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Marijuana Plants Found in Rusk County

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 10:55 am

Marijuana-FieldsRUSK COUNTY – Authorities responding to a trespassing call have found marijuana plants growing in Rusk County. Deputies with the Rusk County Sheriff’s office along with Texas Game Wardens, made the discovery Saturday. Around 1,000 plants were found. No word on if any arrests were made.

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Officials Say Oil Spill Has Not Reached Caddo Lake

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm

MOORINGSPORT, La. (AP) – Cleanup crews continue to mop up a 4,000-barrell oil spill into a four-mile stretch of Tete Bayou northwest of Shreveport. Officials said Saturday that the oil has been contained without reaching Caddo Lake, which straddles the Texas-Louisiana state line and provides drinking water for some water systems. The oil spilled from the Mid-Valley pipeline, a line owned by Sunoco Logistics Partners which carries crude oil from Longview, Texas to Samaria, Michigan. The Times reports the spill happened the morning of Oct. 13. Three families near the site evacuated, with Sunoco paying their expenses.

Sunoco expects months of cleanup, with 250 contractors now working. Soil underneath the oil will be removed after the oil is cleaned up. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is investigating the spill.

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Wendy Davis Visits Longview

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 10:53 am

Wendy Davis4LONGVIEW – According to Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, “This election is going to determine, not just a choice in two very different candidates, but two very different pathways.” Davis, who is challenging Republican Gregg Abbott, made the comment in Longview over the weekend. Davis reminded the crowd of her 2011 filibuster in protest of the $5.2 billion in cuts to public education that Abbott continues to defend in court. Davis said the cuts also cost 25,000 education jobs, 11,000 of those teaching positions, caused more overcrowding in classrooms and killed full-day kindergarten. And she said it was time “we turned that around.” Davis said she is prepared to win next month and to lead this state. The Longview News-Journal reports around 75 persons were on hand to hear Davis’ address Saturday at Eddie Towles Phone Center on Gilmer Road.

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Early Voting Underway

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 10:46 am

thumb_voting-computerTYLER — Early voting for the November 4 election is underway as of today. Early voting times and locations for Smith County are listed below. Visit the Elections page of the Smith County Web site at http://www.smith-county.com/Government/Departments/Elections/Default.aspx to view sample ballots or look up your voting precinct. You can also call the Smith County Elections Office at 903-590-4777.

Early Voting Times:

· October 20 – 24: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
· October 25: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
· October 26: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
· October 27 – 31: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Early Voting Locations:

· Smith County Elections Office
302 E. Ferguson Street
Tyler, TX 75702

· Whitehouse Municipal Court
311 E. Main St.
Whitehouse, X 75791

· Noonday Community Center
16662 County Road 196
Tyler, TX 75703

· Lindale Masonic Lodge
200 Margaret St.
Lindale, TX 75771

· Heritage Building
1900 W. Bellwood Road
Tyler, TX 75701

· Temporary Early Voting Location – Arp ISD Bond Election Only

October 20-24 and October 27-31
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Arp ISD Administration Building
101 Toney Drive
Arp, TX 75750

Reminder: Voter ID is required.

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Van Zandt Co. Crime Stoppers Hands Out $600 in Rewards

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 11:59 am

image002CANTON — Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers has authorized $600 in rewards for tips that helped lead to the recent arrests of three men, all from Wills Point, in separate incidents. The Crime Stoppers board approved a $250 reward for a tipster who notified authorities about a man wanted for theft, including a stolen camping trailer. A $200 reward was authorized for a tip that led to a man sought for allegedly violating a protective order in Dallas County. Authorities tracked the man down at a school in Wills Point. Finally, a $150 reward was approved for a tip that led to the arrest of a man wanted by Van Zandt County authorities on a fugitive warrant.

“It is important that people know they can get rewards, without ever having to identify themselves, for providing information to local law enforcement agencies,” said Kathy Smith, president of Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers. “We are happy to give money to the people who provided us this latest round of tips and who helped get three criminals off the streets.” Smith noted that not every tip qualifies for a reward, because some tips don’t have enough helpful information, or sometimes come in after a suspect has already been arrested. “But if a tip does lead to an arrest, we happily pay the anonymous tipster,” she said.

The Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line number is 903-567-STOP (567-7867). Tipsters can also submit information online at http://www.vanzandtcrimestoppers.org from mobile phones or computers. The website has is a special tip submission form to fill out. Crime Stoppers gives out cash rewards of up to $1,000, with the rewards financed by a combination of criminal court fines and donations. More information about Crime Stoppers is available through the link above or on Facebook.

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Rose Festival Parade and Activities

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Rose Festival Parade 2014TYLER – The 81st annual Texas Rose Festival has come to a successful end. Rich in heritage and tradition, the Festival offered enchanting ceremonial events. One of the highlights of the festival was the Saturday morning parade. The parade, which brought out hundreds along the route, began on Glenwood Boulevard and headed west to around the track in Rose Stadium. The weather for the parade and all the Rose Festival activities was ideal.

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TxDOT Project Updates

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 12:01 pm

TxDOT signTYLER – Here’s a quick look at work planned in the Tyler District during the Week of October 20, 2014:

SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Tyler will have a milling crew on State Highway 155 north between Winona and the Smith County Line. Another crew will be conducting edge work on Farm Road 1805 between Farm Road 1253 and the county line. Motorists can expect lane closures during this work.

GREGG COUNTY – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has several construction projects under way in Gregg County this week. Here’s an overview:
Farm Road 2275 George Richey Extension (Segments II & III)
*Limits: McCann Road to U.S. 259
*Contractor: East Texas Bridge, Inc.

The clearing between Judson Road and Airline Road continues. Excavation, embankment, bridge construction and storm drain work are ongoing between McCann Road and Judson Road. This is new location construction work and is not expected to impact traffic.

Farm Road 2208 (Alpine Road) at Smelley Road
*Limits: From North Loop 281 to FM 2879
*Contractor: Longview Bridge and Road, Ltd.
Intersection improvements began last month and are progressing on schedule. The traveling public should expect delays during this project to widen the roadway. A hot mix surface is expected to be applied within the next week or so. The job includes installing a turn lane and upgrading the flashing yellow lights to a full traffic signal. TxDOT encourages motorists to use alternate routes when possible.

Loop 281 at Farm Road 2087 Overpass
*Limits: SH 31 to approximately 1 mile south of SH 31
*Contractor: Longview Bridge and Road, Ltd.
This project is in Phase III of construction with traffic moved off the existing Loop onto the detours. The contractor is in the process of constructing a temporary retaining wall, the bridge headers and storm drain. Traffic can expect some delays during the peak evening hours. Caution advised during travel through this work zone.

State Highway 42
*Limits: From State Highway 31 north to Interstate Highway 20
*Contractor: Reynolds & Kay, Ltd.
Current work includes constructing curb and gutter and forming and pouring concrete driveways. Drivers can expect minimal impacts at this time. The project includes constructing a turn lane at Hillcrest Road, and guardrail work. As the project continues motorists can expect to see nighttime operations being implemented. Slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones.

Spinks-Chapman County Road
*Limits: At the Rabbit Creek Bridge just east of Meadows Lane
*Contractor: Massana Construction, Inc.
Construction of the bridge continues on Spinks Chapman Road southwest of Interstate Highway 20 and State Highway 31 interchange near Kilgore. Spinks-Chapman Road is closed to through traffic between Meadows Lane and Norris Road while the bridge is under construction. Work this week includes constructing the roadway leading up to the bridge. Motorists must use alternative routes to reach their destinations.

ANDERSON COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Palestine will be conducting ditch work on various roadways throughout Anderson County this week as well as cutting high shoulders on the northern end of the county. Motorists are reminded to slow down and pay attention in the work zones.

CHEROKEE COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Jacksonville and Rusk are finishing up the overlay on Farm Road 747 North from three miles north of U.S. Highway 79 to the End of Maintenance Sign. Watch for flaggers and signage to help navigate through the work zone. The work is expected to take six to seven days to complete, weather permitting.

HENDERSON COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews in Athens will begin placing a new overlay on Farm Road 1667 starting Monday and running through the week. The work includes using heavy equipment. Slow down, use caution and expect lane closures with flaggers handling traffic control when traveling through the work zone.

Elsewhere, the widening project on Farm Road 317 from Farm Road 607 to Farm Road 314 continues. Lane closures can be expected on this job.

RUSK COUNTY – The State Highway 64 construction project in Henderson continues with no impacts on traffic. The project, which runs from 0.173 miles west of Business 64East (N. Marshall St.) east to 0.2 miles west of U.S. Highway 79 (The Traffic Star), consists of widening the existing two-lane roadway and constructing a four-lane facility along with a continuous Left Turn Lane. The contractor, L.S. Equipment Co., of Henderson, will perform the majority of the work outside the existing travel lanes, thereby lessening the impact on traffic. As work progresses motorists may experience delays due to periodic daytime lane closures. The $2.1 million project got under way in August 2013 and has had some delays due to utility adjustments and other unforeseen issues, but is expected to be completed in summer 2015.

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews in Mineola will continue overlaying the intersection of U.S. Highway 69 and SL 564. Motorists should expect lane closures during this work which is expected to take four days to complete.

Meanwhile, the construction contractor is preparing to place hot mix and metal beam guard fencing on the bridge replacement project on County Road 2504 at Dry Lacy Fork, which remains closed to traffic. Elsewhere, structure work continues on State Highway 198 from State Highway 243 in Canton to the Kaufman County Line. Expect lane closures. Remember, buckle up, slow down and pay attention.

WOOD COUNTY – The contractor for the U.S. 69 widening project in Mineola this week is making base repairs and doing general clean up from SL 564 in Mineola to Farm Road 779 in Golden. Expect lane closures during your travels through this work zone.

Elsewhere, on State Highway 154 from Lake Fork to Quitman, the contractor will be performing vegetation maintenance.

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Dallas Officials: 120 Still on Ebola Monitoring

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 11:27 am

DALLAS (AP) – Texas health officials say 120 people are still being monitored for possible infection with Ebola because they may have had contact with one of the three people who got the disease in Dallas. Officials said Monday that 43 of 48 people on an original watch list had passed the 21-day incubation period for the viral disease and are now in the clear. But others who cared for a Liberian man who died Oct. 8 at a Dallas hospital remain at risk, along with two nurses he infected there. Nov. 7 is when the wait period will end for all of those being monitored. Health officials also say they were unaware that federal officials had allowed one of the nurses to fly the day before she was diagnosed with the deadly virus.

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US Military Ebola Team to Train in San Antonio

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 11:11 am

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – The Pentagon says specialized training for a new, 30-member U.S. military Ebola response team will take place at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. The team will feature 20 critical care nurses and five doctors trained for infectious disease environments, as well as five trainers in infectious diseases protocols. It will receive up to seven days of training with personnel from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at the San Antonio post. That includes drills on infection control and instruction on special protective equipment. The team will then remain on “prepare to deploy” status for 30 days. That means it’s on standby, ready to assist civilian medical personnel treating Ebola threats around the United States.

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Texas State Fair Sets Food, Ride Sales Record

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 11:10 am

DALLAS (AP) – Organizers say this year’s State Fair of Texas set a new record for food and ride sales, with more than $41 million in coupons sold. The fair said in a statement that the previous record was $37.3 million worth of coupons in 2010. Temperatures that were largely mild and few storms helped bolster the 24-day event, which wrapped up Sunday. It’s been held since 1886. Among the new attractions this year was an exhibit featuring some memorabilia from the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. The livestock department also had 12 percent more territory for exhibitors than in 2013. The fair offered $3 admission to visitor bringing three cans of food on Wednesdays, and collected more than 240,000 pounds of food. That was an 18 percent increase from last year.

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Texas Man Charged in Minnesota Sex Abuse Case

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 11:10 am

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (AP) – Authorities have charged a Texas man who they say engaged in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old Twin Cities boy who he met online. KARE-TV reports 59-year-old Robert Zubl is in jail without bond in Texas. Minnesota authorities have charged with eight felony counts related to the alleged abuse of the boy who he met in 2012 on Chatroulette, a website that randomly pairs strangers in video chats. Authorities say the chat led to a trusting relationship over emails and video chats. They say Zubl waited until the boy turned 16 before he arranged multiple visits to Minnesota, where the relationship became physical. The station reports Zubl had been out on bond on similar charges involving a Texas boy.

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Police: Texas Daughters Find Parents Dead in Home

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 11:10 am

HOUSTON (AP) – Houston police say the death of a couple found shot at home with their two daughters inside is likely a murder-suicide. Police believe Raul Cruz shot his wife, 43-year-old Maribel Cruz, Sunday morning. They say Raul Cruz’s fatal gunshot wound was likely self-inflicted. An autopsy will determine the cause of death. One of their daughters contacted police when she noticed her stepfather’s truck in the driveway that morning. Police say the daughters checked on the parents after hearing gunshots but went back to sleep because they thought they were asleep. Neither the adult daughter nor the 15-year-old daughter was injured. Police haven’t released a motive in the killing.

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Investigator: Texas Woman Set Vehicle on Fire

Posted/updated on: October 20, 2014 at 11:09 am

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Bexar County authorities have arrested a woman who they say set her estranged husband’s vehicle on fire during a football game before turning herself in. The San Antonio Express-News reports the 36-year-old woman admitted to slashing her husband’s tires, pouring gasoline on the vehicle and igniting it with a cigarette lighter during Saturday’s football game at Southside High School. The woman tells a Bexar County arson investigator she suffered burns to both of her arms and face. The husband tells police he was at the high school with his new girlfriend, watching his stepson play football. The suspect faces an arson charge. She tells authorities she wanted her husband to feel the pain that she is going through.

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You Tell Me Texas by Paul Gleiser

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Centers for Dysfunction & Confusion

If you want to understand why distrust of government is so high, the story of Amber Vinson might shed some light. Read More | Visit The You Tell Me Texas Blog


Health Connection

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Ebola: Media Hype or Something More Serious.

Seemingly from out of nowhere the media is filled with stories about Ebola, a virus that is native to Africa and one that is fatal in a very high percentage of cases. With Ebola on American shores for the first time, it’s important to know how much of what we see and hear is media hype versus how much there is about which we should be appropriatelly concerned. In this post to HealthConnection.TV, internationally-recognized infectious disease expert Dr. Richard Wallace answers questions about Ebola and separates fact from hype. Go to: http://www.uthealth.org/healthconnection/


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Today in History

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Today in History for 20th October 2014

- Historical Events 1904 - Bolivia and Chile sign a treaty ending the War of the Pacific; it recognizes Chile's possession of the coast, but provides for construction of a railway to link La Paz, Bolivia, to Arica on the coast 1934 - Richard Strauss completes his opera "Die Schweigsame Frau" 1935 - Anti-fascist People front forms in Brussels 1944 - US 1st army wins battle of Aachen 1955 - Publicatio... Read more on HistoryOrb.com

Health Recipe of the Day!

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Low-Fat Recipes: Santa Fe Wild Rice Soup

4.4 / 5 Stars | 11 Reviews

by CORWYNN DARKHOLME

"Frozen corn, chopped onions and carrots are simmered in chicken broth with wild rice and spices in this soup best served when garnished with fresh salsa."

View Complete Recipe Details and Reviews | Go to the All Recipes website!

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