RUSK COUNTY – Two people have been killed in a two vehicle accident. The Department of Public Safety reports the crash occurred just before 9:00 Friday morning on U.S. Highway 259, one mile north of Garrison. A preliminary crash investigation stated that a 2003 Mack truck towing a trailer loaded with logs was traveling southbound on US-59 in the outside lane behind a 2004 Ford F-150. The driver of the Ford was slowing to make a right turn on CR-3286. The driver of the Mack truck failed to control its speed, striking the rear of the Ford causing it to spin and leave the west side of the roadway. The Ford then came to rest in the ditch on the west side of US-59 facing northwest.… Read More
LONGVIEW – Over 50 hot air balloons are in Longview this weekend at the Great Texas Balloon Race. The pilots are in competition through Sunday. Saturday afternoon, the festival gates open at 4:00 at the East Texas Regional Airport. Patrons will enter through the LeTourneau Hanger on Highway 349. There will be a carnival midway and a kids’ zone, and, of course, the balloons. The special shape balloons will inflate at 8:15. At 8:50, it’s the popular and crowd-pleasing balloon glow. Go to http://www.greattexasballoonrace.com for more information.… Read More
MARSHALL – A Partnership has been announced between East Texas Baptist University and the Marshall School District. Marshall ISD employees will benefit from the union by being able to get a master’s degree at the university with a reduced cost in tuition. They will now be able to pursue graduate education at ETBU for professional development in curriculum and instruction, business administration, educational leadership, and counseling under the new partnership. … Read More
PALESTINE – A suspect is in custody in connection with a Palestine robbery. The robbery occurred around 8:00 Tuesday morning at the Blow Vapor Zone. Palestine detectives were able to identify the suspect and, with warrants in hand, they went to the suspects home on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Around 5:15 yesterday afternoon, they arrested 24 year old Cameron Dewayne Shead. According to the department’s Facebook page, Shead was charged with aggravated robbery and his bond was set at $50,000.… Read More
AUSTIN – The state’s unemployment rate went up slightly in June. It did the same in Tyler and Longview. The state’s unemployment rate last month was placed at 4.5%. It was 4.4% in May. But it’s till below the nationwide jobless rate in June of 4.9%. In Tyler, The June unemployment figure was 4.8%, up from 4.1% in May. Longview’s jobless rate went from 5.5% in May to 6.5% last month. But, another way to look at the job picture last month, 95.2% of of Tyler’s civilian labor force had jobs.… Read More
LONGVIEW – Another vacant house in Longview has been damaged by fire. The latest occurred 3:00 this morning on Timpson Street. As investigators look into the cause of the fire, initial indications are it was deliberately set. There has been a string of arson fires in South Longview this year. It’s not know if the latest one is connected to the previous fires. A total of 10 have occurred in vacant homes. Gregg County Crime Stoppers has increased the reward for a tip leading to an arrest in the arson cases to $5,000.
TYLER – Acting Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran has taken his oath of office. It was administered Friday morning by U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider at the Smith County Commissioner’s Court meeting. He was selected for the post earlier this week. The position became vacant last month when Joel Baker was suspended without pay by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The suspension followed Baker’s indictment for violations of the state’s Open Meetings Act. Moran will serve as county judge until either Baker is reinstated or his term expires in 2018. Moran has not decided if he will run for the post then. … Read More
MARSHALL – The Marshall Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating in one of their most wanted fugitives. She is Gricelda Hernandez, 33, of Marshall. She is wanted for for an outstanding felony warrant for possession of a controlled substance. Hernandez is described as 5’2, 165 pounds with a medium build. Hernandez has black hair and brown eyes. if you have any information about Hernandez’s current location, please call them at 903-935-4575 or 903-935-4540. If you wish to remain anonymous call Marshall/Harrison County Crime Stoppers at 903-935-9969.
LONGVIEW- A Longview man has been arrested after being accused of shooting a woman several times. Charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is Jose Isabel Garcia, 40. The man and woman had been arguing when Garcia is said to have grabbed her by the throat, then grabbed a pistol and shot her. The shooting occurred on Alpine Road around 7:00 Wednesday night. Garcia was arrested about an hour later on Colgate Drive. The woman is hospitalized while Garcia is in the Gregg County Jail under a $100,000 bond.
TYLER – A Tyler motorcycle officer has been injured a traffic accident. The accident happened around 1:45 Thursday afternoon. Injured was Sgt. Brian Tomlin, a 24 year veteran and supervisor of the day shift Traffic Unit. He was taken to East Texas Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. He was heading south on the Old Jacksonville Highway and was at College Avenue when hit by an SUV driven by Richard Berger, 64, of Troup. Berger was cited for Fail-to-Yield-Right-of-Way from a stop sign.
TYLER – Hastings Entertainment will be closing all of its stores, including those in East Texas. The liquidation means the closing of the Tyler store on South Broadway and the Longview store on Loop 281 and stores in Nacogdoches and Mount Pleasant. Last month, Hastings announced it had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and was seeking a buyer. At the completion of the sale process on Wednesday, the winning buyer was a joint venture that will instead oversee the liquidation of the Hastings Stores. They now say they will have an “everything must go sale” that will end October 31st at the latest.
TYLER – Suspended Smith County Judge Joel Baker has a hearing coming up before the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Court officials say Baker filed the request Wednesday for the post suspension hearing. It has been scheduled in Austin on August 11th. Following the hearing, the commission has 60 days to render a ruling. They can choose to continue the suspension, or terminate it or modify it. Baker was suspended without pay last month following his indictment for violations of the state’s Open Meetings Act.
MARSHALL – Some Louisiana prison inmates will be able to get a college degree, thanks to a Northeast Texas school. Wiley College in Marshall has announced it will offer prison inmates a chance to get a college degree as part of a new federal program. The prison inmates will be offered a federal Second Chance Pell Grant. This would fully fund their books and tuition as part of a degree or certification program. The pilot program allows the school to choose which prisons will benefit from the program. Wiley College has selected three in Louisiana, Madison Parish Detention Center, Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women St. Gabriel Unit and Winnfield Correctional Center. The program at the Marshall school is expected to begin no later than September of next year.
AUSTIN — A Tyler lawmaker is not pleased after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act. The New Orleans court has ordered changes before the November election. State Representative Matt Schaefer says he strongly disagrees with the court’s ruling. He says “fraud is real and we know there is an effort to allow illegal aliens to vote in the United States.” Schaefer says if the court has left one inch of flexibility to come back and reform this bill, lawmakers will do it.… Read More
ATHENS — The board of trustees at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens have announced Dr. Jerry King is the finalist for the position of President of the college. King was named President Pro Tem for the school in May. The post became vacant in late April when school trustees suspended president Glendon Forgey. He later submitted his resignation. Trustees are scheduled to meet with Dr. King during Monday night’s meeting. No action is scheduled to be taken. When named President Pro Tem, King was serving as the school’s Vice president of Instruction. He has been with the school since 1975, serving in a variety of positions. He was even Mayor of Athens for for 10 years, starting in 1995.
TYLER – The University of Texas at Tyler has named Dr. Julie Delello director of its Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Delello is a UT Tyler School of Education faculty member with more than 20 years of experience as a practicing K-16 educator and administrator. She will oversee the center which promotes campus conversations among faculty regarding teaching and learning which are inspired by new developments in higher education. Members of UT Tyler’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers will assist Delello as center advisers.
HARRISON COUNTY – A Gregg County man has died in a one vehicle accident in Harrison County. Pronounced dead at the scene was 24 year old Cody Ryan Rittermeyer of Longview. The Department of Public Safety says his car left the road and he over corrected. The car then rolled. The accident happened around 10:30 Monday night on a service road of Interstate Highway 20 near mile marker 597.
WINONA – A weekend accident in Smith County has killed a Dallas man. The vehicle/pedestrian accident occurred shortly after 3:45 Sunday morning on Interstate Highway 20, about 5 1/2 miles southeast of Winona. Dead at the scene was Reginald Erwin, 40. He was struck by a car driven by a Longview teenager, Daisy Alavarez. DPS Sgt. Jean Dark reports the car was heading east on the interstate when it swerved to avoid an accident in the roadway and hit the pedestrian.
MARSHALL – Marshall police are looking for a man reported missing over the weekend. Frank Ellis Jr., 27, of Marshall, was reported missing last Saturday by his girlfriend. The last time anyone spoke with Ellis was on the telephone last Wednesday. He is said to stand 5’9″ and weighs around 172 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. It’s not known what Ellis was wearing when he disappeared. If you know where Ellis can be found, you are asked to call the Marshall Police Department at 903-935-4575. You can also call Marshall/Harrison County Crimestoppers at 903-935-9969.
NACOGDOCHES – A woman accused in the shooting death of a Nacogdoches woman, has died from her self-inflicted injury. A news release from the Nacogdoches Police Department says 22 year old Chloe Love of Houston died at a Nacogdoches hospital Sunday afternoon. Love is said to have forced her way into an apartment last Wednesday and shot 23 year old Shermika Bolden. She was found dead on the floor of her bedroom. Police say, after shooting Bolden, Love then shot herself in the head. … Read More
AUSTIN – The Smith County Bar Association has walked off with one of the awards during the State Bar of Texas Bar Leaders Conference. At last weekend’s Houston conference, the Smith County Bar Association was recognized for its access to justice efforts. This includes more than 100 of its members volunteering to assist pro bono clients. The association contracts with a volunteer coordinator who manages more than 35 active pro bono cases each month.
MARSHALL – One person is in custody in connection with a weekend robbery in Marshall. The holdup occurred around noon on Sunday at the EZ-Mart at 2507 West Pinecrest. A witness followed the suspect, relaying information to authorities. Harrison County Sheriff Tom McCool located the vehicle at Highway 43 South near Cave Springs Road and a chase followed. Spikes across the road caused the suspect’s car to crash into a yard. After a brief foot chase, Broderick Maximillian McHenry, 31, of Shreveport was arrested. He’s facing a variety of charges including aggravated robbery and evading arrest.
LONGVIEW – A healthcare merger in Longview is a little closer to reality. The Gregg County Commissioners Court on Monday amended the health system’s current lease and transferred the agreement from Good Shepherd to Duke LifePoint Healthcare. Last month, the healthcare system announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue an acquisition by Duke LifePoint. Monday’s vote to allow the amendment of the lease marks the next step in the process. Included in the acquisition, Good Shepherd NorthPark in Longview, Good Shepherd Medical Center in Marshall, emergency services in Kilgore and provider offices at over 30 locations. Also included are immediate care centers and outpatient and health and wellness services across East Texas.
LONGVIEW – A couple is arrested, accused of threatening to blow up a Longview hospital. Booked into the Gregg County jail on a charge of terroristic threat was Gary Lawrence Anger, 63, and Janet Elaine Chernoff, 67. According to the Longview News Journal, a woman told police she was eating with the couple in the Good Shepherd Medical Center lunchroom. She said they were upset because the hospital had canceled a work contract with Anger. She said Chernoff threatened to blow up the hospital if she knew how to build a bomb and Anger said he would “go ISIS in here.” Even though Anger told her he was just joking, she said she was scared.
LONGVIEW – A DPS traffic stop in Gregg County has resulted in a drug bust. The car was stopped by the state trooper for tailgating another car. Dalton Tyler Ledford, 26, of El Paso was first arrested for not having a driver’s license. Then a smell of marijuana led the trooper to a duffel bag on the back seat, which contained multiple bundles of high-grade marijuana. Ledford has been charged with with delivery of marijuana, failure to ID and no drivers license. Ledford, who has a tattoo on his left calf that reads “kill cops,” was booked into the Gregg County Jail.
GLADEWATER – Robert’s Grocery in Gladewater has been extensively damaged in an overnight fire. It was reported around midnight Thursday night at the convenience store at 1610 North Main Street. The roof of the store collapsed, and it appears to be a total loss. The cause of the fire has not been determined.
KILGORE -Nearly three dozen young women have become the newest members of the Kilgore College Rangerettes dance and drill team. The announcement was made this morning in a closed ceremony in Dodson Auditorium on the Kilgore campus. The announcement culminates a week-long process of 80 young women vying for a coveted position on the 2016-17 Rangerette line. The new Rangerettes come from 28 Texas towns, including Tyler, Longview, Houston and Austin. They now join 36 sophomores to make a line of 72. The Rangerettes were the first of their kind, a vision of the late Gussie Nell Davis. They celebrated their 75th anniversary last year.
TYLER – The University of Texas at Tyler Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy is a step closer to full accreditation. The Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education has granted the program candidate status. This means graduates of the college are now permitted to take the pharmacy licensing exam. Programs are not considered for full accreditation until they graduate the first class. That will come at U.T. Tyler in 2018.
TYLER – When looking for a family activity this summer, you can visit Africa or South America without ever leaving East Texas. All you have to do is visit Tyler’s Caldwell Zoo. Started in 1937, it moved to its current location in 1953, growing over the years. The zoo covers 85 acres, 75 acres are open to the public. It’s divided into geographic regions, with animals from North America, South America and Africa. About one third of the zoo is currently under renovation. The African section is being expanded. Zoo Executive Director Hayes Caldwell says the exhibit yard for the elephants is being nearly doubled. A deck is being added so you can feed the giraffes at their eye level. There will even be a new cafe with outdoor and some indoor seating. Caldwell says the renovation is expected to be completed this fall or early next spring. You can go to http://caldwellzoo.org and learn more about the zoo and meet some of the animals you will see there.