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    Head of the Gulf Cartel sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking

    BEAUMONT, Texas - U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that the current head of the Mexican drug trafficking organization, the Gulf Cartel, or Cartel del Golfo, has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas. Juan Francisco Saenz-Tamez, 23, of Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, pleaded guilty on Jan. 13, 2015.

    TOP STORIES

    Beaumont man killed in single vehicle accident overnight Monday

    A Beaumont died in an overnight accident in mid-Jefferson County.The Texas Department of Public Safety says Dwight Earl Guidry, 30, of Beaumont died after his car crashed on US-69 near Spurlock Road in Jefferson County.  

    Delta Downs announces $45 million expansion

    LAS VEGAS - JUNE 30, 2015 - Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) today announced a $45 million expansion of Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel in Vinton, Louisiana.Set for completion at the end of 2016, the centerpiece of the project is a new hotel tower, featuring 167 additional guest rooms and suites. 

    Tropical funnel seen over Sabine Lake near Port Arthur

    A very small storm cell Tuesday morning spawned a tropical funnel over Sabine Lake. 12 News viewers sent in their pictures and emails detailing what they saw, and 12News meteorologists confirmed the cell over the lake was heading to the northeast. 

    Jefferson County residents warned of property tax scam

    The Jefferson County Tax Assessor-Collector wants you to be aware of people that are going door to door or calling by phone trying to collect your property taxes."My office does not go to a taxpayer's home or make collection phone calls", Allison Nathan Getz said. 

    Veteran asks for courtesy with holiday fireworks

    A reminder of war's lasting effect flashed across social media today as a photo of a veteran standing behind a sign expressing concerns about fireworks and the emotional trigger of nearby explosions spawned an outpouring of reaction. 

    Texas abortion providers study whether clinics could reopen

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Abortion providers are cheering a move by the U.S. Supreme Court that temporarily halts part of a Texas law that would close more than half of the state's 19 remaining abortion clinics.They are also studying whether it allows them to reopen some previously shuttered facilities and are weighing just how easily that could be done.

    Despite dangerous heart condition, Memorial grad earns diploma Video included

    High School is full of memories; many good times but also periods times of challenge and growth. A Port Arthur teen facing possible life and death decisions during her senior year, still manages to have a smile on her face, proud of earning her diploma despite a difficult year. Karla Alonzo wasn't sure if she could even walk across the graduation stage by herself this May but with plenty of encouragement from her family and a healthy dose of determination, she did so.

    Port Arthur community ponders what's in a name when it comes to schools named after Confederate leaders Video included

     Port Arthur community activist says it's a serious issue when his tax money is used to "perpetuate the legacy of treasonous slave owners, who fought a war to preserve a cultural heritage of white supremacy".

    Christus administrators announce new strategic direction

    More clinic settings and easier access to doctors and nurses. That's what Christus Southeast Texas Health Systems says you get with a major announcement made Monday.  But some employees are concerned about their future.

    Southeast Texans participate in horseshoe tournament for scholarship fund

    More than 50 teams entered a local tournament to help raise money for a Southeast Texas college scholarship program on Sunday.

    Jefferson County issues 8 same-sex marriage licenses Video included

    A gay Mid-County couple was the first of 8 same-sex Jefferson County couples to receive marriage licenses on Monday.

    Supreme Court blocks Texas abortion-clinic rules

    The Supreme Court is refusing to allow Texas to enforce restrictions that would force 10 abortion clinics to close.

    Jefferson County begins issuing same-sex Marriage Licenses, not yet in Hardin or Orange Counties

    A spokesperson for the Jefferson County Clerk's office Monday said the county will begin issuing same same-sex marriage today. 12News spoke with county clerks in Hardin and Orange county who say they are not issuing licenses at this time.

    First same-sex marriage in Jefferson County

    History was made Monday in Jefferson County as the county clerk's office issued its first ever same-sex marriage license. Within a few hours, history was made again as the couple became the first to be legally married in Jefferson County.

    Beaumont firefighters called to three house fires

    A spokesperson for Beaumont Fire Rescue has confirmed to 12News that there are no injuries following a blaze that destroyed three houses Monday morning. One firefighters was treated by Beaumont EMS on the scene for dehydration. 

    Buckner to Host Foster Care and Adoption Interest Meeting

    Buckner Children and Family Services will present a foster care and adoption information meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 13 at Buckner Children's Village, located at 9055 Manion Drive.

    Texas Attorney General: County clerks can refuse to issue same-sex licenses Video included

    People celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 26, 2015 after its historic decision on gay marriage.(Photo credit: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images) People celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 26, 2015 after its historic decision on gay marriage.(Photo credit: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

    Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the country, politicians from both sides of the aisle began weighing in on the decision.

    Driver refuses to stop for Beaumont police and leads them on chase

    A man who ran from Beaumont police Saturday night remains on the loose. According to a police report, officers tried to make a traffic stop in Beaumont south end shortly before 11 p.m. 

    Shooting outside Port Arthur bar leaves man in critical condition

    An early morning shooting Sunday in Port Arthur has left a man in critical condition. The shooting happened outside Mr. Giggles, a bar in the 3600 block of Twin City Highway at around 4 a.m. 

    Local activist pushes to change names of two Port Arthur schools named for Confederate leaders Video included

    Already several states across the country are pushing to remove the Confederate flag from public buildings. Now Greg Richard wants Robert E. Lee and Dick Dowling Elementary Schools renamed.

    Beaumont AME church pays tribute to victims on anniversary Video included

    St. Paul's AME church in Beaumont celebrated its 147th anniversary Sunday by paying a special tribute to slain AME Reverend Clementa Pinckney. Pastor Carol Dawson invited one of Pinckney's friends to preach.

    Event planners expect busier-than-usual wedding season Video included

    The push-back against same-sex couples getting marriage licenses is not stopping some from at least planning their wedding. 12News spoke with a wedding planner whose phone has been ringing off the hook, from gay couples ready to walk down the aisle.

    Alligator attacks 13-year-old boy and his father in Chambers County

    A 13-year-old boy and his father are in serious, but stable condition after being attacked by an alligator in Chambers County on Sunday. The attack happened in Cedar Hill Park, located at Lake Charlotte, off FM 563, that's just north of Interstate 10. 

    New BISD police chief promises accountability Video included

    Starting July 6, students and staff at the Beaumont Independent School District will see a new face on campus. Rob Flores, Beaumont Police Department's former supervisor over Police Community Relations, is now BISD's new police chief.

    STUDY: Texas ranks 24 in national DUI arrests

    According to Project Know,  an organization that addresses the subject of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, a new study says that Texas ranks 24 in the nation for national DUI arrests per 10,000 drivers. 

    Local same-sex couples celebrate Video included

    Gays and gay rights activists continue to celebrate the Supreme Court's ruling that said same-sex couples have the right to wed in all 50 states. There were two celebrations Friday -- one this afternoon at Taco's La Bamba in Beaumont and one at "Fame," a downtown Beaumont gay bar.

    Jefferson County Clerk does community outreach at gay bar, explaining local enactment of same-sex marriage ruling Video included

    Jefferson County Clerk Carolyn Guidry reached out to the area's gay community by going to a downtown Beaumont gay bar Friday evening. Guidry answered questions at Fame on Orleans Street. She was there to calm concerns that even though the Supreme Court made gay marriage the law of the land in all 50 states, Jefferson County was not ready to start issuing marriage licenses. 

    Local religious leaders react to the legalization of same sex marriage

    The pastor of a local church says he is disappointed with Friday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, striking down all bans on same-sex marriage.

    Man walking with Confederate flag, rifle in Lumberton catches plenty of attention Friday

    A man walking along Highway 96 in Lumberton brought plenty of attention to himself Friday afternoon by carrying a Confederate flag and rifle as he walked along a busy stretch of highway in Hardin County.These pictures were taken from a business north of Lumberton along Highway 96. By the time our crews went to the area, he could no longer be found.We received numerous calls from residents concerned about him and Hardin County Sheriff Ed Cain says Lumberton police investigated but made no arre...

    Earl Thomas pops the question at annual football camp

    Day one of the 4th Annual Earl Thomas III football camp at West Orange-Stark High School had a huge surprise.

    Catholic Diocese of Beaumont on Court Decision on Same Sex Marriage

    Bishop Guillory issued a statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision interpreting the Constitution as requiring all states to recognize same sex marriage.

    Orange police say man in custody is suspect who ordered customers on floor at gunpoint

    An 18-year-old from Orange has been arrested for the armed robbery that happened Monday at the Texas Country Store located at 3701 16th Street in Orange.

    Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage

    The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the United States Friday in a closely divided ruling that will stand as a milestone in its 226-year history.

    The justices ruled that states cannot deny gay men and lesbians the same marriage rights enjoyed for thousands of years by opposite-sex couples. Within days if not hours, the decision is expected to trigger same-sex marriages in states that still ban the practice.

    Former head of AIDS non-profit, charged with felony theft, bonds out of jail Video included

     According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by 12News, Peggy Lynn Gibson, 63, of Lumberton, is accused of stealing over $363,000 in checks, over $20,000 in property and issuing $19,000 in payments to her daughter even though she was not an employee of TAN.  She is the woman in the photo, courtesy of the Beaumont Enterprise.

    "Like losing a family member" Kirbyville community mourns loss of woman and child in accident

    A community is mourning the loss of an eight-year-old boy and a 74-year-old woman following a deadly accident on northbound US 96.

    Local veteran receives monetary gift from nonprofit Video included

    A local wounded warrior received another show of gratitude from a nonprofit organization for his dedicated military service.

    College student, friends riding home from church event among dead in Tyler County accident Video included

    12News continues to learn more about the people who lost their lives suddenly in a tragic accident on US 69 Wednesday. The two-vehicle head-on collision happened around 3:15 p.m. on US 69 at CR 3205 in Tyler County.

    Former Beaumont Police Officer found guilty of DWI

    A former Beaumont Police Officer has been found guilty of Driving While Intoxicated with a child passenger.

    Sentencing for Officer Richard Rovira, 41, will take place following a pre-sentencing investigation.

    UPDATE: Missing Port Arthur woman found safe

    A Port Arthur woman who was reported missing has been found safe. No further information has been released.

    Authorities release names of six who died in head on collision near Colmesneil

    A spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety has released the names of six people who died in an accident just south of Colmesneil.

    Trooper Stephanie Davis said the two-vehicle head-on collision happened at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday on US-69 at CR 3205 in Tyler County. She said that all six people involved in the accident died.

    Two dead in accident north of Buna on Highway 96

     A major accident north of Buna on Highway 96 has left two people dead.

    Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Stephanie Davis says troopers are still on the scene of the rollover crash near Call Juntion and are working to uncover what caused it.

    Victory Medical Center Beaumont is in negotiations with landlord to avoid eviction Video included

    12News has learned CNL Healthcare Properties has filed an eviction case against Victory Medical Center Beaumont for not paying rent in months, but efforts to reach a resolution are underway.  Still, Victory also has a delinquent tax bill.

    Abuse allegations: Alligator farm investigated

    The slaughterhouse practices of an alligator farm in Winnie are under investigation by Texas Parks and Wildlife. This comes after PETA, or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, made abuse allegations against the farm, that could cause the business to lose its permit.

    Two men indicted on capital murder charges in Memorial Day weekend triple shooting

    Two men have been indicted in connection with a Memorial Day weekend triple-shooting that left two people dead in Beaumont.

    FDA to study spray on sunscreen Video included

    The Food and Drug Administration is taking a closer look at spray on sunscreen to see if the cans pose risks of uneven absorption or health problems if inhaled. A Southeast Texas nanny says the aerosol cans are more convenient than lotions but says the family she works for is phasing out the spray on variety after hearing concerns over the product. The splash pad at Rogers Park in Beaumont is full of Southeast Texas children having some fun in the sun.

    Hamshire-Fannett coach celebrates the win of a lifetime and thanks community for the victory Video included

    Debbie Peltier is a native of the Hamshire-Fannett area, and after graduating from college she returned to teach and coach at her alma mater. She became a successful volleyball coach, but more than that she earned the respect of her community for how she guided the youth. That's why there was such a huge public backlash, when two months ago, administrators relieved her of her coaching duties.  

    Evadale ISD to keep crest despite Confederate flag pushback Video included

    Following a fierce national debate on the confederate flag's purpose on government property, people in Evadale are weighing in on the school district's crest, which has contained the confederate flag for more than 60 years. It's why Evadale ISD superintendent Gary Fairchild said the crest is part of the school's history.

    Galveston county beaches test high for fecal bacteria

    (Photo: Adam Bennett, KHOU 11 News) (Photo: Adam Bennett, KHOU 11 News)

    Testing in Galveston County has found indicators of high levels of fecal bacteria in the area's beaches, though the number is going down.

    Trial begins for Beaumont officer accused of DWI Video included

    Testimony is under way in the trial of a Beaumont police officer accused of driving drunk with children in his car.

    Longtime Beaumont coach and former constable dies at 82

    Justice of the Peace Ransom "Duce" Jones has confirmed the death of Joseph "Coach" Simpson. Judge Jones tells 12News Simpson passed away at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at his home.

    Simpson was a longtime coach for both Hebert and West Brook high schools.  

    Motorcycles stolen from home in Orange found, two arrested

    A man from Orangefield and a Bridge City woman have been arrested after deputies say they found them with two stolen motorcycles.

    Truck police were seeking in Vidor double-murder has been located

    A spokesperson for the Vidor Police Department has confirmed to 12News that a pickup officers were looking for in connection with a double-murder investigation has been located. The spokesperson could not say where the truck was found.

    The investigation began June 11 following the discovery of the bodies Richard Ames, 83, and Edna Phillips, 85.

    Aggravated robbery at Texas Country Store in Orange

    Police in Orange are searching for the person who robbed the Texas Country Store on 16th Street.

    Authorities were called to the store around 8:30 p.m. Monday.

    Lawyer for African-American administrator in Burkeville ISD says client is victim of racism

    Burkeville Independent School District has been the center of controversy since March, when the district had a motivational speaker address only black students who had poor test scores. Parents of white students were upset their kids didn't get the same opportunity. But now one of the black administrators who helped coordinate the program says she's being unfairly targeted. 

    Daylong card game takes aim at Alzheimer's Disease

    They took part The Longest Day Bridge game, which helps raise awareness about  Alzheimer's disease. 

    In 3-to-2 vote, Jefferson County commissioners appoint Cory Crenshaw to judge's seat Video included

    The 3-to-2 vote appointing former interim Jefferson County district attorney was symbolic of the division, mainly along racial and ethnic lines, that surrounded the selection of a judge for County Court-at-law #2.  The seat was left vacant following the death of Lupe Flores in April. Flores was the county's first Hispanic judge. 

    Beaumont woman identified as victim in fatal Newton County accident

    Danielle Christine Culpepper of Beaumont, Tx. Danielle Christine Culpepper of Beaumont, Tx.

    A spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety has released the name of a person who died following a one-vehicle accident in Newton County over the weekend.

    The deceased is identified as Danielle Christine Culpepper, 19, of Beaumont.

    Lake Charles man arrested for aggravated rape of 7-year-old boy

    A spokesperson for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office Monday said a Lake Charles man is in custody charged with the aggravated rape of a 7-year-old boy.

    Couple catches 5'6" bull shark near Crystal Beach

    A Sour Lake couple has a good fish tale to tell, and this one didn't get away.  Mike and Amanda Sossaman were fishing with live mullet Saturday and caught this 5'6" bull shark.  The large catch was reeled in around 2:30 p.m.

    Officials: It could take up to 90 days to find a new contractor for Concord Road project Video included

    Not so good news if you live off Concord Road in north Beaumont. 12News has learned that it could be up to three months before work resumes on the road expansion from East Lucas to Highway 105.

    Vidor grad uses fancy footwork to make it through difficult diagnosis and to graduation Video included

    Life has a way of throwing obstacles in our path from time to time but a Vidor High School graduate used some fancy footwork to avoid the pitfalls, making it to graduation with grace. Plenty of friends and family share in her excitement and Lori Bailleaux says earning a barrel racing world champion title is one of the proudest moments of her senior year.

    Teen lost at sea returns to U.S. Video included

    Lead pastor Daniel Rose welcomed his son Aaron Rose back to the U.S. Sunday, after the teen was lost off the coast of Honduras for 15 hours last week during a mission trip. At 9:15 last Thursday, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School graduate was found 18 miles off of Honduras' Roatán Island by a joint-effort between the Honduran and U.S. Army.

    Robin Mouton edges out Melanie Smith in runoff election for Ward 4 seat on Beaumont city council

    Robin Mouton won the Ward 4 Beaumont city council seat by 72 votes in Saturday's runoff election.  After learning of her victory, Mouton told 12News, "We won! Praise be to God! I will continue working for my constituents as hard as I did to earn their vote."

    Beaumont lawn services increase profits Video included

    This week's heavy rains combined with an extremely wet spring season have made lawns all over southeast Texas shoot up in a short amount of time. It's becoming an increasingly lucrative business for people who provide lawn services, due to the uptick in upkeep.

    US Coast Guard responding to oil seepage along Bolivar Peninsula

    The Coast Guard, state and local officials are responding to an area of oil seepage Saturday on the Bolivar Peninsula approximately 4 miles west of Rollover Pass. The Coast Guard, state and local officials are responding to an area of oil seepage Saturday on the Bolivar Peninsula approximately 4 miles west of Rollover Pass.

    The U.S. Coast Guard has identified a 100-yard area of oil seepage along the Bolivar Peninsula while conducting a beach patrol on Friday. 

    PHOTOS: Classic cars on display in Beaumont

    Here are some of the classic rides that were on display in Beaumont on Friday for those who missed the 12th Annual Antique Car Show.These are owned by members of the Aces Car Club and Model A Car Club. The classic cars were on display at Calder Woods, a non-profit senior living community in Beaumont.

    6/18/2015 Weather Photos

    If you take a weather photo or video, send it to 12News so we may share it with everyone.

    Bad weather pushes back construction Video included

    Tropical Depression Bill is impacting several construction projects across the Golden Triangle that are already behind schedule due to this year's ongoing rain. The construction of a Hike and Bike Trail on Metropolitan Drive, near Folsom Drive in Beaumont has been delayed by more than 50 percent, according to the City of Beaumont, due to the recent downpours.

    Fuel spill closes northbound West Port Arthur Road

    The northbound side of West Port Arthur Road at HWY 365 was closed around Noon Wednesday while crews cleaned up fuel spilled from an 18-wheeler after an accident.

    Three in custody, homeowner recovering following home invasion near Anahuac

    A man who was shot in a home invasion Tuesday is recovering as the people investigators say are responsible remain in jail.

    Bolivar Peninsula drenched by Tropical Storm Bill Video included

    A restless Gulf is pushing strong waves off the Bolivar Peninsula, sending debris across Highways 87 and 124. Giant piles of debris were strewn along the roadway Tuesday. A bulldozer went through and cleared it off the roadway where high water previously carried it across the asphalt. People who live nearby say the litter on the road kept them from getting to work.

    Accident shuts down eastbound I-10 at 11th Street in Beaumont

    Emergency crews worked an accident involving a large industrial truck and a passenger car on Interstate 10 Tuesday afternoon.

    The accident was reported around 2:20 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-10 near the 11th Street exit in Beaumont.

    • Potted Potholes Popping Up Around City

      Potted Potholes Popping Up Around City

      Tuesday, June 30 2015 8:40 AM EDT2015-06-30 12:40:32 GMT
      We spotted a freshly planted flower in a pothole in the middle of the street next to our KIII Studios on Prinston Street early this morning.
      We spotted a freshly planted flower in a pothole in the middle of the street next to our KIII Studios on Prinston Street early this morning.
    • Changes for 2015 Big Bang

      Changes for 2015 Big Bang

      Tuesday, June 30 2015 8:32 AM EDT2015-06-30 12:32:48 GMT
      There are a few changes coming to the Big Bang celebration this year.
      There are a few changes coming to the Big Bang celebration this year.
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    • HeadlinesMore>>

    • High court blocks power plant regulations without cost estimates

      High court blocks power plant regulations without cost estimates

      The Supreme Court ruled in a major environmental case involving coal-fired power plant regulations.The Supreme Court ruled in a major environmental case involving coal-fired power plant regulations.
      Richard Wolf, USA TodayASHINGTON – A narrowly divided Supreme Court on Monday blocked federal clean air regulations on coal- and oil-fired power plants that have been on the drawing board for a quarter century.The 5-4 ruling stops the Environmental Protection Agency, at least for now, from imposing new rules designed to reduce the amount of mercury and other toxins that pollute the nation's air, at an unknown net cost to companies and consumers.It was a defeat for the Obama administration, w...
      Richard Wolf, USA TodayASHINGTON – A narrowly divided Supreme Court on Monday blocked federal clean air regulations on coal- and oil-fired power plants that have been on the drawing board for a quarter century.The 5-4 ruling stops the Environmental Protection Agency, at least for now, from imposing new rules designed to reduce the amount of mercury and other toxins that pollute the nation's air, at an unknown net cost to companies and consumers.It was a defeat for the Obama administration, w...
    • Walmart apologizes for making ISIS cake for man denied confederate flag design

      Walmart apologizes for making ISIS cake for man denied confederate flag design

      A man in Louisiana is asking for an explanation from Walmart after his request for a Confederate flag cake at one of its bakeries was rejected, but a design with the ISIS flag was accepted.
      A man in Louisiana is asking for an explanation from Walmart after his request for a Confederate flag cake at one of its bakeries was rejected, but a design with the ISIS flag was accepted.
    • Mom in freezer case pleads guilty, has 'no remorse'

      Mom in freezer case pleads guilty, has 'no remorse'

      A Detroit mother pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the deaths of her two children whose bodies were discovered in the deep freezer at the family's home in March and said she doesn't "regret any of it."
      A Detroit mother pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the deaths of her two children whose bodies were discovered in the deep freezer at the family's home in March and said she doesn't "regret any of it."
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