AUSTIN – Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams Tuesday announced his appointments to a three-member board of managers in the case of a soon-to-close charter school that includes an East Texas campus. That’s according to a news release from the Texas Education Agency. According to the release, the situation involves the liquidation of assets and other specific issues related to the revocation and closure of Honors Academy and the seven campuses operating under the charter as public, accredited schools. The charter revocation – which became effective June 30, 2014 – affects the following Honors Academy campuses (in these communities): Branch Park Academy (Farmers Branch); Creekview Academy (Killeen); Landmark School (also known as Leadership Academy – Palestine); Legacy Park Preparatory (Kaufman); Pinnacle Academy of Fine Arts (Fort Worth); Quest Academy (Dallas); and Wilmer Academy (Wilmer). Read the rest of this entry »
LONGVIEW — A Longview man is being held in the Gregg County Jail after police say he punched and head butted a security officer at the Lodge Sports Bar. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report James Dillon Loving, 21, remains jailed on $7,500 bond, charged with assault on a security officer, a felony. He was arrested just before midnight Saturday when Longview police responded to a fight in progress at the Lodge in the 500 block of North Spur 63. Read the rest of this entry »
AUSTIN – A Smith County man is one of 11 persons being named to Agriculture Commissioner-elect Sid Miller’s transition team. One of the members of the team is Pierre De Wet of Tyler, agricultural entrepreneur and President & Founder of Kiepersol Enterprises. Miller said De Wet and other members of the team will be working with him to ensure the TDA is focused on the many critical issues facing Texas including our state’s long-term water needs, strengthening and promoting the state’s equine industry, and protecting consumer safety. Read the rest of this entry »
LUFKIN — A teen has been taken into custody for the weekend shooting of a Lufkin postal worker. On Tuesday Lufkin Police Department detectives, with cooperation from the United States Postal Inspection Service, obtained a warrant for the arrest of Jaylon Carroll Wortham, 17. According to KETK, Wortham is charged with assault causing bodily injury against a government contractor/employee. The LPD detectives sought the warrant following a combined LPD/USPIS investigation into a November 22 assault incident in which Wortham alegedly caused bodily injury to Lindsey Guthery, a mail carrier employed by the United Stated Postal Service. Read the rest of this entry »
LINDALE — The Lindale community is preparing to welcome injured firefighter Joe Yeakley home Wednesday afternoon. Yeakley suffered serious injuries battling a structure fire in January. Following the fire, Yeakley was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas. He was later moved to a rehab center. KETK reports Yeakley is expected to be back around 4:30 p.m. A Lindale VFD spokesperson said Lindale Engine 1 will take Yeakley to his home. A procession will lead him north on Highway 69, starting at Interstate 20 and ending taking a left on to Highway 16, in downtown Lindale. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — Beginning March 1, 2015, ETMC EMS will no longer offer ambulance service in Upshur County. The information comes in a brief news release from ETMC. “For many years, ETMC has been able to provide ambulance service in many communities for free or for a small fee. With the changes in reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, we can no longer afford to provide this service,” said Neal Franklin, general manager, ETMC EMS. ETMC EMS has enjoyed its years of service to the residents of Upshur County and will assist during the transition to a new EMS provider, according to the release. ETMC didn’t immediately say what the transition might entail.
TYLER — The Tyler Police Department reports a clean slate after conducting its annual city-wide sex offender compliance check November 20 with the assistance of officers from multiple law enforcement agencies. Officers were charged with checking on 147 registered sex offenders who are registered with the city of Tyler. Officers showed up unannounced at the offenders’ addresses to confirm their whereabouts and correct addresses. Upon completion of the check all 147 sex offenders were found to be in compliance with their registration requirements, according to a news release. Read the rest of this entry »
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson has sparked anger after appearing to compare his child abuse charges to the situation unfolding in Ferguson. Peterson pleaded no contest in a Conroe courtroom to a misdemeanor assault charge following his arrest for disciplining his four-year-old son with a switch. Now he’s taken to Twitter with, “The grand jury decided not to indict me too! But that changed a week later! Maybe, but not likely in this case.” One follower tweeted, “Not the same thing — let it ride.” The Palestine native followed with yet another tweet an hour later: “My heart goes out to Mike Brown’s family! My thoughts & prayers are with you!” The NFL has suspended Peterson without pay for the remainder of the 2014 season.
FORT WORTH — Coal-fired plant operators in Texas could be writing some big checks, and East Texas could see the results. Under a federal proposal, the operators of the eight biggest such plants would spend two billion dollars to retrofit 15 units to reduce air pollution. Tom “Smitty” Smith with Public Citizen welcomes this. Smith says, “It will improve our public health, and many of the sort of hazy days that now cloud our skies over the Dallas-Fort Worth or Tyler area will come to an end.” He says it would make much more sense to scrap the old coal plants and go with another form of energy like natural gas or renewables.
NACOGDOCHES (AP) – Police in East Texas say a woman has been released from the hospital after her husband called 911 and said he choked her to death. George Girard, 72, was being held at the Nacogdoches County jail on Tuesday morning on a felony aggravated assault charge. The Nacogdoches man was waiting outside for officers after he called 911 on Sunday. Police found his wife unconscious on the kitchen floor with blood on her neck. She was taken to an area hospital where she was treated and released. Girard told police he pinned his wife to the floor and choked her until she stopped moving.
LONGVIEW — A bat found in Longview has tested positive for rabies. The confirmation came yesterday from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The injured bat was found late last week in a parking lot at LeTourneau University, 2100 South Mobberly Avenue. This is the second positive rabies case in Longview this year. “In this instance, someone found the bat outdoors. As a reminder, we encourage people to avoid touching bats, but to please contact the City of Longview Environmental Health.” said Leisha Kidd-Brooks, Longview Environmental Health Manager. Read the rest of this entry »
CLEVELAND (AP/STAFF) — Police say a Browns fan who says he wanted to give Johnny Manziel “a hug” was struck by the quarterback’s entourage at a downtown hotel Friday and was left with a swollen eye and lip. Chris Conos told police he was assaulted by Tyler’s “Johnny Football and his entourage.” The 33-year-old fan said he and his girlfriend approached Manziel while waiting for an elevator and he told the first-round draft pick: “I’m the biggest Browns fan ever. I love you. I want to give you a hug.” Conos said he took one step toward Manziel and was punched by a man listed on the report as Dana Kirk. Conos contends he was struck several times in the face and “pushed and attacked” by a group of unidentified men who were with Manziel. Kirk tells a different story. He said Conos tried to assault Manziel.
KILGORE — The Kilgore Police Department is investigating shots fired early Monday into the home of a Kilgore College trustee. According to KETK, Assistant Chief Roman Roberson says police received a report of shots fired at a house in the 2800 block of Green Hills Drive. The shooting is believed to have happened between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. A bullet hole was found by investigators in the front door of Brian Nutt’s home. No injuries were reported. Authorities say they do not have any persons of interest at this time. Officers will be patrolling the area at the request of the victims, according to police.
GILMER — Authorities in Gilmer are asking for the public’s help finding a missing girl. KETK reports Snowy Turner, 17, has not been seen or talked to any family or friends since Saturday, November 16. Officials said she left a note saying she was leaving but did not take her phone, truck, wallet, or any clothes. Anyone who has seen her or has any information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Gilmer Police Department at 903-843-2552.
CANTON (AP/Staff) – A Texas judge has cleared a woman accused in a fatal wreck after General Motors acknowledged her car would’ve been among millions recalled for an ignition switch problem that may have contributed to the death. Candice Anderson pleaded guilty to charges related to a 2004 crash that severely injured her and killed her fiance, Gene Erikson. Investigators say Anderson was driving when her Saturn Ion suddenly veered off a road in Van Zandt County and hit a tree, but the air bags didn’t deploy. Court officials say a judge on Monday expunged Anderson’s record in the case, after GM said the recall condition “may have caused or contributed” to the air bags not deploying. Anderson was charged with criminally negligent homicide. She pleaded guilty to lesser charges and received five years’ probation.
AUSTIN – The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has been notified by Farmers Branch-based Honors Academy of its decision to cease operation effective December 1, 2014. Landmark School in Palestine, also known as Leadership Academy, is among seven campuses that will be shutting down. According to a TEA news release, TEA’s revocation of the Honors Academy state charter became effective June 30, 2014. Since the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, Honors Academy has been operating as a de facto private school at its seven campuses and falsely holding itself out as a public charter school, a violation of the Texas Education Code, according to the release. Read the rest of this entry »
KILGORE — Kilgore College President Dr. Bill Holda is responding to asbestos-related claims about the college. Holda cited allegations reported by local media “that some Kilgore College facilities are not safe, that asbestos has been removed improperly and that this removal has been covered up by the college.” Holda says, “I have no evidence from any source that would corroborate any of these allegations. Neither Dalton Smith, KC’s Coordinator of Physical Plant nor any federal investigators have contacted me with specific allegations nor details.” Read the rest of this entry »
LUFKIN (AP) – Police are trying to determine who shot an East Texas postal worker in the leg as she delivered mail in a neighborhood. Lufkin police say the 25-year-old worker was treated for an injury not believed to be life-threatening. Police believe the woman was shot with some sort of air gun or rifle. Nobody was immediately arrested. A spokeswoman with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said Monday that the agency is cooperating with police in the investigation. Leslie McClain had no immediate information on possible charges. The shooting happened Saturday as the postal worker was walking her regular route in Lufkin. She managed to call a supervisor for help. The victim’s name wasn’t released.
MONROE, LA. (AP/STAFF) — A northeast Louisiana prosecutor says he’s dismissing the ticket issued to a Terrell, Texas teenager who apparently fell asleep at the wheel, causing a wreck that killed five members of his family.
District Attorney Jerry Jones tells The News-Star that the 16-year-old has been punished enough, and there’s no need to add to his pain. KNOE-TV reports that Jones has dismissed the misdemeanor ticket for careless driving. State police say the sport utility vehicle veered off Interstate 20 in Ouachita Parish near Calhoun and flipped, ejecting six of the eight occupants. Three children and two adults were pronounced dead on the scene. The eight people were a blended family traveling to Disney World for a Thanksgiving vacation. Read the rest of this entry »
PALESTINE – Palestine police are looking for the man that robbed a convenience store. The robbery occurred shortly before 9:45 Saturday night at the Chanel Stop and Go, 1907 West Oak Street. The suspect pointed a small handgun at the store’s clerk and then fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. No injuries were reported. The suspect was described as a black male about 5’9” with a thin build. He was said to have been wearing gray sweat pants and a gray hooded top. One witness said he was wearing some type of Halloween mask.
EAST TEXAS — Here’s a quick look at work planned in the Tyler District during the next two weeks: Officials remind drivers that many area roadways have high traffic volumes and that only increases during the holiday season. TxDOT is reminding motorists to slow down, put away the cell phones and pay attention when traveling through work zones so that everyone can safely reach their destinations. Read the rest of this entry »
WINONA — Multiple Smith County fire crews responded to then scene of a massive structure fire in Winona. The fire sparked at a former elementary school in the 600 block of Dallas Street. According to KETK, a man who was living near the building smelled smoke early Sunday morning. It’s not known what sparked the blaze. The building was reportedly destroyed. One firefighter was injured while battling the fire. He was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries. Crews from Winona, Hawkins, Jackson Heights, and Dixie Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene.
EAST TEXAS — Two private detectives from Spring are searching the Jacksonville area for clues in a missing person’s case filed this past summer. According to the Jacksonville Daily Progress, investigators Barbara and Martin Renteria said the Spring man’s car was found June 6 on U.S. Highway 79 west between Jacksonville and Palestine. Read the rest of this entry »
HAWKINS — The Department of Public Safety has released the names of the two people found shot to death in Hawkins on Wednesday afternoon. Jean Dark, DPS spokeswoman, said the two are identified as Shannon McNabb, 67, and Daniel Lee Faulk, 60. According to Mayor William Rogers, Hawkins police responded Thursday afternoon to the scene in the 100 block of Estelle Street after a home health care worker couldn’t get anyone to answer the door. Officials found that the couple and three dogs dead had been fatally shot. The door was reportedly unlocked and there were no signs of forced entry or theft. The bodies were sent to Dallas for autopsy.