Library patrons booked into jail for late fees, overdue books

Handcuffed and ankle-shackled, Jacob deLaGarza marched in a single-file line to see the judge.

His crime: two research books and a Bruce Springsteen CD all long overdue at the Victoria Public Library.

Lost or late materials can result in more than just a 10-cent-a-day fine – readers can find themselves behind bars.

“I’ve never been so humiliated in my life,” said deLaGarza, a medic, now 32 and living in Sugar Land. “We went down to the county jail, and I was charged with failure to return property and failure to pay a fine, class C misdemeanors.” Continue reading Library patrons booked into jail for late fees, overdue books

Game room growth in Victoria brings concern about illegal activity

Through the iron bars guarding the front door, a handwritten note, black marker on copy paper, was taped to the glass: “Closed until further notice.”

Twenty-four hours after a pair of armed robbers fired shots at an employee and made off with $300 cash, Royal 7’s game room was lifeless.

The broken windowpane just to the right of the door shielded an unlit open sign, and blue painter’s tape patched the cracked windows facing East Red River Street along the front of the red brick building.

Save for a half-dozen lipstick-stained cigarette butts discarded in a sun-bleached Marlboro ashtray, the building was nondescript, but the 79 eight-liners arranged inside were known for tantalizing players with blaring bells, bright lights and winning dreams. Continue reading Game room growth in Victoria brings concern about illegal activity

Residents fear well will hurt water supply

BLOOMINGTON – Massive, rusted tanks block the front view from Lucy Morales’ Bloomington home.

The tanks and oil wells that were commonplace during the Amerada-Hess drilling heyday of the late 1940s are moving back into the community. With that, disposal wells are spreading, and companies are pulling permits for sites inside city limits.

“I think we need to do something about it,” Morales said. “I think we need to try to stop it.”

Continue reading Residents fear well will hurt water supply