GRAND PRAIRIE (AP) — Authorities have arrested five people on murder charges stemming from an arson investigation in Grand Prairie, Texas, about 13 miles west of Dallas. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that 25-year-old Elizabeth Delude, 40-year-old Claire Harrington, 34-year-old Clayton Miller, 33-year-old Christopher Cornell and 41-year-old Paul Rogers were arrested Friday. Harrington was held on $500,000 and the others on $750,000 bonds Sunday at the Grand Prairie Detention Center. Detectives investigating an April 10 Grand Prairie house fire determined that someone was slain inside. Two days later, the Erath County Sheriff’s Department discovered a charred body inside of a burned car believed to be the victim in the Grand Prairie homicide case.
GIDDINGS (AP) — Two teen inmates remain at large after escaping from a juvenile prison in Giddings, about 100 miles northwest of Houston. The Texas Juvenile Justice Department said in a release Sunday that authorities continue to search for 16-year-olds Brice Ryan Karalis and Bryan Ernando Villanueva, who disappeared from the Giddings State School around 9:00 p.m. on Saturday.
TYLER – Early voting in the city and school elections in Smith County starts today. It will run through May 1st with Saturday, May 5th is the election day. There are two contested races in Tyler. Mayor Martin Heines is being challenged by Joel Rando. The open District 2 city council seat is being sought by Beverly Beavers-Brooks and Broderick McGee. Council Districts 4 and 6 also are up for election, but the races are uncontested. There are also elections for the city of Winona and East Texas Municipal Utility District and school district elections in Bullard and Troup.… Read the rest of the article…
TYLER – Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the week of April 23rd. .Schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones.
Tyler Maintenance plans to finish up overlay operations on Farm Road 1252 east of Farm Road 757 by Tuesday and then move to Farm Road 16 east of the State Highway 155 intersection for one mile. A second crew will be performing ditch maintenance on roadways throughout the county. Expect lane closures with flaggers providing traffic control at all work locations.… Read the rest of the article…
EL PASO (AP) — No charges have been filed in the death of an 11-year-old boy struck by a pickup truck in El Paso during a school-organized walkout to protest gun violence. El Paso police spokesman Darrel Petry said Sunday that the investigation into Jonathan Benko’s death continues. But no charges have been filed against Jesus Diaz, the 61-year-old driver who struck Benko as he attempted to walk across a highway on Friday with several other students.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A rare vintage poster of a 1955 Elvis Presley show in North Carolina has sold at auction for more than double what was expected. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the poster of show on May 19, 1955, in Raleigh sold this month for $42,500. Giles Moon of Texas-based Heritage Auctions says he had expected the poster would sell for about $20,000. The poster advertises a concert in Raleigh where Presley was on the lineup below Hank Snow, Faron Young and other acts.
LONGVIEW – A fatal accident in Longview remains under investigation. It happened Shortly before 9:00 Saturday night on West Loop 281. Killed was Wilbert Hawkins 58, of Longview. His vehicle that had become disabled in the inside lane west bound on the loop. Other cars had stopped to avoid hitting his vehicle. A pickup driven by Julio Martinez 38, of Longview, moved into the turning lane to avoid hitting the stopped cars and hit Hawkins. He later died at a Longview hospital.
HOUSTON (AP) — Former first lady Barbara Bush has been laid to rest at her husband’s presidential library in Texas. A family spokesman says the ceremony was “a very brief but poignant and beautiful ending to a very moving and incredible day.” About 1,500 people attended a private funeral earlier Saturday in Houston for the wife of former President George H.W. Bush. She was buried in a gated plot at her husband’s presidential library at Texas A&M University in College Station.
NEW YORK (AP) — Former USA Gymnastics women’s national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and her husband Bela tell NBC they were unaware of the abusive behavior by a former national team doctor now serving decades in prison. Martha Karolyi led the national team for 15 years before retiring after the 2016 Rio Olympics. She tells Savannah Guthrie in “no way” did she suspect Larry Nassar was sexually abusing athletes. The Karolyis have been named as co-defendants in several civil lawsuits filed against Nassar and USA Gymnastics. Several victims, including two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney, say they were abused at the Karolyi’s Ranch near Houston. The ranch served as the training home for USA Gymnastics during most of Martha Karolyi’s tenure running the national team.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A San Antonio charter school has apologized after a teacher asked students in an eighth grade American history class to list the positive and negative aspects of slavery. The teacher at Great Hearts Monte Vista who distributed the worksheet titled “The Life of Slaves: A Balanced View” was placed on leave and the school said it would audit the textbook associated with the lesson. The book’s publisher says it had nothing to do with the worksheet and condemns slavery as entirely negative.
TYLER – A report of a robbery brought Tyler police to Texas Bank and Trust at South Broadway and Robert E Lee Drive. It was reported around 10:15 Saturday morning. A man entered the bank and handed the teller a note telling her of the robbery. The man got nervous when the clerk started to walk away, he then took the note and ran away without getting any money. He is described as a black male in his late 20’s medium build, wearing a black baseball cap, black shirt and black pants. He got into a gold, early 2000 Chrysler Pacifica, which was parked near, and drove away.
JACKSONVILLE – Two persons have been killed in a two vehicle accident in Cherokee County. The wreck happened just before 4:45 Friday afternoon on Farm Road 177, 7 miles south of Jacksonville. Dead at the scene was Susan Lynnette Baker, 40, of Troup, and a 15 year old girl who was a passenger in her car. The Department of Public Safety says Baker was traveling at an unsafe speed when her car entered a curve and she over corrected. It caused her car skid sideways into the other lane of traffic where it was hit by a pickup. Both vehicles end up in a ditch. The driver of the pickup was not injured. The wreck remains under investigation.
HOUSTON (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush joked how his mother called her style of mothering him and his siblings “a benevolent dictatorship — but honestly it wasn’t always benevolent.” Bush delivered a eulogy during the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92. He emphasized how one of the most important lessons she taught him and others was the power of laughter and that joy should be shared. He choked up at one point, saying his mother — who was known for her self-deprecating remarks about her wrinkles and gray hair, was “beautiful” until the very end.… Read the rest of the article…
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Southwest is sending a letter of apology, a $5,000 check and a $1,000 travel voucher to passengers who were on a flight that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia following an engine explosion. Chairman Gary Kelly says in the letter that the money is to help cover any “immediate financial needs.”
HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas sheriff has fired a deputy who fatally shot an unarmed man during a confrontation in Houston. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announced Friday that Deputy Cameron Brewer was being fired for failure to follow the department’s use-of-force policy in the March 22 fatal shooting of 34-year-old Danny Ray Thomas. In doing so, Brewer chose not to use his Taser first in an effort to subdue Thomas. Brewer was shot dead in a confrontation captured on police video. Thomas had his pants around his ankles and was unarmed as he advanced toward Brewer, despite warnings to stop. Thomas’ family is suing the county for wrongful death.
BROWNSVILLE (AP) — The former governor of a Mexican border state has been extradited from Italy to the United States to face charges of racketeering, drug smuggling, money laundering and bank fraud. The U.S. attorney’s office in Brownsville, Texas, announced Friday that Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba was arrested in Italy on April 8 and extradited to Brownsville. From 1999 to February 2005, he was governor of Tamaulipas, one of the most violent states in Mexico.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into whether AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group worked together to stop consumers from easily switching wireless carriers. The companies confirmed the inquiry in separate statements in response to a report in The New York Times. The government is looking into whether the companies and telecommunications standards organization GSMA worked to suppress a technology that lets people remotely switch wireless companies.
DALLAS (AP) — A Mickey Mantle baseball card from 1952 was sold at auction for $2.88 million, falling just short of setting a record. The card, sold by former NFL lineman Evan Mathis through Heritage Auctions, earned the second-highest figure for a card at an auction, trailing only the $3.12 million paid for a 1909 Honus Wagner card two years ago. Issued as part of its first full set of baseball cards by Topps, the Mantle card is one of six versions to have been rated a Mint 9 by PSA, one of the leading sports memorabilia authenticators, with three others having earned a Mint 10 rating. Mathis decided to sell the card, which was estimated to be valued at $3.5 million by Heritage, to free up money so he could move his wife and daughters to Tennessee to be closer to where he grew up in Alabama.
AUSTIN – Texas’s two high courts have appointed 31 members to lead the newly established Judicial Commission on Mental Health. One of them is Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom of Sulphur Springs. He will serve through August 2020. The commission, the first body jointly created by the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, will examine best practices in the administration of civil and criminal justice for persons with mental illness. The first meeting of the newly-appointed commission is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15 in Austin.
LONGVIEW – Benjamin B. Johnson, 36, of Longview, has been found guilty of two counts of harassment of a public servant. The ruling came Friday in a trial before State District Judge Alfonso Charles. Johnson resisted arrest in October of 2016 when first approached by officers and later at a Longview hospital. He even spit on two officers. A urinalysis showed Johnson to be on PCP, methamphetamine and marijuana. He will be sentenced at a later date.
MARSHALL – Marshall police are looking for two men in a home invasion. It occurred shortly before 9:45 Thursday night on Dean Drive. Two men, one who was armed, forced their way into the home of an elderly woman and demanded firearms. One held her at gunpoint while the other ransacked her house. They stole a crossbow, and then fled on foot. The woman was not injured. They were described as young black males, both with red bandanas over their face. One suspect was said to have been wearing a red hoodie and the other was wearing a dark colored hoodie.
TYLER – A woman wanted for a Dallas County death has been arrested in Tyler. Diem Trinh Nguyen, 29, of Grand Prairie was arrested around 2:30 Thursday morning in a church parking lot on Highway 155. An officer checking on the suspicious vehicle discovered she had been named in a warrant in Dallas County for criminally negligent homicide. She had been wanted in connection with an accident in which she hit and killed a man standing on a sidewalk in April of last year. She is being held in the Smith County jail under a $100,000 bond.
LONGVIEW – Longview Animal Control is reminding residents, be cautious if you find a bat. Bat exposure is a major concern because of the possibility of contracting rabies. So far this year, they have responded to 17 calls about bats. Six were sent in for rabies testing. The other bats had been released by the people who found them. They believe the number of bat exposures may top 17, because others may have released the bats without knowing how harmful the exposure could be. The best advice, if you see a bat, don’t touch it or release it. Instead, call Animal Control or 911. You can go to https://www.longviewtexas.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1404 to get more tips about bats and bat exposure.
WASHINGTON – Tyler congressman Louie Gohmert has been named a recipient of the 2018 Thomas Jefferson Award. The bi-annual award, presented by the International Foodservice Distributors Association, recognizes legislators whose voting record shows strong support of the U.S. foodservice distribution industry. The award was introduced in 1992.
TYLER – A Tyler man is heading to prison for aggravated kidnapping and sexual assault. Last month, a Tyler jury found Freddi Betancourt, 26, guilty. Friday, State District Judge Kerry Russell sentenced him to 30 years in prison. Last June, he met a woman he had a previous relationship with at Noble Young Park. He forced her into his car where he sexually assaulted her before driving off with the victim still in the vehicle. Witnesses helped police find the car on the Frankston Highway, with the woman trying to get out of the vehicle.
TYLER – Tyler police are looking for help in identifying a man involved in a hit an run accident. He was a passenger in the car that caused the crash. It happened on April 13th at West Gentry Parkway and Parkdale. He is said to have got out of the vehicle and pushed to the ground the lady who was driving. He then took her cell phone while she was trying to dial 911. If you can identify him, you are asked to call Tyler police.
EAST TEXAS – Tyler’s Unemployment rate has dropped, while there has been a slight uptick in Longview’s jobless numbers. The report from the Texas Workforce Commission show Tyler’s unemployment rate for march was 3.7%. That is down from 4.1% in February and far better that the 4.3% rate in March of last year. Longview’s March unemployment rate was 4.5%, slightly up from 4.4% in February, but vastly improved from the 5.7% figure last March. The state’s unemployment rate last month was 4%, slightly better than the March jobless figure for the U.S.
ELKHART – One person has been killed and 3 injured in a one vehicle accident in Anderson County. It happened around 4:45 Wednesday morning on U.S. Highway 287, six miles south of Elkhart. Dead at the scene was Autumn A’mari Taylor, 2, of Tyler. In critical condition in a Dallas hospital is a three week old. The DPS says both were unbealted. A teenager is in critical condition in a Tyler hospital. The driver, Tiffany Marie Taylor, 36, of Tyler, is in stable condition in a Tyler. It appears she fell asleep at the wheel. She then overcorrected, went across the highway, overturned and hit a house.
TYLER – UT Health East Texas EMS, formerly ETMC EMS, has rolled out its new ambulance design. The ambulance service began in 1968. Besides Tyler and Smith County, coverage also includes Henderson County, Wood County, most of Cherokee County and the city of Henderson. It employs 116 paramedics and 124 emergency medical technicians. Moody Chisholm, president and CEO of UT Health East Texas said at Thursday’s unveiling, “over the next several months, all 50 ambulances and EMS support vehicles will be branded with the new look.” UT Health East Texas Air 1 also is being rebranded. The new helicopter look will be revealed in June.
LONGVIEW – Longview police say it was a Dallas man who was killed in a Wednesday morning accident. He is John Warren Young, 56. The accident occurred on East Marshall Avenue in front of Jennings Scrap & Salvage. Police investigators say Young got out of his 18-wheeler and the truck and trailer started rolling down the hill. Before he could get back into the vehicle, it ran over him.