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  • War Hawks kept at bay at Tarleton State

    Published On: Jan 28 2015 09:54:03 PM CST
    Updated On: Jan 28 2015 09:54:26 PM CST

    ABILENE, Texans -

    Playing minus its leading scorer and rebounder, McMurry University’s young women’s basketball team stayed close to NCAA II Tarleton State University for the bulk of the contest before falling by a 64-37 score.

    It was truly a case of the final score not showing a full picture of the game. McMurry trailed by just five at the half, 27-22, and was down by just two points – 33-31 – with 11:33 left to play after back-to-back buckets by Adijatu Disu.

    However, after battling strong for 37 ½ minutes without Taylor Russell’s 10.1 points and 7.6 rebound per game average in the lineup due to a case of the flu, the War Hawks were unable to keep pace with the Texanns down the stretch.  TSU outscore the War Hawks the final 11:30 minutes of the game, 31-6.

    Haley Welch hit a layup and a three-ball, followed by a disu jumper, as McMurry led 7-2 to open matters. Tarleton got on a roll and took an 20-11 lead with 7:51 left until intermission. McMurry’s defense forced a brief scoring drought by the Texanns and a Katlyn Tarbet trey eventually knotted the game at 20-20 at the 4:47 mark of the opening period, before TSU built the five-point lead at the break.

    For McMurry to be close at the half after being out-rebounded by a 26-11 margin at the midway point – and 11-0 on the offensive glass – was a credit to the gutsy War Hawks’ effort. The host Texanns would finish with a 54-29 cushion on the glass for the evening.

    In the second half, Disu scored all nine of her team’s points in the first 8 ½ minutes as McMurry got to within a single possession, 31-33, but would get no closer. TSU’s big run to close the game created the separation in the final score, 64-37.

    Disu hit 6-of-17 from the field on her way to a game-leading 14 points. Disu also had a game-high six steals and three blocked shots.

    Welch booked 10 points and pulled down four rebounds. Mishae roper was the only other McMurry player with more than one field goal, tallying four points.  Roper also had a team-leading seven rebounds, also adding two blocks and giving off four assists.

    A robust Texann roster resulted in Tarleton holding a 31-6 advantage in bench scoring. TSU subbed 10 players, while McMurry coach William Milton had just four reserves at his disposal.

    The disparity on the offensive glass accounted for Tarleton’s 21-0 mark in second-chance points, as well.

    The loss dropped McMurry’s record to 2-18 overall, while TSU improved to 11-5.

    McMurry will next play at Wayland Baptist University on Monday (Feb. 2) at 6 p.m.

    Information for this story provided by McMurry Athletics.

  • War Hawks fall to No. 12 NCAA II team on the road

    Published On: Jan 28 2015 09:59:02 PM CST
    Updated On: Jan 28 2015 09:59:27 PM CST


    McMurry University’s men’s basketball team found out why Tarleton State University is the No. 12-ranked team in the latest NCAA II national poll, falling by an 89-42 score on the road.

    The War Hawks fell to 5-10 on the year.  The Texans upped their record to 17-2.

    McMurry hit the first field goal of the game to take an early 2-1 lead, but TSU’s 10-0 run over the next 3:30 made the score 11-2 with 16:02 left until the half. By the 12:47 juncture of the period, the Texans had generated a double-digit lead (18-8) it would not only maintain – but build upon – the rest of the game.

    Connor Robinson led McMurry in scoring with 10 points, well below his team-leading average of 22.2 points per game entering the night, however. TSU was also able to keep the McMurry senior off the boards, as well, with just three caroms (he averaged 8.7 r.p.g.).

    Hondo Webb compiled nine points and had a team-high four rebounds and two steals. Aaron Gettys chipped in seven points, hitting 3-of-5 field goals. 

    Webb and Gabriel Chacon each had one three-point basket to account for all of their teams’ points from beyond the arc. McMurry was 2-of-12 as a team from long distance. Chacon finished the night with five points.

    The Texans height advantage showed in the rebound stats, where the War Hawks faced a 40-23 deficit in the game. TSU doubled up on McMurry for points in the paint, 32-16.

    McMurry’s team will play its third-consecutive road game on Saturday afternoon at Rust College in Holly Springs, Miss., looking to snap its three-game skid.

    Information for this story is provided by McMurry Athletics.

  • Arrest made for aggravated robbery at Mall of Abilene

    Published On: Jan 20 2015 08:44:38 PM CST
    Updated On: Jan 22 2015 08:54:15 AM CST
    ABILENE, Texas -

    A 22-year-old Abilene man has been arrested for an aggravated robbery that occurred Monday in the parking lot – near Best Buy – at the Mall of Abilene.

    According to Abilene police, Mikole Joseph Ortega has been charged with the robbery of a couple. His bond was set at $30,000.

    Police say Ortega was “contacted by patrol officers on Tuesday evening in reference to a Public Intoxication call. He matched the description of the man who possibly committed the aggravated robbery at the Mall of Abilene parking lot a day earlier.”

    Previous story:

    The Abilene Police Department is asking for help in locating a suspect in an aggravated robbery that occurred about 8:30 p.m. Monday in the Mall of Abilene parking lot.

    According to police, a man and his wife walked out of the Mall of Abilene to their parked vehicle.  A Hispanic male approached their car. The male victim told police he was threatened by the suspect with a weapon, possibly resembling a box cutter, as he was about to get into the vehicle.

    The male victim gave the suspect a small amount of cash. The suspect fled in a red-colored truck.

    Minutes later, the suspect was caught on surveillance video entering a mall store.

    He's described as a heavy set Hispanic male, possibly in his early 20s with short black hair. He was last seen wearing a red shirt, black and grey sneakers with red laces, and dark-colored cargo shorts. His vehicle may be a late model red Chevy truck.

    Police ask anyone with information on the suspect or the aggravated robbery to call police at (325) 676-6610 or Abilene Crime Stoppers at (325) 676-TIPS.

  • Brownwood ISD leader to receive $300,000 as part of resignation agreement

    Published On: Jan 29 2015 04:01:36 PM CST
    Updated On: Jan 30 2015 07:22:04 PM CST
    BROWNWOOD, Texas -

    Brownwood ISD Superintendent Reece Blincoe will receive approximately $300,000 as part of a resignation agreement he reached with the district’s board Thursday night.

    According to the document obtained by KTXS after a public information request was made Friday, Blincoe will be paid – while on administrative leave through Jan. 31, 2016 – his annual salary of $151,232.

    In addition, the document states Blincoe will be paid another $150,000 – to be offered in a lump sum – before March of 2016.

    The district provided the information to KTXS about 3 p.m. Friday.

    The document states that if Blincoe gets another job, he will still receive the extra $150,000, but he will no longer get his annual salary and district-provided benefits. In addition, the board has to approve of Blincoe accepting another job. It will also have the ability to deduct any other outside money that Blincoe makes from his salary while on paid administrative leave.

    Blincoe has said he wants to take some time off.

    Blincoe submitted his resignation to the Brownwood ISD board Thursday night, effective Jan. 31 of next year. Friday was Blincoe's last day working as superintendent in the district.

    Blincoe’s contract had been set to end in 2017.

    District officials had said it could cost the district up to $500,000 to pay off the remainder of Blincoe's contract and for an interim superintendent.

    In a statement the board said: "The board extends its best wishes to Dr. Blincoe in his future endeavors."

    An interim superintendent has not been named, but the board is expected to name one soon. It has been included as an item on the Brownwood ISD board’s Monday agenda.

    Blincoe's leadership was questioned by some board members last year.

    Blincoe said he was not forced into the decision and that it was what was best for the district.

    "There is absolutely no anger in me. This is ... I'm going to be OK," Blincoe said.

    Previous story:

    Superintendent Reece Blincoe submitted his resignation to the Brownwood ISD board Thursday night, effective Jan. 31 of next year.

    Blincoe, until the January 2016 effective date, will be on paid administrative leave. Friday is Blincoe's last day working as superintendent in the district.

    The school district will have to pay at least a portion of his contract, which was set to end in 2017.  Neither the board nor Blincoe immediately said what that sum will be.

    Blincoe's current salary is $151,232 per year.

    District officials have said it could cost the district up to $500,000 to pay off the remainder of Blincoe's contract and for an interim superintendent.

    In a statement the board stated: 

    "The board extends its best wishes to Dr. Blincoe in his future endeavors."

    An interim superintendent has not been named, but the board is expected to name one soon.

    Blincoe's leadership was questioned by some board members last year.

    Blincoe said he was not forced into the decision and that it was what was best for the district. 

    "There is absolutely no anger in me. This is ... I'm going to be OK," Blincoe said.

  • Man finds his stolen dog during search for new pet

    Published On: Jan 30 2015 04:19:18 PM CST
    Man reunited with lost dog

    Courtesy Richard Brower

    (CNN) -

    Deciding to move on after his beloved German shepherd was stolen from his backyard 18 months ago wasn't easy for Richard Brower.

    "I never gave up hope," Brower said, "I'd just come to the realization that I couldn't go on without another dog."

    He'd enlisted the help of his motorcycle-riding buddies and nearly everyone from the dog park in the search. Anyone seen walking a German shepherd had been, at one time, accosted by him or his buddies. His searches were fruitless.

    "It was heartbreaking," Brower said. "Absolutely horrible."

    His heart-wrenching decision to search for a new dog -- made after a year-and-a-half of endless searching for Dozer -- turned out to be the best decision he could've made, as it led him back to his best friend in a miraculous way.

    "It's the closest thing to a miracle in my life," he said.

    Brower typed "German shepherds for sale" into an Internet browser, which led him first to Claresholm Animal Rescue Society. He clicked the link and shivers went down his spine.

    "My heart stopped," Brower said, "the second I opened the page."

    Staring back at him on the rescue's website was his dog, Dozer, the pup's head cocked to the side, just as he remembered.

    Brower said he never doubted that it was his dog, but he sent the picture to his mom and sister for their opinion. His sister agreed it was Dozer, but his mom was doubtful. Brower said she was likely trying to save her son from unnecessary heartbreak, in case it wasn't him.

    Brower called the shelter and reached Sylvia Giroux at Claresholm, Alberta. While on the phone, Brower's dad, returning home from a business trip, stopped at the shelter, unbeknownst to his son.

    Brower said Dozer immediately started wagging his tail when his father came into the room. Still on the phone, Brower instructed his dad to snap his fingers once and then tell him what the dog did.

    He snapped and Dozer, a super well-trained dog who knows how to open and close doors and turn on lights, circled Brower's dad and sat on his right hand side, waiting for his next command.

    "There was no boo-hooing, but it was close," Giroux said, "It was just such a wonderful thing."

    Giroux might've kept it together, but Brower said everyone else was a different story.

    "My dad was bawling, I was bawling on the phone," he said.

    And when Dozer got home -- there was more crying -- from Dozer.

    "He almost knocked me over," Brower said. "He came flying in, put his head into my arm and started doing that wailing that German shepherds do."

    Other than his having lived at the shelter for a month after he was picked up by a resident nearby, Brower doesn't know much about Dozer's whereabouts during the 18 months he was missing. He's just thrilled to have his pup, who he calls a "big sweet baby," back at home, back to normal.

    Normal, except for at the dog park, where families used to steer clear of the 125-pound pooch.

    "Now that he's a celebrity, everyone wants to hug him," Brower said.

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