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East Texans React to Journalist’s Beheading

James FoleyTYLER — Following the beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by the ISIS group in Iraq, some East Texans sounded off on whether President Obama is doing enough to combat the terrorists. One resident told KETK, “He should be doing a whole lot more. He should have been involved a long time before it got to this point.” Another added, “Well, he’s doing bombing raids, trying to take out these guys.” Still another commented, “I don’t approve of letting our men be beheaded over there, and I think he ought to do something about it immediately.”

Sound Physicians to Lead TMF Hospitalist Program

thumb_MotherFrances-sign-2TYLER – Beginning August 20, Sound Physicians has been contracted and formally begun managing the Hospitalist program at Mother Frances Hospital Tyler (MFH Tyler) and the Louis and Peaches Owen Hospital (LPOHH). That announcement comes in a news release from Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics. Sound Physicians will also bring on-site operations leadership and hospitalist RN’s to help drive performance and has plans to build out its post-acute provider network and transitional care management program. Sound Physicians is a physician-founded and led national management company started in 2001 with headquarters in Houston. They manage over 1,000 hospitalist physicians in more than 100 hospitals across the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Public Workshop Set to Update Tyler Transportation Plan

MPO_BoundaryTYLER — The public is invited to attend a workshop to be held by the Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in an effort to update the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The workshop will be held Thursday, Aug. 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Tyler Senior Center, 1915 Garden Valley Road. According to a news release, the MTP is a 25-year, long-range transportation plan which serves as the basic framework for all transportation planning through 2040. The MTP is a guide used to plan for future transportation needs in the Tyler MPO area and the expenditure of federal, state, and local funds that become available for these projects. The current MTP was approved in December 2009 and includes multiple projects totaling approximately $390 million worth of transportation improvements through the life of the plan. Read the rest of this entry »

Kilgore Police: Man Entered Women’s Bathroom

Kilgore-man in women's rest roomKILGORE — The Kilgore Police Department is seeking the assistance of the community in identifying a man who allegedly entered a public women’s restroom for a lewd purpose earlier this month. According to the Longview News-Journal, anyone with information is asked to email Detective John Rowe at or call him at 903-218-6906. You can also contact Gregg County Crimestoppers at 903-236-STOP or text an anonymous tip to 847411 + KILGORE + your tip. You’re asked to refer to KPD Incident #1408-0728.

Marshall Honors Native Y.A. Tittle

Y A TittleMARSHALL (AP/STAFF) — The Marshall school board has voted unanimously to name its high school football field house in honor of hometown sports legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle. Tittle is 87 and lives in Atherton, California. He was born and raised in Marshall, played at Marshall High School in the 1940s, then went to Louisiana State University. He played 10 years for San Francisco in the NFL, and then led the New York Giants to three division titles before retiring in 1964. Tittle threw for more than 33,000 yards and 242 touchdowns and entered the Hall of Fame in 1971. The Marshall News Messenger reports school officials say Tittle has health issues, that officials have talked with his family and that they’re OK with the designation.

UT Tyler Announces College of Education and Psychology Interim Dean

Wesley Hickey-U-T TylerTYLER – The new interim dean of the College of Education and Psychology at The University of Texas at Tyler, effective September 1, is Dr. Wesley Hickey. The announcement was made by Dr. Ross Sherman, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. Hickey who has served the university since 2004, will fill the vacancy left by Sherman’s new appointment. A UT Tyler alumnus, Hickey is an associate professor of educational leadership. He has served as the UT Tyler Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies chair since March 1, and he was also superintendent program coordinator for 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »

UT Tyler Muntz Library Director Appointed to State Board

Jeanne Standley-UT TylerTYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler Robert R. Muntz Library director Jeanne Standley has been appointed to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s TexShare Advisory Board. A UT Tyler alumna, Standley has served the university since 2000. TexShare is a cooperative program designed to improve library service to Texans. TexShare focuses on the efficient sharing of library holdings, with an emphasis on electronic information resources and traditional collections of books and journals In this role, Standley represents public universities, replacing Farzaneh Razzaghi, UT Pan American dean of library. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Hill Trustees Pass Budget

LONGVIEW — A $17.2 million budget has been passed by Spring Hill school trustees. KETK reports board members approved the budget at Monday’s meeting. $13.4 million will go toward operating costs for the school district. The rest of the budget will be used to pay off the debt from a bond issue.

Schaefer Calls on TEA to Hold Off on Revocation of Azleway’s Charter

thumb_matt-schaeffer-1TYLER — Following an announcement that an administrative law judge has upheld the revocation of Azleway Charter School’s charter by the Texas Education Agency, State Rep. Matt Schaefer is calling on Michael Williams, Texas commissioner of education, to hold off on the revocation of the charter due to pending litigation. Azleway currently has an appeal pending with the Third Court of Appeals in Austin and Schaefer says he feels that the timing of the revocation would be harmful to all parties involved, including Chapel Hill ISD, which would absorb many Azleway students. Read the rest of this entry »

Pat Herd Women’s Center Celebrates First Anniversary

thumb_MotherFrances-signTYLER — The Trinity Mother Frances Foundation Women’s Board is celebrating the first anniversary of the Pat Herd Women’s Center this week. The center is named for the late Pat Herd, “a wonderfully caring and philanthropic woman, whose passing moved her family to continue her legacy,” according to a news release from Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics. Michael Herd, her grandson and the chair of the Bob L. Herd Foundation, worked with his family and Mother Frances Hospital to fulfill the campaign for a new floor focused on the special needs of women. Read the rest of this entry »

Brown to Continue as Winona’s Interim Mayor

Winona city sealWINONA — The Winona City Council has decided not to hold a special mayoral election to replace Dede Stroud. According to KETK, council members decided Tuesday night to allow Earl Brown to serve as the city’s interim mayor until the 2015 election. After just two months in office, Stroud resigned from her post as mayor and handed over her keys to the city. Stroud says during her time as mayor, the city council harassed and neglected her and stripped her of her duties. Brown assumed the mayor’s responsibilities following Stroud’s resignation.

Nacogdoches County Judge Gives Self $24K Pay Cut

Mike Perry-Nacogdoches County JudgeNACOGDOCHES (AP) – An East Texas county judge has given himself a $24,000 annual pay cut as residents face possible higher property taxes. The Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel reports Nacogdoches County Judge Mike Perry has submitted an affidavit to be paid less. Perry, as of Oct. 1, will receive the same annual salary as county commissioners of nearly $52,000. Commissioners on Tuesday held a budget workshop. A public hearing on proposed higher tax rates will be held Friday. Perry, who took office earlier this year, says he didn’t run for the job for what it paid anyway – total compensation topping $76,000. Perry says he promised to balance the county budget and he feels if other people sacrifice that he should, too.

Attempted Robbery Under Investigation

thumb_police-tyler-carTYLER — Tyler Police are searching for a suspect accused of assault and attempted theft. Officials said just after 12:00 Wednesday morning, an employee of Arby’s, 4014 S. Broadway, was attempting to get into her vehicle when she was approached by the suspect. He reportedly sprayed the woman with mace and proceeded to rummage through her car. The woman was able to run to a nearby McDonald’s and called 911. The suspect was described wearing all black with a ski mask that had a skull print on the front. The victim suffered no physical injuries other than those commonly associated with getting sprayed by mace. The victim said nothing appeared to be stolen. Contact police with any information.

One Killed in Gregg County Wreck

DPS badgeKILGORE – A Tyler man has been killed in a two vehicle accident in Gregg County. The accident happened around 5:15 Tuesday afternoon on State Highway 31, three miles west of Kilgore. Dead at the scene was Christopher Payne, 47. His car was hit by a pickup driven by Zachary Taylor, 21, of Arp. The Department of Public Safety reports Taylor was heading east when his pickup crossed over the center stripe and hit Payne’s westbound car. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, Taylor was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. An investigation has been launched to see if intoxicants were factors in the crash.

Jail Renovations Nearing Completion

thumb_smithcounty-sealTYLER — The Smith County Jail has been under renovation for quite some time now. KETK reports phase two of three is now finished. Phase two includes a new holding and booking center, an in-house infirmary, 384 additional beds, and new surveillance systems. Officials say the improvements significantly diminish risk to the public. They say the infirmary alone will save taxpayers almost $800,000 a year in inmate medical expenses. It includes three operating tables, a dentist’s chair, and even rooms for solitary confinement so diseases won’t spread. Plans call for phase three to be complete in November, with the new renovations fully functioning.

Authorities Seek Identification of UT Tyler Vandals

uttylertaggingTYLER — UT Tyler officials are asking for the public’s help identifying three people who vandalized several buildings on campus. KETK reports that according to campus police the vandals “tagged” buildings and other property Saturday at around 9:45 p.m. Anyone who has any information or knows the individuals is asked to call 903-566-7300 and refer to case number 2014-000176.

Former Gilmer Pastor, Sex Offender Loses 6 Life Sentences Appeal

hugo1GILMER — A former Gilmer pastor who was found guilty on several child sex charges had his appeal denied Tuesday by the Sixth Appellate District Court in Texarkana. KETK reports Hugo Fluellen is currently serving six life sentences without parole. Judge Lauren Parish handed down the sentence on October 15, 2013, after Fluellen was convicted of the crimes in Upshur County’s 115th District Court. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Selected to Test Zoning App

TYLER — According to a release from the City of Tyler, ZoningCheck is a web and smart phone app that allows users to type in an address to quickly identify if a location is permitted for a specific land use. The user can type in a proposed use, and then view where that use is allowed within the city. The program is accessible through smartphones, tablets and desktops/laptops using Google Chrome. Read the rest of this entry »

Armed Robbery Suspect Sought

sheriff-smithcountySMITH COUNTY — Smith County Sheriff’s Officials are investigating a reported robbery early Tuesday morning. It happened just after midnight at a convenience store located on the 1200 block of East Northeast Loop 323 near Highway 271 in Tyler. An employee told authorities that she had just been robbed at knifepoint. She said the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Patrol deputies were unable to locate the suspect, described only as a white male. Further details were not available.

Illegal Immigrant Accused of Operating Fake ID Mill

andres_marreronacsheriffNACOGDOCHES COUNTY — An illegal immigrant has been detained and is on a Homeland Security hold after it was learned he was making fraudulent identification cards in Nacogdoches County. According to KETK, Andres Ramos Marrero, 45, was arrested by deputies executing two search warrants Friday afternoon at a trailer home on County Road 522. Marrero is accused of making several different forms of fake IDs: Social security cards, residential alien cards, Mexico identification cards Texas ID cards and Texas driver license. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Bids Mark McDaniel Farewell

markmcdanielTYLER — A throng of well-wishers turned out Monday at the Rose Garden Center for a farewell reception in honor of Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel. He has been hired as an assistant city manager in Dallas, where he starts his new job September 2. McDaniel strongly complimented the Tyler community and city government, saying he’d one day like to retire in the Rose City, “the Lord willing.” He added that a strong foundation has been built for his replacement. Assistant City Manager Susan Guthrie takes over as Tyler’s interim city manager Tuesday, McDaniel’s last day in his Tyler office. Guthrie says Tyler officials will be seeking an executive search firm to help find McDaniel’s successor. She didn’t give a specific time frame for the search but did say she won’t be applying for the job.

Cyberattack Impacts Two East Texas Hospitals

FRANKLIN, TENN. (AP/STAFF) — Hospital operator Community Health Systems says a cyberattack took information on more than 4 million patients from its computer network earlier this year. The hacking incident has affected two east Texas hospitals, Longview Regional Medical Center and Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin. The Franklin, Tennessee, company says no medical or credit card records were taken in the attack, which may have happened in April and June. But Community says the attack did bypass its security systems to take patient names, addresses, birthdates, phone and Social Security numbers. The information came from patients who were referred to or received care from doctors tied to the company over the past five years. Community Health Systems Inc. says it is notifying patients affected by the attack and offering them identity theft protection services. The company owns, leases or operates 206 hospitals in 29 states. Read the rest of this entry »

Election Set for a New Emergency Services District in Gregg County.

LONGVIEW – There will be an election in western Gregg County in November to determine if voters want to create a new Emergency Services District to support the Sabine Volunteer Fire Department. Gregg County Commissioners called the election at this morning’s meeting. The action comes in the wake of a petition drive and approval by the city councils in Gladewater, Kilgore and Clarksville City. If approved, it would be the second in the county. ESD number 1 supports the Lakeport/Elderville Volunteer Fire Department. Supporters say an Emergency Services District is the best way to reliably fund the fire and rescue force in a growing part of the county.

Son Arrested in Father’s Death

Randall BrittonTYLER – A man is dead and Smith County sheriff’s deputies have arrested a suspect. Shortly after 1:45 Monday afternoon, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a 911 call regarding an unresponsive man. Patrol deputies and EMS personnel responded found a man dead in the laundry room of a residence in the 3700 block of Jackson Avenue in the northeastern part of Smith County. He has been identified as R. L. Britton, 56, of Tyler. They say he was a victim of homicide. The suspect has been identified as Randall Britton, 28, of Tyler, the victim’s son. He has been charged with murder with the warrant issued by Judge Christi Kennedy of the 114th State District Court who set a $150,000 bond. He has been booked into the Smith County jail and bond set at $150,000. What led to the incident and how the victim died has not been released.

Dr. Crawford Becomes TISD’s New Superintendent

Marty Lane Crawford2The Tyler Independent School District Board of Trustees have officially named Dr. Marty Lane Crawford as the new Superintendent of Schools during a special board meeting Monday. “I am honored to be named Tyler ISD superintendent,” Dr. Crawford said. “I am committed to working alongside the talented teachers, administrators, and staff to lead Tyler ISD in our mission to educate the children of Tyler.” Dr. Crawford has served as superintendent for the West Independent School District for six years. He earned his Texas superintendent certification and a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce. He completed his 2006 dissertation on the Texas school superintendent, conducting research that identified the nexus of 1983’s A Nation at Risk as the turning point for Texas school superintendent leadership. Read the rest of this entry »

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