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Texas Inaugural Committee Announces New Appointments

AUSTIN – Following last week’s announcement of its executive leadership team, the 2015 Texas Inaugural Committee Friday announced the remainder of its committee appointments. Three of those chosen are from East Texas. The people on the list were selected by Governor-elect Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor-elect Dan Patrick to oversee January’s celebration honoring the state’s newly-elected leaders. The governor’s appointments include Andrea and Brandon Steele of Tyler, and JoAnn Fleming of Flint is listed among the lieutenant governor’s appointments. Read the rest of this entry »

Officer Cleared in Fatal Shooting

johnnylyonsLONGVIEW — Longview Police Officer Johnny Lyons has been cleared of any wrongdoing by a Gregg County grand jury in the August 7 shooting of Regan Wagner. Police say Lyons shot and killed Wagner near Akin Park during a daytime traffic stop after Wagner displayed a firearm and refused repeated requests to put it down. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Wagner, 23, of Longview, had been pulled over for an expired inspection sticker. Longview police initially said Wagner was killed during an exchange of gunfire but later said Wagner did not fire any shots. Longview police spokeswoman Kristie Brian said Wagner showed a gun but could not confirm whether it was loaded. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Gets Ten Years in Henderson County Meth Case

followellhendersonco1ATHENS — A former Seven Points resident heads to prison on a methamphetamine-related charge. On Wednesday morning, Ray Glenn Followwell, 50, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. According to KETK, Followwell was indicted by a Henderson County Grand Jury following an investigation by Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Wick Gabbard. On November 18th of last year, Gabbard obtained and executed a narcotics search warrant on Followwell’s residence off CR 2428. Other law officers assisted in the execution of the warrant. Read the rest of this entry »

Glass Dragon Owner Seeks to Reopen Store

glassdragonlnjLONGVIEW — The owner of the Glass Dragon and Longview Vapor Store, awaiting trial on federal drug distribution and money laundering charges, filed a motion Thursday asking that he be allowed to operate the store on Fredonia Street to sell e-cigarettes and the liquids they use. According to KETK and the Longview news-Journal, Jeremy Chad Tidwell was named in a sealed indictment in November by a federal grand jury on five charges along with his wife, Shanna Peek Tidwell. His brother, Brian Tidwell, was indicted on three related charges. All three were arrested in a Dec. 3 raid on the stores by the Drug Enforcement Administration and representatives from area law enforcement agencies. The charges involve the selling of K-2, or so-called synthetic marijuana. The federal agency began investigating the case in March. Read the rest of this entry »

New Civil War Exhibit at TMA

thumb_tylerartmuseumTYLER — The Tyler Museum of Art joins the nationwide commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War in its newest major exhibition, “Between the States: Photographs of the American Civil War from the George Eastman House Collection.” The exhibition runs through Sunday, February 15, in the TMA’s North Gallery. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. Hours on Sunday are from 1:00 till 5:00 p.m. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Fire Department Wishes Everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday Season

thumb_tyler-fire-dept-logoTYLER — This year, as you are preparing your home for the holiday season, make sure that you implement a few simple fire prevention practices. That’s the message from the Tyler Fire Department.

* Space Heaters:
o Maintain a clear space of 3 feet around the device.
o Ensure that portable heaters have a safety switch that will turn off the device if it gets tipped over. Read the rest of this entry »

Organizer Pleased with Rally Spurred by Police-Related Deaths

TYLER — The organizer of a downtown Tyler rally Thursday afternoon says she’s pleased with the event. Working with a new group called Tyler United, Ambra Phillips sought to bring attention to recent police-related deaths in Missouri, New York, and elsewhere. Phillips pointed out that she wished to do so in a peaceful manner and says that’s the way it worked out, except for a brief disruption that was quickly quelled. Phillips said we need to “stop seeing each other’s differences as threats — learn to look at each other and appreciate that we are all different.” Read the rest of this entry »

Abbott Meets Local Lawmakers for Roundtable

thumb_greg-abbott-3TYLER — Governor-elect Greg Abbott was in Tyler Thursday. KETK reports he met with East Texas legislators on what the new session would hold. He says border security, education, and transportation are his top priorities. Abbott says President Obama’s executive order on immigration is extremely troubling. According to Abbott, “The president himself said more than 20 times that he didn’t have the authority, as the chief executive, to create a law like this. And then by executive order he did it! And he said, ‘I have just created a new law.’ That is unconstitutional.” In turn, Abbott plans to add $300 million in funding, as well as deploy additional state troopers, for tighter border security. He said, “As governor I will step up and take charge, and ensure that we have a secure border.” Read the rest of this entry »

Trial Date Could Soon Be Set in 2012 Murder

Andrew Conrad Norwine2GILMER — A trial date could soon be set for capital murder suspect Andrew Conrad Norwine. Norwine (pictured) is accused of collaborating with two other people in the December 2012 killing of Ronnie Joe Gammage. Gammage’s body was found beaten and burned in rural Upshur County. One of the other suspects was sentenced to life without parole in October 2013. According to KETK, Norwine’s lawyer also represented former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams. Williams was sentenced to death this week for the slaying of the Kaufman County district attorney’s wife.

One Dead Following Kilgore Accident

thumb_police-9KILGORE — A two vehicle accident in Kilgore has left one person dead. The accident happened shortly after 2:00 yesterday afternoon at U.S. Highway 250 North and Interstate Highway 20. Dead at the scene was Ashley Brooke Norris, 31, of White Oak. She was killed when her car struck the back of the truck-trailer which was trying to cross the highway. The truck’s driver was not injured. The cause of the wreck remains under investigation.

Grand Jury Indicts Man in Decade-Old Murder

gautmpdMARSHALL — The Marshall Police Department announced an indictment in a decade-old murder case Thursday afternoon. KETK reports that under the direction of Police Chief Jesus Eddie Campa, the department’s unsolved homicide cases were recently reviewed in conjunction with the Harrison County District Attorney’s Office. At the conclusion of the review, the murder investigation of Anthony Thomas was determined to be one that was solvable to the point that District Attorney Coke Solomon wished to move forward in presenting the case to a Grand Jury. Read the rest of this entry »

Scouts Honor Bob Garrett

Bob Garrett3TYLER — The East Texas Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, presented Bob Garrett Thursday with the Distinguished Citizen Good Turn Award at a luncheon in his honor. The event took place at Green Acres Baptist Church Crosswalk Conference Center. According to a Boy Scouts news release, the award is given annually to an individual, couple or family who has made a significant impact toward enriching the way of life in East Texas. Read the rest of this entry »

Authorities Warn of Recent Burglaries in Parts of Smith County

thumb_police-8LINDALE — Law enforcement is warning citizens about a recent run of burglaries in the northwestern portion of Smith County. According to KETK, Precinct 5 Constable Kenneth Bibby said three home burglaries have recently taken place in his jurisdiction. The thieves are described as 4 black males, one with dreadlocks. The suspect vehicle is a gray four-door car with tinted windows. If you see anything abnormal or suspicious, you’re asked to contact the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-566-6600 or Constable Precinct 5 Office at 903-590-4901. You can also email [email protected] to reach Precinct 5.

Trinity Mother Frances Performs Groundbreaking Cardiac Procedure

thumb_MotherFrances-sign-2TYLER – Trinity Mother Frances has become one of ten hospitals in the world, one of the first hospitals in the country, and the only non-teaching hospital to perform a cardiac ablation procedure using the Rhythmia Mapping System. That’s according to a Trinity Mother Frances news release. Hospital officials call the system a new state-of-the-art, high-resolution 3D mapping and navigation solution. The procedures were also the first in Texas, according to the release. They were performed on December 15 at Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital by electrophysiologists John Sims, M.D, and Stan Weiner, M.D. Read the rest of this entry »

Southside Bank Completes Merger with OmniAmerican Bank

Southside Bank Completes Merger with OmniAmerican BankTYLER — Southside Bancshares, Inc., the parent company of Southside Bank, announced the completion of the merger of OmniAmerican Bancorp, Inc. with and into Southside and the merger of Omni’s wholly owned subsidiary, OmniAmerican Bank, headquartered in Fort Worth, with and into Southside Bank, all effective on December 17, 2014. The combined company will continue to trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SBSI.” Read the rest of this entry »

Lufkin Couple Convicted in Infant’s Death

gavelLUFKIN (AP) – A Lufkin couple accused in the death of a 2-month old baby, have been found guilty. The jury found DeQuisha Jackson, 19 and Isaiah Tolliver, 20, guilty in the death of Imauri Jackson. Then, after five hours of deliberations, Jackson was sentenced to 15 years in state jail and fined $10,000 after being found guilty of manslaughter. The father, Isaiah Tollivar was sentenced to 2 years for endangering a child by omission. A pathologist testified that the 2013 death of the East Texas baby occurred due to malnutrition and dehydration. Dr. Candace Schoppe testified for the prosecution in the trial. Schoppe, who took the stand Tuesday before prosecutors rested their case, says the infant was very small, and severely dehydrated. Autopsy results indicated the baby weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces at birth. He weighed 5 pounds, 6 ounces when he died in October 213. The death was ruled a homicide due to neglect.

Several Displaced in Longview Fire

thumb_fire-dept-longviewLONGVIEW – Two Longview families have been displaced by a fire in a duplex in the 300 block of Tammy Lynn Drive. The fire in northwest Longview was reported around 3:00 Wednesday afternoon. Two people in one duplex escaped the flames. The residents in the other duplex were not home. There were no injuries. Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary said the fire was started by unattended cooking.

Rally Planned in Tyler Following Ferguson, Staten Island Incidents

thumb_Tyler-downtownTYLER — Tyler is responding in the aftermath of recent police-related deaths in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, N.Y. Tyler resident Ambra Phillips is organizing what she terms a peaceful rally, scheduled for this afternoon at 4:30. Phillips is working with a new group known as Tyler United. She says the rally will begin at Front & North Broadway, with a march up Broadway to the downtown square. According to Phillips, activities on the square will include a short program and a candlelight vigil to promote peace. Participants may join the group on the square if they don’t wish to take part in the march. Read the rest of this entry »

Flint Woman Pardoned by President Obama

FLINT — An East Texan is one of 20 people granted clemency Wednesday by President Barack Obama. KETK reports the moves consisted of eight commutations and twelve pardons. One of the individuals, Claire Holbrook Mulford of Flint, was pardoned for a December 1993 drug-trafficking crime. Mulford was sentenced to 70 months imprisonment and two years of supervision upon release after being convicted of using a residence to distribute methamphetamine. Individuals from Dallas and San Antonio were also pardoned by President Obama from other drug-related convictions.

Water Cut Off in Tatum

TATUM — Workers have been trying to restore water services for the city of Tatum. KETK reports a contractor performing work on telephone lines cut into a 6-inch water main, causing the water for the city to be cut off. As soon as water is restored, a boil water advisory will be issued asking all Tatum residents to boil their water for two days.

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Suspects Sought after Home Invasion, Knifing

policeambpicTYLER — Tyler police are following up on a stabbing near UT-Tyler that prompted a campus lockdown. According to KETK, Tyler PD spokesman Don Martin says a person was stabbed in the 3200 block of Lexington Drive at shortly after 2:45 yesterday afternoon. Martin stated a homeowner arrived at his duplex to find two black males taking items from his home. Tyler police say one suspect immediately fled in a vehicle that had been driven into the victim’s garage. Read the rest of this entry »

Officials: No Suspicious Activity Found after Bomb Threat at JT

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER – A bomb threat at John Tyler High School turned out to be false. School administrators received the bomb threat yesterday morning from a caller claiming to be a detective. After a search of the campus and surrounding area turned up no suspicious activity, the school continued to operate as normal. The Tyler fire marshal is performing a criminal investigation into the validity and origin of the threat. There was no immediate word on any possible connection with an email threat that caused Bullard High School to close early Wednesday.

Louisiana Authorities Arrest Two East Texans in Vehicle Thefts

thumb_police-5SHREVEPORT — Two East Texas men were taken into custody Tuesday in separate incidents after officials say they were caught with stolen vehicles out of the Longview area. According to KETK, Louisiana State Troopers say on December 16 at 10:22 a.m., authorities stopped an SUV driven by Michael Lawson, 35, of Mt. Vernon, on Interstate 20 in Haughton, Louisiana, after learning the vehicle had been reported stolen in White Oak, Texas. Troopers arrested Lawson, and after the vehicle was recovered, took him to the Bossier Parish Jail for illegal possession of stolen things.
Read the rest of this entry »

Anonymous Threat Prompts Early Release, Other Moves in Bullard ISD

Bullard ISD logoBULLARD — Bullard ISD dismissed its high school students early Wednesday after receiving an anonymous email containing a threat toward the high school. The district let students out at 1:00 p.m. Buses transported students to the middle school gym, and exams have been rescheduled. According to a BISD news release, all other campuses were placed on a soft lockdown as an added precaution. Read the rest of this entry »

ETMC among First in Nation to Offer New Sleep Apnea Treatment

thumb_ETMC-hospital-sign-2TYLER — East Texas Medical Center Tyler is one of the first sites in the United States to offer Inspire therapy for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to an ETMC news release. Inspire therapy utilizes first-of-its-kind technology — a small, fully implanted system that has been clinically proven to significantly reduce sleep apnea events and significantly improve quality of life measures, according to the release. Read the rest of this entry »

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