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“Tyler Talks Trash” App and New Recycling Schedule

thumb_clean-up-weekTYLER — A new resource is available to Tyler Solid Waste customers to help keep up with their recycling and trash pick-up schedule: It’s called Tyler Talks Trash. Available on the website or as a mobile app, on both Android and Apple phones, the service allows customers to see their collection day calendar by simply typing in their address. The calendar shows both recycling and trash collection dates, as well as any changes to the schedule including holiday or bad weather delays. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Armed Robbery Suspect Arrested

902510270003TYLER – A Tyler woman was reportedly robbed at gunpoint Thursday night. It happened just before 7:45 at the Abbey Apartments on Thistle. The victim told officers she had been robbed by three black males. One of the suspects displayed a handgun and demanded the victim’s purse. All three fled the scene on foot. A suspect, Jeremy Watts, 19, Tyler, was detained in connection with the robbery. He was taken to the police department where he confessed to committing an armed robbery Tuesday at 6100 Hollytree. Jude Kennedy signed an arrest warrant for Watts in connection with the Hollytree robbery. Watts was booked into the Smith County Jail for aggravated robbery. His bond was set at $250,000. The investigation into the robbery on Thistle is still on-going.

Oil and Politics: A Senator Scraps for Survival

Keystone Pipeline map2WASHINGTON (AP/ABC/Staff) — Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is scrapping for converts among fellow Democrats for legislation to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline before a runoff election that threatens to end her career in Congress. President Obama has signaled he may use his veto to block construction of the pipeline. Even so, Senate Democratic officials said the party’s leadership agreed to give Landrieu room to try and pass the measure only after making sure Obama would not sign it. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Hill QB Continues Recovery Following Brain Hemorrhage

GarrettPlumleeFB.1415641167PLANO — A Spring Hill athlete continues his road to recovery after suffering a brain hemorrhage almost a week ago. KETK reports Garrett Plumlee took a hit in the third quarter of his final game and suffered a concussion. Once he was rushed to the hospital, doctors discovered the senior quarterback had experienced a brain hemorrhage. He was then flown to a Plano hospital. Plumlee eventually woke up and became coherent on Sunday; his brain bleed had stopped. The student has since been moved out of ICU and into a primary care unit. Read the rest of this entry »

Former Shelby County Hospital CFO Guilty in EHR Incentive Case

joewhiteTYLER – The former chief financial officer of Shelby Regional Medical Center has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales Thursday. Joe White, 67, of Cameron, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Tyler to making a false statement. White appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love. Read the rest of this entry »

Commissioner to Appoint Managers for Revoked Honors Academy Charter

thumb_TEA-texas-education-logoAUSTIN – In a move affecting an East Texas campus, Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams has informed leadership at Honors Academy of his decision to appoint a board of managers for the liquidation of assets and other issues. According to Williams, those issues are related to the revocation and closure of Farmers Branch-based Honors Academy and the seven campuses operating under the charter as public, accredited schools. The revocation – which became effective June 30, 2014 – affects students, parents, and teachers at all seven Honors Academy campuses, including Landmark School, also known as Leadership Academy, in Palestine. Read the rest of this entry »

Upshur County Sentences Houston Dealer to 75 Years in Prison

fisherdaleupshurcoGILMER — An Upshur County jury Monday sentenced a Houston man to 75 years behind bars in a drug case. According to KETK, District Attorney Billy W. Byrd said Dale Dewayne Fisher was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. On December 30 at about 10:30 p.m. on State Highway 259 south of Diana, a deputy stopped a vehicle with a busted license plate light headed north. The driver, Fisher, was asked to step out of his vehicle and he immediately began to sweat, according to officials. The deputy also stated the man smelled of marijuana. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Indicted in Marshall Murder

shooter_mug111MARSHALL — A Harrison County grand jury indicted a man Thursday morning in connection with a September 13 murder. According to KETK, the Harrison County District Attorney’s Office alleges Javonte Damone Sanders, 19, shot and killed Wesley Blackmon, 22. The suspect turned himself in to Marshall Police the same day. The shooting happened just before 12:30 a.m. in the 300 block of North Bishop Street in Marshall. Read the rest of this entry »

Grand Saline Police Seek Stolen ATV

stolenatvgspdGRAND SALINE — The Grand Saline Police Department is seeking the whereabouts of a stolen off-road vehicle. KETK reports the vehicle is a red ATV used for recreation. If you have any information in regard to the ATV’s whereabouts or to the person involved in the theft, contact the Grand Saline Police Department, or to remain anonymous and collect a reward call Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers 903-567-7867. Crime Stoppers pays rewards of up $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

Smith County Bank Officer Sentenced for Embezzling Funds

maryhaxtonTYLER – A 59-year-old Lindale woman has been sentenced to federal prison for embezzling bank funds in east Texas. Mary Jane Haxton pleaded guilty July 18 to misapplication of funds by a bank employee. She was sentenced Wednesday in Tyler to 30 months behind bars by U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis. Haxton was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $446,344.66. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Police Arrest Five Suspects for Aggravated Robbery

5arrestsTYLER — Tyler police have arrested five people believed responsible for a robbery that occurred this week. On Tuesday at 11:45 p.m., police investigated an aggravated robbery of an individual at Kensington Place apartments, at 4400 Paluxy. A 25-year-old victim told investigators he met a woman online a few weeks ago and she took him to the apartments to meet some friends. When they arrived at the apartments, four male suspects approached them and held them at gunpoint demanding money from the victim. Read the rest of this entry »

City Council Approves Body Cameras for Police Officers

police-tyler-badgeTYLER (AP) – Tyler has approved the purchase of 135 body cameras for its police officers. The City Council on Wednesday approved the roughly $54,000 purchase. Authorities say the cameras should be in use by the beginning of next year. Police Chief Gary Swindle says the department started testing the cameras in 2009 as a way to improve safety. He says both police and citizens tend to behave better when they’re being filmed. The city hasn’t yet drafted policies for how the cameras will be used.

House to Vote on Keystone, Landrieu Seeks Action

Keystone Pipeline map2WASHINGTON (AP/STAFF) — Call it a high-stakes political poker game. Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, facing an uphill fight to hold her seat in a December 6 runoff, on Wednesday called for a vote on approving the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline project. The southern portion of the pipeline already runs through eastern Smith County and other portions of East Texas. Within an hour, Republican leaders in the House announced that lawmakers would vote today on a bill sponsored by her Republican rival, Representative Bill Cassidy, to build the pipeline. It remains to be seen whether the Democratic-led Senate will vote. President Barack Obama has delayed a decision on the project, which is opposed by environmental groups. Republicans insist that it will create jobs.

Crash Tests Set to Gauge Safety of Guardrails

guard rail-dangerousDALLAS (AP/STAFF) — Federal officials say crash tests will show by early 2015 whether guardrails found along many U.S. highways are safe. The Federal Highway Administration said Wednesday that crash tests involving guardrails made by Trinity Industries Inc. will be done at an independent lab in San Antonio. Critics say that a 2005 design change made it more likely that cars would be impaled if they hit either end of a guardrail head-on. The company faces several wrongful-death and injury lawsuits. Trinity stopped selling the ET-Plus guardrails last month after a Marshall, Texas jury ruled that the company should pay at least $175 million for failing to tell regulators about the change. Trinity has hinted that it will appeal.

Dogs Seized in Upshur County Turned Over to SPCA

raiddogupshurGILMER — Two Gilmer men agreed Tuesday night to turn over 37 dogs seized from a home prosecutors described as a puppy mill to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, the agreement halted civil proceedings scheduled for a second day of testimony in Upshur County Justice of the Peace Lyle Potter’s court. Potter said Byron Hobson and Jeremy Reddin still face one count each of animal cruelty and misdemeanor marijuana charges stemming from the Oct. 29 animal seizure at their home.

Man Gets Life in Prison for Repeated Sexual Assault of Child

sellersATHENS — A Brownsboro man was sentenced to life in the Texas Department of Corrections Monday in an Athens courtroom for aggravated sexual assault of a child. David Lynn Sellers, 39, pleaded guilty and opted for the judge to assess his punishment after hearing evidence. A Henderson County grand jury indicted Sellers last December after an investigation. The probe began after an outcry was made by an eight-year-old girl who told her mother that Sellers had sexually abused her repeatedly and over a period of time. The child’s mother testified at the sentencing hearing that Sellers made the child perform sexual acts before Sellers would provide food for her and her brother. Sellers faced a minimum of five years up to a maximum of life imprisonment. Sellers was also sentenced to twenty years in the Texas Department of Corrections for indecency with a child.

TSJH Sues BlueCross BlueShield

thumb_Texas-Spine-and-Joint-HospitalTYLER — Texas Spine & Joint Hospital (TSJH) filed a lawsuit in Smith County Wednesday against BlueCross BlueShield of Texas (BCBS), a division of Health Care Service Corporation. KETK reports that TSJH seeks damages for years of disputed payments for patient care provided to BCBS members. Further, the hospital argues that BCBS is in violation of the Texas Free Enterprise and Antitrust Act by having only one contracted or “in-network” hospital facility in the Tyler, Texas, area. TSJH officials say BCBS has taken the position that only one hospital in Smith County should be in network with BCBS. BCBS had no immediate comment on the lawsuit when contacted by KTBB. Read the rest of this entry »

Cut Tree Knocks Out Power for Many in Cherokee County

thumb_power_linesCHEROKEE COUNTY — A large number of electrical outages were reported in Cherokee County Wednesday morning. According to KETK, Oncor spokesman Charles Hill said a substation in the area went down and more than 1,100 customers were left without power. Electricity was lost when an unknown person cut down a tree and it fell across power lines, pulling down about 40 bands of wire. Crews continued working during the afternoon to restore power. “We appreciate our customers patience during this time,” said Hill. The company’s website showed an additional 600 customers without power to the south of Alto, near Lufkin.

Tyler Gets Recognition from Texas Downtown Association

image005TYLER — Fair Plaza Garage, Tyler’s African American Heritage Trail, and Regions Bank were all named winners in the 2014 Texas Downtown Association (TDA) Presidents Awards Program. Since 1998, the Awards Program has recognized more than 150 projects, events and people that make a difference in Texas downtowns, according to a news release from the city of Tyler. The categories are divided based on populations of over and under 50,000 inhabitants. Winners were announced on Nov. 6 at the Presidents Awards Luncheon held in conjunction with the 2014 Texas Downtown Development and Revitalization Conference in Granbury. Read the rest of this entry »

SPCA: Cold Prompts Urgent Need for Foster Homes for Dogs

thumb_spca-logoTYLER – The SPCA of East Texas desperately needs foster homes to take care of homeless puppies and adult dogs needing to be rescued from living on the streets or in deplorable living conditions at their current location, according to an SPCA news release. Officials say the SPCA is currently a foster-based adoption program and can only rescue animals as foster homes come available. Read the rest of this entry »

No Injuries in Hit-and-Run School Bus Wreck

schoolbusmgnLONGVIEW — According to the Longview Police Department, a local school bus was involved in a hit-and- run accident Wednesday morning. KETK reports police responded to the scene of the wreck at Eastman Road and Eden Drive, where Longview ISD bus No. 18 was hit by a car. Adam Holland with Longview ISD says the bus was carrying high school students and no injuries were reported.

Mexican National Accused of Sexually Assaulting Girl in Kilgore

Jose SandovalKILGORE — A Mexican national is behind bars after he allegedly sexually assaulted a Gregg County child. KETK reports Jose Sandoval, 32, was taken into custody Monday by Gregg County deputies. He is charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the Kilgore area earlier in the day. Sandoval also had misdemeanor traffic warrants out of Kilgore for no driver’s license and no insurance. Justice of the Peace B.H. Jameson set his bond at $75,000 for the sexual assault charge.

Individual Robbed in Tyler

police lightsTYLER – A person has been robbed at the Stone Creek Apartments, 6100 Holly Tree Drive in Tyler. It happened around 9:15 Tuesday night. The victim told officers that he was approached by a black male armed with a black handgun. The suspect pointed the weapon at the man and demanded his wallet. The suspect then fled on foot. Arriving officers saw a male walking through the complex that matched the description given. This person immediately ran into a nearby wooden area. Police set up a perimeter and began searching, but were unable to locate him. The suspect is described as a tall thin black male, wearing dark clothing, and was carrying a black backpack. He appeared to be in his late teens to early 20’s and is considered armed and dangerous.

Flynn Bills Address Ten Commandments, Daylight Saving Time

thumb_Dan-FlynnAUSTIN — State Representative Dan Flynn of Van hits the ground running after the field opens up to file bills for the 2015 legislative session. One of his measures would allow teachers to post the Ten Commandments in classrooms. Flynn says he knows the move will face opposition, but also says people who object are ignoring our country’s history. He comments, “It’s part of the architecture of the Supreme Court bill. It’s the architecture of many schools. They want to attack what has been the historical precedent set by this country and part of our foundation.” Flynn says his bill could go before committee for discussion by early March next year. Read the rest of this entry »

East Texas Honors Its Veterans

thumb_Martin-Heines2TYLER — East Texas honors its military heroes on Veterans Day. Just one of the events: a downtown prayer and honor ceremony organized by the city of Tyler. Mayor Martin Heines told KETK, “It’s so important that we give thanks to those that have served our country. It’s something that we take very serious in the city of Tyler, and we want to say, ‘Thank you.'”

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