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Man Arrested in Tyler Bank Robbery

landonwomackmugTYLER — Tyler police have arrested a man accused of robbing a local bank. Monday afternoon just before 1:00, police responded to the incident at Austin Bank at 611 South Beckham. Officers immediately searched the area for the suspect, who had fled on foot to the west of the bank. The suspect was spotted a block away but had shed some of his clothing and was out of breath, according to police. An officer who detained him determined that he was the suspect police were searching for. Police say Landon Riley Womack, 31, of Tyler was in possession of a bag that contained the cash from the bank and the weapon he used to commit the robbery. Womack was charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. No injuries were reported during the crime.

Man Allegedly Throws Sister Down while She Holds Toddler

tyronedavismugLONGVIEW — An East Texas man is behind bars for allegedly throwing his sister on the ground while she was holding her toddler. According to Gregg County judicial records, Tyrone Davis, 28, of Longview was arrested Sunday on charges of assault causing bodily injury and injury to a child. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Davis was fighting with other family members at a home in the 300 block of Arden Street when his sister stepped in to break up the altercation, according to the probable cause affidavit for his arrest. The child was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Read the rest of this entry »

Van Student Detained after Allegedly Making Threats

van_vandles_ketkVAN — A Van High School student has been detained after reportedly making threats against the Van ISD. Van Superintendent Don Dunn says students reported to the high school principal Monday morning that the student had made threats against the district, students, and staff. The student allegedly sent text messages to another student, claimed to have a gun, and threatened to shoot himself and others. Dunn tells KETK the student was detained without incident and the Van Police Department has launched an investigation. “It is important for students and parents to know that the school is safe and secure,” Dunn said. “The threat or danger to students and staff was headed off before any person was in danger at the school.” Read the rest of this entry »

Van Moves Halloween to Saturday

thumb_halloween-1VAN — Halloween has been postponed in one East Texas town — and the reason is clear. It falls on a Friday, and Friday nights in Van are for high school football — especially when the Vandals are undefeated. City leaders met, called an audible, and moved trick or treating to Saturday night this year. Mayor Dean Stone defends the move, saying Van is probably one of the most family-oriented towns around. Stone says, “Yeah, we like football, but when you’re winnin,’ you really like it. I think sometimes changes are necessary, and it won’t leave our town quite so vacant.” City hall has received calls from residents complaining about the move, but the mayor says its a numbers game and this change will accommodate more people for both events.

Two More Tyler Robberies Reported

police-tyler-carTYLER – Two Tyler businesses were robbed Sunday. Shortly after 10:15 Sunday night, the Chevron station at 1808 West Gentry was held up. The store clerk reported that two black males, one with a handgun, stole the money from the cash register and fled on foot. She described one suspect as being about 5’08 inches tall with a slender build, wearing a dark colored hoodie and blue bandana over his face. The second suspect stayed outside the store and was only described as being tall with a dark colored long sleeve shirt. Read the rest of this entry »

Driver Arrested after Wreck Injures Four Kids

316959254764TYLER – A driver has been arrested in Tyler after an accident that injured four children. Their condition is unknown. KETK reports the accident happened around 10:00 Sunday night near the intersection of State Highway 64 and County Road 19. The driver of the vehicle, identified as John Westbrook, 32, Chandler, was arrested after he ran from the scene. Alcohol was said to have been found in the vehicle. He was booked into the Smith County Jail.

Two Injured Following Emergency Landing

rusk_plane_crashRUSK — A pilot had to make an emergency crash landing in a Rusk pasture after the plane began experiencing problems. According to KETK, it happened near Farm to Market Road 768 and County Road 1314. Trooper Steven Prater arrived at the scene around 2:00 Saturday afternoon. Prater said the plane was headed to Cherokee County Airport from Reklaw when a right engine failure forced an emergency landing. A passenger, Susan Inkley , 77, was flown to ETMC Tyler where she is in fair condition. Another passenger, Bruce Finch, was taken to ETMC Jacksonville. The pilot Mark Hagg, 60, and his wife Lisa Hagg, 44, were not injured. The group was said to be from Richmond, Texas.

TxDOT Project Updates

TxDOT signTYLER — Here’s a quick look at work planned in the Tyler District during the Week of October 27, 2014:

SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Tyler this week will be placing an overlay surface on Farm Road 2813 between U.S. Highway 69 and Farm Road 2493. Be alert for lane closures and flaggers during this work. Read the rest of this entry »

Student Transferred to Dallas Hospital after Attack at School

Children's Medical CenterMARSHALL — An East Texas student was transferred to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas following an attack at a Marshall elementary school. On Thursday shortly after 4:00, Marshall Police Department received a 911 call about a child that had been assaulted at Robert E. Lee Elementary School, located at 1315 Calloway Street. According to KETK, the attacker had run from the area when police were being alerted. Marshall officers, firefighters and medical crews responded to the scene. They discovered a 10-year-old boy had been assaulted and was in need of medical attention. The child was taken by ambulance to Good Shepherd Medical Center-Marshall and later moved to the Children’s Medical Center due to his injuries. Read the rest of this entry »

Abbott/Norris Make Campaign Stop in Tyler

vlcsnap_2014_10_24_21h04m04s57TYLER — Less than two weeks before election day, Republican gubernatorial candidate, Greg Abbott made his way to East Texas Friday. He brought along a legendary Texas icon, Chuck Norris. The pair appeared in the Rose Room yesterday morning around 11:15. According to KETK, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott made his case on why he should be elected governor. And Chuck Norris is on his side. Keeping the borders safe and secure, education and the booming Texas economy are just some of Abbott’s biggest passions. The Republican candidate said Texas is ranked number two in the nation for women owned businesses. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Police Investigate Similar Style Robberies

police-tyler-car2TYLER — Tyler Police respond to a reported armed robbery last night. I happened around 10:45 at the Super Sak, 1938 Troup Hwy. According to officers, the clerk reported two black males entered the store, one of them displaying a handgun. The armed suspect demanded money from the clerk and took an undisclosed amount of cash from the register. The second suspect stood watch at the door. Both suspects then left the store and fled the area. Read the rest of this entry »

Manufacturer Halts Sales of Highway Guardrails

highway-guardrailDALLAS (AP) — A Texas company is stopping shipments of a common highway-guardrail system and conducting more crash tests after it lost a $175 million jury verdict. Trinity Industries Inc. says that it would stop selling the ET-Plus system until testing is complete. Earlier this week, a jury in federal district court in Marshall decided Trinity should pay at least $175 million for misleading regulators. A whistle-blower charged that the company changed the design of caps that go on the ends of the guardrails but didn’t tell regulators until several years later. Trinity criticized the decision and hinted that it would appeal. Critics say that when vehicles strike the guardrail ends, the guardrails don’t crumple as they should, but instead become spears that impale cars and their occupants.

Family Works to Send Bernie Tiede Back to Prison

bernie_panolaCARTHAGE — The family of a murdered East Texas widow is working to send her killer back to prison. It was last May when convicted Carthage murderer Bernie Tiede was freed from prison after evidence suggested that he killed his companion, Marjorie Nugent, in an act of sudden passion related to alleged sexual abuse as a child. But now, Nugent’s family is working to have evidence released from the Panola County Sheriff’s Office that could contradict Tiede’s claim in an appeal to his life sentence. The May decision to release Tiede is still awaiting a final decision from the state’s highest criminal court. Until then, Tiede is living in Austin with Richard Linklater, the director of the 2012 film that portrayed the case.

Fall Festival Time in East Texas

fall-festivalEAST TEXAS — East Texans and visitors can enjoy big events in a couple of towns this weekend. The “Hottest Little Festival in Texas,” the Hot Pepper Festival, is scheduled for Saturday in the Palestine Main Street District. Activities this year include a BBQ & Chili Cook-Off, Peppers & Patriots Parade, a Veterans tribute, live music, beer gardens, arts & crafts, food vendors, a kid’s zone, and much more. It’s also time for a real “hog-wild” event: the 7th annual Fall Feral Hog Festival in Ben Wheeler Friday and Saturday. That one features the World Championship Wild Hog Cook Off, a parade, and live music at several venues. You can learn more about both festivals on the Calendar of Events.

Man Wanted for Failing to Register as Sex Offender

samrobertsonmugQUITMAN — Wood County Crimestoppers is asking the public to be on the lookout for a local criminal. KETK reports Samuel Richard Robertson, 43, is wanted by the Wood County Sheriff’s Office for failing to comply with sex offender registration. Robertson stands 5’10”, weighs 195 pounds, and has green eyes and brown hair. If you see him or know of his whereabouts, contact Wood County Crimestoppers at (903) 763-CASH (2274).

TxDOT Seeks Public Input on I-20 Plan for East Texas

thumb_TxDotAUSTIN – The Texas Department of Transportation is hosting Virtual Open House meetings to seek public feedback on the I-20 East Texas Corridor Draft Implementation Plan. Officials say these online information sessions provide the public with a summary of the study, including proposed highway improvements, and welcome questions and comments electronically. Read the rest of this entry »

Lone Superintendent Finalist Named in Spring Hill

steve snellLONGVIEW — Spring Hill schools name a lone finalist for their new superintendent. KETK reports Steven Snell is set to start December 1. The Hutto public school administrator was selected by Spring Hill’s board this week from a field of six candidates. Snell says he’s honored to have been chosen.

Longview Police Still Searching for Answers to Homicide

longviewhomicideLONGVIEW — An unsolved killing has Longview police continuing to look for clues. On August 28 at 3:51 a.m., Longview Police were dispatched to a gunshots heard call in the 100 block of West Garfield Street. When officers arrived they were told someone fired several shots into the apartment, striking two victims The suspect(s) fled the scene before officers arrived. One of those victims was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released. The other victim, 33 year-old Tyson Patterson (pictured), died at the scene. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Man Gets 50 Years for Injury to a Child

Timothy ChoiceTYLER – A Tyler man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for intentionally scalding a two year old child who is the son of his girlfriend. Timothy Choice, 25, of Tyler was found guilty Wednesday after the jury deliberated around 90 minutes. He was sentenced yesterday. The boy was transferred to Parkland Hospital in Dallas following the incident in July of last year. He suffered severe second degree burns after Choice is said to have put the boy in the hot water because he had wet himself and had not used the toilet.

Today Is the Last Day to Request a Mail Ballot

TYLER — Today is the last day to request a ballot by mail for the November 4 election. To request a ballot by mail, voters can fill out an application at on the elections Web page, then return it to via email. Applications may also be faxed to 903-590-4778. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Nabbed in Drug Raid

Drug Raid Smith County 10-23-14CHAPEL HILL — Three are in custody following a Smith County drug raid. Around 6:00 yesterday morning, Smith County Sheriff’s Office Special Services and Criminal Investigations Division detectives along with patrol deputies executed a search warrant at the 15800 block of Highway 64 East in the eastern portion of Smith County. Officials say Judge Christi Kennedy of the 114st State District Court issued the warrant authorizing the search of the residence following an investigation lasting several months. Read the rest of this entry »

Sheriff’s Office Helps Find Missing Woman

JACKSON HEIGHTS — A missing woman has been found, with the help of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. Officials say patrol deputies responded around 7:20 Wednesday evening to a report of a missing person in the Jackson Heights community, in the eastern part of the county. Upon arrival, the deputies learned that around noon, a 53-year-old female had entered an extremely dense area of the woods in an attempt to locate one of the fishing ponds. She was reported to have in her possession a fishing pole and a tackle box. The responding deputies requested additional assistance in searching for the missing lady. With the help of the Jackson Volunteer Fire Department, they entered the wooded area and began searching. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Hike in Smith County Inspection Fees

thumb_smithcounty-sealTYLER — A substantial hike is coming November 1 for inspection fees from the Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office. According to KETK, the fees have remained the same since the mid 80s. But over time, the cost of conducting these inspections continues to increase. According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, Jim Seaton, Smith County’s late fire marshal, initiated the increase. The office surveyed various cities, taking into consideration the actual time it takes to conduct these inspections as well as how much it costs in fuel to get to a given location. Based on the information from these surveys, county commissioners approved the request. Read the rest of this entry »

East Texas Fugitive Wanted for Child Porn Arrested

gaylord_stevensTYLER — An East Texas man who was wanted for child pornography has been arrested in San Antonio. According to the Lindale Police Department, Gaylord Stevens was arrested by the United States Marshal Service Wednesday. KETK reports that Stevens has three felony arrest warrants for Possession of Child Pornography. The suspect was also arrested January 2, 2014, for cruelty to livestock. He was released a week later on $2,000 bond. On January 13, the horses at the center of the crime, were seized in a hearing. Officers have been taking care of their needs and the horses have been under veterinarian care since the city took custody.

Reports of Shots Fired in Tyler

Tyler Police PatchTYLER – Reports of shots fired kept Tyler police busy late Wednesday afternoon. Just before 6:00pm, there were numerous 911 calls about shots being fired in the area of Center and Locust. At the same time, one person ran into the Smith County Sheriff’s Office building and reported seeing two subjects firing weapons. Calls continued to come in with some stating that there were two subjects with rifles. Tyler Police officers responded to the area and swept multiple blocks without finding any indication that there was or had been an active shooter incident. One witness said he saw two black males firing guns at a house near the intersection of Center and Thomas. At the house officers found several firearms but found no reason to make an arrest. According to Sergeant Adam Colby, evidence was gathered from the scene and the case will be forwarded to the Criminal Investigation Division for follow up.

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