Tag Archive: Texas


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The unexpected tornadoes touched down Saturday afternoon in Lindale, with no warning 
  • At least 50 homes, around 90 miles southeast of Dallas, were damaged
  • The mayor declared a city-wide emergency and ‘declaration of disaster’ 
  • One witness said: ‘On the movie Twister where they had the two tunnels come through, they twirled around each other, that’s what it looked like’
  • No one has yet been reported to have been killed 

Residents of Lindale, Texas took cell phone video of a tornado touching down on Saturday afternoon - above, Ryan Alexander posted a video to Facebook of the freak winter storm 

Residents of Lindale, Texas took cell phone video of a tornado touching down on Saturday afternoon

Rare December tornadoes surprised East Texas on Saturday afternoon, damaging 50 homes, destroying a bridge and injuring two people.

At least one tornado, probably two, touched down around 4pm in Lindale, about 90 miles southeast of Dallas, according to KETK.

The mayor has issued a declaration of disaster for the city.

‘We saw these clouds and these little tornadoes that were shooting down and then one hit the ground. We saw it hit the ground, witness Melissa Malone told the outlet. ‘From there we called 911 and immediately alerted them and the sirens started going off.’

Residents in the area said that there were no storm warningsThe Red Springs fire department offered assistance to anyone affected by the tornado

Residents in the area said that there were no storm warnings and alerts were not sent out

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Texas plumber wants $1 million from dealership that sold his truck to jihadists

A December 2014 photo of the Ford truck used by jihadists in Syria. The "Mark-1 Plumbing" sign is clearly visible © Twitter
 
A Texas plumber has dealt with death threats and abusive phone calls after the Ford truck he sold to a local dealership showed up in the hands of jihadists in Syria ‒ with his company sign intact. Now he is suing for at least $1 million in damages.

Mark Oberholtzer, who runs Mark-1 Plumbing in Galveston, Texas, says that Autonation Ford Gulf Freeway, a dealership in Houston, resold his 2005 Ford F-250 pick-up without removing the decal with his company’s name and phone number. After the truck ended up in the hands of a Syrian rebel group, a photo of it showed up on Twitter and was featured on the final episode of Comedy Central’s ‘Colbert Report’.

Colbert joked that Syria “is going down the toilet, but for the first time, they know who to call to unclog it.”

By the end of that day, “Mark-1’s office, Mark-1’s business phone, and Mark’s personal cell phone had received over 1,000 phone calls from around the nation,” ranging from degrading to expletive-laced death threats, according to the lawsuit filed in Harris County by Oberholtzer’s attorneys. Up to 200 calls per day continued to come in over the next three weeks, and the plumber still gets calls to this day, especially after Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) commits an atrocity somewhere, the lawsuit said.

Chechen Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar using plumbing truck against regime in

In the complaint, Oberholtzer says the dealership stopped him from removing the decal, claiming that doing so would damage the paint. At no time did anyone at the dealership inform Oberholtzer that they would “leave the decals on the truck, which would be transferred in some fashion to international jihadists conducting warfare upon innocents in Syria,” the lawsuit stated, calling what happened an “incomprehensible and horrific eventuality.”

Noting that the plumber had sold several of his old trucks to dealerships in Texas over the years, the lawsuit goes on to add: “On none of these occasions have any of those dealers transferred to international jihadists the traded-in vehicle with Plaintiffs’ identifying marking still upon them.”

According to Carfax vehicle history reports, attached to the lawsuit as evidence, the truck was sold at an auction on November 11, 2013. It was exported from Houston and ended up in Mersin, a port in southeastern Turkey. On December 15, 2014, a photo of the truck posted on Twitter showed it being used as a weapons platform by a jihadist group in Syria – with the “Mark-1 Plumbing” sign still there.

 

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The Lufkin News

High winds blow train cars off trestle across Lufkin’s north loop

Section of loop expected to remain closed Monday

  • Derailed

    Straight-line winds this morning blew rail cars off the railroad trestle — and their own wheels — across North John Redditt Drive, near the Pepsi plant on Lufkin’s north loop. The loop is closed from state Highway 103 west to U.S. 69 north.

Posted: Sunday, December 13, 2015 9:17 am | Updated: 8:27 pm, Sun Dec 13, 2015.

Straight-line winds on Sunday morning blew rail cars off the railroad trestle across Lufkin’s north loop, near the Pepsi plant and U.S. Highway 69 north.

Texas Department of Transportation officials said Sunday afternoon that they expected that section of the loop to remain closed for some or all of today as they clear the rail cars and repair the highway.

Two rail cars fell to the roadway beneath the railroad bridge. Dozens other rail cars came off the track, as well. A&NR Railroad owns and operates the railroad from which the cars were derailed.

Motorist Jose Torres posted this on The Lufkin News’ Facebook page on Sunday morning: “I got there right after it happened and you could hear the metal clanking as it was still slightly falling. No cars were pinned and noone looked to be injured. The train is always stationary at that location so no train operators seemed to have been injured either.”

Barricades will remain in place and motorists will be detoured until the roadway is cleared, according to Rhonda Oaks, public information officer for the Lufkin District. Residents with direct access as well as businesses within the barricaded area will be accommodated to and from their locations, she said.

“Removing the rail cars in the safest way possible will require certain things to happen,” Oaks said. “Our officials have devised a traffic control plan for motorists until the cars can be removed, and we are hoping that will be by Monday evening. We are waiting on equipment that is being sent from Houston before the cleanup can begin.”

 

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Winds Blow Train Off Tracks In Lufkin, Texas

Posted: Dec 13, 2015 9:36 AM CST Updated: Dec 13, 2015 1:41 PM CST

The Lufkin, Texas police department shared this photo Sunday morning on Facebook.

The Lufkin, Texas Police Department shared a photo on its Facebook page Sunday morning after winds blew a train off the tracks as it crossed a highway. An update says it will take at least 48 hours to upright the 64 rail cars.

 

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Wikipedia.org

Straight-line winds

See also: Derecho

Straight-line winds (also known as thundergusts and hurricanes of the prairie) are very strong winds that can produce damage, demonstrating a lack of a rotational damage pattern.[4] Such rotational damage patterns are associated with cyclonic storms including tornadoes and tropical cyclones. Straight-line winds are common with the gust front of a thunderstorm or originate with a downburst from a thunderstorm. These events can cause considerable damage, even in the absence of a tornado. The winds can reach 130 km/h (80 mph) and can last for periods of twenty minutes. Such straight-line wind events are most common during the spring when instability is highest and weather fronts routinely cross the country. Straight-line wind events in the form of derechos can take place in areas outside of the traditional tornado alley (such as in the northeastern United States/Great Lakes Region and across southern Canada).

Straight-line winds may be damaging to marine interests. Small ships, cutters and sailboats are at risk from this meteorological phenomenon.

 

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Derecho

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A shelf cloud along the leading edge of a derecho photographed in Minnesota

A derecho (/dəˈr/, from Spanish: derecho [deˈɾetʃo], “straight”) is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a land-based, fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms.[1]

Derechos can cause hurricane force winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, and flash floods. Convection-induced winds take on a bow echo (backward “C”) form of squall line, forming in an area of wind divergence in upper levels of the troposphere, within a region of low-level warm air advection and rich low-level moisture. They travel quickly in the direction of movement of their associated storms, similar to an outflow boundary (gust front), except that the wind is sustained and increases in strength behind the front, generally exceeding hurricane-force. A warm-weather phenomenon, derechos occur mostly in summer, especially during June, July, and August in the Northern Hemisphere, within areas of moderately strong instability and moderately strong vertical wind shear. They may occur at any time of the year and occur as frequently at night as during the daylight hours.

 

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theweatherprediction.com

WHAT ARE STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS?
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
There are several terms that mean the same as straight-line winds and they are convective wind gusts, outflow and downbursts. Straight-line wind is wind that comes out of a thunderstorm. If these winds meet or exceed 58 miles per hours then the storm is classified as severe by the National Weather Service. These winds are produced by the downward momentum in the downdraft region of a thunderstorm. An environment conducive to strong straight-line wind is one in which the updrafts and thus downdrafts are strong, the air is dry in the middle troposphere and the storm has a fast forward motion.
A storm with a strong updraft will tend to have a strong downdraft. When the CAPE is very high then strong or severe convective wind gusts could occur. Dry air aloft will entrain into the downdraft. This promotes evaporative cooling and this further enhances the negative buoyancy of a parcel. A cold parcel of air surrounded by warm air will sink since the cold air is more dense. The colder the parcel is compared to the surrounding air then the faster it will sink. Dramatically cooler air is often noticed at the surface when the downburst air reaches the observer. When a storm has a fast forward motion the rate that the downdraft is moving is added to the storm motion. This can produce strong to severe winds out ahead of the storm as the storm approaches.

 

 

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At least 14 dead as storms & ice wreak havoc across US Midwest

© James Glover
Storms in the US Midwest have claimed at least 14 lives as temperatures plunged below freezing point over the holiday weekend. Tens of thousands of homes have been left without electricity, while driving conditions are treacherous due to icy roads.

A wintry storm system that has been moving through parts of the Great Plains and the Midwest since Thursday has brought extremely cold weather to the region. Eight people have lost their lives in Texas, with a further six dying in the state of Kansas.

The icy conditions are also causing havoc for local residents. Some 78,000 people in parts of Oklahoma have been left without power after trees collapsed onto power lines, according to Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co.

 

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  • By Slma Shelbayah and Kimberly Hutcherson CNN

    10 dead as wintry storm hits Plains

    Millions under winter weather, flood warnings

    UPDATED 4:59 PM CST Nov 29, 2015
    OK ice storm 11.29.15

    CNN KOCO

    (CNN) —The governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, has declared a state of emergency for her state, according to KOCO.

This follows an ice storm and flooding that has knocked out power for thousands of people throughout the state.

Meanhwhile, flooding and wintry precipitation have led to at least 10 deaths in Texas and Kansas as a storm system moves across the central Plains, authorities reported.

Five people died in single-vehicle accidents in Kansas, according to Lt. Adam Winters with the state’s Highway Patrol. He said all of the accidents could be attributed to black ice or hazardous road conditions.

Flooding claimed at least three lives in the Dallas area. The victims include a man in Garland, northeast of Dallas. Benjamin Floyd, 29, was on his way to work when raging floodwaters swept his car off the road, according to CNN affiliate KTVT. He was unable to get out of his vehicle before it was submerged Friday, Garland city officials said.

The two other flooding deaths came in Johnson County, south of Fort Worth, county emergency management officials said.

The National Weather Service reported ice storms in the Texas Panhandle. Three people died in a road accident on Interstate 40 about 45 miles west of Amarillo, the weather service reported.

 

 

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Heavy rain in West Texas floats some travel trailers, mobile home from RV park, nobody hurt

Heavy rain in West Texas floats some travel trailers away

DALLAS (AP) — Heavy rain in West Texas on Thursday led to flooding that floated several travel trailers and a double-wide mobile home away from an RV park.

Amber Edwards looks at the mud and water that covered the floor of her home in the 2500 block of North Tom Green Avenue in Odessa, Texas Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, following the overnight storm. Edwards said this was the worst the flooding had been since she moved into the...
Amber Edwards looks at the mud and water that covered the floor of her home in the 2500 block of North Tom Green Avenue in Odessa, Texas Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, following the overnight storm. Edwards…   (Associated Press)
Central El Paso resident Abraham Silva sweeps hail from his front patio after a storm Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 21, 2015, in El Paso, Texas. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP)
Central El Paso resident Abraham Silva sweeps hail from his front patio after a storm Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 21, 2015, in El Paso, Texas. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP)   (Associated Press)

 

Upton County Sheriff Dan Brown said nobody was in the trailers during the flooding in Rankin, 60 miles south of Odessa. The occupants safely evacuated.

A hailstorm with the same slow-moving system blanketed parts of El Paso on Wednesday. The rain is expected to increase in intensity Friday and Saturday as Hurricane Patricia in the eastern Pacific Ocean makes landfall Friday near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and moves north toward Texas.

Odessa Emergency Management said crews there on Thursday conducted about 30 swift-water rescues from stranded vehicles and flooded structures.

 

 

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NBC News
Oct 23 2015, 7:19 pm ET

 

Moisture & energy from could enhance hvy rain threat from TX to AR; up to 1 FOOT+: http://wxch.nl/1M9V0h0 

Over 10 million people in the south-central U.S. face potential flash flooding as a slow-moving storm dumps heavy rain through the weekend — and only intensifies in the wake of Hurricane Patricia, forecasters warn.

Cars were reportedly stranded by floodwaters in Corsicana, south of Dallas, after nearly 10 inches of rain fell by Friday afternoon since midnight, the National Weather Service said.

Officials in Galveston County were considering a voluntary evacuation of Bolivar Peninsula but would reevaluate Saturday morning.

Much of central and southeast Texas were under a flood watch Friday and there were flash flood warnings issued for Navarro and Hamilton counties, according to the National Weather Service.

Over 4 inches of rain fell on Collins by Friday afternoon and more than 6 inches of rain fell over 48 hours in parts of Tarrant County by Friday afternoon, the NWS said.

Image: Water flows into a neighborhood in Midland County
Water flows into a neighborhood Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, in Midland County, Texas following heavy rains overnight. One home owner said he had water in his garage and his neighbor had water in his house. Mark Sterkel / Odessa American via AP

In total, parts of Texas could see 3 to 6 inches — and upwards of 10 inches locally — through Sunday, aid Lamont Bain, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth office, said.

That’s because Patricia, the strongest storm ever measured on the planet, is expected to make landfall along Mexico’s Pacific coast Friday night before pushing north into the United States.

 

 

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Yahoo News

Associated Press

Associated Press Videos

Raw: Texas Wildfire Covers Six Square Miles

Raw: Texas Wildfire Covers Six Square Miles

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The worst of a rural Texas wildfire that has destroyed nearly 50 structures is likely over as firefighters make big strides containing more than 7 miles of scorched and bone-dry forestland, authorities said Friday.

Some residents remain unable to return to their homes on barricaded roads in Bastrop County. But officials said the fire that began Tuesday and grew big enough to waft smoke into downtown Austin, some 40 miles away from the fire, now appears to be getting under control.

“Barring some totally unforeseen circumstance, we’re on the downhill side of this fire,” Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape said.

 

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Action item:

protein

Tuesday, May 06, 2014
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles…)

 

(NaturalNews) Go to Whole Foods today, pick a rice protein product off the shelf, and ask the store manager why they are selling rice protein containing toxic heavy metals at such high levels that they often exceed California Prop. 65 limits by over 1,000%! The answer you get may shock you: some Whole Foods employees and store managers are falsely claiming there are no heavy metals in the products they sell!

One store employee told a Natural News contributing writer, “Oh, that’s just somebody on the internet. We would never sell something if it had heavy metals in it.” (Really? Then they are sadly misinformed…)

A store manager at another store actually said, “That’s been debunked. Mike Adams doesn’t even have a lab. There are no heavy metals in the proteins we sell.” (Except that there are, see results below…)

Some Whole Foods employees, in other words, seem to have no clue that the products they’re representing — including “organic” products — contain concerning levels of toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. They may have even been instructed to provide false and misleading answers when customers ask about the issue. What they don’t seem to be telling customers is that just one scoop of a rice protein sold at Whole Foods can expose you to over 1,000% the daily lead limit defined by California Prop. 65.

 

Join the action campaign: Go to Whole Foods today and ASK

 

To set the record straight, I’m asking you to go to your local Whole Foods store TODAY and ask the store manager this question: “Why are you selling rice proteins containing such high levels of toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten?”

Email the response you get to reply@naturalnews.com, and be sure to include the city of the store. (We won’t use your name, don’t worry. But we are collecting responses from various Whole Foods stores to see how many are informed about this issue.)

Nearly all the rice protein sold at Whole Foods, by the way, comes from China and other Asian countries where environmental standards are rarely enforced. Just recently in fact, the Chinese government declassified a once-secret document admitting that 20% of China’s farms are contaminated with toxic heavy metals.

This is where a lot of the rice protein sold at Whole Foods really comes from. But instead of admitting these products contain toxic heavy metals, some Whole Foods managers appear to be routinely misleading customers.

Confirmed: Whole Foods keeps selling rice protein products containing high levels of toxic heavy metals

Just to make sure this is still going on, I went to the Whole Foods headquarters in Austin Texas last week and purchased nearly $700 worth of products (see the scan of my receipt, to the right). The receipt appears to be in two parts because Whole Foods prints items on the FRONT and the BACK of each receipt, so I had to stitch together two photos.

The results of testing these rice proteins in my ICP-MS laboratory — the Natural News Forensic Food Labs — once again confirms alarming levels of lead, cadmium and tungsten in multiple rice protein products sold by Whole Foods. If you’re curious how I found tungsten in these products, click here to see the videos from our lab.

Here are just some of the results we found from rice proteins purchased at Whole Foods last week (1,000 ppb = 1 ppm)

Brown Rice Chocolate Protein (Lot #50696014) purchased at Whole Foods
Lead: 312 ppb (over 1,000% higher than California Prop 65 daily intake limit, based on serving size)
Cadmium: 1015 ppb
Tungsten: YES (“YES” means tungsten was detected at significant concentrations)

Raw Rice Protein Chocolate (Lot #I3553A #I3562) purchased at Whole Foods
Lead: 311 ppb (over 1400% higher than California Prop 65 daily intake limit, based on serving size)
Cadmium: 1731 ppb
Tungsten: YES

 

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Senator demands independent investigation as VA scandal spreads

By Jeremy Schwartz

The chair of the Texas Senate’s veteran affairs committee on Monday called for an independent investigation into allegations that wait time data was manipulated at Department of Veterans Affairs clinics in Central Texas and San Antonio.

Sen. Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, made her comments as the burgeoning scandal over VA patient care reached the Rio Grande Valley, where a former VA doctor accused the department of delaying colonoscopies for veterans with cancer and jeopardizing veterans’ visits to non-VA specialists because the agency took so long to reimburse private providers.

In Austin, Van de Putte demanded accountability from top VA leaders over claims that scheduling clerks were trained to falsely input appointment data to make it appear that waiting times were far shorter than they really are. The VA aims to see patients within 14 days of their desired appointment dates, and medical centers are graded on their ability to hit those targets.

“It appears the motivation for the deception…was a personal pay day in the form of a VA performance bonus,” Van de Putte said. “Someone is responsible. These scheduling clerks didn’t just decide to falsify reports all over the country at the same time…The allegations show a pattern that crosses multiple clinics and shows the actions were condoned at a pretty high level.”

The claims of whistleblower Brian Turner, a VA scheduling clerk who said he saw data manipulation in Waco, Austin and San Antonio, were first reported by the American-Statesman last week.

On Monday, new allegations emerged against the VA Health Care Center in Harlingen, and officials with the VA’s Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System, which oversees the facility. Dr. Richard Krugman, former associate chief of staff at the center, told investigators that “patient care was impacted by the VA’s requirements to cut costs,” according to documents obtained by the American-Statesman.

 

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Cornyn Demands Answers From VA Secretary

May 13 2014

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today announced on Fox News he has sent a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki after several reports surfaced of abuse and mismanagement in VA clinics in Texas and across the country.  The letter asks several questions of Sec. Shinseki, and calls on the Secretary to provide answers during his testimony before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Thursday, May 15. A video of Sen. Cornyn’s Fox News interview regarding VA failures can be viewed here. Sen. Cornyn’s questions for Sec. Shinseki include:

“Can you confirm that supervisors at VA facilities in Texas have not and are not ordering employees to ‘game the system’ by concealing wait times?

“Can you confirm that veterans diagnosed with cancer of any kind that requires chemotherapy are provided that treatment in a timely manner by the VA? 

“Can you confirm that any bonuses or pay raises are on hold for senior leaders at VA facilities in San Antonio, Austin, Waco, Harlingen, and all VA facilities where similar allegations have been made?

“Can you confirm that staff at facilities currently under investigation for allegations of falsified reports will not be assigned to investigate other VA facilities? 

“Can you confirm that documents are being preserved at all Texas VA facilities?”

The full text of the letter is below and attached.

May 13, 2014

The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20420

Dear Secretary Shinseki:

I write to reiterate my deep concern regarding the numerous, troubling reports that continue to surface regarding mistreatment of our nation’s veterans at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities across the country.  These reports indicate that incidents—including the withholding of life-saving care from some veterans—were the result of a culture of cover-ups, indifference as to the health and welfare of our veterans, and a complete lack of accountability that pervades your Department.  Yet, the Administration’s response to these troubling revelations has been lethargic and its inaction puzzling.

During your testimony before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Thursday, I call on you to provide direct, clear answers to these questions:

1.         According to recent reports, you have ordered a “face-to-face audit” of all Department of Veterans Affairs clinics.  Can you describe in detail how you intend for this audit to be conducted, its timeline for completion, and what measures are being taken to ensure these audits are conducted in an independent and transparent manner?  If the allegations are substantiated, what type of action are you willing to take to right these wrongs, and how will the responsible officials be held accountable?

2.         A whistleblower in Texas claims that during his time as a scheduling clerk for VA facilities in Austin, San Antonio, and Waco, he was directed by supervisors to hide true wait times by inputting false records into the VA’s scheduling system.  VA officials in San Antonio deny this, while VA officials in Austin claim employees may have been discouraged from using the electronic scheduling tool that would reveal long wait times, but that those orders did not come from “executive leadership.”  Can you confirm that supervisors at VA facilities in Texas have not and are not ordering employees to “game the system” by concealing wait times?

3.         An Austin-based surgeon recently contacted my office to inform me he is not accepting any further subcontracts from the VA due to failures in patient care that he has personally witnessed.  Specifically, he saw a veteran in August of 2013 who was referred to him by the VA after they detected a lesion they suspected was cancerous.  Already two months had lapsed between the time they detected the lesion and the time he saw the veteran.  This surgeon performed a biopsy and diagnosed it as laryngeal cancer.  He informed the VA that the veteran needed immediate chemotherapy – that they had a real chance to treat his cancer if they started chemotherapy right away.  Almost two months later, he followed up on his case only to learn the VA never provided chemotherapy, with no good excuse as to why.  The veteran died several days later.  Can you confirm that veterans diagnosed with cancer of any kind that requires chemotherapy are provided that treatment in a timely manner by the VA?

4.         A whistleblower in South Texas who formerly served as associate chief of staff for the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System in Harlingen, TX, told the Washington Examiner this week that roughly 15,000 patients who should have had the potentially life-saving colonoscopy procedure either did not receive it or were forced to wait longer than they should have.  He also claims that approximately 1,800 records were purged to give the false appearance of eliminating a backlog.  Can you confirm that veterans requiring colonoscopies to detect cancer are provided with the procedure in a timely manner?

5.         In 2012, VA medical facilities in Central Texas reported that 96 percent of veterans were seen by providers within 14 days of their preferred appointment date.  In the South Texas region that includes San Antonio, the statistics were even more impressive: 97 percent of veterans were seen within two weeks, according to annual performance reports.  Can you produce documents that show the original dates of veterans’ requests for appointments for 2012?

6.         According to public records, the director of the Phoenix VA hospital, where news investigations have discovered at least 40 veterans died while waiting for care and languishing on secret lists, received more than $9,000 in bonus pay in 2013.  Can you confirm that any bonuses or pay raises are on hold for senior leaders at VA facilities in San Antonio, Austin, Waco, Harlingen, and all VA facilities where similar allegations have been made?

7.         My staff attended a Quarterly Congressional Staffer and Veterans Service Organization Representative Meeting at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (CTVHS) Friday, May 9, 2014.  Sallie Houser-Hanfelder, director of the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, told meeting attendees that, as part of the face-to-face audits you have ordered, a quality systems manager from CTVHS would be sent to another VA facility to assist with investigations there.  Can you confirm that staff at facilities currently under investigation for allegations of falsified reports will not be assigned to investigate other VA facilities?

8.         A former VA employee at the VA Greater Los Angeles Medical Center told the Daily Caller that employees at the Center destroyed veterans’ medical files in a systematic attempt to eliminate backlogged veteran medical exam requests.  The former employee said, “The waiting list counts against the hospital’s efficiency.  He said the chief of the Center’s Radiology Department initiated an “ongoing discussion in the department” to cancel exam requests and destroy veterans’ medical files so that no record of the exam requests would exist, thus artificially reducing the backlog.  In addition, you have been subpoenaed by the House Veterans Affairs Committee over concerns by Chairman Jeff Miller that evidence in Phoenix may have been destroyed after the Committee issued a document-preservation order on April 9.  A top VA official testified on April 24 that a spreadsheet of patient appointment records, which may have been a “secret list” proving misconduct, was shredded or discarded.  Can you confirm that documents are being preserved at all Texas VA facilities?

I look forward to your prompt and detailed responses to these pressing questions.

Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN
United States Senator

 

 

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