LONGVIEW — Police have made an arrest in connection with a Monday night shooting in Longview that injured a Henderson man. According to the police department’s Facebook page, Keeth Undray Johnson, 49, of Longview, was booked early this morning into the Gregg County Jail on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury and deadly conduct. Officers responded around 9:00 to the shooting at Huntington Hills apartments in the 2500 block of North Eastman Road. Upon arrival, officers found one victim, whose name has not been released, inside an apartment. He was taken to Longview Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. On-site department spokesman Gene Duffie said the victim does not live at the apartments and that he was talking before he was transported to the hospital.
TYLER — Tyler Police say they’ve been contacted by two victims of a suspected scam targeting the Hispanic community. According to authorities, each victim contacted a phone number in an advertisement and was then advised by the suspect to go to 500 N. Barron Street to meet with the Healer. The Healer charged $500.00 and $200.00 for each victim to start the spiritual healing process because they were possessed with an evil spirit and their family was in danger. The Hispanic female suspect in her late 50’s to 60’s told the victims to return with very large sums of cash so that she could continue the healing process.… Read More
BROWNSVILLE (AP) – The decommissioned USS Independence will be towed from Washington to South Texas for dismantling. The Brownsville Herald reported Tuesday that the retired aircraft carrier will depart later this year from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. Officials with a recycling company, International Shipbreaking Ltd., say the mothballed 61,000-ton ship should arrive at the Port of Brownsville by March. Company president Robert Berry says the Navy will pay International Shipbreaking around $6 million to tow and dismantle the Independence. The USS Independence was launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1958, commissioned the following year and decommissioned in 1998. It was among several U.S. military ships to carry the name Independence.
CORPUS CHRISTI (AP) – A South Texas man must serve 30 years in prison for the fatal beating of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son. Lionel Pena was sentenced Monday in Corpus Christi after pleading guilty to felony injury to a child, in a plea deal. Prosecutors say the 34-year-old Corpus Christi man originally was charged with capital murder in the death last August of Juan Joseph Hinojosa Gonzalez. Authorities say the boy, who had facial and other bruises, suffered a traumatic brain injury and later died. Court documents indicate Pena initially told police that the youngster hit his head on some furniture while playing. Investigators say later Pena acknowledged twice pushing the boy’s head to the floor.
HOUSTON (AP) – Houston police say an armored car guard has been fatally shot during a robbery while refilling a drive-thru ATM. Police were reviewing security video in an attempt to identify and locate the attacker who fled following Monday night’s slaying. The victim died at the scene. Authorities say the guard was adding cash to a Wells Fargo ATM in northwest Houston when he was ambushed. Another guard who was inside the armored vehicle was not hurt. The name of the slain guard wasn’t immediately released. Investigators have not said how much cash was stolen.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – A Texas university has fired its president after he had been placed on medical leave because of “uncharacteristic behavior and comments.” The San Antonio Express-News reports the University of the Incarnate Word’s governing board on Monday announced it had voted to remove Louis Agnese Jr. as president. The newspaper says Agnese’s firing came after details of an anonymous complaint became public last week that accused Agnese of making racially insensitive comments at a student luncheon earlier this month. Agnese had previously told the Express-News that he hasn’t “made an offensive comment in my life” and insisted the remarks at the luncheon were not offensive. The Catholic university’s governing board said it would begin a national search to replace Agnese, who had been the school’s president since 1985.
RICHMOND (AP) – Authorities say they are investigating a half-dozen cases over a nine-day span this month in which at least three people have been injured after being shot with BB guns. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s says the suspects have attacked residents in the Sienna Plantation subdivision – located southwest of Houston – on six different occasions from Aug. 19 through Aug. 27. Investigators say one man was hit by a BB or a pellet in the leg while riding a bike, another man was shot in the shoulder while walking his dog and a 12-year-old boy was shot with a BB gun on the left side of his body. Other individuals were threatened with BB guns. The suspects were seen in a black sedan.
EL PASO (AP) – Authorities have identified a man who died while hiking in a West Texas mountain range. Police in El Paso say 21-year-old Richard Contreras was hiking on a trail in the Franklin Mountains on Saturday afternoon when he fell down into an isolated area. A search and rescue team was called to the scene and later helped airlift him to an El Paso hospital, where he died. Police are investigating but say foul play is not suspected. Police believe Contreras had wandered off a marked trail before he fell.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s state newspaper is saying authorities have released a jailed Iranian Texas graduate student after nearly five years. The Tuesday report by government-owned IRAN daily quoted Saeed Khalili, the lawyer for Omid Kokabee, as saying the country’s judiciary will allow Kokabee to enjoy “conditional freedom” for the rest of his 10-year sentence. Khalili said Kokabee, who was released from jail in April to undergo medical treatment on his kidneys, “will not return to prison, anymore.” Kokabee, who studied optics in the physics department at the University of Texas, was arrested in February 2011 and convicted of having “relations with a hostile country” and receiving “illegitimate funds.” Though Iran and the United States have no diplomatic relations, many Iranian students apply to study in the U.S. every year.
MOUNT PLEASANT (AP) – Authorities are investigating what might have been a hoax call in which someone reported being held hostage inside an East Texas home, resulting in a nearly five-hour police standoff. The Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune reports police received a 911 call at 1:44 p.m. Monday from a person claiming they were being held at gunpoint inside a home. Police surrounded the home and for about five hours tried to establish contact with someone inside the house. Officers finally entered the home at 6:39 p.m. and found the structure was empty. Mount Pleasant Police Chief Wayne Isbell says the alleged victim had given a consistent story and had even provided a name of the suspect threatening him. Isbell says detectives are investigating the incident.
LONGVIEW — Alleged arsonists reportedly connected to several fires in Longview this year have been identified — some even arrested. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report there have been nearly 20 arson cases ranging from house to vehicle fires. The city’s fire marshal says with the help of tips, authorities have identified several people. some are even behind bars on other charges.
AUSTIN (AP) – Austin police have credited use of social media and information sessions for women with helping attract more potential officers. The Austin American-Statesman reports the police academy in November will begin training 110 men and women. The newspaper reports it’s the largest class in recent memory as the Austin Police Department faces staffing shortfalls and tries to bolster diversity among the ranks.
COLLEGE STATION, (AP) – College Station police say investigators believe two fatal shootings at an apartment were related to drugs or an attempted robbery. Police are seeking a man who fled after Sunday’s gunfire that also left a person wounded. Officers responding to reports of an assault found two wounded men. Police say Brysen Jamal Rhodes and Jack Lopez later died. Lt. Steve Brock says it appears Rhodes and another man went to the apartment, where Lopez was, to buy drugs or commit a robbery when a fight broke out.
DALLAS (AP) – Fans of the State Fair of Texas can look forward to nibbling on fried Jell-O or a crinkly cookie-like treat as the top two food winners for the upcoming expo in Dallas. Fair officials on Sunday announced the fried Jell-O was selected as Most Creative by a panel of judges. The State Fair Cookie Fries won Best Taste. The State Fair of Texas on Aug. 17 announced the eight finalists for the best culinary creations as part of the annual Big Tex Choice Awards. The fair runs Sept. 30 through Oct. 23.
PALACIOS (AP) – Experts hope that new oyster harvesting rules adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission will help restore the struggling industry. The Victoria Advocate reported Sunday that Texas oyster reefs have taken a beating since Hurricane Ike in 2008, followed by drought and flooding. Ike made landfall in Galveston. Commissioners adopted regulations that reduce commercial possession limits and establish additional harvest restrictions. The orders, effective November through April, apply to recreational and commercial harvest of oysters. The commission also closed 28 acres of public oyster reefs in the Galveston Bay area for restoration. Three state technicians recently sampled reefs in Matagorda Bay. The work included counting dead and live oysters, plus baby oysters. Technician Caren Collins says sampling is important because it’s an indication of the future of the crop.
SAN BENITO (AP) – Police say a 17-year-old South Texas boy has died after accidentally being shot in the head by a friend holding a pistol. San Benito police say 21-year-old Jonathan Gamez was charged with manslaughter following the deadly shooting Saturday at a home. Investigators say Devin Leal died at the scene. Cameron County jail records show Gamez was being held Sunday on $300,000 bond.
HOUSTON (AP) – Federal regulators have raised water quality concerns about Houston raw sewage spills following storms as repair estimates reach several billion dollars. The Houston Chronicle reports Houston’s roughly 840 annual overflows have drawn scrutiny from the Environmental Protection Agency. The Chronicle reviewed 46 ZIP codes, in city data since 2009, with above-average rates of sewer overflows. The analysis shows two-thirds also have higher poverty rates and larger concentrations of Hispanic or blacks than Houston as a whole. … Read More
GALVESTON (AP) – A judge has certified a 15-year-old La Marque boy to stand trial as an adult in the fatal stabbing and strangling of his mother at their Houston-area home. The Galveston County Daily News reports that Chance Michael Moseley was indicted Aug. 18 on a capital murder charge. Investigators have not indicated a motive in the September death of 33-year-old Nita Moseley. La Marque police said Nita Moseley, who was about five months pregnant, was stabbed more than 20 times.
DALLAS (AP) – Nearly two months after five Dallas police officers were killed by a sniper, authorities have moved to silence critics and squelch lingering questions about the attack. Police have also refused to release even the most basic information about the slayings, including any details about the weapons used, the autopsy findings and ballistics tests that could establish whether any officers were hit by friendly fire. Authorities have indicated the information could be withheld almost indefinitely.
LONGVIEW — Longview police are crediting a nuisance abatement lawsuit with shutting down what they term a known drug house on 12th Street where a man was found shot to death — the first time in years that police have used such a tool. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. The lawsuit, which targeted the house near the Aurel Avenue intersection, was filed with assistance from the Texas Attorney General’s Office after Tony Bernard Nelson, 20, was found shot to death in the home in January. “Since the case was filed, there’s been zero activity other than cops stopping and checking” on things, said Kendric Montgomery (pictured), the Longview police area representative for the neighborhood. Montgomery was responsible for working to bring the lawsuit forward. … Read More
TYLER – Here’s a look at work planned in the TxDOT Tyler District during the week of August 29. These schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions, equipment failure or other unforeseen issues. Motorists are reminded to slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones.
SMITH COUNTY – Tyler Maintenance plans to perform base repair work on SH 135 between Troup and Arp. Expect lane closures with flaggers providing traffic control. A second crew plans to conduct ditch maintenance on various roads around the county.… Read More
TYLER – The drive-through at the City of Tyler Water Business Office will be reopened late this afternoon. The drive-through was closed August 18th so it could be replaced by a new electronic kiosk. Previously, customers could pay bills Monday through Friday from 7:00am till 6:00pm. With the new kiosk, customers will have 24/7 access to the water business office. With the kiosk, customers will able to pay with check, money order, credit/debit cards and cash. Those paying with cash need to know that no change will be given.
TYLER — For a second time, Tyler Junior College has been designated as an Achieving the Dream Leader College, a national honor awarded to institutions in the ATD National Network that have shown three years of steady improvement in student success. According to a news release from the college, TJC first achieved Leader College status in 2013. Achieving the Dream grants Leader College designation for three-year cycles, and institutions must undergo a re-certification process to maintain their status.… Read More
SEATTLE (AP) – Hunting and fishing licenses are on sale again in Washington state, after someone hacked or attempted to hack into a Dallas-based vendor’s system. The hacking exposing several million records containing the personal information of hunters and anglers throughout the Northwest. Washington halted all license sales after the intrusion was discovered last week, but resumed them Saturday through its network of 600 dealers across the state. Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Bruce Botka says online sales remain suspended because officials still can’t ensure the internet system’s security. The vendor concerned is Active Network, which processes online license sales in several states. Idaho and Oregon have also halted online sales of fishing and hunting licenses, but they allowed sales to continue at businesses and state offices. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are investigating.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Southwest Airlines says a flight from New Orleans to Orlando, Florida, was diverted after a problem with an engine. Spokesman Chris Mainz says the flight landed in Pensacola, Florida, around 9:40 a.m. Saturday. Mainz says there were no injuries to the 99 passengers and five crew members. He said the plane was out of service and couldn’t continue to Orlando and Southwest was trying to find other ways to get passengers there. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has notified the National Transportation Safety Board and Mainz says the airline will inspect the damage when authorized and work with the agency to determine the cause of the problem.
TYLER — Tyler police are investigating the Saturday night robbery of the Corner Market at Old Jacksonville Highway and Lake Placid Rd. Police called to the scene around 10:00 p.m. were told the thief entered the business and demanded money from the clerk as he displayed a knife. He is described as African-American, 5’4” to 5’5”, 160-170 lbs., wearing black pants, a black hoodie, and a mask. Police say the clerk sustained minor injuries during the course of the robbery. The robber left in an unknown direction with an undetermined amount of money, according to authorities.… Read More
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A regulator says a man working on the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline has been killed in an apparent accident in western North Dakota. Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk said Saturday that the man died of his injuries Friday afternoon. His name has not been released. Kalk says the man was working as subcontractor for Dallas-based operator Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline in western North Dakota already is completed and is more than 200 miles away from a protest site in southern North Dakota. Kalk says the man was on a tractor Thursday, covering the underground pipeline with soil and grass seed. Kalk says the company reported the man suffered a serious head injury, apparently while working on equipment.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – A retired Texas official who oversaw a raid on a polygamist sect has been chosen by Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration to run Kentucky’s Department of Juvenile Justice. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Carey D. Cockerell begins his new role in Kentucky next month. Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley on Friday praised Cockerell’s commitment to public safety and his compassion for youth. Cockerell was commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from 2005 until he retired in 2008. Three months before his retirement, Cockerell’s agency seized 468 children during a raid of the Yearning for Zion Ranch, a West Texas complex that was home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Texas Supreme Court later ruled the agency improperly removed children from their families.
HOUSTON (AP) – A federal appeals court is allowing a trade group representing Texas liquor store operators to join a stalled federal lawsuit that Wal-Mart has filed against the Texas agency that dispenses permits to sell liquor by the bottle. The giant retailer wants to get into the business of selling liquor in Texas, but contends restrictions on package liquor licenses, some dating to the end of Prohibition, handed out by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission amount to unconstitutional discrimination. … Read More
AUSTIN (AP) – A state appeals court has stayed Wednesday’s scheduled execution of a convicted hit man in a murder-for-hire plot that left a San Antonio woman dead more than 23 years ago. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued the stay order Friday in the case of 44-year-old Rolando Ruiz. It’s the second time Ruiz has received an execution stay. He got within an hour of a lethal injection in 2007 when a federal appeals court intervened. Ruiz’s attorneys contend his trial and original appeals attorneys performed deficiently by failing to investigate and present mitigating evidence on his punishment. His attorneys also contend that execution more than two decades after his conviction constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Evidence showed Ruiz collected $2,000 to kill Theresa Rodriguez in 1992.