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Category: Local News

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Weather-Related Road Alert

TYLER – TxDOT crews are monitoring roadways as rain continues to fall around the East Texas area. The following road conditions were reported as of late Wednesday afternoon:

Gregg County:

– In Longview, FM 2087 remained closed due to flooding near the Loop 281 overpass. The closure was implemented for both the northbound and southbound lanes from Danciger Road to Sabine Street. Officials said the road would remain closed until further notice.… Read More

Man Gets 42 Years in Fatal Kilgore Shooting

LONGVIEW — A Kilgore man was sentenced Wednesday to 42 years in prison for the December 2014 shooting death of Franciosa Lakeef Jackson, 36, in Kilgore. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Marcus Demois Whitaker, 37, pleaded guilty Friday in the 124th District Court in Gregg County. A sentencing hearing took place Wednesday. Whitaker will be eligible for parole after having served half of his sentence.… Read More

One of Marshall’s Most Wanted Arrested

MARSHALL — One of Marshall’s “Most Wanted” is now behind bars. Trekevien Jacquia Darnell Miller, 20, of Longview, was taken into custody by Longview Police on Monday. Miller, whom police term a known gang member, was wanted for a felony bond forfeiture warrant out of Gregg County and wanted for questioning for his reported involvement in engaging in organized criminal activity in Marshall. Miller is being held in the Gregg County Jail.

Trooper Involved in Fatal Shooting Identified

UPSHUR COUNTY — The Texas Department of Public Safety on Tuesday identified the highway patrol officer involved in a fatal officer-involved shooting Jan. 3 in Upshur County. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, DPS spokeswoman Jean Dark identified Trooper John Smith as one of the law enforcement officials involved in the shooting of Dale Hightower Jr., 53, of Gilmer. Upshur County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ramon Ortiz also was involved in the shooting. Smith and Ortiz are on paid administrative leave while the Texas Rangers investigate the shooting. Smith joined the Department of Public Safety in 2009 and is assigned to the office in Gilmer. … Read More

Zavalla House Explosion Under Investigation

ZAVALLA — Two people remain hospitalized following a house explosion Tuesday morning in Zavalla. According to KETK, volunteer fire-fighters in Zavalla were called to the scene of an explosion a little after 6:00 a.m. The two victims were in the care of their neighbors. One of the victims, Lyle West, was buried in the burning debris that once was his home. The other victim, Elaine West, was in a neighbor’s yard. Lyle West was flown to Galveston with serious injuries and Elaine West was transported to a Lufkin hospital for her injuries. Zavalla VFD could only speculate as to what caused the fire but they believe it was possibly caused by a propane gas leak. The explosion had people startled from all around even businesses located three to five miles away heard and felt the blast. In addition to debris being scattered everywhere most of the neighbor’s homes were damaged by either the flying debris or the shockwave.

Tyler Man Arrested for Indecency with a Child

TYLER — A Tyler man remains behind bars following his arrest for alleged indecency with a child. According KETK, Mark Allen Vanhouten, 53, was arrested by the Tyler police Tuesday on one count of indecency with a child by sexual contact. A warrant was issued by the 7th District Court of Judge Kerry Russell. Vanhouten was booked into the Smith County Jail Tuesday night with bond set at $150,000. Details concerning the case were not available.

Assistant Chief and Lieutenant Promotion Ceremony

TYLER — During a ceremony Wednesday at the Tyler Police Department, Chief Jimmy Toler promoted Lieutenant Billy Yates (pictured) to Assistant Chief and Sergeant Eddie Sheffield to Lieutenant. Assistant Chief Yates will be assigned as the Commander over the Investigation Division and Lieutenant Sheffield will be assigned to Training Division. Asst. Chief Yates has received numerous awards and commendations, including meritorious conduct, life saving award, certificate of achievement and certificate of merit. In 2001, he was also recognized as Rookie of the Year and Supervisor of the Year in 2012.… Read More

New York Troopers Probe East Texas-Linked Cold Case

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – It’s been nearly three decades since a 31-year-old East Texas woman was found dead on the shoulder of New York State’s Adirondack Northway, and state police say the case remains open. Terri Kay Roark’s body was found in 1988 on the shoulder of Interstate 87 at the Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge, which spans the Mohawk River and links Albany and Saratoga counties. An autopsy found that she died of a skull fracture and the case was ruled a homicide. Troopers say the victim’s last known address was Mount Pleasant, Texas. An investigation revealed that she was last seen leaving a mental health facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma the week before her death. Investigators haven’t been able to identify any ties the victim may have had to the Northeast. Anyone with information is asked to call (518) 783-3211.

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Weather-Related Road Alert

Posted/updated on: January 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm

TYLER – TxDOT crews are monitoring roadways as rain continues to fall around the East Texas area. The following road conditions were reported as of late Wednesday afternoon:

Gregg County:

– In Longview, FM 2087 remained closed due to flooding near the Loop 281 overpass. The closure was implemented for both the northbound and southbound lanes from Danciger Road to Sabine Street. Officials said the road would remain closed until further notice.… Read More

Man Gets 42 Years in Fatal Kilgore Shooting

Posted/updated on: January 18, 2017 at 3:47 pm

LONGVIEW — A Kilgore man was sentenced Wednesday to 42 years in prison for the December 2014 shooting death of Franciosa Lakeef Jackson, 36, in Kilgore. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Marcus Demois Whitaker, 37, pleaded guilty Friday in the 124th District Court in Gregg County. A sentencing hearing took place Wednesday. Whitaker will be eligible for parole after having served half of his sentence.… Read More

One of Marshall’s Most Wanted Arrested

Posted/updated on: January 18, 2017 at 3:53 pm

MARSHALL — One of Marshall’s “Most Wanted” is now behind bars. Trekevien Jacquia Darnell Miller, 20, of Longview, was taken into custody by Longview Police on Monday. Miller, whom police term a known gang member, was wanted for a felony bond forfeiture warrant out of Gregg County and wanted for questioning for his reported involvement in engaging in organized criminal activity in Marshall. Miller is being held in the Gregg County Jail.

Trooper Involved in Fatal Shooting Identified

Posted/updated on: January 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm

UPSHUR COUNTY — The Texas Department of Public Safety on Tuesday identified the highway patrol officer involved in a fatal officer-involved shooting Jan. 3 in Upshur County. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, DPS spokeswoman Jean Dark identified Trooper John Smith as one of the law enforcement officials involved in the shooting of Dale Hightower Jr., 53, of Gilmer. Upshur County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ramon Ortiz also was involved in the shooting. Smith and Ortiz are on paid administrative leave while the Texas Rangers investigate the shooting. Smith joined the Department of Public Safety in 2009 and is assigned to the office in Gilmer. … Read More

Zavalla House Explosion Under Investigation

Posted/updated on: January 18, 2017 at 4:43 pm

ZAVALLA — Two people remain hospitalized following a house explosion Tuesday morning in Zavalla. According to KETK, volunteer fire-fighters in Zavalla were called to the scene of an explosion a little after 6:00 a.m. The two victims were in the care of their neighbors. One of the victims, Lyle West, was buried in the burning debris that once was his home. The other victim, Elaine West, was in a neighbor’s yard. Lyle West was flown to Galveston with serious injuries and Elaine West was transported to a Lufkin hospital for her injuries. Zavalla VFD could only speculate as to what caused the fire but they believe it was possibly caused by a propane gas leak. The explosion had people startled from all around even businesses located three to five miles away heard and felt the blast. In addition to debris being scattered everywhere most of the neighbor’s homes were damaged by either the flying debris or the shockwave.

Tyler Man Arrested for Indecency with a Child

Posted/updated on: January 18, 2017 at 3:55 pm

TYLER — A Tyler man remains behind bars following his arrest for alleged indecency with a child. According KETK, Mark Allen Vanhouten, 53, was arrested by the Tyler police Tuesday on one count of indecency with a child by sexual contact. A warrant was issued by the 7th District Court of Judge Kerry Russell. Vanhouten was booked into the Smith County Jail Tuesday night with bond set at $150,000. Details concerning the case were not available.

Assistant Chief and Lieutenant Promotion Ceremony

Posted/updated on: January 18, 2017 at 6:18 pm

TYLER — During a ceremony Wednesday at the Tyler Police Department, Chief Jimmy Toler promoted Lieutenant Billy Yates (pictured) to Assistant Chief and Sergeant Eddie Sheffield to Lieutenant. Assistant Chief Yates will be assigned as the Commander over the Investigation Division and Lieutenant Sheffield will be assigned to Training Division. Asst. Chief Yates has received numerous awards and commendations, including meritorious conduct, life saving award, certificate of achievement and certificate of merit. In 2001, he was also recognized as Rookie of the Year and Supervisor of the Year in 2012.… Read More

New York Troopers Probe East Texas-Linked Cold Case

Posted/updated on: January 18, 2017 at 6:18 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – It’s been nearly three decades since a 31-year-old East Texas woman was found dead on the shoulder of New York State’s Adirondack Northway, and state police say the case remains open. Terri Kay Roark’s body was found in 1988 on the shoulder of Interstate 87 at the Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge, which spans the Mohawk River and links Albany and Saratoga counties. An autopsy found that she died of a skull fracture and the case was ruled a homicide. Troopers say the victim’s last known address was Mount Pleasant, Texas. An investigation revealed that she was last seen leaving a mental health facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma the week before her death. Investigators haven’t been able to identify any ties the victim may have had to the Northeast. Anyone with information is asked to call (518) 783-3211.

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