The Monitor from McAllen, Texas on November 1, 2002 · 26
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The Monitor from McAllen, Texas · 26

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McAllen, Texas
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Friday, November 1, 2002
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26
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EC, VALLEYGSTATE Friday, November 1, 2002 THE MONITOR, McAllen, Texas Abuse accusation cils to growing problems f op police department The Associated Press HAI.TOM CITY, Texas At least 1 0 current and former Haltom City Police Department employees are being investigated for misconduct, including an officer accused of molesting a teenage boy. John Ross Ewing, 28, of Bedford was arrested Wednesday in connection with a sexual assault of a 16-year-old. The alleged assault occurred last spring while Ewing was off duty, Police Chief Billy Ham-mitt said in a statement. Ewing, who had been an officer two years, resigned in August after he became the focus of an investigation into allegations of improper conduct with members of the Explorer post, police said. The Explorer post, operated in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America, enables Dallas, Fort Worth put aside differences for common interests By Susan Parrott The Associated Press PALLAS Whether they were feuding over landing jobs or landing planes, leaders of two North Texas cities spent years in a virtual standoff. Although just 30 miles apart, Dallas and Fort Worth once were worlds away from turning a long-standing rivalry into a regional partnership. Much of the contendon in the past decade centered over flights out of Dallas' regional airport, which Fort Worth officials feared would compete with the jointly operated Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. "In the past, the two mayors haven't gotten along well and there's been a lot of tension," Dallas Mayor Laura Miller said. She knew the ice had begun 0 COME IN(AND VISIT THE VALLEY'S PREMIER 1, v t3 lrV.J gays m Flooring ideas MastercardVisa 6 Morfths Same As Cash Rnandng Available Mon.-Fri. 8:30am-6pm Sat 10-4 high school students to visit and learn about local businesses, such as police or fire departments or law firms. Ewing's arrest comes on the heels of a probe into accusations that at least eight former and current police employees sexually harassed and abused female jail inmates. A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed in August by the inmates, claiming they were videotaped in the showers and bathrooms from June 2000 to March 2001. Three women have said that female inmates were promised early release in return for sexual favors. The Texas Rangers joined the investigation last month at the request of the Haltom City Police Department, which employs 71 officers and 28 civilians in the town just northeast of Fort Worth. thawing after resolution of the airport battle, and with the surprise attendance of Fort Worth Mayor Kenneth Barr at her swearing-in ceremony in Feb- ruary. The two cities are holding their first joint city council meeting Thursday to discuss regional cooperation. The mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth said they would like to promote the region as the "DFW Metroplex." Fort Worth Mayor Kenneth Barr said as the meeting started Thursday that while the citietfTvill continue competing for business opportunities, "we have to create a model" of friendly competition. He said partnerships like the DFW Airport are an example of regional cooperation. . "This area is a tremendous economic engine. We need to be working on strategies to pro ere first M W VMM" M 1 -MMV j i v i !QfGiii!nrrf: Bpgss' foil By Sandra Marquez The Associated Press POMONA, Calif. A married Texas businessman on trial for murder said he watched in disbelief as an employee tumbled over a hotel balcony and fell to her death just as the pair were about to have sex. Robert Lee Salazar, taking the witness stand in his own defense, testified Wednesday that he never pushed Sandra Orellana. He acknowledged that he should have called police as soon as she fell, but said he panicked. Instead, he said, he picked up his pants and left the room. The next day, police have said, he left messages on her hotel room voice mail when she didn't arrive for a meeting the two were to attend. "I didn't want them to know that I was in that room because my wife would find out, my job would find out, and I would be considered a suspect," he said. Salazar, who has two children, was dressed in a dark suit and tie and appeared somber and mote the entire region." It seems the battle over Love Field has turned into a virtual lovefest. While it's the first time quorums of both groups have met together, council members have mingled since Miller took office. Miller led a group of city and business leaders on a tour of Fort Worth's booming downtown entertainment and retail areas. Miller said she wanted to learn how once-shoddy downtown Cowtown used economic development tools to become a thriving area with stylish places to live, dine and be entertained. Last week, leaders from Dallas and Fort Worth, now the state's respective second- and sixth-largest cities, traveled together to Canada to promote the North Texas region as a good place to' do business. class has never been so affordable. : I ' the Valley Also Visit our Location fn San Benito - 241 6 W. Hwy. 77 "I didn't want them to know that I was in that room because my wife would find out, my job would find out, and I would be considered a suspect" remorseful while testifying. Several times he removed his wire-rimmed glasses to pinch the bridge of his nose to relieve tension. His wife was in court, as were relatives, of Orellana, who wore buttons bearing her name and photograph. During cross-examination, Deputy District Attorney Robert Foltz implied that Salazar, 39, had a motive for murder, noting that if Orellana told anyone they had gotten drunk and had sex he could lose his job. "You just received this vice presidency in this nationwide company," Foltz said. "You were on a fast track ... And you knew all of those things would be gone Officials say they've realized that attracting businesses and industries to one city likely will benefit the other, as well as the entire northern Texas region. The two joined forces last summer to try to woo Boeing to move its headquarters from Seattle to the region. Boeing, however, ended up choosing Chicago over Dallas or Denver. The cities don't plan to become identical twins. "Fort Worth is very proud of our western heritage and can-do attitude," Fort Worth city spokesman Pat Svacina said. "I think Dallas is proud it is a cosmopolitan city that has used business and finance to further itself." , As Dallas grew into the "Big D," a sophisticated city with commerce and financial successes, some residents frowned on their western neighbors 2 On vrv J has never seen before from Dnlcony en ceciuanl Robert Lee Salazar, defendant if Sandra Orellana simply told what happened in her room." The defendant countered that Orellana, 27, wouldn't have discussed the incident because she was engaged to be married. The two were attending a business conference at the Industry Hills Sheraton about 20 miles east of Los Angeles on Nov. 13, 1996, when Orellana died. According to Salazar, the two had been drinking heavily, celebrating Orellana's birthday and a possible new job for the Houston woman. They had hugged and kissed before going to her room, where he said Orellana removed her clothing and the two engaged in foreplay. She left the balcony at wearing cowboy hats and boots. Dallas' popularity soared in the 1970s and '80svith the popular television series using its moniker, and rivalry between the cities was stronger. "There was tension even from the beginning," said Dallas historian and author Darwin Payne. "In 1873, Fort Worth became very jealous of Dallas because it didn't get the Texas and Pacific Railroad." The cities then competed for meat packing plants most of which went to Fort Worth, and the 1936 Texas Centennial, which transformed Dallas' Fair Park and started its reputation as a modern city. The opening of DFW Airport in 1968 brought the city's leaders together for the most important economic generator in North Texas history. The international airport attracted Wo fjgoo FLOORING 0 Suanr Rd,- CRT Flooring Cooce Jackson Rd. one point, he said, walked back to her room and then returned wearing only a camisole. "We were about to engage in sex, and she said 'hold on,"' he testified. Defense attorney Michael Coghlan had Salazar demonstrate what happened next. He said Orellana lifted her leg in an apparent attempt to sit on the balcony railing and fell backward. "I was in disbelief," he said. . "I knew that Sandra had fallen off the balcony, and I knew that I was there," Salazar said. "I knew that I had made a terrible decision not to call 911." The Baytown, Texas, man, who is free on $500,000 bail, was arrested the week after Orellana's death but was released after prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him. He returned to Texas, where he was arrested again on March 2, 2001. Prosecutors said then that DNA evidence linked Salazar to the death. Orellana's blood was found on one of his T-shirts and on a bed sheet. major companies to both cities, and led to rapid growth of suburbs connecting the two. Aviation cooperation hit a snag in 1997 when Fort Worth sued Dallas after the now-defunct Legend Airlines and Continental Airlines prepared to launch long-haul flights out of Love Field. Fort Worth claimed the flights would take business from DFW Airport and violated the Wright Amendment, passed by Congress in 1979 to restrict flights of more than 56 passengers out of Love Field to adjacent states, and later to Kansas, Alabama and Mississippi. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which two years ago upheld a federal appeals court decision that the planes reconfigured to 56 or fewer seats could launch long-haul flights. CENTER r X c o o a.

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