Bookmark and Share

rss logo Top San Antonio Area Local News Stories

Source: Top Stories

SAPD Mental Health Unit helps people get needed treatment

<p>The San Antonio Police Department Mental Health Unit is designed to help those suffering from mental health issues get the treatment they need.</p> <p>"A lot of times we deal with the four major types of mental illness. That's depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)," Officer Ernie Stevens said.</p> <p>Stevens and his partner, Joe Smarro, are part of the six-person unit focused on smart justice -- keeping individuals with mental health issues out of jail and getting them into a hospital or treatment center.</p> <p>Most times, they start their day by cruising up and down the streets. It's never long before their day picks up.</p> <p>When KSAT-12 joined the officers on patrol, they got a call from a woman worried about the wellbeing of a loved one after finding a letter he left behind. </p> <p>The letter was filled with personal documents and a note that said, "I love you. I know you will all be sad. Don't be, I'm not hurting."</p> <p>The officers, knowing they may not have much time, rushed to the man's home. But he was nowhere to be found.</p> <p>Then they got a tip that he was at a nearby hotel.</p> <p>Fearing the worst, they call for backup and force their way in.</p> <p>The man, only identified as Nick, is inside with a gun.</p> <p>"You alright man? I know we startled you, but when you didn't say anything, I legit thought you killed yourself," said Smarro, as he spoke to Nick.</p> <p>Nick was evaluated and then taken to a nearby hospital. He was treated and then assessed before being released.</p> <p>"They are not in trouble, they didn't do anything wrong. They are in a mental health crisis and we really feel compassion for them, compassion that they can be a danger to themselves or to somebody else," Stevens said.</p>

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 03:37:36 GMT

Mirakle Garcia chosen as Cardinal for Kids Miracle Child

<p>Mirakle Garcia was only 15 months old when she first went into surgery. Diagnosed with insufficient thoracic syndrome, Garcia is now 10 years old and gets two surgeries a year so she's able to grow properly. </p> <p>She was chosen as this year's Cardinal for Kids Miracle Child and was given a special treat at the University of the Incarnate Word campus Thursday.</p> <p>Dressed as Queen Elsa from the Disney movie "Frozen," Garcia tried out her costume in the halls of the UIW's administration building.</p> <p>She showed off her dress, made specially for her by UIW fashion students. Her grandmother, Sherry Cardenas, is thrilled to see her granddaughter smile.</p> <p>"We've been coming for fittings, then she'll have the costume for trick-or-treating tomorrow night," said Cardenas.</p> <p>Cardinal for Kids is an organization that raises money and awareness for the Children's Hospital of San Antonio Foundation.  </p> <p>Cardenas said her granddaughter is a continual patient at the Children’s Hospital, and because of her condition, she has undergone 17 surgeries on her spine, where doctors have implanted titanium ribs.</p> <p>"So she has fused ribs that don't grow as she grows, so the rods in her back help her grow and stretch her out so she's taller after surgery," said Cardenas.</p> <p>With Garcia in and out of the hospital, Cardinal for Kids spokesman Will Bailey hopes this event will give her memories to last a lifetime.</p> <p>"Just being able to help these kids, even if it's just a little thing, always goes a long way for them," said Bailey.</p> <p><a href="http://www.uiw.edu/ministry/social_justice_and_community_service/cardinalsforkids_home.html" target="_blank"><b>Click here for more information on Cardinal for Kids.</b></a></p>

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 03:16:13 GMT

Woman paralyzed in domestic dispute shares her story

<p>The pictures tell the story of a former life -- the high school cheerleader, a teenage mother, a young woman finding her way in the world, until she says the man she loved severely abused her.</p> <p>"I knew right then and there that if I didn't pull myself together and do what I had to do, I was going to die," says Chanel Garcia.</p> <p>At the age of 22, Garcia's life changed in an instant, caught in an allegedly abusive relationship she had tried to get out of, but couldn't. She hopes those in a similar situation learn from her example that she only got out after suffering an injury from which she will never fully recover.</p> <p>"I got up and tried to run, and he caught me by my neck and hair, lifted me up and body slammed me on concrete," said Garcia.</p> <p>The force of the impact paralyzed her from the neck down.</p> <p>"I told him, 'Brian, I can't move, I can't feel my body.' I was crying to him, telling him, 'Please, please, I can't feel my body,'" said Garcia.</p> <p>For an hour she would lie paralyzed, a prisoner of the man she says hurt her, her boyfriend Brian Quintanilla. While he panicked over what he had allegedly done, she made a decision that saved her life -- she lied.</p> <p>"I ended up telling him, 'I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I know I shouldn't have made you mad and it's my fault.' I told him, 'I love you, but please call the ambulance, you know I can't breathe,'" said Garcia.</p> <p>Quintanilla called for help, and Garcia passed out. It was the last time she has seen him. </p> <p>Chanel spent almost two months at University Hospital after the attack in April. She has been trying to rebuild her life and her body ever since.</p> <p>Quintanilla is being held at the Wilson County Jail.</p> <p>"Sometimes I still don't understand why, why me? I don't understand what I did to deserve this," said Garcia.</p> <p>She doesn't call herself an abuse victim, but a survivor. She's also a fighter. </p> <p>Garcia has been in and out of the hospital, undergoes therapy and rehab, and will likely be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She said she is staying strong for her kids, and for those going through what she did. She is also eagerly awaiting her day in court.</p> <p>"I really hope to see him, just because I want him to see what he did to me. There's times where I just want to, you know, curse him out and yell and scream and ask questions, but at the same time, you know, I really don't have anything to say to him. You know, what’s happened has happened, and he's going to pay for it, and I'm going to keep going," said Garcia.</p> <p>Garcia wants women or anyone in an abusive situation to learn from what happened to her, to get out before it's too late, and to know there are resources and people who will help.</p>

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 03:02:18 GMT

3 San Antonio eateries fail inspections

<p>Metro Health handed out failing inspection scores to three local restaurants earlier this month. </p> <p><b>Sichuan Cuisine is located at 2347 N.W. Military Highway.</b></p> <p>Named an Express News Critics' Choice in 2011 and 2012, Sichuan failed their latest health inspection with 37 demerits. Thirty-one or more demerits is considered a poor score.</p> <p>The manager was not there when KSAT’s Behind the Kitchen Door crew stopped by during the lunch shift, and no one from the restaurant’s staff has called to discuss the failing score.</p> <p>Among Sichuan Cuisine’s demerits, the inspector found dirty kitchen counters, no labels on leftovers and house flies were seen in the establishment.</p> <p>Metro Health tells BKD that a follow-up inspection was done just last week. A majority of the violations had been corrected but flies remained because a screen door still had holes in it.</p> <p><b>Taqueria Jalisco at 1137 Bandera Road, just inside Loop 410, failed with a total of 35 demerits.</b></p> <p>BKD Reporter Mark Austin discovered that Metro Health was dispatched to this restaurant based on a customer complaint. He says that triggers a full inspection. The list of demerits for Taqueria Jalisco filled almost an entire page on the inspector’s report.</p> <p>They racked up demerits for things like food temperature violations, a live roach and several dead ones were seen in the building, and the inspector requested that the entire establishment be thoroughly cleaned.</p> <p>Off-camera, the owner’s wife told the BKD crew that the restaurant passed a re-inspection less than a week later. She refused to let the BKD crew see the kitchen.</p> <p><b>Rocky's Taco at 2423 Pleasanton Road failed their inspection with 34 demerits.</b></p> <p>Problems here included hand-washing violations, spoiled vegetables and a major mold buildup was seen inside a fridge.</p> <p>The manager wasn't there when the BKD crew stopped by but he called later saying all corrections were made within 48 hours.</p> <p>As they were leaving Rocky’s Taco, the BKD crew spotted the restaurant’s failing inspection report posted in public view, as is required by city health code, but the score itself was hidden. An employee re-arranged the items within the frame and, at last check, the score of 34 was no longer hidden.</p> <p>If you have a complaint about a food establishment within the San Antonio city limits, please send an e-mail to the Metropolitan Health District at: samhd@sanantonio.gov</p>

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:58:06 GMT

Kawhi Leonard will play against Phoenix on Friday

<p> NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is set to make his season debut for the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night against the Phoenix Suns.</p><p>The Spurs made the announcement on Thursday. Leonard missed the final six preseason games and the season opener against Dallas due to an infection in his right eye.</p><p>The 23-year-old Leonard averaged 12.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals for the Spurs last season while shooting 52 percent from the field. But he really blossomed in the playoffs as the Spurs rolled to their fifth championship.</p><p>In the final three games of San Antonio's finals victory over Miami, Leonard averaged 23.7 points and 9.3 rebounds and shot 68.6 percent to earn MVP honors.</p>

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:28:50 GMT

Bulldog found with broken jaw ready for adoption

<p>A bulldog found earlier this month roaming the streets of Schertz with a broken jaw is now ready for adoption.</p> <p>The Animal Defense League took in the dog, named Navy, on Oct. 4 and quickly went to work repairing his jaw, which was broken in two places.</p> <p>Navy was first discovered by Bexar County Sheriff's deputies and taken to Kirby Animal Control before ending up at ADL.</p> <p>ADL veterinarian Robyn Barton said shortly after Navy's rescue that the injuries appeared to have been caused by a dog fight. </p> <p>The 4-year-old dog was cleared by ADL veterinary staff for adoption on Thursday. </p> <p>Check out how Navy is doing today in ADL Texas' video below.</p> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zrokDqb0fXA?rel=0&showinfo=0" frameborder="0"> </iframe></p>

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 01:11:46 GMT

SA soldier, 2 others plead guilty to smuggling

<p>Three active duty U.S. Army soldiers based at Fort Hood pleaded guilty Thursday to charges they smuggled undocumented immigrants into the country.</p> <p>Brandon Troy Robbins, 20, of San Antonio, and Eric Alexander Rodriguez, 20, of Odem pleaded guilty to transporting the immigrants. Christopher David Wix, 21, of Abilene, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport and harbor undocumented immigrants.</p> <p>A press release from the U.S. Attorney's office said Rodriguez was at the immigration checkpoint in Sarita on Sep. 11, 2014. Agents found Rodriguez's military jacket, a bed sheet and other clothing on the rear floorboard. Underneath them, agents found two immigrants hiding.</p> <p>Agents later determined Robbins also passed through the same checkpoint on April 13, 2014. He identified himself as a soldier going to Ft. Hood. Two immigrants were found hiding under a blanket in his vehicle.</p> <p>On June 21, 2014, Wix passed through the checkpoint driving a car registered to Rodriguez. He showed his military identification while agents searched the car. They found two immigrants hiding under Wix's military gear.</p> <p>All three are due in federal court for sentencing in February.</p> <p>Each man faces up to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.<br> </p>

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:49:10 GMT

4 killed after plane hits building near Wichita airport

<p>Four people died after a small plane crashed into a building near Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport in southern Kansas on Thursday morning, city Fire Marshal Brad Crisp said. </p><p>Four remain unaccounted for, he said. While five people were initially transported to the hospital, three of those patients have reportedly been treated and released. </p><p>"Firefighters engaged in a horrific fight for several minutes. We have the fire under control. We are in the process of trying to determine if all the employees and visitors who may have been in the building are accounted for," Fire Chief Ron Blackwell told CNN affiliate KSNW.</p><p>About 50 to 60 firefighters responded and were evacuated after the structure was deemed unstable, Wichita police said. </p><p>Two of those killed were inside the building when the plane crashed, police said. The pilot was killed, CNN affiliates reported. </p><p>One of the injured is in serious condition and another in fair condition, an official with Via Christi Health, a local hospital, told KSNW. The other three, who were in good condition earlier in the day, have been released, the station reported. </p><p>FAA and National Transportation Safety Board investigators are on the scene.</p><p>"There is a small aircraft that went into the FlightSafety building" near Mid-Continent Airport, said Steve Phillips, a FlightSafety International spokesman.</p><p>The plane is a Hawker Beechcraft B200 Super King Air, Phillips said. It was en route to Mena, Arkansas, CNN affiliate KWCH reported. </p><p>The FAA said the twin-engine plane lost an engine on takeoff and crashed into a two-story building, KSNW reported. The roof on the building's eastern side has collapsed, the station reported.</p><p>No information has yet been released on the identities of those in the plane or in the building. According to one aviation website, the aircraft can carry as many as 13 passengers.</p><p>It "crashed into the roof of our training center. I have no information on how many on board," Phillips said. "We have the manager of the training center on site, and he's making sure everyone is OK, but I don't have an answer for that." </p><p>The building is across the street from the airport, he said. </p><p>There were about 100 people inside the building at the time, Blackwell told KWCH.</p><p>Video from KSNW showed thick smoke rising from the building at 10:20 a.m. (11:20 a.m. ET).</p><p>Flights were operating normally, though some roads around the airport have been blocked off, the airport said in a tweet.</p><p>"The building has sustained serious damage, including the collapse of walls and ceilings," read another airport tweet.</p>

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:45:19 GMT

Ferguson police chief: 'I'm going to stay and see this through'

<p>The Ferguson, Missouri, police chief insisted Thursday that he won't step down -- despite continued unrest months after one of his officer's fatally shot Michael Brown and high-level talks that could lead to his exit.</p><p>"I'm going to stay and see this through," Chief Thomas Jackson told CNN.</p><p>The firestorm around Jackson began August 9, when Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, shot Brown, an African-American teen. Wilson's defenders have said he acted in self-defense, while Brown's backers note the teenager wasn't armed and claim he had his hands up when the fatal bullets hit him.</p><p>The incident roused large and, at times, violent demonstrations in Ferguson. Jackson faced criticism over his department's handling of the Brown shooting and the subsequent protests. </p><p>Government officials say that Jackson's future is part of talks involving local, state and congressional officials. Part of that discussion centers on what severance package the chief might get, as well as who would manage the Ferguson police department instead of him.</p><p>Whether the chief wants it or not, the collective decision has been made that the Ferguson police will move ahead without him, according to the officials. All sides taking part in the talks had hoped Jackson would be able to step down on his own accord, instead of being forced out. </p><p>But Jackson gave no indication Thursday that he'll leave voluntarily, saying he plans to stay as long as the city manager and council support him.</p><p>"I certainly have the support of the police department and the community. I have a lot of support in the community," he said. "I think this is my job to complete, and I'm going to do it."</p><p>The situation in Ferguson remains unsettled. Wilson's fate is up in the air: He hasn't been charged, though a grand jury is hearing evidence and will determine whether to indict him. And activists haven't shown any sign they're ready to give up in pushing for Wilson's prosecution and other, broader changes in Ferguson.</p><p>Amid it all, Jackson says that "this happened on my watch, and I intend to see it through," he told CNN. </p><p>"I think I'm very capable of doing that, and I have a lot of people behind me that believe so as well."</p><p><strong>Investigation</strong></p><p>The Justice Department is investigating Ferguson police. Investigators are looking at the department's use of force over the years; analyzing stops, searches and arrests; and examining the treatment of people detained at the city jail, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said. </p><p>Holder has said the Justice Department's investigation includes the department's leadership.</p><p>Some officials have expressed a desire to dissolve the entire department and turn over law enforcement to St. Louis County police.</p><p>"We're looking at a whole variety of things, including the leadership of that department, the practices that the department engages in, the nature of the interaction between the department and the community that it is supposed to serve," Holder said. </p><p>Holder has declined to comment on whether the police chief should be removed, but he has not been shy about expressing his views. </p><p>"It's pretty clear that the need for wholesale change is appropriate," he said this month. </p><p>Jackson has found fault with Holder's remarks.</p><p>"He's drawn a conclusion that wholesale change needs to be made," said Jackson. "We have a lot of good stuff going on, so I think he needs to be a little more specific."</p><p>The police chief also defended the handling of the sometimes violent protests in the wake of the shooting. </p><p>"There was firebombs thrown. There were shots fired, for several nights in a row, shots fired at police officers and vehicles. And through all of that, the tactics that were used resulted in no injuries to any protesters or police officers. So, that's actually something to be quite happy about," Jackson said.</p><p><strong>Apology</strong></p><p>Last month, Jackson released a video apology directed at Brown's parents and the peaceful demonstrators who took to Ferguson's streets to protest the teen's death. In particular, he apologized that his department left Brown's body in the street for four hours after the shooting, and for his department's failure to protect the demonstrators' right to assemble. </p><p>He acknowledged that the incident had sparked a larger conversation about societal issues, saying Ferguson and the surrounding areas have "much work to do."</p><p>"Overnight, I went from being a small-town police chief to being part of a conversation about racism, equality and the role of policing in that conversation. As chief of police, I want to be part of that conversation. I also want to be part of the solution," he said.</p><p>"For any mistakes I've made, I take full responsibility. It's an honor to serve the city of Ferguson and the people who live there. I look forward to working with you in the future to solve our problems, and once again, I deeply apologize to the Brown family," he said.</p><p>Later that day, he waded into a crowd at a protest and apologized again.</p><p>Some people seemed satisfied by his apologies, but not everyone was eager to hear from him.</p><p>One man shouted into a bullhorn, "If you are not resigning tonight, go home."</p><p><strong>What's next?</strong></p><p>Part of why he wants to stay, Jackson said, is because he finds it painful to watch what's happening in his community. He said he wants to help heal it.</p><p>Although the department has done a lot around the issue, police need to work harder on minority recruitment and retention, the chief said.</p><p>Ferguson is a predominantly black community with a mostly white police force. At the time of Brown's shooting, only three of the city's 53 officers were African-American.</p><p>Police can also put more of an emphasis on community-oriented policing and problem-solving, Jackson said.</p><p>Asked whether those sort of changes will be enough to restore calm, the chief replied: "What's enough is sort of dependent on what's the right thing to do, and that's what I'm focused on."</p><p>But he knows the issue is much bigger than one person.</p><p>"I'm just one of the players. This is going to take the entire community," Jackson said.</p>

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:43:35 GMT

Antares operator used destruct system to blow up rocket

<p>After it became apparent there was a problem with the launch of the NASA-contracted Antares rocket, the company that operated the flight hit the destruct button, a spokesman said Thursday.</p><p>The flight termination system was engaged, confirmed Barron Beneski, vice president of corporate communications at Orbital Sciences Corp., in an email. </p><p>Mark Kelly, retired NASA astronaut and SpaceX advisory board member, said it was the right call.</p><p>"They commanded the destruct system to make sure it didn't wind up in a populated area when they knew it wasn't going to make it to orbit," he said.</p><p>The unmanned rocket was destroyed shortly after launch on the Virginia coast on Tuesday night.</p><p>The crash caused a spectacular fire and scattered debris over a large area.</p><p>The cargo module was carrying 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments meant for the International Space Station.</p>

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:41:16 GMT