Preliminary Autopsy in on Angelina County Couple’s Deaths
ANGELINA COUNTY – A preliminary autopsy report indicates an Angelina County couple died in a shootout with each other. Robin Turney, 58, and his wife, Sharon Turney, 59, were found dead Friday in the backyard of their home in the 1500 block of Willie Nerren Road. The two suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Sheriff’s department Captain Alton Lenderman told KETK , at this time, there are no indications any other person was involved. It appears as if a struggle started inside the home before moving outdoors. Two guns involved in the shooting, along with a third weapon, were found at the scene. The couple had reportedly been having marital trouble.
Tyler Police Probe Early Sunday Homicide
TYLER — A shooting near a Tyler club has killed a Tyler man. Killed in the early Sunday morning incident was Brandon Deroyce Gray, 30. He died at Tyler’s Mother Frances Hospital following the shooting near the Wild Bunch Club at 1714 North Palace Avenue. Read more …
Tyler Business Robbed
TYLER — Police are looking for the lone gunman who robbed a Tyler business. It happened shortly after 7:15 last night at Vapor Corner, a tobacco store, at 712 West Houston. The store was robbed by a black male wearing all black clothing. He took an undisclosed amount of cash and merchandise while holding the clerk at gun point. No injuries were reported.
Tyler Church Damaged by Fire During Sunday Services
TYLER – Minor damage was reported from a church fire that was spotted during Sunday morning services yesterday. A late arriving church member spotted the smoke coming from the roof of the Voices of Victory Missionary Baptist Church at 201 South Baxter Avenue. Tony Gumber with Tyler Fire Department told KETK “firefighters found some smoldering wood and damage appears to be due to electrical wiring that shorted out.” No injuries were reported.
Former Rusk County Judge Dies
HENDERSON – Funeral services have been scheduled for former Rusk County Judge Sandra Hodges. She died at her home early Monday morning from natural causes at the age of 75. Hodges did not seek re-election and retired from office December 31st, 2010. She was a seven term county judge, serving 24 years. Services for Hodges will be held Wednesday morning at 10:00 at First United Methodist Church of Henderson. Visitation is from 6:00 to 8:00pm on Tuesday at the Crawford-A. Crim Funeral Home in Henderson.
One Dead in Friday Night Crash
SMITH COUNTY — A Palestine man was killed late Friday night in a head-on collision on Highway 155 in southwestern Smith County. KETK reports the collision happened around 11:30 p.m. near Farm Road 2661. State troopers say the victim was Billy Joe Armstrong, 30. Troopers were still investigating the incident at last report.
All Saints Receives $5M Gift
TYLER — Tyler’s All Saints Episcopal School has become the beneficiary of the Estate of Jo Clark Ferguson, whose $5 million gift is intended to support the college preparatory school’s mission of academic excellence centered upon the basic tenets of the Christian faith. That’s according to a news release from All Saints. “The Ferguson bequest extends an extraordinary period of gifts to the school,” noted head of school Randal Brown. Within the past 24 months, says Brown, capital gifts totaling $15 million have allowed All Saints to double its endowment to $10 million, fund the school chapel project, and pay off all remaining school debt. “All Saints continues to benefit greatly from the support of generous donors who recognize the importance of providing the Tyler community with a superior college preparatory school,” added Brown. Read more …
Overton Losing Free Ambulance Service
OVERTON — People in Overton may soon be charged for ambulance services. This, after an announcement made during Thursday night’s city council meeting. KETK reports Champion EMS will no longer be providing its free service to the city. This means the yearly $50,000 cost will be passed on to taxpayers. City Manager Charles Cunningham says it’s a critical service the community cannot do without. He says, “We could look at other providers, but they’re in the same boat as Champion EMS. I mean it’s not a question of a money grab by the ambulance services; it’s simply they ran out of the subsidy of funding they used to get from the hospital.” Cunningham added that the city has budget reserves to deal with the immediate needs of the service. However, that money will eventually run out and the costs will be passed on to the people in Overton. The next public hearing is set for January 15th.
ETCF Responds to Signing of Charitable Provisions Bill
TYLER – Friday afternoon President Obama signed into law a tax extenders package which includes time-sensitive charitable opportunities for the end of the year, and the Tyler-based East Texas Communities Foundation (ETCF) is responding to the news. The bill, HR 5771, known as the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, reinstates for 2014 dozens of expired tax provisions, including the IRA charitable rollover and enhanced deductions for donating land conservation easements and food inventory. Read more …
Trinity Mother Frances CMN Director Earns CFRE Designation
TYLER – CFRE International has announced the most recent class of Certified Fund Raising Executives (CFREs), which includes Robin Rowan, Director, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Trinity Mother Frances Foundation. According to a Trinity Mother Frances news release, these individuals join over 5,000 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation. Read more …
Longtime Tyler Newspaper Editor Retiring
TYLER (AP) — The editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph is retiring after 46 years in the newspaper business. The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports Dave Berry, 66, will retire at the end of the year. He’s worked at there for more than 20 years, starting as the managing editor before being promoted to editor five years ago. After graduating from Kansas State University in 1970 he served in the U.S. Army’s information office in Vietnam, reporting stories for military papers for eight months. He then worked on the copy desk for the Tulsa Tribune in Oklahoma. He’s also served as city editor and then managing editor of the Brazosport Facts, editor of the Arlington Daily News, executive editor of Dallas-Fort Worth Suburban Newspapers and editor of the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer in Kentucky.
TxDOT Project Updates
SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Tyler will be patching on mostly low volume roadways throughout the county during the next two weeks. On Monday, December 22, weather permitting; crews will have a moving operation while patching potholes on Interstate Highway 20. Motorists should watch for safety equipment and personnel in this traveling work zone.
Crews will start patching low volume roads on Tuesday with little impact on traffic. Pavement repair work on Loop 323 between the loop extension and Commerce Street will resume on January 5th. Read more …
Police: Home Invasion Prompted Deadly Shooting
DENTON (AP) – Police say weekend gunfire that erupted at a North Texas apartment, leaving two dead and at least two injured, was the result of a home invasion robbery. Denton police spokesman Orlando Hinojosa in a statement Monday did not release any additional details about the shooting late Sunday afternoon. Neither the suspects nor the victims in the robbery have been identified. Officers have determined that five people, including three men they identified as suspects and two men identified as victims, exchanged gunfire. Hinojosa says the victims shot the suspects, killing two of them. The third suspect fled the scene. It’s not clear whether he was injured. The two victims were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. No further details were available Monday.
Suspect in Austin Police Chase Dies in Crash
AUSTIN (AP) — Austin police say a sexual assault suspect who led police on a short high-speed chase died when his car crashed. Police say that early Saturday morning, they received a call about a sex crime. A few minutes later, police got another call in which the caller said the suspect was leaving the scene. Nearby officers saw a car matching the description less than five minutes later and tried to pull it over. But the driver did not stop and led police on a pursuit. During the chase, the suspect lost control and crashed the car. The suspect died on the scene. Police are still investigating the sexual assault case.
Dog Killed after Biting Round Rock Police Officer
ROUND ROCK (AP) — Round Rock police say an officer shot and killed a dog that bit him on the hand and lunged at his throat following a police chase with the animal’s owner. Police spokeswoman Angelique Myers tells the Austin American-Statesman the incident started Sunday morning when the suspect, wanted in connection with a recent car theft, used his vehicle to lunge at officers before taking off. Then, after hitting some electrical wiring at a car wash, the suspect got out of the car with the dog on its leash. Myers says the suspect then tried to carjack a family’s vehicle. That’s when officers used a stun gun to subdue him and the dog attacked the officer. The suspect was arrested for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, evading arrest and attempted kidnapping.
Dallas Police Officer Arrested for Sexual Assault
DALLAS (AP) – A Dallas police officer has been arrested for sexual assault, accused of using his position as a peace officer to force prostitutes to perform sexual acts while he worked an extra job. Police said Officer David Kattner was arrested early Sunday morning. The 47-year-old remained in Dallas County jail on $50,000 bond Sunday afternoon. Jail records did not list an attorney for him. Police say Kattner, a 26-year veteran of the department, will be placed on administrative leave pending the results of the ongoing investigation. Police say as the investigation continues, detectives will try to determine if there are other victims. A Dallas Police Association spokesman said Sunday afternoon that the group was working on a statement.
Lubbock Woman Accused of Child Abuse Set for Trial
LUBBOCK (AP) — Court records show that a Lubbock woman accused of withholding food, water and medical care from her 12-year-old adopted daughter is set to go on trial in February. A Lubbock County grand jury indicted Wonda Dixon, 59, last year on a charge of injuring a child knowingly or intentionally, resulting in severe bodily injury. Her husband, 63-year-old Dave Dixon, faces the same charge. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports that court records do not show when the case against him will go to trial. The two, who remain jailed on bond of $150,000 each, have denied wrongdoing. Affidavits say the couple ignored the girl’s disturbing behavior and punished her by withholding food and water and ordering her siblings to hit her. Officials found that the 12-year-old weighed 58 pounds.
Austin, San Antonio Drivers Prepare for Phone Bans
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — City leaders in San Antonio and Austin are trying to get drivers ready for bans on handheld devices behind the wheel starting in January. Police in both cities won’t start issuing fines until February. Talking on a handheld phone while driving is banned in 14 states and the District of Columbia, and all but a handful of states have made texting while driving illegal. Texas is among the states without a statewide texting while driving ban, though many cities have its own ordinances. The San Antonio Express-News reported Sunday that San Antonio has seen more than 250 crashes related to cell phone use in each of the past three years. Fines in San Antonio starting in February will be $200. Violators in Austin will face fines up to $500.
Task Force to Combat South Texas Public Corruption
HOUSTON (AP) — The FBI and Texas Rangers are leading a new task force to combat public corruption in the Rio Grande Valley. The unit was formed earlier this month in the wake of public corruption cases that brought down a sheriff, a judge, a district attorney and other elected officials. Rock Stone of the FBI says all his agency’s field offices investigate public corruption, but an “inordinate amount” of such cases in the Valley necessitated extra resources there. Stone declined to say how many people are in the unit, but said the number of agents working on public corruption has more than doubled. Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz is applauding the new task force. But he says its formation shouldn’t indicate corruption is more prevalent in the Valley.
Texas Experts Say Use Care with Holiday Fireworks
AUSTIN (AP) — Some Texans have made fireworks part of their holiday traditions and experts say use care where and when setting off authorized displays. The Travis County Fire Marshal’s Office reports the winter retail fireworks season began Saturday and runs through midnight New Year’s Day. The Texas A&M Forest Service says people celebrating should check for and obey burn bans and fireworks restrictions. The agency reports 53 of the state’s 254 counties, as of Saturday, had outdoor burn bans. A New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Dallas will include a fireworks display as part of Big D NYE. The December 31 Celebrate San Antonio event will also include fireworks. Austin’s New Year’s Eve celebration at Butler Park features art projects, outdoor film screenings and music, capped by a fireworks show.
You Tell Me Texas by Paul Gleiser
As we have come to understand, there’s more to medical care than the treatment of the primary disease. There are emotional and spiritual needs to be met in addition to secondary medical needs that arise from the primary condition. That’s where palliative care comes in and UT Health Northeast palliative care expert Dr. Amy Newton joins us in this post to Health Connection. Go to: http://www.uthealth.org/healthconnection/