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Lawyer for Texas megachurch pastor Robert Morris blamed 12-year-old girl for

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Lawyer for Texas megachurch pastor Robert Morris blamed 12-year-old girl for


Lawyer for Texas megachurch pastor Robert Morris blamed 12-year-old girl for “inappropriate” sexual

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Lawyer for Texas megachurch pastor Robert Morris blamed 12-year-old girl for “inappropriate” sexual

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SOUTHLAKE — CBS News Texas is getting new insight into the correspondence between the attorneys for Gateway Church founder and senior pastor Robert Morris and Cindy Clemishire.

 As we’ve reported, Clemishire claims Morris sexually assaulted her as a child back in the 80s. Morris has resigned from the church

Last month, Cindy Clemishire publicly accused Gateway Church founder and senior pastor Robert Morris of sexually abusing her starting in 1982, when she was 12 years old.  

In 2007, Clemishire hired an attorney and threatened to sue Morris. 

Newly obtained letters state the “abuse continued until March of 1987” when Clemishire was 17 years old. It says she is “experiencing extreme emotional distress and ongoing mental anguish.” 

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In response – Morris’ attorney writes  “It was your client who initiated inappropriate behavior by coming into my client’s bedroom and getting in bed with him.” 

Going on to say, “your client acted inappropriately with two other men who stayed in her home between 1982 and 1987. According to your client, she had initiated the inappropriate conduct with these men as she did with my client.”

Last month, Morris admitted to inappropriate sexual behavior and resigned from the church.

Four church elders have taken a voluntary temporary leave of absence while an internal review is done.   

All this comes as CBS News Texas has discovered new lawsuits against the church. 

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One of which the mother of a minor claims her daughter was sexually assaulted by a member of the church and the church tried to cover it up, which the church denies. 



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Texas

Beryl Is Long Gone, but Texas Toll Is Still Rising

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Beryl Is Long Gone, but Texas Toll Is Still Rising


As the temperature soared in the Houston-area home Janet Jarrett shared with her sister after losing electricity in Hurricane Beryl, she did everything she could to keep her 64-year-old sibling cool. But on their fourth day without power, she awoke to hear Pamela Jarrett, who used a wheelchair and relied on a feeding tube, gasping for breath. Paramedics couldn’t save her, and the medical examiner has determined that her death was caused by the heat. “It’s so hard to know that she’s gone right now because this wasn’t supposed to happen to her,” says Janet Jarrett.

Almost two weeks after Beryl hit, heat-related deaths during the prolonged power outages have pushed the number of storm-related fatalities to at least 23 in Texas, per the AP. While it may be weeks or even years before the full human toll of the storm in Texas is known, understanding that number helps plan for the future. What is known so far:

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  • Just after the storm hit, the deaths included people killed by falling trees and people who drowned when their vehicles became submerged in floodwaters. In the days after the storm passed, deaths included people who fell while cutting limbs on damaged trees and heat-related deaths.
  • But half of the deaths attributed to the storm in Harris County, where Houston is located, are heat related, according to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
  • Officials are still working to determine if some deaths that have already occurred should be considered storm related. But even when those numbers come in, getting a clear picture of the storm’s toll could take much more time. With power outages and cleanup efforts still ongoing, the death toll likely will continue to climb.
  • Experts say that while a count of storm-related fatalities compiled from death certificates is useful, an analysis of excess deaths that occurred during and after the storm can give a more complete picture of the toll. For that, researchers will compare the number of people who died in that period to how many would have been expected to die under normal conditions.

(More Hurricane Beryl stories.)





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Heat-related Texas deaths climb after Hurricane Beryl left millions without power for days or longer

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Heat-related Texas deaths climb after Hurricane Beryl left millions without power for days or longer


SPRING, Texas — As the temperature soared in the Houston-area home Janet Jarrett shared with her sister after losing electricity in Hurricane Beryl, she did everything she could to keep her 64-year-old sibling cool.

But on their fourth day without power, she awoke to hear Pamela Jarrett, who used a wheelchair and relied on a feeding tube, gasping for breath. Paramedics were called but she was pronounced dead at the hospital, with the medical examiner saying her death was caused by the heat.

“It’s so hard to know that she’s gone right now because this wasn’t supposed to happen to her,” Janet Jarrett said.

Janet Jarrett holds a photograph of her late sister, Pamela Jarrett, at the home they shared on July 19, 2024, in Spring, Texas. AP

Almost two weeks after Beryl hit, heat-related deaths during the prolonged power outages have pushed the number of storm-related fatalities to at least 23 in Texas.

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The combination of searing summer heat and residents unable to power up air conditioning in the days after the Category 1 storm made landfall on July 8 resulted in increasingly dangerous conditions for some in America’s fourth-largest city.

Beryl knocked out electricity to nearly 3 million homes and businesses at the height of the outages, which lasted days or much longer, and hospitals reported a spike in heat-related illnesses.

Power finally was restored to most by last week, after over a week of widespread outages. The slow pace in the Houston area put the region’s electric provider, CenterPoint Energy, under mounting scrutiny over whether it was sufficiently prepared.

While it may be weeks or even years before the full human toll of the storm in Texas is known, understanding that number helps plan for the future, experts say.

Janet Jarrett in the bedroom of her sister, Pamela Jarrett, who used a wheelchair and relied on a feeding tube and died after not having power for four days. AP

What is known about the deaths so far?

Just after the storm hit, bringing high winds and flooding, the deaths included people killed by falling trees and people who drowned when their vehicles became submerged in floodwaters. In the days after the storm passed, deaths included people who fell while cutting limbs on damaged trees and heat-related deaths.

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Half of the deaths attributed to the storm in Harris County, where Houston is located, were heat related, according to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

Utility crews work to restore electricity in Houston on July 11, 2024. Hurricane Beryl knocked out electricity to nearly 3 million homes and businesses. AP

Jarrett, who has cared for her sister since she was injured in an attack six years ago, said her “sassy” sister had done everything from owning a vintage shop in Harlem, New York, to working as an artist.

“She had a big personality,” Jarrett said, adding that her sister had been in good health before they lost electricity at their Spring home.

When will a complete death toll be known?

With power outages and cleanup efforts still ongoing, the death toll likely will continue to climb.

Officials are still working to determine if some deaths that have already occurred should be considered storm related. But even when those numbers come in, getting a clear picture of the storm’s toll could take much more time.

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Lara Anton, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services, which uses death certificate data to identify storm-related deaths, estimated that it may not be until the end of July before they have even a preliminary count.

A man carries a case of water to his car that he received at a water distribution center in Houston, Texas in Houston, Texas on July 11, 2024. AFP /AFP via Getty Images

In the state’s vital statistics system, there is a prompt to indicate if the death was storm related and medical certifiers are asked to send additional information on how the death was related to the storm, Anton said.

Experts say that while a count of storm-related fatalities compiled from death certificates is useful, an analysis of excess deaths that occurred during and after the storm can give a more complete picture of the toll. For that, researchers compare the number of people who died in that period to how many would have been expected to die under normal conditions.

The excess death analysis helps count deaths that might have been overlooked, said Dr. Lynn Goldman, dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

What do different toll numbers tell us?

Both the approach of counting the death certificates and calculating the excess deaths have their own benefits when it comes to storms, said Gregory Wellenius, director of the Boston University School of Public Health’s Center for Climate and Health.

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The excess death analysis gives a better estimate of the total number of people killed, so it’s useful for public health and emergency management planning in addition to assessing the impact of climate change, he said.

But it “doesn’t tell you who,” he said, and understanding the individual circumstances of storm deaths is important in helping to show what puts individual people at risk.

“If I just tell you 200 people died, it doesn’t tell you that story of what went wrong for these people, which teaches us something about what hopefully can we do better to prepare or help people prepare in the future,” Wellenius said.



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Tennessee softball lands transfer Aubrey Barnhart, former Texas Tech, Alabama utility player

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Tennessee softball lands transfer Aubrey Barnhart, former Texas Tech, Alabama utility player


Aubrey Barnhart has committed to Tennessee softball, she announced Friday night, following former Texas Tech coach Craig Snider.

Barnhart is originally from Pleasant View, Tennessee, and wrote, “I’m coming HOME!” in her social media post. The 5-foot-8 utility player started her career at Alabama for two seasons before transferring to Texas Tech for the 2024 season.

Barnhart started all 40 games she appeared in and hit .277 last season. She hit seven home runs and 23 RBIs. Barnhart started in 13 of her 28 appearances at Alabama from 2022-23, with most of those coming in her freshman season.

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Barnhart is the fourth addition out of the transfer portal this offseason. She joins Washington infielder Kinsey Fiedler, South Carolina pitcher Sage Mardjetko and Texas infielder Ryan Brown.

Snider was hired as an assistant coach on Karen Weekly’s staff in June to replace Chris Malveaux as hitting coach. Malveaux and his wife, Kate, were hired as the new Auburn co-head coaches. Stephanie Sanders was also hired as an assistant. Sanders and Snider got married in June.

TRANSFERS: Tennessee softball transfer tracker: Who’s in, who’s out for Karen Weekly’s roster

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Barnhart was named the 2020 Gatorade Tennessee State Player of the Year at Goodpasture Christian School in Madison, Tennessee. She was the No. 3 recruit in 2021 Extra Inning Softball rankings.

Sophomore outfielder Jamison Brockenbrough, who started 44 games in 2023, is the only Lady Vol to enter the transfer portal so far. Brockenbrough was used as a pinch hitter this season after being a starter as a freshman. She entered the portal prior to Tennessee’s super regional series against Alabama.

Cora Hall covers University of Tennessee women’s athletics. Email her at cora.hall@knoxnews.com and follow her on Twitter @corahalll. If you enjoy Cora’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that allows you to access all of it.





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