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TEXAS ROUNDUP — Crane collapse victim 29-year-old woman

DALLAS — Authorities have identified 29-year-old Kiersten Symone Smith as the woman who was killed when a crane fell on a Dallas apartment building Sunday amid severe thunderstorms that also uprooted mature trees and left thousands without power across the city.

Smith was pronounced dead at a hospital, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiners’ office, after the construction crane smashed into a five-story building near downtown destroying peoples’ apartments and reducing parts of an adjacent parking garage to a pile of concrete and mangled cars.

The cause of Smith’s death has not been determined. Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans could not provide an update on the condition of the five people injured in the collapse.

Smith was a resident of the apartment building, her sister, Toni Smith, told The Associated Press in a brief interview Monday. Toni Smith referred other questions to attorney Jonathan Cox, who said he could not immediately provide answers but that the family intends to issue a statement.

 

Minister gets 10 years,
embezzled $800K

HOUSTON — A former minister in Houston has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to what prosecutors call the theft of more than $800,000 from First Baptist Church.

Authorities say Jerrell Altic was sentenced Monday in Houston in a plea deal over embezzlement during a six-year period. Church officials in 2017 noticed suspicious financial activity and confronted Altic, who resigned.

Altic was indicted in December on a felony theft count.

Authorities say the 40-year-old Altic used forgery and other deceptive practices to steal church money and live a lavish lifestyle. Altic took his family on overseas trips, bought personal items and spent stolen funds to earn a divinity doctorate from Lancaster Bible College in Pennsylvania.

First Baptist Church, which has tightened financial oversight, had insurance that reimbursed $500,000.

 

Hundreds march to
honor Maleah Davis

HOUSTON — Hundreds of people marched to honor the memory of a 4-year-old Houston girl who was missing for several weeks before her remains were found last month in Arkansas.

Family members of Maleah Davis as well as area residents walked through downtown Houston on Sunday.

After the march, people gathered at City Hall. Craig Davis, Maleah’s father, spoke briefly, thanking the crowd for their support and saying the march meant so much to his family.

The city of Houston declared Sunday as “Maleah Davis Day.” Later in the evening, officials lit up City Hall in pink lights, which was the girl’s favorite color.

Derion Vence, the ex-fiance of Maleah’s mother, is jailed on a tampering with evidence charge in the case. Authorities say additional charges could be filed.

 

Rapper Scarface running
for city council in Houston

HOUSTON — A member of the iconic rap group the Geto Boys is hoping to trade beats and rhymes for politics.

Scarface, whose real name is Brad Jordan, announced over the weekend that he plans to run for a Houston City Council seat.

The Office of the City Secretary confirmed Monday that Jordan had filed paperwork naming his campaign treasurer.

The 48-year-old Jordan first made his announcement on Instagram on Saturday, saying “I’m offering myself for service as the next Houston City Councilmember for District D.”

Jordan, who grew up in Houston, gained fame in the late 1980s with the Geto Boys before launching a successful solo career.

The announcement comes after another Geto Boys member, Bushwick Bill, died Sunday of pancreatic cancer.

 

See also: TEXAS ROUNDUP — 3 dead in home due to carbon monoxide