TYLER — Tyler’s sales tax revenue has topped the same period last year. Latest figures from the state comptrollers office show Tyler’s sales tax revenue at over $4,619,882.27. That’s up over 4% from the same period last year. But, while Tyler is up, Texas and many cities see their revenues declining. Longview’s sales tax revenues for the same period are down over 5%. Why has Tyler’s sales tax revenues increased? Tom Mullins, President of the Tyler Economic Development Council says it is because of our diversified economy. And he sees our sales tax revenues continuing to increase. Mullins says the economic development council has had the busiest January for prospect activity since in was founded in 1989.
TYLER – Spring enrollment at Tyler Junior College is up 2%. Enrollment in the spring 16-week semester is 10,654, an increase of 200 students from the same period last year. Dr. Tom Johnson, TJC Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs says he sees enrollment continuing to increase because of some new programs they will be adding. TJC officials are working through the accreditation processes to begin offering a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene in fall 2016. This will be the first four-year degree to be offered in the college’s history. Plans are also in the works for a veterinary technology program at TJC-Lindale.
TYLER – A woman has lost her money in a Tyler purse snatching. It happened around 1:00 Wednesday afternoon as the woman got out of her car at Rusk Avenue and College Street. The woman had earlier cashed check at Walmart on the West Loop and drove to work. Two men in a silver car are said to have followed her and when she got out of her car they grabbed her purse and fled. She was not injured. The purse was recovered a about a block away. But the money was missing. The vehicle that may have been used by the suspects has been found but there is no trace of the men.
LONGVIEW – For the second day in a row a threat has closed a Longview business. Workforce Solutions East Texas at 2430 South High Street received a threatening call Tuesday morning. The caller threatened to harm someone. It’s not known if the threat was directed to a person visiting the business or to an employee. As a precaution, the business closed. The business received another threatening call Wednesday morning, as a precaution, the business closed again.
TYLER – Tyler police said the two teens reported as runaways have been returned home around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon. Officials had been looking for the two teens who were described as “frequent runaways.” The siblings are identified as Hayden Gray,a 14-year-old male, and Taylor Sanchez, a 16-year-old female. They were last seen on Sunday. Sanchez has diabetes and is thought to be out of her supply of insulin.
CLEVELAND (AP/STAFF) — The Browns say Johnny Manziel was diagnosed with a concussion late in the season by an independent neurologist, countering an NFL Network report they lied about the injury to cover up the troubled quarterback showing up intoxicated for practice. The team issued a statement Tuesday saying Manziel, who is from Tyler, reported to the team’s facility on December 30, three days after a loss to Kansas City, complaining of concussion symptoms. The Browns say Manziel was tested by the neurologist and was entered into the league’s concussion protocol. The team says he wasn’t cleared from the protocol until January 12.… Read More
LONGVIEW – A Gregg County murder suspect has been released from jail on a reduced bond because of a mistake by the district attorney’s office. Gary Murphy, 52, of Kilgore, was arrested last September. He was being held in the Gregg County Jail under a $250,000 bond. Jail records show he was released on a $10,000 bond on February 2nd. According to the Longview News Journal, he was released on the lower bond because the grand jury indictment was handed down one day after the 90-day allotment for indictments.… Read More
MARSHALL — Rodney K. Beshears, 60, of Kennard, has pleaded guilty in federal court in Marshall to violating asbestos work practice standards of the Clean Air Act. Under federal statutes, he faces up to five years in federal prison. That is the maximum sentence prescribed by congress. The date for a sentencing hearing has not been set.… Read More
TYLER – Cosmetology students in the Tyler school district now have their own salon and spa. The CTC Salon and Spa offers a full range of services and features and includes a complete salon set-up, including styling stations, manicure and pedicure stations, and an esthetics room. Teacher Leign Ann Crump says when the students graduate, they will be ready to begin working in a salon immediately or continue on to other programs if they choose to specialize in a specific area.… Read More
LONGVIEW – A fugitive who fled Longview police last month, has been arrested. Charles Hordarius McNeary, 18, of Longview, had been named in an outstanding warrant. It stemmed from an armed suspect call on January 22nd. Officers found McNeary in a vehicle during the traffic stop. He ran away and officers were unable to find him that night. Through jail photos, officers were able to identify him and a warrant was issued. McNeary was located Monday night and arrested on the warrant for evading arrest with a prior conviction.
LONGVIEW – A threatening phone call has caused a Longview business to close. The call was received Tuesday morning at Workforce Solutions East Texas at 2430 South High Street. The caller threatened to harm someone. It’s not known if the threat was directed to a person visiting the business or to an employee. As a precaution, the business closed and extra precautions are also being taken at the Quitman location of the business.
AUSTIN – Late last month Governor Gregg Abbott requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 25 Texas counties. This was because of the severe weather damage sustained at the end of December. Tuesday morning, the president granted the request for public assistance. Included on the list are Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Titus and Van Zandt Counties. The governor’s request for individual assistance for Van Zandt County is still pending.
DALLAS (AP/STAFF) — Johnny Manziel’s ex-girlfriend says he hit her so hard during a late-night confrontation that’s being investigated by police that she lost hearing in one ear. An affidavit filed by Colleen Crowley was obtained by KXAS-TV. Crowley won a protective order last week against Manziel, of Tyler, the Cleveland Browns quarterback who is being investigated on allegations of domestic violence.… Read More
LONGVIEW – A traffic stop in Longview has led to the arrest of a gang member. The SUV was stopped Sunday in the area of Mobberly and Myrle Avenues. After the driver gave permission to search the vehicle, officers found a handgun covered by a tan rag. The gun was in the back seat where Bron’quivius Gray, 20, of Longview was sitting. Officers say he is a documented TYB gang member. Charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon, he was booked into the Gregg County Jail. Bond was set at $250,000.
Longview Police are trying to track down some smash and grab suspects. Several suspects are thought to be involved in the incidents that have occurred at stores selling tobacco products. The suspects are wearing masks, gloves, and clothing concealing anything to identify them. These suspects are in and out of the stores very quickly, in less than one minute on most incidents. A video of their vehicle shows a dark colored four door or extended cab truck with black rims. You can see some pictures and more information at the Longview Police Departments Facebook page. Anyone with any information about these crimes please call Detective Gabe Downs 903-237-1168 or Gregg County Crime stoppers at greggcountycrimestoppers.org.
CHAPEL HILL – One person is killed and one injured in a Smith County accident. The wreck occurred on Farm Road 850 four miles east of Chapel Hill. Dead at the scene was Samantha Briann Stanley, 31, of Kilgore. Injured was the car’s driver, Rio Joretta Alexander, 20, of Whitehouse. She is in stable condition at Tyler’s Mother Francis Hospital. The Department of Public Safety reports the accident occurred when Alexander’s car left the road and hit a tree shortly before 4:00 Sunday morning.
SMITH COUNTY – Tyler Maintenance crews plan to conduct work at several locations around the county including replacing a culvert on Farm Road 2015 near Farm Road 14 on Monday with flaggers directing traffic; base repairs on State Highway 155South for the remainder of the week with the roadway reduced to one lane. Another crew will be performing ditch maintenance around the area as well as culvert work at the SH 31/Spur 164 intersection. Expect the outside lane of SH 31 to be closed during this work around the middle of the week.… Read More
DALLAS (AP) — A broad legal challenge has led more than 20 Texas towns to ease restrictions over the last few months on where sex offenders can live. About 45 Texas towns received letters in November from the nonprofit group Texas Voices for Reason and Justice, demanding they repeal residency restrictions. It also has sued 14 towns and has a powerful ally, the state attorney general’s office. At issue is how Texas’ small towns are differentiated from larger ones. Communities with fewer than 5,000 people are “general law” towns, which can’t adopt an ordinance that the Legislature hasn’t permitted. Communities have recently learned their sex-offender laws have run afoul of state rules.
PASADENA (AP) — Officials say two people were killed and one injured in a Pasadena house fire. Fire officials say the fire broke out early Sunday morning. They are working to determine the cause.
LAREDO (AP) — Police in the South Texas town of Laredo say a 23-year-old man charged in the death of his father had grabbed him by the neck and hit him several times during an altercation. Roel Herrejon has been charged with murder in the slaying Thursday of his father, Ramiro Herrejon, 51. Roel Herrejon remained in Webb County jail Sunday on $150,000 bond.
McALLEN (AP) — Authorities say a Texas teenager killed his mother and two neighbors before killing himself. Uvalde County Sheriff Charlie Mendeke said Sunday that Dylan Westerburg, 19, gunned down his mother in their home near Uvalde, about 85 miles west of San Antonio. He then went and killed two brothers who lived next door. Mendeke says investigators haven’t determined a clear motive.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Texas Education Agency has notified South San Antonio Independent School District officials that it has appointed a conservator to oversee financial management and governance. TEA Commissioner Mike Morath said in the letter to Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra and board president Connie Prado that the district has failed to comply with a corrective action plan the state agency issued in November. Morath says the board continues to demonstrate an inability to work with its executive administration.
TYLER – Three men are being sought in a Tyler robbery. The victim tells officers, around 2:00 Saturday afternoon he was walking along West Bow Street when three men passed him. They then attacked him from behind. One of the men was armed with silver-colored brass knuckles. They stole some property and fled. The first suspect had a thin beard, a fade haircut, and was wearing a purple shirt, blue jeans, and a gold hoop earring in his left ear. The second suspect was wearing a gray shirt and blue jeans. The third was wearing black pants, a black shirt with white writing, a black jacket, and white sneakers. The victim is in stable condition at Mother Francis Hospital.
LONGVIEW – No word on what caused a Longview train derailment. It happened shortly after 3:15 Saturday afternoon along Gum Springs Road near Young Street. The engine and two cars of a BNSF east bound train jumped the tracks. There were no leaks and none of the cars overturned. No injuries were reported.
NACOGDOCHES – One person has been killed and two injured in a two vehicle accident near Nacogdoches. The head-on collision happened around 8:00 Friday night on State Highway 21. Dead at the scene was Charlotte Creel, 52, of Nacogdoches. She died when her car was hit by a pickup driven by Joshua Pierson, 22, of Pollock. The Department of Public Safety says Creel was passing another vehicle in a no passing zone when the accident occurred. Pierson, and a passenger in his vehicle, Derek Stewart, 23, of Woden, Pierson is listed in critical condition and Stewart is in serious condition. Neither was wearing their seatbelts.
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston police say a man held after a disturbance at a convenience store has died after becoming unresponsive while waiting to be booked on a drug charge. The man died Friday night at a Houston hospital. An autopsy was ordered.
HOUSTON (AP) — Investigators believe a pedestrian was wearing earbuds when he was hit by a freight train in Houston and killed. Authorities say the accident happened around midmorning Saturday as the man walked along the tracks in a wooded area. Houston firefighters say the young man had earbuds in at the time of the accident.
EDINBURG(AP) — A South Texas man has been sentenced to 70 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a neighbor while chatting through a chain-link fence between their homes in 2015. The Monitor reports Rodolfo Saenz, 32, of Penitas was sentenced late Friday after being convicted of murder.
LAREDO (AP) — A convicted drug trafficker from Laredo has been sentenced to 32 years in prison for helping smuggle heroin from Mexico into Texas. Juan Pablo Contreras was sentenced in federal court in Laredo. The 43-year-old Contreras earlier pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy-related counts. Federal prosecutors say Contreras would buy heroin wholesale from Mexico and distribute it in Laredo and San Antonio in a prison gang-related operation.
TYLER – A fire just north of Tyler has destroyed a home, damaged four others and a truck. The Saturday afternoon fire was reported in the 3300 block of Mary Ann Street. Neighbors told KETK two people, including a small were in the house when the fire started. No one in the homes were injured. One firefighter became overheated and was treated at the scene. The cause remains under investigation.