Local News Local News en-us Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:09:21 GMT Synapse CMS 10 144 25 Judge Denies Lower Bond for Intoxication Manslaughter Suspect Local News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 4:47:33 PM Judge Denies Lower Bond for Intoxication Manslaughter Suspect

CORPUS CHRISTI - A judge didn't want to hear any argument when a woman charged in a deadly drunk driving case tried to get her bond reduced.

Christine Griffin is charged with intoxication manslaughter, intoxication assault and leaving the scene of an accident.

She's accused of hitting two pedestrians on 25th street back in June. One of the pedestrians died.

During a hearing this morning, Griffin's attorney asked a judge to lower her $570,000 bond, so she can take care of her mom and kids.

But the judge denied the request, citing Griffin's criminal history, which includes robbery and bail jumping in another county.


Permalink| Comments

CCPD Officers on Leave During Excessive Force Investigation Local News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 4:29:01 PM CCPD Officers on Leave During Excessive Force Investigation

CORPUS CHRISTI - Police Chief Floyd Simpson has placed two officers on paid leave as the department looks into allegations excessive force was used during the arrest of triple murder suspect Sammuel Toomey.

The department played dashcam video of the arrest for reporters this afternoon. The video starts with two officers keeping Toomey on the ground as backup arrives.

He's told to stop resisting, but says he is not. An officer can be seen using his foot and knee to keep Toomey's head still on the ground as he is face up and face down in the grass. Then as Toomey was taken to the police car, officers hit his head on the push bar.

Sammuel Toomey had two bruised eyes and a scratched up face when he went before a magistrate on Monday. 

Toomey was found dead his jail cell this morning. The Sheriff's Office says he strangled himself with a pair of pants.


Permalink| Comments

Jail Staff: Toomey Used Pants and Desk to Strangle Himself Local News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 4:04:15 PM Janine Reyes Jail Staff: Toomey Used Pants and Desk to Strangle Himself

CORPUS CHRISTI -- The man accused of killing 3 people and shooting a 10-year-old boy is dead. Jail officials say Sammuel Toomey was found unconscious in his cell last night. They say he used his pants to strangle himself.

Sammuel Toomey's attorney could not confirm that his client had any psychological problems today. Attorney James Lawrence tells us his main concern was Toomey's well being, because of the bruising seen on his face during a court appearance on Monday.

Lawrence last met with his client Wednesday morning at the jail.

He says he did not see Toomey's death coming, but jail staff confirms that after one day in their facility, a comment he made to the staff prompted the suicide watch, which means staff must check on him every half hour.

"It was mainly worded he didn't want to be here, he didn't like being here," Nueces County Jail Chief Mike McKenzie elaborated.

At the 11 p.m. check last night, Toomey was alive, but by 11:30 p.m., they found him unconscious

"Mr. Toomey was face down on his bunk, he had taken his inmate pants and put them around the desk portion on the wall and then secured them to his neck," McKenzie said.

Doctors at Spohn Memorial Hospital pronounced him dead at 12:19 a.m.

At the mobile home where Toomey admitted to opening fire, police markings still show signs of evidence collected and neighbors tell us off camera that Toomey was meticulous about his lawn and would get angry in an instant when children played on or near it.

While there is now no capital murder case to pursue, Toomey's attorney tells us an investigation is ongoing. The court appointed him for the criminal case, but Toomey also retained him for a potential civil case and Lawrence is waiting for an investigation to determine what happened from the point of Toomey's arrest to his death just four days later.

Corpus Christi Police Chief Floyd Simpson announced this afternoon that 2 officers are on leave as the department reviews the circumstances of Toomey's arrest Sunday night.

The jail staff couldn't confirm if they have video of Toomey's death. They did say there are cameras in the area where Toomey killed himself. Both the Nueces County Sheriff's Department and the Texas Rangers are now investigating.


Permalink| Comments

Dozens Line Phone Stores for New Apple IPhone 6 Local News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 3:48:12 PM Dozens Line Phone Stores for New Apple IPhone 6

CORPUS CHRISTI- Today is the day Apple fans have been waiting for.

Several dozen people were already lined up in front of the AT&T store on Staples Friday morning when the store opened.

They joined thousands from around the country to be the first to get the new IPhone 6 as it went on sale to the public.

Katie Clarkson, a college student, had a simple goal,
"I want to be the first persons to get the new phone".

Loyal fans also waited in front of the Verizon store, even before the sun came up, just to be the first to get the popular phones.

They say that they have been waiting months for the new and updated phones to become available and just in time for the holidays.



Permalink| Comments

Wanted Man Found Hiding in Closet Local News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 3:44:42 PM Stephania Jimenez - Wanted Man Found Hiding in Closet

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Nueces County Sheriff's Office caught an aggravated robbery suspect two weeks after he was on the run.

Joshua Seamore, 29, was arrested Friday afternoon at the Island Villa Apartments on Nile Dr.

Deputies with the Nueces County Sheriff's Office said Seamore was wanted for aggravated robbery. Officers had spent the last two weeks searching for him, and finally caught him today after he showed up at his old job at the Applebee's restaurant on SPID.

"We were at his apartment, and then we got a tip that he was at Applebee's where he works. When we went in, he saw us and ran out," explained Lt. Ashley Isaac, with the Nueces County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies spent about 40 minutes looking for Seamore and found him hiding inside a closet at an apartment at the Island Villa complex.

In addition to aggravated robbery, Seamore also faces evading arrest and burglary charges. 

Permalink| Comments

Desalination Progress Local News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 3:41:47 PM Caroline Flores Desalination Progress

CORPUS CHRISTI - Efforts to get a desalination plant in Corpus Christi is making huge strides. An agreement between the Port Industries and the City of Corpus Christi is getting us one step closer.

The city says Corpus Christ is experiencing one of the worst droughts we've ever seen. Our Port Industries use 40% of our water supply. In response to the drought, the Industries went to the city wanting a secure drought resistant water source.

"We went to them and said, we get it. You're our customer. We want... You know... What do you need? And they say we need reliability. We said how do you define that? Desal," said City Councilman Mark Scott.

Since that conversation took place, a couple months ago, their hard work is now reaching a milestone. Within the next week an agreement is expected to be signed by the city and port industries can move forward with a seawater desalination plant.

"Now how big, where, how much, that's kinda all yet to be determined," said Councilman Scott.

That will come after the agreement is signed. Once they figure out all the logistics, the next step will be to look for contractors and developers to begin turning seawater into usable water for our port industries. The best part about the desal plant is it would be privately financed the refineries and port would pay for the desalinated water.

"It's not as though we're asking the residents to do something for industry. It's all about industry pulling its weight and doing its fair share," said Port Industries Executive Director Bob Paulison.

All of this is dependant on the cost. But if the price is right, both the port industries and the city say they are ready to hit the ground running on Corpus Christi's first desal plant.

If everything plays out as expected the city hopes to begin searching for contractors and developers by next year.

Any video of the Port of Corpus Christi is courtesy of the Port of Corpus Christi via their website. 


Permalink| Comments

Triple Homicide Suspect Found Dead in Jail Cell Local News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 7:43:19 AM Triple Homicide Suspect Found Dead in Jail Cell

CORPUS CHRISTI - Stunning news out of the Nueces County Jail where the man who confessed to Sunday's triple murder in a Flour Bluff RV park was found dead last night.

Jail officials tell us that Sammuel Toomey was discovered hanging in his jail cell just after 11:30 Thursday night. He used his pants to form a makeshift noose.

He was unconscious and not breathing. Despite efforts to save him, Toomey was pronounced dead at the hospital.

An investigation is underway which is standard procedure anytime an inmate dies in custody.

Toomey's attorney says his client was on suicide watch. That same attorney says there is also an investigation ongoing into why Toomey's face was all bruised up when he appeared before a magistrate the day after the shooting.

A spokesman for the Corpus Christi Police Department says Toomey had surrendered, but got into a struggle with officers when they tried to handcuff him.

Toomey was charged with capital murder and was being held on a bond of $3.1 million.

When KRIS 6 visited the mobile home park today neighbors told use he was meticulous about his yard and would get upset when children rode their bikes on his lawn. However, management told us he was just upset about children living there at all. The complex was previously reserved as a retirement community.

Police had said Toomey did not target his neighbors at random when he shot and killed two women, one man, and wounded a 10-year-old boy.




Permalink| Comments

More Students Opting For Online Courses Local News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 6:21:57 AM Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahTV More Students Opting For Online Courses

CORPUS CHRISTI - Online enrollment numbers are going up across the nation and here locally. In fact, Del Mar College actually broke a record this past school year with nearly 20% of students taking online courses.

"My kids say, 'Mom, you're still on the computer. You're still on that same screen,'" said full time student Mary Guerra.

Along with school, Guerra is a mother of three and a full-time worker.

"When they're doing their homework, I'm doing mine."

She says the hardest part about online classes is not talking face to face with her instructors. But despite the hard work, she said she's dedicated to continuing her education.

"It's possible now, definitely with all the technology that we have, the resources are there," she said. "and it's never too late to go back and continue your education."

Professor Erica Bertero, who teaches online, said the classes are definitely more convenient, but not any easier.

"I think many students have the misconception that online classes are easier," said Bertero. "They can be done whenever they feel like it."

Administrators suggest if you are interested in taking an online course, don't take on more than you can handle. Also, be sure to understand what you're getting into before you sign up.

"Talk to another peer, for sure, to see what their experiences have been," said Bertero. "And contact the instructor that is associated with the class, to really get an idea of you know, how much reading is this going to really involve."

There are many degrees, both at Del Mar and A&M Kingsville, that can be obtained completely online.


Permalink| Comments

Bee Attack Hero Shares Story with KRIS 6 Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 7:12:04 PM Stephania Jimenez - Bee Attack Hero Shares Story with KRIS 6

CORPUS CHRISTI - John Andrew Villarreal and his brother, Jonathan Villarreal, are the kinds of neighbors you want when you're in trouble.

Both were leaving their home on Barrera St. Sunday night when they heard their neighbor, Martin Perry, yelling for help. Perry was being attacked by a swarm of bees. The brothers jumped in and doused the man with water, but it wasn't long before they got into trouble.

"I was...dodging [the bees]...I couldn't take it. Twenty seconds there, I was going crazy. I took off running," said John Andrew Villarreal.

The bees Villarreal is referring to mercilessly attacked everyone and everything in the area, including two dogs. One of them didn't survive.

"The bees stung him about...100 times," explained Villarreal.

Days after the attack, Villarreal is dealing with minor swelling. He told KRIS 6 that Perry was released from the ICU and is improving.


Permalink| Comments

Local Lions Club Donates Dictionaries to Third Graders Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 6:56:22 PM Stephania Jimenez - Local Lions Club Donates Dictionaries to Third Graders

CORPUS CHRISTI - A local group is taking the "it takes a village to raise a child" adage to heart.

Every year, Corpus Christi Southside Lions Club donates dictionaries to third graders at Sam Houston Elementary. This year was no exception. The group brought hundreds of copies to students today. Club member Gary Schwartz said it's a great way to promote the importance of education.

"We want to do away with illiteracy," explained Schwartz.


Schwartz's plan may be working. KRIS 6 learned many of the fifth graders who received their dictionary two years ago still have and continue to use the books.


"It just makes me feel good that they're still keeping [the dictionaries] and using them," added Schwartz.


Permalink| Comments

Overton Family Hopes She'll be Released on Bond Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 5:13:48 PM Overton Family Hopes She'll be Released on Bond

CORPUS CHRISTI - Members of Hannah Overton's family spoke today about being overjoyed she may get a new trial. This week, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned her capital murder conviction for the death of a 4-year old foster son.

Family members hope she'll be able to get out on bond while awaiting an announcement of a new trial.

She's been imprisoned since 2007 and has not been allowed any physical contact with her children.

Overton has always maintained her innocence.

The appeals court ruled the jury was never shown important testimony from a salt poisoning expert who said that little Andrew Burd likely died from an unintentional overdose.

Overton's mother says Hannah just wants to be with her family.

"I know that one of the plans she has is to get to hug every one of of her children, who she hasn't hugged in seven years," Lane Hissong told reporters today.

The Nueces County District Attorney's office has to determine if Overton's charges will be dropped, reduced, or stay the same.

If her charges are not dropped a new trial will be scheduled.


Permalink| Comments

Downtown Revitalization Efforts In Jeopardy Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 5:13:45 PM Downtown Revitalization Efforts In Jeopardy

CORPUS CHRISTI - A major roadblock for downtown revitalization. The City of Corpus Christi says the US Department of Housing and Urban Development is refusing to finance new businesses in that area.

House of Rock downtown has recently made an addition of a pizza kitchen to their bar. The hefty investment came after the completion of Chaparral street, with the assumption there would be a boost of new businesses and apartments coming to the area. That was happening until about 5 months ago.

Councilman Mark Scott says numerous developers have informed the city that, "HUD is telling the development community that they will not participate in any transactions in the downtown area."

The reason for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) decision is because they say, downtown is in a flood zone.

"If they're not a part of being able to do their programs down here, it increases the cost of new development," said Downtown Management District Executive Director Terry Sweeney.

Higher costs normally leads to less development. Knowing the consequences that can follow HUD's decision, some city leaders are worried.

"HUD is a big player in the investment market and if HUD says they don't like an area then that could affect others interest in developing in the area," said Scott.

Many businesses, like the House of Rock, have invested in the area assuming many new people would be moving in and calling downtown home. Now, they're concerned.

"Oh yeah, definitely. You can't really... um it's great to have tourists but the local community and having a foundation for downtown, as far as people moving downtown... It's... The investment is really important," said House of Rock Marketing and Promotions Director Stephanie Garcia.

House of Rock employees say they will continue to stay positive and ask folks continue to invest and contribute to the downtown revitalization efforts. To help turn things around, the city plans to meet with HUD officials in the next few weeks to try convince them to invest in downtown.


Permalink| Comments

Group Initiates Petition Drive to Stop Demolition of Spohn Memorial Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 4:08:37 PM Janine Reyes Group Initiates Petition Drive to Stop Demolition of Spohn Memorial

CORPUS CHRISTI -- The Nueces County Hospital District and county commissioners okayed the demolition of Spohn Memorial Hospital, but that doesn't mean it's a done deal.

Christus Spohn would like to build a family care center and expand the emergency room at Spohn Shoreline.

But, voters can stop the entire process with a petition, Thursday, a group announced that is in the works.

"We have a lot of support here today from many citizens" said Attorney Rene C. Flores who is leading just-formed group called the Coalition to Stop the Hasty Demolition of Memorial Hospital.

They have until October 17th to collect 18,800 signatures that could stop Christus Health's plan for a new family care center and an expansion of the ER facilities at Spohn Shoreline.

They can file the petition because the plan involves shutting down and eventually demolishing Spohn Memorial, a building described as dilapidated.

If they get enough signatures it would put the issue on a ballot for voters to decide. But, it would not make it on the November ballot, and that's why Christus Spohn wanted the option to pull out of the deal if there is a petition filed. They say those delays make construction more costly.

"You're talking about replacing a half a million square foot facility with a 40 thousand square foot facility," Flores said of his concerns. His group is worried about longer ER wait times and layoffs of doctors and nurses.

"They have no plan, no plan for psychiatric care and the most number of admits were psychiatric related people," Flores announced.

But, a Christus Spohn representative says they're waiting on the state's recommendations before planning for psychiatric care. They also commented that the plan is about growth not cut backs.

Since the last minute change in the agreement between Christus Spohn and hospital district allows Christus Health to pull out of the deal entirely if a petition is successful, the $275 million Christus Health planned to invest and the $50 million they hoped to fund raise for the plan could be lost if a petition is successful.

Under the healthcare group's plans, Spohn Memorial would be demolished after the new family center is built and upgrades are made at Shoreline. The estimated date on that is sometime in 2018.

But if the Coalition to Stop the Hasty Demolition of Memorial Hospital wants to stop the demolition, they only have 31 days from the date it was approved, which gives them until mid-October to file their petition.

A representative for Christus Spohn says they are continuing to work through the process and are excited about the transformation of care.


Permalink| Comments

Three Arrested in Road Rage Incident Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 3:49:47 PM Three Arrested in Road Rage Incident

CORPUS CHRISTI - Police say a single road rage incident lead to three arrests. It started around 2:20 Thursday morning at the intersection of South Staples and Saratoga.

Investigators say Rudy Valencia was cut off by another driver then tried to pursue the vehicle all the way to Holly and Weber.

Both vehicles pulled into a parking lot where Valencia told officers he got out of his car and got punched in the face and beaten with golf clubs.

But officers say Valencia may have used his car to hit the two men. They're identified as Orlando Garcia and Rudy Moreno.

Garcia and Moreno were taken to the hospital for minor injuries and were then arrested. Valencia was also arrested.

All three face aggravated assault charges.


Permalink| Comments

Vector Control Starts Spraying for Mosquitoes Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 3:37:28 PM Vector Control Starts Spraying for Mosquitoes

CORPUS CHRISTI - Need some relief from mosquitoes? You're not alone. Crew with the city's Vector Control will be out spraying Thursday night in areas where large amounts of the pests have been caught.


  • Rand Morgan Road to Violet Road from northbound Leopard Street to the Nueces River
  • Lantana Road to Port Avenue from northbound Leopard Street to the Ship Channel
  • Port Avenue to Shoreline Boulevard from northbound Leopard Street including all of North Beach


The city will keep an eye on other traps across the city to determine where the next spraying schedule will target.

Corpus Christi Animal Care Services (CCACS) urges residents to take these personal precautions to avoid being bitten:


  • Use an approved insect repellent every time you go outside and follow the instructions on the label. Approved repellents are those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Regularly drain standing water, including water that collects in empty cans, tires, bird feeders, buckets, clogged rain gutters and saucers under potted plants. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Purchase mosquito donuts (dunks) at retail stores that kill mosquito larvae in standing water.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.
  • Keep grass cut and yards maintained. Treat the yard for mosquitoes, fleas, and pests.



Permalink| Comments

Coalition to Circulate Petition Opposing Memorial Hospital Demolition Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 1:39:30 PM Coalition to Circulate Petition Opposing Memorial Hospital Demolition

'The Coalition To Stop The Hasty Demolition of Memorial Hospital' announced plans to circulate a petition opposing the tearing down of the facility and constructing The Hector P. Garcia Memorial Clinic on the same site.

The coalition is asking Corpus Christi residents to sign a petition that calls for an election on the demolition of the building.

The language on the petition is as follows -

  • Petition summary and background: A petition to call for an election on whether or not to close and demolish Memorial Hospital.
  • Action petitioned for: We, the undersigned, hereby request an election on the closing of Memorial Hospital (currently managed by the Christus Spohn Health System), located at 2006 Hospital Blvd, Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas.

The Hospital District and Nueces County Commissioners have already approved of the plan to move emergency services to Spohn Shoreline and the construction of the clinic.

Work can get underway as soon as CHRISTUS Spohn is ready.


Permalink| Comments

Unlicensed Motorcyclist Hit Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:52:52 AM Unlicensed Motorcyclist Hit

CORPUS CHRISTI - A motorcyclist without a license is blamed for a crash that resulted in his ride being stuck beneath a truck this morning.

The driver of the truck claims the motorcycle pulled out in front of him on Suntide Road.

Before being taken to the hospital to be checked out, the motorcyclist was given a couple of tickets for not having a license and failing to yield the right of way.


Permalink| Comments

Nueces Bay Gets Beautified by Bay & Estuaries Program Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:10:55 AM Rachel Cole - Nueces Bay Gets Beautified by Bay & Estuaries Program

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Bay near Indian Point Pier is getting the face lift of a lifetime, after decades of deterioration. The Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program is the local group about to plant a whole new world for sea life at the bottom of Nueces Bay.

The Deputy Executive Director, Leo Trevino says, the thick green grass that grows up through the water's surface is essential to sea life and acts as a nursery for small fish.

"We're going to plant marsh grass and marsh grass is important because it is part of the structure that the fish and the shrimp need," Trevino said.

The natural habitat took a hit in the late 40's when dredging was done in Nueces Bay. All of that was done in order to build the road that now connects Portland and Corpus Christi.

"There was at least 300 acres that were lost directly associated with the construction of highway 181 and then there were some other losses that occurred over the years through natural erosion," Trevino added.

After 5 years of planning and prep, a team of planters will hit the water in a few weeks and scatter the bottom soil with stalks.

"We put three stalks every meter so that you know, we have at least a few sprigs here and there and over a period of 3 or four years the whole thing begins to grow and it becomes a meadow," he said.

Trevino says, the marsh grass is just one cosmetic fix. they'll also restore parking and public access for visitors.

"It's going to be a wonderful place to fish, we're already seeing a lot of fisherman, a lot of people kayaking out there and enjoying the area because it has really changed," Trevino said.

A few days ago the team of planters went out to the West side of Indian Point to scout out areas where new marsh grass will be planted. The stalks will go to the bottom of the bay in November.


Permalink| Comments

No Charges to be Filed in Child Molestation Case Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 8:05:29 AM No Charges to be Filed in Child Molestation Case

CORPUS CHRISTI - A report of the sexual assault of a child three weeks ago sparked an investigation by CCPD. After looking into the matter, detectives say they will not press charges.

According to police, after extensively interviewing a person of interest and the two children he was with that day, they believe the assault never happened.

On September 3rd, a woman reported that two friends saw a little girl possibly being molested by a man in a gray truck on Morris Street, across from the old Lamar Elementary School campus.

Surveillance pictures of the truck led police to a person of interest. The man was questioned by detectives. According to the CCPD, he gave officers the names of the two children who were inside his truck that day. CPS interviewed the children and helped determine they were not victims of molestation.

Police say, the children attend a head start program and are released at noon everyday. The man seen with them, police say, picks them up on a regular basis.



Permalink| Comments

Students Training To Spot Drug Addiction Local News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 5:40:54 AM Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahTV Students Training To Spot Drug Addiction

CORPUS CHRISTI - Pharmacy students at A&M Kingsville are now being trained on how to recognize the symptoms of drug abuse, a problem that has more than tripled since the 90's.

The CDC states that every day in the United States, over 100 people die from drug overdoses. Experts claim that most of the time, those addictions start with a prescription.

"I mean it's become an epidemic," said Pharmacist Ron Garza. "Everyone knows that."

Studies show that more than 75% of doctor office visits involve a prescription for some type of drug. After that, the only person standing between the patient and the medicine is the pharmacist.

"We want our next generation of pharmacists to understand addiction," said Garza. "Understand the disease of addiction, what goes on in the treatment of addiction."

Garza is president of the Coastal Bend Pharmacy Association. He helped to create the program, but said the idea actually came from A&M Kingsville student Nicole Wilson.

Wilson is in her fourth year, and she said she's always been passionate about studying medicine.

"When I was younger, my great grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's," she said. "And I saw how every time she took a pill, it just gave the family so much hope."

Unfortunately, those pills can quickly turn from a symbol of hope, to one of bondage.

"Every person either has experienced drug addiction first hand," said Wilson. "Or knows somebody who has been affected by it."

She began working with Garza to create a program that allows students to see addiction firsthand. The program is only in its first year, but Garza said it's already making a huge impact on future pharmacists in the Coastal Bend.

"Really, the most important thing, out of all of this," said Garza. "is that the next generation of pharmacists does better by the disease of addiction."

You can find out more about drug addiction treatment here.


Permalink| Comments