Category: Local News
TYLER – Could there be a run for the White House in Congressman Louie Gohmert’s future? KETK reports The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, asked Gohmert if he would endorse Ted Cruz’s presidential bid. The Tyler Congressman told the paper, “Ted is a good friend and would be an outstanding president; however, I haven’t ruled out an exploratory committee myself.” Later Thursday, an aide told the Texas Tribune that Gohmert was not entirely serious. “Washington D.C. contains too many who do not recognize statements made with a figurative tongue in cheek, sometimes known as being ironic,” the aide emailed to the Texas Tribune. Earlier this year, Gohmert went up against House Speaker John Boehner. Gohmert received only three votes.
KILGORE – If you’re looking for passage of bills in Austin legalizing marijuana in Texas, you may be disappointed. That’s the word from Governor Gregg Abbott who was in East Texas last night to speak at the Rusk County Republican Party’s Lincoln Reagan Dinner. There are several marijuana related bills in the legislature, but Abbott said the legalization of marijuana in this session is highly unlikely. Texting and driving is another issue Abbott is following closely. According to KETK, the governor said he wants to ensure there are no more injuries, deaths or accidents due to texting and driving. And he added, “We need to find the right space between keeping people safe on the road and government micro-managing what people do. My concerns are we going to have laws that prohibit people from eating French fries as they drive down the roadway or where does the law end?” Abbott said he is still looking for clarity on how to draw that line.
MARSHALL – A Harrison County grand jury has indicted a Longview man for sexual assault of a child. Indicted on three counts was Edwin Craig Volcik, 45. Following a lengthy investigation, which was led by federal officials, Volcik was arrested in January at his home on Quail Lane. The Longview News Journal reports it began with an investigation of child pornography, but turned into something more. Investigators believed some of the children had been sexually assaulted.
HOUSTON (AP) — A celebrity booking agency is saying it’s not all right, all right, all right to make public how much the University of Houston is paying actor Matthew McConaughey, a former Longview resident, to speak at the school’s May commencement ceremony. The university has declined to release the information because its contract with Celebrity Talent International includes a confidentiality clause. The school asked the Texas attorney general’s office to issue an opinion on whether such information can be kept private. The Houston Chronicle reports Celebrity Talent International President Glenn Richardson sent a March 9 letter to the attorney general’s office, saying payment and other details in McConaughey’s contract are a trade secret. Richardson also wrote that a reporter could use the information to create “unfair negatives online and take things out of context.”
SULPHUR SPRINGS — A Tyler man allegedly attempting to have sex with a child was arrested late Wednesday in Sulphur Springs. According to KETK, Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jay Sanders said Joshua Strickland, 30, was taken into custody on suspicion of solicitation of a child for sexual conduct and possession of a controlled substance. Strickland is accused of planning the meetup via a Craigslist ad, but in reality, the suspect was talking to an internet crimes against children officer posing as a 15-year-old girl, according to police. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — Elections officials from all over Texas came to Tyler Wednesday to learn about election day vote centers, according to a Smith County news release. Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Nelson said 68 people attended the workshop, including elections administrators, county clerks, county judges, county commissioners, and election judges from at least 15 counties. Smith County Commissioners JoAnn Hampton, Jeff Warr and Terry Phillips attended. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — Weather permitting, the City of Tyler Street Department will make repairs to the 400 Block of Shiloh Road at Donnybrook Avenue today, between 8:00am and 4:00pm. Officials say traffic will be diverted to one lane eastbound and one lane westbound on Shiloh Road. Donnybrook Avenue will be closed to all traffic between Shiloh Road and Knoxville Drive. Northbound traffic on Donnybrook Avenue will be detoured to Knoxville Drive. The Street Department encourages travelers to use other routes if possible. Those who must travel through this area are asked to use caution and be prepared to stop.
TYLER — An East Texas man has entered a motion to change his original plea from “not guilty” to “not guilty by reason of insanity” in a 2012 murder-kidnapping that began at a Tyler home. According to KETK, Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham says James Calvert also refused to consent to a voluntary psychological evaluation by court-appointed experts. Calvert is accused of shooting and killing Jelena Radobanovic Sriraman before kidnapping their son, Lucas, on October 31, 2012. Calvert was captured late that same night in West Monroe, Louisiana, following a short police chase and a crash. In May, 2012, Calvert was involved in a custody battle with Sriraman.
MARSHALL — Multiple reports of a gang fight and gunfire at West End Park on West Rusk Street set the stage for a busy Wednesday night for the Marshall Police Department. According to KETK, reports of a large gang fight were called in to dispatch around 7:00 p.m., but responding officers were unable to locate anything unusual when they arrived. Another large fight, with shots fired, was reported on Paula Street in Bel Air Manor 45 minutes later. Once again the crowd had dispersed before officers arrived. according to police. Officers assigned to the Marshall Criminal Apprehension Team searched the area in an effort to locate the parties involved. Read the rest of this entry »
LUFKIN (AP) – An East Texas man who told investigators he thought people were out to get him faces up to life in prison for starting several fires in Lufkin. Stanford Jones of Lufkin was convicted Wednesday of three counts of arson. Nobody was hurt in the November 2012 fires in Lufkin blamed on Jones, who remains in custody pending sentencing. Prosecutors say Jones posted angry comments online about thinking people wanted to get him and setting a match to Lufkin. One fire happened at a bar where the 34-year-old Jones had been drinking, later got sick and ended up hospitalized. Jones told police that he believed someone drugged him. He tested positive for cocaine and marijuana while hospitalized. The fires started the day after Jones, who has previous drug convictions, was discharged.