AUSTIN – Unemployment in Texas rose slightly last month. In East Texas, the jobless rate for Tyler and Longview dipped slightly. The Texas unemployment rate last month was 4.8%. That’s up slightly from the August figure. It reflects 4 straight months of higher jobless rates in the state. Tyler’s unemployment rate for September was 5% and Longview’s was 6.7%. Both figures are slightly lower than the August numbers but higher than September of last year. The nationwide jobless rate is 5%.
LONGVIEW – The Longview News-Journal is presenting a new event in Downtown Longview today. Rockers, Riders and Ribs started the set up late Friday afternoon. Several downtown streets were closed to motor traffic starting at 5:00pm Friday. Barricades were placed on several streets east of Fredonia Street.… Read More
TYLER – You can get rid of old medications in Tyler today. The Tyler Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency, are hosting a “no questions asked” medication drop off. It will be from 10:00 till 2:00 at the CVS pharmacy on South Broadway at 5th Street. Tyler police detective Andy Erbaugh says the drive-through event is free and allows you to turn in unused and expired medications for safe disposal. It is important to clean out your medicine cabinet, especially if you have children. Young children may confuse it with something to eat or drink and keeping unneeded medications with teenagers can lead to potential drug abuse.… Read More
TYLER – A young boy has been critically injured in a two car accident in Tyler. It happened around 3:00 Thursday afternoon near the intersection of West Gentry Parkway and North Bois D Arc. An SUV heading east on West Gentry ended up crossing over the west bound lanes and into the parking lot of the Family Dollar Store. It then hit a pickup that was leaving the parking lot. The pickup rolled and ended up on its side with the woman driver partially ejected. A 4 year old boy in a rear safety seat in the SUV received life threatening injuries and was flown to Dallas for treatment. The two drivers were hospitalized. Police say alcohol is not thought to be a factor in the accident. The investigation of the crash is ongoing.
NORTHEAST TEXAS – Wildlife biologists are advising persons in rural areas of Northeast Texas to be aware of bears. At least four sightings have been documented on game trail cameras between June and late August, and one of those was in Smith County. Wildlife biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department speculate the bears, which appear to be young males, are looking to establish their own new home ranges. They may have come from Oklahoma and Arkansas where bear numbers have increased in recent years. … Read More
GILMER – A two vehicle accident in Upshur County has left one person dead and one injured. It occurred just before 8:30 Thursday morning on U.S. Highway 271 near Gilmer. Dead at the scene was Leno Garza Aguirre, 20, of Mt. Pleasant. Taken to East Texas Medical Center-Pittsburg for treatment was James Fuller, 47, of Jacksonville. The preliminary report from the Department of Public safety says Aguirre was traveling at an unsafe speed on the wet road. His car lost traction and started to skid and rotate. It crossed into the opposite lane of traffic and hit Fuller’s vehicle.
MARSHALL – The burn ban in Harrison County has been lifted. The ban was approved by the county commissioners on October 10th. County Judge Hugh Taylor signed the order Thursday lifting the ban. It was effective at noon on Thursday. The ban was terminated after the judge visited with County Fire Marshal Thomas Mock. After reviewing the current rain and moisture conditions, he said conditions had improved.
KILGORE – One person has been killed in a one vehicle accident in Kilgore. The victim has been identified as Christy Lynn Pierson, 40, of Kilgore. The accident occurred shortly after 7:00 Thursday morning on U.S. Highway 259 at Synergy Drive. Kilgore police say her SUV was heading south when it accidentally ended up in the turn lane. When she tried to return to her lane, she overcorrected and crashed. Pierson was pronounced dead at the scene. Three passengers were sent to Good Shepherd Medical Center Kilgore for treatment of minor injuries.
LUFKIN – A former Lufkin teacher and cheerleading coach has been arrested. Mary Ainsley Thigpen, 29, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on a charge of improper relationship between educator and student. She turned herself in at the Angelina County Jail after an arrest warrant was issued for her. She is currently free on bond. According to a news release from the school district, when the allegation surfaced, campus police started an investigation. When told about the complaint, and that she would be placed on administrative leave, Thigpen resigned.
LUFKIN – An arrest warrant is out for the former cheerleader coach at Lufkin High School. Mary Ainsley Thigpen, 29, of Lufkin, is being charged with an improper relationship between educator and student. According to a news release from the school district, when the allegation surfaced, campus police started an investigation. When told about the complaint, and that she would be placed on administrative leave, Thigpen resigned.
RUSK COUNTY – A Rusk County man is free on bond after being charged with animal cruelty. Larry Antone “Tony” Cadwell, 50, turned himself in on Tuesday. He had earlier reported two of his horses missing. When authorities went to his property off Farm Road 1251, they found nearly two dozen emaciated horses. KETK reports, on Tuesday, officials obtained an order to seize the animals. They seized 23 horses, including the two that hand been reported missing. As the investigation continues, additional charges may be filed.
TYLER – Tyler is seeing a steady improvement in the quality of it’s water. Tyler Water Utilities continues to be in compliance with lead and copper standards for drinking water. This has come as the result of making several process changes that started nearly a year ago. The city recently collected 100 water samples for the second half the year. The test results show a continuing decline in lead and copper levels. The city says this verifies the effectiveness of the water treatment process improvements put in place last winter. … Read More
ANGIER, NC — A Tyler man is in custody in North Carolina on drug charges. Pineda Franky Garcia, 37, remains in jail under a $1 million bond. Sheriff’s deputies were responding to a complaint when they uncovered 50 pounds of liquid methamphetamine with a value of $4.5 million. According to the Daily Record in Dunn, North Carolina, investigators say the drug would have been crystallized before it could be sold. They estimate the liquid would have transformed into around 30 pounds of crystal meth. Garcia has been charged with felony trafficking in methamphetamine and felony manufacturing methamphetamine.
TYLER – A student has been arrested after bringing a gun to school. Arrested Tuesday was Dennis Wayne Forte, 18. The Robert E. Lee student is said to have brought a BB gun to school and threatened to use it. He was detained by the school district police department and then booked into the Smith County Jail on a charge of making a terroristic threat. He was released after posting $750 bond.
TYLER — A visually impaired man has been critically injured in a car-pedestrian accident in Tyler. It occurred around 6:15 Tuesday night just west of the intersection of West Front and South Glenwood in front of the Cotton Belt Building. He was hit by a west bound vehicle as he was walking across the street. Tyler police report he was hospitalized with potentially life threatening injuries.
TYLER – The Chairman of Tyler’s Planning and Zoning Commission, David Hudson, has been named as the American Planning Association Texas Chapter’s 2016 Planning Commissioner. This award is given in recognition of Commissioner Hudson’s extensive involvement with the commission and his integrity towards Tyler. Hudson, who currently is a member of the Board of Trustees at Tyler Junior college, is currently serving his eleventh year on Tyler’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Hudson, who is a former state representative, will be honored at the annual APA Texas Chapter conference that will be held in San Antonio from November 2 to 4.
EAST TEXAS — The University of Texas at Tyler Longview University Center and Texas State Technical College in Marshall have developed a partnership. It is designed to provide students a pathway to a bachelor’s degree. Students majoring in computer aided drafting and design, industrial maintenance, industrial controls technology and computer aided manufacturing will earn an associate of applied science from TSTC. Then they can pursue the UT Tyler bachelor of science in industrial technology degree at the Longview University Center. The program is unique in that in addition to a heavy dose of technical courses, students earn a minor in business administration.
TYLER – Citing what they call significant competitive pressure combined with unfavorable economic conditions, Brookshire’s Grocery Company will be laying off around 85 employees. According to Ellen Reynolds, the company’s Communications Manager, the layoffs will affect corporate, manufacturing and logistics areas within the company. With the layoffs comes the closing of the company’s bakery. A news release said there will be no impact to the company’s approximately 14,400-plus employees in retail and other support functions. Affected employees will receive severance and transition assistance.
LONGVIEW – Wednesday is National Unity Day, the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month. And everyone on the Longview school campuses are being asked to wear orange. This is to send a message of support, hope, and unity against bullying. Sarah Lebus, the Longview School District’s Communications Officer says bullying is not a big problem on Longview campuses, but it is nation-wide. It is estimated that one out of 4 school-aged children will be bullied this year. That is upwards of 13,000,000 students.
LONGVIEW – A Gladewater man is free on bond following his arrest on drug charges. Jeremy Lynn Young, 35, was arrested on Spur 63 as Gregg County Organized Drug Enforcement Unit unit and Special Investigations and Apprehension Unit executed a search warrant. During the search, officers seized a quantity of methamphetamine and assorted drug paraphernalia. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance. He was released from the Gregg County Jail on Monday on a $10,000.
LONGVIEW – Three persons have been arrested as special law enforcement units in Gregg County executed a narcotic search warrant. The warrant was served at a South 12th Street home. Taken into custody were Richard Reed, 46, (pictured) Blake Irving Thomas, 22, and Quinndale LaShun Wofford, 27, all of Longview. In the house officers seized narcotics, including marihuana, ecstasy, Xanax, synthetic cannabinoid, and powdered cocaine. They also recovered a stolen pistol, magazines, and ammunition. Reed and Wofford, besides having outstanding warrants have been charged with drug violations. Thomas, besides a drug violations, was charged with a felon in possession of a firearm.
TYLER – New food truck regulations recently approved by the The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) Board of Directors are now in effect. NET Health compared the standards to other jurisdictions. They also listened to concerns voiced by community. Net Health says the revisions comply with the Texas Food Establishment Rules, and the Texas Department of State Health Services that all restaurants, cities, counties and public health districts across the state must follow. … Read More
TROUP – A Troup woman has become the 5th person to be arrested in connection with a Smith County Murder. Tammy Lynn Dilbeck, 34, was booked into the Smith County Jail over the weekend. She has been charged with the July 13th shooting death of Jordan Ladue during a Troup robbery. She was indicted by the Smith County grand jury in the case last week and booked into jail on Saturday. She has been charged with capital murder by terroristic threat. Her bond is $1,000,000. Previously arrested in the case was Joshua Adam Scales, 29, Jana Lang 28, Casey Luna, 28, and Ralph Paul Pressley, 32. Scales is from Tyler an the others are from Troup.
EAST TEXAS – The state’s largest power generator, Dallas-based Luminant, said it will eliminate 132 jobs in December. The report comes in a release from the Texas Workforce Commision. The layoffs will occur by December 16th at Luminant’s mines in Rusk and Panola counties. The announcement of Luminant’s plans come about a month after the Westmoreland Coal Co. said it will cut about 250 Texas jobs when it closes its Jewett Mine in central Texas. Coal power plants are struggling financially as natural gas and renewable power gain market share. In a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission that was released Monday, Tim Bosecker, Martin Lake mines director wrote, “This has been a very difficult decision, but one that is required to continue to run the business efficiently.”
QUITMAN – Wood County murder trial, that was set to begin later this month has been cancelled. It will be rescheduled. The continuance was requested by the attorney for Jason Russell Walter, 41, of Mineola. He is accused of the shooting death of Christopher Jason Griffin, 19, of Mineola. The shooting occurred on Father’s Day of 2014. It stemmed from an argument that started inside a convenience store on North Pacific Street in Mineola. The shooting occurred after the argument moved outside and behind the store. Walters was at the scene with a gun when police arrived.
WINNSBORO – The Department of Public Safety has identified the person killed in a weekend accident in Wood County. The crash happened shortly before midnight on Saturday on Highway 11, just west of Winnsboro. Dead at the scene was Corey Gibson, 24, of Como. His minivan was heading east, at the what the DPS says was an unsafe speed, when the vehicle left the road and rolled over in a ditch. The vehicle then hit a billboard and caught fire.
LONGVIEW – A man in a clown mask has robbed a Longview business. The robbery happened shortly before 10:30 Monday morning at Rapid Payday & Title Loans on Judson Road. The suspect displayed a handgun, took an undisclosed amount of money, and then fled the area on foot. No injuries were reported. Besides the clown mask, the suspect was said to have been wearing blue jeans, a hoodie and dark shirt with a Nike symbol.
EAST TEXAS — Don’t be surprised this week if you pass a stopped school bus, operating a visual signal, and are stopped by a state trooper. Texas Department of Safety troopers will be watching for drivers who violate the law on this, National School Bus Safety Week. It runs October 17th through the 21st. They will look for violators in a variety of ways. State Trooper Jean Dark says they may be following a school bus, driving ahead of it or they may even be riding on the bus. Dark says a driver who disregards a stopped school bus is putting kid’s lives in danger. And she says, that is cause for concern. Drivers who violate the law could face fines as much as $1,250.… Read More
TYLER – Two Robert E Lee High School Students have received honors from the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. Mary Claire Neal has been named a Semifinalist and Kushan Gupta a Commended Student. Neal joins around 16,000 students across the nation in receiving Semifinalist honors. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships. Gupta joins 34,000 Commended Students across the nation in being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, Commended Students do become candidates for special scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.
LONGVIEW – The City of Longview has partnered with local businesses to add three more locations for glass recycling for a total of six drop-off locations. At each location, glass bottles and jars may be deposited into 95-gallon carts with yellow lids. Other kinds of glass such as light bulbs, mirrors, and auto glass will not be accepted. Glass recycling is not available for curbside collection at this time.… Read More