TYLER – With a record number of registered voters in Smith County, early voting in the November general election starts on Monday. Over 135,000 persons are registered to vote in the County. That is over 32,000 persons more than were registered in the last presidential election in 2012. And from Monday through November 4th, early voting will be held at a variety of locations around Smith County. The primary locations are the HUB on West Ferguson, The Heritage Building on Bellwood Road, The Noonday Community Center, Lindale Public Library and at the Whitehouse Municipal Court. There are also temporary branch early voting locations. … Read More
LONGVIEW – Starting Monday, a new traffic signal will begin operating at Fourth Street and Eastman Road (US 259) in Longview. It will be flashing yellow until October 31, at which point it will become a fully operational traffic signal. Motorists are asked use caution while work is being completed. This traffic signal work is funded from the available street bond funds as well as private funding. This project consists of installing a traffic signal with ramps and pedestrian walk-way.
Smith County – Tyler Maintenance plans to conduct base repairs on FM 15 between Troup and Wright City. Edge repairs will be performed on FM 1995. Expect lane closures at both locations with flaggers providing traffic control.… Read More
FORT WORTH (AP) – Fort Worth police say officers responding to a shooting call found two people dead in the driveway of a home, and a suspect has been detained. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that police found the two dead early Sunday morning. A woman calling police told a dispatcher someone had been shot outside of a home. Sgt. Marc Povero says a male suspect was detained at the scene. Police say six shots were fired. Police have not yet released a motive.
FORT WORTH (AP) – Fort Worth police say a 51-year-old man accused of choking a woman opened fire on police before he surrendered. Police say Larry Trees was arrested Saturday on two counts of attempted capital murder of a peace officer and assault bodily injury of a family member. He was being held Sunday in Mansfield jail on $65,000 bond.
CORPUS CHRISTI (AP) – A man has been convicted of manslaughter in the punching death of a man in a Corpus Christi strip club parking lot three years ago. A Nueces County jury found 46-year-old Mark Booker guilty of manslaughter Friday in the death of 45-year-old Jeffry Schexnider. The punishment phase of his trial begins Monday. Booker faces up to 20 years in prison. Police have said that after a disturbance between Booker and Schexnider started inside the club in November 2013, employees asked them to leave.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Officials say two people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and two floors of a downtown San Antonio hotel were evacuated after a fire erupted during a wedding banquet. San Antonio Police Department Sgt. Bryan Patten tells the San Antonio Express-News that the fire started Saturday night on the second floor in the Sheraton Gunter hotel. San Antonio Fire Department Capt. Craig Balter says a cooking stove caught fire during the banquet, producing heavy smoke.
GILMER – A missing Gilmer woman has been found and is hospitalized in Tyler. Olivia Torres, 30, of Gilmer, who is 8 months pregnant, disappeared on Friday.Torres said she was going to work at the Union Hill booth at the East Texas Yamboree. Her family said her car was still parked at the Gilmer Church of Christ where she left it on Friday. Her family said she was found besides South Mimosa Road in western Upshur County and taken to Tyler’s Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital. She is said to be in stable condition. The condition of her unborn is not known.
LUFKIN – A woman who had just moved to lufkin has died in a two vehicle accident. Killed in the Friday night accident was Brennan Lucille Fisher, 20. The accident occurred On East Loop 287 at Martin Luther King Drive. She was a passenger in a car that was using a crossover at the intersection. An 18-wheeler was also attempting to use the crossover. The car in which Fisher was riding passed the truck and pulled into the path of a pickup, which T-boner her car on the passenger side. Four persons were injured. The driver of Fisher’s vehicle, Emily Pharris, 19, of Lufkin, was ticketed for no driver’s license and failure to yield at an intersection.
JACKSONVILLE – The Texas Department of Transportation will change the operation of the traffic signal at the intersection of Bolton (FM 347) and Kickapoo streets in Jacksonville as part of its traffic signal removal process. Beginning Monday, “STOP” and “STOP AHEAD” signs will be placed on the Kickapoo Street approach to the intersection. Once the signs have been installed, the signal will flash yellow on Bolton Street allowing traffic to proceed through the intersection with caution but without stopping. On Kickapoo Street, the signal will flash red meaning the traffic must stop before continuing through the intersection.… Read More
BRUCEVILLE-EDDY (AP) – Two people are dead after their SUV veered into oncoming traffic on a rural road southwest of Waco. A man and woman from Belton were traveling toward Bruceville-Eddy on Friday afternoon when their SUV crossed the center line and struck an oncoming pickup truck.
TYLER (AP) – U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert says Donald Trump is a flawed candidate who is not the “salvation” of the conservative movement but instead is a “reprieve.” The Republican warned that if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency and nominates the next U.S. Supreme Court justice “then this country is done as we know it.” The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports that Gohmert cautioned against voter apathy or even discouragement in the GOP ranks because it may undercut Trump’s efforts to win the White House. He delivered his remarks last week to the Smith County Republican Women’s Club. Gohmert represents Texas’ 1st Congressional District, which stretches across much of East Texas. He’s being challenged in the November 8 general election by Democrat Shirley McKellar.
AUSTIN (AP) – Records reviewed by The Associated Press show some arrests along the Texas border labeled as “high threat” include drunken drivers and child-support dodgers. The state’s Department of Public Safety in 2015 classified more than 1,800 highway patrol arrests near the border as “high threat,” meaning people who pose a “serious public safety or homeland security threat.” But the AP’s analysis found low-level drug offenders and hit-and-runs were lumped in with suspected killers and human traffickers.
BURNET (AP) – A Central Texas woman has been sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing and torturing her children in an abuse case local authorities say is one of the worst they’ve seen. Burnet County District Attorney Sonny McAfee said in a release Friday that Misty Rae Hopkins, 49, was convicted earlier in the week on multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault and indecency with a child. McAfee says Hopkins and her husband, a church pastor, sexually abused their four children for years.
AUSTIN (AP) – School leaders in Austin are seeking ways to end racial disparities so significant that in more than half of city schools black and Hispanic children make up at least 90 percent of the student body. District trustees say busing students across town or altering boundaries won’t be considered. The Austin American-Statesman reports that one idea is to place popular academic programs in schools that have high percentages of students who are poor, black or Latino. The argument is that more middle-class and white students would transfer to them.
LONGVIEW – LeTourneau University received a $600,000 Lilly Foundation grant to create a theological institute for high school students to explore their vocational calling. Called Passage Institute for Youth and Theology, the institute will provide the opportunity for 50 high school students from around the Ark-La-Tex area each year to participate in a Passage Fellowship. Participation features two week-long residential experiences on the LETU campus with direct engagement with a leadership team including LETU theology professors Dr. Luke Tallon, Dr. Pat Mays and Dr. Jonathan Lett. Students who qualify to participate must be high school juniors during Summer 2017 with demonstrated commitment to and leadership within their local churches. … Read More
AUSTIN (AP) – Federal regulators who accuse Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of committing securities fraud aren’t giving up after a judge threw out their first try. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday filed a revised lawsuit against Paxton that again accuses the Republican of personally duping investors in a high-tech startup. Paxton is also fighting nearly identical criminal charges in state court. He’s pleaded not guilty and could face 5 to 99 years in prison if convicted.
HOUSTON (AP) – Houston police say a 56-year-old man has called a 911 operator to report he’s responsible for a slaying in Houston more than 30 years ago. Police say Lawrence Fox called and said he wanted to confess to the fatal shooting of Randy Erekson on February 18, 1986. Authorities found Erekson on his bed with several gunshot wounds. Fox told officers the shooting was over money involved in a drug transaction.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Officials in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana say they’ve denied a request by Russian officials to be present at polling stations during next month’s election. The U.S. State Department’s spokesman says Russia hasn’t participated in an international mission to observe elections, so its effort to do so on the state level represents “nothing more than a PR stunt.”
HOUSTON (AP) – Two Houston pension boards have approved landmark reform that could resolve a 15-year crisis that’s contributed to recent credit downgrades and severe strains on the city budget. Details of the plan were revealed Thursday and are meant to end Houston’s pension underfunding in 30 years and eliminate more than $2.5 billion in future costs by reducing benefits. The Houston Chronicle reports the deal also includes a provision requiring benefit reductions or higher worker contributions if factors push the city’s own contribution above a cap. Several hurdles remain. For instance, the state Legislature must give its OK.
MADISONVILLE (AP) – A school bus crashed into a car and overturned twice at an East Texas intersection, sending 16 of 18 of the children aboard to area hospitals. Sgt. Jimmy Morgan of the Texas Department of Public Safety says the bus driver and both occupants of the car also were transported to hospitals. He said none of the injuries appeared at the scene to be life-threatening. The crash happened about 4:00pm Friday in Madisonville.
EL PASO (AP) – A former West Texas university student has pleaded guilty to a role in a gambling operation at the university that took bets from basketball players on different sports. The FBI says Michael Karpus pleaded guilty during a Friday federal court hearing in El Paso to misprision of felony, a charge involving failure to report a felony to authorities.
HAWKINS – Jarvis Christian College was on lock down for a while on Friday following a large fight. It was reported around 10:30am. KETK reports officials called for help and a total of 10 law enforcement officers, plus Jarvis security, were able to break up the fight. Five persons were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. One person was charged with possession of marijuana. All are said to be students at the school. They now face administrative action from the college. The cause of the fight is unknown at this time.
TYLER – The man accused of the fatal shooting of a deputy constable’s K-9, has pleaded guilty in a Tyler court. In a plea deal, Michael Paul Koch, 36, of Grand Saline, pleaded guilty Friday to interference with a service animal, evading arrest, unlawful possession of a firearm, manufacturing meth and theft. He will serve all sentences concurrently, meaning a 40 year prison term. Koch had been accused of shooting of K-9 Constable Ogar following a traffic stop on on Interstate Highway 20 on January 19th. Koch was arrested in a Dallas Wal-Mart four days later.
TYLER – The University of Texas at Tyler is a finalist for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s 2016 Star Award. The school has been recognized for its Insight Motivated Marketing 360 curriculum within the Department of Management and Marketing. The winner will be announced at a reception next Wednesday in Austin. According to a news release from the school, UT Tyler’s IMM360 program provides marketing students a set of general and specific marketable skills through a 360-degree view of how suppliers and retailers work together to serve their customers. IMM360 offers a curriculum designed to help students understand the role of data in marketing decision making and uses state-of-the-industry technology and data from resources such as The Nielsen Company, JDA, Learning Evolutions and SAP.
LUFKIN – Following the arrest this week of a Lufkin teacher for improper relationship between educator and student, now a coach in Angelina County has now been arrested. An investigator for the sheriff’s department, along with a Texas Ranger, arrested 31 year old Richard Warren Cratty Jr. of Nacogdoches. He has been charged with online solicitation of a minor. The school district’s website show he is a Zavalla High School baseball coach and also teachers social studies at the Junior High.
AUSTIN – Unemployment in Texas rose slightly last month. In East Texas, the jobless rate for Tyler and Longview dipped slightly. The Texas unemployment rate last month was 4.8%. That’s up slightly from the August figure. It reflects 4 straight months of higher jobless rates in the state. Tyler’s unemployment rate for September was 5% and Longview’s was 6.7%. Both figures are slightly lower than the August numbers but higher than September of last year. The nationwide jobless rate is 5%.
LONGVIEW – The Longview News-Journal is presenting a new event in Downtown Longview today. Rockers, Riders and Ribs started the set up late Friday afternoon. Several downtown streets were closed to motor traffic starting at 5:00pm Friday. Barricades were placed on several streets east of Fredonia Street.… Read More
TYLER – You can get rid of old medications in Tyler today. The Tyler Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency, are hosting a “no questions asked” medication drop off. It will be from 10:00 till 2:00 at the CVS pharmacy on South Broadway at 5th Street. Tyler police detective Andy Erbaugh says the drive-through event is free and allows you to turn in unused and expired medications for safe disposal. It is important to clean out your medicine cabinet, especially if you have children. Young children may confuse it with something to eat or drink and keeping unneeded medications with teenagers can lead to potential drug abuse.… Read More
TYLER – A young boy has been critically injured in a two car accident in Tyler. It happened around 3:00 Thursday afternoon near the intersection of West Gentry Parkway and North Bois D Arc. An SUV heading east on West Gentry ended up crossing over the west bound lanes and into the parking lot of the Family Dollar Store. It then hit a pickup that was leaving the parking lot. The pickup rolled and ended up on its side with the woman driver partially ejected. A 4 year old boy in a rear safety seat in the SUV received life threatening injuries and was flown to Dallas for treatment. The two drivers were hospitalized. Police say alcohol is not thought to be a factor in the accident. The investigation of the crash is ongoing.