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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 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.

Burglars’ Identities Sought by Gregg County Officials

zippyjsburlgary101014LONGVIEW — The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the assistance of the public in identifying four men who broke into a convenience store last week. KETK reports that around 3:30 a.m. Friday, October 10, four men entered the Zippy J’s convenience store at 5960 Highway 31 West by breaking out the front door glass. The men unsuccessfully attempted to open and remove the safe in the store and ended up leaving with only a few cartons of cigarettes. The store’s video surveillance system captured the entry. If you have information about this case, contact Investigator Danny Craig at (903) 237-2530 or Crime Stoppers at (903) 236-STOP.

Two Killed in Wreck Near Lufkin

DPS-carLUFKIN (AP) – East Texas authorities say two people have died and two others have been injured after a motorcycle slammed into the back of an SUV. The Texas Department of Public Safety says 49-year-old Charles Kilgore and 51-year-old Lisa Ruskin were killed Thursday near Lufkin when their motorcycle hit the SUV on a highway. Troopers say Kilgore died at the scene and Ruskin died at an area hospital. The 23-year-old driver of the SUV and her 3-year-old son were hospitalized with unspecified injuries and released. Troopers say the motorcycle was weaving in and out of oncoming traffic before the crash. The SUV driver had slowed down to look at puppies being sold on the side of the road. It’s unclear how fast the motorcycle was traveling before the wreck.

West Nile Virus Case in Smith County

mosquitoAUSTIN – A case of West Nile Virus has turned up in Smith County. The confirmation comes from the Texas Department of State Health Services. This is the third reported case in East Texas this year. The first two were reported in Angelina County. One of those cases were last month. Just over 200 cases have been reported in the state this year. Three deaths have been reported from it. Read the rest of this entry »

Ex-Husband of Missing Kilgore Woman Wanted on New Warrant

davisoncraiglnjMARSHALL — A man considered a person of interest in the disappearance of his ex-wife is wanted on a new warrant not related to her case. According to KETK, Harrison County Lt. Jay Webb says deputies are looking for Craig Deallen Davison. He is believed to have committed an assault family violence offense on or about the day he was released from jail, September 25. Webb said the new offense has nothing to do with his missing ex-wife, 43-year-old Christina Rae Davison of Kilgore. Authorities say they’ve tried to contact Craig Davison at several locations but have not been able to locate him. The suspect was released from jail after warrants in Colorado were quashed. They were dropped once a Harrison County judge found no probable cause to hold Craig Davison on a July 29 assault family violence charge. Read the rest of this entry »

Police: Two Sex Offenders Arrested during Compliance Check

thumb_police-4MARSHALL — On Wednesday, members of the Marshall Criminal Apprehension Team, the Marshall Patrol Bureau, the Criminal Investigations Bureau, and the U.S. Marshals Task Force arrested two people during a sex offender compliance check in Marshall. KETK reports a total of 46 sex offender homes were targeted in the operation within Marshall. Of that total, 44 were in compliance and two were out of compliance, according to officials. An outstanding warrant has been in existence for Damon Lamarcus Covington, 36, since November 2012, and a warrant has been obtained for Bobby Ray Thompson, 41, both of Marshall, for sex offender fail to comply. Read the rest of this entry »

Some County Clerk’s Office Departments Close for Software Installation

thumb_smithcounty-sealTYLER — The Smith County Clerk’s Office will go live with integration software to help streamline land record services on October 20, according to a county news release. Officials say implementation of AiLIS software will encompass the full life cycle of the recording and filing process. Once in place, AiLIS will provide seamless electronic workflow for Smith County Land Records to the public through the Rapid Online Access Method (ROAM) portal, according to the release. Read the rest of this entry »

Rose Festival Underway

thumb_roses-2TYLER — Rose Queen Katherine Elizabeth Peltier is among the scores of people excited about the 81st Texas Rose Festival. Katie cut the ribbon yesterday morning to get the extravaganza off and running. She told KTBB, “I’m so happy everyone’s here. This weekend’s gonna be so much fun. I hope everyone can come out and see the coronation, the tea, the parade, all the other events. Everyone’s put so much hard work in, and I’m so thankful, and it’s definitely gonna pay off.” The festival runs through Sunday. Organizers plan a wide variety of events. You can go to for a list of activities and more information.

Employee Files Suit Against Sheriff’s Office

SMITH COUNTY — A lawsuit has been filed against the Smith County Sheriff’s office and the plaintiff is a current employee. According to KETK, the former sergeant alleges she was demoted in early August because she told her supervisor about an improper pay raise for another employee. Susan Monroe was the training coordinator for the sheriff’s office, but has since been moved to the jail. In court documents, Monroe claims in July 2013 she brought up a falsified education document which led to a pay raise for another deputy. Read the rest of this entry »

One Killed in Wreck Near Wills Point

DPS badgeWILLS POINT – A one vehicle accident in Van Zandt County has killed a Van woman. Killed in the Tuesday accident was Sandra Higgins, 35. The Department of Public Safety reports her car was traveling at an unsafe speed when it left the road on a curve and hit a tree. The accident happened just over four miles from Wills Point on County Road 2627.

Tyler Candidate ForumThis Evening

thumb_voting-computerTYLER — The League of Women Voters of Tyler/Smith County hosts a candidate forum tonight in the Genecov Room of the Blackstone Building, 315 North Broadway in Tyler. According to the local League’s website, candidates for all area opposed races on the November 4 ballot in Smith County have been invited to participate. The event begins at 7:00. It’s free, and the public is encouraged to attend. The candidates will be questioned by a panel, and the audience will be invited to submit questions as well. You can go to for more details.

Local Hospitals Address Ebola Concerns

thumb_U-T-Health-NortheastTYLER — Local hospitals develop their own plan to address Ebola, keeping in mind that it’s right up the Interstate. KETK reports NET Health organized a Wednesday news conference on the topic at UT Health Northeast. Among the plans: use of additional hazmat suits, proper technique when removing the suits, and designating an area for immediate patient isolation. In order to determine if a patient has Ebola symptoms rather than flu symptoms, they will ask a series of questions. These questions include, “In the past 21 days, have you traveled into the western portion of Africa, and have you had contact with anybody who has traveled there?”

Officials Seek Help Identifying Burglary Suspect

14-17105aTYLER — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office requests assistance in identifying a burglary suspect. Detectives say this man is wanted for burglary of business in the 13600 block of Spur 364. If you have information, call the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-566-6600.

Surveillance Video Released in Smith County Robbery

minute stop 2TYLER — Authorities release some surveillance video of the Minute Stop robbery in Smith County. It happened shortly after 8:45 Monday morning in the 11,800 block of Highway 64 West. Officials said the suspect, described as a black male with a blue bandana covering his face, entered the store and held a pistol in the clerk’s back. He then demanded money from the register. The suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. No injuries were reported. The Smith County Sheriff’s Office and Tyler Police Department are working to identify the suspect. If anyone has any information, notify the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-566-6600 or Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1090.

Suspect Arrested in Domino’s Heist

Bronson Blake McCartyTYLER – Tyler investigators have arrested Bronson Blake McCarty, 24, of Tyler, for the aggravated robbery that at Domino’s Pizza at Troup and Shiloh. Upon further investigation it was determined that McCarty was a former employee of the business. McCarty was charged with aggravated robbery, a 1st degree felony, and bond was set at $250,000. The robbery occurred shortly after midnight Wednesday morning. Two store employees told officers they were approached outside, by a white male with a silver revolver type handgun. The employees said the suspect robbed them of their money bags and then fled on foot. He was said to be wearing a dark hoodie and a purple bandana over his face. No injuries were reported.

Football Player Who Collapsed at Practice Returns to School

khalilwallacemomlnjMARSHALL— An East Texas eighth grader is returning to school after he collapsed at his junior high football practice September 21. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, Khalil Wallace, 13, returns to classes at Marshall Junior High School after spending the last several weeks as a patient at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport and Children’s Hospital in Dallas. After the youth collapsed, relatives said coaches began CPR until firefighters arrived to resuscitate the him with a defibrillator. He was then taken to a Longview hospital, where he was stabilized before being taken to Shreveport and eventually to Dallas. Read the rest of this entry »

Woman Indicted in Triple Fatality

shelbytaylormug3HENDERSON — An East Texas woman has been indicted on three intoxication manslaughter charges after she allegedly killed three family members in a July 10 car wreck. KETK reports Shelby Taylor, 22, of Henderson was indicted by a Rusk County Grand Jury last week. Court documents show Taylor will waive her right to a pre-trial arraignment and will enter a plea of not guilty. She is asking the jury to grant her community supervision as punishment because she has never been convicted of a felony in Texas. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Arrested After Incident at Local Restaurant

ericrichardsonmugLONGVIEW — Longview police say a man carrying a couple of weapons and associated items has been arrested on multiple charges following a tense incident at a restaurant and a short pursuit. Just before 1:30 Tuesday morning, police were dispatched to the 100 Block of West Loop 281 for an armed person in the parking lot of the location. As officers were arriving on scene they were told by a witness that the suspect had just left the location in a white passenger car traveling westbound on West Loop 281. Witnesses also told police that a white male was in the restaurant and was “acting weird.” While there he attempted to purchase an alcoholic beverage and the bartender refused to serve him due to his behavior. Read the rest of this entry »

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