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UT Tyler Names Interim Provost

thumb_uttylerTYLER — Dr. Ross Sherman has been named interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at The University of Texas at Tyler, effective July 1, President Rodney H. Mabry announced. He follows Dr. Alisa White, who has been named the next president of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. Sherman has served as dean of the UT Tyler College of Education and Psychology since last May. “For more than two decades, Dr. Sherman’s vision, energy and belief in the mission of UT Tyler have contributed greatly to this institution,” President Mabry said. “He has an exemplary history of service to this university and a truly strong standing in the field of education at the local, state and national level.” Read the rest of this entry »

Mower Fire Destroys Smith County Home

cr233fireSMITH COUNTY — A Smith County home has been destroyed after a lawn mower caught fire. KETK reports the fire started around 11:45 Saturday morning at a home in the 1800 block of County Road 233. Smith County fire officials say homeowner Napoleon Square had just finished mowing his yard when he parked the lawn mower inside the garage. He then went inside the house. A passerby noticed the fire and notified Square and his wife. Jackson Heights, Chapel Hill, Red Springs, Arp, and Winona fire crews were then called to the scene. The house was destroyed by the time crews were able to put the fire out. Early investigation shows the lawn mower had a shortage in the battery which sparked the fire. No one was injured in the blaze.

Hostage Situation Quelled in Van Zandt County

vanzandtarrestCANTON — A man is in custody in Van Zandt County following a hostage incident. According to a news release, the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call Friday from County Road 2151 in the Wynn Community near Canton. The caller told 911 operators that his father, 40-year-old Johnny Ray Harris, had pointed a firearm at him and threatened to shoot him, subsequently forcing him out of the residence. Officials say deputies arrived at the location a short time later and determined that Harris, who was reported to be armed with a handgun, was inside the residence and refused to come out. According to authorities, tactical officers from the Sheriff’s Office and Canton Police Department were dispatched to the residence and determined that the suspect was holding a female hostage inside the home. Read the rest of this entry »

Sheriff’s Office Conducts Sex Offender Verification Check

thumb_sheriff-smithcountyTYLER — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office has completed a check of sex offenders who reside in the county. Of the 320 individuals who were investigated June 12 and 13, 25 were found to be out of compliance, according to a news release. Officials with the Sheriff’s Office said that verification checks of this type are unannounced and comprehensive. The check included a team of approximately 40 officers, including members of 12 different local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, coordinated with the U.S. Marshals Service Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Badly Injured in Liberty City Wreck

kilgorefatalax061314LIBERTY CITY — Multiple East Texas law enforcement agencies responded to a two-vehicle collision in Liberty City Friday morning in which one person was critically hurt. KETK reports the accident was between a car driven by Brett Bartley, 28, and an SUV, driven by Clarence Holcombe, 70, of Montana. It happened at the intersection of State Highway 135 and Farm to Market Road 1252. Officials on scene from the Sabine Fire Department, Kilgore Fire Department, and DPS say preliminary reports suggest Bartley ran a red light and collided with Holcombe’s SUV. Bartley was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to the Sabine Fire Deparment. We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.

City Encourages Code Red Registration

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — The City of Tyler is encouraging residents to register their home and cell phone numbers on the City Code Red System. This system is used by emergency management officials to notify residents of emergency situations. Officials say the system is used in a myriad of emergency situations, including amber alerts, critical missing persons, gas leaks and extreme weather emergencies. “The purpose of the Code Red system is to get information to our citizens as quickly as possible in an emergency situation,” said Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle. Go to for the direct link to the Code Red registration page. Read the rest of this entry »

Wood County Investigating Body as Homicide

thumb_police-4WOOD COUNTY — Authorities in Wood County are investigating the case as a homicide after a body was found Thursday. KETK reports that around 5:40 p.m., Wood County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a 911 report of a dead body located off CR 2388. Deputies were dispatched and arrived to discover the body of an unknown male. The condition of the body indicated that it had been at the location for several days. An autopsy has been ordered. The body has been sent to SWIFTS for autopsy and to assist in positive identification. Anyone with information in reference to missing persons or facts that may provide leads in the investigation is requested to contact the Wood County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Unit.

County Announces Transportation Solution For GoBus Customers

178TYLER — Smith County has announced a temporary transportation solution for citizens living outside the Tyler city limits who previously relied on the East Texas Council of Governments’ GoBus system for their transportation needs. After June 15, GoBus will no longer serve 107 customers in the area surrounding the city of Tyler. According to a news release, last-minute efforts by Smith County and TxDOT were able to identify federal funds that could be redirected to provide service to the people affected by the reduced GoBus service area. Affected people should phone transit provider NDMJ, Ltd. at 903-592-3232 to arrange service one day in advance.
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East Texas Murder Suspect Arrested in Mexico

josecasianomugMARSHALL — Harrison County investigators have met with the United States Marshal’s Office in Dallas and returned an illegal alien, who is an East Texas murder suspect, from Mexico. According to KETK, Jose Casiano-Aburto fled to Mexico after he was named a suspect in the death of 2-year-old Yeli Madalyn Jimenez. The suspect fled to Central Mexico in February of 2012, after her death. Read the rest of this entry »

Cause of Death Released for Whitehouse Teen

jacob_garrett1TYLER — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office received notification from Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas that the cause of death for Jacob Hamilton Garrett, 14, Whitehouse, was mixed drug toxicity. Garrett’s body was found on March 17 on Highway 110, between Whitehouse and Tyler. Dental records confirmed the remains found in a wooded area behind Nipper’s Quality Auto Works March 17 belonged to Garrett. He went missing on February 13 and was reported as a runaway. Read the rest of this entry »

Roadwork Continues on South Loop 323

TxDotTYLER — Work resumed Friday on Tyler’s Loop 323, with crews working in the westbound lanes in various locations between Paluxy and Broadway till 6 p.m. Weather permitting, crews are scheduled to resume work Monday on the eastbound lanes between Copeland and Paluxy. One lane will be open to traffic while the work is in progress. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes if possible to avoid delays.

Three Burglary Suspects Caught

thumb_police-9TYLER — Three suspected burglars are now in the custody of Smith County Sheriff’s Office deputies after a brief pursuit Thursday morning. The initial call came in around 10:20 a.m. from the 18000 block of County Road 234. Officials say an uncle of the homeowner’s, who also lives in the neighborhood, was driving by and saw a vehicle that shouldn’t have been there, parked at the back of the residence. The uncle entered the front door of the residence, which is where the burglars gained entry, and saw three men exit the back of the home. The men got into their vehicle and began to flee. The uncle then used a handgun to fire several shots at their car. Read the rest of this entry »

Investigation into Toddler Death Continues

sheriff-smithcountyFLINT — Officials Thursday released new information on a case in which a toddler died after being found in a truck. Late in the day on June 11, a search warrant was executed at the Flint-area residence where two toddlers were discovered in a pickup with the windows rolled up during one of the hottest parts of the day. That’s according to a news release from the Smith County Sheriff’s office. The pickup has been taken to the SCSO Crime Lab for processing. According to officials, that investigation is ongoing and no information will be released by SCSO until it is completed. Read the rest of this entry »

Truck, Train Collide in Longview

trainvstruck061214LONGVIEW — According to the Longview Police Department, one person has been taken to the hospital with minor injuries after a truck and train collided in Longview. Police tell KETK the accident happened on Fredonia Street when 96-year-old Tracy Cleveland Webb tried to beat the train. Webb was ticketed for disregarding railroad crossing signs. The elderly man was the only occupant of the truck and is expected to make a full recovery. No other injuries were reported.

Man Expected to Plead Guilty in Additional Robbery

robbystevensmugscojailLONGVIEW — A man who received three life sentences in Upshur County for the aggravated robbery of an East Texas dollar store is expected to plead guilty to four more counts of aggravated robbery in Gregg County on Monday, according to county officials. KETK reports 43-year-old Robby Brian Stevens of Leander is scheduled to appear Monday in the 124th District Court. Stevens was indicted by a Gregg County grand jury February 13 on four counts of aggravated robbery and one count of evading arrest, according to judicial records. He is expected to plead guilty to the robbery counts, which pertain to the December 20 aggravated robbery of the China King eatery on West Loop 281 in Longview. He’s now held in the Gregg County Jail. Read the rest of this entry »

Alcohol Election Sought in JP5

LINDALE — A group of business, civic, and community leaders from the Lindale area has formed a special purpose political action committee to support allowing limited alcohol sales in Smith County Justice Precinct 5. The group will be asking registered voters to sign petitions calling for a local option election this November. In order to call an election, state law requires the group to collect approximately 2,574 signatures of voters in Justice Precinct 5, which includes northwestern Smith County and the cities of Hideaway and Lindale. Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday’s Work Canceled on Loop 323

thumb_TxDotTYLER — Thursday’s maintenance work was canceled on ESE Loop 323 in Tyler between Broadway and Paluxy. According to TxDOT’s Larry Krantz, “We will try to work westbound in the same limits on Friday. We will try to finish eastbound work in the same limits on Monday.” Krantz says the project involves several days of base and pavement repairs along the stretch. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in and around the work area between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on workdays, so motorists are strongly encouraged to seek alternate routes if possible to avoid lengthy delays during those times. Stay tuned to KTBB and check this web page for further updates.

Murder Suspect Back in Jail For Assault

539840e7c94b1.imagePANOLA COUNTY — A man involved in a fatal April shooting in Longview was back in jail Tuesday after police say he hit a Carthage officer with a brick. According to the Longview News-Journal, JaCorey Dewayne Williams, 22, of DeBerry turned himself in Tuesday after Carthage police say he evaded arrest and injured an officer with a brick over the weekend. Williams was arrested on charges of assault causing bodily injury, aggravated assault against a public servant and evading arrest. He is being held in the Panola County Jail. Read the rest of this entry »

Hensarling, Sessions in the Picture Following Cantor Resignation

Jeb Hensarling2WASHINGTON (AP/Staff) – Now that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has announced his resignation from the post, East Texas is in the picture as possible successors are considered. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (pictured), a prominent Republican conservative, says he’s “prayerfully considering the best way” to serve. Hensarling’s district stretches into East Texas, bordering Smith County to the north, south, and west. Republican Rep. Pete Sessions indicates his interest in succeeding Cantor. Hensarling and Sessions are both from Dallas.

Wood County Seeks Tips on Multiple Burglaries, Thefts

woodcopicsWOOD COUNTY — Wood County Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in identifying the people responsible for several burglaries and thefts in the Winnsboro and Perryville area. KETK reports that during one of the crimes, a surveillance camera captured pictures of the burglars and their vehicle. The automobile is described as a 1997-1999 Ford Escort Station Wagon. The vehicle color is unknown, but is believed to be a light color such as white, silver or tan. Read the rest of this entry »

Private Donations Save Tyler Fireworks Show, Christmas Parade

fireworksmgn2222TYLER — Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel announced during Wednesday’s City Council meeting that thanks to generous private funding, the City of Tyler will coordinate the 2014 annual fireworks show at Lindsey Park. This comes after an announcement earlier in the month that the Jaycees would no longer be hosting the event. “The City had not budgeted for a fireworks show and the same pyro-technics company was not available to do the event on the Fourth of July, so it looked like the Lindsey Park fireworks show wasn’t going to be possible this year,” said McDaniel. “However, several community-minded individuals and companies stepped in to provide the private funding necessary to make this Independence Day Celebration a reality.” Read the rest of this entry »

Old Jacksonville Lane Closures

thumb_cityoftylerTYLER — Old Jacksonville Highway in Tyler will have southbound lane closures between Grande Boulevard and Three Lakes Parkway beginning Monday, June 16, for a box culvert installation. Lanes will be closed between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. The first block of Elkton Drive west of Old Jacksonville Highway will also be closed. Drivers are advised to seek alternate routes when available. The construction is anticipated to be finished at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 20.

Four-Decade School Board Member Steps Down

LONGVIEW — Longview ISD’S longest-serving board member is saying farewell. After some 40 years of service on the board of trustees, 80-year-old John Harrison attended his last meeting Monday night. KETK reports Harrison, who served under ten different superintendents, says he’s leaving for health reasons. He graduated from Longview High School in 1952 and began his tenure with the school board in 1971.

Longview ISD Struggling with Contract for Superintendent Finalist

Horace WilliamsLONGVIEW — Longview public schools narrow their choice to one man for superintendent, but KETK reports contract negotiations are causing friction on the school board. Horace Williams was chosen as the lone finalist. But trustees say they can’t match Williams’s previous superintendent contract at Cedar Hill schools of a $202,000 salary plus expenses. The board is split on a decision for Williams’s contract. Members now have to either reach an agreement on his salary or choose another candidate.

Tyler Police Search for Armed Robbery Suspects

police-tyler-car2TYLER — Tyler Police are searching for three suspects accused of holding up a convenience store. It happened around 3:00 Wednesday morning at K’s Express Food Mart, 1516 South Vine. The clerk told officers that three white males entered the store, with their faces covered. One of the suspects pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded money. The suspect carrying the gun then walked behind the counter and took an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register. He then handed the money to a second suspect who was standing on the other side of the counter. The third suspect stood by the door and acted as a “look-out.” All three suspects then exited the store and ran from the area on foot. No shots were fired and no one was injured.

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