TYLER – The 84th Texas Rose Festival is officially under way. It started Thursday morning with a ribbon cutting and prayer service at the Rose Garden Center. Reigning over the festivities is Queen Emily Kaye Evans. She says she was surprised when asked to be queen. Her parents surprised her with the invitation when they came to where she was going to school at Belmont University in Nashville. She said she was so surprised, she didn’t have words, and she gasped and started crying. At first she said she wasn’t sure she would be able to do it. But after praying about it, she accepted the invitation. And she said she is very happy that she took on this role.… Read the rest of the article…
TYLER – The 84th Texas Rose Festival, begins its 4 day run in Tyler on Thursday. This year the festival will be celebrating with displays of roses and activities such as the Rose Show, the Coronation, Queen’s Tea, and of course, the Texas Rose Festival Parade on Saturday. Activities get underway Thursday morning at 10:00 with the ribbon cutting and prayer service at the Rose Garden Center. Presiding over this year’s activities is Queen Emily Kaye Evans. Last year, around 46,000 out of town visitors attended the various rose season activities. The estimated economic impact for the community was $2.5 million. You can go to http://www.texasrosefestival.com for more information and a complete schedule of activities.
TYLER – A young child was killed when hit by a car in Tyler. Killed was two year old Braylon Lee. The accident happened at the Liberty Arms Apartments on North Broadway around 2:30 Sunday afternoon. Investigators say the driver was driving slowly in the parking lot due to children in the area and that Lee suddenly ran out in front of her vehicle. They say the driver was not a fault in the accident.
MARSHALL – A burn ban went into effect in Harrison County on Sunday. The burn ban was ordered after a consultation with the County Fire Marshal. Drought conditions have developed and it appears as if the conditions will probably continue to deteriorate. Cooking outside on enclosed pits or grills will be allowed, but open fires outdoors and outdoors burning are prohibited until the ban is lifted. The news release from the county said, “with the passing of another dry cold front and the expectation of lower humidity and high wind gusts, it is dangerous to burn outdoors.” It will take a substantial amount of rainfall before the ban is lifted.
TYLER – The League of Women Voters of Tyler/ Smith County is hosting a parley to debate the proposed Texas Constitutional Amendments on Monday in the Taylor Auditorium, Tyler Public Library. The League has teamed up with Jersey Mike’s and Good Shepherd School for a fun and informational public meeting, Parley & Poorboys. The deadline for ordering food was at noon on Saturday. Members of the Good Shepherd School Debate Team will present the pros and cons of the proposed Texas Constitutional Amendments, and Judge Nathaniel Moran will provide a brief, neutral, update on Smith County Proposition A – the issuance of $39,500,000 tax bonds for road construction and improvements. Copies of the LWV-Texas Education Fund’s *Voters Guide *on the proposed amendments will be available (free) to take home.
TYLER – Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the Week of October 16th. These schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Smith County – Tyler Maintenance plans to conduct edge repairs on Farm Road 1252 with a second crew performing ditch maintenance on roadways around the county. Expect lane closures with flaggers providing traffic control. You can go to https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/media-center/local-news/tyler/051-2017.html and see the project update for TxDOT’s Tyler District.
PLANO (AP) — One man is in custody and a rifle has been recovered after workers inside a suburban Dallas office building called police after hearing gunshots. Plano police spokesman David Tilley says the person was taken into custody without incident Sunday morning. Police found bullet holes inside the building. No injuries have been reported and authorities say a sweep of the building found no other suspects.
BROWNSVILLE (AP) — A former South Texas juvenile justice department employee has been arrested for felony theft after authorities say he acknowledged stealing $1.2 million worth of fajitas over nine years. Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz tells The Brownsville Herald that Gilberto Escaramilla was fired in August and arrested after authorities obtained a search warrant and found packages of the Tex-Mex food in his refrigerator.
DENISON (AP) — A worker at a popular Texas-based fast food chain has been fired after refusing to serve two police officers. Denison Police Chief Jay Burch says in a Facebook post that his officers were trying to get something to eat at the Whataburger restaurant early Saturday when an unidentified female employee declined to serve them. Burch says the employee cursed at the North Texas officers and alleged “cops beat up my boyfriend and are racists.”
BEAUMONT (AP) — Authorities in Southeast Texas say a 3-year-old boy who was inside an SUV when it was stolen has been found safe. Police in Beaumont say the car was stolen Friday afternoon with the boy in the back seat. Investigators believe the vehicle had been left unattended with the keys in the ignition. Officers located the SUV within eight minutes but no child was found inside. About 25 minutes later, police were informed that the boy was located at a home several blocks away from where the SUV was found. Police say it appears the car thief let the child out of the SUV before later abandoning it.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio’s Randolph Air Force Base has returned to normal operations after officials say they’ve been unable to find the driver of a stolen vehicle that crashed through a fence at the base. The base went on lockdown Saturday evening after Guadalupe County authorities say the stolen vehicle they were chasing tore through a base fence. Two men inside the vehicle were detained but the driver fled on foot. The vehicle was stolen from Harris County, about 200 miles to the east.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Plans to move a 60-foot monument that’s been in the plaza outside the Alamo for 80 years have run into opposition. Protesters gathered at the Texas shrine Saturday showing their displeasure with an Alamo master plan to redo the plaza and move the granite Cenotaph. The president of the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association, Lee Spencer White, who organized the rally, says the monument installed in 1936 to mark the centennial of the battle commemorates the defenders and shouldn’t be moved.
LONGVIEW – A man has died in an early Sunday morning shooting in Longview. Nicholas Trevion Johnson, 22, of Longview, was shot at home on Annette Drive. He was taken to Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center where he later died. The investigation is continuing.
LONGVIEW – Four Longview firemen have been injured in a fire that displaced a family of four. Fire Marshal Kevin May told the Longview News Journal no other injuries were reported in the fire on Gay Street. It was reported around 11:00 Friday night. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
RICHARDSON (AP) — Authorities are asking the public for any surveillance video that might show a vehicle that could be connected to the disappearance of a 3-year-old suburban Dallas girl who was made to stand outside her home in the middle of the night as punishment. Police in Richardson say about an hour after Sherin Mathews went missing October 7, her family’s 2013 maroon Acura SUV left the home. Investigators are reviewing video they’ve received from residents and business owners in the area the vehicle could have traveled after leaving. The girl’s father, Wesley Mathews, is charged with child endangerment.
HOUSTON (AP) — Inmates serving time in Texas prisons have also found a way to offer help to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Officials say Texas prison inmates donated more than $53,000 from their commissary funds to the American Red Cross to be used for hurricane relief. Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark says more than 6,600 inmates donated money between August 31 and September 30.
CEDAR PARK (AP) — A Central Texas city has hired a security firm to review its law enforcement policies after a judge cited mistakes by police in her decision to free a man on bond after he had spent the last three years in prison for the molestation of a 4-year-old boy. The Austin American-Statesman reports Cedar Park officials have hired Chicago-based Hillard Heintze to begin the review. This comes after a judge in August released Greg Kelley, saying his due process rights were violated in the investigation of the 2013 crime. The case is now before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas sheriff’s office says it’s launched an internal affairs investigation to review allegations that one of its deputies punched a man after he had been taken into custody and had been handcuffed following a high speed chase. The suspect, Mohmed Ahmed Abu-Shlieba, 25, was arrested after leading authorities on a chase Thursday that started in Houston and went through three counties. Deputies say the chase at times topped 100 miles per hour.
DALLAS (AP) — Rental housing has been a major concern in many cities in Texas and Florida after hurricanes Harvey and Irma flooded tens of thousands of homes. Texas renters have complained of difficulties getting out of leases on damaged properties, short timelines for evictions, and trouble finding affordable rentals. In Florida, advocates worry that rebuilding efforts after Irma are forcing out mobile home park residents who rent coveted land in the Florida Keys.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Texas couple who narrowly survived after being stranded for six days on a desolate dirt road in southern Utah says they realized too late their GPS app was guiding them to the wrong spot. KSL-TV reports that 78-year-old Helena Byler of Houston, Texas, said Friday that after popping a tire in their rental car and getting stuck on Sept. 26, they realized the GPS app was leading them to Lake Powell trail, not the lake.
AUSTIN (AP) — A judge has dismissed a misdemeanor charge against a former Texas police officer accused of faking his own death and fleeing to Mexico. The false-alarm charge against 29-year-old Coleman Martin was dismissed Friday at the request of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office. The charge was dropped after Martin agreed not to own a gun, to attend counseling and not break any laws within the next two years. Martin resigned from the Austin Police Department last month after returning to the United States.
FORT WORTH (AP) — A North Texas fitness guru has been charged with submitting over $25 million in fraudulent claims to insurance companies. David Williams of Fort Worth is free on bond after his Thursday arrest. A criminal complaint alleges that between November 2012 and this past August, the 54-year-old trainer was paid more than $3.9 million through fraudulent billing of United HealthCare, Aetna and Cigna.
CHAPEL HILL -Three persons have been arrested following a police chase in Smith County. It started Thursday with a state trooper chasing a pickup that had been speeding in south eastern Smith County. The truck finally stopped and the three persons in the truck fled on foot. Earl Nelson Jr., 38, of Tyler,(pictured) was arrested. The search then began for Trinity Driver, 28, of Arp, who was driving the pickup, and Kendall Durham, 28, of Tyler. One of the deputies’ dog tracked them to a home on County Road 2301. It took the sheriff’s department SWAT team to enter the house to arrested the two.… Read the rest of the article…
TYLER – Longtime Smith County Extension Agent Chad Gulley has retired. He has been the County Extension Agent in Smith County since 2011. He has also served the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services in Polk and Nacogdoches counties, for over 17 years. Gulley was honored this summer with state and national Distinguished Service Awards. He received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award at the National Association of County Agricultural Agents meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah in July. A week later he was also honored with the Texas County Agricultural Agents Association Distinguished Service Award at its annual meeting in Odessa. Gulley retired on Friday to begin a new career working for Shelby Savings Bank.
TYLER – A topping out ceremony was held Friday morning for the future home of the College of Business and Technology at the University of Texas at Tyler. The four-story 140,000 square-foot building is expected to open for classes next fall. It will feature student meeting places, classrooms and specialized experimental labs. It will also contain faculty offices, a courtyard, second-floor terrace and specialized landscaping. Those who attended the ceremony were invited to sign the final beam that will be located on the tallest part of the building’s roof.The $56 million structure is part of a larger project that includes an adjacent parking garage, adding roughly 400 parking spaces, as well as renovations to the current Business Building. It will become the new home of the College of Arts and Sciences.
EAST TEXAS – Accidents in Henderson and Cherokee counties have left two persons dead and one injured. The Henderson County accident happened shortly after 5:45 Thursday afternoon on Farm Road 315, just south of County Road 4201, 10 miles north of Chandler. Dead at the scene was Austin Dale Boyles, 23, of Grand Saline. He was a passenger a pickup driven by Westin Dale Milliorn, 19, of Grand Saline. He is in serious condition at a Tyler hospital. The Department of Public Safety reports he was heading north when he failed to negotiate a curve. When he went off the road he overcorrected and went off on the other side of the road where he hit a tree.… Read the rest of the article…
HUNTSVILLE (AP) — A Texas inmate convicted in the death of a prison guard was executed Thursday night after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his lawyers’ attempts to halt the punishment. Robert Pruett was given a lethal injection for the fatal attack on corrections officer Daniel Nagle in December 1999 at a prison southeast of San Antonio. Nagle was repeatedly stabbed with a tape-wrapped metal rod, though an autopsy showed he died from a heart attack that the assault caused. Prosecutors have said the stabbing stemmed from a dispute over a peanut butter sandwich that Pruett wanted to take into a recreation yard against prison rules. He was pronounced dead at 6:46 p.m. CDT, 29 minutes after being given the drug.
TYLER – The body of a Tyler soldier returns home on Friday for funeral service which will be held early next week. The body of Specialist Alexander Wayne Missildine, 20, will be arriving at Tyler’s Pounds Field Regional Airport around 2:00 Friday afternoon. Serving with the 10th Mountain Division’s Louisiana-based brigade combat team, Missildine was killed October 1st by an improvised explosive device in Iraq. Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at 2:00 at Green Acres Baptist Church. The family will receive friends on Sunday from 5:00 to 7:00pm at Jackson’s Burks Walker Tippit Funeral Home.
LAKE PALESTINE – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is reporting that Giant Salvinia has been found in Lake Palestine. It is generally in the rear of Saline Bay past the Farm Road 344 bridge. A containment boom has been put across the opening at the bridge with hopes of keeping the plant material inside the contained area. Texas Parks and Wildlife is asking residents to be patient while they try to keep this extremely invasive plant from spreading further. It can easily be spread from one body of water to another by boat or trailer. They are asking people to triple check boats and trailers when leaving the lake to make sure you not taking some of the plant with you.
LONGVIEW – Longview police are investigating an animal cruelty case. Animal control officers have found a dog that had been shot with a 20 inch arrow. The dog was taken to the Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center where the arrow, which had pierced his lungs, was removed. On top of that, it learned the dog had been shot numerous times with a pellet gun and a pellet was still inside him. The dog, which was found near Rawley Court and Glover Drive, will live. If you recognize him, you are asked to contact Longview police.