ETMC EMS to Drop Upshur County Service in March
TYLER — Beginning March 1, 2015, ETMC EMS will no longer offer ambulance service in Upshur County. The information comes in a brief news release from ETMC. “For many years, ETMC has been able to provide ambulance service in many communities for free or for a small fee. With the changes in reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, we can no longer afford to provide this service,” said Neal Franklin, general manager, ETMC EMS. ETMC EMS has enjoyed its years of service to the residents of Upshur County and will assist during the transition to a new EMS provider, according to the release. ETMC didn’t immediately say what the transition might entail.
Police: Man Claims He Killed Wife, but She Survives
NACOGDOCHES (AP) – Police in East Texas say a woman has been released from the hospital after her husband called 911 and said he choked her to death. George Girard, 72, was being held at the Nacogdoches County jail on Tuesday morning on a felony aggravated assault charge. The Nacogdoches man was waiting outside for officers after he called 911 on Sunday. Police found his wife unconscious on the kitchen floor with blood on her neck. She was taken to an area hospital where she was treated and released. Girard told police he pinned his wife to the floor and choked her until she stopped moving.
Peterson Weighs In on Ferguson Case
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson has sparked anger after appearing to compare his child abuse charges to the situation unfolding in Ferguson. Peterson pleaded no contest in a Conroe courtroom to a misdemeanor assault charge following his arrest for disciplining his four-year-old son with a switch. Now he’s taken to Twitter with, “The grand jury decided not to indict me too! But that changed a week later! Maybe, but not likely in this case.” One follower tweeted, “Not the same thing — let it ride.” The Palestine native followed with yet another tweet an hour later: “My heart goes out to Mike Brown’s family! My thoughts & prayers are with you!” The NFL has suspended Peterson without pay for the remainder of the 2014 season.
Coal-Fired Plant Proposal Could Affect East Texas
FORT WORTH — Coal-fired plant operators in Texas could be writing some big checks, and East Texas could see the results. Under a federal proposal, the operators of the eight biggest such plants would spend two billion dollars to retrofit 15 units to reduce air pollution. Tom “Smitty” Smith with Public Citizen welcomes this. Smith says, “It will improve our public health, and many of the sort of hazy days that now cloud our skies over the Dallas-Fort Worth or Tyler area will come to an end.” He says it would make much more sense to scrap the old coal plants and go with another form of energy like natural gas or renewables.
Longview’s Second Rabid Bat of the Year
LONGVIEW — A bat found in Longview has tested positive for rabies. The confirmation came yesterday from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The injured bat was found late last week in a parking lot at LeTourneau University, 2100 South Mobberly Avenue. This is the second positive rabies case in Longview this year. “In this instance, someone found the bat outdoors. As a reminder, we encourage people to avoid touching bats, but to please contact the City of Longview Environmental Health.” said Leisha Kidd-Brooks, Longview Environmental Health Manager. Read more …
City of Tyler Sex Offender Compliance Check
TYLER — The Tyler Police Department reports a clean slate after conducting its annual city-wide sex offender compliance check November 20 with the assistance of officers from multiple law enforcement agencies. Officers were charged with checking on 147 registered sex offenders who are registered with the city of Tyler. Officers showed up unannounced at the offenders’ addresses to confirm their whereabouts and correct addresses. Upon completion of the check all 147 sex offenders were found to be in compliance with their registration requirements, according to a news release. Read more …
Community Prepares to Welcome Injured Firefighter Home
LINDALE — The Lindale community is preparing to welcome injured firefighter Joe Yeakley home Wednesday afternoon. Yeakley suffered serious injuries battling a structure fire in January. Following the fire, Yeakley was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas. He was later moved to a rehab center. KETK reports Yeakley is expected to be back around 4:30 p.m. A Lindale VFD spokesperson said Lindale Engine 1 will take Yeakley to his home. A procession will lead him north on Highway 69, starting at Interstate 20 and ending taking a left on to Highway 16, in downtown Lindale. Read more …
Methvin Street Closure Shifts as Work Progresses
LONGVIEW — Methvin Street between Green Street and Fredonia Street in Longview will be reopened to traffic by the end of the day Wednesday, November 26, according to a city news release. This completes Phase 1 of the Methvin Street Improvement Project. However, on Friday, November 28, Methvin Street will close to traffic between High and Center. This will begin Phase 2 of the proposed Methvin Street Improvements. Construction should last approximately four months, according to officials. Read more …
Death Row Inmate Loses at Top Texas Appeals Court
HOUSTON (AP) – The state’s top criminal court has refused to halt next week’s scheduled execution of a convicted killer who defense attorneys contend is severely delusional. A divided Texas Court of Criminal Appeals voted 5-4 Tuesday to reject an appeal from lawyers for 56-year-old Scott Panetti. He’s scheduled for lethal injection Dec. 3 for fatally shooting his in-laws 22 years ago at their Fredericksburg home. Gillespie County prosecutors argued the appeal was improper and the court had no jurisdiction. Attorneys want additional time and want experts to examine Panetti’s mental competence for execution. Judge Elsa Alcala, in a dissenting opinion joined by three other judges, said the court needed to more liberally consider the appeal because it involved constitutional issues about executing the mentally ill. Panetti’s lawyers say they’ll contest the ruling.
Motorist Killed when Vehicle Struck by Train
TAYLOR (AP) – The driver of a pickup was killed in Central Texas when the vehicle was struck by an Amtrak passenger train traveling from San Antonio to Chicago. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari in Chicago says it’s not clear if the pickup was stopped Tuesday afternoon on the tracks north of Taylor or was attempting to cross them when struck. Bell County sheriff’s Lt. Donnie Adams told KWTX in Waco that the pickup was engulfed in flames and confirmed its driver was killed. Magliari says none of the 225 passengers or approximately 10 crew members aboard Amtrak’s Texas Eagle was injured. He said the train would remain on the tracks until inspectors determine it’s safe to continue north.
Two Prison Guards among Three Dead in West Texas Wreck
LAMESA (AP) – Two prison guards and the driver of a second vehicle have died in a West Texas traffic accident that left another officer hurt. Investigators are trying to determine what caused the collision near Lamesa after the Smith Unit guards ended their shift at the nearby prison. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice on Tuesday identified the correctional officers who died as Akinjobi G. Akinpelu and Olusegun Sangowale. Both were southbound on Highway 349. A 19-year-old woman in a northbound vehicle was also killed in Monday morning’s wreck. Her name wasn’t immediately released. Another Smith Unit guard, Akinola H. Fasae, was with his co-workers and suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening. Fasae was transported to University Medical Center in Lubbock. Hospital officials didn’t immediately provide his condition Tuesday.
Three on Texas DPS 10 Most Wanted List Captured
AUSTIN (AP) – Three men on the Texas Department of Public Safety 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list have been captured. DPS officials on Tuesday announced the arrests of Josue Reyna, Alfredo Rangel and Ngoc Van Tran. Reyna was caught Nov. 18 in Del Rio. Rangel and Tran were captured Nov. 20. Tran, who was arrested in Mexico, was wanted for the 1996 slaying of his wife in Amarillo. Reyna was arrested at the Del Rio International Bridge while trying to enter the U.S. He’s wanted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and retaliation. Rangel was caught in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Rangel was involved in a 2000 attack on a Texas trooper and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was wanted for parole violation, larceny and engaging in organized criminal activity.
Sheriff: Five Children Missing in House Fire
EDNA (AP) – Officials say five children are missing after the roof of a South Texas mobile home partially collapsed in a fire, making rescue attempts impossible. Jackson County Sheriff A.J. Louderback couldn’t confirm Tuesday whether the children were killed in the fire but investigators believe some in the family of eight perished. In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, Edna Fire Department Capt. Nick Strauss said firefighters weren’t able to make rescue attempts due to the roof collapse. Emergency personnel arrived at the mobile home shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday in Edna, about 100 miles southwest of Houston. Louderback says the children’s parents were found outside the home with a child, whose age was unknown. The parents told firefighters five children were inside the home, which was engulfed in flames when authorities arrived.
Family of Three Who Died in Pasadena Fire Were Hoarders
PASADENA (AP) – An investigator says a woman and her two adult children who died in a Houston-area fire were hoarders and the clutter prevented their escape. Pasadena Fire Marshal David Brannon said Tuesday that the fire apparently started near a central heating unit but no cause has been identified. Autopsy results are pending on the victims of Monday’s blaze. Their names weren’t immediately released. Brannon says hoarding prevented the mother and her children, believed to be in their 50s, from being able to evacuate and also hindered firefighters. He says Pasadena code enforcement personnel worked with the family on many occasions about the one-story wooden house cluttered with paper goods, clothing and other items. Brannon says the siblings had mental challenges but were able to be mobile. He did not elaborate.
Gas Prices Drop across Texas amid Busy Travel Time
IRVING (AP) – Retail gasoline prices across Texas have dropped again as motorists take to the road for the Thanksgiving holiday. AAA Texas on Tuesday reported the statewide average for unleaded this week has settled at $2.60, down from $2.66 last week. Drivers nationwide are paying an average of $2.81. The most expensive gasoline in Texas was in Beaumont, where motorists are paying an average $2.63 a gallon. Drivers in Amarillo are paying the least at $2.49. AAA projects that 3.6 million Texans will travel at least 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving, representing a 5.2 percent increase in travel volume from last year and the highest volume for the holiday since 2007.