Smith County Detention Officer Arrested
TYLER – At a news conference Friday afternoon, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith announced that Keenon Olison, a detention officer-jailer at the county’s Low Risk Jail facility, had been arrested Friday morning and terminated as a Sheriff’s Office employee. Olison is charged with multiple counts relating to possessing a controlled substance in a detention facility with intent to deliver that controlled substance to an inmate as well as delivery of contraband to inmates. Olison was originally hired at the Sheriff’s Office on May 20, 2012. Approximately six weeks ago, information was received by the Special Services Unit of the Sheriff’s Office that a detention officer was smuggling contraband and controlled substances into the Smith County Jail Low Risk Facility. Read more …
Wood County Authorities Probe Drug and Theft Ring
QUITMAN — The Wood County Sheriff’s Office is in the process of conducting a large scale investigation into a drug and theft ring that has been operating in the southeastern part of the county. According to KETK, investigators determined certain suspects were stealing property such as four wheelers and firearms to trade for drugs. The “middle man” drug dealer was then exchanging the stolen property for a larger amount of drugs, officials say. Read more …
Major Theft, Damage at New East Texas School Site
KILGORE — The Gregg County Sheriff’s Department is asking the public for help in solving recent burglaries and criminal mischief cases. Between 6:45 p.m. Thursday, March 6, and 6:30 a.m. on Friday, five construction companies working on the new Sabine school at 645 Access Road in Kilgore were burglarized. Thieves damaged portable buildings and steel boxes to take tools and equipment. Values of the tools are expected to be in the thousands of dollars. Some of the items include gas and electric hammers, saws, drills, nail guns, and air compressors, as well as copper fittings and chains. Anyone with information regarding these crimes is asked to contact Gregg County Investigator Eddie Hope at (903) 237-2530 or Crime Stoppers at (903) 236-STOP.
Shooting Investigated as Accidental
TYLER – Smith County officials are investigating an apparently accidental shooting that sent a man to the hospital. At 12:21 p.m. Friday, sheriff’s dispatchers received a 911 call from a woman at a residence on County Road 397 who reported that a man at that location had accidentally shot himself. According to a news release, Smith County Deputies and emergency personnel responded and found a man with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was taken to a local hospital where he was reportedly undergoing surgery for his injuries. At this time, a preliminary investigation is underway to determine the exact cause and reason for the man’s injuries. Officials say other information will be released as it becomes available.
Beef Recall Reaches 35 states; Numerous East Texas Stores Affected
WASHINGTON — Tainted beef recalled earlier this year from a California meat producer may have reached reached 35 states and Guam — not just six states as previously believed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday. According to CNN and KETK, one of those states heavily affected is Texas. More than 900 Texas stores sold bad beef, including a number in East Texas. Thousands of retailers have been added to a list of companies that received beef products from the company, Rancho Feeding Corp., the USDA said. Read more …
East Texas Teen Charged with Killing Stepfather
CARTHAGE (AP) – Investigators say an East Texas teenager has been charged with killing his stepfather to stop an attack on the youth’s mother. Panola County jail records show 17-year-old Koby Yoder of Carthage was booked Thursday on a murder charge and freed on $25,000 bond. Sheriff’s Chief Deputy John DePresca on Friday said 43-year-old Leonard Digiliormo was punching and beating his wife when her son intervened. DePresca says Yoder retrieved a handgun and fatally shot Digiliormo Wednesday night at the family’s home near Carthage. The woman’s 13-year-old daughter was also present. DePresca says the mother and both teens told investigators that the woman was being attacked. She was treated and released from a hospital. Jail records do not list an attorney for Yoder.
Woman Charged with Shooting Husband Dies
GREGG COUNTY — A Longview woman accused of shooting her husband, a Gregg County Justice of the Peace, passed away over the weekend. Relatives said Ina Lawson, 71, died of natural causes Saturday morning. According to KETK, in July of last year, Lawson was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after police said she shot her husband in the back July 25. She was out on $100,000 bond, awaiting a trial date. Sam Lawson is still recovering from his wounds at a Dallas rehab.
Vehicle Damages Longview Building
LONGVIEW — A Longview business was severely damaged Friday morning when a vehicle crashed head-on into the building. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. At around 7:45 a.m., a man was driving his 5-year-old son to school, but lost control of his truck and wrecked into Pine Tree Nails. Luckily, the business was closed at the time of the accident, according to the Longview Police Department. The driver was hospitalized with minor injures, and the child was uninjured. The boy’s mother picked up the child and took him to school. The building’s front exterior and interior were extensively damaged, but can be repaired. The name of the driver wasn’t immediately released. Officers could not speculate on whether drugs or alcohol were involved until a toxicology report is returned.
Tyler Man Dies in West Texas Accident
BROWNFIELD (AP) – A demolition worker from Tyler has been killed in an industrial accident at a West Texas job site. Terry County Sheriff Larry Gilbreath says 43-year-old James Croft died at the scene Thursday afternoon when a silo tank fell on him. Gilbreath says the accident happened at a location between Brownfield and Seagraves. Authorities say Croft was operating an excavator and helping take down a structure when the tank fell on him and the equipment.
TJC Residence Hall Construction to Impact Available Parking
TYLER — The Tyler Junior College Main campus is growing, with one major construction project under way and a second about to begin. Next week, construction crews assigned to help build a new 250-bed residence hall on the west side of campus will be blocking off one existing parking lot and portions of another, to create a safe working environment. The construction will directly impact access to 185 parking spaces that are regularly utilized by TJC students, employees and TJC fleet vehicles. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to be prepared for this development. When students and employees return from Spring Break, on Monday, March 17, these 185 spaces will not be available. Read more …
Mother Frances Makes Truven Top 100 List
TYLER — Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler was named this week as one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics, termed a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare. According to a news release from Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals study identifies hospitals and leadership teams that provide the highest level of value to their communities, based on a national balanced scorecard. Read more …
Free Bulky Item Collection Extended
TYLER — The City of Tyler Solid Waste Department and Keep Tyler Beautiful are sponsoring a free bulky item collection for City of Tyler residential customers. Due to the icy weather, the free bulky item collection has been extended to Friday, March 14. Bulky items that will be picked up at no charge include furniture, appliances, carpet, fence material, up to four noncommercial vehicle tires, old toys and other large items that would normally require a special fee. No liquid waste will be picked up. Paint must be dried out with oil dry or kitty litter. Read more …
January Jobless Rate in Texas Falls to 5.7 Percent
AUSTIN (AP) – Texas added about 34,000 jobs in January as the state’s unemployment rate slipped to its lowest mark in more than five years. State officials say the overall rate was 5.7 percent, ranging from 2.9 percent in the Midland area to 10.5 percent in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area.
Perry Speaks Out at Conservative Gathering
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) – Texas Governor Rick Perry has mocked Democratic governors on the second day of an annual gathering of conservatives near the nation’s capital. Perry says Democrats lead states with higher taxes, out-of-control pensions and fewer jobs. Perry is among several prospective presidential candidates at the three-day conference.
Two Bodies Found in Port Bolivar
PORT BOLIVAR (AP) – Homicide detectives are investigating after the bodies of two women were found Friday morning near a store in Port Bolivar, near Galveston. Authorities believe the women were killed elsewhere and their bodies dumped near a garbage bin.
911 Call: Texas Man in Teacher’s Death Eyed Alibi
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) – A man facing charges of killing his Dallas-area teacher girlfriend in New Mexico initially claimed in a 911 call that she disappeared after threatening to leave a bar with a man who “treated her right.” Police say Robert Earley of Euless later told investigators he knocked Emily Lambert unconscious during a fight at a motel. Lambert’s body was found Wednesday near Carlsbad.
Houston Teen Charged with Abandoning Newborn
HOUSTON (AP) – Authorities say a Houston teenager has been charged with abandonment after her newborn was found last month discarded in a garbage bin at an apartment complex. The 16-year-old appeared in juvenile court Friday for a preliminary hearing. A caseworker with state Child Protective Services says the teen was arrested Thursday and charged with abandoning a child without intent to return. The infant remains hospitalized and eventually will be placed in a foster home. The mother has told caseworkers she didn’t know she was pregnant and thought the baby was dead after giving birth in a bathtub. She said she had not spoken to the 22-year-old father in months. A maintenance worker at the complex found the boy Feb. 25 in a trash bag after hearing sounds from the bin.
U.S. Rig Count Up 23 to 1,792
HOUSTON (AP) – Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 23 this week to 1,792. The Houston firm said in its weekly report Friday that 1,443 rigs were exploring for oil and 345 for gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,752 active rigs. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 20 rigs, California was up by five, North Dakota two, and Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Utah each gained one.