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Valley band reaches finals in national competition


Television and radio host Ryan Seacrest picked Edinburg pop band Mayberry for his “Favorite cover of ‘Amnesia’ by 5 Seconds of Summer” contest. The local group entered the final round along with four other artists Oct. 15 and the winner will be announced Oct. 22.

The band faced some obstacles to make it past the first and second rounds. Now in the final round, the group sees the support they have.

“Since the start, the experience has been surreal. We would have never thought to be picked by Ryan Seacrest for anything. Then to actually get votes from our hometown? It’s really all too crazy,” band member Esteban Rodriguez said.

Founded in 2012 they’ve reached a fanbase of more than 5,000 people across the U.S. while their cover of ‘Amnesia’ has surpassed 8,000 hits on YouTube. Having entered the contest with 12 other artists across the world, they’re the only Texas band among the five finalists.

Members of the group include Edinburg natives Esteban and Hector Rodriguez, Ono Zarate, UTPA biology student Brayden Dillard and Andrew Vela, who received his Bachelor’s in accounting at UTPA in 2012.

Selling online merchandise to help fund music releases, Mayberry released “All I Need” in March 2014 and “Just a Dream” the following June. Esteban Rodriguez, the band’s singer, said they are influenced by American rock bands The Mayday Parade and Green Day. Wanting to work with artists like them is one thing that pushed Rodriguez to become a musician.

Knowing each other from previous bands Dillard and Esteban both had a strong passion for music. Shortly after forming the band they wanted more members. Esteban brought guitarist Andrew Vela and bassist Ono Zarate on board. Wanting his younger brother to play alongside him,  second guitarist Hector Rodriguez completed the band.

With people still viewing their YouTube page, their following continues to grow.

“I’ve noticed a growth in our fanbase in the past year. That’s what’s been pushing us to keep making music, for our fans and without them we wouldn’t be in the competition, to be honest,”  said Esteban Rodriguez.

Although they received a message about the competition Sept. 23, they waited until the day of voting to announce the news to their fans.

“I honestly thought it was fake in the beginning,” Esteban Rodriguez said. “I had received an email on Sept. 23 and thought it was spam, so I wanted to wait till the day voting started to announce it.”

On Oct. 1 they checked the Ryan Seacrest website and everyone in the band was shocked to find out the contest was real. Being picked with 12 other artists from around the world, they were quick to spread the word. Hector Rodriguez also gathered support from his peers and teachers at Robert Vela High School.

“News of the contest was spreading fast around my school and peers were telling me they were supporting Mayberry,” Hector Rodriguez said.

More on this story here...

By Jorge Parlatto

Santa Rosa police chief’s position eliminated during city meeting


The Santa Rosa city council has voted to eliminate the position of the police chief.

They cited lack of money to fund a full time city manager’s position in the elimination of the police chief’s position.

Right now, Santa Rosa has a part time city manager and no police chief.

City aldermen discussed the police chief’s employment during a city meeting.

The special meeting took place at 7:00 this evening.

The chief previously told Action 4 News he had no idea why his job was on the line.

Read the rest of the story….

by Ryan Wolf

Iwo Jima Vet Celebrates 95th Birthday with an Honor


A Texoma man, who spent the majority of his life working to honor those who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima hit a milestone Sunday.

Cy Young fought for our country in World War II and Sunday the Bowie native celebrated his 95th birthday.

Cy worked hard to put together a reunion bringing more than a hundred vets to Texoma each with a story to tell about bravery and loss.

“People of Wichita Falls have always been good to us.” said Young…..Read more. 

Texas congressman released from hospital

The oldest-ever member of the U.S. House has been transferred from a hospital to a rehabilitation center to continue his recovery from injuries suffered in a car wreck.

In a statement Tuesday, a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall said the 91-year-old Texas Republican was discharged from Medical Center of Plano over the weekend to an inpatient rehabilitation center.

Read more HERE.

The Associated Press via Star Telegram

Camp Lone Star – The Arrest of K. C. Massey

Photo: KC Massey’s fb page 

Yesterday, in the early afternoon, Kevin (K.C.) Massey, 48, was arrested in a motel room near Brownsville, Texas. Massey was one of the organizers of Camp Lone Star, which has been turning back, or turning over to the Border Protection Service (BPS), illegal aliens attempting to cross the Southern border. He was alone when the FBI and BATF arrested him, charging him with Felony Possession of a Firearm. He was convicted in 1988 of burglary – over a quarter of a century ago. To better understand the charge against Massey, I refer you to a previous article on a similar situation, “No bended knee for me” – the Charge against Robert Beecher. It would appear that Massey is subject to the same intentional misinterpretation of the Federal Statute.

Sometime between 1:30 and 2:00 PM, FBI and BATF agents arrived at the home of Khristy Massey, Kevin’s wife, located in the Quinlan, Texas, over 600 miles from Camp Lone Star.. Massey had not lived at the home for the past four months, and the house is currently for sale. They wanted to search the house for firearms, though Khristy refused, absent a warrant. She was then threatened with arrest if she removed any firearms from the house. Interesting that one can be threatened with arrest for doing what they want with their lives and property – simply because the government went to search a house, though apparently unable to secure a warrant for that search. It makes you wonder if any laws, whatsoever, bind the federal government.

Massey was one of three members of Camp Lone Star involved in a shooting incident that occurred on August 29, 2014 (Massey’s account of incident). Massey, Allen Varner (Wolf), and John Foerster (Jesus), were patrolling on private property near the Texas/Mexico border. A BPS agent Hernandez, standing about 30 feet from Foerster, fired two shots at him, yelled “Stop”, fired two more shots, again yelled “Stop”, and then fired one more shot. Foerster placed his rifle on the ground, deescalating the situation. Hernandez claimed that he was pursuing some illegal aliens. It is noteworthy to understand that the BPS has been instructed not to fire on illegal aliens, unless fired upon — which did not occur, in this incident. Are we to surmise that the BPS IS instructed to fire on American citizens?

Subsequently, while meeting with a BPS Captain and other agents, Massey, Wolf, and Jesus, were asked to store their weapons in the Captain’s vehicle, for security — since there were still illegals in the area and they didn’t want the weapons unsecured and possibly stolen from the open “mule” which the three were travelling in. They also took Massey’s GoPro camera, with no explanation.

Additional BPS officials, Sheriff Deputies, FBI, and DHS agents arrived on the scene to investigate the shooting incident. A Sheriff Deputy then took possession of the five weapons, claiming that they were a part of the evidence in the investigation in the shooting incident — shooting by the BPS agent, not the three men legally possessing firearms on private property.

Shortly thereafter, Jesus was asked to leave Camp Lone Star because of suspected drug use. He had stayed away from the Camp since that time.

Moving forward to the recent events, Camp Lone Star had rented a motel room, a place to take a shower and get a good night’s rest. The evening prior to the arrest, the motel room was used by some of the Camp Lone Star members to conduct a conference call with militia members around the country. Earlier that day, at 1:58 PM, Jesus, for unknown reasons, called Camp Lone Star to say that he would be going over to the Camp. He never did show up. Perhaps he knew of the conference call, because he made two appearances during the course of that call, not at the Camp, but at the motel. He was described to me as fidgety and nervous during the two appearances during the conference call, as if he had something to hide. Is it possible that he was sent to the motel room to report if Massey was alone?

Well, let’s look into the background of John Frederick Foerster. Foerster served a prison term for three counts of burglarizing a building, beginning in May 2001. He was released from prison in August 2002. In 2009, he was charged with theft, in Missouri, disposition unknown. Foerster, however, has not, as of this date been arrested for felony possession of a firearm. He has also recovered his two weapons taken by the BPS and Sheriff on August 29. It has been alleged that Foerster was arrested again, for possession of cocaine, just four days prior to Massey’s arrest, though this has not been confirmed independently.

He claimed, in a phone call made late last night (20th), that he had heard about Massey’s arrest and had tried to call Archie Seals, of Camp Lone Star, numerous times — to find out what had happened with Massey. Archie Seals reports that he has had no contact, nor does his cell phone record show any calls from Foerster.

These occurrences (Beecher and Massey) should provide adequate warning to patriots, especially thus who have a felony record, that there is a concerted effort on the part of government to find cause to bring charges against you and take your guns away. They also provide insight into the tactics that the government is using to cull the patriot community of as many as they can, reducing the remaining numbers, and intimidating those who remain.

For an understanding of how informants and other infiltrators work, I would suggest reading “Informants Amongst Us?” and “Vortex“. To understand who the likely patriot targets of federal persecution are, I suggest “C3CM“.

Gary Hunt

Outpost of Freedom

Fort Worth Vietnamese community rallies around Ebola-stricken nurse

Photo: Dallas Morning News Twitter 

FORT WORTH — Ebola first arrived in Dallas in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood, where new immigrants hope to grow roots. Then the deadly virus spread to a nurse, and fear rippled through the long-established Vietnamese community on the eastern edge of Fort Worth.

Nina Pham grew up in East Fort Worth, where she attended Catholic schools and where her family has been active in the Vietnamese church Our Lady of Fatima.

Since news of her illness broke, many in the Vietnamese community have rallied around Pham, her family and each other as they closely follow the news for any updates on how she is doing.

At the Phuong Restaurant on a recent afternoon, a group of women sat around chatting, constantly glancing up at the television broadcasting Ebola updates. Vietnamese-language newspapers by the door showed Pham and with her beloved dog Bentley.

“I feel sorry for the nurse and for her dog,” owner Hanh Truong said. “Everybody is online and on their cell phones all the time looking up information about her and about Ebola.”

The restaurant, which serves traditional pho soup and other delicacies, is located in a Vietnamese plaza just outside the Fort Worth city limits in Haltom City.

That stretch of East Belknap Street is a hub of the Asian community, with markets selling pastries, fish sauce and durian fruits. Businesses include a Vietnamese medical clinic that also displays signs reading “Se Habla Español.”

About 20 to 30 years ago, when many Vietnamese first settled in Tarrant County, they lived in that East Fort Worth/Haltom City area, said Tom Ha, a longtime civic leader who goes to church with Pham’s family.

Ha was among the first to flee his home country after the fall of Saigon. In 1975, he arrived in Florida and then Texas, where he helped establish the Vietnamese American Community in Tarrant County organization.

Ha said many were attracted to the Fort Worth area because of strong ties to Catholic churches and the businesses taking root along Belknap.

Eventually, the diocese opened Christ the King Church in the Riverside area in 1997 and then Our Lady of Fatima in 2001 on Fort Worth’s east side.

Population shift

The Vietnamese community in Tarrant County has grown by more than 50 percent since 2000 to about 30,000 residents of that heritage, according to census data.

In 2010, that population shift was a key to the election of the first Vietnamese American — Andy Nguyen — to Tarrant County Commissioners Court.

But as the Vietnamese community becomes more established, it also has become less concentrated in East Fort Worth and Haltom City.

Many moved to Arlington, home to the largest Vietnamese Catholic church in the nation — Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church, with about 3,500 parishioners.

Now, Ha said the younger generations are moving to smaller suburbs such as Keller and Mansfield for better housing and schools, or to major cities for job opportunities, as Pham did when she moved to Dallas.

“They are now beginning to move out of their community because they are moving up this economic ladder,” Ha said. “So the housing or the jobs that their parents knew to take advantage of are no longer what the younger generation need.”

Some families are even leaving Vietnamese churches for those with English services as younger generations have a harder time understanding the language.

Close connections

But despite these changes, many remain closely connected, particularly at Our Lady of Fatima. The small church has about 430 families.

Pham’s family has been active in the parish for years. Her mother is a member of the Legion of Mary, an apostolic organization of the Catholic Church.

Members have been praying for Pham and her family with special prayers added at Mass services.

Thuy Hoang, who operates the Vietnam Plaza Supermarket in Haltom City, learned of Pham’s illness at the church’s Sunday Mass. Now the television by her store’s front door — which usually is set to music channels or Asian soap operas — broadcasts CNN for updates on Pham.

“She attended the same school my son did. I know her family,” Hoang said. “When this happens to someone in your community, it is more personal. … But we believe in God, and we’re going to continue to pray for her.”

The 10 Least Socialist States in America

Photo: Huffington Post

Winston Churchill once said that “socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” Now when you put it that way, socialism doesn’t sound so fair. Where in America can we see evidence of this happening or not happening? Are some states less socialist than others? We’re ranking the 10 least socialist states in the country, determined by state spending as a percentage of the state GDP. If you echo Churchill’s sentiment, then you might consider moving to one of these states. Is your state on the list?

By Kurumi Fukushima

Democratic Party leader: Wendy Davis will lose Texas governor’s race


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2014, ( – The head of the Democratic Party’s electoral efforts to win governor’s races across the nation has strongly hinted that the party establishment believes Wendy Davis will lose her bid to become governor of Texas this year.

Speaking to centrist think tank Third Way on Tuesday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, outlined the top priority gubernatorial races this year, followed by critical races.


Texas was on neither list. Instead, he cited Maine, Pennsylvania, and Florida as the three most important races for Democrats. Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, and Arizona were critical.

Democratic state senator Wendy Davis is seeking to defeat state attorney general Greg Abbott in his bid to succeed Governor Rick Perry, who is retiring this year.

Shumlin, who last year signed a bill legalizing physician-assisted suicidein Vermont, is no pro-life champion, but he has sparked outrage from Davis’s campaign team for not being optimistic about Davis’s chances of victory.

“We’re hopeful in Texas, but we’ll be candid about the fact that we all understand Democrats haven’t won Texas in a long time,” Shumlin said.

Wendy Davis catapulted to national fame when she successfully filibustered a Texas bill that banned abortions after 20 weeks. A different incarnation of the same bill was passed two weeks later, after Governor Perry called a special session of the legislature.

While Davis’ stand made her a darling of the Democratic Party, her odds at winning the governor’s seat are bleak, with polls showing her GOP opponent handily leading the race, even amongst women voters.

Many observers believe that Davis’extreme standpoint concerning abortion is a key reason for her current losing status.

According to Texas Right to Life, Davis has been silent about her stance on abortion during her campaign in order to avoid “mentioning her support for abortion on the most public legs of her campaign trail” while at the same time being “happy to do so when the cameras weren’t rolling.”

Davis’s campaign manager, Karin Johanson, rejected the analysis, saying, “The uninformed opinions of a Washington, D.C., desk jockey who’s never stepped foot in Texas couldn’t be less relevant to what’s actually happening on the ground.”

Republican Governors Association spokesman Jon Thompson told the liberal online news source Talking Points Memo, “It’s no surprise the Davis campaign got upset with…Shumlin – he clearly doesn’t believe she should be treated as a credible candidate.”

Texas has not elected a Democratic governor since 1994. The winning candidate that year was Ann Richards, the mother of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

By Catherine Briggs

Texas breaks record for jobs added in 12-month span

Photo: File 

Texas created enough jobs last month to help the state set a 12-month record.

The Texas economy added 36,400 jobs in September, according to data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. Over the past 12 months, employers added 413,700 jobs — the most ever recorded by the state.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent in September, down from 5.3 percent in August. A year ago, the rate was 6.3 percent.

“We’re having a broad -based increase in job growth in Texas, and sooner or later we’re going to have to see wage increases,” said Trinity University economist David Macpherson.

Those strong September numbers preceded the recent decline in oil prices and the Ebola outbreak in Dallas, but economists said those occurrences aren’t expected to affect the Texas job market.

“People with long memories back to the 1980s are getting nervous about oil prices,” said Jim Glassman, senior economist at Chase Commercial Banking. The U.S. benchmark of crude oil, West Texas Intermediate, declined to $82 a barrel this week, its lowest level since 2012.

The state has been “spoiled” by stable oil prices and now people panic when it goes down a little, said Keith Phillips, senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

“People shouldn’t forget that there’s an upside to the lower oil prices, even in Texas,” he said. “Lower gasoline prices could prompt consumer spending.”

Oil prices would have to fall significantly lower before today’s high-cost drilling shuts down and energy jobs are lost, Glassman said.

Similarly, economists weren’t too concerned that the Ebola outbreak will have a lasting impact on business in Dallas.

“Some people are making knee-jerk reactions possibly by canceling trips here, but that’s not something that has a lasting economic impact,” Macpherson said.

It’s not just the energy industry that is helping the state set job growth records every month, economists said.

Nine of 11 major industries posted job gains in September, led by leisure and hospitality with 9,300 jobs added. The next biggest job gains were posted by government (7,200), construction (5,400) and mining (5,000).

Manufacturing lost 2,700 jobs from August and financial services declined by 200 jobs.

All major jobs categories are up from a year ago.

Last month was also the first time the state’s labor force topped 13 million in September.

Several companies surveyed by the Dallas Fed responded that they are seeing labor market tightness, according to the Fed’s Beige Book, which came out Wednesday.

Companies said that they are experiencing upward wage pressures. Staffing services firms said candidates were often receiving multiple offers, which caused some firms to increase wages to stay competitive, the report said.

“I expect the state unemployment rate to fall further,” said Phillips, noting that claims for unemployment insurance continue to fall sharply.

The Dallas-Fort Worth unemployment rate fell to 5 percent from 5.5 percent in August. It was 6.1 percent in September 2013.

Reflecting the state’s drilling boom, Midland had the lowest September unemployment rate among Texas cities at 2.6 percent. Other West Texas towns also had low rates: Odessa, 3.1 percent, and Amarillo, 3.6 percent.

Houston’s metro jobless rate fell to 4.9 percent in September from 5.4 percent in August.

A comparison of Texas with other states won’t be available until next week when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases state-by-state data for September.

Suspects Sabotaging Sirens


The Wichita Falls Police Department is seeking help help regards to recent tornado siren battery thefts.

WFPD wants to alert the public that suspects are breaking into the tornado siren boxes around town and taking the batteries.

On October 13th, the box at McKinney and Rowland was broken into and both batteries were stolen. The same box was broken into on the 16th, but the suspects accidentally hit the tornado siren button, and were scared off before they got inside. Significant damage was done to the box.

A large battery was also stolen out of a Time Warner Cable box that was on a utility pole at Rowland and Gilbert on October 15th.

If you see anyone parked near or tampering with a siren pole, please call 911 immediately.