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Sunday Morning Robbery Under Investigation

police-lightsSMITH COUNTY — An early morning robbery is under investigation. Smith County Sheriff’s Office received reports that a convenience store was robbed early Sunday at the 11800 block of Highway 64. Just before 3:00, 911 Dispatch received a call about an armed robbery. According to KETK, the caller advised that she had just been robbed at gunpoint and that the suspects had fled the scene. Witnesses said that two unidentified black males came into the store, one holding a gun, and instructed the clerk to give them the money. When the clerk refused, the suspects then took the entire register and fled the scene in an older model silver passenger car. The cashier was not injured.

Longview Business Burglarized

GREGG COUNTY — A Radio Shack in Longview was burglarized overnight Friday. It happened at the Radio Shack at 2414 Gilmer Road early Saturday morning. It’s unclear what was taken during the burglary. The store was open for business Saturday. Longview police did not provide additional details.

District Clerk Indicted

Mellinda CraigHARRISON COUNTY — A Harrison County grand jury this week indicted District Clerk Mellinda Craig on misdemeanor charges of assault causing bodily injury, deadly conduct and criminal trespass. A complaint says that on March 1, Craig hurt her niece by hitting her twice in the face with her hands as the girl attempted to stop an altercation involving Craig at a family member’s house in Hallsville. According to the Longview News-Journal, the complaint also says that on June 26 Craig engaged in conduct that placed another victim in imminent danger of serious bodily injury by pointing a firearm at him. The victim sent a video to an investigator. Regarding the criminal trespass charge, the complaint says that on June 21, Craig remained on the victim’s mother’s property without her consent after being told to leave. Texas Rangers arrested Craig, 44, in July.

Bus Dropped Young Student at Wrong Address

Longview Schools LogoLONGVIEW — Longview ISD officials said Friday that staff members and a bus driver at Ned E. Williams Elementary School are at fault for a 4-year-old child being dropped off a couple of miles from his home, violating district safety precautions put in place after a similar incident four years ago. According to the Longview News-Journal, The child’s mother said she was terrified to learn her son, a pre-K student at Ned E. Williams in south Longview, was dropped off at an apartment complex about two miles from his home. Longview ISD children who ride the bus have tags attached to their backpacks or in some cases on their clothing that show their name, address and bus number. The bus driver, who has worked for the district for three years, will go through extra training as a result of the incident.

No Arrests Made in Longview Homicide

DocumentFragment_4460166LONGVIEW — The Longview Police Department has identified the man killed in a shooting early Thursday. It happened just before 4:00 in the 100 block of Garfield Drive. Tyson Patterson, 33, Longview, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said another person was injured and released from the hospital a short time later. So far, no arrests have have been made and no suspects have been made. Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities.

Patterson had a lengthy criminal record including: criminal trespass, evading arrest, assault causing bodily injury and resisting arrest.

Abbott Says Plastic Bag Bans Are Illegal

thumb_Dan-FlynnAUSTIN (AP/Staff) – Responding to a request from East Texas Lawmaker Dan Flynn (pictured), Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says municipal bans on single-use plastic bags are illegal. In a five-page attorney general’s opinion Friday, the Republican gubernatorial nominee said a state law prohibits local governments from prohibiting, restricting or charging a fee, for solid waste management purposes, for “the use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law.” Abbott acknowledges that the law does not define a single-use plastic bag as a “container or package.” However, he contends the bags fit the dictionary definitions of a container or package. Flynn, a Republican state representative from Van, had sought the opinion after nine cities enacted ordinances banning the single-use bags. The opinion is non-binding but reflects the attorney general’s view of who would win a lawsuit on the subject.

Officials Continue Search for Child Predator

lewisjoneskpd2KILGORE — The Kilgore Police Department is seeking the whereabouts of an accused child predator. Police tell KETK Lewis Lavon Jones, 51, of Kilgore, is wanted for aggravated child sexual assault and indecent exposure. He reportedly ran from police Thursday night in Rusk County and was able to escape capture. Jones is known to drive a 1992 tan Ford pick-up truck with Texas license plate number BNK-4913. If you know of this suspect’s whereabouts, contact the Kilgore Police Department at (903) 983-1559. If he is spotted in Rusk County, call the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office at (903) 657-3581. You can also contact Rusk County Crime Stoppers at (903) 655-8477, and you may be eligible for a reward for information leading to an arrest of Jones.

Capital Murder Charges for Tyler Man

robertsgreggcoLONGVIEW — A Gregg County grand jury has indicted a Tyler man for capital murder, which now makes him eligible for the death penalty. Gregg County District Attorney Carl Dorrough tells KETK Isaiah Roberts, 30, has been indicted for his alleged role in a June 15 double homicide that took place in the 300 block of Thelma Street in Longview. Roberts is accused of shooting and killing his ex-wife, Chanda Martin, as well as Kim Rayson. Police say Roberts then led officers and deputies on a chase through Gregg and Smith Counties. After avoiding several spike strips during the pursuit, he sped through several intersections, causing a major accident involving four vehicles, according to officials. Two people were injured. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Heat Response Plan

thumb_hot_weatherTYLER — In recent days it has been getting hotter in East Texas, and that’s why local health officials are drawing renewed attention to their Heat Plan. The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) cautions that heat is a killer. A Heat Advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected and will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Heat advisories are announced by local weather reports. To protect your health you must be aware of the dangers of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, according to health officials. The human body will generate internal heat from physical exertion, and the added environmental heat of high air temperature and direct sun can result in heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion that can lead to heat stroke. Read the rest of this entry »

Crime Stoppers: Check Passed from Stolen Truck

checksstolenwoodcoBIG SANDY — Wood County Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying a woman believed to be responsible for attempting to pass a stolen check. On August 23 at Twin Rivers Grocery, authorities said a woman tried to use a check taken from a pickup stolen at the Pine Mills Restaurant in Wood County. KETK reports the woman may have a Kansas ID and could be in a small car with Kansas plates. The truck was later recovered. The store where the crime occurred is located at U.S. Highway 80 and State Highway 155 in Big Sandy. Wood County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of this woman. Call 903-763-CASH (2274) and give only your information. You need not give your name.

TISD’s First Week Transportation Efforts Deemed Successful

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER – More than 6,500 students were safely transported to Tyler ISD campuses during the first week of school, according to officials. The Tyler ISD transportation department operates 85 routes over 195 square miles to deliver students to 27 campuses across the district. “While the first week of transporting students is usually hectic, this year went extremely well,” Director of Transportation John Bagert said. “The pre-planning of routes throughout the summer and aggressive hiring of drivers and monitors ensured that all routes were covered.” Read the rest of this entry »

Longview Man Indicted for Allegedly Setting Girlfriend on Fire

ebarbgreggco1LONGVIEW — A Longview man who allegedly set his girlfriend on fire was indicted by a Gregg County Jury this week. KETK reports Cannon Ebarb, 36, is accused of dousing a 53-year-old woman with lighter fluid and then setting her ablaze with a lighter. She suffered burns to her face and body. The incident took place July 26 at a home in the 400 block of E. Hope Drive. Authorities were first alerted to the incident after receiving a call from the victim’s mother. An emergency protective order was filed against Ebarb. The suspect was arrested on an aggravated assault charge and is currently being held in the Gregg County Jail on $100,500 bond.

East Texan Indicted for Murder of 21-Month-Old

deterryonkellymugMARSHALL — A Harrison County grand jury has indicted a man for murder in the death of a toddler earlier this year. KETK reports Deterryon Tyrell Kelly, 27, of Marshall, was indicted on Thursday. On May 6, he allegedly killed the 21-month-old, who was found unresponsive at the Marshall Best Western Hotel, located in the 5200 block of East End Boulevard. The child later died at Good Shepherd Medical Center-Marshall. Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Judge Clarice Watkins ordered an autopsy. Kelly was arrested on a capital murder warrant June 4 after the autopsy was returned.

Former Hospital Employee Pleads Guilty to Criminal HIPAA Charges

joshuahipplermugTYLER — U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced Friday that a former employee of an East Texas hospital has pleaded guilty to criminal HIPAA charges in the Eastern District of Texas. Joshua Hippler, 30, formerly of Longview, was indicted on March 26 on charges of wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information. Hippler pleaded Thursday during a hearing before United States Magistrate Judge John D. Love. The indictment alleged that from December 1, 2012, through January 14, 2013, Hippler, who was then an employee of a covered entity under HIPAA, obtained protected health information with the intent to use the information for personal gain. Hippler faces up to ten years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

Tyler Police Issue Another Scam Warning

thumb_police-tyler-car3TYLER — Tyler police are reminding everyone that a scam can happen to anyone — and there are several that have become quite popular lately with local con artists. All it takes, police say, is a victim to fall prey to the scammer’s story that usually deals with someone in trouble, including the victim. On Thursday, a middle-aged female victim in Tyler was scammed out of a large sum of money. She received a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent. She was told that if she did not send the person a large sum of money for back taxes owed, she and her husband would have warrants out for their arrest by the end of the day. The suspect kept her on the phone all day giving her instructions on how to ultimately send the money to an unknown destination by utilizing the Green Dot Cards. Read the rest of this entry »

Smith County Hires County Engineer

image003TYLER — Smith County has hired Frank Davis as its new county engineer. According to a news release, Davis will coordinate and implement a long range maintenance and improvement plan for the Smith County road system, which totals approximately 1,200 miles. Davis is a professionally registered engineer and land surveyor and graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in civil engineering. He brings more than 32 years of engineering and surveying experience to Smith County, with 11 of those years spent as city engineer and/or director of public works for three municipalities in Texas. Read the rest of this entry »

Longview Police Continue to Investigate Fatal Shooting

crimescene-2LONGVIEW — Longview police continue to investigate after one person was killed and one was injured in an early morning shooting, and there’s preliminary word on the identity of the deceased. The shooting occurred just before 4:00 Thursday morning in the 100 block of Garfield Drive. One victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The injured victim was taken to a local hospital, treated, and released. Police did not release their identities, but the Longview News-Journal quotes family members in identifying the victim as Tyson Patterson, 33.

East Texas Constable Killed in Car Wreck

Cleve JohnsonMOUNT PLEASANT – A Titus County constable has been killed in a one vehicle accident. Pronounced dead just after 10:00 Thursday morning was Precinct 2 Constable Cleve Johnson, 57. He had been constable for over 17½ years. The accident occurred on Farm Road 1734. According to the Department of Public Safety, Johnson was heading home Thursday morning when his car left the road and hit a culvert. KETK reports visitation for Johnson will be held at Bates Cooper Sloan Funeral Home in Mount Pleasant on Saturday between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. His funeral will be Sunday at 2 p.m. at the North Ridge Church of Christ in Mount Pleasant.

Big Baby Born at Caldwell Zoo

Caldwell Zoo-baby giraffeTYLER – The newest baby at Tyler’s Caldwell Zoo is 5½ feet tall, weighs 112 pounds, takes 14-15 months to arrive. It’s Knox, a baby Giraffe. The son of Mom Cricket and Dad Ramses was born August 15th. Zoo officials say they are working hard getting Knox used to his surroundings and the day’s activities. At this time he is staying inside the giraffe building, but soon he will be introduced to the outdoor holding areas and eventually to the giraffes’ outdoor yard. Read the rest of this entry »

Weather Creates Mosquito Spraying Challenges

mosquitoesJACKSONVILLE — Spraying for mosquitoes is something most cities do every year. But KETK reports this summer’s unusual weather has blocked them every step of the way. Kelly Young is the vector control coordinator for the city of Jacksonville. He says “pretty consistent rain for several months” has caused repeated broods of mosquitoes to be born and has prevented the city from spraying as much as officials would like. Fortunately, officials say, the city has some upcoming days of weather that should allow them to spray.

Former East Texas Lawman Indicted in Police Chief’s Death

David Gene RisnerTEMPLE (AP/STAFF) — A 57-year-old man, who formerly worked in law enforcement in Van Zandt County, has been indicted in the fatal shooting of a police chief in the small Central Texas town of Little River-Academy. The Temple Daily Telegram reports a Bell County grand jury indicted David Gene Risner on Wednesday on one count of capital murder of a peace officer in the June 19 death of Chief Lee Dixon. Risner is in jail on no bond. Jail records don’t list an attorney. Risner is accused of killing Dixon when the chief went to talk to him after a person filed a complaint saying Risner pulled a gun during a dispute. Risner served in law enforcement for almost 19 years. His most recent position was with Grand Saline police, where his tenure ended in 2005.

Marshall Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Mentally Disabled Person

marshallmanarrestedMARSHALL — A Marshall man remains in the Harrison County Jail on $100,000 bond, charged with the sexual assault of a mentally disabled person. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Harrison County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Larry Deshun Lacy on Aug. 21 on the sexual assault charge. According to an arrest affidavit, Lacy is accused of sexually abusing a mentally disabled person on Aug. 11. The affidavit says during the assault Lacy repeatedly hit the victim’s head, face, and body, causing injuries to her right jaw and the upper left side of her head. According to the affidavit, her head needed at least four staples and she also sustained bruises on her left shoulder and back; scratches on her arms, face, and back; and two fractures to her left wrist. Police records show Lacy was on parole at the time of his arrest.

Tyler ISD Graduation Marks Continue to Exceed State Rate

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER – Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced recently that the Texas high school on-time graduation rate has set another all-time high, reaching 88 percent for the Class of 2013. Tyler ISD’s graduation rate remained above the state’s rate for the third year in a row with 91.5 percent for the Class of 2013. According to a news release from the school district, Tyler ISD’s graduation rate has shown growth five out of the last six years. Since 2007 the state has seen a 10 percentage point increase in graduation rate, while Tyler ISD has shown a 17.9 percentage point increase.

Runaway Teen Sought

Bianca ArreguinJACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville Police Department is looking for a runaway teen and the girl’s family is asking for the public’s helping in finding her. KETK reports that according to a relative, Bianca Arreguin, 14, of Jacksonville, left home on August 10. She was last seen at her sister’s house on Kickapoo Street. If you have information on Arreguin’s whereabouts, contact Det. Tonya Harris with the Jacksonville Police Department at (903) 586-2546.

Deputies Find Possibly Meth-Loaded Syringe inside Man’s Shoe

williamrigginshendersoncoATHENS — Henderson County deputies arrested a man near Lake Athens after allegedly discovering a syringe filled with methamphetamine in his shoe. According to KETK, Sheriff Ray Nutt says at 1:47 p.m. on Wednesday, a deputy was called to FM 2495 on reports of a welfare concern. After arriving at the scene, the deputy found a man, later identified as William Riggins, standing in the middle of the road. Authorities say they determined the man was intoxicated and took him into custody. During a search of Williams, law enforcement found a syringe containing a liquid believed to be meth inside his shoe. The suspect was taken to the Henderson County Jail and charged with possession of a controlled substance and public intoxication.

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