cedric Marks, who is a person of interest in the case. McDonough is Marks` wife and is said to have allowed him to hide out in her home while law enforcement was looking for him in Texas. Maxwell is thought to have ditched the car Scott and Swearingen were last seen in, in Austin. Last week, Temple Police added that Scott had filed a temporary restraining order against her former boyfriend, Cedric Marks. It was unclear when that relationship ended. Marks was wanted by Temple Police in connection to the burglary of Scott`s home and is currently in custody in Minnesota. The Bell County District Attorney`s Office said they expect Marks to be extradicted to Texas. Also Tuesday, Marks was named a person of interest in a separate missing persons case, that of a woman who was also a former girlfriend of his. Minnesota authorities said April Pease disappeared in 2009 and investigators are now looking again at Marks in that case.

Meanwhile, funeral services for Swearingen and Scott have been set. Services for Swearingen will be 2PM Saturday, January 26th, at First Baptist Church of Academy. Visitation will be the day prior, from 6-8PM, at Hewett-Arney Funeral Home in Temple. Celebration of Life for Scott will be 3PM Friday, January 25th, at Vista Community Church of Temple. Crotty Funeral Home of Belton is in charge of her arrangements. 


(TAYLOR) A Taylor ISD employee has been arrested for stealing from work. 

According to Taylor Police, 48-year-old John Wuensche was arrested Tuesday on charges of Theft by a Public Servant. Wuensche is the Maintenance Director for Taylor ISD. Last year, the District discovered irregularities in the process for disposing surplus and salvage material. District officials accuse Wuensche of selling the scrap metals and keeping the money. Wuensche was confronted by district officials after being seen loading up scrap metals on a trailer. Investigators learned that he was selling those materials at Holland Scrap & Recycle, then taking the money and buying food and refreshments for employees. Police found scrap receipts for over $15,000 since 2011, but just over $5000 had been reported back to the district, leaving about $10,000 unaccounted for. Police were later able to determine that Wuensche bought some equipment and materials for campuses, totaling just under $3000, meaning about $7500 cannot be traced. After his arrest, Wuensche was released on bond. 


(WACO) Temporary evacuations are underway after a gas line break.

Many residents were evacuated as a precaution after a natural gas line break in a Waco neighborhood Friday morning. The break occured on the 4800 block of Lockwood drive in Waco. Details of this break weren`t immediatly available. An Atmos crew reported to repair the break. This left two homes without natural gas service. No one was hurt and all residents have returned to their homes.


(TEMPLE) Seven people are displaced after an apartment fire early Thursday. 

Temple Fire & Rescue responded about 5AM Thursday for a structure fire at the Courtyard Apartments on South 1st Street. Crews arrived to find all residents of the building standing outside. Upon entering the complex, crews discovered that a fire suppression sprinkler system helped douse the fire and also limited the damage. Investigators determined the fire began in a bathroom due to a malfunctioning exhaust fan. Fire damage was limited to that bathroom, though that apartment also sustained smoke and water damage. Two other units sustained water damage. Officials credited working smoke alarms for allowing everyone to get out safely. There were no injuries. Crews were on scene about an hour. 


(BELTON) A Cameron man involved in a November robbery is among those indicted in Bell County this week. 

A Bell County Grand Jury on Thursday indicted 18-year-old Jaden Lee Cook on the charge of Robbery. Cook was 1 of 3 men arrested in connection to a November 10th robbery at Country Square Apartments in the 700 block of E. Avenue N in Belton. Belton Police said 20-year-old Damion Johnson and 18-year-old Isaac Lopez, both of Temple, were also arrested. According to investigators, 2 of the suspects approached a minivan in the parking lot of the apartment complex and asked to use the phone. While the 2 men were talking to the woman in the van, the woman`s son came downstairs and yelled at the men, who then attacked the son, punching him several times in the face. The suspects then demanded the woman exit her van, then pulled her from it and drove off. As they were exiting, a 3rd person stationed near the apartment entrance jumped in as well. The victim`s son had to be taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries. Investigators also learned one of the suspects is alleged to have displayed a firearm. Authorities were able to identify Lopez from surveillance video of the encounter from a nearby convenience store where the men had bought alcoholic beverages prior to the attack. Lopez was taken into custody and identified his accomplices. A total of 27 other indictments were handed down, including those to 2 people from Rogers and 1 from Bartlett.


(SALADO) A large fire broke out on Interstate 35 in Salado.

Firefighters respond to a fire Friday afternoon in Salado to what appeared to be a storage building. The flames were reported to be shooting over the treeline on the north bound of the interstate. The structure appeared to be burned down to the ground. The fire was reported at about 1:45 PM on a rental property on FM 2115 where someone was burning wood. No one was injured.


(HUTTO) A new business is coming to the City of Hutto. 

Hutto City Council on Thursday night approved a tax abatement deal for BryComm of Austin. The company is expected to build a 30,000-square-foot building at Innovation Business Park in Hutto. It will be a $4 million investment and could bring 125-200 new jobs to the booming town. As part of the deal, Hutto City Council approved a 45% tax abatement over 10 years. The technology and security infrastructure provider plans to break ground next month and hopes to be open for business by September. For more information on the company, visit


(CENTRAL TEXAS) Here`s a look at some area events headed to Central Texas this week:

January 19
St. Monica Religious Education Rummage Sale will be today from 8AM until 2PM at Simon And George Hall at 499 South Karnes Ave. in Cameron. All Monies will go towards the upcoming 3 Day Convention in Waco in February. For any information or to donate Items call 254-295-6092 

January 19
Cameron VFW presents Jeff Woolsey and the Dancehall Kings today from 8PM to Midnight. Doors open at 6:30PM and tickets are $15 at the door. The kitchen will be open. For reservations or ticket information, call 254-295-6222.

January 20
The New Trail Riding Club will have a meeting at 2PM Sunday, at CR303 in Cameron. For more information, call 254-482-1619 or 254-627-0092. 


(CAMERON) A Milam County road will be closed this month for bridge repairs. 

According to Milam County Commissioner Donald Shuffield, CR240 or Ballpark Road, will be closed from January 22nd until February 8th for maintenance and repairs. Shuffield said crews would be working on the bridge there, forcing the closure. 


(CAMERON) Another business is set for a ribbon cutting this month. 

The Cameron Chamber of Commerce is set to host a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for Red Bird Fields Wedding and Event Venue at 11AM January 26th. Red Bird Fields is located at 1658 CR406 in Buckholts. You can also find information at


(CAMERON) Tickets will soon be on sale for the 7th annual "Mardi Gras" bash to raise funds for the Christine Holcombe Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The event will be held on Saturday, February 23rd, at Simon George Hall in Cameron. The event starts at 6PM and will include a Cajun food dinner, gun raffle, auctions, and games for the kids. Adult tickets are $10 and children under 18 are $5. Ticket information is coming soon.

Donations for the auction can be dropped off at Ideal Poultry in Cameron. Over the past 6 years $77,500 in scholarships have been given to current college students from Milam County as a result of the Mardi Gras event. More information can be found on the Facebook page, Christine Holcombe Memorial Scholarship Fund. 


(CAMERON) The Yoe High basketball teams returned to action last night on the road. 

The Lady Yoe lose a tough one to the Lady Rogers Eagles 46-23. The Lady Yoe are still winless in district.The Yoemen win as they take down the Rogers Eagles 55-42 with a great 4th quarter. That takes their district record to 4-3. Join Bill Whitmire and Kenny Driska as they bring you all the action. If you or your business is interested in helping make these broadcasts possible, sponsorships are still available. Call the Ranch at 1-866-504-1051. 


(CAMERON) The Lady Yoe Junior High basketball team turned in nice games on Thursday on the road. 

The Junior High girls traveled to Lexington and came away with 2 wins in 3 games. The 7th A team and 8th A team both picked up victories, though the 8th B team lost 14-11. The 7th A team was particularly effective, shutting out Lexington 39-0 behind Yierra Flemings` 19 point effort. The 8th A team scratched out a 26-25 win thanks to Kaly White`s 15 points. The Junior High is back in action today in the Rogers Tournament. Games begin at 9AM. District play will resume January 24th against Franklin starting at 5PM.  


Thursday, Rakeal Roberts, Kayla Whitmire, Yessica Moreno, Alondra Sanchez, Jasmine Lopez, and Averee Wadlington competed in Rogers at the 19-3A district cross examination debate tournament. All teams performed well, with the teams of Jasmine Lopez and Averee Wadlington, and Rakeal Roberts and Kayla Whitmire making the quarter final round. Rakeal Roberts and Kayla Whitmire eventually earned third place and alternate to the state debate tournament. 


(CALIFORNIA) A Milano boxer picked up a knockout win this past weekend. 

Ryan Cowboy Karl defeated Kevin Watts last weekend at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Karl won by knockout in the 5th round, in what some boxing fans called the best fight of the night. Karl improves to 16-2 in his career with 10 total knockouts. 


(CAMERON) Cameron PD reported 2 EMS calls and no other activity.

(ROCKDALE) Rockdale PD reported no EMS calls and 2 arrests:
--21-year-old male from Rockdale, for Terroristic threat
--18-year-old male from Bremond, for Possession of marijuana

(CAMERON) The Milam County Sheriff`s Office reported 1 new booking:
--Carlos Cadena, 31 of Rockdale, arrested for 2 counts of resisting arrest, 2 counts of possession of marijuana, and display of ficticious motor vehicle. Arrested by Joah McCaleb.

There was 1 accident reported in Milam County.
--3:20PM Hwy 77 CR322.

There are currently 141 inmates in the county jail, including 56 housed for Coryell County.


(CAMERON) A suspect sought after running from a traffic stop overnight has now been captured by authorities. 

According to Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Dave Roberts, a suspect who eluded officers overnight was captured Tuesday morning. Milam County Sheriff Chris White identified the suspect as 35-year-old Demechetrist Garner of Louisiana, who also lists an address in Killeen. Garner is charged with Driving While License Invalid with Priors, Possession of a Controlled Substance 4-200 Grams, Resisting Arrest, and 2 counts of Evading Arrest. According to White, at the time of his arrest, Garner was found to be in possession of a large quantity of a substance believed to be cocaine. Acting on a citizen`s tip, law enforcement spotted the suspect just before 9AM Tuesday and converged on the area around the donut shop here in town. Sgt. Roberts indicated that the suspect resisted arrest near the donut shop, before running away toward the square and the First Baptist Church here in Cameron. Sheriff White credited Deputy Torres with the takedown of the suspect, who was found hiding in the bushes of a home behind the Baptist Church. 

The manhunt began Monday evening during a routine traffic stop performed by Sgt. Ferguson at the Cameron long bridge. According to Sheriff White, deputies and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers converged on the area before suspending the search after the sun went down. A DPS search helicopter had also been called to the scene. When the search was suspended, the suspect had disappeared into a heavy wooded area and may have crossed the river. The suspect was not thought to be a danger to the public. White credited the response of his deputies, including: Sgt. Ferguson, Capt. Pratt, Lt. Mendoza, Capt. Clore, Lt. Torres, and Deputies Weyand, Perez, Ferguson, Wagnon, and Paniagua. Also assisting were troopers Sims, Del Bosque, Luna, Hendrix, and Tice, Sgts. Yarborough, Roberts, and Morgan, and Constables Anderle, Eakens, and West. 

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