Local News

Longview Man Killed in Weekend Wreck

thumb_DPS-carLONGVIEW — A Longview man was killed Sunday afternoon when his vehicle overturned in Harrison County. According to KETK, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety said the driver, Kenneth Pearson, was on FM 449 East when his SUV left the road for unknown reasons and overturned at around 2:44 p.m. Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Judge Nancy George pronounced Pearson dead at the scene at 3:48 p.m.

Gas Station Robbed Monday Afternoon

superfoodmartrobbery090114SMITH COUNTY — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an armed robbery of a local gas station. KETK reports the initial report came in at approximately 1:34 Monday afternoon. That’s when Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a 911 call regarding an armed robbery which occurred at a convenience store located in the 1200 block of East Northeast Loop 323 in the northeastern part of Smith County. The caller said she had just been robbed at knifepoint and the suspect had fled the scene. (more…)

Three Seriously Injured in Smith County Wreck

smithcowreckketkSMITH COUNTY — Three people were hospitalized with serious injuries Monday morning after a vehicle was struck on its side in Smith County. According to KETK, Department of Public Safety troopers said a pickup with five people pulled out of a driveway and was T-boned by a septic truck on FM 2767, east of CR 211, at around 10:06 a.m. The three people injured were in the pickup. The septic truck driver was not injured. The names of the victims were not immediately released. None of the victims were children.

Local Computer Thief Sought

lindalewalmartthief090114LINDALE — Lindale police are asking for the public’s help in locating the pictured individual. KETK reports that the person of interest is seen running out of the Lindale Wal-Mart with an HP 19 All-in-One PC and getting into a blue Honda. The incident occurred August 12 around 11 a.m. If you know this person, you’re asked to contact Detective Mike Lazarine at (903) 882-3313.

Commission Approves Historical Racing

thumb_Dan-FlynnAUSTIN (Staff/AP) — Republican State Representative Dan Flynn of Van continues to keep an eye on a controversial issue. That’s after the Texas Racing Commission voted to allow machines using a new form of betting at dog and horse tracks called historical racing. The machines allow people to bet on races that have already happened. The videos are stripped of any identifying information so people can’t tell what races they’re betting on. A track now must receive the commission’s OK on specific plans for adding the machines. There are four horse tracks in Texas and three dog tracks. (more…)

Two Hurt in Tyler Wreck

TYLER — Two people get a scare — but luckily, not much more — in a Sunday afternoon motorcycle wreck in Tyler. KETK reports It happened just before 4 at the intersection of Rice and Old Jacksonville. Police say a motorcyclist and his passenger were pulling out of a parking lot and were struck by a passing SUV. Both were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.

Downtown Parking Changes Begin Tuesday in Tyler

thumb_Tyler-downtownTYLER — Several changes to Tyler’s Downtown Business District parking become effective Tuesday, Sept. 2. Extended parking is now available at the Fair Plaza Garage at Elm Street and College Avenue, across the street from the Tyler Public Library. According to a city news release, an automated gate system will allow a driver, without a monthly agreement, to obtain a ticket upon entering the garage. The ticket should be paid at an electronic kiosk, and the “paid” ticket is inserted upon exit. The new garage has 384 parking spaces, with both monthly leased parking and daily/hourly parking available. The garage will operate Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., except on official city holidays. (more…)

New Diana Voters Reject Tax Hike

DIANA — New Diana ISD residents rejected a tax rate increase on Saturday. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, it was voted down by a 247 to 169 margin. The district proposed a hike of 13 cents in the maintenance and operations portion of the tax rate in an attempt to generate more state and local funding as well as increase staff pay. If passed, it would have boosted state money by about $300,000, local by over $200,000, and would have seen staff get a two percent pay increase. trustee’s will review the decision at their next meeting on September 8.

Suspect Sought in High Speed Chase

DPS-car-2EAST TEXAS — DPS Troopers in Lufkin are on the look out for the man involved in a late night chase. The chase began just after 10:30 on Jim Stephens Road in Angelina County. According to KETK, troopers pulled over a 2004 Pontiac passenger car for a traffic violation. The operator of the vehicle initially stopped, then began evading the trooper in the vehicle. (more…)

State News

Cousin Arrested in Dallas Girl’s Death

DALLAS (AP) – The 17-year-old cousin of a 5-year-old Dallas girl found dead in vacant apartment has been arrested in her death. Dallas police said Monday that Angel Lizandro Sanches-Zenteno has been arrested and charged with capital murder in the death of Kathrine Alejandra Gonzalez, whose body was found Sunday afternoon. The medical examiner ruled the initial cause of death as strangulation. Sanches-Zenteno was being held in Dallas jail Monday on no bond. Jail records did not list an attorney. Gonzalez had been reported missing by her aunt, who last saw her around 11:30 a.m. Sunday playing outside with her siblings. They were being watched by her uncle at the apartment complex while their parents worked. Sanches-Zenteno’s apartment was next door to the one where her body was found.

Six Dead after Speeding Car Slams into Tree in Dallas

DALLAS (AP) – Police say a speeding car slammed into a tree after losing control along a Dallas roadway, killing all six people inside. Dallas police officer Monica Cordova says the crash occurred Sunday night in a residential area in southeast Dallas. The victims were two teenage boys, two men and two women ranging in age from 15 to 23. Cordova says the 20-year-old driver lost control as the road curved when the back passenger-side tire of the Chevrolet Impala hit a curb. The vehicle slid across three lanes before hitting a tree in the median. Investigators say four people died at the scene, while two others died at a hospital. Cordova says speed was a factor in the crash, but not alcohol.

Committee Recommends Closing 6 State Homes

thumb_texas-stateof-seal-2EL PASO (AP) – A state advisory committee is recommending Texas shut down six of its 13 residential facilities for individuals with mental and developmental disabilities. The El Paso Times reports the recommendation comes from a Department of Aging and Disability Services report released last month. The recommendation was made by a state panel that suggests ways to improve Texas agencies. The panel gives several reasons for its recommendation, including costs and ongoing controversies over the quality of care at the centers. The center in Austin is the first one on the chopping block. Other centers that might be closed are not named. The centers provide care for about 3,650 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A Department of Aging and Disability Services spokeswoman says the recommendations are not final.

Man Dies in Fall from Austin’s Mount Bonnell

AUSTIN (AP) – Emergency officials say a man has died after falling off a cliff on Austin’s Mount Bonnell. Austin-Travis County EMS spokesman Mike Benavides tells the Austin American-Statesman that a witness said the man was holding onto a branch Sunday afternoon when he slipped and fell off the cliff. Benavides says first responders had to rappel down the cliff to reach the man, who was pronounced dead on scene. Mount Bonnell is about 775 feet above sea level. It overlooks the city and is a popular tourist attraction.

Visible Tattoo Ban for San Antonio Police Officers

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Beginning this month, the San Antonio Police department is banning officers from having visible tattoos. Officials tell the San Antonio Express-News that it is part of an effort for them to appear more professional. Officials say officers with tattoos on their arms will be allowed to wear sleeves, but those with tattoos on their hands or necks that cannot be covered will have to have them medically removed at their own expense. Officials say the policy is expected to affect about 200 of the department’s 2,300 officers. A year ago, San Antonio police stopped accepting cadets with visible tattoos to the academy. Police departments in Dallas and Houston also ban visible tattoos. In Austin, police with tattoos that are deemed offensive have to cover them up.

Two Teens Injured after Falling Out of Carnival Ride

EL PASO (AP) – Two teenagers are recovering after being injured when they fell out of a carnival ride at a West Texas church bazaar. Police in El Paso say the “Sidewinder” – a swinging pendulum ride with two gondolas at each end – was in motion Sunday night at the Saint Anthony’s Bazaar when a door came open and the teenagers fell to the ground. The male and female, both 13 years old, were taken to University Medical Center in El Paso. Police say their injuries are not believed to be life threatening. Authorities say no charges have been filed and the incident remains under investigation.

New $1B Power Line to Improve South Texas Service

McALLEN (AP) – Construction continues on a new $1 billion electricity line in South Texas that officials say will not only improve service in the state’s Rio Grande Valley but also allow energy generated in South Texas to be delivered to the rest of the state. The project was approved by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Public Utility Commission after a cold snap in February 2011 brought snow and ice to much of the state and resulted in rolling blackouts. The Monitor of McAllen reports the new line is set to be completed by 2016. The project’s cost is being paid by all Texas electricity users as officials say the line would theoretically reduce congestion on the state power grid.