Tyler Homicide Under Investigation
TYLER — Tyler Police are investigating a suspected homicide. Officers were dispatched to a reported traffic accident on 400 west 24th Street around 2:45 this morning. A caller said a vehicle had struck a telephone pole. The caller also said her children told her they heard what they believed to be several gun shots. When officers arrived a few minutes later, they located the vehicle and discovered that the driver had been shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The identity of the victim is being withheld at this time pending notification of the next of kin.
Robbery Suspect Shot and Killed
TYLER – A man said to have been attempting to rob a Smith County business has been shot and killed. It happened around 7:30 last night at the ‘Mi Pueblo’ convenience store on County Road 376 and Gallion Avenue. The masked man is said to have entered the store and exchanged gunfire with the store’s owner. The accused robber was killed. The store’s owner was not injured. No names have been released and the investigation is continuing.
Police Shooting Victim Identified as Teen
LONGVIEW (AP/Staff) — Authorities have identified the victim in a fatal Longview police shooting as Kristiana Coignard, 17, of Longview. Coignard was a former Pine Tree ISD student. Three police officers were placed on paid administrative leave after the incident, which prompted a temporary lockdown at police headquarters. Police say Coignard walked into the police department lobby and threatened officers with a weapon. Police spokeswoman Kristie Brian said the teen walked into the building around 6:30 Thursday night, picked up an assistance phone, and called for help. When officers responded, Brian says Coignard brandished a weapon and made threatening movements toward them. Read more …
Kari’s Law Gaining Momentum
MARSHALL — A federal official said Friday that eight hotel chains now offer direct 911 dialing, and another 70% of the nation’s largest chains will offer it by the end of the year. The measure aims to ensure that dialing 911 from hotels and motels always works without an access code. According to the Longview News-Journal, officials began working on the effort a little more than a year ago after the December 1, 2013, death of Kari Rene Hunt Dunn at the Baymont Inn in Marshall. Police said the 31-year-old woman was stabbed to death by her estranged husband in a hotel room, where he met her to visit their three young children. During the struggle, Dunn’s 9-year-old daughter attempted to dial 911 from the hotel room, but was unsuccessful because she didn’t realize she had to first dial a number for the call to go through. Read more …
Man Sentenced in East Texas Murder-for-Hire Scheme
NACOGDOCHES (AP) – A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison after a state appeals court earlier struck down his prior punishment for the 2005 killing in East Texas of his friend’s stepfather. The sentence for Colton Weir includes the possibility of parole after he serves at least 30 years. The appeals court determined last month his rights were violated when he was sentenced in 2007 to life without parole. The U.S. Supreme Court had previously ruled that sentencing juveniles without the possibility of parole was unconstitutional. The Daily Sentinel reports Shaina Sepulvado, 25, was resentenced Wednesday for the same reason. Weir, Sepulvado, and four others were involved in a murder-for-hire scheme to kill Sepulvado’s stepfather, James Kelly, 32. He was fatally shot at his Cushing home.
Longtime Longview Restaurant to Close
LONGVIEW – A Longview landmark will be closing at the end of March. After 66 years in business, Johnny Cace’s Seafood & Steak House will be closing March 28th. Cathy and Chelsea Cace told the Longview News-Journal The decision to close the restaurant came after months of prayer and of pondering options. They said the 13,000-square-foot, 50-year-old building needed so much repair and upkeep that the restaurant, and its owners, were buckling under the strain. Read more …
Eltife Files Epilepsy-Related Medical Marijuana Bill
AUSTIN — A local senator and a DFW representative have filed bills in the Texas Legislature to allow children with “intractable epilepsy” to use medical marijuana for treatment purposes. According to KETK and the Austin-American Statesman, Tyler Senator Kevin Eltife and DFW Representative Stephanie Klick, both Republicans, filed identical measures. The bills would allow state-regulated entities to legally grow and dispense cannabidiol, also known as CBD. The Statesman reports unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, CBD could provide medicinal benefits without a “high.” Read more …
Former Councilman Seeks Longview Mayor’s Post
LONGVIEW — Former Longview City Councilman Dr. Andy Mack announced Friday he’s running for Longview mayor. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Mack, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, served on the City Council for eight years until 2005. That’s when he left his District 4 seat on the council to run for mayor in a seven-candidate free-for-all after Mayor Murray Moore resigned. Mayor Jay Dean edged Mack in both the general election and a following runoff between the two men. Dean, who has served for 10 years, will not seek re-election due to term limit restrictions. Read more …
Tragedy Fund Set Up Following Apparent Murder-Suicide
TYLER — A tragedy fund has been set up for the children of a couple found dead recently of an apparent murder-suicide in Smith County. KETK reports a fund for the children of Mechelle Hall-Bell, 35, and Delithro Bell, 41, has been set up under the name Jadashia R. Curtis at Altra Federal Credit Union. The credit union is located at 5523 Troup Highway in Tyler and may be reached by phone at 903-579-2203. The couple had six children between them.
Officials: Fugitive with Cherokee County Ties Caught in Houston
AUSTIN – One of the most wanted suspects in Texas, a man with Cherokee County ties, has been caught in Houston. The Texas Department of Public Safety earlier this month added Paul Ray Bass, 53, to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list. Bass was wanted for failure to comply with sex offender registration and was considered a high-risk offender. According to KETK, Bass lived in Cherokee County for several years but his whereabouts had been unknown since March 2014. His sex offense history dates to a 1979 rape conviction. According to information from the U.S. Marshals Service, Bass was arrested without incident Friday and booked into the Harris County Jail on a $5,000 bond.
Kilgore Police Arrest DWI Suspect Following Wreck
KILGORE — One person has been arrested after leaving the scene of a wreck Saturday night. Kilgore Police responded to the Chateau Apartment complex on Crescent Drive after receiving several calls stating that a car had hit a pole. Officers said by the time they arrived on scene, the driver had fled on foot. Police found the driver a short time later. Authorities said the driver was reportedly intoxicated and driving at a high rate of speed when they lost control of the car. The identity of the suspect has not been released.
Woman Arrested for Attacking Mother and Sister
LUFKIN – A Lufkin woman has been charged with assault causing bodily injury after being accused of attacking her mother and sister. Bonds were set at $3,000 for Cherish Davonne Jackson, 24. No word on the argument that led to the attack. It is said to have occurred Saturday the 800 block of Willow Bend Drive.
Police: Drugs, Guns, Cash Found in Marshall Raid
MARSHALL — The Marshall Police Departement arrested two people in a Friday morning drug raid on Burleson Street. According to KETK, police said at around 6:00, a SWAT team executed a search warrant on the 800 block of Burleson St. at a home that had been under investigation for drug dealing. Authorities say they found marijuana, ecstasy, Xanax, firearms, and an undisclosed amount of cash. Officers arrested Willie Lee Jones, 23, of Marshall, and Justin Lavell Heck, 30, of Marshall and charged them with possession of marijuana, possession of controlled substance penalty group 1, and possession of a substance penalty group 3.
Klein Animal Shelter Prepares to Reopen
JACKSONVILLE — The city of Jacksonville is planning to reopen troubled Klein Animal Shelter following its closure last week over animal abuse allegations. The executive director and two others have been arrested. According to KETK, the Jacksonville Police Department says the city is in the process of renovating the shelter and hopes to have it up and running within a month. The building has already been inspected twice. The new shelter, however, will only house strays caught within city limits and animals surrendered by local residents. The Klein shelter had been accepting animals from Smith County, Cherokee County and the city of Jacksonville. Jacksonville PD stated the city will not routinely euthanize animals to make space for other strays. According to the Jacksonville Daily Progress, the shelter is 60% ready to open.
TxDOT Project Updates
SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Tyler, along with Special Crews, will also be conducting mill and inlay operations on Farm Road 14 at Interstate Highway 20. Expect the roadway to be reduced to one lane using flaggers to move motorists through the work zone. Expect delays. Read more …
Weaker El Nino Could Mean Longer Drought Across Dry Texas
DALLAS (AP) — Forecasters say a weaker-than-expected El Nino could mean an even more prolonged drought in parts of Texas. The Dallas Morning News reports that the latest forecast from the U.S. Climate Prediction Center revises guidance that some areas mired in a five-year drought could see improvements. KXAS-TV chief meteorologist David Finfrock tells the newspaper that a rainy January will make for moist soil and a good wildflower crop in spring, but lakes around the state remain low. That will likely lead to a new round of water use restrictions, particularly in the Dallas and San Antonio metropolitan areas. The five lakes used by Dallas Water Utilities to serve the city and more than 20 others are all below 75% capacity.
In Iowa, Perry says His Record in Texas Speaks for Itself
DES MOINES (AP) — Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is holding up his home state as a model for economic revival in an Iowa speech with echoes from his 2012 run for president. Perry is preparing for another presidential bid, telling Iowa Republicans at a forum Saturday that jobs gained on his watch and state-based efforts to control the southern U.S. border are concrete examples of his leadership. His full-throated remarks to the conservative Iowa Freedom Summit are reminiscent of past campaign speeches. He called for a firmer line of defense against new terror threats and eased environmental regulation. Perry left office this month after 14 years, the longest-serving governor in Texas history.
Demand and Prices for Beef Increasing
LUBBOCK (AP) — Agricultural experts say high beef prices are here to stay for a while as recent drought conditions in Texas and around the country have reduced the nation’s cattle supply to its lowest numbers in more than 50 years. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports choice beef retail prices averaged about $6.31 per pound in December. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, that is up 0.1% from November’s previous record high and 17.7% higher than a year ago Texas Farm Bureau spokesman Gene Hall says beef prices should start going down eventually, as ranchers recover from selling much of their herds during the height of the drought. While prices are up, Jason Slane, Texas Cattle Feeders Association market analyst, says demand for beef is at an all-time high.
School Deion Sanders Co-founded to Vote to Surrender Charter
DALLAS (AP) — The board of a Texas charter school co-founded by Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders will vote on surrendering its charter after two years of management feuds and financial woes that led to a state takeover of its governance. The Dallas Morning News reports the board of the nonprofit Prime Prep Academy will meet Monday night to vote on surrendering its charter. The next morning, the State Office of Administrative Hearings has scheduled a hearing on final revocation of the school’s charter. T. Christopher Lewis is board president of Uplift Fort Worth, which holds the Prime Prep charter. He tells the newspaper that the school’s finances are in “utter chaos” and couldn’t afford to defend its charter on appeal.
Police: Drunken Driver Hits Squad car During DWI Arrest
GRAND PRAIRIE (AP) — Police in a Dallas suburb say a drunken driver crashed into an empty squad car while officers were busy dealing with another drunken driver they had pulled over. Grand Prairie police say a third driver then crashed into another empty squad car, but this driver wasn’t drunk or high. The Dallas Morning News reports that officers pulled over the first driver at around 3 a.m. Sunday and ended up arresting that person for driving while intoxicated. Department spokesman Lyle Gensler says the driver of the first vehicle to hit a squad car was also arrested on a DWI charge, but the third driver was only ticketed. The only person hurt was the second driver, who suffered minor injuries.
Teen Arrested for Dallas-area Home Break-ins
DALLAS (AP) — Police are accusing a teenager of being responsible for a string for home burglaries in suburban Dallas. Cedric Dewayne Smith Jr. is facing four counts of residential burglary after he was arrested while allegedly driving a stolen vehicle. Plano police spokesman David Tilley says Smith is suspected of breaking into homes during the midnight hours. Police say detectives were investigating possible links between Smith and a series of more than two dozen break-ins in the area. The 18-year-old Smith is the fourth person arrested on residential burglary charges in Plano since December. Tilley says home burglaries have spiked recently, with Plano police having investigated 30 such break-ins since late October.
Police: Father Mistakes Son for Burglar, Shoots Him
HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston man could face charges after mistaking his son for a burglar and shooting him, sending him to the hospital. Police say that when the unidentified man heard what sounded like a burglar in his home at 5:45 Sunday morning, he fired at the individual. The person the man fired at turned out to be his son. KHOU-TV reports the son suffered a gunshot wound to an eye. He was transported to a Houston hospital, where he is in serious but stable condition. Police say they have taken the father into custody while they investigate the shooting.
Suspected Burglar Falls Through Ceiling, Lands Near Police
HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities say a man’s plans to break into a Houston store fell through, after he crashed through the ceiling and landed in front of police. Houston police say the man climbed a tree and onto the roof of a Family Dollar store early Sunday morning, then managed to break a hole in the roof and enter the building. But after making his way into the store, the man fell through the ceiling just as a police officer arrived in response to a call about a potential burglary. KHOU-TV reports that the officer ordered the unidentified man to stay on the floor. The man was later arrested. Authorities believe the man was trying to steal cigarettes.
One Boat Sunk, Another Damaged after Marina Fire
LEAGUE CITY (AP) — No injuries were reported after one boat was damaged and another sank following an early morning fire at the Houston-area marina. The Galveston County Daily News reports that the League City Volunteer Fire Department responded to the blaze aboard a powerboat and a sailboat at the marina about 2:30 Saturday morning. Fire Chief Brad Goudie says firefighters initially believed people were aboard the boats, but they were found safe off the vessels. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
Lock of Lincoln’s Hair Among Items Auctioned in Dallas
DALLAS (AP) — A collection of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia that includes a lock of the slain president’s hair has been sold for more than $800,000 at auction in Dallas. Dallas-based Heritage Auctions says the Donald P. Dow collection brought top bids totaling $803,889. Heritage spokesman Eric Bradley says that’s double expectations. The lock of hair taken by Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes shortly after Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth sold for $25,000. An 1861 letter written by Booth to a friend boasting about his career and value as an actor also brought $30,000. A clipping of linen stained with Lincoln’s blood taken from his death bed sold for $6,000. Greg Dow says his father, who died five years ago, was fascinated with presidential assassinations.
Dog Returns after Vanishing from Texas, Appearing in Indiana
GALVESTON (AP) — A dog who vanished from his Texas yard last year has been returned home after turning up in a central Indiana city some 1,100 miles away. JoeAnn Navarro, 69, of Galveston says her two pit bulls apparently were stolen from her backyard in May. Navarro thought she’d never see either dog again, but the Kokomo Humane Society called her a week ago to say a stranger had dropped her year-old pit bull Blue off at its shelter about 40 miles north of Indianapolis. A microchip implanted in Blue led to Navarro. Three men, including two retired Galveston County sheriff’s deputies, drove to Indiana. On Saturday, the Galveston County Daily News reported the three arrived at the Navarro house and, for the first time in eight months, Blue was home.
You Tell Me Texas by Paul Gleiser
Despite the fact that there are vaccines that are very effective against most types of pneumonia, every year millions get sick from the disease and about 40,000 die. At HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast physician assistant Gerry Brown answers questions and clears up confusion regarding pneumonia vaccine. Go to: http://www.uthealth.org/healthconnection/
Today in History
Today in History for 26th January 2015- Historical Events 1482 - "Pentateuch" (Jewish Bible) 1st printed as a book in Bologna, Italy 1788 - Captain Arthur Phillip and British colonists hoist the English flag at Sydney Cove, New South Wales, now celebrated as Australia Day 1915 - Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo established 1929 - Indian National Congress proclaims goal for India's independence 1980 - Mary Decker became 1st woman to ru... Read more on HistoryOrb.com
Health Recipe of the Day!
Healthy Desserts: Fruit Salad in Seconds
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by CATHY BYRON
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