LONGVIEW – There has been another healthcare merger in the area. In the wake of Tyler’s Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals’ May merger with CHRISTUS Health, Longview’s Good Shepherd Health System announces it is being acquired by Tennessee-based Duke LifePoint Healthcare. 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. Good Shepherd will now be working through the Gregg County Commissioners Court to amend its current lease for purposes of the acquisition. The chairman of the Board of Directors for Good Shepherd Health System, Bill Huffman, said in a news release, they are confident joining Duke LifePoint will allow them to continue to advance health care services in East Texas for generations to come.
PALESTINE – A suspect is in custody in connection with the death of a Palestine puppy that died after being set on fire. After information was received in the case, an arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for Perla Miranda Fernandez, 20, of Athens. Athens police took her into custody Thursday morning. She is being held on a $5,000 bond in the animal cruelty case. Others are still being sought. Six people were seen leaving the scene Monday morning after a witness said they poured a fluid on the three month old puppy and were then seen lighting it. The puppy suffered burns of 50% of her body.
LONGVIEW – An Upshur County man found guilty of four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and four counts of indecency with a child, has been sentenced him to a long prison term. Gregg Lee Haden, 41, of Diana, was sentenced late Thursday afternoon to 380 years in prison. The jury sentenced Haden to 75 years on each of the assault charges and 20 on each of the indecency counts. State District Judge Alfonso Charles decided to stack the sentences. Haden was arrested in June of 2011 after arriving at a Longview location where he had agreed in a text to meet what he thought as a 14 year old for sex. But, instead of a boy, he had been communicating with an undercover officer.
TYLER – Tyler’s People Attempting to Help is again helping area residents stay cool this summer. PATH’s annual fan drive is underway to help battle, what they say is a huge problem. In the heat of summer, many don’t have air-conditioning to keep their homes at a comfortable, or safe temperature. So they are collecting box fans for residents in Smith and neighborning counties. Last year, PATH distributed 1,173 fans. PATH Executive Director Greg Grubb says there are several ways you can help. Tyler’s Home Depot is selling 20-inch box fans for only $10.00. Just mention PATH’s fan drive when you buy it. You can also bring donations or box fans to the PATH office on West Front Street in Tyler.
TYLER – An attorney acting on behalf of the state of Texas has declined to issue a necessary citation in the civil suit seeking the removal of Smith County Judge Joel Baker. The action was filed Thursday in 7th District Court in Tyler. The civil suit seeking the judge’s removal was filed by Grassroots America We The People. Attorney Jim Parsons of Palestine said the citation wasn’t necessary since circumstances arising since his appointment have mooted the issues raised in the petition. Those circumstances are the indictment of Baker and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct suspending the judge without pay. Grassroots spokeswoman JoAnn Fleming told KETK their attorney will file papers agreeing to suspend their petition. The judge is accused of holding illegal closed meetings He is also under investigation for allegations he was involved in explicit sexual behavior online while conducting government business.… Read More
ANDERSON COUNTY – A recent graduate from Tyler’s All Saints Episcopal School has died from injuries received in an Anderson County accident. Kendall Spinks, 18, was removed Thursday from life support at Tyler’s Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital. She had been critically injured on Highway 155 on June 17th. The Department of Public Safety reports she lost control of her car while passing another vehicle. Her car ended up in a ditch where it rolled over several times. Investigators had earlier said that Spinks may have been texting prior to the accident.
TYLER – Applications are now being accepted at Tyler City Hall for 17 city boards and commissions. They range from the Airport Advisory Board to the Civil Service Commission. Tyler City Clerk Cassandra Brager says applicants must reside inside Tyler City limits and should not have any delinquent city taxes, city utilities or other city assessments. In addition, they must not have any pending claims against the city. There may be additional requirements for some board positions. The application deadline is August 5th. The city council will make the appointments at the August 24th meeting.… Read More
PALESTINE — Police in Palestine report a pit bull puppy, set on fire, has died from her injuries. The search continues for the people who reportedly set the puppy on fire, and left it for dead around 7:15 Monday morning. It was found on South Street near the corner of San Jacinto Street. In a phone call, a witness told officers three black men, two black women, and one Hispanic woman were seen pouring an unknown accelerant on the puppy, and then lighting it. The three month old puppy suffered burns over 50% of her body.… Read More
DALLAS (AP) – Police in Dallas say troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel reported a hit-and-run accident earlier this week. The publicist for the former Texas A&M star says he wasn’t seriously injured. Dallas police tell the Associated Press the accident happened Monday night, and Manziel had a witness from his vehicle and an impartial witness. Manziel attorney Bob Hinton said police told him the vehicle was damaged on the driver’s side. Manziel’s publicist, Denise Michaels, said the former Cleveland player told her he hit his head but didn’t have a concussion or other injury. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner is facing a misdemeanor assault charge in a domestic violence case involving former girlfriend Colleen Crowley. A status hearing is scheduled for Friday, but Manziel isn’t required to appear.
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has appointed a Tyler healthcare executive to a state board. Named to the Texas Health Services Authority Board Of Directors is Dr. Paula Anthony-McMann. She is the vice president and chief information officer for the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System. Her term will expire June15th, 2017. The Texas Health Services Authority is responsible for coordinating the implementation of health information exchange in Texas.
TYLER – The State Commission of Judicial Conduct has suspended Smith County Judge Joel Baker without pay. During Tuesday’s commissioners court meeting, a release from Seana Willing, Executive Director of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, was issued saying the suspension takes effect immediately. Baker remains free on bond after, last week, being indicted, arrested, and charged with three counts of violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act. He allegedly held illegal closed meetings to discuss a red-light traffic enforcement contract. He is also under investigation for allegations he was involved in explicit sexual behavior online while conducting government business.… Read More
HOUSTON (AP) — Federal inspectors say staff at Houston-area Veterans Affairs facilities improperly manipulated the wait times for Texas veterans wishing to make a medical appointment. A report released Monday by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General says more than 200 appointments were incorrectly recorded for the year that ended in June 2015.
AUSTIN (AP) — A third federal lawsuit filed against Baylor University accuses the Waco, Texas-based school of creating a “hunting ground for sexual predators.” A former Baylor student identified as Jane Doe says in the lawsuit filed Monday that she was drugged and abducted from an off-campus residence dubbed “The Rugby House” in February 2015. The lawsuit says when her family notified Baylor officials, they were told the school was aware of several reported assaults there, but investigators dropped all communication with the woman, who dropped out. Baylor officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston police say a 14-year-old boy has been stabbed to death in a strip mall parking lot. Police say the teenager, Joseph Aguirre-Flores, was attacked late Monday night and that he died at the scene. Witnesses told police that they heard a scream then saw the victim running from the parking lot to a street. Investigators are reviewing security video, but no arrests have been made.
McKINNEY (AP) — Police say a man has been charged in the fatal shooting of his estranged wife and her twin sister in an attack at a North Texas house. Collin County jail records show Kelley Eugene Bigham, 50, of McKinney was being held Tuesday on a charge of capital murder of multiple persons. McKinney police on Monday afternoon responded to a domestic violence call. Officers found the bodies of Karen Bigham, 49, and Kathy Boobar. The suspect was arrested Monday night in Rains County.
DALLAS (AP) — The fatal mauling of a homeless Army veteran has brought new attention to the issue of loose dogs that have plagued low-income neighborhoods in Dallas and other cities. Dallas leaders ramped up arrests of dog owners with animal-related warrants and pledged a series of reforms after Antoinette Brown was attacked on May 2. While Brown’s death shows how one incident can spur a city to action, animal-welfare groups say fixing the problem in Dallas and elsewhere requires long-term investments that many cities haven’t made.
ALPINE (AP) — Joaquin Jackson, a retired Texas Ranger who became an author and actor, has died at his West Texas home. Jackson died June 15 in Alpine. Liz Jackson said Tuesday that her father-in-law had cancer. He was 80. He acted in several movies, including “The Good Old Boys,” ”Palo Pinto Gold” and the 2015 film “Wild Horses” with his friend, director and actor Robert Duvall.
SMITH COUNTY — One person was injured and another arrested following a stabbing in Smith County. It occurred around 7:00 Monday evening on County Road 246, off State Highway 31 East. The stabbing appears, at this time, to be the result of some sort of civil dispute. The victim, Charles DeWayne Harris, was treated and released from a Kilgore hospital Monday night. Charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault with a Weapon is Ernest Mosley Harris, Jr., 48. He is being held in the Smith County Jail with bonds totaling $150,000.
LUFKIN – The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has placed Angelina College on probation for one year. The school still remains fully accredited. According to the school’s web site, at issue is the wording in documents submitted during the association’s most recent review last November. Some of the language in the paper work was copied from another school’s reaffirmation document. The wording, which Angelina College said had been used as a guideline, was accidentally left in their document, including the other school’s name. According to school President Dr. Michael J. Simon, “The College takes this matter very seriously and is committed to resolving these concerns so that our reaffirmation will be approved at the end of the probationary period.” The SACSCOC Board of Trustees will reconsider the college’s application for reaffirmation in June 2017.
TYLER — A missing persons report has been filed with the Smith County Sheriff’s Department for a Tyler teen who has been missing for nearly a week. He is 14 year old Logan Kerns. He was last seen on Wednesday, June 15th, off Highway 80 and Eastman Road in Longview. His family has put out some 250 posters about Logan in downtown Longview. He was said to have been seen with a black woman named Gypsy and a black man named Kevin. If you know where Logan can be found, you can contact the Smith County Sheriff’s Office or the Longview Police Department.
TYLER — Tyler’s People Attempting to Help, better know as PATH, is expanding beyond Smith County. After serving Smith County for over 30 years, PATH is expanding its services to residents in neighboring counties. Those residents needing use of the food pantry, basic dental needs and other services can get assistance at the PATH office on West Front Street in Tyler. Path Executive Director Greg Grubb says, while it will take additional funds and volunteers for the expansion, he feels that will not be a problem.
AUSTIN (AP) — Some Texas legislators would like to see more allowable uses for medical marijuana. The Austin American-Statesman reports expansion could affect the current law that lets patients with a rare form of epilepsy be legally treated with cannabidiol or CBD. The Texas Department of Public Safety is expected to start issuing permits to CBD businesses in mid-2017.
FORT WORTH (AP) — A judge has eased the house arrest restrictions for the mother of a Texas teenager whose lawyer blamed “affluenza” as a mitigating factor in the teen’s 2013 drunken driving crash that killed four people. During a hearing Monday in Fort Worth, the judge allowed Tonya Couch to leave home to look for a job and consult with her lawyers and gave her attorneys more time to prepare her defense. Tonya Couch is charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon and money laundering. A judge in April ordered her son to serve nearly two years in jail.
PATTON VILLAGE (AP) — A Houston-area police officer and an 11-year-old boy are dead after the officer’s patrol car collided with an SUV as he chased a suspected drunken driver. Trooper Richard Standifer says Patton Village police Sgt. Stacey Baumgartner died en route to a hospital following Sunday night’s collision. The boy died at the scene and five other people in the SUV are critically hurt. The suspect, Garrett William Nee, was charged with murder in the officer’s death, intoxication manslaughter in both deaths, plus six counts of intoxication assault with a vehicle.
MADILL, OKLA. (AP) — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a 24-year-old Texas man has died at a hospital after he was pulled from Lake Texoma in southern Oklahoma. The highway patrol says Roy A. Seims of Denison, Texas, died Sunday night at an Oklahoma hospital. Seims had been swimming with friends in Lake Texoma when he went underwater but did not resurface. The highway patrol says the incident happened Sunday afternoon at the Rooster Creek Swim Beach Area at Lake Texoma.
MARSHALL — The latest fatality accident in Harrison County is a one vehicle wreck that left one person dead. The crash occurred around 4:15 Monday morning on Farm Road 1997 near Marshall. Dead at the scene was Brandon Amie, 32, of Marshall. The Department of Public Safety reports his pickup was heading north when, for unknown reasons, the pickup went partially off the east side of the road. The driver over corrected, crossed the road to end up in a ditch where the vehicle overturned. Amie, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle.
KILGORE – The road has been reopened in Kilgore following a tanker truck accident. The 18-wheeler overturned on the west entry ramp to Interstate Highway 20 from State Highway 42. The driver of the 18 wheeler said he was carrying 8000 gallons of JP3 Fuel Oil. When it was discovered fluids were leaking into a drainage ditch, some business in the area were evacuated. The truck’s driver was not injured.
TYLER – A visiting judge is expected to grant a request of recusal, next week, for Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham in the case seeking the removal of Smith County Judge Joel Baker. Grassroots America We The People spokeswoman JoAnn Fleming says visiting Judge David Peeples will formally grant the request. In an email to the parties involved in the case, Judge Peeples said he studied the Texas Supreme Court Professionalism Committee Opinion No. 615 before making his judgment. Fleming said she was pleased with the judge’s decision. She said they wish to get a fair and impartial review of evidence in the court of law. The suit against Judge Baker was brought following lewd behavior accusations against him.
TYLER — For Tyler youth who need service hours for various organizations, the Tyler public Library can help. They are looking for youth volunteers to help with various summer programs. The volunteers must be between the ages of 12 and 17. Youth Services Librarian Linda Gray says the youth volunteers will primarily help the staff with programs, interacting with the children who come to the library’s programs. Those interested should complete a youth volunteer application by downloading the form from Volunteer Tyler’s website at http://www.VolunteerTyler.com or stopping by the library’s information desk.
LONGVIEW – The preliminary autopsy report has been released in the death of Longview businessman Ron Horaney. The autopsy, which was performed June 1st, showed Horaney died from a gunshot wound to his chest and into the abdomen. The death has been ruled a homicide. Horaney, 54, was shot on Memorial Day at his home on Tryon Road, north of Longview, and later died at a local hospital. Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano Thursday announced a reward of $20,000 is being offered for the arrest and indictment of the person responsible for Horaney’s death. A sketch of a person of interest in the case was released last week.