Arrest in Texas transgender woman’s strangulation death

DALLAS — A 24-year-old man has been charged with murder in the strangulation death of a Dallas transgender woman. Jimmy Eugene Johnson II was arrested near Huntsville, Texas.

CBS DFW

He was driving a car seen in surveillance video from the Dallas apartment complex where 26-year-old Carla Patricia Flores-Pavon was found dead on May 9.

A Dallas police statement issued Thursday says Johnson revealed that he had goods stolen from the woman’s apartment. The police statement says there is presently no evidence of a hate crime.

CBS DFW reports that police said the motive in the case was robbery and that Pavon was not targeted for her “transgender lifestyle.”

Deputy Chief Thomas Castro tells The Dallas Morning News that Johnson and Flores-Pavon had been engaging in online chats.

Johnson is confined to the Walker County Jail in Huntsville under $500,000 bond.

The Human Rights Campaign says 28 transgender Americans died in homicides in 2017 and 10 have died so far this year.

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Mishandled Dallas housing program could cost $1.3M

DALLAS (AP) — A report says Dallas officials should repay $1.3 million in federal funds after mishandling a program meant to renovate dilapidated houses for low-income homeowners.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the federal housing department’s Office of Inspector General report released this week examined more than a dozen homes remodeled by Dry Quick Restoration. The report found the homes had defective workmanship and long construction delays.

The report criticized the city for not properly vetting the company when issuing contracts in 2015.

A March newspaper investigation found the company’s owner has ties with a local housing official now suspended pending an internal probe.

Surveillance footage captured a cougar roaming around the streets and peaking through a window of a Brookfield, Wisconsin family’s home on February 18.

Dan and Bridget Guerndt, the home’s owners, were not aware of the unlikely visitor until they saw the paw prints in the snow and decided to check their Nest security camera. The cougar can also be seen walking up and down the block on the survailance video.

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources confirmed the cougar sighting in Brookfield, according to reports. The animal has been roaming around the area and appears to be passive, leading DNR officials to believe it was injured. Homeowners in the area have been warned of its presence, the animal is believed to be about a year old weighing 50 pounds. Credit: Dan Guerndt via Storyful

Media: Storyful

The city says it’s working with federal officials to address the issues. City Manager T.C. Broadnax says Dallas shouldn’t have to repay the funds because the money went into the homes.

Dry Quick declined to comment.

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Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com

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State GOP leader: Make N.J. affordable (so we don’t lose folks to Texas!)

By Tom Kean Jr.

A recent opinion piece by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott encouraged overtaxed New Jerseyans to consider relocating to the Lone Star State.

Abbott was likely emboldened by Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget plan to raise state spending by nearly $3 billion, funded with billions in income, business and sales tax increases on New Jerseyans.

He apparently understands, unlike our governor, that New Jerseyans already shoulder one of the greatest tax burdens in the nation.

He’s probably seen how many of our families, retirees and businesses of all sizes have been worn down by rising costs and convinced to leave New Jersey for other states with lower and more predictable tax bills. Likely sensing Murphy’s overreach, Abbott took the opportunity to highlight the tax benefits of moving to Texas.

A combination of public and private marketing efforts have helped Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — among others — to lure away millions of New Jerseyans in recent years, including many of our prized employers. The sales pitch is almost always the same — those places are more affordable and have lower taxes than New Jersey.

New Jersey is filled with talented entrepreneurs and highly skilled employees from one of the most desirable markets in the world. It’s no surprise then that others would attempt to take advantage of our governor’s extreme tax plans to try to convince more New Jerseyans to move in their direction, with offers of cheaper housing, reasonable taxes and attractive career opportunities for young professionals.

Once they start looking, families and innovators may be surprised to find that income tax rates have remained stable in states as seemingly different as Massachusetts (flat 5.1 percent) and Virginia (top rate of 5.75 percent), regardless of the changing party affiliations of their governors over time. Income tax predictability, at lower rates, has been the key to success in other states.

All of these poaching efforts have had a real impact on New Jersey.

An analysis by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association of census and Internal Revenue Service data from 2004 to 2014 determined that New Jersey lost approximately 2 million residents, 75,000 jobs and $18 billion in adjusted gross income.

The latest IRS data from 2016 showed a net outflow of $3.6 billion in income, equating to a loss of about $100 million in state tax revenues.

Further, a July 2017 report by McKinsey & Company found that middle- and high-skill millennials are the most likely to leave New Jersey, with 85 percent of those leaving in 2015 ranging in age from 18 to 35.

New Jersey businesses are losing talent to other states. New Jersey’s industries are losing the ability to grow because of the lack of skilled human resources. Our state is losing on its investment in higher education, in its families and in its future.

What’s most disconcerting is that our governor doesn’t even appear to recognize that New Jersey is in a competition with other states, much less recognize that it’s focused almost exclusively on taxes, affordability and opportunity.

That’s clear from his response to Abbott in a Dallas Morning News opinion article, in which Murphy discussed his focus on making New Jersey taxes "more fair."

He doesn’t realize that families and businesses aren’t driven by immeasurable promises of "tax fairness," but by dollars and cents. People look at their paychecks, bank-account balances and credit-card bills to judge how they’re doing each month. If those metrics are stable or improving, they’re likely to stick around. If they’re sliding in the wrong direction, they’re more likely to consider leaving.

The obvious solution to keep New Jerseyans in the Garden State is to focus on affordability.

With our state budget on track to end the fiscal year with a significant surplus, it shouldn’t be difficult. There’s simply no need for the billions in new taxes the governor has proposed. We should cut state government spending, not increase it. We should shelve Murphy’s expensive plans to create a state bank that would make risky loans at taxpayer expense. We should hold off on his "free" community college proposal that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars while doing little to improve college affordability. The list could go on.

New Jersey is a wonderful state with much to offer. Many of the people who feel forced to leave would love to stay. We can make that happen. Hopefully the governor changes course before it’s too late.

Tom Kean Jr., R-Union, is the minority leader in the New Jersey Senate.

One of two entrances to the Caven Point section of Liberty State Park.

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Dallas apartment proprietor, who cares enough to succeed, might invest in repairing or enhancing of his or her dummy post

Dallas apartment proprietor, who cares enough to succeed, might invest in repairing or enhancing of his or her apartment in order to boost the opportunity and keep up the apartment all their life in ship shape while profiting off it. This is particularly engaging and makes the tenants who need to lease Dallas apartments to call for action. By starting correspondence with you through email or telephone, the tenant is already showing enough interest and you need to take over from there.
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Texan Bank CEO Appointed to Texas Southern University Board of Regents

HOUSTON, April 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Texan Bank announces appointment of CEO to Board of Regents of a prestigious Houston area university.

The Governor of Texas Greg Abbott has appointed Texan Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Kenny Koncaba to the Board of Regents for a term to expire on February 1, 2023. "I sincerely appreciate Governor Abbott appointing me to the Texas Southern University (TSU) Board of Regents. TSU is a dynamic institution of higher learning, and I look forward to serving TSU students, faculty, and administration into the future," stated Koncaba.

Koncaba also serves as a Director on the Board of Innovative Alternatives, as well as the Friendswood Education Foundation Board. He is a former gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Housing and Health Services Coordinating Council and the Board of Pilot Commissioners for Galveston County Ports.

About Texan Bank
Based in Houston TX, Texan Bank is a full-service, local community bank offering business and personal banking with four locations across Houston, Sugar Land, Clear Lake, and Friendswood. Purchased in 2011 by Friendswood Capital Corporation, Texan Bank serves its communities through doing business the right way and inspiring employees through servant leadership.

For more information, visit www.texanbank.com.

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TX Firefighters Injured in Gas Line Blaze

Gas from a line that had been struck caught fire early Sunday evening in Arlington, injuring two firefighters and a water department employee.

Arlington, TX, Fire Department

April 16 — Gas from a line that had been struck caught fire early Sunday evening in Arlington, injuring two firefighters and a water department employee.

Arlington Water Utilities crews were clearing asphalt to to reach a water line leak at Dugan Street and Ditto Avenue when a gas line was struck about 6:45 p.m., Fire Department Lt. Mike Joiner said.

Firefighters and Atmos Energy workers responded and were pumping excess water out so that they could begin repairs when the gas ignited, he said.

The firefighters and the water department employee were taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, and only one firefighter remained hospitalized Sunday night.

Firefighters remained on the scene to control the fire while Atmos workers repaired the leak. Police were also there to help with traffic control.

Power and water were cut off to the immediate area Sunday night while repairs were completed.

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(c)2018 The Dallas Morning News Visit The Dallas Morning News at www.dallasnews.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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More Americans Are Moving to Texas

This Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, file photo shows highway traffic with the Dallas skyline in the background. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

Texas continues to be America’s fastest-growing state, the U.S. government Census Bureau says.

Six of the nation’s top 10 largest-gaining counties between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017, were in Texas, the bureau recently said in a news release.

The fastest-growing area in the country was the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area which includes 13 counties in Texas. It gained 146,000 residents last year.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Molly Cromwell is a demographer at the Census Bureau. She said the Dallas area “attracts large numbers from both international and domestic migration.” In other words, the area draws people moving within the United States and those moving to the United States from other countries.

Many large metro areas in the country, Cromwell explained, depend mostly on “international migration and natural population increase for growth.

Lloyd Potter is Texas state demographer at the University of Texas San Antonio. He said in a statement that people most likely relocate to Texas for its “resilient economy” and cheaper housing costs.

Potter added that oil and gas production continue to be a major part of the state’s economy, but other sectors, such as information technology, manufacturing and biomedicine are important sources of job growth.

In addition to good jobs and cheap housing, Texas is one of the seven states with no state income tax.

Demographers expect Texas to continue to grow, though its rate of growth may slow down.

While domestic migration is a major reason for Texas’s growth, recent international immigration is also up. And people are coming to the state from “a greater variety of nations than in the past,” Potter added.

Texas state demographers have observed an increase in immigrants from Asian countries and a decrease from Latin American countries — especially Mexico.

Potter said, “With this, migration will not only increase the size of the state’s metro areas, but also will lead to greater population diversity in these areas.”

I’m Jonathan Evans.

VOA’s Matt Hilburn reported on this story. Xiaotong Zhou adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

_____________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

demographer – n. the person who studies changes (such as the number of births, deaths, marriages, and illnesses) that occur over a period of time in human populations

domestic – adj. of, relating to, or originating within a country and especially one’s own country

resilient – adj. able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens

biomedicine – n. medicine based on the application of the principles of the natural sciences and especially biology and biochemistry

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The Incredible Organizations Creating New Homes For Women

Three amazing women-focused charities fighting homelessness in America.

Courtesy of DWC; Courtesy of Genesis; Courtesy of Haven Housing.

Here at Lonny, our mission is to help our readers create a home that empowers and feels like a true reflection of their personalities. But, for many, the luxury of decorating a home simply isn’t a reality. With homelessness on the rise, living in a safe environment every night or even having a place to call home isn’t a privilege everyone has.

It is shocking to learn that not only are there 553,742 homeless people in America, but the amount has increased by .7% in just the past year, according to HUD. Even more upsetting? The amount of homeless individual women has increased by five percent since 2016. With domestic abuse and lack of mental health care serving as the main causes for women to lose housing security, the people who need the most help are often left with no support.

Thankfully, there are some incredible organizations across the country that have made it their goal to give them the care they need. Of the 215,709 homeless women in America, 74% are in shelters most nights. These spaces are a mix of emergency shelters, transitional housing, and even permanent housing created by charities geared towards creating a safe, welcoming environment to women that can not only give the basic necessities to live, but childcare, mental health care, and job training to recover and get back on their feet.

To close out Women’s History Month, we want to showcase some of these incredible organizations to not only give them recognition they deserve and encourage folks to give back, but also share their services to any readers who may need help.

Courtesy of Downtown Women’s Center.
Downtown Women’s Center – Los Angeles, California

Located in Skid Row, the Downtown Women’s Center has been a pioneer in creating sustainable care and housing for females at risk.

“The DWC is the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women,” shares Melissa Tillman, chief development and communications officer.

“Our mission is to end homelessness for women in greater Los Angeles through housing, wellness, and advocacy. That starts with connecting women experiencing homelessness with safe, permanent housing, but housing is only one piece of the puzzle,” she says. Not only does the DWC provide 119 units of permanent supportive housing for single, unaccompanied women, but they also coordinate residences for single women and female-led families across the Los Angeles area.

“Individualized support and access to services are what help women achieve long-term stability,” Tillman says. “We provide every woman who comes through our doors with resources and case management, including health care, education, job training, and trauma-recovery services.” In fact, the organization has 1,000 annually use their workforce development services and provides the only women-specific health clinic in Skid Row. Having target facilities is essential to giving the female population the care they really need.

The DWC also recognizes that while they can provide services for its location population, legislation is the next step to spark change to combat the lack of resources for the community. “We work with our elected officials to ensure women are not left out of efforts to end homelessness, and that their specific service needs are addressed,” shares Tillman.

Courtesy of Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support.
Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support – Dallas, Texas

Since 1985, Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support has been a safe haven for Texas women and children who are victims of domestic abuse.

“We exists to give women and children in abusive situations a path to lead independent and safe lives,” says CEO Jan Edgar Langbein. “Our mission is to provide safety, shelter, and support for women who have experienced domestic violence, and to raise awareness regarding its cause, prevalence, and impact.”

While the organization already helps the 650 people who seek refuge in their emergency shelter annually, Genesis also offers long term housing in private apartments for 12 months after their stay. “Genesis Women’s Shelter was founded with a goal to not just help women, but to completely eradicate domestic violence, and we have formulated our services to address the issue holistically and give each woman the same message: there is help and there is hope,” she explains.

“Each year we see more than 1,300 women and children,” notes Langbein. To create a holistic experience and further help these women and children experiencing trauma, the charity also provides more than 17,000 hours of non-residential counseling each year. “The women who come to us are in a fight for their lives,” she shares. “We aim to walk alongside each woman and tell her she is not alone and she deserves a safe and happy life.”

Courtesy of Haven Housing.
Haven Housing – Minneapolis, Minnesota

With a focus on helping women experiencing extreme poverty and homelessness, Haven Housing provides a home and care to women and their children in need in the Twin Cities.

“The mission of Haven Housing is to provide women a stable environment and the opportunity to explore options for their future,” shares executive director Julie Kelley. “Between our three programs (St. Anne’s Place, Ascension Place, and Next Step Housing), Haven Housing provides emergency shelter for single moms and their children, transitional housing for women, and permanent housing for women and women-led families.”

Within these three programs, the organization provides in-depth counseling for women with chemical dependency, mental health issues, and trauma in addition to supplying their basic needs. Family-based programs emphasize parenting help, keeping children active and in school, and wellness, while in individualized housing, each woman meets regularly with her case manager to develop and work on achieving personal goals.

“Whether experiencing extreme poverty, homelessness, mental, or chemical health crises, violence, or abuse, our support services meet women they are. Achieving Haven Housing’s mission would not be possible without our stable and supportive housing,” she shares. “Having a safe haven and dignified place to live gives women the opportunity to heal from trauma, find a community in which to belong, focus on health and wellness, and take positive steps in their journey.”

While these three amazing organizations are taking action to provide support and homes to the women who need it most, there are others in communities across America striving to achieve this goal. We all should contribute to help everyone have a home, whether it may be through donations, volunteering, or even starting a new charity where there is a need for one. While we may not be in the position to give, remember that compassion, time, and a vote are three of the greatest tools at your disposal.

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1 month after attacking Laura Moser, DCCC spars with another Texas Democrat

WASHINGTON – The House Democratic campaign arm may well be at war with another Texas Democrat.

Lillian Salerno, a Democratic House candidate in the Dallas-based Texas 32nd Congressional District, pushed out a fiery news release on Thursday afternoon when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee telegraphed its preference to her primary rival, former NFL football player Colin Allred.

“Folks here are sick and tired of a bunch of Washington insiders trying to make their decisions for them,” she said. “But I’m not scared — I’ve stood up to power and fought for what’s right my entire life.”

“Texas hasn’t elected a new woman to Congress in twenty-two years, and we’re not taking it anymore,” she added. “The DCCC would do well to remember: Don’t mess with Texas women.”

Last month, the DCCC sparked a backlash after inserting itself in the Democratic primary for the 7th Congressional District in Houston by dumping negative research about Democratic candidate Laura Moser online with an aim of preventing her from becoming the nominee there. Moser came in second and is now in a primary runoff.

Salerno is in a runoff against Allred for the nomination to take on U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, a Dallas Republican, in the fall.

At issue was a new list the committee released called “Red to Blue” candidates. The designation serves to signal to donors and DCCC allies which candidates the committee believes should be top recipients for contributions.

Red to Blue is not technically an endorsement from the DCCC. But DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan heaped praise on Allred in a committee news release on Thursday.

“Raised by a single mom who taught for 30 years in Dallas’s public schools, Colin Allred has never lost touch with the community that shaped him,” said DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján.

“Now, after representing his community on the football field and standing up for working people’s dignity in the Obama administration, Colin is running to put everyday Texans before special interests. Colin’s experience and new ideas will give North Texas a fresh start as they look to replace a politician who’s spent 20-years too many in Washington.”

In past cycles, the DCCC has named districts to its Red to Blue program, rather than specific candidates to avoid these kinds of flare ups.

The committee also named retired Air Force Intelligence Officer Gina Ortiz Jones to the program, who is running to take on U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes. Like Allred, she is in a runoff for her party’s nomination. Both Allred and Jones significantly outpaced their closest rivals in the first round of the primary contest.

She carried 41 percent of the vote in her district, compared to rival Rick Trevino’s 17 percent. Allred won 39 percent of the vote to Salerno’s 18 percent.

Curiously, the DCCC avoided Thursday mentioning the third district that national Democrats are most invested in challenging: the Texas 7th. Moser’s rival, attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, is the favored candidate among many women in Congress recently interviewed by the Texas Tribune. But Democrats watching this race almost uniformly complain that the attack on Moser backfired and only strengthened her anti-establishment message.

As for the state of play in the 32nd District, Allred has backing from prominent Texans, including former state Sen. Wendy Davis, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk. But Salerno has the support of EMILY’s List, the influential national group that helps elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a national advocate of women candidates.

Salerno also has the backing of former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower, who lent some choice words to Salerno’s news release: “The D-triple-C has gone d-triple-crazy, barging into local elections like clueless, antidemocratic potentates.”

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Texas Rental Market: How Developers are Keeping Up and Keeping Rent Down for The Population Boom – Dallas Business Journal

DALLAS, March 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — With over half a million new residents coming to Texas each year, the area’s housing options are shrinking and forcing new development to keep up. In fact some of the top Texas metros and their surrounding areas including Dallas, Houston and Austin have held some of the largest increases in new residential and commercial construction growth across the nation in recent years.

With this demand for housing seemingly outweighing the available properties in the state’s most desired city and suburban locations, an influx in both rental costs and home market appreciation is on the rise. Developers and property firms are more focused than ever on breaking new ground to make room for new and relocated renters and buyers.

One of DFW’s leading property development firms; Western Rim Properties is focusing its expansion in some of the state’s top surrounding city locations with nine new projects coming in 2018 to areas like Rowlett and Farmers Branch. With its communities serving the growing need for affordable rental properties that provide some of the area’s highest quality accommodations, the development locations are also positioned where the market is headed – just outside of Texas’ city centrals.

The cause for this shift in growth headed to the city outskirts is a direct reflection of the population boom and underdeveloped housing availability. Price spikes and limited inventories are pushing residents to explore new locations.

Take one of the state’s leading metro areas DFW, which had the highest jump in rental prices in Texas growing 3.8% in 2017- double the national median increase that was reported at 1.9% by Zillow in their annual rental forecast report.

With a booming economy and job market that helped land Dallas as one of the top 10 home markets in the nation, it’s no surprise costs are increasing in the city and more people are looking for affordable alternatives near this leading location.

Recent reports have even shown the majority market of new home buyers and renters – millennials, are headed for popular Texas suburbs over its city centrals. “The rental communities of today’s generations provide city-like amenities and top of the line accommodations. Along with close proximity to cities and thriving job markets; these suburban developments are giving renters what they’re after,” shares Marcus Hiles, CEO and founder of Western Rim Properties.

The Texas community as a whole is starting to adapt this forward thinking approach as new businesses are relocating and expanding to areas outside of the city focused on growth. Among the leaders, McKinney, Plano, Allen and Round Rock.

It seems the state – although one of the largest in the nation – is bringing change that will soon be the standard in many major metro areas. Residents and businesses are investing where the opportunity is and it’s opening up a new market for all.

Marcus Hiles – Dallas-based Entrepreneur & Property Developer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marcus_hiles
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcus-hiles
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marcus.hiles/
Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/marcus-hiles

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SOURCE Western Rim Property Services, Inc.

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