Local News

Authorities Catch Shoplifting Suspect

choiceTYLER — Investigators with the Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force located shoplifting suspect Bobby Choice at his residence at 17610 FM 2767 in Smith County around 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. Choice was taken into custody on a robbery warrant, and bond was set at $100,000. Choice, 44, allegedly stole items from JC Penney in Broadway Square Mall Saturday and reportedly injured a child in the process. Police said that during the crime, he hurt an 11-year-old boy when he ran from store security.

Self-Proclaimed Aryan Brotherhood Member Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting

darrelllegnonmugNACOGDOCHES — An East Texas man who was an admitted Aryan Brotherhood member, and whose record stretched into Cherokee County, is dead after an officer-involved shooting with deputies from the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office. KETK reports deputies were involved in a shooting with Darrell Joseph Legnon, 25, during a traffic stop in Cushing Tuesday night. At around 11:00 p.m., a Cushing Independent School District resource officer conducted a traffic stop after seeing what was termed a suspicious car on the school campus. The motorist attempted to drive away from the officer, but he was able to catch up with the car and stop the it on Highway 204 at 6th Street. Two Nacogdoches County Deputies were in the area at the time and responded as a backup unit. (more…)

Deputy on Leave after Allegedly Killing Homeowner’s Dog

thumb_police-4EMORY — A deputy with the Rains County Sheriff’s Office has been placed on administrative leave after officials say he shot and killed a homeowner’s dog. According to KETK, officials say they received a 911 call on Friday, April 18, at approximately 12:46 p.m., in reference to a burglary that occurred at the Middleton residence on Farm to Market 514 in the Daughtery Community. Officials say Deputy Dooley responded to the call at 2:41 p.m., nearly two hours after the call came in. The two-hour delay was investigated and the cause was found and corrected with administrative actions, according to authorities. The responding deputy’s report stated Dooley felt in danger of being attacked by the family dog and reacted by shooting the dog to keep from being bitten. The Sheriff’s Office says it’s continuing to investigate the incident internally at this time while Deputy Dooley has been put on administrative leave.

Man Gets 50 Years for Murder, Claims Victim Practiced Witchcraft on Him

joseperezmugRUSK — An East Texas man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for the 2012 murder of his ex-girlfriend. According to the Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office, Jose Diaz Perez, 51, was found guilty for murdering Caselin Ramirez on March 17, 2012. Officials tell KETK the couple had separated two weeks prior to the murder. Ramirez reportedly left Perez due to his excessive drinking and controlling behavior. (more…)

Authorities Checking on Cold Case Suspect’s Role in Mineola Death

Roy Eubanks MINEOLA (Staff/AP) – A man recently captured in Mineola for a 1981 Pennsylvania slaying is suspected in a Mineola death. According to KETK, many in the Mineola community were shocked when they found out Joseph Miller had been arrested on Monday. They knew him as a deacon by the name of Roy Eugene Eubanks. However, one local family says they knew him for who he really was, and they believe he also had a hand in murdering their daughter, Selina McDowell. On September 20th, 1991, Selina McDowell was found dead, with a gunshot wound to her chest. The conclusion was suicide. Family members believe Joseph Miller, whom they knew as Roy Eubanks, is responsible and was in a relationship with McDowell. Mineola Police Chief Chuck Bittner said they are looking back into the case, but said it will be a difficult process since it did occur back in 1991. (more…)

Car Crashes into Senior Center in Longview

carbuilding2ketkLONGVIEW — Emergency crews responded to an accident in which a car crashed into a Longview senior center Wednesday morning. According to KETK, the Longview Police Department reports that around 11:45 a.m., a vehicle was reported as slamming into the Senior Circle on the 3000 block of North 4th Street. Police said an elderly driver mixed up the gas and brake, ramming the car straight into the center. People were inside taking line dance class at the time of the crash, but no one was injured. The driver, who was unharmed, was not hospitalized or arrested. The center is part of the Longview Regional Medical Center network and serves adults age 50 and older. Officials said the center will be closed for the rest of the week.

Longview Director of Development Services Resigns

thumb_longview-cityofLONGVIEW — The City of Longview’s Director of Development Services, Kevin Cummings, has resigned from his position effective June 27. The Director of Development Services provided oversight for Planning and Zoning, Building Inspection, Environmental Health, Engineering Services, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, and Longview Transit, according to a city news release. In his letter of resignation, Cummings stated that “I have enjoyed working for the City of Longview for the past 12 years, as well as the professional and personal development opportunities that were afforded me. More importantly, I appreciate the support and dedication of the highly capable staff members that I have been blessed to work with. I wish both them and the City of Longview the best in the future.” (more…)

Council Adopts Rose Garden Master Plan

image009TYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday adopted the Rose Garden Master Plan that was presented by MHS Planning and Design, LLC of Tyler. On February 13, 2013, Tyler City Council approved a proposal from MHS Planning and Design, LLC and Oliver Windham, Landscape Architect, to prepare a master plan for the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden. The project allowed for a master plan to be developed prior to Capital Improvement Funds being disbursed which were originally for a restroom and drainage work. According to a city news release, the Master Plan has been completed for the Garden after numerous opportunities for public input and recommendations on overall improvements to the facility. (more…)

Heines Receives Grassroots America Endorsement

1896915_217392975121115_2035616409_nTYLER – Grassroots America – We the People PAC, one of the largest constitutional conservative organizations in Texas, announced Wednesday its endorsement of Tyler businessman Martin Heines in the May 10th City of Tyler mayoral race. In a news release, Grassroots America Executive Director JoAnn Fleming said, “Martin is strongly capable of building on the City’s successful long-range business plan – The City of Tyler Blueprint.” Fleming added, “He makes it his business to know about the day-to-day operations in all areas of city government, and he’s detail oriented – a quality that makes him valuable to city staff and to taxpayers.” There’s been no word on any formal endorsements for Heines’s opponent, Joel Rando.

Powers Critics Donate to 2 Hall Committee Members

Bill Powers2AUSTIN (AP/Staff) — Critics of University of Texas President Bill Powers (pictured) have made donations to the campaigns of two members of a legislative committee that’s investigating an anti-Powers UT System regent. One of those contributions went to an East Texan. The San Antonio Express-News reports campaign finance reports show campaign contributions from Powers critic Jeff Sandefer and Empower Texans PAC, a political action committee of Powers critic Michael Quinn Sullivan. The contributions went to state Reps. Charles Perry and Dan Flynn, two Republican members of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Operations. Flynn, of Van, is co-chairman of the eight-member committee. The committee is scheduled to meet Thursday in Austin and is about to take up a report that accuses UT System regent Wallace Hall of possibly criminal misconduct in his campaign to depose Powers.

Longview Man Arrested on Drug Charges

Juan Daniel IngramLONGVIEW – A Longview man has been arrested on a variety of drug charges. A search warrant was issued Tuesday for the home of Juan Daniel Ingram, 37. County Drug Enforcement officers found four grams of PCP and several ounces of marijuana in the house in the 800 block of Clover Street. They also recovered a couple of firearms, a semi-automatic pistol and a short-barrel shotgun. Ingram has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm by a felon. Ingram is not a newcomer to the Gregg County Jail. County records show he has been booked into the jail nearly two dozen times since 1996.

Council Authorizes West Cumberland Extension Project

thumb_tyler-city-hall-1TYLER — As expected, the Tyler City Council Wednesday authorized a construction contract with Longview Bridge and Road, Ltd. to complete the Cumberland extension project and the Cherryhill Drive extension. On August 22, 2012, the City Council authorized the city manager to execute a contract with C. T. Brannon Corporation for design, plans, and specifications for construction of West Cumberland Road from South Broadway Avenue to Old Jacksonville Highway. The length of this project is approximately 2.4 miles. “This is a wonderful project to increase the east-west connection in southern Tyler,” said Mayor Barbara Bass. ““This will give citizens better access to schools, retail, parks and new development. It will also enhance emergency response times and help ease traffic congestion.” (more…)

Tyler Mayor Calls for a Day of Prayer and Fasting Thursday

thumb_Barbara-BassTYLER — Mayor Barbara Bass invites local church pastors and their staffs, local ministry leaders, elected officials, first responders (police, fire and EMT), school board members, and other government agency leaders to a day of prayer and fasting for the Tyler community. During the noon hour Thursday at the Rose Garden Center, local pastors and prayer warriors will offer up specific prayers concerning the Tyler community and the nation, according to a news release. Bass says it’s in preparation for the National Day of Prayer on May 1.

Mother Frances Announces First Use of Miniature Cardiac Monitor

thumb_MotherFrances-sign-2TYLER — Tyler is home to one of the first facilities in East Texas to implant the Medtronic Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) System in a patient. That announcement came Wednesday from Mother Frances Hospital and its onsite Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital. Officials say the device is the smallest implantable cardiac monitoring device available. Trinity Clinic Electrophysiologists Dr. John Sims and Dr. Stan Weiner performed the procedures. (more…)

First Texas Promise Program Begins at TJC

thumb_tjc-logoRUSK — The first group of Rusk TJC Citizens Promise Scholars is preparing to join the Fall 2014 freshman class at Tyler Junior College. Established in February, the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise is one of only 23 Promise programs in the United States and the first such initiative in Texas, according to a TJC news release. For each qualifying student who graduates in the top half of the class, the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise initiative covers $4,000 per year (for two years) at TJC. (more…)

Tyler ISD High Schools Take Top Honors at UIL Competition

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER — John Tyler and Robert E. Lee High School orchestras recently earned top honors in University Interscholastic League (UIL) competition. The schools received superior marks in concert and sight reading events leading to overall Sweepstakes honors, the highest honor UIL awards in music competition. This is the first Sweepstakes award for the John Tyler Orchestra. For Robert E Lee, it marks the fifteenth consecutive year the orchestra has earned Sweepstakes status. (more…)

Governor Perry Appoints Student Regents

Stephen F. Austin UniversityAUSTIN — Governor Rick Perry has appointed 10 student regents to their respective university systems, and one student representative to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for terms effective June 1, 2014, and expiring May 31, 2015. Kelsey Brown was appointed a student regent at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. Brown is pursuing a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in history.

State News

Perry Challenges Cuomo on Business

thumb_rick_perry-2NEW YORK (AP) – Texas Governor Rick Perry says it’s good for states to compete against each other for jobs because it pushes them to improve their business environments. Perry is on a trip to meet business owners in New York. That state has been playing commercials in Texas touting a program of tax breaks for businesses that locate near college campuses.

Police: Two Beaten to Death in Houston Nursing Home

HOUSTON (AP) – Police say a Houston nursing home resident has been accused of killing two of his roommates. Investigators say the 56-year-old man beat the other men to death Tuesday night using the armrest of his wheelchair. The daughter of one of the dead men says her father had repeatedly complained about the accused attacker.

Former Houston Police Officer Charged in Drug Case

Marcos CarrionHOUSTON (AP) – Federal authorities have arrested a former Houston police officer accused of dealing drugs on the job. 36-year-old Marcos Carrion resigned recently after five years on the force. Investigators say the case involves cocaine.

South Texas Architect Pleads Guilty in Bribery Scheme

HOUSTON (AP/Staff) – A South Texas architect has pleaded guilty in Houston to a federal conspiracy charge for paying bribes to elected officials in order to win contracts with school districts. Sentencing is July 25 for 58-year-old Jesus Bustos. Earlier this month Progreso’s mayor, former school board president, and former school district maintenance and transportation supervisor – two brothers and their father – pleaded guilty to related charges.

Couple Wins $3 Million in Drilling Lawsuit

DALLAS (AP) – A Dallas jury has awarded $3 million to a North Texas couple who sued a drilling company over alleged contamination. The Dallas Morning News reports that the jury returned its verdict Tuesday in favor of Bob and Lisa Parr of Wise County. The Parrs argued that Aruba Petroleum’s wells caused spills and emissions on their ranch, forcing them to evacuate and making them sick. The company argued in court – and reiterated in a statement – that it complied with state regulations and that there were too many wells near the ranch to pinpoint theirs as the ones that caused the emissions.

Some Harris County Feral Hogs Head to Food Banks

HOUSTON (AP) – Wild hogs being trapped in the Houston area will be turned into food for the hungry. Harris County commissioners have approved a one-year contract with a packing company that will butcher the hogs and donate the meat to local food banks.