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Over 30 Live Oak Trees Were ‘Hacked’ in North Dallas and People Aren’t Happy

People are outraged after a developer cut off the tops of over 30 live oak trees along Forest Lane in North Dallas this week.

The trees, with foliage that had been visible from Interstate 635 near Josey Lane, were chopped down to their limbs by the property owner, who bought the lot from the neighboring Home Depot, according to city council member Jennifer Staubach Gates.

She drove by the property herself on Friday to see the damage to the trees, which are on the city’s protected list.

“I was appalled. It was horrific,” she said. “There is no arborist on the planet who would recognize that kind of butchering.”

Steve Houser, a local arborist and former chair of the City of Dallas Urban Forest Advisory Committee, agrees and said the way the trees were cut will likely kill them.

“Professional arborists do not top trees like this,” he said. “This is a huge loss for the area.”

He suspects that the motive behind cutting back the trees was to increase visibility of the building from the road while avoiding a tree removal permit and accompanying mitigation fees with the city.

David Cossum, director of Sustainable Development and Construction for the City of Dallas, said the owner of the property, Platinum Construction based in Fate, did not file a tree removal permit with the city.

The company could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The city has not issued a citation, Cossum said, but an investigation is underway to determine if a removal permit should have been filed.

“It’s pretty self-evident that they should be classified as having been removed,” he said of the live oak trees.

“It’s shocking,” said Cindy Beatty who lives down the road from the property. “I just think it’s disgraceful.”

Beatty was was shopping at the Home Depot on Friday when she said she saw the hacked trees. Employees at the store told her the developer is getting ready to build a storage unit facility on the property and wanted the building to be visible from the highway.

“I just hate to see trees destroyed to put up a storage facility,” she said.

The city said the investigation should be concluded by next week, but Houser said regardless of the outcome, the damage has already been done.

“It’s very unfortunate,” he said. “Trees like this clean your air, water, soil and they just improve overall quality of life. Damage like this will kill a tree, and Dallas doesn’t have enough trees as it is.”

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Mike Leach hires firm to dig up dirt on ‘weasels’ at Texas Tech

SportsPulse: USA TODAY’s college football reporter Paul Myerberg breaks down the hottest headlines from week 8.


(Photo: Orlando Jorge Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports)

Washington State football coach Mike Leach has escalated his feud with Texas Tech after hiring an investigator to dig up information about school officials, including phone records of the Tech board of regents.

Dolcefino Consulting, a firm in Houston, is working on behalf of Leach to help him put pressure on Tech to pay him what he says he’s owed for the 2009 football season — about $2.5 million. Leach remains Tech’s winningest coach but was fired after the 2009 season, when the Red Raiders finished 9-4.

The firm is led by Wayne Dolcefino, a former investigative reporter for a TV station in Houston.

“We’re going to get into their stuff, OK?” Dolcefino told USA TODAY Sports Monday.

Dolcefino said it’s time for “hardball” with Tech. That includes making public-records requests that seek evidence of waste, fraud and abuse.

“If they want to be weasels and not pay the guy, then they won’t pay him,” Dolcefino said. “But we’re going to look under every nook and cranny. We’re starting with phone records.”


Amway Coaches Poll: Notre Dame surges into top 10; Alabama stays No. 1

Dolcefino declined to say what Leach is paying him but noted his firm charges up to $235 per hour. He’s set up a website,, that asks viewers to sign a petition supporting the cause. Dolcefino also held a press conference Saturday in Lubbock outside of Tech’s football stadium.

Tech declined comment Monday on Leach’s recent salvo but previously noted the courts have ruled against him on the matter. Tech also has asserted that it paid Leach what he was owed according to his contract.

Leach coached at Tech for 10 years and now is in his sixth year at WSU, where’s he’s led the Cougars to a 7-1 record and a No. 16 ranking in the Amway Coaches Poll.

Leach said in a text message Monday that he is seeking information on where the money went, details on how he was fired and more.

“Also, what other corruption exists there that contributes to Tech cheating people out of money?” Leach said.

The feud stems from December 2009, when Tech fired Leach for legal cause, saying he mistreated a Tech player, Adam James, who was suffering from a concussion. Leach disputed this, sued the university and later obtained records and deposition testimony from witnesses to shed light on what happened and support his case.

But he never got his day in court to air it out. His case was thrown out after Tech claimed sovereign immunity as a state institution, which protected it from being successfully sued for damages.

With no further legal recourse, Leach is hoping to compel Tech to pay him through other means. He has used his Twitter account and other forums this year to wage his campaign against sovereign immunity and Tech. Now this.

“It is indisputable that they owe the money, whether the state of Texas will let them snake out of it or not,” Leach said in a text message. “How many other people has Tech cheated over the years? By exposing these abuses of power, maybe we can get the sovereign immunity law in Texas changed and me and others can get paid.”

The petition to pay him at had nearly 1,000 supporters as of Monday evening.

“This is a simple deal,” Dolcefino said. “They owe him the money. Everybody who does business with Texas Tech should worry that if Texas Tech decides they don’t want to pay, they just won’t pay. We’re going to stay around as long as Mike wants us to, and the only way they make us go away from our investigation is to work it out and pay him.”

Last week, Leach said certain Tech officials were “outright crooks.” He has said his beef is with them, and not Tech fans or the people of Lubbock. “Texas Tech is a fantastic place with fantastic people, with a few notable exceptions,” he told USA TODAY Sports earlier this year.

Leach’s 2009 contract with Tech says that if he were fired “for cause,” then the university’s “sole obligation” is to pay him his base pay of $300,000 and other performance incentives. Leach says that cause wasn’t proven in court and was false.

Leach says he received the $300,000 in base pay but not the $1.6 million he was owed in “guaranteed” income, or the $800,000 retention bonus that was due to him if he was the school’s coach on Dec. 31, 2009. Tech fired him a day earlier, but Leach says that bonus was “six years in the making” and due that year.

Leach spoke to USA TODAY Sports earlier this year about why he won’t let up on this cause.

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Texas Truck Driver Pleads Guilty To Smuggling Deaths Of 10 Undocumented Immigrants

Truck driver James Matthew Bradley Jr. arrives at the federal courthouse for a hearing in San Antonio in July 2017.

A 61-year-old truck driver has pleaded guilty to two counts of human smuggling leading to the deaths of 10 unauthorized immigrants in San Antonio earlier this year.

James Matthew Bradley Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of transporting aliens resulting in death and one count of conspiracy, according to a statement released by the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas. Bradley faces up to life in prison.

He was the driver of an 18-wheel tractor-trailer parked behind a Walmart store just after midnight in San Antonio on July 23. A police officer responding to a call by a Walmart employee found 39 immigrants at the scene, some standing, others lying in the rear of the trailer. Eight people died in the sweltering and airless trailer. Nearly 30 people were hospitalized, and two more people later died.

The immigrants told investigators that they estimate that at one point up to 200 people had been inside the trailer without food or water during transport. Investigators were unable to determine what happened to the scores of others who had been in the trailer.

Bradley initially told federal investigators that he didn’t know what cargo he was carrying and only discovered the dying occupants after he had stopped for a bathroom break.

“Today’s admission of guilt by Mr. Bradley helps to close the door on one of the conspirators responsible for causing the tragic loss of life and wreaking havoc on those who survived this horrific incident,” said Shane M. Folden, special agent in charge, homeland security investigations in San Antonio, in the statement.

Folden called the incident a “glaring reminder that alien smugglers are driven by greed and have little regard for the health and well-being of their human cargo, which can prove to be a deadly combination.”

A co-conspirator, 47-year-old Pedro Silva Segura, has been indicted on several counts including two counts of transporting undocumented aliens resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy and two counts of conspiracy. Segura, described by authorities as a Laredo, Texas, man living in the U.S. without legal permission, was indicted last month.

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If Congress doesn’t fund children’s health insurance, Texas officials have an idea

AUSTIN — If federal funding doesn’t come through, Texas may have found a way to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program a few more weeks.

Texas agencies are considering an accounting trick to leave more money in the program. By not taking matching money from the federal government for kids who used to be enrolled in CHIP but are now covered by Medicaid, Texas can stretch the remaining federal funds for CHIP.

The tactic isn’t a long-term solution. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus wrote a letter asking state Health and Human Services Commissioner Charles Smith to support the option as a “temporary bridge.”

“While I am cautiously optimistic regarding federal efforts, I do want to ensure that the state is prepared to move quickly and prudently should Congress fail to act in a timely manner,” Straus wrote.

Spokeswoman Carrie Williams confirmed that the Health and Human Services Commission has discussed possible ways to extend CHIP with the Legislative Budget Board, including forgoing the federal match funding for a few months.

“We’re all working together to assess contingency funding options and analyze the risks they may carry for state taxpayer dollars if federal funding doesn’t come through in time,” Williams said in an email. “We’re open to exploring options and doing what’s best for Texas under the direction of state leadership. We’re hopeful that federal funds will be made available to carry the program through February, and that Congress renews the program soon.”

Congress allowed CHIP funding to expire Sept. 30. Since then, the commission has requested an extra $90 million from the federal government to keep CHIP through February.

The commission has signaled that it feels confident that additional money will be approved but is waiting for written commitment from the federal Centers of Medicare and Medicaid, expected by Saturday, before mailing CHIP cancellation notices to families.

For Texas kids enrolled in CHIP, the federal government matches 92 percent of the money the state puts in — a much higher rate than the 56 percent funding match for those enrolled in Medicaid. The higher match funding for CHIP goes to Medicaid to cover Texas children who switched from CHIP to Medicaid.

If the state uses the accounting trick, Medicaid will temporarily lose some of its support, but Texas would be able to reclaim the money retroactively if Congress reauthorizes CHIP funding.

Anne Dunkelberg, associate director of the Center for for Public Policy Priorities, a center-left think tank, said this method could result in a significant amount of funding for CHIP because its match rate is dramatically higher than for Medicaid.

“It’s wonderful to see creative thinking going on about how we can postpone what will be a tremendous waste of state money and effort and tremendous stress for 400,000 children,” said Dunkelberg, a former state Medicaid official. “If we can use creative but legitimate financing methods to make the money stretch further, it would be huge.”

As of August, CHIP covered 402,500 children in Texas and nearly 35,000 women. Dallas County has 50,000 kids enrolled in the program.

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Dallas Keuchel likely to start Game 1 of ALCS for Astros

BOSTON – Justin Verlander’s 40-pitch relief appearance in the Astros’ ALDS-clinching 5-4 victory on Monday made Dallas Keuchel the clear frontrunner to start Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday.

As the team celebrated its ALCS berth in the visitors’ clubhouse at Fenway Park, Hinch wasn’t ready to definitively declare a Game 1 starter but acknowledged the obvious.

“We’ll see who we play first,” Hinch said, “but most likely Dallas.”

Keuchel would be pitching on six days’ rest after his ALDS Game 2 start against the Red Sox. Verlander, who pitched 2 2/3 innings Monday, could then start Game 2 of the ALCS on Saturday on regular, four days’ rest.

Keuchel, who had a 2.90 ERA in 145 2/3 innings in the regular season, pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in his ALDS Game 2 start against the Red Sox.

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Sources: Tony Romo will make PGA Tour debut via sponsor’s exemption

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FRISCO, Texas – Over the years, Tony Romo has attempted to qualify for the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson tournament as well as the U.S. Open without getting into the field. Next month, however, the former Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback will make his PGA Tour debut.

Romo was given a sponsor’s exemption to play in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic that takes place March 22-25, sources tell ESPN.

The event runs the same week as the World Golf Championship-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas, that features the top players in the world.

The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship had been a event.

Romo is playing in this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, paired with Will Zalatoris. In the past he has played the event with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. Zalatoris made his PGA Tour debut two weeks ago at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.

Last spring, Romo did not make it out of local qualifying for the U.S. Open, shooting a 75 at Split Rail Links & Golf Club in Aledo, Texas. In 2010, Romo made it to the sectional qualifying round and shot a 71 in the first round but had to withdraw when a weather delay forced the postponement of his second round, which then would have conflicted with a Cowboys’ practice.

Back injuries late in Romo’s football career curtailed his attempts to qualify for big events, but since retirement he has been able to play more after becoming CBS’ lead NFL analyst.

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A Far North Dallas Apartments Guide For New Residents

A good family friendly apartment complex is now easier to find than you would have ever imagined. Through a couple of quick searches online for Far North Dallas apartments, you’ll find a lot of options that are likely to be your best choices.

Luxury apartments or those that are great for people on a tight budget are just a couple of types of places you can rent. You need to figure out how much you can pay in rent and still be able to cover your other bills. Think about what it costs to run electricity and anything else you have to pay each month like car insurance. If you do the math and can’t afford to live somewhere, then it’s not a good idea to give it a try. In fact, it’s best to try to find a place that doesn’t fit right with your budget, either, so you can have a little extra each month.

An area like this may be nice to visit by taking a trip there when you have time to. If, for instance, you have vacation time saved up at work you can use it to check out the area a little. You can stay at a hotel there and try to look around a little to see what’s going on. You can also use tools like maps online to look at what is where in the city so you are aware of whether or not there’s anything for you to do there you’ll enjoy.

Never sign your lease until you read it carefully. They will probably go over the main points of it with you, but even then you’re better off being careful. If they were to gloss over something then later on when there’s an issue you may be out of luck because you signed something saying you’d be responsible for it. For the most part, as long as you pay your rent on time you’ll be fine. Just know what the rules are and what can happen if you don’t abide by them so you’re not surprised later.

Moving can be hard because there are so many apartments all over the country to choose from. Far North Dallas apartments are a good choice for a lot of families! Don’t regret your decision by selecting something only after you understand what you are about to get into.

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Chaat Room: A Guide to Dallas’ Best Indian Street Snacks

The India Chaat Cafe in Far North Dallas offers aloo tikki chaat, papri chaat and samosa chaat.

Let’s talk chaat.

It’s the unofficial favorite fast food of India, a quick cuisine of street bites, snacks, fritters and other savory treats to eat on the go. Chaat isn’t meant to be fancy. It’s almost all vegetarian, and it often repurposes other foods in surprising ways, but it’s the ultimate in big-flavor fast food, from stuffed flatbreads and incomparable veggie burgers to samosa sandwiches and other strokes of fusion genius.

Best of all, chaat is all around Dallas, and a filling meal often costs as little as $4.

This guide isn’t meant to be a complete listing of all the chaat in North Texas. Instead, we’ve highlighted some of the best dishes from four terrific restaurants in Dallas and Irving. They all have other, equally scrumptious snacks to order, but this is a starting point, an inspiration to go exploring. Go forth, now, and chow down on some of the best bargain food in Dallas.

The biggest compartment of Bombay Chowpatty’s pav bhaji platter ($8.50) is a well-spiced, but only somewhat spicy, mash of vegetables.

Chowpatty is a major public beach in Mumbai, and with swimming risky because of heavily polluted waters, the beach is most famous for its street carts serving up chaat. Bombay Chowpatty in northern Irving gets its name from that beach and its iconic savory snacks. The beach appears as a wall-sized poster, and the restaurant has an outdoorsy feel, thanks to bright sunlight, iconic Bollywood movie posters and a wide-open floor plan. The chefs work at a large island in the middle, right behind the ordering counter. Stop by the sides for napkins or plastic utensils.

Lunch platters here are reliably superb, like the chole puri platter ($8), with a spicy chickpea curry and greasy-in-a-good-way frybread, or, even better, the pav bhaji platter ($8.50). The biggest compartment is a well-spiced, but only somewhat spicy, mash of vegetables. Try a spoonful, sure, but the point of pav bhaji is to build a sandwich with little dinner rolls that have been seasoned and griddled. Few fast-food meals are more satisfying, especially since the lunch platters all come with good rice, free tea and dessert.

Bombay Chowpatty also serves what might be the weirdest fusion food in metro Dallas: the pizza dosa ($7.50). It’s a dosa filled with sweet tomato sauce, red onions, green bell peppers, cheese and a very liberal dusting of oregano. The result is admittedly pretty odd, especially since the tomato sauce tastes like supermarket Boboli-brand stuff. It’s best and most intriguing if you dip the dosa in one of the accompanying chutneys.

825 W. Royal Lane, Irving., 972-677-7658. Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 4:30 – 9:30 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 4:30 – 10 p.m.; Sat. 12 – 10 p.m.; Sun. 12 – 9:30 p.m.

India Chaat Café
In Far North Dallas, sharing a strip mall with the refined French bistro Cadot, India Chaat Café is a fast food and takeout spot that projects peppy optimism. The bright colors, TV tuned to an Indian music video channel and simple menu all suggest the kind of comfort food in which this restaurant specializes.

India Chaat Café’s aloo tikki chaat ($4) is a colorful bowl built on two patties formed from potatoes, herbs, hot chili pepper flakes and seeds.

Aloo tikki chaat ($4) is a colorful bowl built on two patties formed from potatoes, herbs, hot chili pepper flakes and seeds. On those potato cakes, India Chaat Café piles up chickpeas, chutney and a sort of curried gravy with a bewitching blend of spices. It’s enough for a meal by itself, but save room for other snacks and sides, including naan stuffed with lamb ($3.50). It couldn’t be simpler: a stack of buttered naan with a paper-thin layer of ground lamb and parsley folded into the pockets. In case you hit spice overload, there’s a refreshing yogurt dip speckled with seasoning and thin shreds of carrot.

The restaurant’s specialty, while not technically a chaat, is indisputably delicious: “Desi-style” pizzas with Indian toppings. A small chili paneer pizza ($8) boasts a thin crust that stays perfectly crisp all the way to the center, topped with bell peppers, small cubes of paneer, a little bit of oregano and a lot of spice. This is some of the best, and unlikeliest, pizza in North Dallas.

18101 Preston Road., 972-381-0003. Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

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Rajwadi Vegetarian Indian Fast Food
It looks like an ordinary veggie burger. The bun is an ordinary bun, gently toasted and glistening with grease. Served on paper, this bun pulls strongly on childhood fast-food memories. The patty doesn’t look like meat, of course, but it doesn’t look too crazy on the outside, either. Maybe the lack of lettuce, tomato or onion is a giveaway that truly transporting flavors are about to hit your tongue. This is dabeli, a chaat from Gujarat that has become one of Rajwadi’s two signature sandwiches.

That veggie burger patty is, in fact, mashed sweet potatoes dosed with a brace of curry seasonings. It contains pomegranate seeds for sweet-tart balance, roasted peanuts for crunch and red onions because everything is better with red onions. Fiery-hot, refreshing, crunchy, soft, sinful and vegetarian all at the same time, dabeli is an ingenious snack like nothing else in the world. And, for $5, it is very filling.

Rajwadi’s samosa sandwich ($4.49) is a classic chaat because it adds a little texture and a lot of portability to the samosa.

Rajwadi’s other iconic sandwich is the samosa sandwich ($4.49), a samosa smashed flat and placed on another toasted bun. Hey, it tastes better than it sounds. This is a classic chaat because it adds a little texture and a lot of portability to the samosa.

Rajwadi is tucked inside an Indian supermarket with a small but excellent selection of groceries. The sweets are worth trying, and you shouldn’t leave without exploring the frozen meals section, in which $2.50 for a dinner counts as expensive. You also shouldn’t leave the restaurant area without trying sabudana vada ($4.49), crisply fried fritters made with mashed potatoes, tapioca pearls and cilantro. They’re an outstanding snack, and they come with two chutneys, one sweet, the other hot.

9400 N. MacArthur Blvd., Suite 114, Irving. 972-444-0033. Daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Taj Chaat House’s dosas are served in absolute monster sizes that defy you to try finding room for a side dish.

The most celebrated and most popular of Dallas’ chaat restaurants, Taj Chaat House, has been occupying its street corner in Irving for many years. Much has been said about Taj Chaat already; the Observer has called it one of DFW’s most interesting restaurants. The house specialty here are dosas, which are served in absolute monster sizes that defy you to try finding room for a side dish.

But if you can restrict yourself to chaat, there are rewards like the dahi puri ($3.50), gently fried pastry puffs filled with chickpeas, potatoes and chutneys. Yogurt gets drizzled over the top, along with cilantro and diced tomato; the result is served cold and not exactly elegantly plated, but it’s a refreshing snack. Taj Chaat House’s excellent free chutney bar, including peanut-garlic, ginger and spicy-coconut varieties, means that this is also a great place to grab an order or two of naan or paratha and spend lunch dipping away.

As with many chaat dishes in Dallas, few vegetarian meals can be as economical, flavorful — or affordable. What’s not to like?

1057 W. Rochelle Road, Irving., 214-596-1133. Daily 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

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Terry Glenn dead at 43 after car crash near Dallas

Former NFL wide receiver Terry Glenn died Monday after a one-vehicle rollover accident near Dallas that left his fianc?e slightly injured, officials said. He was 43.

Glenn died shortly before 1 a.m. at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office. Irving (Texas) police are investigating the cause of the wreck at 12:18 a.m. on eastbound Highway 114, said Chelsey Jones, a police department spokeswoman.

Glenn, a former star at Ohio State who lived in the Dallas area, was driving when the vehicle left the highway, struck a concrete barrier and rolled, authorities said. Glenn was ejected. Jones said his fianc?e was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Her name and further details weren’t released. Jones had no immediate information on whether the couple wore seatbelts.

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Glenn played parts of 12 seasons in the NFL — six with the New England Patriots, five with the Dallas Cowboys and one with the Green Bay Packers. He made the Pro Bowl in 1999 as a member of the Patriots and finished his career with 8,823 yards and 44 touchdowns.

Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who was Glenn’s teammate with the Patriots and Cowboys, said Glenn turned a corner as he got older.

“He was one of those guys that just grew up in the worst possible environment, and he told me at one point he had a hard time trusting people because everybody he ever trusted either betrayed him or died and so he kept to himself,” Bledsoe told ESPN’s Todd Archer. “But as he got older, he really started to open up. When I was with him there at the end of our careers in Dallas, he really started to allow himself to trust people and started to turn a corner and become a happy person. Then with his retirement he was making a big impact on the world.

“The last time I talked to him, he just sounded like he was genuinely happy and in such a good place, and really, finally, totally overcoming those demons from the way he grew up. He was living a long and fulfilled life, and that makes it just such a horrible tragedy seeing what he overcame and then for his life to end too soon.”

Glenn was selected by the Patriots with the seventh overall draft pick in 1996 and helped New England reach the Super Bowl later that season. He had four seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards, two with the Patriots and two with the Cowboys.

Patriots coach Robert Kraft said in a statement that the franchise is “shocked and deeply saddened by today’s news.”

“Terry was one of the most gifted receivers we have ever had,” Kraft said. “For so many Patriots fans, his rookie season will be remembered as one of the most impactful in franchise history. After a disappointing 6-10 finish in 1995, we drafted Terry seventh overall, and in his first year, he helped propel the Patriots to an AFC Championship and Super Bowl appearance. One of my favorite memories came when we hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional playoff game. It was my first home playoff game as an owner and just the second home playoff game in our history. It will always be remembered for the fog that filled Foxboro Stadium that day. Yet, on the first play from scrimmage, Drew Bledsoe threw a deep pass that disappeared in the fog and reappeared 53 yards downfield in Terry Glenn’s hands. We scored on the next play and ended up winning 28-3. Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry’s family, his former teammates and friends who mourn his loss.”

“I was pretty close with Terry,” Belichick said. “His rookie season was my first year here in ’96, so I had a lot of interaction with him and other people that were involved in his life and his upbringing separate from the Patriots. Terry’s a very smart individual. Had, obviously, a lot of physical skill and talent. Could do a lot of things on the football field very naturally. And I think was, deep down inside a good person with good intentions and a good heart. Obviously, it’s a very unfortunate passing and a sad day.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement that Glenn “was a gentle and kind hearted young man.”

“We are all terribly saddened by this news of his passing,” Jones said. Too young and too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his loved ones and all of the people who were touched by his life.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Eight Found Dead in Texas Truck in Suspected Human Trafficking

In suspected human trafficking case, eight found dead in truck in ...In suspected human trafficking case, eight found dead in truck in ...

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – Eight people believed to be illegal immigrants being smuggled into the United States were found dead inside a sweltering 18-wheeler trailer parked behind a Walmart store in San Antonio, Texas, early on Sunday, authorities said.

Another 30 people, many suffering from heat stoke and exhaustion, were with the bodies in the trailer, which lacked air conditioning or a water supply, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said.

The truck’s driver was arrested and will be charged, said Richard Durbin, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, and prosecutors will work to identify others responsible.

“These people were helpless in the hands of their transporters,” Durbin said in a statement, adding the heat in southern Texas is “punishing” at this time of year.

“Imagine their suffering, trapped in a stifling trailer in 100-plus degree heat,” he said. They were victims of “ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo,” he added.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus described it as a “horrible tragedy,” and said other suspects had fled the scene as police officers arrived.

“Checking the video, there were a number of vehicles that came and picked up other people who were in that trailer,” McManus said.

Twenty people were airlifted to seven hospitals and their conditions were “critical to very critical,” fire chief Hood said. Eight others are hospitalized in less serious condition, he said.

The people range from school-age juveniles to adults in their twenties and thirties, he said.

McManus said officials were led to the scene by a man who approached a store employee asking for water.

McManus said the Department of Homeland Security had joined the investigation. The origin of the truck is unclear, he added.