Category: Local News
TYLER — The Smith County Jail is wrapping up its renovations this fall. KETK reports the construction’s been carried out in two phases. According to County Commissioner Jeff Warr, the first phase was completed under budget. Any extra money is going towards fixing up the main housing area, as well as upgrading security. The $35-million expansion was $30 million less than the closest proposal. This makes spending tight, and although commissioners don’t expect to go over budget, they say it’s going to be a close one. Warr says, “We’re still in budget and operating as leanly as we can, and it gave us the opportunity to upgrade the system, (including) additional security and some things like that since we had the additional money.” According to Warr, there should be no further financial burden on taxpayers.
TYLER — The city of Tyler’s Christmas Parade is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. in downtown Tyler. Additionally, the 29th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on the T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza immediately following the parade. Due to the disbandment of the Tyler Jaycees earlier this summer, the Tyler Police and Fire Departments have stepped up to plan and manage the annual Christmas Parade, according to a city news release. Read the rest of this entry »
LONGVIEW — Grand jurors in Longview have indicted a man on an aggravated sexual assault charge from an accusation he had sexual contact with a 4-year-old girl last summer. According to KETK, Brandon Lee Martindale, 20, of Kilgore, was arrested by Gregg County Sheriff’s Deputies July 11. Martindale is accused of having illegal contact with the minor girl on July 10. He’s been held since his arrest in the Gregg County Jail under $500,000 bond.
TYLER — Effective with the new 2015 fiscal year, which starts today, the Smith County Fire Marshal’s office will take responsibility over the animal control program, which had previously been the charge of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. The Smith County Sheriff’s Office will still be responsible for the Livestock Estray program, which includes horses, donkeys, and other livestock. For questions or comments regarding the animal control program, please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 903-590-2652 during business hours, or 903-566-6600 after 5:00pm on weekdays, during weekends and on holidays.
MARSHALL — An East Texas county achieves a dubious distinction. Harrison County has been under an outdoor burn ban for several weeks — and County Judge Hugh Taylor says at the current time, its drought index is the highest in Texas. According to the judge, “Where we enter a burn ban generally at 575 on the KBDI (Keetch-Byram Drought Index), the entire county far exceeds 600 — and 25 per cent of the county actually exceeds 700. The highest number on the index is 800.” Taylor said the reason other regions of the state have seen their index numbers on the KBDI go down has to do with tropical moisture that fell across West Texas, North Texas, and Central Texas recently, but missed East Texas completely.
KILGORE — The Kilgore Police Department is asking for the public’s help locating Amanda Breanne Ball, 23. KETK reports she’s wanted out of Gregg County on an assault charge. Authorities have given the suspect a chance to turn herself in, but she has refused, according to police. The suspect lives off Stone Road in Kilgore. Tipsters can call police at 903-983-1559, Gregg County at 903-236-8400, or Crime Stoppers directly at 903-236-STOP.
KILGORE — Fare increases for the East Texas Council of Governments’ GoBus service are in effect beginning today. According to an ETCOG news release, on September 4th, the ETCOG Executive Committee considered the report on staff results from a two-month public hearing process and approved an increase in GoBus fares. The then-current rate of $2.00 per trip within a county and $5.00 per trip across counties had not been increased since 1997 when the average price of a gallon of gas was $1.25. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — Dr. Vance Vaughn has been named “Researcher of the Year” by the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Leadership, Dr. Wesley Hickey, College of Education and Psychology interim dean, announced. A UT Tyler alumnus, Vaughn serves as an associate professor of educational leadership within the university’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, where he teaches in the principal and superintendent programs. He was recognized during a council ceremony on Sept. 26 in Dallas. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — Officials say the Smith County Sheriff’s Office has arrested several suspects in recent thefts. The first such arrest occurred Sunday evening in northeastern Smith County. At approximately 8:40 p.m., SCSO Dispatch received a call from a night security guard regarding a burglary in progress at a scrap yard in the 10300 block of County Road 383. Within ten minutes, patrol deputies arrived on scene to find a suspect running out of the woods near the location. The suspect was immediately taken into custody, and deputies say they found several items from the scrap yard in the woods from which the suspect came. Read the rest of this entry »