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East Texas Man Dies Trying to Save Girl

FORT WORTH (AP) — A passing bicyclist saved a woman and a 7-year-old girl from the Trinity River but was unable to rescue a man, whose body was later recovered from the water. Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman Tim Hardeman says the family apparently had been on a rocky crossing when the girl fell into the water, and the husband and wife tried to save her. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man who died Monday afternoon as 47-year-old Richard Walker of Winnsboro. Jeff Harrison says he was cycling through Trinity Park when he saw three people in the river and jumped in the water. Harrison says the girl seemed fine, but he had to do CPR to revive the woman. Hardeman says the woman and the girl are expected to recover.

Brief Filed in Teacher Stabbing Case

Todd HenryTYLER — A local attorney claims two East Texas courts ignored the law in the case involving teen murder suspect Byron Truvia. Truvia allegedly stabbed teacher Todd Henry (pictured) to death last September at John Tyler High School. Truvia’s defense attorney Jim Huggler filed the brief last week. According to KETK, Huggler says the lower courts ignored a required mental evaluation before trying Truvia as an adult. The brief was filed at the request of the Supreme Court.

Cayuga Wins Lone Star Cup, White Oak 7th in 2A

Cayuga High School held off four-time Class 1A champion Lindsay High School to win its first-ever Lone Star Cup. The Wildcats won state titles in football and boys basketball and made lengthy playoff runs in volleyball and baseball.

The five winners of the 2009-10 UIL Lone Star Cup were announced Thursday.

With three state championships in the 2009-10 season, Conroe The Woodlands High School has captured its fourth Class 5A Lone Star Cup victory in five years. The Highlanders three state titles, most among Lone Star Cup winners, came in boys cross-country, boys swimming and diving and girls soccer. Read the rest of this entry »

TXDOT Completes, Begins Projects

TYLER — The Texas Department of Transportation’s Tyler District announced it planned to break ground on one construction project in the month of July, but brought five others to a close in June, bringing the total number of projects under construction in the eight-county district to 26.

TxDOT’s Larry Krantz says TxDOT would be breaking ground in mid-to-late July on a repair-and-resurface project on State Highway 31 between State
Highway 42 and Business U.S. Highway 259 in Kilgore. The $981,000 project
let to contract in May to Knife River Corp., South, of Waco, and is
scheduled to take approximately two months to complete once begun.

With the addition of the State Highway 31 project, Knife River has eight
current Tyler District projects worth more than $82 million, including the Loop 281 project in Longview, the State Highway 155 project between
Frankston and Pert, and the U.S. Highway 69 overpass project at Farm Road
344 in Bullard. Contractor R.K. Hall, of Paris, has seven active projects in the Tyler District, including the night work on U.S. Highway 69 (South Broadway), for a combined $19.4 million, and while Longview Bridge and Road, Ltd. has only three ongoing projects locally, including both Loop 49 projects and the nearly completed US 69 expansion between Lindale and Mineola, those projects are worth a combined $97 million.

Meanwhile, TxDOT contractors also brought five construction projects to a
close in June, including the $737,000 resurfacing project on Farm Road 2493(Old Jacksonville Highway) in Tyler between South Loop 323 and State Highway57/Grande Boulevard. Contractors also finished a $1.5 million resurfacing project on U.S. Highway 69 in Lindale between Interstate Highway 20 and Farm Road 1804, and a $385,000 left-turn lane project on State Highway 110 at Farm Road 344 between Whitehouse and Troup.

Jury Selection to Begin in Mineola Club Trial

TYLER (AP) — A lawyer for a man charged in an alleged east Texas swingers club involving children has dropped a request to move the trial from Tyler. Jury selection is scheduled next week for the aggravated sexual assault trial of 47-year-old Dennis Boyd Pittman. Pittman was arrested in 2007 leaving his apartment in Sevierville, Tenn. Defense attorney Jason Cassel on Thursday withdrew his request for a change of venue. Further details were not released.

Prosecutors allege children as young as 5 were groomed to perform in sex shows in the Mineola area, a town of about 5,100 located 75 miles east of Dallas. The 14th Court of Appeals in Houston this month overturned the convictions of two others tried in the case. New trials were ordered for Patrick “Booger Red” Kelly and Jamie Pittman.

Murder Victim Identified

TYLER — Smith County authorities have identified the body of a woman found of County Road 2191 last weekend. She is Cherry Diane Walker of Tyler. Her body, which appeared to have been burned, hand been dumped along the side of the road. Investigators continue to search for clues that could lead them to a motive for the slaying and the woman’s killer.

Smith County Bar Association Awards

TYLER — The Smith County Bar Association has been honored by the State Bar of Texas Local Bar Services Committee as the Award of Merit winner for 2009-10. The award was presented to Smith County Bar representatives Kyna Adams and Jim Huggler at the Bar Leaders Recognition Luncheon held at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Fort Worth. SCBA was presented the Award of Merit for Division II –local or district bar associations with 101 to 500 members. This is an overall award for all programs and events of the association.

The Smith County Bar was also presented a Star of Achievement Awards. Five Star of Achievement awards are given to recognize outstanding projects among bar associations of all sizes. The SCBA was honored for their publication commemorating the 75 year history of the Association. Copies of the book will be distributed to all school and public libraries in Smith County. Printing of the book was made possible by sponsors of the 75th Gala and grants from the Texas Bar Foundation and the Smith County Bar Foundation.

Jacksonville Robbery Suspect Arrested

JACKSONVILLE — A man accused of robbing the Jacksonville Payless Shoe Source has been arrested. KETK-TV reports John Robert Nichols was arrested just over an hour and 15 minutes following the robbery, which was reported shortly after 11:30 yesterday morning. He was taken into custody after authorities stopped him on Highway 79. Authorities feel he is the man who pointed a silver revolver at a clerk and took money from the register. He then fled on a black older model motorcycle with an American flag on the gas tank and red and white stripes on the fenders. No injuries were reported.

Firm Chosen for Toll 49 Segment

Toll 49TYLER – The North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NET RMA) Board of Directors has selected Englewood, Colorado-based CH2MHill as the design/build firm for Toll 49 Segment 3B. “The selection of a firm to construct Segment 3B of the Toll 49 project demonstrates the project’s continued momentum. The next step is to prepare to sell bonds,” said NET RMA Project Director Everett Owen. “Our colleagues in the financial industry are still very bullish on the deal and believe that there is no better time to sell a transportation bond than right now.” Toll 49 Segment 3B is a 9.7 mile section of roadway that stretches between State Highway 31 and Interstate 20.

Big Grant for Tyler Airport


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport $2,500,000 to improve a runway safety area and acquire safety equipment. “Upgrades to Texas’ airports are critical for the regional economy and for the traveling public,” Senator Hutchison said. “These infrastructure and safety improvements to Tyler Pounds Regional Airport will help ensure the safe and smooth flow of goods, services, and people.”

Big Names Top Cowan Center Season

University of Texas at TylerTYLER — “It’s All Here.” That’s the theme of UT Tyler’s 2010-2011 Cowan Center season, with an October 19 appearance by former President George W. Bush among the highlights. That and other presentations are co-sponsored by KTBB. Cowan Center Executive Director Susan Thomae-Morphew is very pleased with the variety. Gladys Knight, Howie Mandel, and touring companies of “Mamma Mia” and “The Color Purple” are just a few of the others on the schedule. Thomae-Morphew thanks all the supporters, saying, “We are not getting any state funding to do the Cowan Center’s work, and it’s important to note that the community makes this happen.” Subscriptions are available starting at 9 a.m. Monday. You can go to http://www.cowancenter.org for lots more.

Possible Homicide Investigation Continues

LONGVIEW — Longview investigators say two deaths appear to be suspicious. On Friday, authorities released the identities of two bodies found Thursday morning. Laura Beth Sullivan, 28 and Zocorius Lamonte Gray, 19, both from Longview were located around 9:10 after officers responded to a welfare call at 128 Myrle Street. The caller told dispatchers that two people at the location appeared to be dead. Authorities found Sullivan and Gray inside an upstairs garage apartment behind a duplex on Myrle Street. Authorities say the deaths appear to be suspicious and foul play is suspected.

Detectives are pursuing numerous leads, but an arrest has not been made and a motive for the shooting has not been announced. Detectives do feel certain the shooting was not a random act. “I believe the individuals were targeted,” said Justice of the Peace B.H. Jameson.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Gregg County Crime Stoppers at 903-236-STOP or online at http://www.greggcountycrimestoppers.com. A reward of up to $1000.00 may be paid for information leading to the arrest of any suspects.

New Curfew for Some Local Teens

Curfew KILGORE — Kilgore has a new ordinance aimed at teens 16 and younger. According to KETK, those 16 and younger must remain off the streets and out of the parking lots too from 10:30 in the evening until 6:00 in the morning Sundays thru Thursdays. On weekends, they can stay out a little longer with a curfew from midnight to 6:00 in the morning. Exceptions include coming home from work, sporting events, public assemblies or an emergency errand. If you’re caught out past curfew, first offenders will get a warning and a letter to parents.

Authorities Investigate Lotto Scam

Lottery TicketsNACOGDOCHES — Nacogdoches Police are trying to track down the culprit behind a mail scam. According to KETK, residents received a notification by mail of winning a shoppers sweepstakes lottery. Enclosed was a letter saying they won with a counterfeit cashiers check from Chase Bank. Police say the winner are then asked to deposit the check and wire the money to a tax agent. The person’s account is then charged thousands of dollars.

Pastor Indicted for Sexual Contact with a Child

Hezekiah StallworthPALESTINE — A well known Palestine pastor is under indictment for sexual misconduct with a child. Hezekiah Stallworth, 75, was indicted February 26 for alleged sexual contact with a 7-year-old. According to KETK, following the arrest, another victim claims Stallworth sexually assaulted her back in 1989. Stallworth is in jail on $50,000 bond.

Possible Murder-Suicide

Smith County Sheriffs PatchTYLER — Authorities feel they have a better understanding of what happened over the weekend in the deaths of a Tyler lawyer and his ex-wife. It happened Saturday night in Smith County’s Hidden Hill Lake subdivision where the bodies of Thomas Blow and Kinsey Lynn Lewis-Blow were found. Both had been shot to death. Authorities believe Thomas Blow shot his former wife and then turned the gun on himself.

KETK-TV reported a woman, who authorities say was a friend of Blow’s ex-wife, had dropped her off and was waiting in the drive-way for her to come out. When she never came back to the car, the woman went looking for her, and found the bodies. The couple’s two young boys, ages 5 and 7, who had been staying with their dad for Father’s Day, were not injured.

Barack Obama: BP Oil Spill Address 6/15/10

I sure have missed KDOK and it’s great music. Do you think there will ever be another radio station that will play that kind of music?

I sure have missed KDOK and it’s great music. Do you think there will ever be another radio station that will play the kind of music KDOK played in Tyler? There is not a radio station in the area that plays the 60’s,70’s music. Can’t pick up KLUV, station from Dallas. Thank you for a reply.

ANSWER

I cannot speak for other broadcasters in the market. There is always a
chance that one of them will make the business decision to change formats on
one of their stations to something similar to what KDOK did. When and under
what circumstances that might occur, I cannot say.

I miss KDOK, too. I liked listening to it a lot. But it was not a growing
business and it was taking away resources that were necessary to protect and
grow our core franchise, which is news and talk. Playing music on the radio,
and particularly music from a “frozen” playlist, in other words a playlist
that does not continually take in new material, has become a very different
business than it used to be. The proliferation of personal music devices and
the ability to easily interface those devices to the sound system in one’s
vehicle has dramatically chnaged the game for FM radio music broadcasters.

In order to keep time-spent-listening to KDOK at competitive levels, I was
having to spend a ruinous amount of money every year doing focus group
research on the KDOK playlist in order to determine which songs were getting
burned out and which songs needed to be brought back into rotation. The
truth is, it is hard to compete with a person’s iPod. The playlist on a
person’s iPod is the absolutely perfectly researched playlist for that
person. It is particularly true in a format that doesn’t regularly introduce
new music, such as an oldies station like KDOK, that constant music research
is necessary or the audience will not spend as much time listening and that
ratings will suffer.

KLUV in Dallas conducts continuous music research in order to address this
issue. The problem for a similar station in a market like Tyler is that it
costs the same amount to do the research in Tyler as it does to do the
research in Dallas-Ft. Worth. The cost of research as a percentage of KLUV’s
revenue, however, is a fraction of that same cost as a percentage of KDOK’s
revenue.

Thus, we made the decision regarding KDOK and, despite the fact that I miss
KDOK, it has proven to be a good business decision.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Paul L. Gleiser

Cowboys Move Up, Select Lufkin’s Bryant

The Dallas Cowboys moved up in the NFL draft Thursday to select Lufkin native and Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant.

The Cowboys, needing a safety and offensive line depth, elected to go for a wide receiver with the 24th pick of the first round. Dallas switched first-round picks with the New England Patriots, moving from the 27th overall pick.

In exchange for the 24th selection, Dallas gave up its 90th pick (in the third round) for New England’s 119th (in the fourth round). Bryant, who was in DeSoto, Texas, on Thursday night, hugged his friends and family members as the Cowboys pick was announced on television. Read the rest of this entry »

West Steals Wins at Azalea All-Star Classic

The 7th Annual Azalea Orthopedics All-Star High School Basketball games were played Saturday night at UT Tyler’s Herrington Patriot Center. The best young men and women high school players from around East Texas participated in this year’s Classic. The East and West teams were represented by 40 All-Stars from around the East Texas region.

The girls’ game was won by West All-Stars 51-42. MVP honors went to Cayuga High School’s Lexus Mack, who scored 9 points during the game. Lexus has been named District MVP 2010, TABC & TGCA All State 2010. She remains undecided on the college of her choice.

The boys’ game was won by the West All-Stars 74-68 . MVP honors went to John Tyler forward Jaron Johnson, who played scored 17 points for the West team. Jaron was 1st Team All District 09, All East Texas 2009, District 11-5A Offensive Player of Year 2010, 2010. He will play basketball for Tyler Junior College. Read the rest of this entry »

Texas Stadium Reduced to Rubble

Texas Stadium is nothing but a memory — and a huge mess.

The longtime home of the Dallas Cowboys — known for the giant hole in its roof, “so God can watch his team,” according to local lore — came tumbling down early Sunday in a planned demolition. Click here to watch the video of the implosion on Texas Stadium as shot by KTBB GM Paul Gleiser.

Fireworks shot off above the building for several minutes, then hundreds of fans counted down as 11-year-old Casey Rogers of nearby Terrell, the winner of an essay contest, pushed a button triggering the implosion. More than a ton of dynamite dropped the west side of the building toward the north, the east die toward the south and the roof right on top.

After about six months of planning, it took less than a minute to turn the concrete and steel stadium into a twisted mess. Cleanup is expected to take until July.

Fans arrived as early as Saturday night for “final tailgate parties” in area parking lots. Others gathered at hotels and office buildings as far as 10 miles away in downtown Dallas, including many former Cowboys players. Local TV stations carried the implosion live. There was even a corporate sponsor.

The Cowboys won all five of their Super Bowl titles while they called Texas Stadium home.

“Even in the dawn, (driving in) we slowed down and took a real good look at it. You get a little lump in your throat,” said Jerry Jones, who bought the team and the stadium lease for $160 million in 1989. “It was beautiful.”

But many people seemed to be drawn Sunday by curiosity and spectacle more than an overriding sense of nostalgia. The consensus was that the old place was great in its day, but past its prime — especially since the Cowboys moved to the new $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium in nearby Arlington after the 2008 season.

After that, Irving city leaders decided they needed the land more than the building and planned the demolition. The state already has a 10-year lease to use the property as a staging area for a highway construction project.

JT’s Jaron Johnson Signs with TJC

John Tyler senior swingman Jaron Johnson is following his older brother Justin’s footsteps as Thursday he signed his National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Tyler Junior College.

In a small ceremony at the Lions’ Den, Johnson officially became an Apache. His older brother Justin went on to have a successful college career at the University of Iowa after playing two years at TJC.

Johnson is two-time first team District 11-5A selection and led the Lions by averaging 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game this past season. Johnson was also named District 11-5A’s Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. He helped JT advance to the playoffs the last two years.

Kilgore’s Vallery Retires

Kilgore High School Head Football Coach Mike Vallery officially announced his retirement Tuesday afternoon when he met with the Kilgore ISD school board.

Vallery has spent the last 15 years as the Bulldogs head man, compiling a 133-47-1 record. This includes an undefeated season in 2004 when he led Kilgore to the Class 4A Division II State Championship, the only one in school history. His Bulldog teams only missed the playoffs once.

Prior to coming to Kilgore in 1995, Vallery led Ouachita Parish in Monroe, LA to state championships in football and baseball as a head coach and was an assistant on two other state championship teams in Louisiana. Read the rest of this entry »

Longview Hires New Basketball Coach

The Longview Lobos have a new Boys Basketball coach, as the Longview ISD Board approved the hiring of Casey Jones to fill the vacancy on Wednesday.

The Lobos certainly got themselves a winner with Jones. In all nine of his seasons as head coach at Ouachita Parish High School in Monroe, Louisiana, Jones’ teams were district champions. Plus in 2009, they captured Louisiana’s Class 5A State Championship. Jones has a 281-67 record as head coach.

Longview ISD will hold a reception Monday afternoon from 5-6pm at the LISD Aquatics Center to give the community a chance to welcome Coach Jones. Read the rest of this entry »

Teacher of the Month-December 2009

Cynthia Davis…Tyler’s Griffin Elementary

Ella Hall..Chapel Hill’s Jackson Elementary

Yessika Morales..Lindale’s Velma Penny Elementary

Rachel Hauser..Winona Elementary

Melissa Spencer…Troup Middle School

Jarvie Stroupe…ARP ISD

TEACHER OF THE YEAR – 2008-09

Elementary Teacher of the Year: Jenny Montalvo, St. Louis School

Secondary Teacher of the Year: Cara Smith, Hubbard Middle School

Troup ISD….Adam Thomas, Troup High School

Winona ISD….Kay Curry, Winona Elementary School

TEACHER OF THE YEAR – 2008-09

Elementary Teacher of the Year: Jenny Montalvo, St. Louis School

Secondary Teacher of the Year: Cara Smith, Hubbard Middle School

Troup ISD….Adam Thomas, Troup High School

Winona ISD….Kay Curry, Winona Elementary School

Teacher of the Month-November 2009

Winona ISD……Tracey Nettleton, Winona High School

Lindale ISD…..Petisa Johnson, Lindale Primary School

Chapel Hill ISD.Kelly Taber, Kissam Intermediate School

Sherri Kain…..Arp High School

Jennifer Martinets.Tyler’s Hubbard Middle School

TEACHER OF THE MONTH-October 2009

Ashley Chandler….Chapel Hill Middle School

Karyn Ard……….Troup High School

June Wright……..Early Childhood Center, Lindale ISD

Tyanne Bixler……Winona Middle School

TEACHER OF THE MONTH – September 2009

Tyler ISD….James Slaughter, John Tyler High School

Troup ISD….Olan Johnson, Troup Middle School

Winona ISD….Dana Thacker, Winona Elementary School

Lindale ISD….Melanie McNiel, Lindale High School

Arp ISD….Glenna Marshall, Arp Junior High

Chapel Hill ISD…Chris Johnston, Chapel Hill High School

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