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Charges Upgraded for Suspects in Murder of Kilgore Man

treysandsALPINE — The charges for three suspects in the murder of a Kilgore man have been upgraded. Keith McWilliams, 49, of Alpine, Rhonda Bloom, 42, of Terlingua, and Charles Morrow, 30, of Benbrook were arrested and charges were upgraded from second-degree murder to first-degree murder, according to the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office. According to KETK, officials say Trey Sands (pictured), 28, was shot to death on Halloween. McWilliams was a coworker of Sands and reportedly led officials to his body. Sheriff Ronny Dodson says Sands’s body was found around 1:00 a.m. Friday, December 5, underneath a pile of rocks. Read the rest of this entry »

One Arrested in Highway 31 Shooting

davontayekennedygfTYLER — One person has been arrested in connection with a Smith County shooting. The Smith County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 11:15 p.m. last Sunday from the East Texas Medical Center Emergency Room regarding a gunshot victim who arrived in a personal vehicle. Tyler police officers and Smith County sheriff’s deputies responded to the hospital. Read the rest of this entry »

Nacogdoches Murder Suspect Arrested Tuesday

issac_nac_countyNACOGDOCHES — The man authorities believe fatally shot Dominique Brooks, 24, of Nacogdoches, has been arrested. According to KETK, Marcus Shwayne Isaac, 19, turned himself in to Shelby County authorities around 6:20 Tuesday night. Extradition back to Nacogdoches County was scheduled to follow. Brooks was shot and killed December 5th. Detectives later determined the alleged shooter had been involved in an altercation earlier that Friday with a resident of the house on Railroad Street where the shooting occurred. Read the rest of this entry »

Fire Destroys Tyler House

tyler-fire-dept-logoTYLER – A Tyler home has been destroyed by fire. The fire in the rental house on South Fleishel Avenue and Skyline Street was reported around 6:00 Tuesday night. The mother and her two children were not home when the fire started. Investigators located the source of the fire in the kitchen area and determined that it started as a result of unattended cooking. The home suffered significant fire, smoke and heat damage throughout. There were no injuries reported.

Cherokee County Men Sentenced in Armed Robbery Crime Spree

johnathon_brown.jpgTYLER – Two Jacksonville men have been sentenced in connection with a violent crime spree targeting area businesses. The sentences were handed down Tuesday in Tyler by U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider. Jonathan Roshard Brown (pictured), 22, pleaded guilty on May 20, 2014, to interfering with interstate commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act conspiracy) and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. He was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison for the Hobbs Act conviction and 80 months for the firearms conviction. Michael Dangelio Johnson, 25, pleaded guilty on Feb. 12, 2014 to interfering with interstate commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act conspiracy) and was sentenced to 100 months in federal prison. Read the rest of this entry »

Harrison County Warns of Old Scam with “New Twist”

thumb_Harrison-County-Sheriffs-DepartmentMARSHALL — The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office is warning citizens about a new twist on an old scam in the area. According to KETK, the Sheriff’s Office has received over 12 calls from residents during the last few days asking if there is a warrant for their arrest. According to officials, the citizen receives a call from someone self-identifying as a “warrant deputy” from the Harrison County Sheriff’s office and then states that there is an active warrant for the “immediate arrest” of that person due to missing a court date or a jury summons. The caller then states even though the warrant is for the “immediate arrest,” the warrant will be removed after the payment of a fee that must be paid by a Money-pack” card or a pre-paid credit card. Read the rest of this entry »

About $1M Found in Burned Tractor-Trailer in Harrison County

cashburnedlnjMARSHALL — After a week of counting the cash, Harrison County officials say about $1 million was found in a tractor-trailer that caught fire this past week on Interstate 20 before the driver was fatally struck by a pickup. That’s according to KETK and the Longview News-Journal. “We can only estimate that there was approximately one million dollars within that vehicle,” Sheriff Tom McCool said Monday. Jay Webb, administrative lieutenant with the sheriff’s office, said the money was wrapped in plastic and then wrapped in a covering of aluminum foil. “Those funds had all the earmarks of being associated directly to organized crime — either U.S. Mafia or Mexican cartel — by the way it was being transported and packaged,” McCool said. He added that he and the Harrison County district attorney had been working to find the owner. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Police Investigate Residential Burglary/Shooting

image001TYLER — Tyler police are investigating an incident in which a homeowner reportedly shot and killed a burglary suspect. Tuesday morning shortly after 10:15, officers responded to 919 Charleston on report of a residential burglary and shooting. Officers arrived and found that the resident, identified as Bobby Shaw, 77, of Tyler had apparently shot and killed Luke Garrison, 44, of Brownsboro. Shaw reported that he was in his home when he heard glass break. He said he retrieved his shotgun, went into the hallway, and saw Garrison (pictured) holding a large tool. He reported that Garrison charged him and he fired one time, striking Garrison in the chest. Garrison was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was sent for autopsy.

County Moves Forward with TRZ

thumb_smithcounty-sealTYLER — The Smith County Commissioners Court is moving forward with creation of a Transportation Reinvestment Zone along the present and future Toll 49. Commissioners recently passed a resolution which creates/sets the boundaries of the TRZ, according to information from the county. The motion did not include setting the amount of funds that will be dedicated from the zone or how they will be designated. Officials say that vote will be at a later date. The Court may choose to dedicate any amount (zero to 100 percent) to the Loop 49 project or to county roads. The project would capture a percentage of future property taxes along the corridor for whatever construction is eventually done. Read the rest of this entry »

KC’s Dodson Auditorium Tests Negative for Asbestos

Dodson AuditoriumKILGORE — In November a Kilgore College staffer claimed the school exposed students and faculty to asbestos. KETK reports that since his claims surfaced, one of the school’s buildings was tested, and the test came back negative. Last month, longtime KC employee Dalton Smith told the Longview News-Journal the school has been exposing people to asbestos for years. After the accusations, Kilgore College hired ERI Consulting for air quality tests. “We’ve worked extensively over the past couple of decades to make sure every building is safe,” said college spokesman Chris Craddock. Craddock says all buildings that reportedly were infected were tested for asbestos on November 28. Recently, results came back negative for Dodson Auditorium. Read the rest of this entry »

Work on Toll 49

thumb_loop-49TYLER – Drivers who use Toll 49 should plan for delays December 9th, 10th, and 11th in the late evening and early morning hours. The east side of the toll road from US 69 to SH 110 will be closed in both directions while preventive maintenance is performed from 10pm Tuesday, December 9th, till 5am Wednesday, December 10th. Additionally, the east side of Toll 49 will be closed from US 69 west to SH 31 for preventative maintenance from 10pm Wednesday, December 10th, till 5am Thursday, December 11th. You’re asked to allow extra time and make adjustments to your travel plans accordingly.

Third Suspect in Quitman Murders Extradited to Wood County

daltongermanmugQUITMAN — A third suspect wanted in connection with the murder of two East Texas toddlers has been extradited back to the Wood County Jail. According to KETK, Dalton Lee German, 22, of North Little Rock, Arkanas, was arrested Thursday, November 20, in Pulaski County, Arkansas. He faces charges of injury to a child, a second degree felony. He was extradited back to Wood County December 5. Police said German was a friend to the mother, Daphne Elizabeth McDaniels, who has been charged with capital murder in the death of her daughters, Gabriella Guerrero, 3, and Natalye Price, 1. According to the autopsy, the girls died from blunt force trauma to the head. Read the rest of this entry »

One Injured in Titus County Plane Crash

FAAMOUNT PLEASANT – A pilot escaped with minor injuries after his plane crashed in Titus County. The crash occurred shortly after 4:45 Monday afternoon at the intersection of County Road 4640 and County Road 4660, just northeast of Mount Pleasant. The plane is said to have hit some power lines and crashed before it could reach the Mount Pleasant Regional Airport. The single-engine plane, a Cessna 152, registered to Capps Aviation Services LLC in Mount Pleasant, was destroyed in the crash. The FAA is investigating the accident.

Two Die in Smith County County Accident

DPS door signTYLER – A two vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 271 at County Road 374, just outside Gladewater, has killed two persons. The dead are identified as Isaac Houston, 92, and Helen Houston, 90, both of Gladewater. They were in a SUV traveling south that attempted to make a left turn and was struck by an 18-wheeler. The truck driver suffered minor injuries in the wreck reported around 4:00 Monday afternoon.

One Injured in Smith County Shooting

Smith County Sheriffs DeptTYLER – A weekend shooting in Smith County remains under investigation. One person is being treated at Tyler’s East Texas Medical Center for a gunshot wound that is said to be non-life threatening. Around 11:15 Sunday night, the sheriff’s office received a call to the hospital about a gunshot victim that had arrived by private vehicle. When Tyler police arrived at the hospital, they saw a car that had what appeared to be bullet holes. The vehicle was secured until sheriff’s deputies arrived. The shooting is said to have occurred in the parking lot of a credit union located in the 12000 block of Highway 31West. The victim and friends had gone there to meet someone when the shooting happened.

Man Arrested in Daughter’s Death Released from Jail

Russell LindstromTYLER – A Smith County man jailed in the hot car death of his daughter has been released on a personal recognizance bond. The action for Russell Lindstrom came Monday following a hearing in Tyler’s 7th District Court. Also at the Monday hearing, Lindstom’s trial was pushed back to next month. Lindstrom had originally been charged with one count of manslaughter and one count of injury to a child. In October he was indicted by the Smith County Grand Jury on two counts of injury to a child. A 911 call was received in June about two unresponsive youngsters inside a hot pickup with the windows rolled up in the 18000 block of County Road 1100 near Flint. Bella Lindstrom, 4, was taken to a hospital where she died. Her three year old sister Zoey was hospitalized and released the next day. Lindstrom was arrested in July at a mobile home park in the 17000 block of Highway 155 South.

“Shelter in Place” Lifted at Winona ISD

Winona High School2WINONA – For short time Monday morning the Winona school campuses were on lockdown. According to a note on the district’s web page, “Winona ISD campuses were under a ‘Shelter in Place’ by our Safety Resource Officer from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. this morning because individuals from a suspected break-in were at large in the city. Once the threat of danger had passed, all campuses were cleared to resume their regular instructional schedule.” The break in is said to have occurred on Dallas Street. Read the rest of this entry »

Longtime ETX Football Coach Retires

dickeymeeksEAST TEXAS — A longtime East Texas head football coach has retired. KETK say that Pittsburg ISD superintendent Judy Pollan, iconic coach Dickey Meeks has ended his coaching career by letting school district know Monday morning.

Meeks, who won state championships at two different East Texas schools was announced the head coach of the Pittsburg Pirates in January 2013 after having coached at Henderson. Meeks also spent time at Mount Vernon, Chapel Hill, Pine Tree and in Louisiana. Meeks won a 4A state title in 1989 at Chapel Hill and in 2010 at Henderson.

“Meeks has been experiencing health problems with his heart stemming from valve surgery back in the spring,” Pollan tells KETK. “He is also set to have knee replacement surgery.”

Louisiana Man Charged in Fatal Smith County Wreck

Adam Jay HotalingTYLER – A Shreveport, Louisiana man has been charged in a fatal Smith County accident. Adam Jay Hotaling (pictured), 27, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter and booked into the Smith County Jail. His bond was set at $60,000. He is charged in the accident that killed Jerry Howell, 36, of Tyler. A passenger in his car, Wendy Howell, 38, of Tyler, is in stable condition at Tyler’s East Texas Medical Center. Hotaling suffered minor injuries in the crash. The Department of Public Safety says Hotaling’s pickup left the road and the driver over corrected. The pickup then ended up in the west bound lane where it collided head-on with the Howell vehicle. The crash was reported shortly after 6:45 Sunday evening on Highway 31 East, 8 ½ miles west of Kilgore.

TxDOT Project Updates

TxDOT signTYLER — Here’s a quick look at work planned in the Tyler District during the Week of December 8, 2014:

SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Tyler plan to perform pavement repairs on Loop 323 between the loop extension and Commerce Street on Monday and Tuesday, weather permitting. The job moves to Ranch Road 2767 between Loop 323 and Farm Road 2908 Wednesday through Friday. Expect lane closures at both locations with flaggers directing traffic through the work zones. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Horseback Riders Injured in Accident

horse_trailer_wreckSMITH COUNTY — Three people who had been riding horses were taken to the hospital Saturday evening after they were hit by a car in Smith County. According to KETK, DPS troopers said the accident happened on Highway 31 near Farm Road 757 just outside of Tyler. Troopers say the three, all of whom appeared to be in their 20s, were riding the horses near the roadway. The law officers said the person driving the car was coming over a hill, could not see the horses and riders, and accidentally ran into them. The three people were taken to a nearby hospital for minor injuries. It’s unknown if the horses were injured.

Evictions Begin in Utah Polygamous Community

thumb_warren_jeffs_1SALT LAKE CITY (AP/Staff) – Officials in southern Utah are serving evictions on the first of possibly dozens of homes in Warren Jeffs’ polygamous sect. Jeffs is serving a life sentence in a prison near Palestine, Texas, for sexually assaulting underage girls he considered brides. Attorney Jeffrey Shields says a county constable was doing seven evictions Friday in Hildale, Utah, on the Arizona border. Shields is working with officials appointed by a Utah judge to oversee the trust the homes belong to. Evictions of seven other homes are expected within weeks. Next year, dozens more homes could face the same fate. Read the rest of this entry »

Longview Man Sentenced to 240 Years for Child Pornography

Karl HoulditchLONGVIEW — A Longview man has been sentenced to 240 years in prison for child pornography after two of his computers and three hard drives were seized by federal and local law enforcement. According to KETK, Harrison County District Attorney Coke Solomon says the Longview Police Department worked with the Tyler Secret Service agency to track down Karl Patrick Houlditch. Solomon says that was after they discovered he had over 3,000 videos and images of child pornography through a file sharing program on his computer. “During the investigation the federal government and a law enforcement officer over in Gregg County… were able to go back to Karl Houldtich’s computer over the internet and verify that he had a significant amount of child pornography,” said Solomon. Read the rest of this entry »

UTT Palestine Campus Instructor Recognized for 20 Years of Certification

Dyna TuttPALESTINE — Dyna Tutt has received national recognition this fall for reaching a significant milestone in the nursing profession. A UT Tyler alumna, Tutt is a nursing instructor at the UT Tyler Palestine Campus who teaches within the Patriots Accessing Technology for Success and Savings Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program. According to a news release, since 1994, she has consistently maintained her critical care nursing certification through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Certification Corporation. Tutt is one of 1,128 CCRNs being honored nationally by AACN for 20 years of continuous certification. Read the rest of this entry »

Grand Jury Indicts Kilgore Man Accused of Robbing Teen

deedrickpic2LONGVIEW — A Kilgore man accused of of holding up a 16-year-old at gunpoint has been indicted by a Gregg County grand jury. KETK reports that earlier this week, the grand jury charged Deedrick Shamon Pegues, 30, with robbing the teenager in Gladewater on November 3. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, Pegues approached the boy at a Gladewater convenience store and asked him for a ride to a home that was also in Gladewater. The boy agreed, and when the pair pulled into the home’s driveway, Pegues allegedly placed “a cold hard object to the back” of the boy’s head and said, “I will blow your … brains out if you don’t give me your wallet and money or anything else you have.” The boy gave Pegues $23 — all of the money he had, the complaint said. Read the rest of this entry »

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