Category: Local News

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Kariís Law Push Seeing Successes

FederalCourthouseMARSHALL ó A federal official said Friday that eight hotel chains now offer direct 911 dialing, and another 70 percent of the nationís largest chains will offer it by the end of the year. The measure aims to ensure that dialing 911 from hotels and motels always works without an access code. According to the Longview News-Journal, officials began working on the effort a little more than a year ago after the Dec. 1, 2013, death of Kari Rene Hunt Dunn at the Baymont Inn in Marshall. Police said the 31-year-old woman was stabbed to death by her estranged husband in a hotel room, where he met her to visit their three young children. During the struggle, Dunnís 9-year-old daughter attempted to dial 911 from the hotel room, but was unsuccessful because she didnít realize she had to first dial a number for the call to go through. Read the rest of this entry »

Police Shooting Victim Identified as Teen

10917360_419500174883306_1119834229824340557_nLONGVIEW (AP/Staff) ó Authorities have identified the victim in a fatal Longview police shooting as 17-year-old Kristiana Coignard of Longview. Coignard was a former Pine Tree ISD student. Three police officers were placed on paid administrative leave after the incident, which prompted a temporary lockdown at police headquarters. Police say Coignard walked into the police department lobby and threatened officers with a weapon. Police spokeswoman Kristie Brian said the teen walked into the building around 6:30 Thursday night, picked up an assistance phone, and called for help. When officers responded, Brian says Coignard brandished a weapon and made threatening movements toward them. Read the rest of this entry »

Officials: Fugitive with Cherokee County Ties Caught in Houston

image004AUSTIN Ė One of the most wanted suspects in Texas, a man with Cherokee County ties, has been caught in Houston. The Texas Department of Public Safety earlier this month added Paul Ray Bass, 53, to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list. Bass was wanted for failure to comply with sex offender registration and was considered a high-risk offender. According to KETK, Bass lived in Cherokee County for several years but his whereabouts had been unknown since March 2014. His sex offense history dates to a 1979 rape conviction. According to information from the U.S. Marshals Service, Bass was arrested without incident Friday and booked into the Harris County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

Police: Drugs, Guns, Cash Found in Marshall Raid

thumb_police-lights-2MARSHALL ó The Marshall Police Departement arrested two people in a Friday morning drug raid on Burleson Street. According to KETK, police said at around 6 a.m., a SWAT team executed a search warrant on the 800 block of Burleson St. at a home that had been under investigation for drug dealing. Authorities say they found marijuana, ecstasy, Xanax, firearms, and an undisclosed amount of cash. Officers arrested Willie Lee Jones, 23, of Marshall, and Justin Lavell Heck, 30, of Marshall and charged them with possession of marijuana, possession of controlled substance penalty group 1, and possession of a substance penalty group 3.

Former Councilman Seeks Longview Mayor’s Post

andymackmayorlnjLONGVIEW — Former Longview City Councilman Dr. Andy Mack announced Friday he’s running for Longview mayor. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Mack, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, served on the City Council for eight years until 2005. That’s when he left his District 4 seat on the council to run for mayor in a seven-candidate free-for-all after Mayor Murray Moore resigned. Mayor Jay Dean edged Mack in both the general election and a following runoff between the two men. Dean, who has served for 10 years, will not seek re-election due to term limit restrictions. Read the rest of this entry »

Tragedy Fund Set Up Following Apparent Murder-Suicide

bells011515TYLER ó A tragedy fund has been set up for the children of a couple found dead recently of an apparent murder-suicide in Smith County. KETK reports a fund for the children of Mechelle Hall-Bell, 35, and Delithro Bell, 41, has been set up under the name Jadashia R. Curtis at Altra Federal Credit Union. The credit union is located at 5523 Troup Highway in Tyler and may be reached by phone at 903-579-2203. The couple had six children between them.

Eltife Files Epilepsy-Related Medical Marijuana Bill

thumb_Kevin_Eltife_2AUSTIN ó A local senator and a DFW representative have filed bills in the Texas Legislature to allow children with “intractable epilepsy” to use medical marijuana for treatment purposes. According to KETK and the Austin-American Statesman, Tyler Senator Kevin Eltife and DFW Representative Stephanie Klick, both Republicans, filed identical measures. The bills would allow state-regulated entities to legally grow and dispense cannabidiol, also known as CBD. The Statesman reports unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, CBD could provide medicinal benefits without a “high.” Read the rest of this entry »

Man Sentenced in East Texas Murder-for-Hire Scheme

thumb_Lady-JusticeNACOGDOCHES (AP) – A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison after a state appeals court earlier struck down his prior punishment for the 2005 killing in East Texas of his friend’s stepfather. The sentence Thursday for Colton Weir includes the possibility of parole after he serves at least 30 years. The appeals court determined last month his rights were violated when he was sentenced in 2007 to life without parole. The U.S. Supreme Court had previously ruled that sentencing juveniles without the possibility of parole was unconstitutional. The Daily Sentinel reports 25-year-old Shaina Sepulvado was resentenced Wednesday for the same reason. Weir, Sepulvado, and four others were involved in a murder-for-hire scheme to kill Sepulvado’s stepfather, 32-year-old James Kelly. He was fatally shot at his Cushing home.

Klein Animal Shelter Prepares to Reopen

dogshelterpicJACKSONVILLE ó The city of Jacksonville is planning to reopen troubled Klein Animal Shelter following its closure last week over animal abuse allegations. The executive director and two others have been arrested. According to KETK, the Jacksonville Police Department says the city is in the process of renovating the shelter and hopes to have it up and running within a month. The building has already been inspected twice. The new shelter, however, will only house strays caught within city limits and animals surrendered by local residents. The Klein shelter had been accepting animals from Smith County, Cherokee County and the city of Jacksonville. Jacksonville PD stated the city will not routinely euthanize animals to make space for other strays. According to the Jacksonville Daily Progress, the shelter is 60 percent ready to open.

Worker Injured on TJC Residence Hall Construction Site

thumb_tjc-logoTYLER — A worker was injured and cross traffic on Magnolia Street was affected Friday due to an accident on the residence hall construction site on the Tyler Junior College campus. The mishap occurred around 10 a.m. Officials say Lionel Torres, 28, was injured when the hydraulic lift he was working on tipped over, causing him to fall to the ground. Torres, who was buckled into his safety harness at the time of the fall, suffered some broken bones and lacerations. He was conscious when he was transferred to East Texas Medical Center.

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