Suspects Sought after Home Invasion, Knifing
TYLER — Tyler police are following up on a stabbing near UT-Tyler that prompted a campus lockdown. According to KETK, Tyler PD spokesman Don Martin says a person was stabbed in the 3200 block of Lexington Drive at shortly after 2:45 yesterday afternoon. Martin stated a homeowner arrived at his duplex to find two black males taking items from his home. Tyler police say one suspect immediately fled in a vehicle that had been driven into the victim’s garage. Read more …
Officials: No Suspicious Activity Found after Bomb Threat at JT
TYLER – A bomb threat at John Tyler High School turned out to be false. School administrators received the bomb threat yesterday morning from a caller claiming to be a detective. After a search of the campus and surrounding area turned up no suspicious activity, the school continued to operate as normal. The Tyler fire marshal is performing a criminal investigation into the validity and origin of the threat. There was no immediate word on any possible connection with an email threat that caused Bullard High School to close early Wednesday.
Anonymous Threat Prompts Early Release, Other Moves in Bullard ISD
BULLARD — Bullard ISD dismissed its high school students early Wednesday after receiving an anonymous email containing a threat toward the high school. The district let students out at 1:00 p.m. Buses transported students to the middle school gym, and exams have been rescheduled. According to a BISD news release, all other campuses were placed on a soft lockdown as an added precaution. Read more …
Lufkin Couple Convicted in Infant’s Death
LUFKIN (AP) – A Lufkin couple accused in the death of a 2-month old baby, have been found guilty. The jury found DeQuisha Jackson, 19 and Isaiah Tolliver, 20, guilty in the death of Imauri Jackson. Then, after five hours of deliberations, Jackson was sentenced to 15 years in state jail and fined $10,000 after being found guilty of manslaughter. The father, Isaiah Tollivar was sentenced to 2 years for endangering a child by omission. A pathologist testified that the 2013 death of the East Texas baby occurred due to malnutrition and dehydration. Dr. Candace Schoppe testified for the prosecution in the trial. Schoppe, who took the stand Tuesday before prosecutors rested their case, says the infant was very small, and severely dehydrated. Autopsy results indicated the baby weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces at birth. He weighed 5 pounds, 6 ounces when he died in October 213. The death was ruled a homicide due to neglect.
Southside Bank Completes Merger with OmniAmerican Bank
TYLER — Southside Bancshares, Inc., the parent company of Southside Bank, announced the completion of the merger of OmniAmerican Bancorp, Inc. with and into Southside and the merger of Omni’s wholly owned subsidiary, OmniAmerican Bank, headquartered in Fort Worth, with and into Southside Bank, all effective on December 17, 2014. The combined company will continue to trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SBSI.” Read more …
Pedestrian Dies Following Longview Accident
LONGVIEW – The pedestrian struck by a truck Tuesday in the 1100 block of McCann Road in Longview has died as a result of his injuries. The pedestrian is identified as Robert Shimeld, 77, of Longview. Police were able to determine that the driver of a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado, Philip Latham, of Longview, was turning left from Glencrest Lane to travel south on McCann Road. As Latham began turning onto McCann Road, Shimeld stepped off the curb and into the path of Latham’s truck, according to authorities. The accident happened around 2:00 Monday afternoon. Shimeld was transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center, where he died. Latham was not cited in the crash.
Several Displaced in Longview Fire
LONGVIEW – Two Longview families have been displaced by a fire in a duplex in the 300 block of Tammy Lynn Drive. The fire in northwest Longview was reported around 3:00 yesterday afternoon. Two people in one duplex escaped the flames. The residents in the other duplex were not home. There were no injuries. Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary said the fire was started by unattended cooking.
Louisiana Authorities Arrest Two East Texans in Vehicle Thefts
SHREVEPORT — Two East Texas men were taken into custody Tuesday in separate incidents after officials say they were caught with stolen vehicles out of the Longview area. According to KETK, Louisiana State Troopers say on December 16 at 10:22 a.m., authorities stopped an SUV driven by Michael Lawson, 35, of Mt. Vernon, on Interstate 20 in Haughton, Louisiana, after learning the vehicle had been reported stolen in White Oak, Texas. Troopers arrested Lawson, and after the vehicle was recovered, took him to the Bossier Parish Jail for illegal possession of stolen things.
Read more …
Sheriff Smith Praises Cruz and Gohmert for Border-Related Efforts
TYLER – Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith says he sent a personal note of support Monday to U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz for what Smith terms their continuing efforts to secure the border and to fight granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Smith said, “The ‘Cromnibus’ showdown in Washington, D.C., last week demonstrates who is really on the side of law enforcement. We’re proud Louie Gohmert and Ted Cruz are standing firm for the rule of law.” Read more …
Authorities Recover over $500,000 Worth of Stolen Equipment
HENDERSON — A huge haul of stolen oilfield equipment from a Kilgore company has been tracked down by Rusk County authorities, but the thieves are still on the loose. KETK reports four trucks loaded with equipment were stolen from the oil field service company around 2:30 Monday morning. The thieves drove off with more than $500,000 worth of property. But according to authorities, what the thieves didn’t know is that surveillance was rolling the entire time, catching everything on camera. Read more …
Kilgore College Deemed Safe from Asbestos
KILGORE — Kilgore College is safe from asbestos. So says a review by ERI Consulting, according to KETK. That review was presented at the school’s board meeting Monday evening. The report shows some asbestos-containing materials were found in a half-dozen buildings, including the Rangerette Gym, but that the asbestos is inaccessible to students and the public. The review was conducted after a school employee claimed there was asbestos throughout campus.
ETMC among First in Nation to Offer New Sleep Apnea Treatment
TYLER — East Texas Medical Center Tyler is one of the first sites in the United States to offer Inspire therapy for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to an ETMC news release. Inspire therapy utilizes first-of-its-kind technology — a small, fully implanted system that has been clinically proven to significantly reduce sleep apnea events and significantly improve quality of life measures, according to the release. Read more …
Water Cut Off in Tatum
TATUM — Workers have been trying to restore water services for the city of Tatum. KETK reports a contractor performing work on telephone lines cut into a 6-inch water main, causing the water for the city to be cut off. As soon as water is restored, a boil water advisory will be issued asking all Tatum residents to boil their water for two days.
Flint Woman Pardoned by President Obama
FLINT — An East Texan is one of 20 people granted clemency Wednesday by President Barack Obama. KETK reports the moves consisted of eight commutations and twelve pardons. One of the individuals, Claire Holbrook Mulford of Flint, was pardoned for a December 1993 drug-trafficking crime. Mulford was sentenced to 70 months imprisonment and two years of supervision upon release after being convicted of using a residence to distribute methamphetamine. Individuals from Dallas and San Antonio were also pardoned by President Obama from other drug-related convictions.
Rally Planned in Tyler Following Ferguson, Staten Island Incidents
TYLER — Tyler is responding in the aftermath of recent police-related deaths in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, N.Y. Tyler resident Ambra Phillips is organizing what she terms a peaceful rally, scheduled for this afternoon at 4:30. Phillips is working with a new group known as Tyler United. She says the rally will begin at Front & North Broadway, with a march up Broadway to the downtown square. According to Phillips, activities on the square will include a short program and a candlelight vigil to promote peace. Participants may join the group on the square if they don’t wish to take part in the march. Read more …
Texas Man Sentenced to Death in Revenge Plot
ROCKWALL (AP) — A former North Texas justice of the peace is sentenced to death for capital murder in what prosecutors described as a revenge plot that left three people dead. Eric Williams was sentenced to death Wednesday. He was convicted December 4 in the March 2013 murder of Cynthia McLelland, who was slain along with her husband, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, in their home near Dallas. Williams has been charged, but not tried, in the deaths of Mike McLelland and prosecutor Mark Hasse. The 47-year-old Williams lost his job as justice of the peace, along with his law license, after McLelland and Hasse prosecuted him for theft and burglary. Prosecutors say Williams shot Hasse outside a courthouse in January 2013 then killed the McLellands in their home two months later.
Condemned Killer of 2 in Waco in 2011 Loses Appeal
HOUSTON (AP) — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld a 25-year-old Waco man’s conviction and death sentence for a double slaying more than three years ago. The state’s highest criminal appeals court Wednesday rejected what attorneys for Rickey Donnell Cummings contended were nine errors at his 2012 trial in Waco. They included arguments of improper jury selection, exclusion of some evidence related to Cummings’ background and admission of evidence related to purchase of the assault rifle used in the March 2011 deaths of 20-year-old Keenan Hubert and 17-year-old Tyus Sneed outside a Waco apartment complex. One of Cummings’ companions, Albert Love, last year also was convicted in the shootings and joined Cummings on death row. Prosecutors described both as gang members and suggested the shootings were in retaliation for another slaying.
Ex-Religious School Teacher Gets 80 Years
WACO (AP) — A former Waco Baptist Academy teacher has been sentenced to 80 years in prison after being convicted of molesting two students during piano lessons. Sergio David Bezerra received the maximum penalty Tuesday a day after being convicted of four counts of indecency with a child by contact. Prosecutors in Waco say Bezerra improperly touched two 9-year-old girls while giving them piano lessons in 2007. The 54-year-old Bezerra sought probation. He was sentenced to four prison terms of 20 years, to be served consecutively. Bezerra must serve 40 years before being eligible for parole.
Central Texas TV Meteorologist Shot, Gunman Sought
BRUCEVILLE-EDDY (AP) — Authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies are combing the area around a remote Central Texas television studio where a morning meteorologist was shot in a parking lot after an argument. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the shooting occurred around 9:15 Wednesday morning outside KCEN-TV’s rural studio on Interstate 35 near Bruceville-Eddy, 75 miles north of Austin. The station website reports the victim, on-air meteorologist Patrick Crawford, backed his car away from the shooter and drove up to a highway construction crew that called 911. The shooter fled. No motive has been released. Authorities used dogs in their search for the shooter. Crawford underwent surgery at a Temple hospital and is in stable condition.
Man Charged with Killing Wife Stuffed in Fridge
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston police have charged a 38-year-old man with murder in the stabbing death of his estranged wife, whose body was found rotting in a disabled refrigerator. A police statement says Patrick Lambert was charged Wednesday in the death of Anastacia Oaikhena Lambert, 27. Officers went to the woman’s apartment on December 8 after maintenance workers reported a stench coming from the unit. Officers entered the apartment and found the woman’s decomposing body in the refrigerator. The apartment’s power had been turned off November 20 because utility bills went unpaid. The Lamberts’ 11-month-old son was missing. On December 12, father and child were tracked to Mexico and taken into custody. Patrick Lambert was returned to Houston yesterday. The child remains in Mexico awaiting arrangements for his return.
North Texan Indicted for Not Reporting to Prison
DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas-area man sentenced to nearly six years in prison for fraud has been indicted for not surrendering as scheduled. Michael David Carroll of Irving was in federal custody Wednesday. Carroll was indicted Tuesday in Dallas on a charge of failure to surrender to serve his prison term. He faces up to 10 additional years if convicted. Carroll last year pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a salad restaurant franchise scam. Carroll in March was sentenced 70 months in prison and ordered to repay investors more than $1.4 million. Carroll was allowed to remain free on bond until May. A judge allowed a defense request to delay Carroll’s surrender date to July, then to September 15. A warrant was issued when Carroll failed to report to prison.
Judge Won’t Reduce Bond for Amarillo Doctor
LUBBOCK (AP) — A Lubbock judge won’t reduce a $10 million bond for an Amarillo plastic surgeon whose capital murder prosecution ended in a mistrial. Attorneys for Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon said in a motion filed last week that Dixon’s bond was excessive, but state District Judge Jim Bob Darnell rejected the request at a hearing Wednesday. Last month, Darnell declared a mistrial after jurors couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict. The 50-year-old Dixon is accused of hiring business partner David Neal Shepard to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier III in July 2012 for three bars of silver valued at $9,000. Dixon has been jailed since his arrest shortly after Sonnier’s death. Shepard agreed to a plea deal and was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2013.
Ex-Homeland Security Official Gets Prison
BROWNSVILLE (AP) — An ex-Department of Homeland Security supervisor in South Texas must serve three years in prison for trying to cover up lapses in investigations and operations. Prosecutors say the conduct of Eugenio Pedraza of McAllen resulted in the premature closing of criminal cases without resolution. Pedraza was special agent-in-charge of the Office of Inspector General’s McAllen field office from 2009 to early 2012. A federal jury in Brownsville last March convicted Pedraza of conspiracy and five counts of falsifying government documents. Pedraza was sentenced Monday to 37 months in prison. Prosecutors say Pedraza, in advance of an internal audit, conspired to prepare documents that falsely indicated investigative activity had taken place. The Office of Inspector General is responsible for investigating alleged criminal activity by DHS employees.
A&M Academic Building Could Be Renamed for Perry
COLLEGE STATION (AP) — Governor Rick Perry could get a building named for him on the campus where he graduated in 1972. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Thursday will consider changing the name of the Academic Building on the main campus in College Station. The proposed new name is the Governor Rick Perry ’72 Building. The 100-year-old Academic Building formerly housed A&M’s library. It’s now used for other campus departments. A school website says the building is considered by Aggies to be the center of Texas A&M. A replica of the Liberty Bell, donated by private industry in memory of Aggies who defended their country, hangs from the rotunda dome. All nine regents are appointees of Republican Perry, who’s considering a 2016 run for president.
Perry to Help Detail Fujifilm Acquisition of A&M Biotech
COLLEGE STATION (AP) — Governor Rick Perry is scheduled to be on hand as representatives of a Fujifilm division announce details of its acquisition of a large stake in a biotechnology firm founded by Texas A&M University. Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies is to announce details Thursday in College Station of its new stake in Kalon Biotherapeutics. The Austin American-Statesman reports A&M will recoup the state’s $40 million investment in Kalon. Fujifilm is purchasing a 49% stake in Kalon initially but could acquire the rest. Financial details of the sale have not been disclosed, but the American-Statesman reports Perry’s office said Kalon’s owners will receive between two and five times their original investment in the cash deal. The final price depends on Fujifilm buying 100% of the business after it reaches certain milestones.
West Side of Kyle Field to be Imploded Sunday
COLLEGE STATION (AP) — The west side of Texas A&M University’s Kyle Field will be imploded this weekend to make way for more football stadium improvements. Chancellor John Sharp says the blast will happen Sunday morning at 8:00. Portions of some nearby roads will be closed amid the implosion that’s part of a $450 million redevelopment plan. The updated west side of the stadium will include new suites and premium areas for fans, the Hall of Champions and upgraded facilities for television broadcasts. A&M officials say the redevelopment should be finished in time for the 2015 football season. Final seating capacity for Kyle Field will top 102,500.
Exxon Mobil Wins Environmentalist Lawsuit Over Baytown Plant
HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge has ruled for Exxon Mobil in an environmentalist lawsuit that accused the company of ongoing clean air violations at its vast Baytown refinery. In an 80-page ruling filed Wednesday in Houston, U.S. District Judge David Hittner concluded that the environmentalist nonprofit groups Sierra Club and Environment Texas fell short of meeting their burdens of proof. The groups had accused the Irving, Texas-based oil giant of willfully violating federal clean air laws by emitting millions of pounds of pollutants over an eight-year period. Baytown refinery spokeswoman Deedra Moe tells The Baytown Sun that the ruling upholds the company’s belief that it has “acted responsibly, respecting both regulatory requirements and the environment.” Environment Texas director Luke Metzger described his reaction to the ruling as “shock, disappointment, and outrage.”
Texas Plumber’s Truck Ends Up with Militant Group
TEXAS CITY (AP) — A Texas plumber is getting some unwanted attention after one of his old company vehicles appeared in a photo posted on an Islamic militant group’s social media account. The Galveston County Daily News reports Mark-1 Plumbing in Texas City has been flooded with calls after the picture appeared online. The photo shows a black pick-up truck with a Mark-1 Plumbing decal on the door and an anti-aircraft gun in the bed. Company owner Mark Oberholtzer says the pickup truck in the photo is his but he no longer owns it and has no idea how it ended up in Syria. Oberholtzer says he traded in the truck three years ago. He says his business has received thousands of calls about the photo, some of them “really ugly.”
You Tell Me Texas by Paul Gleiser
Sad is a word we use to describe someone who is feeling blue. When spelled in all caps, SAD is also an acronym for a clinical condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder. People who suffer from this condition find that their mood and outlook turns negative as the days grow shorter and colder in the winter. In the latest post to HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast clinical psychologist Dr. Kathryn Wortz discusses diagnosing and treating SAD. Go to: http://www.uthealth.org/healthconnection/
Today in History
Today in History for 18th December 2014- Historical Events 1642 - Abel Tasman's expedition sails around Farewell Spit and into Golden Bay, first sighting local M... Read more on HistoryOrb.com
Health Recipe of the Day!
Healthy Desserts: Apples by the Fire
4.32 / 5 Stars | 26 Reviews
by Mike Prawdzik
"A tart apple is stuffed with cinnamon and brown sugar, wrapped in foil and placed in the coals of a fire in this simple dessert designed for camping or cook-outs."