log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 1:33 AM
BREAUX BRIDGE, La. — It has been quite a week for two Louisiana brothers. Both were accepted into big-name colleges, and separate videos of their reactions have gone viral.
On Tuesday, 16-year-old Ayrton Little and his classmates at T.M. Landry College Preparatory waited as he opened his email to see if he had been accepted into Harvard University’s 2019-2020 class, WAFB reported. The junior’s reaction is priceless when he gets the good news.
His classmates shout “three-peat,” as it is the third consecutive year that a T.M. Landry student has been accepted to Harvard, WAFB reported.
Ayrton said he plans to major in applied math and computer science.
HARVARD THREE-PEAT!!!! TM Landry gets an acceptance from Harvard three years in a row! HARVARD SAYS YES TO GRADUATING JUNIOR ARYTON LITTLE!!!! Here’s his acceptance video!Posted by TM Landry College Prep. on Tuesday, December 12, 2017
His celebration came on the heels of a joyous day for his older brother, Alexander Little. On Friday, Alexander got the news that he had been accepted into Stanford University.
Alexander said he plans to major in physics with a minor in computer science.
STANFORD UNIVERSITY SAYS YES TO TM LANDRY SENIOR ALEXANDER LITTLE! Here’s his acceptance video!Posted by TM Landry College Prep. on Friday, December 8, 2017
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 7:15 PM
— Tom Petty died from an accidental drug overdose after taking a variety of medications, the family for the legendary rock star said Friday.
Petty, who suffered emphysema, knee problems and more recently a fractured hip, was prescribed various pain medications including Fentanyl patches, his family said.
“On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication,” his family wrote on Facebook.
The family called Petty’s Oct. 2 death an unfortunate accident.
“As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.”
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 6:58 PM
It’s a steep ramp with too much of an incline to walk up easily. To the side, an aging and precarious set of wooden steps goes up to the top, where the path that led to the ramp leads to nothing -- just a steep dropoff over a short boundary and lots of graffiti all around the structure.
The ramp has been the subject of lots of online speculation, especially since it became the subject of a Reddit thread in late 2016. Was it part of an old military project, this thing off an office park at 6900 Metropolis Drive? A structure that once connected to a shipping dock? A base for gravel dumping? A piece of a road that once connected to East Ben White Boulevard? What was this thing?
Adam van Alderwerelt, an Austin lighting designer and video engineer, became a bit obsessed with the ramp after volunteering at a nearby building that housed evacuees from Hurricane Harvey.
“Nobody at the shelter even knew what it was,” he said. “I only saw it because it was on Google Maps when I was looking for directions to and from the shelter.”
Van Alderwerelt shot a YouTube video, “What is South Austin’s Ramp of Mystery??”
“I thought, let’s bring some awareness to this thing,” van Alderwerelt said. “It’s a hidden oddity of Austin.”
The buzz around this curious structure prompted a reader to ask our Austin Answered project: “Please tell us about the Ramp of Mystery in South Austin; Google it!”
We did. But the ramp didn’t divulge its origin so easily. Visits to the Austin History Center to study old aerial photographs of the area proved inconclusive, except to show that it probably didn’t originate before the early 1980s. A wide call on social media for any local insight on the landmark yielded a few leads, but nothing concrete, so to speak. The current owners of the lot, Zydeco Development Corporation, said by phone they didn’t know what the ramp was for or why it was built.
A request to Lockheed Martin, which owned a facility in the area that opened to much fanfare in the 1980s, was unsuccessful. The company checked but was unable to find records related to the ramp or its purpose.
But leave it to a historian to crack the case.
Austin history buff Lanny Ottosen tracked down names on an old document related to the property he found at the Austin History Center. One of those names was Frank Niendorff, who for many years ran Commercial Industrial Properties Co. (also known as NAI Austin).
Niendorff, who spent two years brokering the property deal to bring Lockheed Missiles and Space to Austin (for one year, the identity of the buyer was a secret even to him), remembered the ramp well.
“There’s nothing mysterious about the ramp,” he said this week by phone, “When Lockheed first came here, they were working on developing a government contract for a drone. This was when drones were first imagined. This was a drone that would be launched from a ramp.”
The program, called “Aquila,” involved hydraulic catapults to launch the drone and a net that would catch the unmanned aerial vehicles. The drones would be used to provide laser guidance for weapons systems.
The San Diego Air and Space Museum has archive footage on YouTube of what appears to be such a system.
Despite the work Lockheed did with the drone project on that ramp, Niendorff said, the government bid was unsuccessful.
“They spent millions of dollars trying to get this contract, building prototypes,” he said. “Ultimately, Lockheed ended up building other things at that facility, including concrete bunker bombs.”
Kenneth Ross, a spokesman for Lockheed, said that as far as the ramp goes, Niendorff appears to have the right information.
“The info you’ve discovered gives us confidence that you have the right story,” Ross wrote in an email.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:44 PM
— A Comal County judge said God told him to intervene in jury deliberations to sway jurors to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of a Buda woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex.
Judge Jack Robison apologized to jurors for the interruption but defended his actions by telling them, “When God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,” according to the Herald-Zeitung, in New Braunfels.
The jury went against the judge’s wishes, finding Gloria Romero-Perez guilty of continuous trafficking of a person and later sentenced her to 25 years in prison. They found her not guilty of a separate charge of sale or purchase of a child.
Robison, who also presides in Hays County, did not respond to a message left with his court coordinator, Steve Thomas, who said the case is pending.
The Herald-Zeitung reported that Robison recused himself before the trial’s sentencing phase and was replaced by Judge Gary Steele. The defendant’s attorney asked for a mistrial but was denied.
Robison’s actions could trigger an investigation from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which has disciplined Robison in the past.
In 2011, the commission slapped Robison with a private reprimand for improperly jailing a Caldwell County grandfather who had called him a fool for a ruling Robison made in a child custody case involving the man’s granddaughter.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:11 PM
CARROLLTON, Texas — Witten Ramirez is fighting for his life after doctors said he contracted a brain infection caused by the flu.
Witten’s mother, Desiree, said that the whole family had the flu last week, but the 8-year-old had it worse than the others, KXAS reported.
She said he was sleeping too much and stumbled when he walked.
To be safe, Desiree took him to the emergency room, thinking that he might be having a reaction to medication.
Instead, testing found that somehow the flu had caused an infection in his brain, which was attacking the part of the brain that controls movement.
Witten now cannot walk, sit, stand or talk, Desiree told KXAS.
A healthy 8-year-old boy was diagnosed with the flu. The next day, his mother says, doctors discovered the flu caused a life-changing infection in the boy's brain: https://t.co/SOPbsMF8VU— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) January 19, 2018
Neurologists said the infection is called cerebellitis, an inflammatory process that can be a complication from the flu in rare cases with no risk factors.
“You can have otherwise seemingly healthy individuals whose bodies handle flu in such a way to lead to a neurologic complication, which is why we spend so much time focusing on prevention,” Dr. Benjamin Greenberg told KXAS.
Prevention, Greenberg said, is the flu vaccine.
Witten’s mother said her son didn’t get a flu shot this year as he had in previous years.
Children can recover from cerebellitis, but doing so will involve rehabilitation, which is already planned for Witten, KXAS reported.