NACOGDOCHES – One person has been killed and two injured in a two vehicle accident near Nacogdoches. The head-on collision happened around 8:00 Friday night on State Highway 21. Dead at the scene was Charlotte Creel, 52, of Nacogdoches. She died when her car was hit by a pickup driven by Joshua Pierson, 22, of Pollock. The Department of Public Safety says Creel was passing another vehicle in a no passing zone when the accident occurred. Pierson, and a passenger in his vehicle, Derek Stewart, 23, of Woden, Pierson is listed in critical condition and Stewart is in serious condition. Neither was wearing their seatbelts.
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston police say a man held after a disturbance at a convenience store has died after becoming unresponsive while waiting to be booked on a drug charge. The man died Friday night at a Houston hospital. An autopsy was ordered.
HOUSTON (AP) — Investigators believe a pedestrian was wearing earbuds when he was hit by a freight train in Houston and killed. Authorities say the accident happened around midmorning Saturday as the man walked along the tracks in a wooded area. Houston firefighters say the young man had earbuds in at the time of the accident.
EDINBURG(AP) — A South Texas man has been sentenced to 70 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a neighbor while chatting through a chain-link fence between their homes in 2015. The Monitor reports Rodolfo Saenz, 32, of Penitas was sentenced late Friday after being convicted of murder.
LAREDO (AP) — A convicted drug trafficker from Laredo has been sentenced to 32 years in prison for helping smuggle heroin from Mexico into Texas. Juan Pablo Contreras was sentenced in federal court in Laredo. The 43-year-old Contreras earlier pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy-related counts. Federal prosecutors say Contreras would buy heroin wholesale from Mexico and distribute it in Laredo and San Antonio in a prison gang-related operation.
TYLER – A fire just north of Tyler has destroyed a home, damaged four others and a truck. The Saturday afternoon fire was reported in the 3300 block of Mary Ann Street. Neighbors told KETK two people, including a small were in the house when the fire started. No one in the homes were injured. One firefighter became overheated and was treated at the scene. The cause remains under investigation.
AUSTIN (AP) — A panel considering updates to standardized tests for Texas students has received suggestions ranging from offering the exams online to no longer requiring passing to graduate from high school. The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, was implemented in 2012. The Austin American-Statesman reports the 15-member Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability has been looking at possible improvements. Public comment will be accepted February 23rd in Austin.
DALLAS (AP) — Prosecutors in Texas say a Florida man must serve 14 years in prison in a $10 million timeshare scam involving victims in the U.S. and Canada. Fabian Fleifel of Winter Springs, Florida, was sentenced in federal court in Dallas. The 45-year-old Fleifel was convicted last year of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud. A jury also convicted Fleifel of 19 counts of mail fraud telemarketing and six counts of wire fraud telemarketing.
LUBBOCK (AP) — State child welfare officials have removed the CEO of a West Texas nonprofit from any involvement with the group’s finances or foster children. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported Saturday that James Aldrich has been told he can’t have direct oversight of youngsters. Aldrich was removed after unannounced visits by Child Protective Services and affiliated agencies to some foster homes associated with Aldrich’s group. Children’s Hope Residential Services Inc. had $29 million in contracts with Texas as of December 15th.
HENRIETTA (AP) — Two Oregon men have been arrested during a North Texas traffic stop when their SUV yielded nearly $1.3 million. Clay County jail records show Shefeng Su, 36, and Xiancong Su, 35, were being held Saturday on money laundering charges. Bond was $4 million each for the Portland, Oregon, men, whose vehicle was stopped early Thursday on U.S. 287 near Henrietta. That’s about 90 miles northwest of Fort Worth.
MIDLAND (AP) — A social media posting by West Texas police has led to an arrest in an indecent exposure case after the alleged victim took photos of the fleeing suspect. The Midland Reporter-Telegram reports 37-year-old Steven Roy Chastain of Midland was arrested Friday about two hours after police posted the photos. Authorities say the alleged victim, an adult at Midland High School, reported the incident and took photos showing a man and a car driving away from the campus.
DALLAS (AP/STAFF) —Dallas police are opening a criminal investigation into a reported assault by Johnny Manziel on his ex-girlfriend. A day after saying their investigation was closed, police said in a statement Friday night that they received a complaint of a domestic violence assault that occurred Saturday. His father says if Manziel, a Tyler native, doesn’t get help soon he may not live to see his 24th birthday.… Read More
LONGVIEW – A Longview drug raid has resulted in three arrests. The raid occurred Friday morning at a house in the 100 block of Cummings Street. Arrested on drug charges as well as outstanding warrants were Brandon Reese, 25, (pictured) Clifford Nelson, 44, and Damian Nelson, all from Longview. Police say in the house where the men were arrested they recovered some narcotics.
LONGVIEW – A Longview woman was robbed as she left work around shortly before 7:45 Friday night. She was leaving a business in the 1000 block of W. Loop 281 when a man came out from behind a dumpster and came up behind her. He is said to pushed her down and took the store’s money bag. He then fled in an unknown direction. She was unable to tell the gender of her attacker, who was said to have been wearing gloves, a ski mask and a yellow poncho.
TYLER –- Leadership Tyler has announced Brian Brandt as the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award honoree. The Distinguished Alumni Award is given annually to a Leadership Tyler alum nominated by his or her peers and chosen by past award recipients. Mr. Brandt will be honored at the annual Leadership Tyler Reunion, which will be held on February 26th at the Hollytree Country Club. Brandt is a member of Leadership Tyler Class 19. He is the CEO of Core Insights, a company which influences individuals and organizations through training, strategic planning, coaching, keynotes, and leased employees.
FORT WORTH (AP) — The Texas teenager who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck has been transferred to an adult jail. Records show that 18-year-old Ethan Couch was moved Friday from a juvenile detention center to the Tarrant County jail. Couch was given probation for the 2013 wreck that killed four people. During the juvenile trial, a defense expert said Couch’s wealthy parents coddled him and invoked the term “affluenza.” Couch was ordered to the juvenile center after being deported from Mexico last month. Authorities believe he and his mother fled as prosecutors investigated whether he violated his probation.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio’s police chief said Friday that a man fatally shot by officers was holding a cellphone, not a gun as officers feared. Antronie Scott was fatally shot at a north San Antonio apartment complex by officers trying to serve two felony weapons and drug warrants for his arrest Thursday evening.
HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas jury has convicted a 21-year-old Houston man of capital murder in the 2012 fatal shooting of a man over a pair of Air Jordan sneakers the man had just bought. A Harris County jury deliberated about two hours Friday before convicting Neal Bland in the killing of 21-year-old Joshua Woods.
FRANKLIN (AP) — A disgraced former Central Texas prosecutor must repay nearly $187,000 to an estate in a dispute that’s sending him to jail for 30 days. KBTX-TV reports ex-Robertson County District Attorney John Paschall pleaded guilty last month after he was accused of stealing money from the estate of a dead woman.
SAN ANGELO (AP) — A West Texas commercial airport is being used to test a $10 million government drone meant for border security. Officials say a lack of wind was a factor when San Angelo Regional Airport-Mathis Field was chosen for flight testing of the 36-foot unmanned aircraft.
DALLAS (AP) — Students at a Dallas middle school have voted to strip their campus of the name of a Confederate general. The Morning News reports that a majority of the students casting ballots in the nonbinding vote wanted Hood Middle School to be renamed. The school, which opened in 1955, was named for Confederate General John B. Hood. It’s a step in a process that could lead to a name change by Dallas Independent School District trustees, who have the final say.
GILMER – An Upshur County man has drawn a long prison term for sexually assaulting two boys. Tylor Lynn Charette, 22, of the Bettie Community, pleaded guilty Friday to counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. State District Judge Lauren Parish sentenced him to life in prison plus an additional 30 years. According to a news release from Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd, Charette was a baby sitter for the boys. He is said to have repeatedly assaulted them and then told the boys, if they would keep quite about it he’d give them prizes. The mother of the two elementary students heard them crying one night and they told her of what had happened. She called authorities.
TYLER – Tyler’s Broadway Square Mall will be named on Tuesday a StormReady Supporter by the National Weather Service. This becomes the first mall in the ArkLaTex region, and one of 30 around the country, to be recognized as a StormReady Supporter. Bill Parker, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather service in Shreveoprt,says, this shows the Tyler mall has put in place practices to ensure the safety of their employees, tenants and customers when severe weather strikes.… Read More
TYLER — A $14,000 grant has been awarded to Habitat for Humanity of Smith County. The grant is from The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and Tyler’s Southside Bank. Habitat for Humanity of Smith County CEO Jack Wilson says the funds will help pay for the construction of two new homes in Tyler. The homes, each to cost around $95,000 to build, will be constructed along South Fleishel Avenue. The new homes will contain at least three bedrooms and a carport and will be energy efficient. Wilson says, weather permitting, they could start construction in May.… Read More
LONGVIEW – Two Longview men have been busted on drug charges. Rickey Don Woods, 27,(pictured) and Cody Len Bartlett, 36, were arrested a hotel room in the 3100 Block of Estes Parkway. They were arrested after the County Organized Drug Enforcement Unit, along with several Longview police officers, executed a narcotic search warrant. Besides being booked into the Gregg County Jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance, they were also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
TYLER — Alba-Golden Senior Jaselyn Riley will be getting two diplomas in May. She graduates from high school and will receive an associate’s degree from Tyler Junior College. She, like a growing number of students, are taking dual credit courses. A record number of students are registered in dual credit courses at TJC. It hit 2,033 this semester. And not only academic courses, but technology courses are available as well.… Read More
HOUSTON (AP) — Prosecutors are offering to settle charges against an anti-abortion activist indicted after making undercover videos about Planned Parenthood with probation. But attorney Terry Yates said Thursday that his client, David Daleiden, is not likely to accept the plea deal. Yates says he plans to file documents to quash the indictments and is prepared to go to trial if necessary. Daleiden posted $3,000 bond on Thursday. Sandra Merritt, another activist also charged in connection with the videos, turned herself in Wednesday.
HOUSTON (AP) — A 31-year-old Corpus Christi man on death row for killing a convenience store clerk during a $1.25 robbery in 2004 has lost a federal court appeal, moving him a step closer to execution. Attorneys for John Ramirez contended he had deficient legal help at his 2008 trial in Corpus Christi, that the elimination of some potential jurors was improper because he wasn’t in court at the time and that the courtroom wasn’t open to the public during jury selection. They also argued Ramirez improperly was shackled during the trial. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected the arguments.
FORT WORTH (AP) — Prosecutors say a second suspected gang member has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing a Texas businessman whose body was in a burning SUV. Dean Allen Walden of Boyd was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to murder in the October 2012 slaying of Robert Dodson. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Joseph Dodson of Burleson, who’s not related to the victim, earlier was sentenced to 30 years after pleading guilty to murder.