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Woman Shot, Arrest Warrant Issued

Ramon AvilaTYLER – Tyler police are looking for Ramon Avila, 40, in connection with an aggravated assault that occurred last night. Around 7:45 a 911 call said that a person had been shot at 222 South Adams. Officers found a woman with a leg wound. She was rushed to East Texas Medical Center with serious but non-life threatening injuries. The victim and two witnesses identified Avila as the shooter. The arrest warrant charges him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was last seen driving a dark green 2004 Nissan Titan, TX LP- BT03370. Tyler police say Avila should be considered armed and dangerous.

Congressman Hall Released from Hospital

Ralph HallPLANO (AP) — The oldest-ever member of the U.S. House has been transferred from a hospital to a rehabilitation center to continue his recovery from injuries suffered in a car wreck. In a statement Tuesday, a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall said the 91-year-old Texas Republican was discharged from Medical Center of Plano over the weekend to an inpatient rehabilitation center. Aide Natalie Raulston said Hall, whose district at one time included Smith County, suffered a broken nose and broken femur October 4 when the vehicle in which he was riding slammed into another that turned in front of his in Trenton, about 60 miles northeast of Dallas. The drivers were not injured. Hall is to leave office in January after losing a May Republican primary runoff for the 4th Congressional District seat.

Longview Teen Robbery Suspect Shot Five Times

Justin AguilarLONGVIEW – According to the autopsy report, a teenage Longview robbery suspect was shot five times by police and had marijuana in his system. The autopsy for Justin Aguilar, 15, was returned in June and was released by authorities yesterday. The Forest Park Middle School student was a suspect in the attempted robbery of the New-Way convenience store in the 1300 block of South Green Street March 9th. He was shot in a standoff with officers. Read the rest of this entry »

Gilmer Woman Sentenced in Fatal Accident

Sarah ReevesLONGVIEW – A Gilmer woman was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in prison and 10 years probation after pleading guilty to intoxication manslaughter. Sarah Reeves, 35, had originally been charged with driving while intoxicated in the accident in which she hit Lynden Bell, 24, of Longview. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report the accident occurred November 21, 2012, in the 1900 block of Lee Street in the Pine Tree area. When Lee died two days later, the charge was changed to intoxication manslaughter. Reeves could have gotten up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Police Release Pictures of High-Speed Chase Suspect

hispeedchaseLINDALE — Lindale police have released pictures of the alleged driver involved in last weekend’s high-speed chase in Smith County. According to KETK, police say they are looking for Carlos Bonilla, 22, who was last seen near Garden Valley Road in Tyler. The chase began shortly after 9:00 p.m. Friday on Highway 69 in Lindale. Police say they were conducting a traffic stop when Bonilla pulled out a weapon. He then reportedly sped off with police following close by. During the high speed pursuit Bonilla allegedly shot at police. Read the rest of this entry »

Hoax Ebola Story Circulating in East Texas

MT. PLEASANT — A story concerning Ebola is circulating East Texas and causing fears in the community. KETK reports a local hospital has released a statement to quell the concerns. The Titus Regional Medical Center put out the following release from Shannon Norfleet, RN, Director of Community Relations & Education: “TRMC has received several calls and comments regarding a circulating Facebook hoax about an Ebola case in Mount Pleasant. Please always be aware (or beware) of your online ‘news’ sources – feednewz.com is a pranking website and the circulating post is completely false. This hoax information has been shared with our local public information officers and news media as well.”

Boil Water Notice for South Rusk County Water Supply

thumb_boilingwater-2RUSK COUNTY — South Rusk County Water Supply, in southern Rusk County, has experienced a water outage. Officials say if you have experienced this outage, or extremely low pressure, you are advised to boil your water for a minimum of two minutes prior to consumption. Do this until further notice.

Nacogdoches among “Texas Highways” Readers’ Favorites

Nacogdoches-Oldest Town in TexasSAN ANTONIO (AP/Staff) – Readers of “Texas Highways” magazine have chosen Nacogdoches as their 8th favorite destination in a countdown of the top 40 places to visit statewide. Officials with “Texas Highways,” published monthly by the Texas Department of Transportation, made the announcement Tuesday in San Antonio — which, by the way, tops the list. The countdown helped celebrate the publication’s 40th anniversary. The choices started with the January issue of “Texas Highways,” which has about 200,000 subscribers and an estimated 400,000 monthly readers. Read the rest of this entry »

Trinity Industries Found Guilty of Fraud

guard rail-dangerousMARSHALL — A company accused of selling defective guardrails has been found guilty of fraud. A federal jury in Marshall says Texas firm Trinity Industries should pay $175 million for misleading regulators about the re-design of its guardrails in 2005. Under federal law, that sum will be tripled to as much as one billion dollars. Some of that will go to whistle – blower Josuah Harmon who testified the re-design meant that instead of being cushioned, vehicles colliding with the ends of the guardrails could be impaled, leading to at least a dozen accidents, some fatal. This is the second time the case has been tried. The first ended in a mistrial in July.

Pilgrim’s Pride Worker Killed in Accident

MT. PLEASANT — A Pilgrim’s Pride worker was killed Friday as a result of a believed workplace accident. According to Mt. Pleasant Assistant Chief Kyle Holcomb, an employee was found unconscious in an ice room by another employee. The worker immediately called for help and CPR was performed on the injured man. The 55-year-old Hispanic male was eventually taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace Judge Kay McNutt. KETK reports, the body has been sent for autopsy to determine the cause of death. The name of the deceased has not been released. Holcomb said foul play is not suspected. OSHA is now investigating the case. The Pilgrim’s Pride facility is located in the 1000 block of Pilgrim Street.

Last Week’s Storm Near Gilmer was a Tornado

tornado-weakGILMER – The National Weather service confirms that a storm that caused damaged near Gilmer October 13th was a tornado. Some homes and barns were damaged by fallen trees caused by the storm. It touched down just before 5:00 that morning. KETK reports the National Weather Service survey team determined an EF-1 touched down 6.5 miles northwest of Gilmer and that the 275-yard wide twister stayed on the ground for about six miles with peak winds of 95-105 miles per hour. The survey team reported determined the tornado moved east from south of FM 852 near Bison Road and FM 852 and passed along Armadillo Road, north of Lake Gilmer, then crossed Cherokee Trace. The tornado finally lifted at Highway 271 near Antelope Road. No injuries were reported in the storm.

New Electronic Sample Ballots Now Available

thumb_voting-computerTYLER — The Smith County Elections Office is now offering an Interactive ExpressPass Sample Ballot to all registered voters in the county. According to a county news release, the move part of the county’s commitment to provide quality service to voters. Officials say the system is convenient, simple, and completely safe for voter use. You can go to https://www.smith-county.com/Government/Departments/Elections/Default.aspx to find the new sample ballots. Read the rest of this entry »

Woman Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teen

angela_van_zandtMARSHALL — An East Texas woman was taken into custody following her alleged sexual assault of an underage teenager. According to KETK, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office reports Angela Van Zandt, 38, of Diana, has been charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. Authorities say the woman is not a teacher, as has been reported by another news agency. Van Zandt was released on $100,000 bond.

Tyler Murder Suspect Pleads Guilty, Receives 35 Years

john_grimes_ivTYLER — A Tyler man was sentenced to 35 years in prison for murder after accepting a plea deal Monday morning. According to KETK, the Smith County District Attorney’s Office reports John Grimes IV, 26, was sentenced in the 7th District Court. Grimes is deemed responsible for the murder of 65-year-old Tony Jeter. On December 1, 2013, Grimes was taken into custody and charged with capital murder after police responded to a home in the 500 block of East Bow Street and found Jeter’s body. Police said he died from a stab wound. Read the rest of this entry »

City of Tyler Awarded $174,030 for Veteran Housing

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded the city of Tyler Neighborhood Services Department funding to administer 25 new Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers. According to a city news release, HUD-VASH is a unique partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and HUD that provides long-term case management, supportive services, and permanent housing support for chronically homeless veterans. The VA provides case management and eligibility screening services, while HUD allocates permanent housing subsidies from its Housing Choice Voucher Program. Read the rest of this entry »

Van Zandt Co. Crime Stoppers Hands Out $600 in Rewards

image002CANTON — Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers has authorized $600 in rewards for tips that helped lead to the recent arrests of three men, all from Wills Point, in separate incidents. The Crime Stoppers board approved a $250 reward for a tipster who notified authorities about a man wanted for theft, including a stolen camping trailer. A $200 reward was authorized for a tip that led to a man sought for allegedly violating a protective order in Dallas County. Authorities tracked the man down at a school in Wills Point. Finally, a $150 reward was approved for a tip that led to the arrest of a man wanted by Van Zandt County authorities on a fugitive warrant. Read the rest of this entry »

Officials Say Oil Spill Has Not Reached Caddo Lake

MOORINGSPORT, La. (AP) – Cleanup crews continue to mop up a 4,000-barrel oil spill into a four-mile stretch of Tete Bayou northwest of Shreveport. Officials said Saturday that the oil has been contained without reaching Caddo Lake, which straddles the Texas-Louisiana state line and provides drinking water for some water systems. The oil spilled from the Mid-Valley pipeline, a line owned by Sunoco Logistics Partners which carries crude oil from Longview, Texas to Samaria, Michigan. The Times reports the spill happened the morning of October 13. Three families near the site evacuated, with Sunoco paying their expenses. Read the rest of this entry »

Marijuana Plants Found in Rusk County

Marijuana-FieldsRUSK COUNTY – Authorities responding to a trespassing call have found marijuana plants growing in Rusk County. Deputies with the Rusk County Sheriff’s office along with Texas Game Wardens, made the discovery Saturday. Around 1,000 plants were found. No word on if any arrests were made.

Wendy Davis Visits Longview

Wendy Davis4LONGVIEW – According to Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, “This election is going to determine, not just a choice in two very different candidates, but two very different pathways.” Davis, who is challenging Republican Gregg Abbott, made the comment in Longview over the weekend. Davis reminded the crowd of her 2011 filibuster in protest of the $5.2 billion in cuts to public education that Abbott continues to defend in court. Davis said the cuts also cost 25,000 education jobs, 11,000 of those teaching positions, caused more overcrowding in classrooms and killed full-day kindergarten. And she said it was time “we turned that around.” Davis said she is prepared to win next month and to lead this state. The Longview News-Journal reports around 75 persons were on hand to hear Davis’ address Saturday at Eddie Towles Phone Center on Gilmer Road.

TxDOT Project Updates

TxDOT signTYLER – Here’s a quick look at work planned in the Tyler District during the Week of October 20, 2014:

SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Tyler will have a milling crew on State Highway 155 north between Winona and the Smith County Line. Another crew will be conducting edge work on Farm Road 1805 between Farm Road 1253 and the county line. Motorists can expect lane closures during this work. Read the rest of this entry »

Early Voting Underway

thumb_voting-computerTYLER — Early voting for the November 4 election is underway as of today. Early voting times and locations for Smith County are listed below. Visit the Elections page of the Smith County Web site at http://www.smith-county.com/Government/Departments/Elections/Default.aspx to view sample ballots or look up your voting precinct. You can also call the Smith County Elections Office at 903-590-4777. Read the rest of this entry »

Rose Festival Parade and Activities

Rose Festival Parade 2014TYLER – The 81st annual Texas Rose Festival has come to a successful end. Rich in heritage and tradition, the Festival offered enchanting ceremonial events. One of the highlights of the festival was the Saturday morning parade. The parade, which brought out hundreds along the route, began on Glenwood Boulevard and headed west to around the track in Rose Stadium. The weather for the parade and all the Rose Festival activities was ideal.

2 Arrested and 1 Sought in Chase and Shooting

police lightsTYLER – A man involved in a chase and shooting in Smith County remains at large. Lindale police have identified him as Carlos Bonilla, 22. Two passengers with him are in custody. They are identified as Jesus Flores Jr., 27, and Thomas Ocampo, 25. It started around 9:45 Friday night as police were conducting a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 69 near Lindale. The SUV sped away from the traffic stop after officers noticed a firearm inside. During the case to Tyler, the Bonilla is said to have fired several shots at pursuing officers. No one was hit. Read the rest of this entry »

Texas Man, Mom Charged over His Girlfriend’s Death

Vincent RobinsonHILLSBORO (AP/STAFF) — A Central Texas man has been accused in the 2013 beating death of his girlfriend and his mother faces evidence tampering charges. The Hill County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that Vincent Robinson is a convicted sex offender who remains at a state mental health facility for evaluation. Robinson on Monday was named on murder and evidence tampering warrants in the death of Kasie Clary of Hillsboro, a former student at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall. Relatives reported Clary missing about a week before her body was found in May 2013 near a road. Authorities say Robinson was taken into custody more than a year ago for not properly registering as a sex offender. Dorothy Rowe was arrested Tuesday on an evidence tampering charge. She’s free on $100,000 bond.

Longview PD Warns of Scam in Local Paper

thumb_police-longview-shieldLONGVIEW — The Longview Police Department is warning about a scam posted in a local newspaper. According to KETK, LPD stated the scam involves a mystery shopper job. The ad states the person will evaluate customer service of Western Union versus money gram. The victim is sent a money order and told to cash it at a bank. The cash is then returned on both money gram and Western Union. Following the transfers of cash, the victim is instructed to fill out an online survey about his or her experience. Once the bank realizes the money order is fake, the bank withdraws cash from the victim’s account to cover the forged money order.

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