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Palestine Teen Missing; Believed to Be Runaway

PALESTINE – Palestine police are continuing to ask the public’s help in locating a missing teenager. She is Gabriela Pineda, 15. She is thought to be a runaway. She is described as a Hispanic female is 5’5, 120 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. If you know where she can be found, you are asked to contact Palestine police.

Fatal Fire Probe Is Continuing

LONGVIEW – Officials are now saying a Longview fire that killed a man was intentionally set. The body of Johnny Quentin Miller, 44, of Longview was found in a burning duplex on Loring Lane late last Wednesday morning. The preliminary autopsy report showed he had hemorrhaging around his anterior neck muscles and almost his entire body was covered in burns. It also said no soot was found in his airway. It could take up to six weeks before the final autopsy report is available. And while the Longview News Journal reports the fire was intentionally set, the item that ignited the fire is still undetermined.

Charges in Murder Case Dropped

TYLER – Two persons arrested in connection with a Smith County murder last November, have had charges against them dropped. Judge Christi Kennedy announced the tampering with evidence charges have been dropped against Daniel Cole Perry, 23, of Tyler and James Hunter Ansley, 26, of Whitehouse. Still charged with murder in the case are Colton Wade Tate, 21, of Tyler and Nathan Ryan Garcia, 20, of Whitehouse. Their trial dates have been rescheduled for July 16th. They are charged with the death of 19 year old Andrew Carpenter of Tyler. He was found with a gunshot wound in a residence on Deerwood Drive. He later died at a Tyler hospital.

A Case of Mistaken Identity

LONGVIEW – Longview police say a man previously identified as a suspect in a sexual abuse of a child case was not the person named in the arrest warrant. Police spokesman Lt. Shane McCarter told KTBB, at the time of the arrest, they did believe the man was Larry Don Morgan of Kilgore. They discovered the mix up through fingerprints. The man, who had been reported missing a week ago, has since been released to the custody of his caregivers. Authorities continue searching for Morgan, who has been on the lam for nearly three years.

The Cost to Change the Names of Tyler’s Main High Schools

TYLER – At a Monday workshop session, Tyler school trustees heard a report on the cost of changing the names of the city’s two main high schools. If they do change the names, the cost would be a lot less if done during the campus renovations, which are now underway. But, the longer you wait, the more costly it becomes. It could go as high as $2.2 million. This would cover new signs as well as rebranding uniforms, merchandise and logos. There was a lengthy discussion among the board members. And, since it was designated a discussion item, no vote was taken. No word at this time when the issue will come up again and when a vote could be taken.

Gladewater Robbery Suspect Sought

GLADEWATER – The attempted robbery of a Gladewater business in under investigation. It happened shortly after 11:45 Sunday night at the G&J Food Mart. The police report says at least one shot was fired by the suspect at a store employee, who was not injured. The small semi-automatic handgun was fired after the suspect demanded money from the cashier. The suspect is said to be a man about 6 feet tall and weighing between 200 and 250 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white cloth mask, dark blue or black clothing, including a hoodie, and black shoes.

Lake Palestine Fish Kill

LAKE PALESTINE – A fish kill at Lake Palestine is under investigation. Hundreds of fish have been found dead. A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesperson tells our news partner KETK, the dead fish are primarily white bass. And they said the kill is a naturally-occurring disease within the white bass population brought on by post spawn stress.

Teachers of the Year to Be Named

TYLER – Tyler’s teachers of the year will be announced tonight. The 2018 district Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year will be announced at the annual awards banquet at the Crosswalk Conference Center at Green Acres Baptist Church. The district teachers of the year will advance to compete for Regional Teacher of the Year through the Region 7 Service Center. You can go to https://www.tylerisd.org/toy to see the campus nominees.

UT Tyler’s First Regents’ Outstanding Employee

TYLER – The University of Texas at Tyler announced its UT System Regents’ Outstanding Employee Award recipient. He is Chemistry Laboratory Supervisor Jason DiStefano. He has been at UT Tyler since 2004. He is one of 30 systemwide staff who each received $10,000 in recognition of exceptional workplace performance.

Kilgore Man Sought for Several Years Is Arrested

LONGVIEW – A tip has led law officers to a Gregg County man who has been wanted for nearly three years. Arrested Sunday in the area of Texas Street and Marshall Avenue was Larry Don Morgan, 36, of Kilgore. He had been named in a warrant for indecency with a child-sexual contact. He was last seen walking around Martin Street in downtown Kilgore early on the evening of June 25, 2015. Following his arrest, Morgan was booked into the Gregg County Jail.

UT Tyler Research to Help Improve School Safety

TYLER – The University of Texas at Tyler has announced its collaboration with the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement. The organization was founded by Scarlett Lewis, whose 6 year old son was killed in his first grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. The partnership will launch the university’s social emotional learning research. It will also spearhead area school districts’ efforts to ensure officials are meeting the social, emotional and academic learning needs of East Texas students. Lewis will be speaking with area schools and will also be speaking at U-T Tyler in a couple of weeks.

Fallen Peace Officers to Be Remembered


TYLER – Ceremonies are scheduled around the area honoring peace officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day. The week in which that date falls is Police Week. Marshall Police are hosting a ceremony honoring fallen law officers on Wednesday at noon at at the Marshall Visual Arts Center. In Tyler, a ceremony is scheduled at noon on Tuesday on the dowtown square. Eighteen officers will be recognized during the service.

Costs Studied for Possible High School Name Changes

TYLER – Tyler school trustees will learn Monday what it would cost if they decide to change the names of the city’s two high schools. School trustees last year discussed changing the name of Robert E Lee High School. The suggestion was hotly contested at a meeting. The suggestion even resulted in community members circulating petitions for and against the proposal. The cost of changing the names of the city’s high schools is listed on the agenda for the workshop meeting of the school board Monday morning at 11:00. The agenda stresses the cost analysis is for discussion only and no action will be taken.

Longview Police Promotions

LONGVIEW – Three vacant leadership positions at the Longview Police Department have been filled by promotions. Officer Drew Allison and Officer Jeremy Higginbotham were both promoted to sergeant. Sergeant Shane McCarter was promoted to lieutenant. They will begin their new duties on Monday.

Palestine to Spray for Mosquitoes

PALESTINE – The City of Palestine will spray for mosquitoes starting on Monday. Between 9:00 Monday night and 5:00 Tuesday morning, sprayers will be dispatched to Area 2. Area 2 encompasses the streets of Kolstad Street to the north south to Loop 256 and the Willow Creek Business Park, and from Royall and Elm streets west to Oak and Variah Streets. You can go the City of Palestine’s website at cityofpalestinetx.com for a full map of the spraying areas.

Roadwork Staring On High Street-Longview

LONGVIEW – Beginning Monday, High Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Eckman Street and South Street. This closure prohibits left turns on and off of High Street at Luckett Street, Hopkins Street, College Street, and Mitchell Street. College Street will be closed to through traffic east of High Street. This street work is part of the High Street Sewer Line improvements. This project consists of replacing sanitary sewer main along High Street between Mitchell Street and College Street and between Radio Street and Birdsong Street. The closure is scheduled for four weeks.

TxDOT Weekly Roadwork Update

TYLER – Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the week of May 14th. 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.

In Tyler, work has resumed on the project that’s extending turn lanes and adding right turn lanes at various intersections. On Tuesday, daytime lane closures are planned for Grande Blvd. and Old Jacksonville Highway during activation of new traffic signals. Night work is set for Wednesday and Thursday at the Broadway Avenue and South Town Drive work location. The southbound, outside lane of Broadway Ave. as well as South Town Dr., west of Broadway, will both be closed from 7:00pm to 6:00am each night. Alternate routes are encouraged. Additional project information is available in the Smith County section of this release.… Read the rest of the article…

Texas Panhandle Wildfire Burns More than 60,000 acres

WAYSIDE (AP) — Firefighters in the Texas Panhandle are trying to contain a wildfire that’s blackened more than 60,000 acres. The Texas A&M Forest Service reports nearly 300 firefighters are at the blaze that began last week east of Wayside, about 40 miles southeast of Amarillo and not far from Palo Duro Canyon. The fire is about 15% contained.

Concrete Damage Closes West Texas Spring-Fed 1930s-Era Pool

BALMORHEA (AP) — A 1930s-era West Texas swimming pool built by the federal Civilian Conservation Corps and touted as the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool is shut indefinitely because the concrete floor is damaged. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials say the damaged area is under the diving area at the Balmorhea State Park pool and stabilizes pool walls from erosion.

Trial Starting for Accused Killer of Border Patrol Agent

BROWNSVILLE (AP) — A 34-year-old Mexican national is facing a possible death sentence as testimony begins this week in South Texas at his capital murder trial for the August 2014 slaying of an off-duty Border Patrol agent. The trial of Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval is scheduled to get under way Monday in Cameron County.

Seven Taken to Hospital After Houston Police Chase Ends in Crash

HOUSTON (AP) — At least seven people were hospitalized as a driver fleeing from Houston police crashed into two vehicles. Authorities say an officer spotted a speeding vehicle in north Houston Saturday night, tried to stop the driver but he took off.

Texas Church Massacre County Shows Jump in Gun Carry Permits

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — A massacre last year that left more than two dozen people killed at a South Texas church appears to have spurred a dramatic increase in the number of people in that county seeking licenses to carry a handgun. Records obtained by the San Antonio Express-News show 222 gun license applications were received in November in Wilson County following the Nov. 5 shootings at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. That’s up 167% from November 2016 and the highest per capita increase among Texas counties with at least 10,000 residents. The newspaper also reports another 175 applied for carry permits in December, up 150 percent from 2016. For all of Texas, the county southeast of San Antonio showed the greatest increase in applicants for gun-carry permits in 2017.

Runoff Election Early Voting Starting

TYLER – Early voting is underway in Smith County in the runoff in the Democratic race for governor. That is the only race on the ballot. Polls will be open from 7:00 until 7:00pm on Tuesday. The early voting runs Monday through Friday of this week at the HUB on East Ferguson Street in Tyler. Hours are 8:00am till 5:00pm Monday through Wednesday and from 7:00am till 7:00pm on Thursday and Friday. The election is on Tuesday, May 22nd.

Bloomberg Warns of ‘Epidemic of Dishonesty’

HOUSTON (AP) — Americans are facing an “epidemic of dishonesty” in Washington. That’s according to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who warned in a commencement speech at Rice University that “an endless barrage of lies” in national politics poses a dire threat to U.S. democracy. The 76-year-old billionaire, who flirted with an independent presidential run, did not call out any politicians by name.

Four Dead After SUV Veers Into Oncoming Traffic in South Texas

FULTON (AP) — Four people are dead after an SUV traveling along the Texas Gulf Coast veered into oncoming traffic and struck a sedan head-on. The Texas Department of Public Safety says witnesses reported a Ford Escape was passing several vehicles late Friday when it crossed the center line north of Fulton, near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The SUV struck a southbound Honda Civic carrying four people.

Man with 3 DWI Convictions Charged in Death of Woman

MERCEDES (AP) — A South Texas man who has three prior convictions for drunken driving has been charged with intoxication manslaughter following a wreck that killed a woman and critically injured three children. Thirty-eight-year-old Ignacio Navarro Jr. was being held Saturday at the Hidalgo County jail on bonds totaling $500,000. Court records show Navarro was previously convicted of driving while intoxicated in 2002, 2007 and 2009.

Texas Schools Chief to Get $750K in Wake of Bullying Claims

KATY (AP) — A school district west of Houston will pay more than $750,000 to its superintendent who’s resigning at the end of the year in the wake of allegations that he was a bully as a teenager. Details of a contract released Friday by the Katy school district show Superintendent Lance Hindt will receive two years of pay upon his departure January 1. He had announced his resignation a day earlier.

Former Obama Housing Secretary Weighing Presidential Run

HENNIKER, N.H. (AP) — Julian Castro is sparking more speculation that he’s gearing up for a run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. The former San Antonio, Texas mayor and Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama told AP Saturday that he’ll decide on a White House run after the midterm elections, adding he’ll make a decision by the end of the year. Castro was in the first-in-the-nation primary state to deliver the commencement address at New England College in Henniker.

Probe of Longview Fire Death Continues

LONGVIEW – A Longview fire death is being investigated as a homicide. The body of Johnny Quentin Miller, 44, of Longview was found in a burning duplex on Loring Lane late Wednesday morning. No word on how the fire started. The preliminary autopsy report showed he had hemorrhaging around his anterior neck muscles and almost his entire body was covered in burns. It also said no soot was found in his airway. Detectives say they are still awaiting the final report from the autopsy which will guide their investigation. Miller’s missing Dodge Caravan has been found. It was located on South Mobberly Avenue.

Spring Commencement at TJC

TYLER – The spring commencement at Tyler Junior College was held yesterday, and it’s a special day for over a dozen Chapel Hill students. Over 1,200 degrees and certificates were awarded. This includes the first 11 graduates of the new TJC Veterinary Technician program and 10 graduates from the second class of graduates from the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program. The 15 Chapel Hill students are from their school’s early college program. They’re received their Associate of Arts degrees before they got their high school diplomas.

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Palestine Teen Missing; Believed to Be Runaway

Posted/updated on: May 16, 2018 at 1:09 pm

PALESTINE – Palestine police are continuing to ask the public’s help in locating a missing teenager. She is Gabriela Pineda, 15. She is thought to be a runaway. She is described as a Hispanic female is 5’5, 120 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. If you know where she can be found, you are asked to contact Palestine police.

Fatal Fire Probe Is Continuing

Posted/updated on: May 16, 2018 at 12:58 pm

LONGVIEW – Officials are now saying a Longview fire that killed a man was intentionally set. The body of Johnny Quentin Miller, 44, of Longview was found in a burning duplex on Loring Lane late last Wednesday morning. The preliminary autopsy report showed he had hemorrhaging around his anterior neck muscles and almost his entire body was covered in burns. It also said no soot was found in his airway. It could take up to six weeks before the final autopsy report is available. And while the Longview News Journal reports the fire was intentionally set, the item that ignited the fire is still undetermined.

Charges in Murder Case Dropped

Posted/updated on: May 16, 2018 at 12:54 pm

TYLER – Two persons arrested in connection with a Smith County murder last November, have had charges against them dropped. Judge Christi Kennedy announced the tampering with evidence charges have been dropped against Daniel Cole Perry, 23, of Tyler and James Hunter Ansley, 26, of Whitehouse. Still charged with murder in the case are Colton Wade Tate, 21, of Tyler and Nathan Ryan Garcia, 20, of Whitehouse. Their trial dates have been rescheduled for July 16th. They are charged with the death of 19 year old Andrew Carpenter of Tyler. He was found with a gunshot wound in a residence on Deerwood Drive. He later died at a Tyler hospital.

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Posted/updated on: May 15, 2018 at 7:20 pm

LONGVIEW – Longview police say a man previously identified as a suspect in a sexual abuse of a child case was not the person named in the arrest warrant. Police spokesman Lt. Shane McCarter told KTBB, at the time of the arrest, they did believe the man was Larry Don Morgan of Kilgore. They discovered the mix up through fingerprints. The man, who had been reported missing a week ago, has since been released to the custody of his caregivers. Authorities continue searching for Morgan, who has been on the lam for nearly three years.

The Cost to Change the Names of Tyler’s Main High Schools

Posted/updated on: May 15, 2018 at 6:51 pm

TYLER – At a Monday workshop session, Tyler school trustees heard a report on the cost of changing the names of the city’s two main high schools. If they do change the names, the cost would be a lot less if done during the campus renovations, which are now underway. But, the longer you wait, the more costly it becomes. It could go as high as $2.2 million. This would cover new signs as well as rebranding uniforms, merchandise and logos. There was a lengthy discussion among the board members. And, since it was designated a discussion item, no vote was taken. No word at this time when the issue will come up again and when a vote could be taken.

Gladewater Robbery Suspect Sought

Posted/updated on: May 15, 2018 at 3:53 pm

GLADEWATER – The attempted robbery of a Gladewater business in under investigation. It happened shortly after 11:45 Sunday night at the G&J Food Mart. The police report says at least one shot was fired by the suspect at a store employee, who was not injured. The small semi-automatic handgun was fired after the suspect demanded money from the cashier. The suspect is said to be a man about 6 feet tall and weighing between 200 and 250 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white cloth mask, dark blue or black clothing, including a hoodie, and black shoes.

Lake Palestine Fish Kill

Posted/updated on: May 15, 2018 at 3:36 pm

LAKE PALESTINE – A fish kill at Lake Palestine is under investigation. Hundreds of fish have been found dead. A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesperson tells our news partner KETK, the dead fish are primarily white bass. And they said the kill is a naturally-occurring disease within the white bass population brought on by post spawn stress.

Teachers of the Year to Be Named

Posted/updated on: May 15, 2018 at 3:17 pm

TYLER – Tyler’s teachers of the year will be announced tonight. The 2018 district Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year will be announced at the annual awards banquet at the Crosswalk Conference Center at Green Acres Baptist Church. The district teachers of the year will advance to compete for Regional Teacher of the Year through the Region 7 Service Center. You can go to https://www.tylerisd.org/toy to see the campus nominees.

UT Tyler’s First Regents’ Outstanding Employee

Posted/updated on: May 15, 2018 at 2:58 pm

TYLER – The University of Texas at Tyler announced its UT System Regents’ Outstanding Employee Award recipient. He is Chemistry Laboratory Supervisor Jason DiStefano. He has been at UT Tyler since 2004. He is one of 30 systemwide staff who each received $10,000 in recognition of exceptional workplace performance.

Kilgore Man Sought for Several Years Is Arrested

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 4:56 pm

LONGVIEW – A tip has led law officers to a Gregg County man who has been wanted for nearly three years. Arrested Sunday in the area of Texas Street and Marshall Avenue was Larry Don Morgan, 36, of Kilgore. He had been named in a warrant for indecency with a child-sexual contact. He was last seen walking around Martin Street in downtown Kilgore early on the evening of June 25, 2015. Following his arrest, Morgan was booked into the Gregg County Jail.

UT Tyler Research to Help Improve School Safety

Posted/updated on: May 15, 2018 at 1:53 pm

TYLER – The University of Texas at Tyler has announced its collaboration with the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement. The organization was founded by Scarlett Lewis, whose 6 year old son was killed in his first grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. The partnership will launch the university’s social emotional learning research. It will also spearhead area school districts’ efforts to ensure officials are meeting the social, emotional and academic learning needs of East Texas students. Lewis will be speaking with area schools and will also be speaking at U-T Tyler in a couple of weeks.

Fallen Peace Officers to Be Remembered

Posted/updated on: May 15, 2018 at 11:59 am


TYLER – Ceremonies are scheduled around the area honoring peace officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day. The week in which that date falls is Police Week. Marshall Police are hosting a ceremony honoring fallen law officers on Wednesday at noon at at the Marshall Visual Arts Center. In Tyler, a ceremony is scheduled at noon on Tuesday on the dowtown square. Eighteen officers will be recognized during the service.

Costs Studied for Possible High School Name Changes

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 10:56 am

TYLER – Tyler school trustees will learn Monday what it would cost if they decide to change the names of the city’s two high schools. School trustees last year discussed changing the name of Robert E Lee High School. The suggestion was hotly contested at a meeting. The suggestion even resulted in community members circulating petitions for and against the proposal. The cost of changing the names of the city’s high schools is listed on the agenda for the workshop meeting of the school board Monday morning at 11:00. The agenda stresses the cost analysis is for discussion only and no action will be taken.

Longview Police Promotions

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 3:16 pm

LONGVIEW – Three vacant leadership positions at the Longview Police Department have been filled by promotions. Officer Drew Allison and Officer Jeremy Higginbotham were both promoted to sergeant. Sergeant Shane McCarter was promoted to lieutenant. They will begin their new duties on Monday.

Palestine to Spray for Mosquitoes

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 3:16 pm

PALESTINE – The City of Palestine will spray for mosquitoes starting on Monday. Between 9:00 Monday night and 5:00 Tuesday morning, sprayers will be dispatched to Area 2. Area 2 encompasses the streets of Kolstad Street to the north south to Loop 256 and the Willow Creek Business Park, and from Royall and Elm streets west to Oak and Variah Streets. You can go the City of Palestine’s website at cityofpalestinetx.com for a full map of the spraying areas.

Roadwork Staring On High Street-Longview

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 3:27 pm

LONGVIEW – Beginning Monday, High Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Eckman Street and South Street. This closure prohibits left turns on and off of High Street at Luckett Street, Hopkins Street, College Street, and Mitchell Street. College Street will be closed to through traffic east of High Street. This street work is part of the High Street Sewer Line improvements. This project consists of replacing sanitary sewer main along High Street between Mitchell Street and College Street and between Radio Street and Birdsong Street. The closure is scheduled for four weeks.

TxDOT Weekly Roadwork Update

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 3:15 pm

TYLER – Here’s a look at work planned in the district during the week of May 14th. 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.

In Tyler, work has resumed on the project that’s extending turn lanes and adding right turn lanes at various intersections. On Tuesday, daytime lane closures are planned for Grande Blvd. and Old Jacksonville Highway during activation of new traffic signals. Night work is set for Wednesday and Thursday at the Broadway Avenue and South Town Drive work location. The southbound, outside lane of Broadway Ave. as well as South Town Dr., west of Broadway, will both be closed from 7:00pm to 6:00am each night. Alternate routes are encouraged. Additional project information is available in the Smith County section of this release.… Read the rest of the article…

Texas Panhandle Wildfire Burns More than 60,000 acres

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 3:18 am

WAYSIDE (AP) — Firefighters in the Texas Panhandle are trying to contain a wildfire that’s blackened more than 60,000 acres. The Texas A&M Forest Service reports nearly 300 firefighters are at the blaze that began last week east of Wayside, about 40 miles southeast of Amarillo and not far from Palo Duro Canyon. The fire is about 15% contained.

Concrete Damage Closes West Texas Spring-Fed 1930s-Era Pool

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 3:04 am

BALMORHEA (AP) — A 1930s-era West Texas swimming pool built by the federal Civilian Conservation Corps and touted as the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool is shut indefinitely because the concrete floor is damaged. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials say the damaged area is under the diving area at the Balmorhea State Park pool and stabilizes pool walls from erosion.

Trial Starting for Accused Killer of Border Patrol Agent

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 3:05 am

BROWNSVILLE (AP) — A 34-year-old Mexican national is facing a possible death sentence as testimony begins this week in South Texas at his capital murder trial for the August 2014 slaying of an off-duty Border Patrol agent. The trial of Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval is scheduled to get under way Monday in Cameron County.

Seven Taken to Hospital After Houston Police Chase Ends in Crash

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 3:05 am

HOUSTON (AP) — At least seven people were hospitalized as a driver fleeing from Houston police crashed into two vehicles. Authorities say an officer spotted a speeding vehicle in north Houston Saturday night, tried to stop the driver but he took off.

Texas Church Massacre County Shows Jump in Gun Carry Permits

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 12:32 pm

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — A massacre last year that left more than two dozen people killed at a South Texas church appears to have spurred a dramatic increase in the number of people in that county seeking licenses to carry a handgun. Records obtained by the San Antonio Express-News show 222 gun license applications were received in November in Wilson County following the Nov. 5 shootings at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. That’s up 167% from November 2016 and the highest per capita increase among Texas counties with at least 10,000 residents. The newspaper also reports another 175 applied for carry permits in December, up 150 percent from 2016. For all of Texas, the county southeast of San Antonio showed the greatest increase in applicants for gun-carry permits in 2017.

Runoff Election Early Voting Starting

Posted/updated on: May 21, 2018 at 1:01 pm

TYLER – Early voting is underway in Smith County in the runoff in the Democratic race for governor. That is the only race on the ballot. Polls will be open from 7:00 until 7:00pm on Tuesday. The early voting runs Monday through Friday of this week at the HUB on East Ferguson Street in Tyler. Hours are 8:00am till 5:00pm Monday through Wednesday and from 7:00am till 7:00pm on Thursday and Friday. The election is on Tuesday, May 22nd.

Bloomberg Warns of ‘Epidemic of Dishonesty’

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 9:26 am

HOUSTON (AP) — Americans are facing an “epidemic of dishonesty” in Washington. That’s according to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who warned in a commencement speech at Rice University that “an endless barrage of lies” in national politics poses a dire threat to U.S. democracy. The 76-year-old billionaire, who flirted with an independent presidential run, did not call out any politicians by name.

Four Dead After SUV Veers Into Oncoming Traffic in South Texas

Posted/updated on: May 13, 2018 at 1:34 pm

FULTON (AP) — Four people are dead after an SUV traveling along the Texas Gulf Coast veered into oncoming traffic and struck a sedan head-on. The Texas Department of Public Safety says witnesses reported a Ford Escape was passing several vehicles late Friday when it crossed the center line north of Fulton, near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The SUV struck a southbound Honda Civic carrying four people.

Man with 3 DWI Convictions Charged in Death of Woman

Posted/updated on: May 13, 2018 at 1:33 pm

MERCEDES (AP) — A South Texas man who has three prior convictions for drunken driving has been charged with intoxication manslaughter following a wreck that killed a woman and critically injured three children. Thirty-eight-year-old Ignacio Navarro Jr. was being held Saturday at the Hidalgo County jail on bonds totaling $500,000. Court records show Navarro was previously convicted of driving while intoxicated in 2002, 2007 and 2009.

Texas Schools Chief to Get $750K in Wake of Bullying Claims

Posted/updated on: May 13, 2018 at 1:33 pm

KATY (AP) — A school district west of Houston will pay more than $750,000 to its superintendent who’s resigning at the end of the year in the wake of allegations that he was a bully as a teenager. Details of a contract released Friday by the Katy school district show Superintendent Lance Hindt will receive two years of pay upon his departure January 1. He had announced his resignation a day earlier.

Former Obama Housing Secretary Weighing Presidential Run

Posted/updated on: May 14, 2018 at 9:25 am

HENNIKER, N.H. (AP) — Julian Castro is sparking more speculation that he’s gearing up for a run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. The former San Antonio, Texas mayor and Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama told AP Saturday that he’ll decide on a White House run after the midterm elections, adding he’ll make a decision by the end of the year. Castro was in the first-in-the-nation primary state to deliver the commencement address at New England College in Henniker.

Probe of Longview Fire Death Continues

Posted/updated on: May 13, 2018 at 1:58 pm

LONGVIEW – A Longview fire death is being investigated as a homicide. The body of Johnny Quentin Miller, 44, of Longview was found in a burning duplex on Loring Lane late Wednesday morning. No word on how the fire started. The preliminary autopsy report showed he had hemorrhaging around his anterior neck muscles and almost his entire body was covered in burns. It also said no soot was found in his airway. Detectives say they are still awaiting the final report from the autopsy which will guide their investigation. Miller’s missing Dodge Caravan has been found. It was located on South Mobberly Avenue.

Spring Commencement at TJC

Posted/updated on: May 13, 2018 at 1:54 pm

TYLER – The spring commencement at Tyler Junior College was held yesterday, and it’s a special day for over a dozen Chapel Hill students. Over 1,200 degrees and certificates were awarded. This includes the first 11 graduates of the new TJC Veterinary Technician program and 10 graduates from the second class of graduates from the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program. The 15 Chapel Hill students are from their school’s early college program. They’re received their Associate of Arts degrees before they got their high school diplomas.

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