TATUM – A Rusk County woman remains jailed on drug charges. Melissa Wallace, 35, of Tatum was arrested following a Crime Stoppers tip. The Rusk County Sheriff’s Department and Tatum Police arrested her at a Tatum motel. Officers seized 34 grams of suspected methamphetamine, numerous items of drug paraphernalia, firearms and money. Wallace is in the Rusk County Jail under a $100,000 bond. Investigators anticipate additional arrests as the investigation continues.
KILGORE – A woman, responsible for a fatal hit and run accident in Kilgore, is heading to prison. Kyrsten Nycole McCarty, 26, of Kilgore, waived a jury trial and pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She had been accused of hitting Robert Jack Moorehead, 5, on August 30, 2015. He was riding his scooter when he was hit on Florence Street in Kilgore. He later died in the hospital. McCarty was arrested the day after the accident.
TYLER – A bicyclist has been injured when hit by a car at the intersection of West Gentry Parkway and North Confederate. Injured in the accident, shortly before 3:30 Thursday afternoon, was De’Keith Jacobs, 36, of Tyler. He’s hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. Police spokesman Don Martin says Jacobs crossed in front of a vehicle a car and was hit, then struck the windshield of the vehicle and then fell to the ground. Officers determined that Jacobs failed to yield the right of way to the traffic on Gentry.
HENDERSON – The state has approved funding for the Rusk County Airport. The $200,000 was approved by the Texas Transportation Commission at its February meeting. The funds will be used for planned improvements at the airport 3 miles west of Henderson. This would include engineering and design for pavement improvements. The poject costs will be funded through Rusk County and TxDOT’s Aviation Facilities Grant Program. A project consultant will be selected this spring.
TYLER – A Smith County couple wanted for sex crimes, arrested in Louisiana February 16th, have been returned to Tyler. Johnny Floyd Crocker, 56 and his wife Angela ,41, had their initial court appearance Thursday. Both were appointed lawyers. They were then booked into the Smith County Jail. Each is being held on bonds totaling $575,000. Arrested near Shreveport, they had been on the run as they faced charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child and tampering with physical evidence. The pair had been considered to be armed and dangerous. In fact, they had said they would not be taken alive. Johnny is a former law officer and is a registered sex offender.
TYLER – A report of a shooter at the University of Texas at Tyler turned out to be a false alarm. Police received an active shooter alert from a smart phone app that sends out alerts to threats and emergeny situations. Responding officers found out that the alert was inadvertently issued. The sender had not intended to send it. While they were confirming the mistake, the police received calls that gun shots were heard in the Braithwaite Nursing Building. As it was cleared by police, a shelter in place alert was issued. When no shooter was found, the all-clear was issued.
GLADEWATER – Gladewater police have issued a scam alert over someone posing as a city employee. Someone is calling claiming to be from the City of Gladewater Water Billing department. They are taking credit card information for billing over the phone. The problem is, the city does not take billing info over the phone. Gladewater residents are warned not to give out this information. If you get such a call, report it to the police. Any caller ID information or any other details will be helpful.
TYLER – Some members of the Tyler Police Department have been honored at their annual banquet. The awards cited employees for their performance in 2016. Officer Jason Shields was named Officer of the year. He was cited for, among other things, his excellent work ethic and care for others. Other awards went to Lieutenant Paul Robeson, the Sworn Suprevisor of the year, Detective Jason Compton the Plainclothes Officer of the Year, and officer Sandra Doss was named Rookie Officer of the Year. Also, Chaplain Doug Haning received the Volunteer of the Year Award. … Read More
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP/STAFF) — Federal authorities say a man believed to have to have robbed 11 banks in Texas and four Western states has been arrested at a motel in Tucson. The FBI says Anthony James Lane, 50, was taken into custody without incident Tuesday by FBI agents and Tucson police. Called the “Barrel Chested Bandit,” he is accused of two bank robberies in Northeast Texas. He is a suspect in the robbery at the LeTourneau Federal Credit Union in Longview, last September 12th, and the robbery of the Alliance Bank in Sulphur Springs last November 30.… Read More
MARSHALL – Geoffrey Davis, who has served as the campus minister at Mobberly Baptist Church’s campus in Marshall, has been named Marshall Campus Pastor. Church members approved the shift during a church conference Wednesday evening. Davis grew up attending Mobberly and served as a youth minister at the church in 2010 and 2011. He joined the staff at one of its church plants in Spearfish, South Dakota, and returned to Mobberly this past June. During the church conference, the church also confirmed three new deacons, including two who attend the Marshall campus. The two new Marshall campus deacons join three other deacons on the campus that formerly attended Mobberly’s Longview campus.
LONGVIEW – Longview police have arrested three persons who are accused of using a skimmer on a gas pump in an effort to steal credit card information. Police arrested Beniurkis Hernandez-Rodriguez, 31, of Houston, Tamara Valle-Hernandez, 33, of Houston, and Junior Miguel Peralta-Montilla, 19, of Tampa Florida. All three were booked into the Gregg County Jail on a charge of unlawful use of a criminal instrument. They are also being held on an INS detainer.… Read More
TYLER – John Tyler High School speech and debate students Tacorian Tilley and Triston Ferguson have qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament. It will be held in Montgomery, Alabama in June. Tacorian will compete in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking and Triston in Congressional Debate. Classmate Jose Romero earned an Alternate spot in Congressional Debate. To prepare for the national tournament, Tacorian and Triston will spend the next few months researching current events and practicing various speaking styles and tactics. They will be concentrating on details such as speaking slowly and clearly, voice pitch and articulation. This will be the second time in three years students from John Tyler High School have advanced to the National Tournament. After high school, Tacorian plans to attend the University of North Texas to major in communications and minor in political science. Hopeful for a career in politics, Triston plans to attend Hillsdale College in Michigan.
LONGVIEW – Stealing a bundle of firewood has resulted in robbery charges against two Longview teens. One of three teens bought some items, including a bundle of firewood from a store on Judson Road. A witness told the clerk the teen had taken an extra bundle of wood when he left. When the clerk confronted the three in their vehicle, the driver pointed a hand gun at him and drove away. When officers found the vehicle, with only two inside, they arrested arrested Sean Tyler Boo Boo Huffman, 18, and James Ray Braxton, 17. Both were charged with aggravated robbery. When marijuana was found in Braxton’s jacket pocket at the jail, he was also charged with possession of marijuana. They’re still looking for the third suspect.
TYLER – Videos posted on social media, showing a big brawl at a Tyler apartment project, are drawing a lot of attention. It happened Tuesday night at the Reserve Apartments on County Road 272, also known as Adam Henry Road. The videos show a large group fighting in the parking lot of the apartments. Some appear to be hit by a car that was backing up at a high speed. When police arrived, the group scattered. No injuries were reported and no one stayed to talk with officers. Police spokesman Don Martin says there is not much they can do until someone comes forward to file a complaint.
TYLER – A man from the metroplex has been sentenced in Tyler federal court for a variety of crimes in East Texas. LaQuaylan Wesley Patterson, 25, of Lancaster, has been sentenced to 171 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Ron Clark. Patterson had been accused of robbing a bank in Big Sandy in 2015 and a Metroplex bank in 2014. Patterson and a co-defendant are also accused of taking a woman’s car at gun point from a south Tyler apartment complex in March of 2015. He used the stolen car to drive to Big Sandy where he robbed the branch of the 1st National Bank of Gilmer of nearly $30,000.
LONGVIEW – A forged prescription has led to the arrest of a Longview man. Desmond Lamarr Simmons, 27, of Longview, was arrested as he waited to pick up a prescription in the drive-thru on East Marshall Avenue. Officers were told that Simmons had altered a prescription he turned in earlier in the day by increasing the amount of medication from 6 to 60. But his trouble was only beginning. The officers were aware that Simmons had outstanding warrants for his arrest. Following his arrest on the warrants, they located a bag of marijuana in his right front pocket. They then found a pistol under his pants on his right ankle. He was arrested for fraudulent delivery of controlled substance/prescription, possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and 2 outstanding class C misdemeanor warrants. He’s in the Gregg County Jail with bonds totaling $111,000.
TYLER – Smith County Commissioners have approved a federal grant to help eradicate marijuana. The $15,000 grant is from the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. No word on what kind of equipment will be bought to help in the effort.… Read More
KILGORE – The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public’s help in identifying a criminal mischief suspect. The man is wanted in connection with a case where two vehicles were damaged and some gasoline stolen. The incident happened Sunday off Old Highway 135 northwest of Kilgore. If you can help identify the person in the photo, please contact Investigator Falco at 903-236-8438 or Gregg County Crime stoppers at greggcountycrimestoppers.org or call 903-236-7867.
HOUSTON (AP) — The police chief in Houston says no one has been found injured and there’s no evidence of a shooting amid reports of gunfire inside the hospital at the Texas Medical Center. Chief Art Acevedo says his officers searched Ben Taub Hospital, one of the city’s major trauma centers. Police began receiving reports of gunfire shortly after 2:00 Tuesday afternoon.
TYLER – Smith County Commissioners have approved interlocal agreements between Smith County and city and school districts holding elections in May. The action came at Tuesday morning’s meeting. The Smith County Elections Office is responsible for conducting all elections for county offices as well as city, school, state and federal elections. Elections in Smith County on May 6 will include officials for the City of Tyler, as well as Tyler, Whitehouse and Chapel Hill Independent School Districts. The interlocal agreements, approved by the commissioners court, outline the authority and requirements of the Smith County Elections Office to provide services to conduct the school trustee and city council elections, as well as any special election being held.… Read More
TYLER – What started out as a class project has turned into an invention for a Robert E Lee Senior. At the start of the school year, Royland Black had an assignment in engineering senior class at the Tyler ISD Career and Technology Center. Students were to research, develop and test their own inventions. Black came up with TUFFTOE. It’s a product that would help reduce pain and injury caused by a player wearing cleats stepping on another player’s foot. After producing and refining his product, he conducted surveys and marketability studies. With the help of his teacher, DeAnna Molloy, he has now begun the patent process for TUFFTOE. Black plans to have a successful engineering career after college. He even turned down a football scholarship because the school did not have an engineering program. Black and his classmates will display all of their inventions during a Trades Fair scheduled in April at the Career and Technology Center.
TYLER – The nominees for Tyler’s Teachers of the year have been announced. Teachers like Robert E Lee’s Josh Loeffler and John Tyler’s Kala Morrow are among the 30 teachers on the list. Those teachers will be honored and the Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the year will be announced at the annual banquet at the Harvey Convention Center on May 2nd.… Read More
TYLER – Brookshire’s is teaming with the East Texas Food Bank to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. They hope to get into the book by building the world’s largest canned food pyramid. Wednesday through Friday they will attempt to build a 12-foot-tall pyramid, with a 17-by-17 foot base, by using 36,000 cans. While trying to break the world record, they also aim to help raise awareness about hunger in East Texas. 1 in 4 children and 1 in 5 adults in East Texas do not know where they will get their next meal. Afterward, the cans will be donated to the East Texas Food Bank to provide over 30,000 meals to persons in 26 counties. … Read More
LONGVIEW- Two Longview Bank Robbery Suspects are in custody. Arrested Tuesday were 25 year-old Christopher Lee Hutsell, of Overton, and 39 year-old Michael Duntae Fagans, of Kilgore. Both are in the Gregg County Jail on bonds of $500,000 each. They have been charged with aggravated robbery in connection with the Austin Bank robbery that occurred on February 9. They are said to be the men who held up the Austin Bank on East Loop 281 shortly that afternoon. The two entered the bank and demanded money. They left with an undetermined amount of money. No injuries were reported. Longview police said they would like to thank the persons who came forward with information about what they saw or other information they provided that led to the two men’s arrest.
TYLER – A Smith County murder suspect has waived his court appearance previously scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. By his action, Gustavo Zavala-Garcia acknowledges the charges being brought against him and has entered a not guilty plea. He has been charged with the death of Kayla Gomez-Orozco, 10. She disappeared last November from a Bullard church during worship service. Her body was found days later inside a well on the suspect’s property. According to an arrest affidavit, a witness said they saw the man with Kayla shortly before her disappearance. Family members said he is a cousin who acted like an uncle to the girl. A capital murder warrant for his arrest was signed by District Judge Jack Skeen on November 6.… Read More
LONGVIEW – A Longview man remains in the Gregg County Jail on multiple child sexual abuse charges. Arrested over the weekend was Hollis Earl Tennison Jr., 38. He was indicted by the grand jury last week for four felony child sexual abuse counts. He is accused of assaulting a young girl on January 1st and July 1st of last year. Assistant District Attorney Madison Hood told the Longview News Journal, Tennison’s victim was 10 years old at the time. Jail records show Tennsion was booked into the jail on Sunday. His bond is currently $100,000.
LONGVIEW – A man who tried to run away from a traffic stop has been arrested in Longview. The traffic stop occured over the weekend near the intersection of South Green Street and West Edgefield Avenue. As the SUV stopped, the driver ran away. After a short foot case, Rangel Rodriguez, 24, of Gilmer was arrested. He was charged with evading arrest and possession of marijuana. He was also arrested on outstanding Gregg County warrants, which included violation of probation, unlawfully carrying a weapon, evading arrest, a grand jury indictment for a drug violation and 3 outstanding class C misdemeanor warrants. He’s now in the Gregg County Jail under bonds totaling $15,000.
EAST TEXAS – Strong thunderstorms moved through East Texas early Monday morning, causing a variety of problems. The thunderstorms were accompanied by high winds that knocked trees and limbs into power lines. Widespread power outages were reported. Two schools cancelled classes Monday because of power outages. Classes were cancelled for Leverettes Chapel’s students and at the Methodist Readiness School in Jacksonville. And because of heavy rain, a flood warning was issued for residents near Rabbit Creek in Kilgore. Minor flooding is expected until the river starts falling Tuesday morning.
TYLER – A sit down on top of the Smith County Jail is over. The inmate who is a murder suspect, has come down from his perch Friday afternoon. Gustavo Zavala-Garcia, and inmate on a suicide watch, began his sit-down around 2:00 Friday afternoon when he climbed to the top of a basketball goal. A Smith County sheriff’s spokesman says Gustavo Zavala-Garcia was finally removed after he spent 30 minutes looking for an exit through the top of the jail’s outdoor exercise yard and punching anyone trying to take hold of him. A fire truck was brought to the scene and what is called a suicide blanket was placed under the goal in case he decided to jump. KETK reports the blanket turned out to be a bounce house provided by Cindy’s Balloons Party Store. The man is currently under a murder indictment, which was returned January 23rd. He is charged with the November kidnapping and murder of Kayla Gomez-Orozco, 10. She disappeared from a Bullard church during worship service. Her body was found days later inside a well on the suspect’s property.
TYLER – Expect major delays Sunday night on the Loop 323 project at State Highway 31 West in Tyler. There will be demolition work as part of an ongoing construction project. Motorists should avoid the work zone beginning Sunday night at 7:00. District TxDOT spokesperson Kathi White says the contractor will be removing 10 concrete beams from the shoofly bridge at the railroad overpass on Loop 323. The northbound lanes will be reduced to one lane and shifted to the southbound side to set up a crane on the northbound side near the bridge. The southbound lanes will carry two-way traffic. The contractor will stop traffic on Loop 323 for about 15 minutes per beam during the removal process. The remaining substructure of the bridge will also be removed overnight Sunday. Traffic flow should return to normal by 6:00 Monday morning.