LONGVIEW – A Longview man has received a life prison sentence for the shooting deaths of his child’s grandparents. Christopher Marvin Bell II pleaded guilty to the murders. He was sentenced Friday in 124th State District Court. Investigators say Bell went to the couple’s apartment in November, 2016, to see his daughter. He said he was not allowed inside, so he went to the back of the apartment. He jumped over the balcony, broke the glass patio door and began to fight with the victim’s. He then took out a handgun and shot the couple. After fleeing, he called police to turn himself in. He was arrested in a parking lot of a store on Estes Parkway.
PALESTINE – The City of Palestine is issuing a boil water notice for residents on Salt Works Road between Chancellor Drive and Bassett Road. This was caused due to a water main repair. According to the city news release, to ensure destruction of harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and making ice should be boiled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source. Residents will be notified when the boil water notice is lifted and the water is safe to use.
MARSHALL – Marshall police continue their efforts to track down the suspects involved in a shooting this week at Wiley College. It happened around 12:15 Monday morning. A black sedan, believed to be a Chevrolet Impala, possibly a year model between 2006 – 2013, drove onto the Strickland Hall parking lot and possibly exchanged gunfire with someone in the parking lot. One bullet went through a dorm window. No injuries were reported. The car, with possibly two persons inside, crashed into a retaining wall, damaging the wall and the vehicle. The vehicle then left the campus. The car should have extensive front-end damage.
LONGVIEW – A boil water notice has been issued by the Elderville Water Supply Corporation in Longview. They said on their web page the action was needed because the freezing weather caused a water shortage. To ensure destruction of harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and making ice should be boiled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source. Residents will be notified when the boil water notice is lifted and the water is safe to use.
HALLSVILLE – Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of Wednesday’s fire at Trinity Industries at Hallsville. The fire was reported late that afternoon in the paint shop building at the plant. The fire, just east of Longview, was reported contained about an hour and a half later. The building was a total loss. The Harrison County Fire Marshal’s office told the Longview News Journal they still are investigating the cause, but they haven’t found anything suspicious. Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Temple said the blaze is likely linked to faulty equipment. No injuries were reported.
SMITH COUNTY – A lone gunman has robbed a Smith County convenience store. It was reported shortly after 9:00 Thursday night on Highway 110 North near Interstate Highway 20. The man is said to have robbed the employee of an undetermined amount of money and then left in a dark colored pickup. No injuries were reported. The suspect is described as a white male between 40 and 50 years of age.
AUSTIN – The Texas unemployment rate rose slightly in December to reach 3.9%. It is up slightly from the 3.8% figure in November. The Nation’s unemployment was 4.1% last month. The Tyler Numbers are even better. Tyler’s unemployment rate fell from 3.7% in November to 3.4% last month. It was 4.3% a year ago. Longview’s number went down slightly. It was 4.2% in November, and fell to 4.1% in December. That is far better that the 5.9% unemployment rate in December 2016. The Texas workforce Commission reports the state’s economy added 306,900 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs last year. The state’s annual employment growth was 2.5% in December, marking 92 consecutive months of annual growth.
PALESTINE – A boil water notice has been issued for a portion of Palestine. Due to a water main repair, the notice was issued for residents in the area of Lamar Street from Church to Hood Streets. According to the city news release, to ensure destruction of harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and making ice should be boiled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source. Residents will be notified when the boil water notice is lifted and the water is safe to use.
KILGORE – The Kilgore College student newspaper, The Flare, has been named a Crown Finalist from Columbia Scholastic Press Association in New York. Crown Awards honor top student publications chosen from organization’s members. Crowns are selected for overall excellence in a head-to-head comparison. Also, Kilgore College students received 11 Gold Circle Awards from the institution, highlighting publications produced during the 2016-17 academic year. A total of 1,100 publications were eligible for judging.… Read the rest of the article…
TYLER – The Salvation Army in Tyler has been kept busy this week because of the cold and the snow. The decrease of temperature brought an increase in those looking for shelter. The Center of Hope housed nearly 300 people the last few days. The soup kitchen’s community dinner served around 115 people a night. Anyone interested in helping The Salvation Army continue to provide a safe place for families during difficult times can go to http://www.salvationarmytyler.org and donate online. The shelter is also in need of bath towels, wash clothes, chapstick, scarfs and winter gloves and hats for children and adults.
WASHINGTON – The Association of the United States Navy has awarded Tyler Congressman Louie Gohmert the “National Legislative Advocacy Award.” Each year the group presents the award to a member of the U.S. house and senate. According to a news release from the congressman’s office, the decision to give him the award was a unanimous decision among the group’s 20,000 members, an exceedingly rare occurrence. Besides an award for the congressman, his staff members who assist him in legislative issues over our military, Caralee Conklin and Sean Griffin, were awarded the “National Legislative Proponent Award” for the work they do daily with Veterans and the Armed Forces.
TYLER – Police officers are trained to to safeguard lives and property and to protect individuals in the communities they serve. Now, Tyler officers will get additional training in emergency medical care. The Tyler police Department is partnering with East Texas Medical Center and the Emergency Medical Responder certification program. This prepares officers to provide the initial lifesaving care for patients experiencing cardiac arrest, overdose and traumatic injury. These certified EMR officers can initiate such action as, using Automatic External Defibrillators, administering oxygen, utilizing blood glucometers, applying tourniquets and administering Narcan, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The training kicks off next Tuesday.
TYLER – The University of Texas at Tyler’s online graduate nursing program is one of the best country. In rankings released by U.S. News and World Report, the U-T Tyler program is tied for 5th place, out of 159 programs nationally. They tied with John Hopkins University, George Washington University and University of South Carolina. It was also the number 1 ranked Texas university as well, out of 13 appearing on the list. And, according to U.S. News data, UT Tyler is the No. 1 lowest cost program among the top 10 online nursing graduate programs. The magazine’s ranking methodology considers quality of student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, peer reputation and admissions selectivity.
HALLSVILLE — A Trinity Industries plant was evacuated Wednesday evening after a fire and explosion. According to the Longview News-Journal, all employees were were accounted for, said Jay Webb, spokesman with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, and it appeared there were no injuries. The fire at the plant, one of three in the area associated with Trinity’s TrinityRail subsidiary, produced smoke that was visible from Longview. Webb said the incident occurred near the paint shop area in the plant. The fire was reported about 5:30 p.m. and was contained by about 7:00 p.m., but crews from multiple agencies remained on the scene just off U.S. 80 east of Longview into the evening.… Read the rest of the article…
TYLER – Morning low temperatures in the area on Wednesday hit the upper single digits to low teens. The National Weather Service records show Tyler had a low of 11 degrees. That equals the record low for January 17, set on that date in 1957. And the high of 32 Wednesday afternoon equaled the date’s record low maximum temperature for Tyler set on January 17th in 1930, 1953, and 1957. It has been at or below freezing in Tyler since 11:00 Monday night. This has been Tyler’s coldest period since December, 1989, went the temperature dropped to -2 degrees. Tyler’s coldest period ran from December 19th through the 29th in 1983. During that time there were 258 hours of sub-freezing temperatures. Tyler’s coldest day was on February 12, 1899 when the temperature bottomed out at -8 degrees.
MARSHALL – A wreck in Marshall, where a car drove into a building, remains under investigation. It happened around 6:00 on Wednesday morning on West Grand Avenue near North Washington Avenue. Police public information officer Kelly Colvin said the car which was traveling at an unsafe speed for the road conditions when the driver lost control of it. The car went airborne and crashed into a vacant building. The driver was transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Marshall with what are believed to be minor injuries. The building sustained major damage.
LONGVIEW – Filing has begun for three spots on the Longview City Council. Filing started Wednesday and will run through February 16th, for mayor and council districts 1 and 2. Mayor Andy Mack (pictured) has filed for re-election. Mack was first elected to the post in 2015, succeeding Jay Dean, who had held the post for ten years. Filing for District 1 on opening day was incumbent councilman Ed Moore. Now retired, Moore was once Longview’s Assistant City Manager. No one filed for District 2 on opening day. The election is on Saturday, May 5th.
TYLER – Morning low temperatures in the area hit the upper single digits to low teens. The National Weather Service records show Tyler had a low of 11 degrees. That equals the record low set on January 17, 1957. And the high of 32 Wednesday afternoon equaled the record low maximum temperature for Tyler set on January 17th in 1930, 1953 and 1957. It has been at or below freezing in Tyler since 11:00 Monday night. This has been Tyler’s coldest period since December, 1989.
MINEOLA – Investigators have identified a visitor from Mexico as the victim of a Mineola fire. Gerardo Valadez, 32, died in the fire at the Mineola Motor Lodge on West Broad Street. His body was sent to a Tyler lab for autopsy. Fire Marshal David Madsen said it was reported around 11:00 Monday night. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
LINDALE – The body of a missing Smith County woman has been found. Authorities had been looking for 83 year old Betty Freeman. She lived alone on County Road 4118 in the Lindale area. Her caretaker took her home around 1:00 Tuesday afternoon. The caretaker reported her missing when she went to her home around 10:00 Wednesday morning. About 2 1/2 hours later, her body was found about a mile from her house. She appears to have died from overexposure and foul play is not suspected.
IRVING (AP/STAFF) – A man accused of killing a Jacksonville woman in the metroplex, has been found dead. Investigators in Irving say Mark Leonard Kincer, 50, killed Susan Bufford Maleskey, 58, of Jacksonville, then traveled 350 miles to Monahans and took his own life. They say he had been facing eviction from a Dallas-area home for delinquent rent. An Irving police statement says no other suspects are being sought in theJanuary 11th slaying. Detectives identified Kincer as the suspect and issued a warrant for his arrest. He was found dead the next day of what police say was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Irving police didn’t immediately release additional information about the rent dispute.
LONGVIEW – A Longview burglary suspect has been busted. In the Gregg County Jail is 49 year old Dalas Edward Skaggs of Logansport, Indiana. He was first picked up on East Marshall Avenue on an outstanding warrant. When he was arrested, officers found property belonging to a home on Stuckey Drive that was burglarized last week. He was also identified from surveillance video in the Stuckey Drive area. Officers say Skaggs confessed to the burglary. His bonds total $25,000 on charges of burglary of a habitation and possession of a controlled substance.
TYLER – The Department of Public Safety is continuing to strongly encourage people to not travel as many of the major roadways in the East Texas area are experiencing delays due to road conditions. If you must drive, remember to slow down and keep a larger distance than normal from other vehicles. Use extra caution when approaching elevated areas. Avoid using cruise control. During the winter season, residents can contact 2-1-1 Texas, the state’s free 24-hour helpline, to check on possible community established warming centers or related services in their area. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1 or 877-541-7905 for community resources.
LONGVIEW – Snowy and icy conditions closed some roads in Longview. At mid afternoon Tuesday, all of those roads have now reopened. As is the City’s normal protocol, public works crews will be distributing sand onto roadways with a priority given to bridges, intersections, and hills. However, roads are still icy, so please avoid driving in these conditions.
TYLER – Texas Department of Transportation crews have been working to address icy weather conditions. Maintenance crews completed pre-treatment of various elevated structures around the Tyler District. They have also prepared their dump trucks and equipment to respond as weather conditions change. The crews will monitor roadways, increasing their activity as night falls and the chance for icy conditions move in. Crews will be working around the clock monitoring bridges, ramps and overpasses. Problems areas will be treated as warranted and in conjunction with law enforcement notifications. … Read the rest of the article…
MINEOLA – An investigation is underway into a fatal fire in Mineola. Fire Marshall David Madsen said it was reported around 11:00 Monday night at the Mineola Motor Lodge on West Broad Street. Initial reports are a Hispanic male was killed and his body has been sent to a Tyler lab for autopsy. His identity has not been released at this time. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
SMITH COUNTY – Due to winter weather, the work schedule which will close I-20 is being modified, cancelling work scheduled for Tuesday and moving work to Wednesday and Thursday. Depending on weather, additional changes are possible. In Smith County, the contractor is preparing to conduct night work on the FM 849 Bridge Replacement Project at I-20 at Hideaway. Eastbound I-20 will be shut down at 7:00pm on Wednesday and traffic moved to the ramp for the night as the contractor sets the bridge beams. The westbound lanes will be closed for the same work and traffic moved to the ramp at 7:00pm on Thursday, reopening Friday morning. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes to avoid delays.
TYLER – Both Tyler and Smith County are dealing with the effects of snow and icy weather. The city streets team has a sanding truck and staff on standby to sand the roads in case of severe ice. Tyler Streets Department Manager Robin Smart says they will put a base layer of sand on bridges and inclined intersections at risk of being dangerous when it gets icy. Tuesday morning at 5:30, the streets department put out a de-icing agent on city buildings. They will even move staff to 12-hour shifts so they can maintain staff 24/7 over the next couple of days.… Read the rest of the article…