TYLER — Tyler’s sales tax revenue has topped the same period last year. Latest figures from the state comptrollers office show Tyler’s sales tax revenue at over $4,619,882.27. That’s up over 4% from the same period last year. But, while Tyler is up, Texas and many cities see their revenues declining. Longview’s sales tax revenues for the same period are down over 5%. Why has Tyler’s sales tax revenues increased? Tom Mullins, President of the Tyler Economic Development Council says it is because of our diversified economy. And he sees our sales tax revenues continuing to increase. Mullins says the economic development council has had the busiest January for prospect activity since in was founded in 1989.
TYLER – Spring enrollment at Tyler Junior College is up 2%. Enrollment in the spring 16-week semester is 10,654, an increase of 200 students from the same period last year. Dr. Tom Johnson, TJC Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs says he sees enrollment continuing to increase because of some new programs they will be adding. TJC officials are working through the accreditation processes to begin offering a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene in fall 2016. This will be the first four-year degree to be offered in the college’s history. Plans are also in the works for a veterinary technology program at TJC-Lindale.
HOUSTON – Tyler Congressman Louie Gohmert picks up a plum endorsement in his re-election campaign. U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is backing the veteran Tyler-based lawmaker as he faces Angelina County rancher Simon Winston in the GOP primary. In a statement, Cruz says, “With so much at stake, now is not the time to send an unproven representative to Congress. Louie is a committed conservative who has stood up to the liberal Democrats in Washington and delivered conservative results for East Texas.” Gohmert says he’s very pleased with the endorsement. In his words, “To have an ally like Ted, that’s a big deal.”
TYLER – A woman has lost her money in a Tyler purse snatching. It happened around 1:00 Wednesday afternoon as the woman got out of her car at Rusk Avenue and College Street. The woman had earlier cashed check at Walmart on the West Loop and drove to work. Two men in a silver car are said to have followed her and when she got out of her car they grabbed her purse and fled. She was not injured. The purse was recovered a about a block away. But the money was missing. The vehicle that may have been used by the suspects has been found but there is no trace of the men.
LONGVIEW – For the second day in a row a threat has closed a Longview business. Workforce Solutions East Texas at 2430 South High Street received a threatening call Tuesday morning. The caller threatened to harm someone. It’s not known if the threat was directed to a person visiting the business or to an employee. As a precaution, the business closed. The business received another threatening call Wednesday morning, as a precaution, the business closed again.
SMITH COUNTY — One person is dead following a SWAT standoff Wednesday in western Smith County. According to KETK, officials SAY the situation developed at Highway 31 West and County Road 1238 near Toll 49. Law enforcement blocked off the roads when the standoff began. The Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office also responded to the scene of a structure fire with heavy smoke at the house in which the SWAT team was responding. … Read More
SMITH COUNTY — An East Texas man who was wanted for allegedly soliciting realtors is in custody. According to KETK, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office says Michael Minnich, 39, was arrested by the Smith County Precinct 4 Constable’s office on Wednesday morning. Minnich was also wanted on a parole violation. On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office released a statement saying Minnich and his wife, identified as Felicia Garland, were contacting realtors and claiming they were “cash buyers and needed to close quickly.” He reportedly also was asking to meet realtors at properties. Smith County officials were in close contact with the Longview Police Department during the investigation. According to judicial records, Minnich is being held in the Smith County Jail on no bond.
HENDERSON — An East Texas teenager who was missing for seven months in 2015 has left home again. According to KETK, the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office says Paiglynn Raymond left her home Monday and has not been seen or heard from since. The teenager left home in April 2015 after being dropped off at Sabine High School. Investigators with the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office said she left the campus, was picked up by a truck driver, and was dropped off at a bus station near Dallas. She reunited with her family around Thanksgiving. … Read More
TYLER – Tyler police said the two teens reported as runaways have been returned home around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon. Officials had been looking for the two teens who were described as “frequent runaways.” The siblings are identified as Hayden Gray,a 14-year-old male, and Taylor Sanchez, a 16-year-old female. They were last seen on Sunday. Sanchez has diabetes and is thought to be out of her supply of insulin.