WESTBROOK, Maine (AP) – Wessie P. Thon might actually be Wessie A. Conda. A Texas scientist who ran tests on a large snake skin found in the Maine city of Westbrook says Tuesday the tests came back as “100 percent from anaconda.” A big snake caused a stir in Maine when it was seen this summer eating a beaver along a riverbank. The discovery of a 10-foot snakeskin this month indicates it’s still lurking locally. Locals dubbed it Wessie. That spawned a parody Twitter account called Wessie P. Thon. University of Texas at Tyler biologist John Placyk performed the skin test. He says Wessie’s behavior corresponds with that of an anaconda. He’s says it’s possibly an escaped pet. The Wessie Twitter account tweeted Tuesday that the news was causing “a mid-life crisis” for the reptile.
KILGORE – A Kilgore man has been arrested after a traffic stop turned up drugs and counterfeit money. Taken into custody was Clifton Ray Adair, 35. He was stopped for speeding around 3:45 Tuesday afternoon in the 400 block of State Highway 135. Inside his car, Kilgore police found five counterfeit $100 bills and six grams of methamphetamine. He was charged with forgery and possession of a controlled substance and his bond set at $45,000.
TYLER – A discussion of the proposed budget for the city of Tyler will come up at Wednesday’s city council meeting. The city says the budget is a lean $138.2 million. The proposal calls for a one cent tax hike to 23 cents per $100 valuation. Funds generated by the increase will be earmarked for road maintenance projects. The Tyler City Council meets Wednesday morning at 9:00 at city hall.
LONGVIEW – One person is dead and one person is being questioned in a Longview shooting. Dead at the scene is Alexis Bell, 26, of Longview. The shooting was reported shortly after noon on Tuesday at the Bella Oaks Apartments on Lake Lamond Road. A man who was on the scene at the time of the shooting is in custody for an unrelated arrest warrant and is being questioned in regards to the shooting.
TYLER – West Douglas Boulevard near Trinity Mother Frances Hospital will be closed from 7:00am on Wednesday through Friday at 5:00pm. Fritcher Construction Services is closing that portion of the street due to storm sewer upgrades for the adjacent CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances parking lot expansion. The construction is for a small section of the road from the intersection of Front Street and West Douglas Boulevard progressing south down West Douglas Boulevard for about 375 feet and ending on the north side of the existing parking lot.
LONGVIEW (AP) – Some East Texas law officers have warned businesses to be on the lookout for counterfeit money meant for use in movies. The Longview News-Journal reported Tuesday that police are investigating several cases of fake movie cash passed in Lufkin, Diboll and Jasper. Ken Hartley, who’s a security and loss prevention officer at Texas Bank and Trust, says it’s amazing how the bills look like U.S. currency, until you get to the side where it says “For Motion Picture Use Only.” Experts say fake movie money, which can be bought online, also lacks certain cash markings. Gregg County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Josh Tubb says the agency is investigating two cases, in recent months, in which movie money was passed off as real. Tubb declined to provide details.
HALLSVILLE – A former Harrison County coach, arrested in December has been arrested again on a new charge. Dean Michael McDaniel had been arrested and indicted on three counts of indecency with a child by exposure. McDaniel was arrested again on Monday and charged with improper relationship between educator and student. Following his arraignment, his bond on the latest charge was set at $15,000.… Read More
TYLER – Routine mosquito samples collected in Tyler and sent to Austin showed one tested positive for West Nile Virus. Results returned to Tyler Monday showed showed positive for West Nile virus in the sample batch of mosquitoes taken from the 3000 block of Terilinga Drive, on the city’s southeast side. Tyler Mosquito Control treated the target area late last week. And they are conducting a door-to-door campaign to inform and educate residents in the area about the virus and preventative measures. As a preventative measure, the city treats standing water with larvicide and insect growth regulator tablets and fogs. And they will continue these treatment practices for the remainder of mosquito season.… Read More
TYLER – Smith County commissioners have approved a new budget for the fiscal year starting October 1st. At Tuesday morning’s meeting, the commissioners adopted an $89.9 million budget. This is around $450,000 below the county’s current budget. The tax rate will remain the same .33 per $100 valuation. They say, this would put Smith County’s tax rate lower than 90% of the state’s counties. In adopting the budget, the commissioners increased property taxes 3.47%. This would bring in around an additional $1.7 million for the county. Not all are pleased with the new budget. Grassroots America We the People continue to express their displeasure with it.
LONGVIEW — Police have made an arrest in connection with a Monday night shooting in Longview that injured a Henderson man. According to the police department’s Facebook page, Keeth Undray Johnson, 49, of Longview, was booked early this morning into the Gregg County Jail on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury and deadly conduct. Officers responded around 9:00 to the shooting at Huntington Hills apartments in the 2500 block of North Eastman Road. Upon arrival, officers found one victim, whose name has not been released, inside an apartment. He was taken to Longview Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. On-site department spokesman Gene Duffie said the victim does not live at the apartments and that he was talking before he was transported to the hospital.
TYLER — Tyler Police say they’ve been contacted by two victims of a suspected scam targeting the Hispanic community. According to authorities, each victim contacted a phone number in an advertisement and was then advised by the suspect to go to 500 N. Barron Street to meet with the Healer. The Healer charged $500.00 and $200.00 for each victim to start the spiritual healing process because they were possessed with an evil spirit and their family was in danger. The Hispanic female suspect in her late 50’s to 60’s told the victims to return with very large sums of cash so that she could continue the healing process.… Read More
MOUNT PLEASANT (AP) – Authorities are investigating what might have been a hoax call in which someone reported being held hostage inside an East Texas home, resulting in a nearly five-hour police standoff. The Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune reports police received a 911 call at 1:44 p.m. Monday from a person claiming they were being held at gunpoint inside a home. Police surrounded the home and for about five hours tried to establish contact with someone inside the house. Officers finally entered the home at 6:39 p.m. and found the structure was empty. Mount Pleasant Police Chief Wayne Isbell says the alleged victim had given a consistent story and had even provided a name of the suspect threatening him. Isbell says detectives are investigating the incident.