TYLER – Senior math majors at the University of Texas at Tyler have been recognized for outstanding academic research. Senior mathematics major Vincent Villalobos of Tyler won an Outstanding Student Presentation Award at the 2017 National Math Fest Conference. Also, senior mathematics major Yansy Perez of Tyler placed second in the 2017 University of Texas System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Research Conference. According to a news release from the school, both students participated in this year’s LSAMP Summer Research Academy. This is where individual research projects are prepared under the supervision of science, technology, engineering and mathematics faculty at the school. It is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
TYLER – A trial date has been set next year for a Smith County capital murder suspect. The trial for Gustavo Zavala-Garcia was set for March 19 during a Thursday pretrial hearing. The date was scheduled for next year as prosecutors await forensic testing on some evidence. The test results are expected to be in early next year. He has been charged with the death of Kayla Gomez-Orozco, 10. She disappeared last November from a Bullard church during worship service. Her body was found days later inside a well on the suspect’s property. According to an arrest affidavit, a witness said they saw the man with Kayla shortly before her disappearance. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
TYLER – More credit card skimmers have turned up in Tyler. A Fraud Task Force investigator has found two credit card skimmers in the gas pumps at the service station at Commerce and NNE Loop 323 in Tyler. Investigators have found several skimmers at this location over recent months. Skimmer devices will capture your credit card information allowing the suspect to clone a new credit card and charge on your account.… Read the rest of the article…
TYLER – Sunday’s Tyler Rose Run has been cancelled, but all hope is not lost. The city was informed Wednesday that the half-marathon and 5-mile race would not be run. The company staging the race said the reason for the cancellation was very low attendance. Mellew Productions also said there would be no refunds issued. And the company told KETK that they had ceased operations. Now, instead, Tyler runners plan to host a DIY race, a replacement for disappointed runners. They’re calling it the “Homemade Half.” Runners plan to meet at Rose Rudman Park between 7:30 and 8:00 Sunday morning. Organizers say when there are enough runners for a race it will start. We’ll keep you posted on further developments.
SMITH COUNTY – Westbound Interstate Highway 20 at Mile Marker 565 near Farm Road 2015 in Smith County reopened early Thursday morning after an overturned tanker truck containing a hazardous material shut down lanes. The wreck occurred around 4:30 Wednesday afternoon. TxDOT crews were on scene providing traffic control. TxDOT says special equipment had to be brought in, the truck had to be returned to the upright position before it could be removed, and its cargo — now known to be sulfuric acid — had to be pumped off.
PALESTINE – Because of a network hack earlier this year, several Palestine residents have received emails that are said to be from city personnel. But city spokesman Nate Smith says those emails are not officially from the city. They are from whoever hacked into the network and stole email contacts from city email. No other data, including personal financial information, was stolen or accessed during the hack. Smith says if you receive an email from a City of Palestine employee with a link to an invoice, do not click on that link. The link is part of an email phishing scam the hackers are using to steal information. Palestine does not send invoices via email. All invoices and statements from the city are sent using regular mail.
EAST TEXAS – Three area schools are among the nation’s top 150 community colleges. They are eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1million dollars in prize funds. On the list are Tyler Junior College, Kilgore College and Trinity Valley Community College. The three East Texas schools, and 147 other community colleges announced Wednesday, were selected from a national pool of more than 1,000 public two-year colleges using publicly available data on student outcomes. The schools will now submit an application containing detailed data on degree and certificate completion, including progress and transfer rates, labor market outcomes, which covers employment and earnings, and student learning outcomes. Ten finalists will be named next May. A panel will select a grand prize winner and a few finalists with distinction in the spring of 2019.
TYLER – A man charged in three counts of robbery, one of those was football star Patrick Mahomes, has pleaded guilty in a Tyler courtroom. In a plea agreement Michael Blake Pinkerton, 35, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison for each robbery. The terms will be served concurrently. Mahomes and three others who were with him told deputies that a man that they believed to be armed with a handgun confronted them and demanded personal property from them as they were exiting their vehicle. Pinkerton and a companion were arrested a short time after the May robbery. Pinkerton was scheduled to go on trial in the case next Monday.
LONGVIEW – Two brothers are going to prison for a shooting death in Longview two years ago. The brothers pleaded guilty Wednesday to the September 2015 shooting death of Fedrick Louis Jones, 35. He was shot near the intersection of Scenic and Fairway drives. Devante Damon Darden, 19, (pictured) was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Deiontray Dewayne Darden, 20, was sentenced to 40 years. A third person, a juvenile was also arrested in the case. The three were arrested about a week after the shooting.
AUSTIN – Sales tax allocations from the state will soon be received by area cities. The state comptroller’s office is sending out $660.4 million in local sales tax allocations for October. This is nearly 2% percent more than last October. These allocations are based on sales made in August. Tyler’s allocation tops $3.4 million, which is over 9% above the same period last year. For the year, Tyler has received nearly $34 million, just over 4% more last year. Longview’s allocation for October is $2.4 million, an increase of over 7 1/2%. For the year, Longview’s total is over $24 million, which is down about half a percentage point from last year.
AUSTIN – The governor has appointed four persons to the Texas Commission On Fire Protection. One of them is Longview Fire Chief J.P. Steelman. Besides his duties as fire chief, Steelman is an instructor at the Kilgore College Fire Academy. He serves as regional director for the Northeast Region of the Texas Fire Chiefs Association and is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Steelman was appointed for a term to expire February 1st of 2023. The Commission develops and enforces statewide fire service standards and provides education and assistance to the industry.
TYLER – The Tyler city council is scheduled to discuss Wednesday a $1.58 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.The funding, over a three year period, would be for the hiring of 12 additional fire fighters. But a possible problem is, the city must provide matching funds, just under a million dollars over that period. With the exception of essential positions, the city has been under a hiring freeze. This was instituted because of falling sales tax allocations from the state. With a tight budget, the matter should generate a lot of discussion at Wednesday’s meeting. … Read the rest of the article…
LINDALE – A Lindale man has been killed in a motorcycle accident near Lindale. Dead at the scene was Kenneth Wayne Calip, 55. The Department of Public Safety reports his motorcycle left the road on a curve and hit several trees. The accident occurred just after 5:00 Monday afternoon on County Road 431 one mile west of Lindale.
PALESTINE – The City of Palestine is issuing a boil water notice for residents on West Lacy Street between North Tennessee Avenue and North Esplanade Street. The notice is needed because of a water main repair in the area. 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.
LUBBOCK (AP) — Police apprehended a 19-year-old student accused of fatally shooting a Texas Tech University police officer at the campus police station Monday night. University officials issued an alert saying the suspect was taken into custody and that the campus lockdown order had been lifted. In an earlier statement, the university identified the suspect as Hollis Daniels. University spokesman Chris Cook said that campus police made a student welfare check Monday evening and, upon entering the room, found evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Officers then brought the suspect to the police station for standard debriefing. While at the station, Cook said the suspect pulled out a gun and shot an officer in the head, killing him. The suspect then fled on foot before being apprehended a short time later.… Read the rest of the article…
FAIRFIELD – Two Trinity Valley Community College football players have been killed in a two vehicle accident in Freestone County. Killed were freshmen Tyler Spillman and Bryce Cook. They were returning to Athens from the Houston area when their vehicle and an 18-wheeler hit head on. The Freestone County Times reports the crash occurred near Fairfield on Farm Road 488 around 4:00 Monday morning.
Tyler’s annual Texans Against Crime block parties will be held on Tuesday from 6:00 to 9:00pm. Over 70 are scheduled. The parties are designed to encourage neighborhoods and businesses to get to know one another and to promote crime prevention.The City of Tyler’s Municipal Court is hosting its annual Texas Night Out “Block Party” in the parking lot of the Municipal Court Tuesday night from 6:00 to 8:00. There will be face painting, a bounce house, games, music, food and so much more. The event is meant to strengthen the relationship between the community and law enforcement officers. To find a block party near you, go to http://www.tylerpolice.com and the go to the “Community” tab and go to “Police Community Events.”
MARSHALL – East Texas Baptist University President J. Blair Blackburn and University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeff Levin have signed an articulation agreement. The Tyler health center will now accept qualified ETBU students into select graduate degree programs. Students will also receive special consideration for available scholarship awards following acceptance to the program.
TENNESSEE COLONY – An inmate in a prison in Anderson County is in the hospital after he was speared by another prisoner. KETK reports an inmate threw a 24-inch paper spear from his cell at the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony. He was first was taken to the prison infirmary and then transferred to a Palestine hospital. He was then taken to a Tyler hospital. Doctors had to perform surgery to remove the tip of the spear. He is listed in stable condition following the Monday morning incident.
MARSHALL – Marshall police are working on the thefts of semi-trailers loaded with various types of building materials. The thefts occurred on July 29, September 16 and September 30. The semi-trailers were parked at different locations throughout Marshall and the tractor used to move them was captured on surveillance video. During the September 30 theft, the suspect was captured on the truck’s interior camera system before he stole both the tractor and trailer. The tractor was found abandoned in Marshall and the trailer was located in Dallas, were the other trailers were also found. You can go to https://www.dropbox.com/l/scl/AACo93iYCbnk332tWwW__gnvbe7RqJ64Kf4 to see the trailer surveillance video.
TYLER – If you are not registered to vote in the November 7th election, today is the deadline for you to register. The deadline pertains to new registrations and address changes only. Smith County residents can register at the elections office on East Ferguson. You can also register online at Votetexas.gov. If registering online, the application must be printed out, signed and postmarked by October 10. The election will include the Smith County bond proposal for road and bridge projects, elections for the cities of Arp and Whitehouse, and several statewide Constitutional Amendments. Early voting starts October 23rd.
LONGVIEW – Concern over racing on Loop 281 in Longview has resulted in two arrests. Arrested Friday night were Cody Glen Green, 20, of Hallsville (pictured) and Jesus Roldan, 19, of Longview. They were clocked at speeds of nearly 80 miles an hour in a 50 mile per hour zone. They were arrested for racing and their cars were impounded. The police department has assigned officers along Loop 281 and Eastman Road and other known racing locations. Racing is a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by fine up to $2,000, and or confinement in jail up to 180 days.
TYLER – Following recent reports of sexual assaults on campus, Tyler Junior College is banning non-resident visitation beyond the ground floor lobby at campus dorms. They are also increasing police patrols. Because of the ongoing investigation, the school will not discuss the incidents, but, In a letter to employees,TJC President Dr. L. Michael Metke says the incidents do not fit the bill of a stranger upon stranger attack and there is no immediate threat to safety. He added, “Students should take reasonable precautions about allowing admittance to dorms and private rooms. Anyone with concerns about their safety should call campus police. They can provide escort services on campus and address any safety issues.” … Read the rest of the article…
TYLER – The five suspects identified in a recent Tyler burglary are now in jail. The five are accused of stealing five rifles, ammunition and a variety of other items, from Atwood’s on the WNW Loop Sunday morning. The store manager discovered when he arrived at work that the front glass doors had been broken out. One of the suspects, the only one from Tyler, was in custody on a probation violation. The other suspects, three from Hawkins and one from Big Sandy, were booked into the Smith County Jail on Thursday and Friday.… Read the rest of the article…
TYLER – A candlelight vigil to honor Spc Alex Missildine will be held Saturday at 6:45pm on the Tyler square. The Ultimate Sacrifice program is to honor the Robert E. Lee High School graduate killed by an improvised explosive device in Iraq. He was killed last Sunday when an IED detonated near his convoy. Missildine, 20, served with the division’s 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Polk, Louisiana.… Read the rest of the article…
HENDERSON – In Rusk County, it’s a long prison term for a man found guilty for sexual abuse of a child. The district attorney’s Facebook page says Norman Oneal Copeland, 50, appeared before the judge in the 4th Judicial District Court on Wednesday. He had been arrested last October on a charge was continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14. After listening to the evidence, he was found guilty. Then, following testimony in the punishment phase, Copeland was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.
DIANA – Investigators say a fatal Upshur County fire may have started in the home’s kitchen. It was reported around 5:00 Thursday morning on State Highway 154, west of Diana. Killed was Sherri Hogue, 62. Her husband, James, was flown to a hospital in Sherveport where he is in critical condition. A grandson who lived with them was treated for smoke inhalation. Their home was destroyed by the fire. The state fire marshal’s office is heading up the investigation.
TYLER – The East Texas State Fair came to an end last Sunday. Fair officials say it was a tremendous success. Attendance saw a slight drop from previous years. But a cool front brought cooler temperatures and the crowds back for the final weekend. Final attendance was 230,471, 5% less than the previous year. But, The fair saw the largest livestock show in its 100-year history, bringing in entries from as far away as Mississippi. And several competitive events, like the horticulture contest and youth creative arts saw a larger than normal number of entries. The fair provided an estimated $9.8 million in economic impact on the City of Tyler and Smith County. Proceeds from the East Texas State Fair will benefit the Fair’s youth education programs. This includes Academic Rodeo which begins in November, and the over $40,000 in scholarships the Fair plans to provide for local youth in the coming months.
TYLER – The UT Health Northeast Psychology Internship Program has been awarded a $1 million dollar grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Officials with UT Health said in a news release that the funding would be used to increase the size and breadth of its program, which provides behavioral health services for patients.