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East Texan Gets Prison for Drug Violations

Roderrete Dewrayne McClureTYLER — A Panola County man has been sentenced in Tyler federal court prison for conspiring to distribute over 50 kilograms of marijuana that was stolen from the Tenaha City Marshal’s Office in 2010. Roderrete Dewrayne McClure, 43, of Carthage, pleaded guilty on March 6, to conspiracy to distribute marijuana. He was sentenced Monday to 56 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider.

According to federal prosecutors, sometime before August 22, 2010, McClure and a confederate removed over fifty kilograms of marijuana from the Tenaha City Marshal’s Office evidence room. Fire starter logs were substituted to cover the taking of the marijuana. On August 17 and 19, 2010, McClure took digital images of the stolen marijuana and transmitted them to a person identified only as “T.F.” in order to facilitate the sale of the drugs in the Dallas area. In July 2010, McClure provided some of the stolen marijuana to another person, identified as “K.M.”, to sell in the area of Shreveport, Louisiana. McClure admitted that he received payments in exchange for the marijuana.

ETMC Tyler Now Fully in Network with BCBS as Insurer Files Appeal

ETMC-hospital-signTYLER — East Texas Medical Center Tyler has fully transitioned to an in-network hospital in the Blue Cross Blue Shield preferred provider organization. That word came as BCBS filed Monday for an appeal of the November 12 injunction that granted in-network provider status to ETMC Tyler. ETMC Regional Healthcare System President/CEO Elmer Ellis says he believes the appellate court will uphold the injunction. A news release from ETMC says Blue Cross Blue Shield has fully complied with the court’s decision to make ETMC Tyler an in-network provider. Earlier this year, ETMC Tyler filed suit against Blue Cross Blue Shield, saying the hospital’s exclusion from the organization’s preferred provider networks has created serious and negative impacts on a large group of consumers. BCBS has not responded to a request for comment made earlier by KTBB.

Distracted Driver Accident Leaves One Dead in Gregg County

DPS door signLONGVIEW – A Cass County woman has been killed in a two vehicle accident in Gregg County. Killed Monday morning was Amy Qualls, 42, of Avinger. She was killed when her car was hit by a pickup driven by Ellen Hicks, 31, of Longview. The Department of Public Safety reports Hicks was distracted by a pet dog in her pickup. Her vehicle crossed into the other lane of traffic, hitting Qualls’ car. Qualls was transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center when she was pronounced dead about an hour after the accident. Hicks was taken to the hospital where she was treated and released. A 5 year old child in her vehicle remains hospitalized in serious condition. The accident happened just before 8:00 Monday morning 3 miles north of Longview on County Road 1466.

Former Governor Perry Endorses Hughes for Senate

3340MINEOLA – State Rep. Bryan Hughes of Mineola has picked up another high-profile endorsement in his bid for Texas Senate. As quoted in a news release from the Hughes campaign, Perry calls Hughes “a committed conservative fighting to secure our borders from illegal immigration,” adding that Hughes “has consistently stood to protect life and East Texas values.” Hughes faces state Representative David Simpson of Longview in the March GOP Primary. The two are trying to succeed Kevin Eltife of Tyler. You can go to http://www.bryanhughes.com/ or http://davidsimpson.com/ for more information on both campaigns.

Smith County Sheriff’s Office Schedules Second Open Carry Class

sheriff-smithcountyTYLER — Based on what’s termed “the overwhelming response” to its first open carry and active shooter class, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office has scheduled another session for 6:00 p.m. December 8 in Green Acres Baptist Church’s Galilee Room. Officials say the first event on November 14 drew an overflow crowd to the TJC West Campus. You’re asked to contact Laura Parsons at 903-590-2720 or Lt. Gary Middleton at 903-952-3619 for more information.

Longview Police Step Up Patrols for Holiday Season

police-longview-shieldLONGVIEW — Longview police will be stepping up traffic enforcement during this holiday season in what they term an effort to gain voluntary compliance with traffic laws and reduce the number and severity of traffic accidents. Police point out that the Thanksgiving holiday weekend has passed and the holiday shopping season is in full swing. They remind you that this time of the year brings increased traffic to the streets of Longview, and that may increase the odds of being involved in a traffic accident.

Off-duty officers will be working overtime shifts to provide additional traffic enforcement, with an emphasis on speeding, seatbelt and child restraint violations, and impaired driving. That’s made possible by a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant the Department received from the Texas Department of Transportation. Additionally, officials say on-duty traffic and patrol officers will continue to step up traffic enforcement efforts during this time. Police remind you to be observant while driving and obey all traffic laws.

Bullard-Area Man Held on Child Sex Charges

image003RUSK — A Bullard-area man is in custody on child sex charges, and the investigation continues. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office reports detectives executed a search warrant Friday on Lake Road in the Shady Brook subdivision near Bullard and arrested Thomas E. Scroggins, 25. Scroggins was jailed on $102,000 bond on two counts of indecency with a child and one count of displaying harmful material to a minor. At the time of his arrest, Scroggins was employed with the Frankston ISD Maintenance Department. He also attended a Frankston church and was involved with Little League Baseball in that community. Cherokee County detectives have made contact with Frankston ISD and the church he attended to make them aware of the ongoing investigation so they could make a determination on his status with them upon his release from Cherokee County.

The investigation into Scroggins began when an alleged victim claimed inappropriate conduct by Scroggins toward that person and two others. Officials say other victims were also identified. An initial interview with Scroggins after his arrest indicated there may be other victims who have not come forward or been identified. according to authorities. Each of the incidents in question reportedly occurred at or near Scroggins’s residence in Shady Brook. Officials say further details of the investigation cannot be released due the involvement of children.

Multiple Accidents on I-20 in Smith County

DPS-car-2SMITH COUNTY — The Texas Department of Public Safety confirms that there were six accidents reported Monday morning on I-20 westbound in Smith County. KETK reports the accidents were near exits 558 and 559 near Lavender Road. Further details are pending, but dispatch advised drivers to stay off this stretch of highway until the accidents were cleared.

Flood Warning Follows Levee Failure

NOAAFORT WORTH – A levee failure east of State Highway 34 in Kaufman County caused the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning for a portion of the Trinity River. The warning officially expired at 9 a.m. Monday, but areas south of Highway 34, including the western portion of Henderson County, should be on the lookout for flooding of low-lying areas. Also covered by the warning were Kaufman, Ellis and Navarro Counties. Drivers in those areas are still urged to use caution and avoid roadways covered by water.

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