Local News Local News en-us Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sat, 22 Nov 2014 23:11:37 GMT Synapse CMS 10 144 25 Obama Immigration Plan Good, Not Great for Economy Local News Sat, 22 Nov 2014 2:53:44 PM Obama Immigration Plan Good, Not Great for Economy

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's expansive executive action on immigration is good for the U.S. economy - just not as good as partnering with Congress on broader reforms.

Announced Thursday, the executive order would prevent the deportation of about 4 million parents and guardians who lack the same legal status as their children. By gaining work permits, they will likely command higher wages, move more easily between jobs and boost government tax revenues, according to multiple economic analyses.

"This is focused on people who are already in the economy today, who are contributing mightily but are basically operating in the shadows," said Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Their economic potential is being held back."

The new order could boost labor income by $6.8 billion, helping to generate 160,000 new jobs and $2.5 billion in additional tax revenues, according to estimates by Hinojosa-Ojeda. The findings dovetail with separate research showing that a 1986 amnesty measure raised incomes for illegal workers in the years that followed.

Still, any gains from the executive action would be modest in the $17 trillion U.S. economy.

White House officials estimate that the executive order would expand gross domestic product less than 0.1 percent a year over the next decades.

Along with the Congressional Budget Office, independent economists say growth would be much stronger with a broader overhaul that would more than double the number of illegal workers eligible for legalized status, in addition to reforms that would attract high-skilled immigrant workers who are more likely to lead and found new companies.

The Senate passed a measure last year to fix the immigration system, but it stalled in the Republican-majority House that favored a step-by-step approach. The CBO estimated the Senate-backed reform would have added another 0.33 percent annually to GDP growth.

The president's order "falls short of a comprehensive reform that would have a more sweeping effect on the economic landscape," said Joel Prakken of the forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers.

More substantial reforms could lift economic growth by an additional 0.24 percent a year - or about $41 billion - for the next two decades, according to an analysis that Prakken contributed to last year for the Bipartisan Policy Center. The reforms could also cut the federal debt by $1.2 trillion over the same period, increase home construction, lift wages and add 8.3 million workers to the economy.

A broader overhaul would also create a framework for attracting more immigrants, which would mute the negative economic impacts of an aging population. As more Americans retire, the percentage of the population with jobs has slipped, limiting the ability of the economy to expand.

But the executive order would do little to promote additional immigration, nor would it fully address the concerns of technology companies looking for high-skilled foreigners.

Obama's plan does not raise the current annual limit of 65,000 so-called "H-1B" visas for skilled workers, although he promised to streamline some of the rules governing them. Scientists, engineers and computer programmers all earn higher wages than the comparatively low-paid workers who would be helped by Obama.

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Mike Galarza knows the issue first hand. A native of Mexico, he described a daunting bureaucratic obstacle course to obtain a visa that allowed him to launch Entryless, an online business accounting startup, last year in Menlo Park, California. Now he's struggling to find talent. Galaraza said he recently lost a job candidate with a Ph.D. in computer science because there were no more H-1B visas available.

"The U.S. is not welcoming enough to entrepreneurs who want to create value for the American economy," Galarza said. "I'm glad if (Obama) is able to help those 5 million people, but he needs to focus on the issue of tech workers and foreign entrepreneurs, as well."

Groups such as the Center for Immigration Studies have critiqued the benefits of adding immigrants, noting that many U.S. citizens are still searching for work more than five years after the Great Recession ended. By giving these workers legal status, it will inevitably help their earnings prospects but do little for the rest of the economy, said Steven Camarota, the organization's research director.

But the business community disagrees, saying they need immigrants in order to expand their operations.

In response to Obama's executive action, Buffalo Wings & Rings estimates it would be able to add five restaurants to its more than 45 franchised outlets.

"For us, it's an opportunity," said Philip Schram, executive vice president of development at the Cincinnati-based chain.

A 2013 survey by the advocacy group Small Business Majority showed 84 percent of small business owners are in favor of immigration reform. Owners believe it will help them have a more stable workforce, especially in industries like agriculture, hotels and restaurants, said the group's CEO, John Arensmeyer.

The obstacle has been that jobs in agriculture don't appeal to people born in the United States, so Jim Gilbert, owner of Northwoods Nursery in Molalla, Oregon, hires immigrants to tend to the plants he grows and sells.

"There are not enough people to do the jobs we need to do," Gilbert said.

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Woman Dies from Injuries After Running Herself Over Local News Sat, 22 Nov 2014 2:02:13 PM Woman Dies from Injuries After Running Herself Over

CORPUS CHRISTI - The woman who police say ran herself over Friday evening has died from her injuries.

Friends and family identify her as Melody Hubbard.

Police say Hubbard was driving around in Flour Bluff looking for her dog. A short time later, another driver found her SUV stopped near Military Drive and Claride St., Hubbard was underneath the vehicle.

She was taken to Spohn Memorial in critical condition, but later died from her injuries.



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Woman Critically Run Over By Her Own Car Local News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 8:23:05 PM Woman Critically Run Over By Her Own Car

CORPUS CHRISTI - A woman was critically injured after she was found run over by her own car in Flour Bluff. This all happened just before seven Friday night near the intersection of Military Drive and Claride St.

Investigators were talking to people in the neighborhood trying to figure out what happened. What they do know is that a 30-year-old woman was driving around the neighborhood in a Dodge Durango looking for her dog.

That's when another driver discovered the Durango stopped in the street with her underneath.

She was taken to Spohn Memorial in critical condition.

Her identity has not been released at this time.


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Good Samaritan Recovering After Being Hit by Car Local News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 5:37:44 PM Priscilla Torres Good Samaritan Recovering After Being Hit by Car

CORPUS CHRISTI - A woman continues to recover one week after being hit by a car on the city's Northeast side. The car was driven by a suspected burglar, 25 year old Alicia Reyes who was trying to escape the scene.

We spoke with the victim's sister who didn't want to be on camera or give any names because she says, she fears possible retaliation towards her and her family.

The victim saw Reyes was taking items from her neighbor's house in the 800 block of Van Cura. She confronted Reyes who then jumped into her car to escape hitting the woman who has two broken legs and a broken hip. She's undergone two surgeries. The victim's sister says doctors predict a long road to recovery.

Reyes is under arrest on charges of aggravated assault and burglary.


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Local Restaurant Broken Into 4 Times Local News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 5:22:46 PM Local Restaurant Broken Into 4 Times

CORPUS CHRISTI-A local l restaurant owner of Las Milpas Restaurant says the same burglar has broken into her restaurant 4 times this week. He wasn't after cash. Instead, each time he breaks in he goes for the cleaning supplies and produce.

"He takes food he takes meat. He takes anything he can get his hands on," said Gloria Maldonado restaurant owner of Las Milpas

This return thief has broken into Las Milpas on Port four times in the past week.

"You work hard for what you have and for someone to come and take it all like that. It's ugh," said Maldonado.

Here's how he does it. After breaking in through the roof, he makes his way to a storage area behind the building. Once inside, he loads up. Cameras, sensors, even alarms have failed to stop him. Maldonado has even placed barbed wire but so far he still seems to find a way in.

"He hears the alarm and he continues to do what he is doing. So it doesn't scare him? It doesn't scare him, he knows he has gotten away and continues to get away," said Maldonado.

Maldonado now hopes the police, and the public can help identify the intruder.

"I go home I don't get my rest, they are going to call me again he is going to do it again," said Maldonado.


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Couple Will Face Trial for Boy's Death Local News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 4:42:16 PM Couple Will Face Trial for Boy's Death

CORPUS CHRISTI - A woman and her boyfriend will go to trial for capital murder in the death of a six year old boy.

Nancy Martinez and Albert Villarreal were also indicted for murder in the death of Martinez's son, Xadrian.

The boy's 8-year-old sister told investigators the couple became angry when he soiled his pants. The boy was allegedly beaten severely and died from his injuries in August.

Xadrian's two siblings are now in foster care.


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Construction Begins on the Outlets at Corpus Christi Bay Local News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 4:14:30 PM Caroline Flores Construction Begins on the Outlets at Corpus Christi Bay

CORPUS CHRISTI - Construction has finally begun on the outlet mall in Robstown. The project was first proposed way back in back in 2007.

"It's good news for everybody. And I know a lot of people will be excited about seeing the outlet mall really become a reality. I know we will," said Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal.

Construction on the new outlet mall was supposed to start three weeks ago, but the work got behind because of rainy weather.

Now that site work has finally begun, come Spring we should start seeing some of the buildings take shape. Few people are happier about the mall's progress than business owners in Robstown.

"We've been waiting for a long time. And to see it actually.... You know the grounds broke, things are being done. Yeah, it's a good feeling," said MG's Pizza Owner Melody Garver.

Business owners like Melody Garver hope the outlet mall will boost the Robstown economy. To keep up with the new mall, Garver says many businesses are remodeling in hopes of gaining new customers.

"It's just great to see progress going on here in the city," said Garver.

The Outlets at Corpus Christ Bay is expected to open up in October, just in time for next year's holiday season.


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Kingsville Police Officer Arrested, Facing Assault Charges Local News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 1:24:02 PM Kingsville Police Officer Arrested, Facing Assault Charges

KINGSVILLE - A Kingsville Police Officer is behind bars after an investigation into claims of domestic violence.

Officer Joshua Grant was arrested this morning and charged with Obstruction or Retaliation, Assault Bodily Injury of a Family or Household Member and Tampering with a Witness.

According to a press release from the Kingsville Police Department, Grant has been employed with the department since 2009. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the results of its criminal investigation. The release also stated since Grant is an employee,no additional information will be released at this time.

Chief Ricardo Torres released the following statement "The City of Kingsville and the Kingsville Police Department will not tolerate any acts or threats of violence. The City of Kingsville and Kingsville Police Department will not tolerate any form of retaliation with regards to domestic violence and insure that victims are treated with dignity and respect."


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Border Patrol Agents Find Liquid Meth in Truck at Falfurrias Checkpoint Local News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:50:04 PM Border Patrol Agents Find Liquid Meth in Truck at Falfurrias Checkpoint

FALFURRIAS, Texas - Border Patrol agents confiscated 112 pounds of liquid methamphetamine at the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint on Wednesday.

According to Border Patrol, a K-9 alerted them to the white Ford pickup truck. Shortly after, agents found the liquid meth in the truck's gas tank. The meth has a value of more than $3.5 million. A San Antonio Hazardous Material Team was summoned to safely extract the narcotics from the gas tank. The driver,the liquid methamphetamine, and the truck were turned over to the Corpus Christi Office of Homeland Security Investigations.


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Local Immigration Attorneys Offer Insight into Executive Action Local News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:14:35 PM Sara Donchey Local Immigration Attorneys Offer Insight into Executive Action

Corpus Christi - President Obama's offering of temporary relief to as many as five million undocumented immigrants in last night's speech was not received well by everyone.

But a few local immigration attorneys pointed out that however you feel--it's important to understand what was said--and what wasn't.

"(There are) misconceptions that this was amnesty," said William Henry Humble, III. "Amnesty is a legal term that means different things, and that's not what this is."

Humble works as an immigration attorney with Debra Rodriguez at Rodriguez & Moretzsohn, P.L.L.C.

"I think the biggest misconception is that this somehow legalizes (thousands of) people," Rodriguez said. "It doesn't. It defers possible deportations during a three year period."

Humble pointed out that those who were already deported or who hadn't yet lived in the United States won't benefit from Mr. Obama's executive action.

The reform targets families--specifically, parents of children who are legal citizens or permanent residents, or those who'd lived in the United States for at least five years.

"It's not just simply (that you) have a kid and you get to stay here. You also have to pass background checks," Humble said.

But the finer points still haven't all been worked out.

Humble noted that how one would prove they've been here since January 1, 2010 hasn't been specified; though

In fact, both Humble and Rodriguez said it will probably be six months before there are any firm legal changes.

"Legally speaking, this is a drop in the bucket," Humble said. "This is not a big deal. Parents of US citizens and permanent residents who've been here for five years, probably already qualified under the laws that already exist. But from a real-life perspective, this is huge. Because this means a work permit card, which enables me to get a driver's license, which enables me to get a social security card."

In the meantime, Rodriguez advised anyone who feel that they may qualify under the action to do what they can to get important documents together, including whatever proof of residence may be available.


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Free Thanksgiving Meals From Robstown Police Department Local News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 7:03:44 AM Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahTV Free Thanksgiving Meals From Robstown Police Department

ROBSTOWN - Robstown police will get in the holiday spirit and say thanks to their community today.

The department is cooking thanksgiving meals for the public.

They'll be handing them out at Enchanted Elegance on Fourth Street in Robstown, between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. this afternoon.


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Teen Drug Abuse Program More Than Doubles In Participants Local News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 6:59:17 AM Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahTV Teen Drug Abuse Program More Than Doubles In Participants

CORPUS CHRISTI - A local program designed to help kids and teens get out of addiction has more than doubled the number of those they're helping.

"It's busy," said counselor Frank Janousek. "Real busy."

Janousek is a counselor for the Palmer Drug Abuse Program, which deals specifically with kids and teens. He said with all the changes over the years, they've substantially expanded their outreach.

"The more people we can plant that seed of hope and recovery," he said. "The much better."

Like 17-year-old Jeremy, who said he started using at a young age and just couldn't quit.

"I didn't like myself," he said. "Because I knew what I was doing, in a sense that I could point out the wrong, but I wasn't going to stop."

Until, by what he says was a divine set-up, he found a flyer for the program.

"This was the first time I was ever asked, ‘Do you think you're an addict?'" said Jeremy. "Which was a very strange question for me, because it never crossed my mind that what I was doing could become addictive."

Jeremy is just one of the almost seven-thousand kids impacted by the program this year, which is more than double their usual number.

PDAP said they're handling the growth as well as they can, but they always need more volunteers and donations.


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South Texans Divided Over Immigration Reform Local News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:33:19 PM Bart Bedsole - South Texans Divided Over Immigration Reform

CORPUS CHRISTI - Immigrants gathered at watch parties across the nation Thursday night to anxiously wait for the President's announcement on immigration reform.

Abraham Diaz was one of them, along with other members of the Minority Action Council in Edinburg.

Diaz crossed into the Valley illegally with his family 12 years ago and says he lived in fear until the Dream Act in 2012 allowed him to remain here legally.

"It's something that no human should have to worry every single day, about being separated from their families," he says.

His parents, however, are still undocumented.

He hopes the President's executive action this week will help them, but he's not sure yet.

"I don't know if my parents will qualify or will not qualify. I don't know about my friends' parents, or my other friends that are Dreamers that didn't qualify in 2012 will be able to qualify for this announcement," he said.

If anything, Diaz wishes the president did more help the immigrants, but Congressman Blake Farenthold says the President went too far already.

Farenthold claims the new Congress would have tried to reach an agreement with Obama on immigration reform, but didn't have the chance.

"He won't even let us seat our new members to try to work something out," he says.

Farenthold believes the President overstepped his authority, and plans to work with his fellow Republicans to either block the funding for it or challenge it in court.

He also suggested the president might have second thoughts after hearing from the public.

"I think as we continue to see the public saying they don't like this, we might get a response from the President. he is a very political person," says Farenthold.

Diaz hopes that's not the case.

"Our community, even though we consider this a win, this is not the end for us. This is just a stepping stone for our next win," he says.

According to Farenthold, the government funding runs out December 11.

He says he doesn't want a government shutdown this close to the holidays, but it is possible.


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Workers Clearing Out Old Brooks County Hospital Fall Ill Local News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 8:09:02 PM Workers Clearing Out Old Brooks County Hospital Fall Ill

FALFURRIAS - Some residents in Falfurrias were forced from their homes Thursday after workers cleaning the old Brooks County hospital fell ill.

The hospital is located in the 1400 block of South Saint Mary's Street.

At least five workers started complaining of nausea, vomiting, and itchy, watery eyes.

Those living nearby were temporarily evacuated.

Inside the hospital firefighters found old, unopened cans of paint, rodent droppings, and dust.



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Special Report: Concierge Medicine in Corpus Christi Local News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 7:41:54 PM Stephania Jimenez - Special Report: Concierge Medicine in Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI - If you've been sick recently, you know it can take a long time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. But, there's a relatively new service in town called MDVIP that's changing the way you get healthcare.

"We're getting healthier instead of our health declining, so it's very encouraging," said Amy Villarreal.

Villarreal has been an MDVIP patient since 2010. When she gets sick, she calls her Primary Care Physician (PCP), Dr. Gerard Boynton, and he sees her right away.

"Now people are seen the same day - no later than the next day. I schedule patients at 30-minute intervals and they get 30 minutes [with me]. There's no wait time," said Dr. Gerard Boynton.

No crowded waiting rooms and greater access to your PCP. That's a key aspect of MDVIP, otherwise known as concierge medicine. There are a handful of companies besides MDVIP; such as Signature MD, Choice MD and Specialdocs that offer that type of exclusive healthcare, but it comes at a cost.

MDVIP charges each patient $1,650 a year. That's in addition to what they pay for their healthcare plan. MDVIP members get: 24/7 access to their doctor via e-mail and cell phone, short wait times, at least 30 minutes with their doctor during each visit, and a two-hour comprehensive physical every year.

"We have all the time they need and I need to really get in to what their issues are," said Dr. Boynton.

The reason MDVIP doctors like Dr. Boynton can guarantee such fast and easy access to their patients is simple: they exclusively treat MDVIP patients and can only have up to 600 of them; compare that to Dr. Jose Ugarte, a family physician in Kingsville, who treats about 3,000 patients.

"In the clinic, I see anywhere from 30-45 patients a day," stated Dr. Ugarte.

Dr. Ugarte is not an MDVIP doctor, but worries about the effect concierge medicine will have on South Texas-a region that Dr. William Burgin with the City-County Health Dept. said has a doctor shortage and a high number of uninsured people.

"You've got the wealthy that can afford it, you've got the middle class who have some kind of access and then you've got the indigent, who have what's left," said Dr. Burgin.

Villarreal admitted that she and her family have to make financial sacrifices to pay for their MDVIP membership, but said the personalized care has literally saved her life.

"I did discover through Dr. Boynton that I did have some plaque build-up in my corroded artery. Had it gone untreated, it could've lead to stroke or possibly even death."

You can find more information on concierge medicine here:


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The Nutcracker To Open Next Week Local News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 6:48:23 PM Kirsten Schaffer CORPUS CHRISTI - The Corpus Christi Concert Ballet will soon perform "The Nutcracker."

KRIS 6 got a sneak peek of the rehearsals Thursday.

Corpus Christi Concert Ballet will perform the holiday favorite at the Selena Auditorium Saturday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, Nov. 30, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are still available. 

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The Shops At La Palmera Grand Opening Local News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 6:43:49 PM Kirsten Schaffer The Shops At La Palmera Grand Opening

CORPUS CHRISTI - The official start of the holiday shopping season is still a week away, but since a newly redeveloped shopping center has officially opened, you may want to go ahead and start early.

The Shops At La Palmera held its grand opening ceremony Thursday.

With La Palmera and The Shops combined, there's more than 130 merchants to choose from.

"The whole reason why we chose to go forward with the Shops at La Palmera is because there's such a demand from national retailers that want to be here in the market," said vice president and general manager Fred Walters. "Due to the success we've had across the the street, we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to redevelop this shopping center."

Trademark Properties purchased the property back in 2012 and redeveloped it.

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Local Developer Announces Plans to Bring a Casino Ship to Aransas Pass Local News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 6:33:33 PM Priscilla Torres Local Developer Announces Plans to Bring a Casino Ship to Aransas Pass

CORPUS CHRISTI - An Aransas Pass developer has announced he plans to bring a gaming vessel to that area sometime early next year. The City of Aransas Pass has given local developer Kyle Alston and his investors, the go-ahead to move forward with 'Jacks or Better Casino Cruise and Beach Resort.' During Monday's City Council meeting, Alston was given the final approval to allow the ship and resort to be based out of Tarpon Shores Marina which is also owned by Alston.

Kyle Alston says, "Now that we have official city approval, we are in the final stages of negotiations and planning for not only the gambling boat, but also the accompanying amenities which will be focused around great food and fun for the whole family. We have no plans to pre-sale any tickets."

The ship is said to be like the Texas Treasure but smaller and will depart from Tarpon Shores Marina which is right off Highway 361, just before the Port Aransas Ferry. It's expected to take about 30 minutes for the ship to get into international waters.


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Halliburton to Purchase Baker Hughes Local News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 6:28:54 PM Anayeli Ruiz Halliburton to Purchase Baker Hughes

CORPUS CHRISTI- A major announcement involving two major oil service companies. Halliburton has announced it's buying out Baker Hughes. These low gas prices have helped facilitate a merge between these two major service corporations.

"Each one of those two are less profitable but if they could get a a merge through they could help keep the profits up," said David Hudgins an Associate Professor of Economics at TAMUCC.

But before this is a done deal these companies have to get clearance from the Department of Justice to allow the merge to go through. You see they need to make sure that if these companies join they don't control your gas prices.

"If they are going to grant this merger, they need an analysis to see whether that is going to happen or not. I don't think it will have a large effect on the pump," said Hudgins.

If this merger happens, what will this mean for those who work for these companies?

"Their could be some layoffs and there is a stronger company that has more market power and they could increase operations," said Hudgins.

This is one of the largest merger that has happened in the last 3 years. And if gas prices continue to decrease then this means that more mergers like this could be coming.


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Cher Cancels Concert In Corpus Christi Local News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 6:06:28 PM Bart Bedsole - Cher Cancels Concert In Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI - Cher's concert in Corpus Christi, previously postponed due to illness, was officially cancelled this week.

According to a news release from the American Bank Center, all remaining dates on her "Dressed To Kill" concert tour are cancelled.

The event in Corpus Christi was originally scheduled for November 13, but was postponed a week before the concert due to additional recovery time needed after Cher came down with a kidney infection in September.

The release states that although she has made progress in her recovery, more time is needed to ensure a complete and total recovery.

In a written statement, Cher said, "I am totally devastated. Nothing like this has ever happened to me.   I cannot apologize enough to all the fans who bought tickets. I'm so proud of this show. It is my best ever.  I sincerely hope that we can come back again next year and finish what we started."

Ticket holders may obtain a refund at point of purchase.

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