Today in the news: Criminal investigation launched in Texas plant explosion

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

News to know

Texas officials have launched a criminal investigation of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, that killed 14 people last month, according to the Associated Press. The announcement was made this morning, after the explosion has been treated as an industrial accident for weeks. A paramedic who helped evacuate residents the night of the blast was arrested for possessing a destructive device today, but it is not known if the arrest is related to the investigation. The paramedic, Bryce Reed, was booked into jail at 2:40 a.m. this morning, and appeared in court in Waco after being released to agents from the Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He remains in federal custody. Reed's wife and federal officials declined to comment.

Quote of note

"The IRS recognizes we should have done a better job of handling the influx of advocacy applications. While centralizing cases for consistency made sense, the way we initially centralized them did not. ... Mistakes were made initially, but they were in no way due to any political or partisan rationale." - Statement from the IRS in response to complaints from conservative groups that the agency significantly delayed their applications for tax-exempt status and subjected them to excessive questioning, CNN reports.

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