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Traffic Problem Near Mount Enterprise

TxDOT logoMOUNT ENTERPRISE — Motorists traveling US 259 Highway near Mount Enterprise this morning are advised to use caution. TxDOT will be providing traffic control during recovery operations starting at 8:00am Saturday for an overturned truck that lost its load in a ditch earlier on Friday. The incident occurred in the southbound lanes of US 259 about two miles south of Mount Enterprise. During recovery operations, southbound traffic will be moved to the northbound inside lanes. That means the northbound lanes will carry two-way traffic until the operation is complete. The recovery will include the use of wrecker and crane services to remove the oversized load from the ditch. Motorists are reminded to slow down and use caution when traveling through the area.

Trial Date Set for Gilmer Capital Murder Suspect

Jonathan Ray Shepherd2GILMER – A trial date has been set for early next year for a man charged with capital murder in a September shooting death that occurred at a Gilmer 8th grade football game. State District Judge Lauren Parish on Friday set Jonathan Ray Shepherd’s trial date for February 3rd. The date was set after the judge denied motions to reduce his bail and to move the trial from Upshur County. He is accused of the September 26 shooting death of Cheyenne Green, 29. Shepherd is said to have shot his son’s mother at point-blank range. A couple of hours after the shooting, Shepherd surrendered to authorities at the Upshur County Jail. Investigators say its appears as if the shooting followed an argument about parental rights. The couple shared custody of their two year old son.

Bodies Found in Hawkins Home; Texas Rangers Investigating

Texas Rangers BadgeHAWKINS — The Texas Rangers are investigating two bodies that were found at a Hawkins home. 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 two people, both in their 60s, and three dogs dead. The door was reportedly unlocked and there were no signs of forced entry or theft. Identities have not been released. The bodies have been sent to Dallas for autopsy. Read the rest of this entry »

Life in Prison for a Longview Killer

Cedric Bernard Carldwell2LONGVIEW – A man charged in a Longview shooting death 19 months ago has been sentenced to life in prison. Cedric Bernard Carldwell, 45, plead guilty last month. Yesterday afternoon, Carldwell was sentenced by 124th District Judge Alfonso. The murder charge was enhanced by a 1991 felony conviction on a prohibited weapon charge. He was arrested in April 2013 in the shooting death of Huey Lee “Bull” Gray. The shooting is said to have followed an argument in the 800 block of Walnut Street near Stamper Park. Carldwell is well known by authorities. Since 1987, he has been arrested over a dozen times in Gregg County.

Another Arrest in Quitman Girls’ Deaths

Dalton Lee GermanQUITMAN – A third person has been arrested in connection with the deaths of two Quitman toddlers this summer. Dalton Lee German, 22, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, has been arrested on charges of injury to a child. He was arrested in Arkansas where he remains in jail. Authorities tell KETK, German is a friend of the girl’s mother, Daphne Elizabeth McDaniels. She was charged earlier this week with capital murder in the case. Another man, Thomas Liles, 19, of Quitman, has also been charged in the case. He was charged this week with injury to a child.

Warning about Fake Federal Government Scams

Better Business BureauTYLER — Think it’s your lucky day when you get a “government” call saying you’ve been chosen for a grant? After receiving numerous calls this week, BBB Serving Central East Texas is warning consumers about a scam in which someone claiming to be “the government” calls and says you won a grant … if you send them money.

Consumers are getting phone calls telling them they received a grant from “the government,” and they may spend the funds however they want. But in order to get the grant, the caller asks you to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak card and load it with money. They request the numbers off the back of the card, and then they take your money. Consumers don’t get any grant money, and they lose their own money in the process. Read the rest of this entry »

Bond Set in Marshall Shooting

benjamin_devonte_xavierMARSHALL — A judge has set the bond for a Marshall man accused of shooting another person on Wednesday. KETK reports Judge Mike Smith set Devonte Xavier Benjamin’s bond at $35,000 for each charge. He was booked into jail for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm in a weapons free zone. Marshall PD spokeswoman Sonya Johnson stated 911 received a call reporting gunfire at about 3:41 p.m. When police responded to the scene, located at the corner of Carters Ferry and Billups, they found a man with a gunshot wound. The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment and released.

Grand Jury Declines to Indict Officers in Teen’s Shooting

Justin AguilarLONGVIEW – A Gregg County grand jury has declined to return indictments against three officers involved in the shooting of Justin Aguilar on March 9, 2014. According to KETK, the grand jury’s decision means that under Texas law no criminal charges will be filed. According to the autopsy report, the teenage robbery suspect was shot five times by police and had marijuana in his system. The autopsy for Aguilar, 15, was returned in June and was released by authorities last month. 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 in Longview March 9th. He was shot in a standoff with officers. Read the rest of this entry »

Chandler Officials Warn of Scam

CHANDLER — Authorities are warning of scam artists preying on East Texans in the Chandler area. According to KETK, city of Chandler officials say several men claiming to be from a roofing company are knocking on doors and asking to check the homeowner’s roof and attic for problems. The con artists then lie to the owners about their house. Police stated the elderly are their main target. The scammers have been known to be driving a red Chevrolet extended cab truck with paper tags, according to authorities. You’re asked to call the Chandler Police Department at 903-849-2181 if you see or talk to such individuals.

Area Physicians Disciplined by State Board

AUSTIN – The Texas Medical Board has disciplined 39 physicians at its November meeting. Two are from this area. They are Tyler physician Dr. Lloyd Faust Mercer Jr., who was cited for violating the board of rules. And disciplinary action was taken against Dr. Teri Lynne Baumgartner of Athens for quality of care. Read the rest of this entry »

Kilgore City Manager Moving to Kyle

KILGORE — The Kyle City Council has selected Kilgore City Manager Scott Sellers as the next Kyle City Manager. The selection was made official with a 7-0 vote after an executive session during the regular city council meeting on late Tuesday night. Sellers will be the City of Kyle’s third full time city manager, succeeding Lanny Lambert who resigned as Kyle City Manager in October to take the same position in Converse, Texas. Read the rest of this entry »

TISD Superintendent Discusses “State of District” at Chamber Luncheon

Marty Lane Crawford2TYLER – Tyler ISD Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford delivered a State of the District update Wednesday at the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon held at Willowbrook Country Club. Dr. Crawford spoke on topics such as District successes, the Strategic Plan, fiscal accountability, student achievement, extra and cocurricular activities, community engagement, future plans and projects, upcoming challenges and opportunities, and the construction progress for BOND 2013 projects.“I am so pleased with the accomplishments the District has made this year,” Dr. Crawford said. “We have plans in place to continue this progress while also addressing the areas needing improvement that will help our students continue to succeed.” Read the rest of this entry »

Three Arrested in Abby Apartments Robbery

902510270003TYLER — Tyler police have arrested two adults and one juvenile in connection to an aggravated robbery that occurred November 13 at the Abby Apartments, 4917 Thistle. The suspects are identified as Darrius Montrall Jones, 18; Jeremy Scott Watts, 19 (pictured); and a 15-year-old juvenile. The two adults charged with aggravated robbery are in custody and remain in Smith County Jail on $750,000 bond. The juvenile was placed in the Smith County Juvenile Attention Center. Read the rest of this entry »

Police: Man on Meth Builds Trash Can Bunker to Avoid Snipers

aaronlucasgreggcoKILGORE — A Longview man was taken into custody Monday night in the parking lot of a Kilgore business after he was allegedly found high on meth. According to KETK, the Kilgore Police Department says 911 received reports of a man jumping on cars and acting erratically at the local Brookshire’s. The man reportedly claimed someone was trying to get him. Police say that when officers arrived at the location, they found Aaron Scott Lucas, 24, hiding in a bunker made out of trash cans. He reportedly told police snipers were trying to shoot people in the parking lot. After coaxing Lucas from his bunker, the suspect admitted to using methamphetamines two hours before the incident, according to authorities. He was arrested and charged with public intoxication and possession of marijuana. Lucas was booked into the Gregg County Jail. His bail was set at $25,000.

Man Arrested in Connection with Deaths of Quitman Toddlers

liles_thomas.1406302889QUITMAN — A second person has been arrested in connection with the death of two East Texas toddlers. KETK reports Thomas Liles, 19, of Quitman, turned himself into the Quitman Police Department Wednesday morning. Liles was detained and arrested for two counts of injury to a child. Bond was set at $1,000,000, $500,000 for each count. Liles recently waived his arraignment on a charge of tampering with evidence. Daphne Elizabeth McDaniels, 24, was arrested Monday and charged with the murder of her daughters, Gabriella Guerrero, 3, and Natalye Price, 1. According to the autopsy, the girls died from blunt force trauma to the head. McDaniels now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Read the rest of this entry »

Whitehouse Woman on Death Row Loses State Court Appeal

HOUSTON (AP/Staff) – The state’s highest criminal court has denied an appeal from a Whitehouse woman on death row for the slaying of her developmentally disabled baby sitter more than four years ago. Kimberly Cargill was condemned for the death of 39-year-old Cherry Walker. Evidence showed Cargill killed Walker in June 2010 to keep her from testifying against Cargill at a custody hearing involving Cargill’s 4-year-old child. Walker’s body was found on the side of a rural Smith County road. It had been doused with lighter fluid and set on fire. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday rejected claims that Cargill’s 2012 trial in Tyler was compromised by multiple errors. The 47-year-old Cargill is among seven women on Texas death row. She does not have an execution date.

John Soules Foods Acquires Pro View Foods

John Soules FoodsTYLER – Smith County-based John Soules Foods announced Wednesday that it has completed the acquisition of Pro View Foods, a processor of ready-to cook and fully-cooked chicken products based in Gainesville, Ga. According to a news release, Pro View Foods will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of John Soules Foods and will continue to operate out of Gainesville, Ga., under the Pro View Foods name. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Smith County Sheriff’s Office Employees Placed on Leave

thumb_sheriff-smithcountyTYLER — Two Smith County Sheriff’s Office employees have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a current administrative and criminal investigation. According to a news release from SCSO, Josh and Krista Caulkins were both placed on administrative leave by Chief Deputies Robert Carlson and Fred Little Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. The investigation was initiated regarding an alleged fictitious college degree being submitted on behalf of Josh Caulkins which would qualify him for additional compensation. Read the rest of this entry »

Fire Department Mourns the Loss of Their Captain

7a1f33b4-7e10-452e-85df-5c6eb296cbcfJACKSONVILLE — According to Jacksonville Fire Department Chief Brent Smith, a veteran fire captain passed away Monday night. Kevin McKinney, a 31-year veteran of the Jacksonville Fire Department, had been on medical leave for a couple months battling a lengthy illness. Read the rest of this entry »

Cattle Barons’ Entertainer Named

Dwight YoakamTYLER — Grammy Award winning artist, Dwight Yoakam will headline the next Cattle Barron’s Gala in Smith County. The 2015 Cattle Barons’ Gala Committee made the announcement yesterday. The 28th annual event entitled “Remember the Cause,” benefiting the American Cancer Society, will be held on Saturday June 13, 2015 at Harvey Convention Center. The theme pays tribute to those who have lost the battle and salutes all of the brave who continue to fight against cancer. As the third largest Cattle Barons’ Gala (following Dallas and Houston), this annual event helps raise money to benefit the American Cancer Society. Since Tyler’s first Gala in 1988, thousands of volunteers have raised over 10 million dollars for cancer research, education and patient services.

Keystone XL Approval Bid Falls Short

U.S. SenateWASHINGTON (AP/STAFF) — The Democrat-controlled Senate has defeated a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The southern leg of the pipeline runs through much of East Texas, including southern Smith County. It’s been transporting crude oil since January. The Senate’s 59-41 vote Tuesday night was a nail-biter to the end. The bill needed 60 votes to reach the White House. The House passed it overwhelmingly last week. President Barack Obama did not support the bill, but the White House has been mum on whether or not he will veto it. Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu pushed for the vote in an effort to save her seat in a December 6 runoff election in Louisiana. She faces an uphill battle against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who authored the House bill. All Republicans said publicly they supported the Senate bill, as did several moderate Democrats.

Jacksonville Police Seek Robbery Suspect

jacksonvillerobberyJACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville Police Department is searching for a suspect wanted for allegedly robbing a gas station at gunpoint in the 1600 block of South Jackson Street around 5:38 last Saturday morning. KETK reports the suspect allegedly displayed a handgun and demanded all of the money from the register. After receiving the money, the suspect then left the store in a dark maroon or black older model vehicle that is missing its back left hubcap. Any information regarding the suspect or his identification can be give to the Jacksonville Police Department or by contacting Detective Chase Berryhill, who is currently working the case. The police department’s main number is (903) 586-2546. Detective Berryhill can be reached at (903) 586-2704.

More Details Released on Double-Fatality Fire

thumb_firefighters-1NEW SUMMERFIELD — Cherokee County authorities have released more information on a weekend fire that killed two people. According to a news release, just before 6:45 Sunday evening, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office received a call on 9-1-1 about a trailer house on fire. The trailer was located on the property of Joe Smith plant farm, on Highway 79 east of Jacksonville, at the intersection of County Road 4208. The New Summerfield Volunteer Fire Department and sheriff’s deputies were the first to respond to the location. Upon their arrival it was discovered that at least two occupants were in the house at the time the fire started. Read the rest of this entry »

Flint Woman Sentenced to Prison for Student Financial Aid Fraud

thumb_FederalCourthouseTYLER — A 32-year-old Flint woman has been sentenced to 54 months in federal prison for student financial aid fraud. Mindy Ritch pleaded guilty May 5 and was sentenced yesterday in Tyler by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider. Ritch was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $564,447.72. Read the rest of this entry »

Smith County Habitat Gets USDA Grant

thumb_habitat-for-humanityTYLER — Habitat for Humanity of Smith County has been awarded a $78,761 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Housing Preservation Grant. Officials say the grant will be used to rehabilitate 46 homes of very low and low income homeowners in rural Smith County. The check presentation was held Tuesday at the local Habitat office at 822 West Front Street in Tyler. Read the rest of this entry »

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