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New Educational Partnership for Azleway

azlewaybookSMITH COUNTY — Trinity Charter Schools (TCS) on Tuesday announced a new partnership with Azleway Inc., an organization that operates a residential treatment center in the Tyler area and provides intensive therapy in a safe, healing environment for at-risk youth. That’s according to a news release from Lutheran Social Services. KETK reports Trinity Charter Schools will serve approximately 150 students on Azleway’s campuses in New Chapel Hill and Big Sandy and in partnership with Willow Bend Residential Treatment Center. School services at these facilities were formerly provided by Azleway Charter School, which recently lost its charter over performance issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Accused of Harassing Women in Lindale

thumb_police-4LINDALE — The Lindale Police Department has taken a person into custody in connection with the alleged harassment of women in the area. According to KETK, Police said they received reports of a man in a gray Kia making vulgar comments and flashing his lights to make people stop in the road. According to the Lindale PD Facebook page, the person was identified and interviewed. Criminal charges are pending in the investigation, but no official charges have been made at this time. contact Sgt. Chad McElyea at 903-882-3313 if you are a victim of a criminal offense involved with this alleged crime if you wish to pursue charges.

Armed Suspects Sought Following Reported Auto Burglaries

SMITH COUNTY — Smith County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies responded to a 911 call regarding numerous auto burglaries. It was reported around 6:30 Tuesday morning in the 18,000 block of Oakbrook Road, in the southeastern part of Smith County. According to the caller, a group of four or five men broke into several vehicles at his residence. When the caller went outside, the suspects ran. One of the suspects fired a small handgun in the direction of the victim. The suspects reportedly drove away in a newer, mid-size white model four-door passenger car, possibly a Chevrolet Lumina. The suspects have been described as armed, having medium to dark complexion, approximately 18-25 years of age. If you see anyone matching this description, please use extreme caution and contact your local law enforcement agency. The Smith County Sheriff’s Office can be reached twenty-four hours a day at 903-566-6600.

Family of Deceased Worker Wins Goodyear Suit

supreme-court-texas-4DALLAS — A Dallas County jury has awarded $18.6 million to the family of a tire builder who died after being exposed to cancer-causing asbestos fibers at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant in Tyler. According to KETK, Carl Rogers worked at the plant for 30 years before being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Jurors found Goodyear grossly negligent for allowing Mr. Rogers’ continued exposure to asbestos. The September 5, 2014, verdict includes $2.7 million in non-economic damages, $900,000 in economic damages, and $15 million in punitive damages. The parties stipulated to an amount of paid medical bills, which will also be added to the final judgment. Read the rest of this entry »

Apartment Shooting Determined Accidental

TYLER — Tyler Police responded to Varsity Place Apartments, 3400 Varsity, in reference to a shooting. It happened Monday afternoon just after 2:00. Tyler Police initially said that a man had accidentally shot himself. A report released today said that investigators determined that the victim, identified as Chavis Gregory, 20, of Center, was shot once in his upper thigh accidentally by his friend. Investigators were told that a 9 mm handgun was accidentally discharged after they thought the gun was unloaded. Gregory, along with his friend from Center, were visiting a third friend who lived in the apartment. Gregory was discharged from the hospital and did not wish to pursue charges.

Burglary Suspect Arrested; Was Recently Released from Jail

Bowers, AaronTYLER — Smith County authorities have rounded up a suspect who’d recently been released from jail. At approximately 4:30 Monday afternoon, Smith County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies and detectives executed an arrest warrant for Aaron Bowers, 41, of Tyler. Bowers was previously released from the Smith County Jail at approximately 7:05 p.m. on Thursday, August 14, after serving time on a criminal trespassing charge. Read the rest of this entry »

Smith County Diesel Theft Investigated

truckmissingconstablesmithSMITH COUNTY — Authorities are asking for the public’s help identifying the person involved in a Smith County theft on Sunday night. According to KETK, Precinct 4 Constable John Smith says a man stole diesel from a ranch in the 4400 block of County Road 313 West, or Sand Flat Road. The thief is described as a white male, about 18 to 20 years old. A picture of his truck was taken by surveillance at the location. The vehicle is believed to be a newer model Chevy 4-door pickup with four inch tires and chrome rims. If you have any information on this case, contact Constable Smith at or email him at jsmith5@smith-county.com OR 903-590-4871.

24th Annual Pantry Raid

thumb_easttexasfoodbankTYLER – The 24th annual Pantry Raid competition between Robert E. Lee and John Tyler High School students has kicked off. The students at both high schools have a friendly competition to help feed hungry East Texans. The food and funds the students collect will benefit hungry East Texans through the East Texas Food Bank’s partner agencies, according to a news release from the food bank. The school that collects the most food will earn bragging rights and proudly display the traveling trophy at its school for the year. Read the rest of this entry »

PATH Week in Tyler

thumb_path-logoTYLER — PATH Week is underway, running Sept. 8-12. The annual observance is designed to raise awareness of the longtime Tyler human needs agency and its programs. This year’s events kicked off with a prayer breakfast this morning. Still to come: a community luncheon Wednesday and a philanthropy celebration Thursday evening. You can go to the “What We Do” tab at www.tylerpath.org to learn more.

Officials: 18 Smith County Offenders Arrested

thumb_sheriff-smithcountyTYLER — On September 4-5, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the United States Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force (JETF), arrested eighteen Smith County registered sex offenders for various violations. Those include failing to comply with sex offender registration requirements. According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, sex offenders were identified as failing to comply with their registration requirements during the Sum’mer Home Compliance Operation executed by the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and the JETF on June 12th and 13th. Read the rest of this entry »

Louisiana Man Dies in Harrison County Wreck

HARRISON COUNTY — A Louisiana man was pronounced dead Monday morning following a head-on crash in Harrison County. According to KETK, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Megan Pinson says the accident took place around 5 a.m. on FM 9 North. The judge stated an SUV was headed north in the southbound lane when it collided with a truck. The SUV caught fire, but the driver was able to be rescued and flown to a Shreveport hospital. He was identified as Damon Reeves, 38, of Waskom. His current condition is unknown. The driver of the pickup was identified as Kelly Pace, 49, of Bethany, Louisiana. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:13 a.m. by Judge Pinson. The body has been sent to Tyler for autopsy. The DPS also responded to the crash.

UT Health Northeast Celebrates New Senior Behavioral Health Inpatient Unit

thumb_U-T-Health-NortheastTYLER — UT Health Northeast hosted an open house Monday for its new Senior Behavioral Health inpatient unit. “Our region of Texas has a severe shortage of available inpatient facilities and care providers for mental and cognitive illnesses,” said Dr. Kirk Calhoun, president of UT Health Northeast. As the only university medical center in our region, we felt it was our responsibility to step up and help to alleviate some of the pressure on local providers and emergency rooms to find resources for those with acute behavioral health needs.” Read the rest of this entry »

Deputies Investigate Report of Shots Fired

crimescene-1SMITH COUNTY — Smith County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating a report of shots fired. It happened Sunday evening around 5:30 in the 3700 block of Hwy 271, in the northeastern part of Smith County. According to authorities, a woman and her husband reportedly repossessed a vehicle in northeast Tyler and were followed back to their residence by a group of people. At that time, the husband retrieved a handgun from inside the couple’s home. The man allegedly told the group of people to leave the premises and fired warning shots into the ground. No injuries were reported. So far, no arrests have been made.

East Texas Man Charged with Kidnapping after Standoff

Robert L. WalkerFRUITVALE – A lengthy standoff with law officers in Van Zandt County had a safe and successful conclusion when a man wanted for kidnapping surrendered to authorities. Taken into custody was Robert L Walker, 37, of Fruitvale. The incident occurred early Saturday morning at 406 Van Zandt County Road 1919, just east of Fruitvale. Read the rest of this entry »

Work Planned on Portions of Loop 49

Loop 49TYLER — Drivers who use Toll 49 should plan for delays during the weeks of September 8 and September 15th. The west side of the toll road just north of the intersection of State Highway 64 through the intersection with I-20 will experience lane closures while preventive maintenance is performed. There will be one lane open at all times and work will be performed on the road during the day during non-peak hours. Similarly, delays will also be experienced on the toll road at the intersection of Old Jacksonville road while the toll collection equipment east of the intersection is being upgraded. The West bound exit and East bound Entrance will be closed September 8th through Monday, September 15th. Please allow extra time and make adjustments to your travel plans accordingly. Message boards are in place at both locations to alert drivers of the delays.

TxDOT Project Updates

TxDOT signUNDATED – Here’s a quick look at work planned in the Tyler District during the Week of September 8.

CHEROKEE COUNTY –Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews are continuing the overlay and widening project on Farm Road 747 north of U.S. 79 west of Jacksonville. Motorists can expect the roadway to remain at one lane and are reminded to watch for flaggers and other traffic control devices when traveling through the work zone. Read the rest of this entry »

Discovery Science Place Temporarily Closing for Renovations

thumb_discoveryscienceplaceTYLER — As of today, The Discovery Science Place is closed for a brief renovation period to update current exhibits and refresh the museum, Dr. Michael Odell, vice president for research and technology transfer at The University of Texas at Tyler, announced. Odell says the museum staff is excited to bring in the new interactive Orion spacecraft exhibit, which will allow children of all ages to explore first-hand the inner workings of the spacecraft. The Discovery Science Place will re-open Saturday, September 27 from 10:00am to 7:00pm and partake in the Smithsonian magazine’s 10th annual Museum Day Live! event. This nationwide event offers free admission to visitors presenting a Museum DayLive! ticket at a participating museum or cultural institution. Read the rest of this entry »

Storms Bring Power Outages to East Texas

lighteningEAST TEXAS – Heavy thunderstorms rumbled through the area last night, bringing heavy rain, gusty winds and vivid lightning displays. It also brought power outages. Power is expected to be restored today to the impacted areas. Oncor reported power outages around Tyler, Lindale and Whitehouse. SWEPCO also reported power outages around Rusk County.

Elderly Man Injured in Home Invasion

Crime ScenePALESTINE – Two suspects are being sought in connection with a home invasion in Palestine in which an elderly man was injured. The 86 year old victim said the incident began around 3:00 Friday morning at his home in the 200 block of Joe Louis. He said two men, both with hand guns, forced their way in through a rear door and demanded money. They hit the man numerous times with their guns. After taking the man’s wallet and some change, the two fled. They were described as black males about 5’5” and 5’8” and with medium builds. Both were wearing gloves and ski masks. The victim was treated and released at a Palestine hospital.

Smith County Detention Officers Disciplined Over False Records

Smith County Jail-SideTYLER — Information has been brought to the attention of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office management staff that documents required to be kept in the normal course of jail operations were being falsified. An employee who had been employed in the jail for only a few months brought the incident to the attention of supervisors once other detention officers attempted to add his name to the form and he did not participate in the required jail check. As a result of the criminal and administrative investigation, one Detention Sergeant and three Detention Officers have resigned. Also, one Detention Sergeant and two Detention Officers have been placed on administrative leave. Sheriff Smith stated that additional administrative actions are expected over the next two weeks, however he is awaiting recommendations from his Jail Administrator and Chief Deputy. Read the rest of this entry »

Southwest Loop Lane Closures Next Thursday

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — On Thursday, September 11, the City of Tyler Traffic Department will be intermittently closing lanes on the Southwest Loop from Spur 364 to Donnybrook Avenue to perform necessary maintenance on traffic signal poles. That’s according to a city news release. Work will begin at 9:00am and is expected to be finished at 3:00pm. Drivers are asked to seek alternate routes, if possible. According to the release, “The Traffic Department is committed to upholding the safest environment possible for all motorists while maintaining the city’s traffic equipment to the highest standard with minimal impacts to traffic flow.” For any questions or comments, go to http://www.cityoftyler.org/Departments/TrafficEngineering or call the City of Tyler Traffic Department at 903-531-1201.

RV Goes Up in Flames in Southern Smith County

thumb_firefighters-1WHITEHOUSE — An RV has been destroyed on Highway 110 South in Smith County after an unknown source sparked a fire inside the vehicle. According to KETK, around 11:30 Friday morning, a Whitehouse volunteer firefighter spotted smoke in the air and began to search for the cause. After a short time, he found an RV burning in the 15000 block of Highway 110 near Toll 49. He quickly called for backup and notified the owners. Read the rest of this entry »

Ground Broken on Phase II of Children’s Park

TYLER — The Children’s Park of Tyler, at 110 East Dobbs, broke ground Friday on its Phase II Expansion. Local community leaders, including Mayor Martin Heines and past Mayor Barbara Bass, were on hand to help celebrate, along with several Major Donor families. Read the rest of this entry »

Athens Teen Indicted for Murder during Alleged Robbery

raheemmillerhendersoncoATHENS — An Athens teenager has been indicted for the murder of a 23-year-old man killed during an apparent robbery. According to KETK, the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office says Raheem Mark Miller, 19, was indicted by a grand jury for capital murder on Thursday. He is accused of shooting and killing Cedrick Collins on June 8. The suspect was arrested nine days after the incident. Police said they found the Malakoff man lying beside his vehicle in the 700 block of Robbins Road in Athens with a gunshot wound. Miller was taken to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his wounds. Investigators say they determined the victim was shot during a robbery. The suspect is being held on $2 million bond.

Woman Indicted in Young Daughter’s Death

stacieparsonsmugATHENS — An Athens woman has been indicted for the murder of her young daughter in Henderson County. According to KETK, the Henderson County District’s Office says Stacie Marie Parsons, 25, was charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted capital murder. An autopsy showed she allegedly killed her 4-year-old by “blunt force injuries of the head, stab wound of the chest and drowning” on July 22. According to authorities, she later admitted to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office that she committed the gruesome crime. Officials said the murder took place at a bridge on County Road 1500. Parsons is being held on $2 million bond.

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