‘This is unprecedented’: Arsonists responsible for 42 fires in about 3 months time, Atascosa County Sheriff says
Forty-two fires occurred between April 21 and July 26 and stretch across a 25-mile radius around the county. The majority are just grass and brush fires, but a handful have been by homes and structures.
Authorities detail final moments of escaped murderer killed in shootout with law enforcement
Gonzalo Lopez, a convicted murderer who escaped from a prison transportation bus in Texas last month, was killed in a shootout with law enforcement Thursday night in Jourdanton, Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward confirmed.myrgv.com
Investigation underway after teen shot, killed in northern Atascosa County, sheriff says
A homicide investigation is underway in northern Atascosa County after officials said a teen was fatally shot overnight. Two other teens were arrested in connection to his death, according to Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward.
Jourdanton hospital employee receives letter months after patient passes away from COVID
A frontline worker at Methodist Hospital South goes above and beyond to bring joy, hope and even gifts to those who face one of their toughest battles alone. Recently he received a letter that he says has brought so much meaning to his life and vocation.
Police departments and sheriff’s offices are hiring, but can they fill the slots?
As chiefs and sheriffs look to fill their ranks, they face stiff competition from other departments. The head of a statewide law enforcement union says Texas is undergoing a shortage of uniformed officers, which he largely attributes to the job becoming less prestigious.
BCSO deputies stop 13-year-old wrong-way driver on Highway 16 in South Bexar County
SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped a 13-year-old who was driving the wrong way on Highway 16 in South Bexar County Wednesday night. BCSO officials said the incident began when a deputy noticed a vehicle driving recklessly on the highway near the Atascosa County line. A deputy initiated a pursuit, but then canceled it for an unknown reason. The pursuit was initiated for a second time when the deputy saw the vehicle heading southbound in the northbound lanes, according to authorities. The vehicle crashed into another car, bringing the pursuit to a halt.
Cop-in-training faces child pornography charges after being arrested at San Antonio law enforcement academy
ATASCOSA COUNTY, Texas – An Atascosa County man training in San Antonio to become a police officer faces multiple felony child pornography charges after being taken into custody late last week, Sheriff David Soward confirmed Thursday. Armando Vidales Jr., 23, faces two counts of possession with intent to promote child pornography, both of which are 2nd-degree felonies, Soward said. Vidales was later taken into custody at a San Antonio law enforcement academy. Vidales was booked into the Atascosa County jail and his bonds were set at $160,000 total. AdA spokeswoman for the Texas Attorney General’s Office did not respond to a request for comment Thursday about the case.
Massive tire fire in Atascosa County continues to burn
ATASCOSA COUNTY, Texas – A massive tire fire in Atascosa County continues to burn, as of Sunday. Firefighters from several area counties were called to the fire around 1 p.m., Saturday, on Verdi Road, off of I-37 South and FM 3006. Full Screen 1 / 4 Firefighters are currently battling a massive fire in Atascosa County. The property owner had an illegal amount of tires, according to firefighters, and they could be facing charges. Atascosa County, Bexar County, Poteet, Jourdanton, Pleasanton and Leming firefighters all assisted in the response.
Pleasanton police arrest 25 suspects in operation ‘Crystal Cowboy’
PLEASANTON, Texas – The Pleasanton Police Department announced this week that an investigation dubbed “Operation Crystal Cowboy” resulted in the arrests of 25 suspects. According to officials, on Feb 26, officers, Atascosa County sheriff’s deputies, Texas Department of Public Safety investigators and Homeland Security investigators began to execute arrest warrants. AdDuring the arrest roundup, police say, “multiple suspects” were found in possession of additional meth and heroin. As of 2 p.m., Friday, officials had arrested and booked a total of 25 suspects into the Atascosa County Jail. Officials say they are continuing to investigate and expect additional arrests in the case.
These San Antonio-area stores were the luckiest for Texas Lottery payouts in 2020
SAN ANTONIO – The chance to win the $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot has passed, but lottery fans have recently struck gold at several San Antonio-area stores. The data analyzed and visualized by KSAT below includes stores in Bexar, Comal, Kendall, Bandera, Medina, Atascosa, Wilson and Guadalupe counties that sold winning Texas Lottery tickets worth $600 or more last year. Records showed that three $5 million scratch-off tickets were sold in the last eight months. In June 2020 alone, NYS Food Mart at 4927 Rigsby Ave. and Roadster #18 at 8630 W. U.S. Highway 90 each sold scratch-off tickets worth that amount. It appears the NYS Food Mart is among the luckier stores in San Antonio, too: the store sold 17 winning scratch-off tickets total last year.
Man shot by Bexar County deputies after highway chase has died
SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said a man who led law enforcement officers on a chase in Atascosa and Bexar counties Tuesday morning before he was shot near an elementary school has been declared dead at a local hospital. Salazar said Santos has been declared dead but is on life support while his organs are being preserved for potential donation. But Santos suddenly got back in it and drove off and a chase ensued, Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward said on Tuesday. As the pickup approached Interstate 37 and Highway 97, the driver shot at officers from the vehicle, Soward said. Moments later, the pickup truck went through some spikes that BCSO deputies had planted near Highway 181 and I-37 in hopes of disabling the vehicle.
Man critically wounded after chase ends in shooting on city’s Southwest Side
SAN ANTONIO – A 46-year-old man led law enforcement officers on a chase in Atascosa and Bexar counties Tuesday morning before he was shot near an elementary school, officials said. The man was taken to a hospital in critical condition, said Deputy Johnny Garcia, a Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. As the pickup approached Interstate 37 and Highway 97, the driver shot at officers, Soward said. None of the law enforcement officers were injured. Allen will remain under lockdown for several more hours as law enforcement process the scene.
'It's very rare': Texas Game Wardens bust another facility for unfit deer meat. This time in Poteet.
In nearly two months, the Texas Game Wardens have released information about finding spoiled deer carcasses at three processing facilities – two in North Texas and one in Poteet just south of San Antonio in Atascosa County, which a warden said is "very rare." "Fifteen years on and I've never had anything like this," David Nieto, Texas Game Warden for the San Antonio district, said. Upon inspection, officials found several deer carcasses lying in a pile at the bottom of a walk-in cooler. Officials also busted a North Texas facility on Dec. 18 after finding 22 deer carcasses unfit for human consumption. A couple of weeks later, on Jan. 16, wardens busted a second North Texas facility for having 80 spoiled white-tailed deer carcasses.mysanantonio.com
Poteet Strawberry Festival to return this spring despite COVID-19 pandemic
SAN ANTONIO – There is a countdown displayed on the Poteet Strawberry Festival website announcing the return of the event in April. In a Facebook post, a digital flyer says “We’re Back” with the dates April 9, 10 and 11. There are hundreds of comments on the post with some saying that they were excited for the event’s return while others questioned whether it was a good idea because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We reached out to festival organizers for comment, but have yet to hear back. Currently, Atascosa County where Poteet is located has close to 300 active cases of the new coronavirus and 18 people have died from COVID-19 complications.
Newborn puppies and their mother found dumped on ‘lonely dirt road’ in Atascosa County
ATASCOSA COUNTY, Texas – There will hopefully be a happy ending for a mother dog and her newborn puppies who were found dumped on a “lonely dirt road” in Atascosa County, but whoever left them there could be facing charges, according to Atascosa County Animal Control (ACAC) officials. Someone called county officials after seeing the animals and animal control employees went to pick them up. The mother dog was given medical attention due to an infection in her eye. This poor momma dog was dumped on a lonely dirt road along with her newborn babies.... Posted by Atascosa County Animal Control on Wednesday, January 20, 2021“They vowed to keep the family together until the puppies were old enough to be weaned. Anyone with information is asked to call Atascosa County Animal Control at 830-769-2341.
Annual Poteet Strawberry Festival announces plans to return in April, even as COVID-19 cases rise
click image Instagram / doowahridersThe Poteet Strawberry Festival has announced plans to hold its annual fruit-focused fest in April, pandemic be damned. Last year marked the first cancellation of the fest since its 1948 inception. The hiatus was announced as COVID-19 cases spiked in Texas. It listed April 9-11 as the anticipated dates of the festival's 2021 installment.The post offered no additional information, however, the Strawberry Festival’s website says ticket information will be available soon.Atascosa County, where Poteet is located, currently has 348 active cases of COVID-19. At press time, it had reported 18 deaths from the virus.sacurrent.com
Rural Texas communities begin seeing COVID-19 vaccine deliveries
PLEASANTON – During the second week of the vaccine rollout in Texas, shipments are headed to pharmacies in smaller communities throughout the San Antonio area. The H-E-B Pharmacy 19 on McDonald St in Lytle will get 100 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Kings Medicine, on N. Bryant Street in Pleasanton will get 500 doses of the vaccine. “I am apprehensive of what’s in the vaccine,” Casanova said. Related: H-E-B pharmacies to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses this week, reserved for healthcare workers
Poteet ISD sends students back to remote learning due to uptick in county COVID-19 cases
POTEET, Texas – All students in the Poteet Independent School District will go back to a remote learning model after district officials say COVID-19 cases in Atascosa County have continued to climb. To date, the county has had 1,862 cases of the virus with 17 deaths and 137 cases within the last 14 days, according to the county’s website. The district said staff members will return to work on Monday and will be tested for the virus. Poteet ISD students will be staying home due to the high number of cases in Atascosa County and in an... Posted by Poteet ISD on Saturday, November 28, 2020On Nov. 25, the county’s emergency management office announced that the county’s mask mandate ordinance is running in total effect. “We are all a team and must work together until this crisis ends.”Related: Poteet Strawberry Fest canceled entirely in 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic
DPS chase ends with crash into gas pumps at South Bexar County gas station
The crash occurred at an Exxon gas station near Loop 1604 and Interstate 35 South. According to DPS, the chase involved state troopers and began around 8 a.m. in Atascosa County when Frio County deputies first tried to pull the vehicle over. Troopers chased the truck through Medina County and into South Bexar County where the truck crashed into a gas pump at Loop 1604 and I-35, DPS said. Seven passengers inside the truck tried to flee, but they have all been caught, DPS said. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and the Bexar County Fire Department both assisted at the scene.
80-year-old woman found dead in Atascosa County home, sheriff’s office says
ATASCOSA COUNTY, Texas – The search for an 80-year-old woman in far north Atascosa County has been discontinued after authorities said she was found dead in her home. Christine Fernandez was found deceased Saturday morning in her residence in the Palo Alto subdivision behind a seven-foot mount of household items, according to the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office. Fernandez was first reported missing around 9:30 p.m., Oct. 28. PRESS RELEASE FROM: Chief Deputy Jake Guerra Missing Person Silver Alert on Christine Fernandez, age 80, of the Palo... Posted by Atascosa County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, November 7, 2020No foul play is suspected and the Medical Examiner’s Office will be conducting an autopsy. RELATED: Human remains found in east Bexar County may be those of missing man, sheriff says
City, rural voters divided after Republicans dominate in Texas
SAN ANTONIO – Texas held its Republican stronghold again in the 2020 general election while Democrats had hoped to flip the state. Connie Martinez has lived in San Antonio all her life. “San Antonio is growing fast, and different people from different states are moving here,” Martinez said. Rogelio Saenz, a demography professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said people who move to Texas are more like to live in urban areas due to affordability. In the rural areas, that has been a very strong hold,” Saenz said.
Family abuse shelters in rural towns working with fewer resources to serve influx of survivors
It’s the reality for a family violence shelter in Atascosa County. In a small rural town with less space and fewer resources, the pandemic has created a new set of challenges. She ended up in the Safer Path Family Violence Shelter in Atascosa County. To find out how to donate, head to the Safer Path FVS fundraising website. For information on the Safer Path Family Violence Shelter and it’s services, head to the main page.
Suspect in slaying of man in Poteet surrenders in Atascosa County, sheriff’s office says
ATASCOSA COUNTY, Texas – A man wanted in an August 30 fatal shooting in Poteet was taken into custody early Wednesday morning, the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office said. Ashton Garcia, 18, turned himself in around 4:30 a.m. to the sheriff’s office after being sought for the last ten days in the shooting death of John Martin Alaniz, ACSO officials said. A task force comprised of Texas Rangers, Atascosa County Sheriff’s Investigators and Jourdanton Police Department Officers worked to locate Garcia and safely take him into custody, a press release said. ACSO said Garcia was also wanted by the Jourdanton Police Department on prior charges of evading arrest with a motor vehicle and possession of marijuana. Garcia was taken into custody by Jourdanton Police and the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Poteet man accused of strangling woman charged with murder, officials say
ATASCOSA COUNTY, Texas A Poteet man accused of strangling a woman this past weekend in Atascosa County is charged with murder, officials say. Marcelino Eli Esparza, 48, was arrested in Kerr County on Wednesday. Poteet police searching for 18-year-old murder suspectThe Atascosa County Sheriffs Office said Margie Argujo, 48, was found dead in a home just outside Poteet. Esparza was taken to the Kerr County Jail and is expected to be transferred to Jourdanton on Thursday. Investigators did not say how the suspect and victim knew each other, nor did they give a possible motive.
Poteet police searching for 18-year-old murder suspect
POTEET, Texas – Police are looking for an 18-year-old murder suspect in Poteet. Ashton Garcia, 18, is accused in the shooting death of 41-year-old John Martin Alaniz. Crime Spree suspect surrenders after being holed up in barn in Atascosa CountyAlaniz died Sunday after he was shot at a home in the 100 block of Avenue H in Poteet. Anyone with information is asked to call the Atascosa County Crime Stoppers at 830-769-2255.