Second Person Arrested in Connection with Longview Triple Homicide
LONGVIEW — Longview police have arrested another person in connection with the deadly April 6 shooting on Beaumont Street. KETK reports Jakerion Allison, 17, of Longview, was taken into custody by officers on an arrest warrant issued by the 124th District Court of Gregg County. He is charged with three counts of aggravated assault. The shooting left three people dead: Joey Hollister, 15; Anthony Anderson, 35; and Tavarus Christopher Glaspie, 35. A second person has also been arrested, JaCorey DeWayne Williams, 22, of Carthage, for tampering with evidence. Police said he threw a gun recovered on Lilly Street from a getaway vehicle. Allison’s bail totals $300,000.
Man Accused in Wife’s Murder Loses Parental Rights
TYLER — Accused murderer James Calvert has had his parental rights terminated as a result of an agreement announced in court Tuesday. According to KETK, Judge Carole Clark of the Smith County 321st District Court approved an agreement stating Calvert’s parental rights to his two children will be terminated and the kids will now be out of foster care and living with Calvert’s cousin in Ohio. Calvert is accused of shooting and killing his ex-wife, Jelena Radobanovic Sriraman before kidnapping their son, Lucas, Wednesday, October 31, 2012. Read more …
Marshall Murder Suspect Back in Harrison County
MARSHALL – A suspect arrested in Louisiana for a Marshall murder has been returned to Texas and arraigned on murder charges. Corey Lamar Johnson, 31, of Jefferson had his bond set at $1 million at his Thursday arraignment. U.S. Marshall’s in Tallulah, Louisiana took him into custody Tuesday night. A warrant had been issued for his arrest in the shooting of Jalen Juwan White, 19. He was shot around 2:45am on March 24th in the 100 block of West Pinecrest at the Rumors Arcade, which Johnson owns. He was taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Marshall, where he later died.
Suspect Arrested in Molotov Cocktail Incident
CANTON — One man is behind bars in Van Zandt County after authorities say he threw a Molotov cocktail into a home early Wednesday morning. According to KETK, the county fire marshal says the suspect threw the fiery weapon through a window and into a bedroom where his ex-girlfriend was sleeping by her boyfriend. The boyfriend suffered first- and second-degree burns, but the girlfriend was not injured. There was no significant damage to the home. The suspect managed to get away but was later captured at a home north of Elmo in Kaufman County.
Authorities Seek Tips on Stolen Wood County Semi
QUITMAN — Wood County authorities have offered a reward for information leading to the person or people responsible in the theft of a local semi. According to the Wood County Crime Stoppers, the 2000 Volvo Pro Form truck disappeared from a location on Highway 37 between Quitman and Winnsboro on April 16. KETK reports a $1,000 reward will be paid to anyone with information leading to the arrest of the culprit or culprits. Tips can be shared anonymously at 903-763-2274.
TISD Superintendent’s Resignation Accepted
TYLER – Tyler school trustees have accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Gary Mooring. The action came last night at a regular school board meeting. He had submitted his resignation, effective June 30th. The job opening will be posted Monday morning and will remain open until June 30th. Read more …
Ground Broken on New Moore MST Magnet School
TYLER – Tyler ISD broke ground Thursday on the new Moore MST Magnet School campus. The new school, a BOND 2013 project, will be built on the grounds of the current campus and will be able to accommodate nearly 1,000 students. It is scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2015.
Lake Tyler Marina Resumes Limited Operation
TYLER — The Lake Tyler Marina resumes limited operation beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 18. The marina hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, weather permitting. According to a city of Tyler news release, sales will be limited to gas (92 octane, with ethanol) only at this time. Purchases may be paid for by cash or check; no credit cards accepted. Read more …
Sheriff Smith to Hold Town Hall Meeting in Whitehouse
WHITEHOUSE – Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith will hold a town hall meeting on April 24 from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the TASCA Activity Center in Whitehouse, located at 10495 County Road 2167. The town hall meeting is his first of 2014. During 2013, Sheriff Smith’s first year in office, he held town halls in Lindale, Starville, Tyler, and Whitehouse. Read more …
Smith County Wide Clean Up Program Concludes
TYLER — Officials with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Environmental Crimes Unit reported Thursday that the most recent County Wide Clean Up program was one of the most successful on record, collecting 186.46 tons of trash and bulky items. From March 31 through April 12, each Smith County household could obtain a free voucher that allowed them to bring three cubic yards of trash and bulky items (the approximate equivalent of a full-sized truck bed) to the Greenwood Farms Landfill. The Smith County Environmental Crimes Unit, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Precinct Constables and Smith County Commissioners Court partnered to host the 2014 Smith County Wide Clean Up. Officials said there would be an additional County Wide Clean Up scheduled this summer.
Texas Officials Say Gang Membership Exceeds 100,000
AUSTIN (AP) – State public safety officials say they believe more than 100,000 people are members of gangs that are a threat to public safety in Texas. The estimate was released Thursday as part of an annual report issued by the state Department of Public Safety. Authorities say the gangs posing the greatest threat to public safety are Tango Blast, Texas Syndicate, Texas Mexican Mafia and Barrio Azteca. Tango Blast and affiliated groups are believed to have membership in excess of 8,200. Texas Syndicate may have more than 4,400 members. DPS says many Texas gangs continue to work with Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs, weapons, people and cash across the border. The associations have changed over the last year as power struggles evolve among some cartels.
Cuero Soldier Dies in Afghanistan
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) — A Texas soldier wounded in an attack in Afghanistan last weekend has died. Kerry Danyluk of Cuero died Tuesday at a hospital in Germany. The 27-year-old who was based at Fort Drum in New York was in his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Two Conroe Deaths Investigated
CONROE (AP) — Authorities north of Houston say two people are dead in an apparent murder-suicide. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said that deputies responded to a park for recreational vehicles near Conroe late Wednesday night.
Texas Town Honors 15 Killed in Year-Ago Explosion
WEST (AP) — Residents of the small Texas town of West are marking the one-year anniversary of a fertilizer plant explosion by honoring the 15 victims and holding a moment of silence at the exact time of the fatal blast. A fire at the West Fertilizer Company triggered a blast so powerful that it leveled nearby homes and schools the night of April 17, 2013. Hundreds of people crowded a pavilion at the town’s fairgrounds for a ceremony Thursday evening. They observed a moment of silence at 7:51 p.m. as photos of the 15 people killed were shown on a large screen. Rev. Terry McElrath recalled hearing the boom, turning around and seeing a big column of smoke, and immediately knowing that people had died.
Texas Town Could Rebuild Plant after Fatal Blast
WEST (AP) — The mayor of a Texas town where a fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 people says local officials are considering building a new one. West Mayor Tommy Muska acknowledged Thursday that the idea is highly controversial among local residents. But he notes that his central Texas town’s economy revolved around the West Fertilizer Co. before the facility was leveled by a fire and explosion a year ago. He also says that “unfortunately or fortunately” more people outside the region are now aware of the town, which has brought some economic opportunity. Muska says he is negotiating with a flag manufacturer and a recycling company to set up operations in West. The explosion on April 17, 2013, also caved in homes and schools, and damaged roads. Debris was found miles away.
Abortion Doctors’ Admitting Rights Reinstated
AUSTIN (AP) — A judge has temporarily reinstated admitting privileges to two abortion providers at a Dallas hospital that had stripped the doctors of those rights. Dr. Lamar Robinson and Dr. Jasbir Ahluwalia had sued University General Hospital on Thursday, accusing the hospital of illegally stripping them of admitting privileges after a court upheld strict new Texas abortion restrictions. The two doctors performed abortions on their own time away from the hospital. Nevertheless, their lawsuit says they lost their privileges four days after a March 27 federal appeals court ruling upheld the constitutionality of the strict new state rules.
Cruz Makes Just 2nd Border Visit as US Senator
HARLINGEN (AP) — In his second visit to the U.S.-Mexico border since taking office nearly 16 months ago, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz told a far South Texas audience that Texans in the area care mostly about the same issues as those in other parts of the state. However, the Texas Republican bypassed his often-expressed concerns for illegal immigration and border security in his address yesterday to the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce.
Abbott Campaign Accepting Bitcoin Contributions
AUSTIN (AP) — Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s campaign for governor says it will accept contributions made with the bitcoin electronic currency. Abbott today called bitcoins, a decentralized digital currency, a symbol of free-market principles. The Republican’s campaign said today like traditional contributions, bitcoin donors will be required to submit names, addresses, employer and occupation. All bitcoin contributions will be reported on campaign finance reports.
Texas Seizes Polygamist Group’s Secluded Ranch
ELDORADO (AP) — State agents have seized a polygamous group’s Texas ranch where hundreds of children were removed during a 2008 FBI raid prompted by child sex abuse allegations. The group’s leader, Warren Jeffs, is serving life in prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting two girls he took as child brides. The Texas Department of Public Safety says its agents took possession of the secluded property near Eldorado on Thursday. In a statement, DPS says authorities were helping the remaining eight adults living on the ranch leave and to do an inventory. A judge in January ordered the forfeiture of the Yearning For Zion Ranch, which was owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The state sought to seize the property over allegations of mismanagement by Jeffs.
Austin Mulls Housing Option Expansion Plan
AUSTIN (AP) — Austin is considering a plan that would require hundreds of additional rental properties to consider people who rely on federal vouchers to pay the rent. The measure is intended to provide more housing options for low-income residents. Vouchers allow tenants to avoid public housing projects.
Ousted Top South Texas Lawman Admits Taking Bribe
McALLEN (AP) — A fired South Texas sheriff’s commander whose indictment carried federal prosecutors a step closer to his boss has pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe. Former Hidalgo County sheriff’s commander Jose Padilla entered the plea Thursday in federal court in McAllen after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors. In return, drug trafficking and money laundering counts are being dropped. Padilla admitted taking cash from a suspected drug trafficker in return for performing a variety of tasks for him and keeping him informed of law enforcement activities. Padilla was second-in-command to longtime Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino, who resigned March 28 and pleaded guilty to money laundering April 14.
Judge Won’t Order Recalled GM Cars to Be Parked
DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge in Corpus Christi has denied an emergency motion that would have forced General Motors to tell owners of 2 million recalled cars to stop driving their vehicles until ignition switches are repaired. GM had urged the court not to intervene and let a recall overseen by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proceed. At least 13 deaths have been linked to the ignition switch defect.
Michael’s Stores Have Been Hacked
IRVING (AP) — Michaels Stores Incorporated says today that about 2.6 million cards used at its namesake stores may have been affected in a security breach but it has received “limited” reports of fraud. The arts and crafts chain based in the Dallas suburb of Irving says that its subsidiary Aaron Brothers was also attacked.
Retail Gasoline Prices Up Across Texas
IRVING (AP) — Gasoline prices are creeping up across Texas. The average pump price has risen six cents in the past week to $3.49 per gallon. The auto club warns that prices could go higher as refiners make the switch to producing summer-blend gasoline.
Bush’s Ride for Wounded Veterans Scheduled for May
DALLAS (AP) — Former President George W. Bush’s annual mountain bike ride for U.S. military members wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan will be held this year at his Crawford ranch in Central Texas. The three-day ride will start on May 1st. This will be the fourth year that Bush has hosted the Warrior 100K, a 100-kilometer ride.
Galveston Church Damaged by Ike to Reopen
GALVESTON (AP) — A historic Roman Catholic church in Galveston closed since Hurricane Ike damaged it in 2008 reopens this weekend. The $4 million renovation included replacing the roof, rebuilding the pews, reinforcing the two front spires and a new mural. A restored St. Mary Cathedral-Basilica will officially re-open on Easter Sunday with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. The archdiocese says the church, built in 1847, was one of the few Galveston landmarks to survive the catastrophic 1900 hurricane that decimated the city and killed at least 6,000 people.
UT Won’t Pull Maroon Bluebonnets after All
AUSTIN (AP) — Maroon bluebonnets will be allowed to remain on the University of Texas campus in Austin after mysteriously appearing in the shadow of the UT Tower. It’s believed that Texas A&M pranksters at some point planted the seeds for a variant of bluebonnet known as Alamo Fire, which is a shade of maroon. The Texas A&M colors are maroon and white, which Longhorn fans find unsightly in light of their loyalty to burnt orange. A UT official had promised to remove the off-color lupine in an interview earlier this week. However, UT issued a statement Thursday to say the not-so-bluebonnets are safe. In the words of the statement, “UT Austin has no immediate or official plans to pull up the Aggie-colored wildflowers.”