Brit Featherston Appointed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas

BEAUMONT, Texas – Brit Featherston has taken the oath of office to become the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. Featherston was appointed to the position by Attorney General Merrick Garland and took the oath of office from Chief U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap.

“This is my home; serving and protecting the great citizens of East Texas has been my priority for a long time and it will continue into the future,” said U.S. Attorney Featherston.  “I am blessed to work with a dedicated team of professionals who make it their daily mission to protect the citizens of this great country.  I also look forward to jointly working with our law enforcement partners who bravely protect our communities every day.”

Featherston, 61, of Lumberton, is the chief federal law enforcement official in the Eastern District of Texas, which includes 43 counties stretching from the Oklahoma border to the Gulf of Mexico. The district includes six fully staffed offices in Beaumont, Plano, Tyler, Sherman, Texarkana, and Lufkin with 120 employees, including 60 prosecutors.  Featherston is responsible for the prosecution of federal criminal offenses in the district and will represent the United States in all civil litigation in the district.

Since joining the office in 1996, Featherston has served in the capacity of First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, and supervisory U.S. Attorney.  He was also appointed Acting United States Attorney in September 2016 and served in that capacity for 17 months.  In January 2018, Featherston became the Justice Attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.  In addition to prosecuting high-profile cases such as the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr., in Jasper County, Featherston has been instrumental in crisis management operations during numerous Southeast Texas hurricanes, as well as assisting in the establishment of a command post and the investigation and prosecution of crimes related to the space shuttle crash in 2003 in Lufkin.

Featherston was honored to have former United States Attorney Malcolm Bales and his brother, Tom Featherston, by his side as he took his oath of office from Judge Gilstrap this afternoon.  Wife, Amy, and son, Ben, joined the ceremony by video from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston where Ben has been in ICU since Sep. 30th recovering from a sudden illness.  Ben is a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin and daughter, Anna, is a senior at Texas A&M University in College Station.

AFTERMATH: Photos from Port Arthur in the wake of Hurricane Laura

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

PORT ARTHUR, Tx. — Hurricane Laura made landfall with 150 mph winds less than 40 miles east of this town of 54,000 people, leaving hundreds of homes and dozens of businesses damaged in its wake. As flares burned from one of the nation’s largest refineries – Motiva Enterprises – being in shutdown mode due to power outages, residents sifted through debris, avoided downed power lines and tried to pick up the pieces of a continued attack by Mother Nature over the past 15 years.

Hurricane Rita devastated Port Arthur in 2005, then Hurricane Ike struck in 2008. Since then, there has been tropical storms and hurricanes of varying strength but Hurricane Laura is the strongest storm to hit the Gulf Coast in more than a century.

Southeast Texas on alert for Hurricane Laura’s impact

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

BEAUMONT, Tx. — Residents in Southeast Texas are preparing for the strongest hurricane to hit the region since Hurricane Rita in 2005 when high winds caused severe damage to the area’s infrastructure.

Hurricane Laura is predicted to make landfall sometime around 1 a.m. Thursday morning with a bullseye basically on Beaumont as a Category 3 storm, bringing with it a storm surge and minimum sustained winds of 111 mph. Category 3 storms range between 111 mph and 129 mph.

At 4 a,m, Wednesday, Hurricane Laura had reached 110 mph sustained winds and the track still has it hitting Southeast Texas late tonight or early Thursday.

The first mandatory evacuation order went into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning in Orange County. Jefferson County followed up with a mandatory evacuation order that went into effect 30-minutes later. Hardin County Judge, Wayne McDaniel, called for a voluntary order at noon but by 2 p.m., he had changed the order to a mandatory evacuation.

Early Tuesday morning, a line of traffic was already starting to form and citizens were filling up their cars

NOTABLE LINKS FOR HURRICANE INFORMATION:

National Hurricane Center: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Multiple Weather Links at Mike’s Weather Page: https://spaghettimodels.com/

TXDOT Emergency Evacuation Routes: http://gis-txdot.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/txdot-evacuation-routes

TXDOT’s Drive Texas website for road conditions: https://drivetexas.org/#/11/30.3644/-94.3054?future=false

For updates and other evacuation information: SETINFO.ORG

EDITOR’S NOTE: We will be updating throughout the storm with information, photos and videos of the Southeast Texas region. Everyone, please stay safe!