TYLER – Tyler police say a man earlier reported missing has been located and reunited with his family. James Earl Spencer, 79, had last been seen around 11:00 Wednesday morning at his home on East Cedar Street. Spencer has been diagnosed with dementia. Police say he was found late Wednesday afternoon.
TYLER – Over 2,000 donors gave to East Texas Charities on Tuesday, East Texas Giving Day. The online fundraising effort started at 6:00am Tuesday and ended that night at 11:59. Based on preliminary results, donors contributed $498,664 to support charities in 32 East Texas Counties. Preliminary results show Smith County charities leading with Promise Academy receiving the most contributions with $31,485. They were followed by Mentoring Alliance with $26,653and the Salvation Army in Tyler with $23,825.
TYLER – The 29th annual Brookshire’s Benefit Golf Tournament raised a record-breaking $550,000 for charities on Monday, with 600 golfers playing simultaneously on six East Texas golf courses. Tyler-area courses were The Cascades, Eagles Bluff, Garden Valley, Hollytree and Willow Brook, and Twin Lakes in Canton was also a course location. Brookshire Grocery Company disperses tournament proceeds each year to more than 100 nonprofit organizations in the communities served by Brookshire’s, Super 1 Foods and Spring Market stores. The company focuses its charitable giving on hunger relief, education, family wellbeing, and military/first responders. This year’s donation brings the total funds raised to more than $5 million since the tournament’s inception in 1988. In the photo, from left, are James Smith with Niagara Bottling, Paul Canon with Pilgrim’s Pride, and BGC Chairman and CEO Brad Brookshire.
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has appointed 10 student regents to their respective universities, effective June 1, 2017, for terms set to expire May 31, 2018. The Governor also appointed a student representative to serve on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, effective June 1, 2017, for a term set to expire May 31, 2018. Appointed to the Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents is Maggie Wright of Flower Mound.She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
TYLER – The Smith County Sheriff’s Office has been accepted into the ICE 287 program. This came last Friday as Sheriff Larry Smith met with Immigration Customs Enforcement Field Office Director Samona Flores in Tyler. The sheriff also signed a Memorandum of Agreement between the sheriff’s office and Immigration Customs Enforcement. Next, six detention officers will be selected to attend the ICE Academy in Charleston, South Carolina. And, preparations are being made to install fingerprint equipment in the Smith County Jail which will be connected to the ICE fingerprint database. According to Sheriff Smith, “We believe this partnership will assist us tremendously in dealing with the criminal alien population who are committing serious crimes in Smith County.”
AUSTIN (AP/STAFF) – Texas’ highest criminal court has refused an appeal from an East Texas woman on death row for the slaying seven years ago of her developmentally disabled baby sitter. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday rejected 15 claims raised by Kimberly Cargill, 50, of Whitehouse. She was convicted in Smith County in 2012 of causing the asphyxiation of Cherry Walker, 39. Most of the claims contended Cargill’s trial lawyers were deficient for not presenting evidence that Walker died of an epilepsy-related seizure rather than homicidal violence. She testified during her trial that Walker had a seizure while she was driving her home. She claimed she panicked and didn’t act rationally. Walker’s body was found along along a Smith County Road when it had been doused with lighter fluid and set on fire.
KILGORE – A man arrested last Friday for a Gregg County bank robbery is a suspect in another bank robbery. 48 year old Hector Camargo has been charged with last Friday’s Robbery of the First National Bank of Hughes Springs in Liberty City. Just over two hours later, he was picked up by a state trooper on an unrelated charge. After searching his vehicle Camargo was charged with the robbery. Now, Kilgore police say Camargo is a suspect in the robbery of Citizen’s National Bank on December 16 of last year. He matches the description as the lone gunman who robbed the bank and fled with an undetermined amount of money.
LONGVIEW – The trial has been postponed for Kilgore College student who, along with three others, is charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and with five counts of sex trafficking. Malik Antoine Brown, 19, of Brazoria, was scheduled for a pretrial hearing on April 27, with jury selection and trial at set for May 1. The Longview News Journal is reporting that the trial for Brown is now set for 9:00am on July 31 in federal court in Galveston, according to an order filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Texas. A pretrial conference is scheduled 9:30am on July 26.… Read More
LONGVIEW – One man is hospitalized following a shooting in Longview. It was reported just before 5:00 Tuesday afternoon in the area of Dean Street and Twelfth Street. He was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. It is unsure at this time how he received the injury. Police say he has been uncooperative with investigators. No witnesses have been identified to the incident at this time. His name has not been released. We’ll have more when the information becomes available.
FRANKSTON – A Lake Palestine boating accident has claimed a second victim. Keith Wagnon of Palestine died Sunday morning from injuries received when the boat he and his wife were in went over the Lake Palestine spillway. The accident occurred last Wednesday. His wife Billie was dead at the scene. They were heading south when the boat went over the spillway and overturned.
TYLER – The city of Arp will be getting assistance in housing stray dogs. Smith County Commissioners have approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Arp to take its stray dogs into the Smith County Animal Shelter. According to the agreement, Arp will be responsible for responding to animal control matters within its city, then transporting the dogs to the Smith County Animal Shelter. The city will pay any fees associated with impoundment, testing, medical treatment or other services. Troup will pay Smith County $50 per dog that is brought to the shelter, as well as an additional $35 for each dog requiring euthanasia. Dogs are typically only euthanized at the county animal shelter when they are dangerous to others or severely injured.The agreement between Smith County and the City of Arp is effective through Fiscal Year 2018. A similar agreement was approved with the city of Troup last month.
TYLER – Smith County jury duty was cancelled on Tuesday. Now, it is also cancelled on Wednesday. If you have a Smith County jury summons for duty on Wednesday, you do not need to report to the courthouse. Smith County Jury Coordinator Lisa Bennett said jury duty has been cancelled for all courts on Wednesday. However, if you have been asked to return for jury duty by a specific court, you must still report.
TYLER – Documents and video of several questionable Smith County commissioners’ court meetings in 2014, have been released. A state district judge has ruled the meetings violated the Texas Open Meetings Act. During the meetings the commissioners discussed adding school zone cameras in the county to catch speeders. Grassroots America filed complaints against former County Judge Joel Baker with the state attorney general’s office, which opened a full investigation. Some who have heard the tapes say the problem was far worse then they had imagined. In fact, an attorney general’s investigator said at least nine meeting were held improperly. The cameras’ program was later shelved. Baker later resigned and end up, in a plea deal, pleading no contest to one of the three charges of violating the state’s open meetings act. The other two counts will be dismissed. Baker was fined $200 and served 30 days of deferred adjudication.
ATHENS – Several game rooms in Eastern Henderson County have been closed and several persons have been arrested on drug and weapons charges. Officers swept through game rooms in the Chandler and Coffee City areas. Several were closed for code violations. At one, Michael Caster, 53, of Trinidad (pictured) and Kelly Huddleston, 44, of Orlanda, Florida were arrested for manufacturing and delivering of methamphetamine. Investigators also found concession equipment stolen last week by burglars who hit the Cain Park complex in Athens. Fryers, crock pots, a cash register, drinks, candy, chips and several other items that had been taken from the Henderson County Girls Softball Association April 19 were recovered and returned to the group. A stolen auger, also reported stolen, was returned to its owner. The Athens Police Department came to the location to assist with the investigation to return the stolen items to the rightful owners.… Read More
DALLAS (AP/STAFF) — A woman killed in a Dallas murder/suicide is identified as a Hopkins County resident. Police say Matthew Kempf, 60, of Allen fatally shot his female supervisor, Lana Canada McAree, 48, of Sulphur Springs and then killed himself in an office building. It is located along the Interstate 635 service road near Schroeder Road. According to McAree’s Facebook page , she worked as the regional vice president of the midwest for Heart to Heart Hospice. Police have not indicated why Kempf targeted her Monday or what kind of office they worked in. Authorities say Kempf was employed by the company at the time. The office, where the shooting occurred, was in a multi-story building near a highway interchange in the northern part of the city.
DALLAS (AP) — A capital murder trial is underway for a former Tyler man who prosecutors say shot and killed four women and wounded four children. Testimony Tuesday in the trial of Erbie Lee Bowser, 48, included Dallas County jurors hearing 911 calls made by victims of the 2013 shootings at two separate homes. Bowser pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on Monday, the first day of the trial. His lawyer has argued that military service and repeated concussions from playing football affected his mental state. Prosecutors say Bowser killed his girlfriend and her daughter and then later his estranged wife and her daughter. Bowser is a 1987 graduate of Tyler’s Robert E. Lee High School, where he was an all-state football selection in 1986.
LONGVIEW – Another truck has fallen victim to Longview’s Green Street underpass. Despite warning signs that are posted for information and motorist safety, another truck became stuck at the underpass. It happened around 11:30 Monday morning. The driver, who was not injured in the accident, disregarded an official traffic control device and drove his truck under the bridge. The bridge has multiple warning signs indicating the height of the bridge. The truck was able to back up, but not before a section of the top was peeled off. Union Pacific was on scene evaluating the bridge once the truck was removed.
MARSHALL – The city of Marshall will be looking for a new police chief. Late Monday afternoon Chief Jesus “Eddie” Campa submitted his resignation. His last day on the job is on Wednesday. He was named chief in August, 2014. The Longview News Journal quotes Campa as saying, “I submitted my letter of resignation today. I have made the decision to step aside to pursue other opportunities that have developed. After speaking to my family, we believe it is the right time to do that right now.” He did not elaborate on what those opportunities might be.… Read More
AUSTIN (AP) — The state Senate has approved creating a Texas music museum slated to be built near the state Capitol. The bill by Austin Democratic Sen. Kirk Watson passed Monday and creates a foundation overseeing the museum. It now heads to the House, where a similar measure by Fort Worth Republican Rep. Charlie Geren is awaiting a floor vote. Watson said the museum won’t cost Texas money and will actually bring in revenue since the foundation will rent space for it from the state.
HOUSTON (AP) — A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush says the nation’s 41st president will remain in a Houston hospital for a few more days of observation while he recovers from a mild case of pneumonia. Family spokesman Jim McGrath said Monday that the medical team at Houston Methodist Hospital hopes to discharge the 92-year-old Bush by the end of the week. McGrath says Bush “continues to be in good spirits and is resting comfortably” at the hospital.
TYLER – The East Texas Communities Foundation will host the second annual East Texas Giving Day. A total 177 nonprofits across East Texas have signed up to participate in this year’s event. Residents in 32 East Texas counties are invited to participate. Last year, because of a computer glitch, they were only able to raise nearly half a million dollars. They expect to do more this year since they have solved the problem by switching vendors. This year they hope to hit the million dollar mark. You can go to http://www.EastTexasGivingDay.org and donate Tuesday from 6:00am until 11:59pm. There will also be a running tabulation of donations.… Read More
HOUSTON (AP) — Investigators say a review of DNA evidence in the 1976 fatal stabbing of a Houston man has led to a warrant issued for a convicted killer in a later case. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office on Monday announced the search for David Lee Edds on a murder charge. Rene Anthony Guillotte was last seen leaving a bar on May 11, 1976. His body was found on a road.
DIANA – Upshur County authorities are investigating shots fired over the weekend at a deputy’s home and cars. At a news conference Monday afternoon, Upshur County Sheriff Larry Webb said the shooting occurred around 11:00 Saturday night in Diana. He did not identify the deputy. One of the shots hit a piece of clothing worn by the deputy’s child and another hit a chair where the child was seated. Shots were also fired at the deputy’s patrol car and her personal car. Sheriff Webb said retaliation could be a motive in the shooting because of the amount of damage done to the patrol car. No injuries were reported.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from a Houston man shot in the back by police during a traffic stop, prompting Justice Sonia Sotomayor to complain of a “disturbing trend” in how the high court deals with cases alleging police misconduct. In a dissent, Sotomayor said the justices “have not hesitated” to reverse lower courts that rule against police officers in cases that involve claims of excessive force. But she said the court “rarely” intervenes when lower courts “wrongly” find that police are immune from charges of misconduct.
TYLER – Smith County Commissioner JoAnn Hampton is free on bond. She turned herself in at the Smith County Jail late Monday morning after being named in an arrest warrant. Hampton has been charged with injury to an elderly person and her bond was set at $10,000. On Sunday, April 2, the sheriff’s department received a call of a possible assault at the Spring Creek Baptist Church on County Road 46. A woman told deputies she had been inside the Pastor’s office with the door closed discussing an issue with the Pastor when Hampton entered and started shouting at her. She said Hampton pushed her, causing her to fall and to injure her wrist. The woman was treated at a hospital emergency room for her injuries, then released. The arrest warrant for Hampton was issued last Friday. We have left a phone message for the commissioner and have emailed her regarding any response to the charges.
EDGEWOOD – The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing person. He is Thomas Richardson who was reported missing from his home on Private Road 7925 outside of Edgewood. According to the department’s Facebook page, Richardson is reported to have dementia and may be confused. He was last seen wearing blue and black plaid shirt and black pants. He is about 5′ 07″ and weighs around 108 pounds. They say, if you see him, do not attempt to approach him since it might startle him. Instead, contact the nearest law enforcement agency.
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas police say a man fatally shot his female supervisor and then killed himself in an office building. Assistant Police Chief Randy Blankenbaker said that they won’t release the identities of those who died until relatives are notified. He said they also are not yet saying what kind of office they worked in. The office was in a multi-story building near a highway interchange in the northern part of the city. Blankenbaker said that the man was a current worker in the office. He says that there were witnesses to the shooting who were not injured.
TYLER – A man accused of stealing archery equipment in 2016 is in the Smith County Jail today. Arrested was Billy Bob Willingham III, 24, of Tyler. He was arrested Sunday at Lake Tyler. Willingham is accused of stealing 19 bows, valued at $4,825 from a local 4-H club over the Thanksgiving weekend last year. Sheriff Larry Smith said five of the bows were recovered from a Tyler pawn show where Willingham is said to have pawned them for $80. He is charged with theft of property and evading arrest. His bonds total $60,000.
LONGVIEW – A two vehicle wreck in Longview has left one person dead. Killed in the crash shortly after 6:30 Monday morning on West Loop 281 was Kade Perot of Gladewater. Longview police say Perot’s west bound motorcycle struck a truck making a left turn. Longview police say failure to yield right of way turning left and speed are two contributing factors the investigating officer is considering.