KILGORE — One man was killed and a pregnant woman was injured in a late night wreck in Kilgore. Police say it happened around midnight near Rabbit Creek on Highway 259. According to KETK, witnesses reported seeing the driver, later identified as Luis Ocura-Torres, 19, and Carol Villanueva, 17, driving at a high rate of speed when they ran off the road. Officials said the vehicle rolled and landed upside down in the creek. Torres was killed in the accident. Villanueva, who was 33 weeks pregnant, was injured. An emergency Caesarean section was performed. Police say the baby boy weighed 5 pounds and is currently in the ICU at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview. The mother is also said to be in critical condition. Police say they believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.
ATHENS (AP) — Holiday boating over Fourth of July weekend in Texas will include more regulations meant to stop the spread of invasive zebra mussels. Updated rules that take effect Tuesday require all boaters to drain their vessels and on-board receptacles when near any bodies of fresh water. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says the regulation applies to boaters leaving or approaching lakes and rivers. State officials say the rule applies to all types and sizes of boats whether motorized or not. Zebra mussels were first confirmed in Texas in Lake Texoma in 2009. The aquatic pests, which can clog pipes and damage motor boats, then spread through North Texas and into Central Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in May ordered the stricter cleaning rules statewide, effective July 1.
TYLER — The East Texas Food Bank in Tyler, area churches and school districts have teamed up this summer to keep children eating nutritious meals. The summer food program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The East Texas Food Bank provides the meals to area school districts, where school district employees and volunteers serve the meals. Read the rest of this entry »
GREGG COUNTY — A Longview man convicted of murder in March 2013 will receive a new trial after an expert used in the original trial was found not to meet certain state qualifications. Charles Ray Owens Jr. was charged with murder in 2010 after running a stop sign, causing a three-vehicle wreck in which he struck a pickup and then hit a Honda driven by Robert Smith, 62. Read the rest of this entry »
WOOD COUNTY — A former East Texas deacon, who was caught living a double life, has been transferred to Pennsylvania to face a murder charge dating back to 1981. Authorities moved Joseph Lewis Miller, 78, from the Wood County Jail to the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, jail Thursday. He is charged with homicide and a parole violation. The suspect is being held on no bond, according to Dauphin County Warden Dominick DeRose. Dauphin County First Assistant District Attorney Fran Chardo was confident in the state’s ability to put Miller away for life, even though his case is more than 30 years old. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — The historic view in downtown Tyler will soon change. After 40 years, Levines is closing its doors due to financial reasons. Ralph Mason, store manager, said, “I find fault with no one. Its sad where we are now, but those things happen and the times change, and its best to remember the good things in life.” Looking back on his 35 years, Mason says its been memorable. “I haven’t worked a day in my life, I got paid to come in and visit with my friends, and every person that walked through the door was our friend,” said Mason. KETK reports, being the oldest store in downtown, Levines is leaving behind a legacy. In its prime, it was in 11 states with 152 stores, and now it has three, including the Tyler location.
CHANDLER — Multiple agencies responded to a major fire at a dairy farm in Henderson County Friday evening. According to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, at around 4:15, several fire departments, the Henderson County Fire Marshall’s Office and deputies responded to the Hilltop Jersey Farm on the 19000 block of FM 3079. Henderson County Fire Marshal Shane Renberg stated fuel tanks were nearby, but were not a present danger. Firefighters doused the tanks with water to keep them cool. No injuries to people or animals have been reported. Read the rest of this entry »
KILGORE — The baby dropped off at a Kilgore fire station last week now has a home and a name. A foster family has taken the baby in and he’s been given a name, Noah Jax Henderson. The baby boy was just 12 hours old when he was dropped off at Kilgore fire station #2 early Saturday morning. The Baby Moses Law gives parents the opportunity to drop infants under 60 days old at designated “safe havens” which include fire stations and police stations with no questions asked. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — East Texans are preparing for the 4th of July. Local officials are urging people to keep safety in mind when they’re getting their hands on fireworks. They’re fun and it’s also important to know how dangerous they could be. According to KETK, there’s a city ordinance that bands fireworks, possession or the use of. “It’s a Class C Misdemeanor, we can issue a citation if the officer feels it’s necessary and it could be up to a 500 dollar fine,” said Don Martin, Tyler Police, Public Information Officer. Tyler Police say the only time fireworks are allowed in city is if a person is issued a permit. Read the rest of this entry »
HENDERSON COUNTY — Henderson County deputies continue to investigate a shooting in which one child was injured Thursday. According to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, two boys were involved in the Thursday incident off Highway 59 near Cross Roads, but only was one was hurt. Authorities say it appears as if the shooting was accidental. The injured 11-year-old was taken to East Texas Medical Center in Athens hospital and was then transferred to Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. He’s currently listed in stable condition. The victim’s name has not been released. Detectives determined a second child fired the gun by accident. A search warrant was issued and carried out on the grounds. The investigation is ongoing. Multiple agencies from Henderson County and Anderson County assisted in the incident. CPS is also investigating. There is no word on whether or not the child’s parents/guardians will face any charges.
TYLER — The Tyler ISD is hoping to save more than $1 million by re-financing school bonds. KETK reports trustees authorized a motion this week but will only follow through if the rates are good. The necessary documentation will take about a month to get ready. If the initiative does go through, $9 million of district bonds will be refinanced for savings.
MALAKOFF — A teen has died after being hit by a train in Henderson County. It happened just before 2:45 yesterday afternoon near Lane Street in Malakoff. The teen was with some friends when the boy tried to cross the tracks. His name has not been released. The Union Pacific freight train was headed from Arkansas to Laredo when the accident occurred.
MARSHALL — An East Texas murder suspect was indicted by a Harrison County grand jury Thursday. KETK reports Corey Johnson, 31, of Jefferson, was arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Service in Tallulah, Louisiana, on April 15. A warrant for his arrest was issued on March 23, following an early morning shooting in the 100 block of West Pinecrest in Marshall at Rumors Arcade. The victim was identifed as Jalen Juwan White, 19, of Marshall. He was taken to a local hospital on the night of the incident, but later died there.
DALLAS — Animal shelters across Texas and the nation are facing issues ranging from overcrowding to lack of funding. So Lindale’s own Miranda Lambert is working on a new campaign to help renovate shelters. The “See What Good Food can do” campaign is headed up by the Pedigree dog food company. The country superstar says, “I…grew up with animals and…rescuing animals my whole entire life — and everybody’s mission here is to improve these animals’ lives so that they can find a forever home.”
TYLER — A warning from the Better Business Bureau of Central East Texas: thieves are disguising the actual number they’re calling from, with local numbers they’ve collected. KETK reports calls may appear to be from a local business or even someone you know. When answered, the call goes to a recording that asks for credit card verification. The BBB’s Mechele Mills says, “You can always call them back after actually confirming who made the call, and always remember never to give out your personal or financial information to somebody who initiates a call with you. It’s always better to take the number down, then verify that that’s the actual number for a company or a person that’s called and then decide whether or not you want to call them back.” The BBB says scammers seem to have recently focused their efforts in other states, but will most likely be back.
RUSK COUNTY — The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division has arrested five people as part of a drug sweep.Sgt. David Roberts, spokesman for the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, issued a statement Wednesday detailing Operation Ice Storm. Read the rest of this entry »
MARSHALL – An El Paso native is the new police chief in Marshall. At a meeting Wednesday night, the city commission named Jesus Eduardo “Eddie” Campa to the post. He succeeds Interim Marshall Police Chief Le land Benoit who retired in May after taking over for ex-Chief Stan Spence. Campa comes to Marshall from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, where he was the chief deputy. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — Tyler ISD trustees this week approved funding for a new swim center. KETK reports the current aquatics center has been in place since the early 1980s and is the only facility for competitive swimmers in the area. But because of its size, it’s never been able to host an actual swim meet. The new structure will be built off Earl Campbell Parkway next to the new Career and Technology Center. Officials say the facility will also offer a chance for community involvement and increased safety awareness. TISD will spend $2 million to build the new aquatics center.
TYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday approved an ordinance revising parking fees downtown. KETK reports more than a third of the parking meters will increase a substantial amount. According to City Engineer Carter Delleney, 137 of the 344 meters in the downtown area will double in price from 25 cents an hour to 50 cents an hour. This will increase the city’s take from $95,000 per year to about $135,000 to $140,000. Officials say the city is also making improvements to allow for more convenience. All of the meters rising in price will take credit cards as a method of payment. The cost of improvements will be covered by the revenue surplus. Price hikes will be on the square and one block east and west, along Elm Street, and down Broadway Avenue. Read the rest of this entry »
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP/Staff) – A man charged with killing the 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in South Dakota last fall is facing charges in a new alleged incident. Authorities say Joseph Patterson was arrested early Wednesday on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault, interference with emergency communication, and injury to property. A criminal complaint lists a woman as the victim of the allegations. Authorities didn’t immediately disclose her relationship to Patterson. But KETK, citing the Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Argus Leader, names her as Ann “Ashley” Doohen. Patterson is being held on a $1,000,000 cash only bond in the Minnehaha County Jail in Sioux Falls. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER — The Tyler City Council Wednesday proclaimed Tyler a Purple Heart City. “Tyler has a long history of strong support for this nation’s veterans,” said Mayor Martin Heines. “Smith County is home to nearly 18,000 veterans and we are honored to receive the Purple Heart City classification.” According to a city news release, “Thanks to Nick Sciarrini and Lloyd Jones, who lead the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Tyler has been proclaimed as a Purple Heart City honoring those who have been so brave in defending America’s freedoms.” Read the rest of this entry »
KILGORE — A young girl in Kilgore had her bike stolen for the second time just a day after police returned it to her. According to KETK, Kilgore Police received a report of a stolen bicycle from the 700 block of Florey Street on Tuesday. Authorities learned the stolen property was the same bike returned the previous day. The victim stated the pink bicycle was chained to the front porch when it was taken. According to the victim’s grandmother, the bike was found filthy and returned by officers in sparkling condition with an added serial number. They also included a toy pink bear. Read the rest of this entry »
DALLAS (AP/Staff) – The family of the widow killed by a Carthage man later portrayed in the film “Bernie” has filed its objections to the man’s early release. Marjorie Nugent’s relatives say claims that Bernie Tiede was abused as a child shouldn’t have affected his life sentence. They call for Tiede’s bond to be revoked and for him to return to prison. Tiede was convicted in 1999 of killing Nugent, a rich 81-year-old widow who became his companion after her husband’s death. He was released in May after a prosecutor agreed he should not have gotten a life sentence. The murder and its impact in Carthage became the basis of the movie, in which Jack Black played Tiede and Shirley MacLaine portrayed Nugent.
LONGVIEW — Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary says the local Coors plant sustained extensive damage in a Tuesday fire, and the plant is now temporarily closed. Firefighters say an afternoon rainstorm helped crews gain control of the blaze. Several firefighters were treated for dehydration and minor injuries. KETK reports the blaze began shortly before 10:30 Tuesday morning and was finally put out around 3:30 p.m. The fire was caused by soldering and sweating of copper pipes, which then ignited foam insulation. Zackary says workers were repairing the pipes when the fire was sparked. Read the rest of this entry »