FBI investigates prominent Jasper resident

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Beaumont-By: Jennifer Gordy

The offices church and home of a prominent Jasper resident were raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Wednesday morning.

The town of Jasper is abuzz as one of it’s prominent residents is under the federal microscope.

This morning around nine, federal investigators descended upon the Deep East Texas Council of Government offices, where Walter Diggles, Sr. has served as Executive Director for more than 20 years, The New Lighthouse Church of God in Christ Ministries, where he is the pastor, and his home.

An F.B.I. spokeswoman told KFDM that officers from the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, and Homeland Security were at all three locations in Jasper.

The doors at all three locations were locked and monitored by agents.

A neighbor was surprised to see the agents in the neighborhood and learn of the investigation.

Diggle’s released a statement to KFDM news saying, “The Council and its staff are giving full cooperation to investigators.” He says,”The Council has complete audits each year by an outside accounting firm. He says the programs are constantly monitored by state and federal funding agencies.”

Once the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the U.S. District of Texas.

Charter school expands to Southeast Texas

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BEAUMONT – By Justin Hinton, KFDM NewsA Richardson, Texas-based charter school is adding three new campuses in Beaumont, Port Arthur and Houston.Evolution Academy Charter School is a public high school that provides students with a school of choice and targets adolescents who have dropped out of high school, are seriously at risk of doing so, or are looking for a different form of education.Were here to service youngsters, and ultimately, we have one goal in mind, and thats to graduate them, said founder, Cynthia Trigg. The school opened 12 years ago and has graduated over 2000 students. The Texas Education Agency recently granted their request to expand.Antioch Missionary Baptist Church will house the Beaumont campus for at least one year, with the option of expanding for one more. After that, they will look for a new location.Trigg says the school offers an 18-1 student to teacher ratio and a flexible schedule with year-round enrollment, making for an easy transition when switching from a traditional school or getting back into school.We try and have those sessions carved into the schedule whereby they can pick up where they left off, said Trigg.Trigg also said students will attend class 4 hours a day and partake in online components. School starts September 3.Click the link for more information on the Evolution Academy Charter School.

Family remembers Port Arthur wife and husband

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JEFFERSON COUNTY- by Haley BullThe family of a Port Arthur couple at the center of what police say is a murder-suicide investigation remembered the husband and wife Tuesday.Port Arthur Police Chief Mark Blanton said preliminary information showed 46-year old Jimmie Jenkinson shot his 44-year old wife Angel in the head before shooting himself in the chest. A family friend found the bodies Saturday in their Port Arthur home. Angel leaves behind two sons and Jimmie a daughter. She was gorgeous and she was so precious to us, Shannan Costilow said as she remembered her sister. She lived for her boys, that was her whole entire life.She was like my best friend and, like, I told her everything and she told me everything, Jacob Elmore said.Angel Jenkinson’s 15-year old son said that included the good and the bad.They loved each other, it’s just they weren’t good together, Elmore said.The couple married in September 2012. They’d like gotten in fights before, Elmore said. Last February, February 10th, he almost killed her and Im the one that had to call the cops and she always said, like, I saved her, I rescued her. So I knew that maybe one day if she didn’t get out it would happen.Jimmie Jenkinson’s 16-year old daughter Chloe shared part of a letter she plans to read at her father’s funeral with KFDM News. It reads:As you all know my dad and I were like peanut butter and jelly, we were always together having the best time we could ever dream of. The tears I cry will always be tears of joy because we always had so many precious memories together. I know in your eyes I will always be your little girl. Today, I stand in front of everyone and have no regrets as far as my father is concerned and I will love him for the rest of my life. I know he is at peace.A daughter remembering her father.A son knowing his mother’s words that create memories are silent.I’ll never hear her say I love you again. Like when everyone was texting me that they’d love me and I just knew that they can tell me that but she can’t tell me that again. I won’t get to hear her say anything for like a long time, Elmore said.Angel Jenkinson’s funeral will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at Melancon’s Funeral Home. Jimmie Jenkinson’s funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at Friendship Baptist Church in Groves.

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church looks to open charter school

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BEAUMONT – By Justin Hinton, KFDM NewsChurch leaders at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church are hoping to open a new charter school, Royal Ambassador Academy, on their campus August 2015.Were not going to educate them to take a test. No maam. No sir, said Pastor Dr. John Adolph. Were going to educate them to be successful in life, and the test will just be a stepping stone in that direction.Seventeen classrooms holding a total of 300 students is just part of the 26,000 square foot building located on the churchs campus. There is also a computer lab under construction.Oh no, they wont be average here. They will be Godly. They will be obedient. They will achieve, said Pastor Adolph.Pastor Adolph says he wants the charter school to serve the needs of the different counties that make up his congregation, however, some people argue the school will take away resources from other schools and create competition.From a states perspective, said State Representative Joe Deshotel, I want this to be clear that this isn’t a competitive situation. The state of Texas feels that public education public schools cannot be everything for everyone. So we came up with a charter system, because some kids need different types of attention as far as getting an education.According to the public agenda, committee members described as Board members include former Port Arthur Independent School District Johnny Brown and current Beaumont Independent School District Attorney, Melody Chappell.Brown says they reached out to the different communities to help design a high-quality school.Weve already reached out to business community. Weve reached out to other school districts and well continue to do so, he said.The school is still in its early stages, but the goal is to complete the charter by a February due date and open in August 2015.Right now, they plan to host elementary school kids from pre-kindergarten to third grade, adding additional grade levels each year through high school.

Metal thieves target church

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BEAUMONT-By: Leslie RangelA Southeast Texas church is trying to recover from yet another theft, this time, copper from its air conditioning system.Vandals have hit the church three times in the past two years, most recently, a week before Christmas.The pastor say he would have helped the thieves, if they had only asked.They had to go in there and this was locked, Arthur Thompson, Pastor of Christ Mission Temple Church in Beaumont explains. A gate stands broken.Insulation used to cover metal, is empty. He said pastor, ‘they took our copper running into our air condition.’ Thompson says. But they left a part, I guess it was too much work for them to cut that out and so they didn’t mess with that, Thompson explains. It’s the third time in less than two years thieves targeted his church. This time they took off with copper. The first break in, they came and stole our little microwave that was barely working. Old and raggedy, I don’t know what they wanted with it so we went and bought a new one and about two weeks later they came in and broke the windows out to the church and went back in and looted the church and took the checks, Thompson says. Metal bars now cover windows after past break-ins. You take the time to steal copper from the church, that’s about as low as it can get, Thompson said. Today he’s left picking up the pieces from the latest event. We’re going to have to go through that expense of putting it back up there and hooking it back up and go and buy new cooper which is going to cost more, much more and we go and bless them with something, Thompson said. A blessing he says he would’ve given anyone in need.They should have more respect for gods house, if you need something that bad, you could’ve came on in and told us your problem, and we’re here to help you, Thompson says. A respect he says God, his church and congregation deserves.They want it to stop, just stop it, it’s terrible, it throws us behind so bad you know, you got to make adjustments and we are not a rich church, we’re a poor church, we’re a poor church, Thompson says. If you have any information that could help police, call Beaumont Crimestoppers at 833-tips.

Funeral arrangements set for Beaumont toddler who drowned in Texas City

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KFDM News – Funeral arrangements are set for a two-year-old Beaumont girl, who drowned in the Houston area last weekend.Kaloni Corbin drowned in a pond during a family reunion.Her funeral is Saturday, July 13, at Church of God on Denver Street in Beaumont. Visitation is also Saturday at the church under the direction of Comeaux Community Funeral Chapel.
From Comeaux Community Funeral Chapel: Services for Baby Kaloni Corbin will be held on Saturday July 13,2013 @ 1:00p.m @ Gesthemane Church Of God located @ 2685 Denver St. Beaumont, Texas, 77701. Visitation to be held from 11:00a.m. until the time of the service with burial to follow at Live Oak Memorial Park on old Port Arthur Road under the direction of Comeaux Community Funeral Chapel located @ 624 Irma St.

If any one has any questions they can feel free to contact the funeral home @ (409) 838.6598.

An acct has been set up for Kaloni Corbin @ Bank Of America
acct # 586032746102.

Paranormal Society investigates a historic manor in Port Arthur

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PORT ARTHUR — Friday the 13th is a day some dread. It’s considered an unlucky day for some, but those looking to connect with spirits favor the day. Six News Reporter Kalie Desimone was there as members of the graveyard shift paranormal society investigated the rose hill manor house in port arthur. Brett Wright is trying to communicate with spirits at the historic Rose Hill Manor in Port Arthur. “Some of these people we have visited with before actually did live here. Two of the voices we caught identified themselves as Mr. And Mrs. Woodworth” says Wright. Friday night the investigators with Graveyard Shift Paranomal Society say they heard from a different ghost at the haunted home. The investigators used gadgets like voice recorders and K2 electromagnetic field meters. Tools that pick up the presence of ghosts. Ghost investigator Brett Wright asked a series of questions to a certain spirit who calls himself ‘Richard’. Other members of the Paranormal Society tracked the ghosts answers through special software. “Most people think it’s just Hollywood and glam actually they are haunted locations” says Wright.Carolin Beck says she came to friday night’s ghost tour to ask the experts some questions. She says at one time she didn’t believe in ghosts. “There are no ghosts. There’s nothing to prove ghosts exist” says Beck. Beck believed those words until she had her own experience while staying in a hotel room after evacuating for Hurricane Rita. “In a certain room there, there was a haunted head bored. I thought it was funny until I actually heard breathing. Steady rhythmic breathing” says Beck. Beck says that was enough proof for her. Friday night guests on the tour say they heard several strange things including a whistle. And while some can chalk the noise up to the air conditioner or any other number of ways to explain the sound, Brett Wright offers those people this challenge. “Some people have always had doubts now is your time to come forward and take a step behind the scenes” says Wright. If you’d like more information about the Graveyard Shift Paranormal Society and their events you can find them on Facebook.

Episcopal church blesses gay unions

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It is a subject that has been hotly debated by politicians, religious leaders and families across the country. Now the Episcopal church in Texas is grappling with the issue. The Episcopal church authorized the blessing of same-sex unions during its general convention. However, it stopped short of performing marriage ceremonies for gay couples. Lynn Delage grew up in a Baptist church, but now she practices a different faith. Delage says she does not understand people’s objection to gay marriage. “I lived with my older brother and he was member of the Unitarian Universalist church since 1985. He was gay,” said Delage. Delage is a member of the Spindletop Unitarian church in Beaumont. She says it’s a liberal church that welcomes any and all people. “Every person has the same rights and to deny two people the right to marriage because they’re the same sex is to deny their humanity and their freedom,” said Delage. Last week the Episcopal church ruled same sex relationships can receive a blessing from the church. “Notice it says blessing, it does not say marriage, and it’s very clear, at least in this diocese, this is not a marriage,” said Dean Calcote of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. “It’s going to be, in this diocese, very restrictive. Any case has to have the Bishop’s consent. He is at this time only allowing one church in Austin and one church in Houston to do this,” said Calcote. Calcote admits there is division among congregations within the Episcopal church. “There is, of course, a highly-controversial issue. There are those who favor it and those who, probably the majority, who do not,” said Calcote. Calcote said division in the church is nothing new and what counts is how the believers handle the difference. “Being able to, in a Christian manner, sit down and discuss the fact that this is an issue like a number of issues you might have that we don’t agree on,” said Calcote. Calcote says the measure allows Episcopal churches only to bless same sex relationships and not to marry gay couples. Same sex marriage remains illegal in Texas.

Port Arthur pastor announces bid for National Baptist Convention president

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PORT ARTHUR – A Port Arthur pastor has announced he is running for president for the National Baptist Convention.
Reverend Randy G. Vaughn, is the pastor of the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist church. He announced his bid this evening. He has been the pastor of Mount Sinai for 30 years. Vaughn has been an active leader with the National Baptist Convention in past years, helping with disaster relief and building churches in Haiti. He says he’s ready to take on new leadership roles to help grow his faith.

Church members take handguns to church as a precaution

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KIRBYVILLE- by Sarai Demien
A pistol carrying pastor is encouraging his Southeast Texas church members to carry concealed handguns to church. First Baptist Church in Kirbyville is a place many come to worship but it’s also a place where they’re encouraged to carry guns.
Pastor Charles Burchett says times have changed and he’s concerned about shootings nationwide.
“The latest with the shooting at the church in the Carolinas if someone there had a gun he might have pulled his out and shot one person but I believe someone else would have stopped him,” says Burchett.
A proponent of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear Arms Burchett says he encourages members to carry concealed handguns at church.
“We have church members who are trained and selected to be on duty Sunday to sit at strategic places in the auditorium they have their firearm with them,” says Burchett.
He says gun safety is taken seriously by all members.
We have classes for all of our members that are interested whether they have a gun or not,” says Burchett.
Church member Jan Sessions has carried a concealed handgun for more than ten years. Sessions believes there could be a moment when she might have to protect her church family.
“So the church is just an extension of our life it shouldn’t there’s not anything wrong with it and I think it’s a good place to carry it actually,” says Sessions.
Burchett encourages church members who do not have a concealed handgun to be prepared and have a plan in case of a shooting.

Dr. Martin Luther King honored

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PORT ARTHUR – KFDM News A Dr. Martin Luther King event on Sunday was a time for praise and worship.Members from several Southeast Texas churches gathered at mount Sinai missionary Baptist church in Port Arthur to celebrate the life of Dr. King. They celebrated with song and praise. Those attending today’s service say the event was first about celebrating their King of Kings.And then to honor the slain civil rights leader.Organizer Yvonne Howard says doctor king’s faith in god is part of his legacy.He took the word of god as a guide. The word of god says that god’s world will be a lamp to our feet and a light unto our pathway. I believe he was a man of god who was in constant contact with god and that’s why he was able to do the great and mighty things that he did.Dr. King was born January 15th and would have turned 84 years old.

3-26-2012 Churches burglarized in Beaumont

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BEAUMONT – by Ashley Gaston – KFDM News has learned vandals struck at least half a dozen Beaumont churches and businesses during the past few days… breaking in through the side or back of the business… usually after dark.  It’s the 4th time in the past 14 years burglars have hit Woodland Baptist Church.  The Pastor says he’d give the vandals the money they want, if they’d simply ask instead of destroy.  “They threw a cinder-block through this window.  They messed the blinds up and crawled through here,” said Pastor Jim Sliger.  This isn’t the first time vandals have struck Woodland Baptist Church on Lucas Street in Beaumont.  Pastor Jim Sliger says he’s tired of spending church money to repair what vandals have destroyed.  “This is a Baptist church.  This isn’t a savings and loan. We don’t have money here.  We don’t keep money here,” said Sliger.  Sliger said they destroyed a door and two windows…trying to get into the church office.  A set of blinds cover the opening left when vandals smashed a double-pane window.  The vandals broke the office window, but overlooked a laptop and an I-Pad before rummaging round the office.  “They broke a safe with a hammer, but there was only letters inside it,” said Sliger.  Beaumont Police said the West End Baptist Church is one of a number of churches and business where people broke in, vandalized the building, but didn’t take anything.  It’s the same story at Dinsmore Medical on College, Ashland’s Affirming Art Studio on Phelan Blvd. and a number of churches scattered throughout the west end.  The common thread: all were hit after dark and so far there’ve been no arrests.  “It could be nothing, but it could be that one lead we need to catch who is breaking into our businesses,” said Beaumont Police Officer Carol Riley.  “These individuals they need to get caught or they’ll get more brave and really hurt someone or cause more damage than they need to,” said Sliger.  The damage cost Woodland Baptist Church ,200 to repair.  The pastor says no amount of money can replace the church members peace of mind.  Beaumont Police encourage you to call Crimestoppers if you have information about the burglaries.  If you call 833-tips and your information leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a reward up to one thousand dollars.

One Southeast Texas church is pumping love into the community

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PORT ARTHUR- Three thousand dollars in gasoline went into the tanks of 150 vehicles this morning. Cars lined the streets in Port Arthur for a chance to fill their car with twenty dollars worth of free gas. New Hope Baptist Church raised the money to give back to their community. KFDM’s Leslie Rangel was at the gas giveaway, and she talked to a few lucky drivers.

Celebrating Easter in Southeast Texas

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ORANGE – It’s a tradition that gets many Christians up before dawn to worship and pray on Easter Sunday. Christians gathered for a sunrise service. They celebrated the resurrection of Christ at Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange before the sun came out. Pastor Eddie Lee Smith of New Beginnings Outreach Ministry led the annual Easter service.As day broke, a choir lifted their voices in song and praise.Organizers say sunrise is perfect time to celebrated Easter.You know, nature is a reflection of God and so we think this is just a beautiful setting to celebrate the promise, the mystery and the miracle of Easter, said Noelle Jordan with Shangri La Botanical Gardens.BEAUMONT – Churches of different denominations came together to present a play on the crucifixion

of Jesus Christ. The performance, Last Days of Christ took place in a field next to Legacy Christian Academy.The drama focused on events in the bible that took place before and during the crucifixion. Melinda McCall says life brings struggles, but that Christians should always keep in mind the sacrifice that Christ made.It’s nothing compared to what he did for us and to be given this opportunity and to show my children. It has been such a blessing to me and my husband, she said. McCall says the event celebrates the meaning of Easter in ways that some people have forgotten

Seven churches come together to share faith

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BEAUMONT — KFDM NewsSeven Southeast Texas churches of different denominations will come together to share
their faith.The Lenten Interfaith Preaching Series will be held Feb. 17-19, and includes meetings and preaching.The event will be held at First Christian Church at 5920 N. Caldwood in Beaumont.