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Rusk County Constable Indicted on Federal Charges

A Rusk County Constable and his wife are jailed after they were arrested on numerous drug charges.

Precinct 2 Constable Benjamin Thomas Ferrell, of Tatum, faces federal drug and firearms violations after an indictment was returned in federal court in Tyler.

The indictment alleges Ferrell was distributing drugs over a lengthy period and court documents further state Ferrell sold an SKS assault rifle to a known felon.

Ferrell’s wife, 32-year-old Amanda Gayle Ferrell, faces a state felony drug charge for manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, special agents of the Tyler resident High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) office, and the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office.


Texas Loses All Funding for Women’s Health Program

Planned Parenthood
by Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

AUSTIN — The federal government is making good on its promise to cut off all funding for the Texas Medicare Women’s Health Program.

The director of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says she regrets the move. But she said her agency had no choice after Texas this week began enforcing a law barring state funding from clinics affiliated with abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

The Women’s Health Program provides care to about 130,000 low-income participants, and federal funds had covered 90 percent of its costs.


Comedian Gallagher Suffers Heart Attack at Texas Show

LEWISVILLE — The comedian Gallagher, who is best known for smashing watermelons with a sledgehammer, is in stable condition after he had a heart attack this week. The 65-year-old suffered the heart attack at a club in North Dallas before going on stage.

He is sedated and “slowly recovering” from Wednesday night’s collapse. The comedian also suffered a minor heart attack last March after a performance in Minnesota.


Teacher Accused of Having Sex with Students

AUSTIN — A 32-year-old Central Texas middle school teacher is accused of having sex with two students. Bond was set yesterday at $100,000 for Holly Marie Lopez of Pflugerville.

Lexington Independent School District officials say Lopez resigned from her position when the allegations became public.

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