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One Dead in Friday Night Crash

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm   Print This Print This

billy_joe_armstrongSMITH COUNTY — A Palestine man was killed late Friday night in a head-on collision in southwestern Smith County. KETK reports the collision happened around 11:30 p.m. near FM 2661. State troopers say the victim was Billy Joe Armstrong, 30. Troopers were still investigating the incident at last report, and no other details were immediately available.

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Three, Including Toddler, Critically Injured in Wreck

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 4:27 pm   Print This Print This

tyler_wreck_SMITH COUNTY — Smith County emergency crews responded Saturday morning to an accident with critical injuries, and a toddler was one of the victims. KETK reports the crash happened around 11:30 a.m. on Toll 49, one mile north of Highway 64. State troopers say a small Lexus crossed the center lane for unknown reasons and sideswiped a van before colliding head-on with a Mustang. Troopers say three people, including a 2-year-old, were taken to the hospital. They were last reported in critical condition. No other details were immediately available.

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Longview Reacts to Possibility Glass Dragon Could Reopen

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm   Print This Print This

glassdragonlnjLONGVIEW — The Glass Dragon reopening its doors may just happen. KETK reports it was the case that sent shock waves across Gregg and Upshur counties earlier this month. That’s when three people were arrested after a federal, state, and local investigation into the Glass Dragon’s alleged distribution of synthetic marijuana. According to the Longview News-Journal, Jeremy Tidwell has filed a motion in federal court to let him reopen one of his smoke shops to sell electronic cigarettes and other legal items. Some businesses surrounding the Glass Dragon are not happy about the news, though Tidwell’s effort has at least one supporter. Read more …

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Officer Cleared in Fatal Shooting

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm   Print This Print This

johnnylyonsLONGVIEW — Longview Police Officer Johnny Lyons has been cleared of any wrongdoing by a Gregg County grand jury in the August 7 shooting of Regan Wagner. Police say Lyons shot and killed Wagner near Akin Park during a daytime traffic stop after Wagner displayed a firearm and refused repeated requests to put it down. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Wagner, 23, of Longview, had been pulled over for an expired inspection sticker. Longview police initially said Wagner was killed during an exchange of gunfire but later said Wagner did not fire any shots. Longview police spokeswoman Kristie Brian said Wagner showed a gun but could not confirm whether it was loaded. Read more …

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Man Gets Ten Years in Henderson County Meth Case

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm   Print This Print This

followellhendersonco1ATHENS — A former Seven Points resident heads to prison on a methamphetamine-related charge. On Wednesday morning, Ray Glenn Followwell, 50, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. According to KETK, Followwell was indicted by a Henderson County Grand Jury following an investigation by Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Wick Gabbard. On November 18th of last year, Gabbard obtained and executed a narcotics search warrant on Followwell’s residence off CR 2428. Other law officers assisted in the execution of the warrant. Read more …

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Texas Inaugural Committee Announces New Appointments

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm   Print This Print This

AUSTIN – Following last week’s announcement of its executive leadership team, the 2015 Texas Inaugural Committee Friday announced the remainder of its committee appointments. Three of those chosen are from East Texas. The people on the list were selected by Governor-elect Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor-elect Dan Patrick to oversee January’s celebration honoring the state’s newly-elected leaders. The governor’s appointments include Andrea and Brandon Steele of Tyler, and JoAnn Fleming of Flint is listed among the lieutenant governor’s appointments. Read more …

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Tips Sought after TV Meteorologist Shot

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 4:54 pm   Print This Print This

TEMPLE (AP) – More than 130 tips have been left on a telephone hotline in the search for a man who shot a Central Texas meteorologist outside the TV station. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson said Saturday that no arrests have been made in the wounding of Patrick Crawford. Crawford, who’s the morning weathercaster at KCEN-TV near Waco, was shot Wednesday morning while in his car in the station parking lot. The unknown man then fled on foot. Wilson says authorities so far have no credible leads on who attacked Crawford. Investigators are seeking a motive for the gunfire. Crawford underwent surgery at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, where a spokesman said he remained in fair condition Saturday. The law enforcement tip line is 1-800-863-8558.

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Immigrants Build Document Trails to Remain in U.S.

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 4:55 pm   Print This Print This

SAN DIEGO (AP) – The search for documents is on for immigrants who may qualify for a work permit and reprieve from deportation under measures President Barack Obama announced last month. Applicants must prove they were in the country continuously since January 2010 – a tall order for many accustomed to avoiding trails. For critics, conditions are ripe for fraud. The administration has not said which documents it will accept, but advocates are taking guidance from a 2012 reprieve for immigrants who came to the country as young children. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program allows vehicle registrations, baptism records, mortgages, postmarked letters – and those are just some suggestions from the agency. Denver immigration attorney Laura Lichter suggests using movie rental receipts, veterinarian bills, and customer loyalty programs that detail purchase histories.

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Harris County Grand Juries Lack Hispanics

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm   Print This Print This

HOUSTON (AP) – A newspaper says Hispanics are so underrepresented in Houston-area criminal grand juries that the legality of indictments could be questioned based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision that found such disparities can violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. An analysis conducted by the Houston Chronicle found that there are three times more adult Hispanics living in Harris County than the number who serve on grand juries, 36 percent versus 12 percent. The analysis also found that Asians are underrepresented in Harris County to a similar degree. In Castaneda v. Partida, a 1977 case that made it to the high court, Hidalgo County grand juries were found to be 39 percent Mexican-American, though the county population was 79 percent. The Mexican-American defendant’s indictment was thrown out.

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List of Worst Texas Schools Increases

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm   Print This Print This

thumb_TEA-texas-education-logoAUSTIN (AP) – The number of campuses on the annual list of the worst public schools in Texas is up more than a third from last year. The Texas Education Agency reported Friday that 1,199 schools have been identified as low performers because of poor test scores or unacceptable ratings under the state’s Public Education Grant Program. Last year there were 892 schools on the list. Under different criteria in 2012, there were 456 campuses singled out for low performance. More than 736,000 students attend the schools on the list. They all have the right to transfer to another campus either in their home district or any neighboring district that agrees to accept them. The Legislature is expected to review the PEG program in its regular session that begins in January.

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Officer Cleared in Fatal Shooting of Pit Bull

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm   Print This Print This

CLEBURNE (AP) – A review has cleared a North Texas officer in the videotaped fatal shooting of a pit bull during a call about aggressive dogs. Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain on Saturday announced the independent investigation, paid for by the city, found the officer was justified. Some residents had protested the dog’s killing. A neighbor on Aug. 10 called to report roaming pit bulls near her car. The woman said she, a baby, and an elderly woman in the vehicle couldn’t get out. The officer, whose name wasn’t released, said he feared for his safety before shooting the dog. The dog owner has said the officer wasn’t justified. The dog was among three pit bulls that escaped from a yard. Cain says police are implementing new training procedures for dealing with dogs.

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Fort Worth Firefighters Use Oxygen to Save Cat

Posted/updated on: December 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm   Print This Print This

FORT WORTH (AP) – North Texas firefighters have used oxygen on a cat that was rescued from a burning house after the residents escaped on their own. The Fort Worth Fire Department announced Saturday that the pet, named Stubby, survived. No humans were hurt in Friday’s fire, which heavily damaged a home. Authorities are trying to determine what sparked the fire. Lt. Kyle Falkner says firefighters found the cat while trying to bring the blaze under control. Stubby was extricated but had suffered from smoke inhalation, so firefighters administered oxygen via a mask. The cat was taken to a veterinarian for further examination.

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