Around the State

Special to The Dallas Examiner

DALLAS

The Dallas County Tax Office announced earlier this month that the Downtown Motor Vehicle branch has moved to its new location in the George Allen Courthouse, located at 600 Commerce St. in downtown Dallas. The previous DMV branch was located in the Records Building. It closed on March 18 and will reopen at its new location on Monday.

This new Branch office will accept motor vehicle transactions and property tax payments.

The Dallas County Tax Office’s Customer Care Center is available to assist taxpayers with questions regarding locations, property taxes, motor vehicle registrations and title concerns at 214-653-7811 on weekdays during business hours.

The DMV branch was the first department to vacate the Records Building due to remodeling of the historic building, which will begin this summer.

HEMPSTEAD

(AP) – A judge ordered the FBI on March 17 to allow Sandra Bland’s family to review a report of the Texas Rangers’ investigation into the woman’s death while in custody.

Bland was a Black woman who died last summer in the Waller County jail three days after being arrested. Authorities ruled her death a suicide. Her arrest captured on a police dashcam video provoked national outrage and the attention of the Black Lives Matter movement.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner’s order is part of a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Houston by Bland’s family against Brian Encinia, the ex-Texas trooper who arrested her during a traffic stop, and others involved in her detention.

The FBI had initially declined to turn over the report, contending it was protected under law enforcement privilege.

Encinia was charged with perjury after dashcam video appeared to show him yelling at Bland and escalating their confrontation.

He is now facing arraignment on the misdemeanor perjury charge.

A Waller County grand jury indicted Encinia in January on the perjury charge for saying in an affidavit that he removed a combative Bland from her car after stopping her near Houston for a minor traffic violation so he could further conduct a safer traffic investigation.

Encinia’s lawyer has said the court appearance set for Tuesday afternoon likely would be brief.

AUSTIN

(AP) – A police chief in Texas says he’s firing an officer who fatally shot an unarmed, naked African American teen last month.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo announced the move Monday against Geoffrey Freeman. He said Freeman, an African American police officer, violated department policy in the shooting of 17-year-old David Joseph on Feb. 8.

Freeman’s lawyers with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas say they will appeal.

Acevedo said he has “indefinitely suspended” Freeman, which he says is the department’s term for firing. If Freeman appeals, the firing isn’t final until an arbitrator upholds it.

Travis County prosecutors also are investigating and plan to present the case to a grand jury for possible criminal charges.

RICHMOND

(AP) – Grammy-nominated gospel singer James Fortune has begun serving five days in a Texas jail for assaulting his wife during a 2014 argument.

Fort Bend County jail records show the 38-year-old Fortune turned himself in Monday night in Richmond, about 20 miles southwest of Houston.

Fortune earlier this month pleaded guilty to assault on a family member in a plea deal. Fortune must also serve five years of probation, do community service, and not have any contact with his estranged wife.

Fortune’s hits include Hold On and I Trust You.

FORT WORTH

(AP) – A trade group says it estimates that damage caused by hailstorms that rolled through the Fort Worth area last week will reach $600 million in auto and property claims.

Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, estimates $300 million came from vehicle damage alone and that at least 50,000 vehicles were damaged.

The hail varied in size from blueberries to tennis balls, and fell in two bursts Thursday morning.

Hanna told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that if the group’s estimates are correct, the severe weather, which damaged cars and homes from Fort Worth to Arlington, would be the 12th costliest storm in Texas.

DALLAS

(Special to The Dallas Examiner) – The Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. will host its 22nd annual Teen Town Hall Summit on April 23. The theme this year is #SELFIE Success, Education, Leadership, Finances, Invest & Empower. The summit will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Billy Earl Dade Middle School, located at 2727 Al Lipscomb Way. The purpose of the summit is to allow students an opportunity to discuss relevant topics and issues that will foster self-development and educational growth. It will offer sessions on various topics for grades six through 12. It will also include parent workshops on various topics such as homeownership and economic empowerment.

Pre-registration is required to attend. Lunch will be provided for registered students.

Online registration will be made available at http://www.dallasalumnae.org. On site registration will begin at 8 a.m.

For more information and registration, call Jacquelyn Gerst at 214-957-7736 or Misha Stennett at 972-345-8918, or email dacommunityexpo@hotmail.com.

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